CAR (UK)

TOP 5 THREE DOOR HATCH­BACKS

Not so many left these days – but the sur­vivors are a glo­ri­ous bunch

- Cars · Consumer Goods · Brits · Abarth & C. · John o' Groats · Suzuki Jimny · Fiat 500

1

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.

3

SUZUKI JIMNY

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.

4

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.

5

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.

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