What not to miss in 2016: hatchbacks

Let’s see what are the upcoming additions in the hatchback market and what they bring new.

Although the SUVs and crossovers are still on a roll, the hatchback segment continues to seize a fair share of the European market. Let’s see what are the upcoming hatches and what they bring new. 

  • Infiniti Q30

For those asking themselves if this is not a crossover rather than a proper hatchback, there’s one simple yet ambiguous answer: yes, but not quite. In the niches universe, Infiniti thought there’s room for another one — a car that sits lower than a crossover, but higher than a hatchback. 

The beautiful Q30 shares platform with Mercedes GLA (and interior design, for that matter), but has enough in-house built details — roughly 40%, as they say — to imprint individuality.

It has a broad range of power units, from the 107 hp 1.5-liter diesel entry-level to the 207 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol, that can be coupled to a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual clutch DCT ‘box. 

  • Renault Mégane

The fourth generation of Renault’s Mégane is ready to enter the C-segment arena, loaded with enough gear to have a fair fight with the elite. In its full-spec, it boasts adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking system (for speeds up to 19 mph), lane departing, safe distance and blind spot warnings, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam and all-around parking sensors. Oh, and automatic parking. Aaand four-wheel steering. It has a bunch of techs hidden under its new, up-to-date looks. 

The engine line-up is satisfactory for most of the preferences — from the frugal dCi 90 to a spicy 202 hp 1.6 turbocharged four-pot. We just hope the RS will come with manual ‘box.

  • Toyota Prius

The international four-wheeled symbol of environment conscientiousness has reached its fourth generation, and not without recording progress in the process. It IS, indeed, slower when it comes to 0-62 mph (performed in 10.2 seconds), but it’s also the most aerodynamic car on sale. That means less fuel consumption and less noise in the cabin. 

And with a 54 mpg figure (94 mpg in the UK / 3.0 l/100 km) it doesn’t have to explain itself for the looks, we guess. Some say it looks more unattractive than the previous models, and we tend to agree. But the Prius was never a beacon when it came to beauty, right?

  • Ford Focus RS

This year is a big year for the hot hatch lovers because Ford is going to air into its showrooms the new Focus RS, a beasty hatch with serious drift capabilities. 

The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sweats no less than 345 hp, enough for 0-62 mph in just 4.4 seconds. And the rear axle can transfer up to 100% of torque to one of its wheels, the result being one of the most aggressive rear-biased hot hatches you’ll find today. 

Just so you know how serious the Focus RS is about going sideways — it has a “Drift Mode,” which shuts most of the electronic aids and lets you have your sideways fun.

  • Hyundai Ioniq

The 2016 Geneva Auto Show will host the debut of the Prius-fighter plug-in-hybrid from Hyundai. Ioniq — that’s how is called — promises 53 mpg by efficiently using the 104 hp 1.6-liter Atkinson-cycle engine along its 43 hp electric motor. The whole hybrid gearing is connected through a 6-speed dual-clutch ‘box. 

And it doesn’t look bad either — I mean, for a Prius-fighter. The exterior lines hint the interior spaciousness, while the cabin’s design, while more “normal” than in the Prius, seem to promise ergonomy and comfort. 

  • Honda Civic Type R

Being already available in most EU markets, it may not be quite „new” in the hatchback arena, but the Type R is way too insane just to let it slip through.

Honda decided to follow the classic FF schematics — front engine, front wheel drive — despite its 306 horsepower turbocharged VTEC engine. To avoid the front axle overkill, there is a Dual Axis Strut Front Suspension that diminishes the torque steer phenomenon. 

It’s a gem of a car among the hot hatch lovers, one that we barely wait to test. 

  • Nissan Pulsar Nismo

You’ve already seen it — at the 2014 Paris Motor Show — and you still expect it to step forward in the spicy hatches arena. But the Nissan Pulsar Nismo is still in that shady area where the only certain thing is your imagination.

It is expected to deliver up to 275 hp from a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four, a figure that puts it on par with the Nürburgring FWD record holder, Renault Mégane RS 275 Trophy. 

Come on already, Nissan!

  • Seat León facelift

Seat is working on a mid-life facelift for its León hatchback, set to debut at 2016 Paris Motor Show this fall. Despite its relatively short lifespan — the next generation is due for 2018 — it will bring some serious changes.

One of the most important would be the 1.8-liter four-pot petrol engine with cylinder deactivation system, the one that can already be seen on the Audi’s A3 hatch. 

We don’t have pics with the new design yet, so we’re just going to leave here an image with the actual León Cupra and its 276 horsepower.

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