Each month of 2017 we've been focusing on a different car sector and in May it's time for the hatchback to take centre stage. Some like 'em hot, others need something practical, there's probably a hatchback to suit most tastes and requirements nowadays so to kick off the month here are our six favourites, all available now on great lease deals from Leasing Options.
Designed, built and tested in Britain, the 7th generation Vauxhall Astra should feel right at home on our roads - and it does. There are improvements everywhere too, from a new platform that lops a massive 200kg off the curb weight, to an increased interior size - despite the vehicle frame actually being slightly larger than the previous iteration. You'll also be treated to the latest technology with a snazzy touchscreen that'll connect to Apple and Android devices.
With more quality in every department and a new range of economical engines it's not hard to make a case for this 2017 Astra being top of the hatchback class.
If you had to name the most iconic vehicles ever produced the Volkswagen Golf would surely be right up there. Conceived to replace the ageing Beetle, this boxy hatchback inspired a generation of similar vehicles from other manufacturers, folk have been trying to copy this people's car ever since its release in 1974. Now at Mk7, the Golf is still as popular as ever.
So what do you get from over 40 years of refinement? Premium quality all over the place, comfort and functionality – plus, especially if you choose one of the larger engines, this car is no slouch either. After all this time the Golf is still the one to beat.
Who says hatchbacks can't be sexy? Audi's A3 is arguably the most desirable car on this list and definitely the best looking. With it's subtle lines and hexagonal grille it's not hard to spot the features that have made this vehicle so popular over the last few years. You'll find a pretty nice view on the inside too, an uncluttered dashboard makes using the intuitive infotainment system, and the various button and dials, nice and simple.
When it comes to the engines you don't have to choose between power and efficiency with enough options to keep any buyer happy, add to that the choice of 3 or 5 doors and you can see there's a A3 for everyone out there.
Never far from top of the pile in the sales charts, the Focus has been offering British motorists a great drive at a great price for many a year. There's not much too flashy about this Ford but what you can rely on is a vehicle with a good choice of economical engines, plenty of standard kit and gadgets, plus some of the best handling in its class.
It might not be as practical it once was, with competitors stealing a march on interior space, but there's still plenty to recommend about this car if you're looking for a good value family hatchback.
The only vehicle on this list available with hybrid, plug in hybrid and fully electric engines all available is the Ioniq. This car offers seriously economical motoring at a pretty competitive price point - these things have been flying out the factory door, Hyundai can't make them quickly enough.
It would be fair to say the design may divide opinion, but that body shape, reminiscent of a certain Toyota, makes this more aerodynamic and ultimately all this adds up to a claimed 83mpg – which is one very good reason to drive it.
Another vehicle to have received a recent refresh is the SEAT Leon, which is now in to its third generation. Alongside styling tweaks to the grille, bumpers and lights, there are plenty of improvements on the inside too. You'll get a touchscreen as standard and there are options to add technology like wireless phone charging and traffic jam assist.
Under the hood there's still plenty of choice too, from a competent and economical 1.0-litre TSI petrol to the 2.0 TSI 300 Cupra that'll power from starting to 62mph in 5.6 seconds. A great value car just got that little bit better.