TOP 5 THREE DOOR HATCHBACKS
Not so many left these days – but the survivors are a glorious bunch
FORD FIESTA Generations of Brits got a taste for the thrill of driving thanks to early exposure to a Fiesta, the nation’s all-time best-seller. Even in its purest small-engined, three-door form it’s a very rewarding steer. The range starts at £14k, but try to find the extra £4k for the 123bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost triple.
2 MINI That old thing? Yes, absolutely.
The three-door has the looks long since jettisoned by the five-door variants, and no-nonsense ride and handling to make every drive an experience. The three-door line-up starts at £16,195 for the One, with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine making 101bhp, and stretches up to the unhinged 228bhp JCW.
The latest version’s looks still raise a smile even now the novelty’s worn o , but can’t disguise its limitations: minimal luggage space, modest performance from the naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol four, and crosswind-catching slabby sides. But the pluses are huge: great manoeuvrability in town and on narrow lanes, and proper o road ability. It starts at £15,999.
ABARTH 595 PISTA
Not. Everyone’s. Cup. Of. Tea. The latest version of Abarth’s version of the Fiat 500 is a wild mix of 163bhp engine, four tailpipes, trick Koni rear suspension, upgraded brakes, sports seats and cutegone-bad styling that brings to mind Chucky from Child’s Play. Hopeless for many things, but at less than £20k it’s a glorious way to just about hang on to your driving licence.
SMART EG FORTWO
It does one thing exceptionally: it’s small. The engine was never the good bit, so the switch to electric power makes perfect sense, and for this most city of city cars the 70-mile range is fine unless the voices in your head are telling you to drive one from Lands End to John O’Groats. On the pricey side to buy, from £17,695, but peanuts to run.