Skoda Rapid hatchback

£15,555 - £19,390

While it's not as fast or thrilling as its name suggests, the Skoda Rapid is a practical, well made and affordable hatchback. It's not as good to drive as the Ford Focus, nor does it come with the excellent warranty of a Hyundai i30, but the Rapid has a bigger boot than either of these cars and offers excellent value for money, too.

Inside, it's a similar story: front and back-seat passengers all get good legroom and the Rapid feels well put together, with functional and easy-to-use controls. Those sensible credentials extend to the styling and driving experience, though – areas in which the Rapid can be said to be somewhat dull. But if you’re after a practical hatchback and are happy to choose a car with your head rather than your heart, the Rapid makes a good case for itself.

Skoda offers the Rapid with an excellent and economical range of petrol and diesel engines, while all versions – from the entry-level S through to the SE, Sport and SE L models – are well equipped. While the Rapid is a great family hatchback, the larger and better appointed Skoda Octavia isn’t much more expensive, and this has proven to be far more popular than the Rapid.