Hatchbacks aren’t nearly as popular in the U.S. as they are across the pond in Europe. They never have been, but assuming this crossover trend continues stateside, we may get there just yet. While there used to be a much greater divide, things aren’t that gloomy for the good old Mr. and Mrs. Hatchback anymore. Global downsizing in the car industry has provided hatchbacks with ample opportunity, as buyers in demand of more cargo space often have two options to choose from: you either buy a hatch or go for a crossover. Had it not been for the SUV and crossover craze, hatchbacks would probably be even better positioned then they are now. The best hatchbacks 2018 is bringing this way stand an even greater chance at being picked over a crossover thanks to sweet new designs, improving safety features, and impressive new options.
But what are the best hatchbacks 2018 will have to offer? It’s a complex question to begin with, and the answer isn’t any simpler. For starters, hatchbacks stretch from subcompacts to entry-level luxury car segments. It isn’t easy ranking them effectively considering this fact alone. People buying compacts, for instance, usually do that because they require a budget-friendly option. Hence, the best compact cars are usually well-established affordable models from prominent automakers. The best hatchbacks overall, though? Well, that’s a different matter entirely. This is why we’ll list both the affordable and luxury hatchbacks; both the large and small ones; both the performance and tame ones – in an attempt to provide you with the most satisfactory of answers to the aforementioned question.
Toyota Corolla iM
It’s best to start with the obvious choice. More than 50 years in the market means that the Japanese have sold over 40 million Corollas, and still counting. The best-sold car of all time has earned that status by being one of the most reliable choices in its class for decades. The Toyota Corolla is still the best choice for people that like to play it safe. Ever since the Scion division was engulfed by Toyota after the 2016 model year, Toyota has simply rebadged the Scion iM under its own label – the Corolla iM. Don’t let this confuse you, though. It’s just a fancy name for the Corolla hatchback.
Now, the Corolla might be safe and reliable, but it also has a few shortcomings. Namely, its dull handling and uninspiring engine. The 1.8L 4-cylinder only makes 137 horsepower and unsurprisingly, there are no other engine options. Moreover, the Corolla iM doesn’t offer the same high-end trim levels that the sedan does. The 6-speed manual version costs $18,850, while CVT automatic models cost $19,590. The former is good for 27/35 mpg, while the latter adds another point in both categories. And that’s that. However, the Euro-spec Corolla has a somewhat more refined feel about it overall compared to the sedan, so it does just fine without the upscale trim levels. There’s also a more contemporary suspension underneath as well. Add to that 21 cubic feet of cargo space with the seat raised, and you have yourself one practical hatchback that knows its business. It doesn’t look half-bad either, and comes in some pretty fun colors to boot.