What is a Hatchback?
A hatchback is a car body configuration with a rear door that swings upward to provide access to the main interior of the car as a cargo area rather than just to a separate trunk.
Hatchbacks may feature fold-down second-row seating, where the interior can be reconfigured to prioritize passenger or cargo volume.
Best Hatchbacks In Kenya
1. Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf is made as a performance car, that is, it is a car for those who love speed. There are different trims of the Golf, if you are interested in the most tuned trim for performance, go for the R line. While the base trims of the car come with a comfortable interior, higher trims have a premium cabin with features such as leather seats.
The ground clearance of the Volkswagen Golf is low(5.6 inches) which might be a problem when cruising bumps. For the transmission, you can get an automatic or manual. Fuel consumption starts from 5.0l/100km.
2. Toyota Vitz
Toyota Vitz is among the most popular Hatchbacks in Kenya, the car has been used by many for the taxi business and also as a family car, one thing the vehicle boast of is reliability.
The Vitz however receives fierce competition from other hatchbacks that are reliable and have more to offer especially on the interior and come at a lower price.
3. Honda Fit
Honda is one of the car brands that have been replacing Toyota rapidly in Kenya, the Fit is a top hatchback from this brand.
It is among the most reliable cars in Kenya, another selling point of the Fit is the interior which is not only comfortable but also has tech features that are not available on most hatchback cars in its class. That being said, the material for the Fit interior is still basic, you will find a lot of plastics in the cabin.
4. Mazda Demio
Mazda Demio is another hatchback car from a brand that has become very popular in Kenya. Previous exterior designs of the Demio were not liked by many, the new shape Demio has however been loved by many for its looks. The car is also very reliable with the only major problem reported about the car being rear axial snapping.
The interior of Mazda Demio is basic, it is mainly made of plastics and cloth. The legroom on both lows is however spacious and the seats are comfortable. The fuel consumption of the Demio is between 20km/l to 30km/l which is good, the main transmission system is a 6-speed automatic gearbox. For the ground clearance, it is 5.7 inches which is low.
5. BMW 1 Series
The BMW 1 Series has a series of hot hatches in it is lineup, this brand is known for making luxury driver-centric cars.
This is the same case on the 1 series, while the luxury features on this hot hatch might be as high as you find in other full luxury cars, it is still better than what you get on most cars in this list. The cabin is made with premium material with only a few plastics, it also has the iDrive tech system from BMW.
The ground clearance of the car is low(5.5) inches. For fuel consumption, you will get around 15km/l, the transmission system of the BMW 1 Series is the 8-speed automatic gearbox, there are however a few manuals. The price of the BMW 1 Series is currently KSh 1.5 million and above.
6. Audi A1
Audi A1 can be considered as the entry-level car in the car makes of the Audi. It is a compact hatchback but still comes with features you will like, this includes driver-assist tech, heated seats and parking sensors. The car also has spacious legroom on both rows except for the middle seat on the second row which is interfered with by the transmission tunnel.
With a ground clearance of 4.8 inches, you will have trouble when cruising most speed bumps in Kenya. The fuel consumption is up to 25.6km/l which is good, for the transmission you can choose between an automatic and a manual, however the automatic is the most common one. The price of the Audi A1 in Kenya is starting from Ksh 1.4 million.
7. Toyota Auris
Toyota Auris is one of the top reliable cars in the market and this is one of its major selling points. The legroom is good on both rows, and the interior of the Auris has a refined touch giving it a premium feel. Toyota Auris is also among the cars with the best resale in Kenya. For the ground clearance, it is still low(5.9 inches).
The fuel consumption is good, it will give 16km/l and above, this will however depend on the engine condition, driving style and the terrain. Most of the recent models have a CVT transmission system, this transmission gives a smooth ride but not much of a thrill. The price of Toyota Auris in Kenya is starting from Ksh 1.4 million to Ksh 1.7 million.
8. Mazda Axela
Mazda Axela is another hatchback from Mazda and it competes directly with the Toyota Auris. While the interior of the car is comfortable and spacious it has a basic interior with cloth seats and a plastic dashboard. The legroom is okay too except for the middle seat on the second row. Axela has a ground clearance of 6.1 inches which is better than most cars on this list.
The fuel consumption of this car is between 17km/l to 30km/l, there is a hybrid option of the Axela and as would expect it will give a better fuel economy and it is the one on the 30km/l side. Most of the Axela models have an Automatic gearbox, this is one area the car beats the Auris, this is because the automatic gearbox tends to give a much drive thrill compared to the CVT.
9. Nissan Note
Nissan Note is another popular hatchback car in Kenya, the main selling point for the Nissan Note is space, the legroom is great on both rows and when it comes to the boot space, it is among the best in the class of hatchbacks. The Note interior material is basic, mostly it is cloth seats and a plastic dashboard, even so, the car is still comfortable.
Reliability is where the Note scores low, most owners have reported having several problems with the car, in addition, the hatchback comes with a CVT transmission from Nissan which is known to be problematic. The fuel consumption of the Nissan Note ranges from 16km/l to 24km/l which is good. For ground clearance, the Nissan Note has 5.9 inches which is low. The Price of a Nissan Note in Kenya is currently starting from Ksh 1,000,000.
10. Suzuki Swift
Cars prices have risen in the recent past, Suzuki Swift has however remained to be among the few cars under 1 million in Kenya. The interior of the car is basic like most hatchbacks on the list, it is however still comfortable, the legroom in the second row might feel tight for tall people, recent models of the car come with Android Auto and Apple car play.
The ground clearance of the 6.4 inches that the Suzuki Swift comes with is good, it is among the few hatchbacks with good ground clearance. Swift has an average fuel consumption of 15Km/l which is good, the transmission system is either a 5-speed or 6-speed manual or a CVT(Continous Variable Transmission). With Ksh 850,000 you will be able to get yourself a Suzuki Swift from dealers in the country.