Trunkless fun: The best hatchbacks for your buck

Even amid the sport-utility vehicle craze, the hatchback remains a popular choice for buyers across the world.

Unlike a traditional four-door sedan, a hatch has three or five doors with the cargo area integrated into the cabin. 

If you own a small business and use the family car for work on the side, a hatchback is unbelievably practical because passenger space and cargo space can easily be swapped around, without resorting to buying a huge van.

My family has a fleet of vehicles that are exclusively hatchbacks and we’ve only had hatches all the way back to the early-2000s. The common thread among all of them has been their ease of driving in the city compared to vans.

But which hatchbacks are the best ones to go for? Here are some models that could work for you.

Honda Brio

The Honda Brio is Honda Cars‘ entry into the subcompact hatchback segment, a market that has been growing rapidly in recent years.

It comes with a 1.2-liter, single-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline engine producing 90 PS and 110 Nm of torque. This is paired with either a continuously variable transmission or a 5-speed manual.

Aside from being one of the most powerful options in the subcompact segment, the Brio can still seat five with some comfort and fit all their luggage for a weekend getaway.

It may not be as well-equipped as others on this list, but for the money spent on the top-of-the-line RS variant, there’s very little you would have to do without.

It’s easy on the wallet, too, giving you up to 12 km/L in city traffic and up to 22 km/L when you get out of the metro. Those are pretty decent numbers from a nearly 10-year-old engine.

Another great place it saves you money is in servicing costs. Hondas have legendary reliability and as long as you stick to the maintenance schedule, you should have trouble-free driving for years and years.

Toyota Wigo

A cheaper alternative to the Brio is the even more frugal Toyota Wigo.

It comes with a 1.0-liter, twin-cam, 12-valve inline-3 gasoline engine pumping out 66 PS and 89 Nm of torque. This is paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

While the brochure says it can seat five, it can only really take four passengers comfortably and leaves very little trunk space.

Still, it’s a very economical car in the city, averaging close to 18 km/L. If all you need is a reliable city car that will easily do the daily commute and the weekly groceries, then the Wigo is all you need.

Mazda3 Fastback

If what you’re looking for is an upgraded daily driver, though, then the Mazda3 Fastback deserves a bit of your time.

With Mazda‘s evocative “Kodo” design language, the Mazda3 is the car that every sophisticated driver needs so that the more valuable cars in the collection won’t have to be awoken from their peaceful slumber.

But make no mistake — the 2.0-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 Skyactiv gasoline engine pumps out a healthy 155 PS and 200 Nm, making this car quite the sporty drive.

After all, “Zoom-Zoom” isn’t just a tagline.

It also comes with a five-year free preventive maintenance service package, saving you a ton of money in the first few years of ownership.


If the Mazda3 is too big for your needs, then the Mazda2 is a more compact alternative with most of the features you expect from this premium brand.

Granted, it’s powered by a smaller 1.5-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 Skyactiv gasoline engine producing 110 PS and 141 Nm of torque. But because it’s much lighter, it can still hack it on those spirited drives.

There’s also the matter of servicing, where the 2 and 3 are equally matched. No surprise since they’re both Mazdas and are covered by the same 5-year free servicing package.

Mini Cooper

“Retro-chic” is the only way to describe the 2022 Mini Cooper.

Its cute face and retro-inspired silhouette make it a favorite among new and old enthusiasts alike — with help from films like “The Italian Job.”

And let’s not forget, it’s predecessor pretty much helped popularize the hatchback worldwide.

Mini 3-door

Behind its retro looks, though, the Mini Cooper is a perky three-door or five-door available with turbocharged inline-3 and inline-4 gasoline engines.

Mini 5-door

The range makes from 136 PS and 220 Nm of torque to 231 PS and 320 Nm of torque.

While it may not be cheap, with prices starting at ₱2,650,000, you are paying for its heritage, style and driving dynamics that would give even the Mazdas a good thrashing.

So if you’re in the market for a hatchback, here are some of the better ones available.

Which do you like the most?

Source: Trunkless fun: The best hatchbacks for your buck

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