In the last article, we took a look at popular hatchbacks in the UAE manufactured by Japanese automakers. In this article, we’ll move to Europe and the USA and list down the most favourite cars from those regions.
Volkswagen’s most prolific hatchback, the VW Golf is widely preferred compared to peers. Coupling smart design with comprehensive safety and convenience features, the Golf is also surprisingly frugal. VW recently introduced the Golf Mk8 which looks sharper and more contemporary in its eighth-gen guise.
The new Golf drops the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre powertrains in favour of turbocharged 1.0-litre (three-cylinder) and 1.5-litre (four-cylinder) engines that are more powerful as well as fuel-efficient. The litre-class triple generates either 89hp or 109hp, while the 1.5-litre engine is available with either 128hp or 148hp on tap.
VW has also made the Golf quite a safe car with a good Euro NCAP crash rating of five stars six airbags, and a sophisticated electronic safety package. As for creature comforts, this is a Euro hatchback. You can expect modern amenities and convenience options inside such cars. The Golf is no different, offering a touchscreen infotainment display, digital driver’s console, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a host of other features to make life inside the cabin easier.
The 2020 Volkswagen Golf will soon hit UAE shores, replacing the Mk7 iteration in our market.
The all-American hatchback has been a cornerstone of affordable yet fun driving machines. The Ford Focus commands a strong fanbase worldwide due in part to its competitive pricing, and the amount of fun it delivers at the price.
That’s not to say the car isn’t practical. The car’s focus has hardly strayed from practicality, with a frugal range of engines, spacious interiors, and a host of convenience and safety features. Safety features include Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and up to 6 airbags In reflection of its impressive safety features, Focus has earned Euro NCAP’s maximum 5-star rating.
Comfort and convenience features include voice-activated SYNC paired with 8-inch colour touch screen with a high-quality audio system besides FordPass Connect which allows users to use their smartphone to remotely start, unlock and lock, check vehicle stats and location. The latest CoPilot360 driver assistance suite also makes inroads in the Focus for the first time.
All trims are powered by a new 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine with 150hp and 240Nm. An all-new eight-speed automatic torque converter with paddle shifters drives the front axle. Also on offer is a 250hp 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine for the ST ‘Sport’ version.
The 2020 Ford Focus is priced from AED 82,500 for the base Ambiente trim.
Lower down the hatchback hierarchy lies the Chevrolet Aveo. This American hatchback is a barebones automobile that gets the job done without fuss. Sturdy, reliable, and fuel-efficient, the Chevrolet Aveo uses a 1.6-litre inline-four motor that puts down 115hp and 155Nm.
Chevrolet has given the Spark a neat safety package that includes two airbags, ABS, traction control, cruise control, TPMS, hill-start assist, and rear parking sensors. For its price, the car is pretty feature-rich. As for the interiors, the car can seat five in relative comfort and keep them entertained. There is no touchscreen to speak of, but the music system has Bluetooth and USB inputs. Of course, no touchscreen means the Aveo misses out on Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The 2020 Chevrolet Aveo LS costs AED 50,110 in the UAE, with the top LT trim costing AED 59,090.
A surprise entry which people might think does not belong here, but the Skoda Octavia is actually a hatchback. To be more specific, it is a notchback, since its boot lid and rear glass panel open as one unit. Skoda has always priced and offered its products with interesting propositions. In the Octavia’s case, you can get a liftback with decent power for the price of a hatchback.
The Octavia generates 140hp and 250Nm from a 1.4-litre inline-four TSI motor from the Volkswagen Group engine catalogue. Power is fed to the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic gearbox. As regards safety, Skoda has equipped the rather handsome car with ABS and four airbags. Cruise control is standard on all trims.
Inside, the Octavia sports a well-appointed interior with premium trims and upholstery. Seating five people in comfort, the car’s notchback makes it extremely generous in accommodating cargo. The Skoda Octavia gets a multi-information display for the driver and a touchscreen infotainment system which will support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the future.
The 2020 Skoda Octavia starts from AED 62,900 for the Ambition variant, going up to AED 86,900 for the Style trim.