One of the most common questions we get here at TopGear.com.ph is: "Which model is the best hatchback to buy in the Philippines today?" So we put our heads together and came up with a list of four best value-for-money subcompact hatchbacks, each having its own set of special features. These hatchbacks may not be the cheapest out there, but you'll certainly get your money's worth. We picked the one variant per model that we felt offered the best value for its asking price. In no particular order, here they are.
Mitsubishi Mirage GLS MT (P598,000)
These days, entry-level cars are no longer the bare-bones econoboxes they once were. Well, maybe a few still are. But not the Mirage. Given its engine, features and safety equipment, the Mirage is a nice, complete package, especially when compared to newer challengers like the Toyota Wigo and the Hyundai i10. The Mirage GLS is the only locally available car in its segment with Isofix seats and three-point seatbelts for the center rear passenger. It's also bigger than mini hatchbacks, but slightly smaller than full-fledged subcompact models.
Honda Jazz 1.5 V MT (P768,000)
Among B-segment hatchbacks, the Jazz is king when it comes efficient packaging. It has a spacious interior, and its folding rear seats make it very versatile. The all-new Jazz has grown a bit, but it's actually a tad lighter than the previous generation. The 118hp 1.5-liter engine is now standard across the board. One of its natural competitors is the all-new Toyota Yaris, which has also grown bigger (it's now based on the longer Vios platform). This opponent, however, falls short in versatility and fuel efficiency. The photo above, by the way, is just for visual reference. The actual Jazz 1.5 V MT only has steel wheels with covers.
Watch: All-new Honda Jazz in action
Ford Fiesta 1.5 Ambiente MT (P698,000)
Just like most cars bred in Europe, the Fiesta is known for its sharp handling, sleek styling and a generous list of standard features. The base Fiesta now comes with a more powerful 110hp 1.5-liter engine. Pair it with Ford's superb five-speed manual gearbox and you have a nice little sharp and fun-to-drive hatchback. Now, some of you might be asking: What about the Mazda 2 1.3 S MT? Well, it's starting to show its age. Unlike the Fiesta, which has undergone a major facelift, the 2 has remained virtually unchanged since it was first launched here.
Hyundai Accent 1.6 E CRDi hatchback (P808,000)
If you need more power, you most likely have to opt for a larger-displacement engine. But with this engine come higher fuel bills. Worry not because Hyundai has a solution for you: the Accent 1.6 E CRDi hatch. Its 1.6-liter CRDi diesel engine produces 126hp and 260Nm. That's enough torque to put a lot of four-cylinder midsize sedans to shame, but without the high fuel bills. We tested this hatch and was able to achieve an economy of 12-14km/L in the city and 25-30km/L on the highway at 80kph. Its powerful and fuel-efficient CRDI engine makes up for what the car lacks in terms of features.