Hatchbacks are renowned for their versatility and practicality. They are fun to drive, easy to park and cheap to run. But when it comes to luggage capacity, hatchbacks let the side down.
At least that used to be the case. Manufacturers are getting better at packaging, so much so that many small hatchbacks now have similar luggage capacity to small SUVs. So which manufacturers are doing it best?
In this guide, we’ll look at the 7 best small cars with big boot spaces on the Australian market. So if you are looking for lots of luggage hauling capacity but don’t want to spend big on an SUV, these are your best options.
1. Hyundai i30 – 395 litres
The Hyundai i30's mission is simple, to provide low-cost, safe and comfortable motoring. As such, the little Hyundai is easy to drive around town, comes equipped with the latest active safety equipment and with prices starting at $25,420, is pretty good value as well.
The Hyundai i30 also tops the small car boot space charts thanks to its SUV-challenging 395-litre boot. This is achieved with the use of a clever lift-out false floor which includes a luggage net to keep everything secure.
On the road, the i30 rides and steers quite nicely, but the engine feels a little underpowered, so this isn’t suitable as a long-distance cruiser. But it's perfect if you are looking for a practical good value runabout.
Easy to drive around town
Good standard of safety equipment
Large boot space
The rear seats are a bit cramped for adults
Not the most efficient engines
2. VW Golf – 380 litres
What more needs to be said about the VW Golf? On the road, the Mk7 Golf has refined handling which is equally at home on city roads as it is on the motorway. Road noise is also noticeably absent. This will make a very fine motorway cruiser.
From a practical perspective, the latest generation of Golf saw an upgrade in boot space. The standard Golf hatch now comes with an impressive 380-litre boot, which can be expanded to 1270 litres by folding the rear seats.
And if that’s not enough for you, the Golf is the only car here available as a wagon. This provides boot space up to 1620 litres with the rear seats folded. The only real downside is the rather steep pricing and low spec of base models.
Great to drive
Base models not well equipped
3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class – 355 litres
The Mercedes A-Class is the Stuttgart brand's attempt to take on the mighty Golf. And it does a pretty good job. Sporty styling, well-equipped interiors and taught handling combine to create a compelling package.
The baby Mercedes scores highly from a practical viewpoint as well. The boot is a pretty respectable 355 litres, which can be extended to 1200 litres by folding the rear seats. This comes at a cost of limited legroom for rear seat passengers, however.
But if you are looking for a quality car that handles like a much bigger vehicle, but provides the practicality and fun of a small hatch, then the Mercedes A-Class is worth a look. If you can afford the $54,780 starting price that is.
Mercedes build quality
Reasonably well equipped
Small back seats
4. Honda Jazz – 350 litres
The Honda Jazz is a very small car with a very big boot. We’ve placed it fourth on our list in terms of outright boot space, but the three cars ahead of it are small hatchbacks, while the little Jazz sits firmly in the micro-hatch market.
This is achieved by clever packaging, something Honda is renowned for. But it has another trick up its sleeve - the magic seat system allows the rear seats to be folded completely flat, providing up to 1492 litres of space.
So if you want a small car that is easy to drive around town, but has luggage space that can give some small vans a run for their money, the Honda Jazz is going to be right up your street.
Small car packaging
Fuel efficient engines
Huge boot space
Boxy styling is not everyone's cup of tea
Lack some safety features
5. Kia Rio – 325 litres
The Kia Rio is a competitively priced compact hatchback that can hold its own against much larger rivals. The Rio certainly looks the part with its purposeful tiger nose grille and European-influenced styling.
Inside you get a well-packaged interior that feels more spacious than its compact exterior dimensions would suggest. The Rio is also a well-equipped car and comes with a full set of active safety equipment, which is especially impressive considering its price point.
But what about the boot? Well, at 325 litres, that’s pretty impressive as well. And it can be further extended to 980 litres by folding the rear seats. So if you are looking for a good value, safe and practical runabout, the Kia Rio is a great choice.
Packed with safety features
Not the most fuel-efficient engines
The infotainment system feels dated
6. Toyota Yaris – 286 litres
The new Toyota Yaris is designed to put the fun back into town driving. On the road, the Yaris shows poise beyond its size and price, putting some larger, more expensive cars to shame. This is the class leader in terms of refinement, ride and handling.
On paper, the Yaris comes with a small 286-litre boot. While this is below average for a small hatch, the shape of the boot makes it more practical for regular-shaped items. The result is that the Yaris can hold as much luggage as the larger 350-litre VW Polo.
Available with a choice of petrol and hybrid drivetrains, the Yaris is perfect for those looking for an environmentally-friendly family runabout that is fun to drive, but practical enough for weekend trips to the coast.
High safety spec
Firm ride on larger wheels
7. Kia Picanto – 255 litres
The Picanto is Kia's smallest offering in Australia. At just over 3.5m long and 1.59m wide, it’s also the smallest car on this list. So naturally, it has the smallest boot space. But with a respectable 255 litres, extendable to 1010 litres, it's not far behind some bigger rivals.
And unlike other micro-cars, the interior of the Picanto doesn't feel like it's made from leftovers from the parts bin. Everything feels solid and well put together and there is enough room in here to seat four comfortably.
The Kia Picanto then has Tardis-like qualities, tiny on the outside but spacious on the inside. That makes this the perfect car for those looking for a city car, capable of doing a little heavy lifting at the weekend.
Small-car internal volume
Not the most powerful car
Lacks some safety features
Buying small doesn't mean you have to compromise on boot space. All of the cars in this list offer a pretty decent size boot, big enough for a stroller or pusher. Fold the seats down and you can get a mountain bike in most of them.
The question is how do you know if the boot is big enough? Our tip is don’t base your decision on volume alone. Because as the Toyota Yaris proves, boot shape is also important. So take any items you want to carry along for a test drive to ensure they fit.
Finance A New Or Used Small Car Through Credit One - Get A Free Quote