It’s not about which brand is the most popular or which car is technically better. It’s about the cars we’d actually spend our own money on or recommend to readers, friends and family. Welcome to TopCar’s Best Buys Guide
6. Kia Cerato R253 990 R327 995
Much like its booted sibling, the Cerato hatch’s neat design and calm demeanour are sure to win it a horde of fans and that’s not to mention the enticing price tag. It also comes with Kia’s assurance that the hatch is the sportier of the two.
Our Pick: 2.0 SX hatch R315 995
5. Volvo V40 R310 400 R456 500
Picks up where the quirky C30 left off, but is more polished, offers two extra doors plus the added bonus of svelte good looks. Volvo now has something to (convincingly) push against the mainstream Audi and BMW premium hatches.
Our Pick: Cross Country T4 Essential R358 800
4. BMW 1 Series R342 923 R568 743
Look beyond the awkward face (now slightly improved post-facelift) and embrace the rear-wheel drive genius that is the 1 Series. It’s a polished execution of BMW’s acclaimed RWD and 50/50 weight distribution combination, and in this little package it delivers quite the sucker punch.
Our Pick: 120d R410 500
3. Peugeot 308 R275 900 R329 900
The Peugeot 308 redefines what it means to be a French car with genuine star quality. Styling is a great balance of proportion and shape that might be a little too safe, but safe is a design strategy that’s worked well for the VW Golf and the interior is defined by a refreshing lack of switch clutter. The only engine on offer, a 1.2-litre turbo triple, produces 96kW more than enough to cart round its reduced mass of 1090kg. The range will be bolstered by an Active model and 150kW GT later in the year.
Our Pick: 1.2T GT Line R329 900
2. Audi A3 R326 000 R548 500
Yes, it sits on the same MQB platform as cousin Volkswagen’s famous hatch, but this certainly is no Golf in a ballgown. Think more luxurious features, a top-notch cabin, more dynamic ride and wonderful powertrains all for slightly more than the Golf. An easy choice, if you can afford it.
Our Pick: 1.4T S Sportback R341 500
1. VW Golf VII R270 200 R403 700
Volkswagen’s signature hatchback keeps emerging as the go-to in the family segment, and for good reason. The poised and classy Golf 7 impresses with its superior ride quality, well considered cabin and engines running the turbo gamut from 1.2- to 2.0-litres. Very little to fault, together with strong residuals come resale, make it our best buy.
Our Pick: 2.0 TDI Comfortline R325 400