Hatchbacks are not only the most affordable type of vehicle on the market here in Australia, they’re also one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated.
When it comes to value for money, there’s nothing that beats the humble hatchback, and while buyers continue to gravitate toward compact SUVs, they remain an important segment of the market.
Whether you’re a new driver or looking for a cheap and cheerful no-frills commuter, let’s take a closer look at ten of the cheapest hatchbacks on sale here in Australia.
With the Mitsubishi Mirage making its exit from the Australian market, the Kia Picanto has now become Australia’s cheapest hatchback on sale.
The Picanto well and truly lives up to the phrase ‘cheap and cheerful,’ thanks to its affordable price tag and charming little personality, which is complemented by a generous amount of equipment and a great seven-year warranty.
While it doesn’t have a heap of power to offer, the trade-off here is exceptional fuel economy figures around town of just 5.0L per 100km which makes it a very affordable hatch to run.
MG’s revival has largely been driven by its generous features for a very reasonable asking price in cars like the ZS SUV and the company’s MG3 hatchback.
While some scoff at its Chinese heritage, few can argue with the MG3’s sheer value-for-money proposition on offer in Australia’s cheapest hatch with an automatic transmission.
Inside, the MG3’s cabin is surprisingly spacious for a small hatchback which gives it a very usable second row of seats, with the added bonus of features like 15-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and LED daytime running lamps.
With Kia set to farewell the Rio in the coming months, it’s time to pounce if you’re looking for a larger package than the Picanto with an equally-impressive value proposition.
On the road, the Rio feels far more sophisticated than its price tag might suggest, with more than enough space inside the cabin to be a useable everyday commuter and impressive fuel economy figures of just 5.6L per 100km.
While prices for the Mazda 2 range have crept north in recent years, it remains one of the most attractive and rock-solid options within Australia’s hatchback market.
The only trade-off here is the Mazda2’s size, which doesn’t offer a heap of space in the rear of the cabin, though it does offer an entertaining and smooth driving experience and one of the most attractive interiors for the price.
The Mazda2 sips a very respectable 5.3L per 100km on a combined cycle, making for a great all-rounder within the hatchback market.
The Suzuki Swift is in its third generation now, with Suzuki refining the already-impressive recipe on offer in previous generations that make it a great hatchback to live with on a daily basis.
Fuel economy figures have dropped to a class-leading 4.6L per 100km, making it one of the most fuel-efficient hatchbacks in Australia, while offering enough space for four people on long journeys, or five for short hops around town.
Suzuki also offers a turbocharged variant higher up the range which is one of the most entertaining little hatchbacks for the money.
The Hyundai i30 is one of the most attractive entrants on our list, not only in style but its practical interior, generous features lists and its performance.
With the latest-gen i30, Hyundai aimed to take on much more sophisticated rivals, and it has ticked that box comprehensively.
Everything from the spacious cabin to the smooth driving around town and impressive handling at speed make it one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the affordable hatchback arena.
The Yaris is Toyota’s most affordable car in the lineup, and while it lacks the size of its larger Corolla siblings, it’s a more impressive package overall when it comes to value.
The Yaris is no doubt more suited to small families, though it does its best with the limited proportions and offers by far the most impressive fuel efficiency figures for any hatchback in Australia when ticking the box on the hybrid Yaris.
For buyers looking for a slice of European style and refinement, the Volkswagen Polo remains your most affordable hatchback option in Australia.
VW has maintained very competitive pricing for the Polo, which offers a great commuting and even weekend driving dynamic on the road, backed by VW’s practical and stylish interior designs.
Looking for a hatch with more practicality than the Kia Rio? No worries, the company has you covered with the Cerato hatch and sedan range.
There’s nothing ground-breaking about how the Cerato looks and drives, instead, Kia has focussed more on creating an all-rounder that meets a variety of needs, and retains one of Australia’s best warranties.
Our final entrant goes to an icon of the Australian hatchback market, the Mazda 3, which has also become one of the best-sellers Down Under.
No matter how hard we try, we can’t really fault the Mazda 3 as an overall package. It looks great, drives even better, has a practical and spacious interior and offers frugal fuel economy figures that make it a near-perfect hatchback that is well-deserving of a spot on your shortlist.
What is the Best Hatchback to Drive?
For the money, the Suzuki Swift Sport offers some of the most engaging handling you’ll find at an affordable price, while larger hatchbacks like the Hyundai i30 are impressive little performers when pushed.
If you’re willing to stretch your budget a little bit, the Hyundai i20 N is one of the most impressive hatchbacks on the road thanks to its potent turbocharged engine and a mechanical limited-slip differential.
What is the Fastest Hatchback in Australia?
There are a few hatchbacks here in Australia designed with speed in mind.
While they’re not the most affordable, they offer some of the most accessible thrills on the market; these include cars like:
- Hyundai i20 N
- Mercedes-AMG A35
- Golf GTI and Golf R variants
- BMW M140i
- Toyota GR Yaris
- Audi RS3
- Mini Cooper John Cooper Works
- Hyundai i30 N
- Toyota GR Corolla
- Cupra Leon
- Ford Fiesta ST
- Abarth 695
Want to get a great deal on your new car?
Get in touch with one of our Car Buying Specialists today.Request a quote