Jaco Van Der Merwe

Compiled by Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring


Polo pair and VW Golf Mzansi’s most popular used hatches

Despite a higher average price, BMW 1 Series also one of the most sought-after hatches.


While the world might have gone SUV-gaga of late, hatchbacks are still a sought-after body-type.

According to the 2023 AutoTrader Mid-Year Report, hatchbacks offer a good combination between price and mileage. Which often means they offer the best value-for-money.

“To a large extent, the reason why hatchbacks provide more bang for your buck is primarily due to their lower average mileage,” explains AutoTrader CEO George Mienie.

ALSO READ: You can pick up a low mileage VW Golf for under R300k

Hatchbacks make ideal city cars. They are usually used for shorter commutes which means that they’ll have fewer kilometres on the clock. It’s the body-type’s value-for-money trump card.

Mileage over 100 000 km does not always sit well for used car shoppers. Just one hatch model with an average six-figure mileage feature among the top 10 most sold used hatches from January to June 2023.
This hatch is none other than the VW Golf. Golf buyers appear less deterred by higher mileage … and a higher price.

The VW Golf’s reputation for refinement, build quality, safety, practicality and performance has attracted a loyal fanbase. The model’s two performance derivatives, the Golf GTI and Golf R, are especially popular.

Its ability to hold its value also comes in very handy.

ALSO READ: Dynamic new VW Golf R is not taking any prisoners

Polo pair for the win

A 2016 model year VW Golf with average mileage of 102 014 km commanded an average selling price of R360 631. That is significantly more than its locally-built siblings the VW Polo (R273 578) and VW Polo Vivo (R199 490). The Polo pair occupies the top two spots on the list.

Indian-built Japanese hatchbacks the Suzuki Swift and Toyota Starlet are less costly than the German hatches. They are selling for an average of R190 271 and R226 841 for 2021 and 2022 models respectively.

ALSO READ: Polo Sedan excels in filling the void left by VW Jetta

BMW cracks list

The list includes one premium brand in the BMW 1 Series. The 1 is ranked 10th on the top 10 most sold hatches list.

ALSO READ: Looking for a pre-owned VW Golf? Start saving up

The BMW 1 Series was still offered in rear-wheel drive format in 2017, which is the average model year. Average mileage is 85 301 km and the average price R368 336.

Top 10 most sold hatches in the first half of 2023:

1. VW Polo (R273 578, 63 182 km, 2019)
2. VW Polo Vivo (R199 490, 59 698 km, 2019)
3. VW Golf (R360 631, 102 014 km, 2016)
4. Kia Picanto (R165 229, 49 368 km, 2019)
5. Ford Fiesta (R169 126, 96 033 km, 2016)
6. Suzuki Swift (R190 271, 34 182 km, 2021)
7. Toyota Starlet (R226 841, 26 966 km, 2022)
8. Renault Kwid (R138 231, 35 834 km, 2020)
9. Hyundai i20 (R186 627, 78 189 km, 2017)
10. BMW 1 Series (R368 336, 85 301 km, 2017)

More information available on the 2023 AutoTrader Mid-Year Report.

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