Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Hatchbacks Starting Under $40K

Best Hatchbacks according to our experts

01.
Toyota Corolla
From
$29,270
8.2/10
From
$29,270

Flying under the radar relative to its ever‑popular hatch sibling, the Toyota Corolla sedan offers some interesting advantages. And in entry‑level Ascent Sport Hybrid guise, the practicality/efficiency equation is kicked up a notch or two. We've spent a week with this intriguing combination to see if you should be thinking four doors rather than five for your next small car purchase.


02.
Volkswagen Golf
From
$35,898
8/10
From
$35,898

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is still one of the benchmark hatchbacks out there. But it's getting very pricey.


03.
Mazda 3
From
$0
8.5/10
From
$0

Now half a decade old, the current Mazda 3 range has not only aged well, but has undergone a consistent stream of improvements to help keep the Japanese small car stalwart fresh. Key changes for 2024 include updated multimedia and functionality upgrades, but the real story is just how competitive ‑ as well as premium ‑ the higher‑end grades like the G25 Evolve SP feel. Premium sums it up nicely.


04.
Skoda Octavia
From
$28,990
7.6/10
From
$28,990

The Skoda Octavia RS wagon might be the go‑to car for families who want a sporty, stylish model with practicality as its middle name, but how did the new‑gen sports wagon deal with family life for Matt Campbell? He lived with it for six months ‑ through the birth of his first child, a 100‑plus‑day lockdown, and through a few annoying car tech glitches. He's what he thought.


05.
Hyundai Ioniq
From
$29,990
7.8/10
From
$29,990

Hyundai's Ioniq range is nothing if not a flex in the face of Toyota. Sure, Toyota has a dominating position in the Australian market, with its well‑received range of hybrid models, but what happens after hybrid? Hyundai takes on the blocky Prius formula with not only a directly competing hybrid model, but a plug‑in and a fully electric version, too. This expansive range is as though Hyundai is trying to demonstrate it's ready for any future, near or far, and guess what, Toyota? Anything you can do; the Korean juggernaut thinks it can do better. These cars aren't really designed to sell so much as they are offerings for early adopters, but a few years after its launch, with a host of rivals set to take it on, and an entire sub‑brand based on the Ioniq just around the corner, is Hyundai's top‑spec Ioniq electric  worth a look? I took one for a week to find out.


Best Hatchbacks by Size