There’s an ever increasing demand for small cars as many people are looking at economy and to cut running costs, here are our top 5 recommended small family hatchback deals that will get you around town without stopping at the local petrol station too frequently!
The All-New Ford Fiesta
The UK’s best-selling car, as standard comes very well equipped. The latest Ford Fiesta sports a new sharper look, helped by a new grille with laser cut headlights, stronger lines and a general first impressions are of a sleeker looking car.
Ford has added it’s latest technology to the new 2013 Ford Fiesta line-up including ‘SYNC’ which provides Bluetooth/iPod and USB support, voice control and emergency assistance which can automatically contact the emergency services with your GPS location in the event of a serious accident, ‘SYNC’ can even read out your your text messages!. Another feature available is ‘Active City Stop’ which helps drivers avoid low speed accidents by automatically applying the brakes if a collision is imminent. A technology feature that’s likely to be a big hit with protective parents is Ford’s ‘MyKey’. It enables parents to programme the vehicle with certain features enable/disabled, for example limit the top-speed, or the maximum volume of audio system or even mute the audio if seat belts are not fastened.
There are plenty of options to choose from in the model range, there’s the generously equipped entry-level Ford Fiesta Studio, followed by the Studio, Zetec and Titanium models, the Fiesta Zetec S model adds sports suspension a body kit and 16” alloys to the standard Zetec model and the Titanium X adds some improvements to the standard Titanium offering with upgraded alloys, a smarter looking front grille and chrome trim to name just a few features. The new 2013 Ford Fiesta ST range comes in two guises the ST-1 and ST-2, it offers a sportier looking, nippy small hatchback for those Fiesta lovers that want a little more ‘grunt’ under the bonnet.
A significant addition to the Fiesta engine range is the Ford 1.0 Ecoboost petrol unit which offers excellent fuel economy and road tax exemption. Diesel offerings are a 1.6 TDCi (95 PS) which is set to be very popular with start stop technology it achieves a class-leading 85.6 mpg and CO2 emissions of just 87g/km. Alternatively, the economical 1.5 TDCi (75 PS) offers fuel economy of 76.4mpg and CO2 emissions of just 98g/km. Sportier options are the 1.6 Ecoboost petrol engine used by the new Ford Fiesta ST models which achieves 0-62mph figure of just 6.9 seconds and Ford claim you can get up to 47mpg fuel economy, you’ll probably need to go very easy on that accelerator to get anywhere near this figure!
The New Renault Clio
With the new 4th generation Renault Clio, one big criticism of it’s predecessor has been addressed; it’s dated looks. The 4th gen model has drastically improved looks, it’s wider and lower giving it a sportier, sharper design, it is a very eye-catching small hatchback.
The Clio is well equipped with even the Clio Expression model offering a sound system with enhanced bass reflex, Bluetooth and USB support, electric front windows and door mirrors, cruise control and a speed limiter, daytime running lights, hill start assist, electronic stability control, keyless entry and start, driver/passenger and side curtain airbags, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, height/ reach adjustable steering wheel.
As you go up the Clio trim levels to the Expression+ and MediaNav models you’ll get the addition of alloy wheels, a gloss black grille with chrome trim, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers, rear electric windows plus sat nav and rear parking sensors (on the MediaNav models).
Across the model range available engines are the 1.2 litre petrol engine, the 0.9 litre TCe turbo petrol or a 1.5-litre dCi turbo diesel unit. If you’re looking for immediate savings then the 1.2 litre petrol models will be cheaper however for lower running costs the standard 1.5 dCi engine is expected to be very popular with a fuel economy of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 93g/km . If you opt for a 0.9 TCe model with the ECO features you’ll benefit from emissions of 99g/km and an official fuel economy figure of 65.7mpg.
The New Vauxhall Corsa
A favourite amongst driving instructors with Vauxhall supplying BSM and RED driving schools. It’s an all round great urban small runabout vehicle, the 1.3CDTi diesel option is very popular giving great urban fuel economy of 53mpg and low emissions make it very cheap to run. Other key factors are that the Corsa it very easy to drive giving excellent driver vision, smooth gear changes and clutch, very light steering and the car is very easy to park, perfect for those learning to drive or anyone who does a lot of urban around town driving.
You will get good levels of equipment with the Corsa, the entry-level expression offers driver’s and front passenger’s dual-stage airbags anti-lock braking (ABS) and emergency brake assistance, immobiliser, audio system with CD/Radio/MP3/Aux support, speed-sensitive power-assisted steering, door-to-door illumination, electric door mirrors, central locking, daytime running lights and 14” steel wheels.
The New Nissan Micra
The Nissan Micra features excellent driver visibility, light steering and a tight steering circle, all combined to make it a very easy car to drive and ideal for around town travel. Although the latest Nissan Micra is bigger than it’s predecessor Nissan have at the same time managed to make it lighter, for a small hatch interior leg room is good and the boot space measures up well with it’s competitors.
The standard 1.2 litre engines are economical with low emissions so running costs should be low with official combined fuel economy figures of 52-56mpg, if you’re looking for something more frugal there’s the option of the 1.2 DIG-S engine which Nissan claim is one of the cleanest petrol engines in the world, Nissan figures state a fuel economy of 65mpg (combined) and low CO2 emissions of 99g/km. The 1.2 DIG-S engine is available with the entry-level new Micra Visia and although equipment levels may not quite match up to other small hatchbacks in its class if your looking for a practical cheap small car that’ll help you save on running costs and is easy to drive then the Micra 1.2 DIG-S could be right up your street.
The New Toyota Yaris
The Yaris scores well for a small hatchback on interior space with leg room for driver and front/rear passengers generous. Boot space is reasonable, although some other vehicles in it’s class do offer bigger boots.
Toyota offer good levels of equipment on even the entry-level models with seven airbags, stability control and a a brake assist feature, front electric windows and a 6 speaker audio systems with AUX and USB support. If you move further up the Yaris range you’ll get the Toyota multimedia touch screen and Bluetooth support.
Engine options include and 1.0 litre and 1.33 litre petrol manual or 1.33 Multidrive S automatic, some may find the 1.0 a little short on power and the 1.33 pbetween powerr and economy. There's an economical 1.4 diesel option offering 72.4mpg with a CO2 emissions figure of just 104g/km.
There's also a new Toyota Yaris Hybrid option and whilst the Hybrid Yaris will set you back considerably more you'll make big savings on running costs in the longer-term with a combined fuel economy of 80mpg (combined) and super-low CO2 emissions of 79g/km.