Mention “all-purpose hatch”, and the first car that comes to mind will probably be the Volkswagen Golf. A reliable and practical runabout, its success (which spans six generations) has been a tough act for other manufacturers to follow. That fact, however, hasn’t stopped Kia, Hyundai and Chevrolet from making their own “Golfs” – everyday hatchbacks with a continental touch.
The first aspirant to tread on the Golf’s course was the i30, which introduced Hyundai’s alphanumeric nomenclature in 2007. Conceived at the automaker’s fancy design centre in Germany, the i30 is a tidy little hatchback that goes beyond its bread-and-butter Korean roots by boasting a decidedly European look and feel. Its other key strengths are a solid cabin and a frugal drivetrain.
Also ready to tee off on this vehicular fairway is the i30’s swankier cousin – the Forte Hatchback from Kia. As the third variant in the refreshed Cerato line-up (the other two being the saloon and the Koup coupe), this eye-catching model boasts improved dynamics and is equipped with smarter features than its plain vanilla predecessor.
And making its way onto the green is the Chevrolet Cruze 5 Sportback – the newest car in this contest. That handsome face gives this quasi-American contender plenty of road presence, while its relatively generous proportions hint at the roominess sought after by motorists in this segment.
Which of these players has the right “swing” and the “Golfing” talent to win this tournament?