People want to have the most luxurious car they can in a package that suits their lifestyle, but small luxury cars can be few and far between.
However, there are some affordable, premium models available in the hatchback market, which can give you a more manageable package and the style you want.
Here are the 10 that stand out from the crowd…
10. Lexus CT
This petrol-hybrid hatchback is the baby of the Lexus range and provides a high-quality finish with useful accessories. You can drive it in all-electric mode for zero-emission motoring, and after its refresh for 2018 it is quite advanced – although the exterior design is due for an extensive refresh. You do get plenty of equipment mind you, with prices starting from £23,495. The F Sport model we recommend starts from £26,995.
9. Infiniti Q30
As the luxury off-shoot of Nissan, Infiniti has some things in hand, such as build quality and technology. The Q30 is a stylish, high-end hatchback that comes with good base accessories and a well-finished interior that means a comfortable ride for all. With the quirky nature of its design, it can feel like an off-beat option but it does have a lot of things going for it to make it a cool alternative.
8. Ford Fiesta Vignale
As one of the country’s best-sellers, the Fiesta isn’t always considered as a luxury item. But with the newly introduced Vignale option, the Fiesta could now creep into the sector. With a high-quality leather interior finish, chrome finish on the exterior and top-end features fitted – such as a panoramic sunroof and Bang & Olufson sound system – the Fiesta Vignale brings the car of the people into the premium sector.
7. Audi A1
Arguably the staple of the small luxury market, the Audi A1 manages to combine premium features with a cool exterior package for the city, as well as being quite affordable. With starting prices of £15,375, it is the cheapest car on this list and offers some truly top-end accessories in higher trim levels. There is a new model supposedly coming in 2018, so that may be the one to wait for.
6. BMW 1 Series
Coming in either three- or five-door guise, the BMW 1 Series offers a compact package with familiar BMW features as standard – such as the iDrive infotainment system and good driving feel. Coming with a very sporty M140i model with over 330bhp and the base of the range 118i with a more manageable 135bhp, the 1 Series has an expansive line-up that covers all tastes in the sector.
5. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Although it is due an upgrade, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class still ticks a lot of boxes in the premium hatchback market. Good looks, accessories and a top-end finish equals a good premium small car, and the A-Class has all of those in spades. Even available in a super-hot AMG version, the A has plenty going for it in the luxury hatchback segment.
4. Volvo V40
As currently the smallest Volvo, it offers a premium finish, a wonderfully comfortable ride and a very safe structure as reassurance. Sure, it needs a revamp and should be due one in the next couple of years, but the current version is very good nonetheless. Coming in the stylish R-Design spec, you get leather upholstery, stainless steel exterior detailing and 17-inch alloy wheels – adding to the overall design.
3. MINI Hatch Seven
Although the origins of the Mini were to be affordable and available to everyone, the brand has moved into the premium segment recently, and the Hatch Seven is a prime example of that. Coming with an exclusive livery and trim setup, sports leather steering wheel, infotainment system and much more. You also get the excellent Mini looks, which are a key component to the Hatch’s appeal. Choose the Cooper S model for that extra performance and excitement.
2. Audi A3
As the top-end compact Audi, the A3 comes in 11 model types – ranging from the base spec A3 Sportback all the way to the RS3 Saloon. Divided between four body styles you’ll be able to find the model that suits you, and with many of them coming with a high-end finish the A3 can easily be classed in the premium segment. The RS3 duo are the pick of the bunch, although the A3 e-tron is the brand’s first plug-in hybrid and offers no emission driving in its all-electric mode.
1. Volkswagen Golf R
The car of the people has come a long way since it was first released in 1974 and in that time, it has become a top option in the hatchback sector. Higher trim levels mean it can be classed a premium model and when combined with performance in the Golf R, it is a tantalising option. All versions of the R come with four-wheel drive, sports suspension and practical features as standard – so if you’re looking for a premium small car, the Golf R is your best bet.