1. VOLKSWAGEN GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is one of Volkswagen’s oldest hatchback sports cars. With a turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood, the GTI delivers ample acceleration and power for drivers looking for a quick ride. The optional six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. The suspension is fine tuned and allows the GTI to handle sharp turns with ease. Thanks to the GTI’s sharp steering and athletic handling, the vehicle is a joy to drive.
The interior of the GTI is well constructed, with premium materials. Comfortable seats and ample legroom are positive features as well. The features available for the GTI include a sunroof, proximity key, push-button start, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a Fender audio system, navigation, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors.
2. MAZDASPEED 3
The Mazdaspeed 3 is an upgraded version of the Mazda 3. Upgraded by Mazdaspeed, Mazda’s in house performance division. The Mazdaspeed 3 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.3 liter, 4 cylinder engine, that produces 263 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed transmission comes standard with a limited slip differential; no automatic transmission is offered on this model. To reduce wheel slip, the turbo boost is limited in the first two gears. The boost reduction is determined by gear selection and steering angle. The hood features a hood scoop that allows for a dense charge to the top mounted intercooler, keeping heat soak to a minimum. From a standstill the Madzaspeed 3 can reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and runs the quarter-mile in 13.9 seconds.
3. HYUNDAI VELOSTER TURBO
The Veloster R-Spec is Hyundai’s sport tuned version of the popular and economical Veloster. The six speed manual transmission is equipped with a short-throw shift kit, making shifting fun and adds to the performance of the vehicle. The suspension is fine tuned at the factory for greater handling and performance, allowing the Veloster R-Spec to be driven more aggressively, while still giving you a smooth, comfortable ride. With the suspension upgrades, there is very little body roll when making hard turns. The engine is a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder equipped with a turbocharger, making 201 horsepower. The Veloster R-Spec runs zero to sixty in 7.7 seconds. All these features give the Veloster R-Spec a mix of speed and performance, making it a pleasure to drive.
4. NISSAN VERSA NOTE
The Nissan Versa Note is designed to be an economical choice for a consumer looking for an inexpensive city vehicle. Offering handsome styling, a roomy interior, and great gas mileage, the Nissan Versa Note certainly delivers. The Versa Note has an estimated 31 city / 40 highway mpg, which will save drivers plenty at the pump. The engine isn’t anything special, producing a low 109 horsepower, but since it was built to be a city vehicle, the lack of power is only an issue for those who look for that in a car. The interior is comfortable and roomy, with a suede-like trim, so when sitting in traffic you won’t have to deal with any discomfort. All in all the Nissan Versa Note is a great little car for anyone looking for a daily driver on a budget.
5. KIA FORTE 5 SX
The Kia Forte 5 SX is a sporty hatchback that comes equipped with a 201 horsepower, turbocharged engine. Other features include a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch wheels, Kia’s new UVO eServices telematics with rearview camera, and even power folding mirrors. The little 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 is willing, with plenty of power, and the six-speed automatic transmission is quick to downshift on throttle command. The Forte 5 SX has a comfortable ride, although the suspension isn’t tuned like a sports car, so there is a bit of body roll around sharp corners or when being driven hard. The Forte5 SX can run the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds and goes from zero to sixty in 6.9 seconds. While not as powerful as other sports cars in it’s class, the Forte5 SX makes up for it with strong fuel economy, interior space, value, and an impressive list of available features.
6. HONDA FIT
The Honda Fit is the small, quick little hatchback from Honda. The Fit is powered by a 1.4 liter 130 horsepower engine, that delivers 112 lb-ft of torque. The Fit may not have a great deal of speed under the hood, but that isn’t what Honda had in mind when designing it. With exceptional fuel economy of 33 mpg city and 41 mpg highway, the Fit will save you in money at the pump. The Fit handles nimbly, with a comfortable ride and tight suspension. A rarity for a car its size, the Fit has ample backseat legroom for its passengers, without needing to inconvenience those in the front seat. Compared to its rivals, the Fit has more pep in its step when hitting the gas, and the optional six-speed manual transmission makes it a blast to drive. Should you have the need for speed, there are plenty of available aftermarket options to power it up.
7. CHEVROLET SONIC LTZ
The Chevrolet Sonic LTZ is a nimble little hatchback, with a bunch of great features. The 1.4 liter turbocharged engine outputs 138 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, giving this little car some pep in its step. The Chevy Mylink infotainment system allows you to access some apps from your smartphone, such as Pandora, navigation systems, and others. The new 2015 model even has the option for a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. With the additional safety package installed, the Chevrolet Sonic LTZ has a forward collision alert system and a lane departure warning system installed, which is a must for any driver. With great features, a zippy engine, and a comfortable interior, the Chevrolet Sonic LTZ is an excellent choice for anyone in the market for an affordable hatchback.
8. SUBARU WRX 5-DOOR
The Subaru WRX 5-Door is the hatchback version of the popular Subaru WRX. Powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 4 cylinder engine that produces 305 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed manual is the only available transmission for the WRX. A limited slip differential and torque vectoring keep the WRX glued to the road, making it incredibly fun to drive. The chassis is stiff, in terms of structure and suspension, giving a comfortable feel, while at the same time giving superb handling. The “Super Sport ABS” Brembos can adjust brake pressure at each rear wheel while cornering, so if you’re trail-braking into a corner you get the sensation of off-throttle torque vectoring. The WRX also features an adjustable center differential, allowing the driver to adjust how much torque is delivered to the front and rear wheels.
9. FORD FOCUS ST
The Ford Focus ST is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16 valve 4-cylinder engine, mated to a 6 speed manual transmission. With 252 horsepower, the Ford Focus ST is capable of a zero to sixty time of 6.3 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 14.9 seconds. When pushed to it’s limits, the Ford Focus ST reaches a top speed of 154 mph in 38.7 seconds. It’s stiff subframe and springs give the Ford Focus ST a tight, smooth ride capable of handling sharp curves with ease. Electronically assisted steering, actuated via a flat-bottom steering wheel, adds to the smoothness of the ride. The pure speed of the Focus ST makes it one of the funnest hatchbacks to drive.
10. MITSUBISHI MIRAGE
The Mitsubishi Mirage seems to have been built for city use only. The Mirage’s 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine only puts out 74 horsepower. Making driving a chore if you need to pass, drive uphill, or do a lot of highway driving. The power steering has a numb area in the center, allowing to car to wander if the driver doesn’t stay alert. The suspension suffers from severe body roll on sharp turns or lane changes. The Mitsubishi Mirage does get great gas mileage, with 37 mpg city and 44 mpg highway, due to the continuously variable transmission. When driving in large, congested cities, the Mirage shines. The small size and excellent gas milage make life easy when dealing with traffic or parking in tight spots.