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Best hatchbacks arriving in 2022

The all-new Peugeot 308 adopts a sleek new look, including the brand's new lion badge.

It looks like 2022 will be much quieter than 2021 when it comes to hatchback launches, with just a handful of small and light cars expected to hit Australian showrooms.

It’s an all-European affair with Volkswagen Group making up the vast majority of arrivals, but there are some other funky European models on the way.

Hot-hatch fans are in for a treat with a number of spicy offerings on the cards. That is, of course, dependent on how the global semiconductor shortage plays out. Timing of some of these models may change.

Cupra Leon - June

Cupra might be an unfamiliar name, but it’s about to get a lot of attention in Australia. It is the performance spin-off of Volkswagen Group’s Spanish brand, Seat.

Cupra will offer three models from its June 2022 launch, including the Formentor and Ateca SUVs, as well as the Leon small hatchback.

The Leon will be available with a choice of three 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol variants – 140kW, 180kW and 221kW – as well as a 180kW/400Nm plug-in hybrid that has an all-electric driving range of 60km.

Read more: Cupra Formentor, Ateca and Leon to take on likes of Audi SQ2, BMW X2 and Hyundai i30 N in 2022

Ford Fiesta ST - First quarter

It feels like the Ford Fiesta ST only just went on sale in Australia, but the Blue Oval is wheeling out a facelifted version of the five-door hot hatch in the first quarter of 2022.

The only change under the bonnet is an increase in torque from 290Nm to 320Nm, while power remains at 147kW. A six-speed manual is still the only transmission available, driving the front wheels.

Exterior changes include new headlight and tail-light treatments, a tweaked grille and two new colours. Inside, the Fiesta ST gains new sports seats, a digital instrument cluster, extra connectivity functions and a boost to active safety.

Read more: Toyota GR Yaris, Volkswagen Polo GTI and Hyundai i20 N on notice! 2022 Ford Fiesta ST increases torque and gets higher price but new features with facelift

Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Peugeot 308 - Third quarter

More than seven years after the current model landed, Peugeot will replace the 308 with the striking third-generation version in the third quarter of 2022. It adopts Peugeot’s latest design language and debuts the brand’s new ‘lion’ badge.

Based on an updated version of PSA’s EMP2 platform, the new 308 is 110mm longer but the height has been reduced by 20mm for a lower, sleeker look.

Peugeot was forced to offer the new 308 in some global markets without the promised digital instrument cluster because of the ongoing semiconductor shortage. But the carmaker’s Australian importer says it will definitely come to market with the digital display.

Read more: 2022 Peugeot 308 detailed: New Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato and Volkswagen Golf rival emerges with striking design

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

Skoda Fabia - Second quarter

Skoda is going big with its all-new Fabia, due in the second quarter of 2022. The Czech brand’s light hatch has grown significantly in all dimensions, except height.

Based on the same MQB-AO platform as the current VW Polo, the Fabia’s boot space has increased by 50 litres, meaning it can swallow more cargo than the one-size-larger Toyota Corolla and Mazda3.

The design is softer than the outgoing model and the cabin gets a big uptick in technology, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 9.2-inch multimedia screen in some variants. Skoda has also added more safety gear to the new-gen model.

Read more: 2022 Skoda Fabia detailed: Toyota Yaris, Mazda 2 and MG3 rival scores updated tech and more practicality

Volkswagen Golf R - April

The pinnacle of the Mk8 Golf range, the new Golf R hatch hits Australian shores in April 2022, alongside its wagon sibling.

The new Golf R packs a 235kW/400Nm punch from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, representing a 22kW/20Nm increase over the outgoing version.

Both Golf R variants drive all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and the hatchback can dash from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds – 0.2 seconds quicker than the wagon.

Read more: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R price and features: Last-minute engine downgrade for incoming Toyota GR Corolla and Honda Civic Type R rival

Volkswagen Polo - Second quarter

The eighth-generation version of Volkswagen’s Polo light hatch landed in 2018 and it’s getting a midlife makeover in the second quarter of 2022.

Fresh styling touches including a revised head and tail-light design, the inclusion of LED lights as standard across the range, an LED daytime running light strip under the redesigned grille, and new bumpers.

Inside, it gains a new steering wheel, digital instrument cluster and dashboard, as well as tweaks to the multimedia screen.

Read more: 2022 Volkswagen Polo detailed: Fresh-faced Mazda 2, Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift rival uncovered with even more tech

Audi A3 - Early 2022

Audi's fourth-generation A3 small-car range will hit Australian showrooms in early 2022 with an initial line up of two model grades across both Sportback hatch and sedan body-styles.

The range-opening 35 TFSI is powered by a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine with mild-hybrid technology, while the 40 TFSI quattro S line uses a 140kW/320Nm 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.

A 10.25-inch digital cockpit is standard across the range, as is a suite of driver assist systems such as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and lane-keep assist.

Read more: 2022 Audi A3 price and features: Australian pricing of new-gen Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series rival creeps up

    Ford Focus ST - Second quarter

    Ford has dropped all Focus variants except for the spicy ST hot hatch as part of a midlife update for the fourth-generation small hatchback.

    Lobbing in quarter two, 2022, the revised Focus ST features a redesigned front end with unique LED daytime running lights, new LED tail-lights, fresh alloy wheels and a new 'Mean Green' body colour.

    It also gains a new 13.2-inch landscape touchscreen powered by Ford's SYNC4 multimedia system. A more premium ST X model grade will also be offered, but there are no changes under the bonnet.

    Read more: 2022 Ford Focus ST runs hot! Price and features confirmed for facelifted Hyundai i30 N, Volkswagen Golf GTI, Renault Megane RS and Honda Civic Type R rival

      Ford Focus

      Ford Focus
      Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)

      Honda Civic Type R - Late 2022

      A new-generation Honda Civic Type R is a big deal, and given what we know about the new-generation hot hatch landing before the end of 2022, expect it to make a splash.

      Rumours suggest it will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol powertrain paired with two electric motors for a total system output of 294kW.

      Given the regular Civic hatch has gone upmarket as part of the brand's premium push, expect the new Type R to be pricier than the outgoing version's $54,990 (before on-road costs) price tag.

      Read more: 2023 Honda Civic Type R stripped bare! Epic renders reveal new all-paw monster in all its glory - but will there be an electric shock?

        Honda Civic

        Honda Civic
        Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)