ST-Torque Best Buys of 2017

Hatchback

From top: BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Opel Astra.
BMW i3.PHOTOS: ST FILE
From top: BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Opel Astra.
Volkswagen Golf GTI.PHOTOS: ST FILE
From top: BMW i3, Volkswagen Golf GTI and Opel Astra.
Opel Astra.PHOTOS: ST FILE

The BMW i3 (from $193,888) is really too cool to ignore. The best-selling electric car here since it arrived in 2014 has been enhanced. It now has a longer range, giving drivers more time to enjoy the car between charging time. But just in case, it still comes with a range extender - a small petrol engine which acts as a generator.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI ($175,400) is still the hot hatch champ. Facelifted and given a bit more juice, it is a royal hoot. Its ride also seems to have become a bit more comfortable than previously, which is a good thing in the long run.

But if you feel the GTI or Golfs in general are too commonplace, give the Opel Astra (from $89,888) a second glance. It is sexier than a Volkswagen Scirocco and just as practical as a Golf. Yet, it flies so low on the retail radar that few buyers think of it when they want a good-looking and well-built hatchback which drives well.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2017, with the headline 'Hatchback'. Print Edition | Subscribe