Well hatched plans

The dawn of the hatchback was revelation, back in the days when the classic VW Golf GTi ruled the roads. A small car built for both urban and highway adventures, easy to park, easy to drive, with great fuel economy, transformable interior space and the fun factor of a compact sports car? What wasn’t to love?

Over the years, the recipe for a great hatch has remained the same, giving rise to some other respected names such as the Civic Type R, the Starlet, the 205 and the Pulsar GTiR. Alongside the speed kings and car culture classics, people have fallen in love generation after generation with those key points — economy, roomy boot space, peppy handling and a nice price.

That’s the core of the niche appeal of Hatchback Haven, a venture envisioned by auto-trade professionals Helen and John Stowers. Situated at the ‘crossroads of the North’ — where scenic Mangakahia Road crosses SH14 in Maungatapere — they have opened a dealership with a distinctive difference. Here, they’ve assembled a top stable of hatchbacks that tick all the boxes, sourcing much of their stock from the source — Japan. Why? Since that’s where the very best hatchbacks are made these days, due to a combination of technology, urban lifestyle and the Japanese public’s love for a mix of the pragmatic, purposeful and fun in an automobile.

It’s a painstaking process, which involves not just picking the cream of the crop — but also arranging a full service and thorough checkup for each car before it heads for our shores.

Meticulous is the best word to describe the detailing and servicing, which delivers near-new looking machines to choose from. It’s quite a choice. From hot hatches to put a grin on a petrolhead’s dial through to frugal commuters and ideal family hatches, there’s a size, shape and colour to suit. John and Helen also manage to work some magic with their pricing, keeping even the best examples at around the $10k mark.

If you’re looking for something new and practical to park in your driveway this spring, why not take a look at the very wide selection on offer.

You may be surprised at just what you can afford, and just how much you get for your money.

As they say, good things really do come in small packages!


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