Should You Buy a Hatchback Or a Sedan?

If ample cargo space and a sporty look are important factors in your next car, a hatchback is worth considering. These small cars are popular for their superior aerodynamics, compact size and versatility.

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Several manufacturers refer to their sleek rooflines as four-door coupes, while others describe them as hot hatches. Here are five reasons to consider a hatchback for your next car purchase:

Cargo Space

A vehicle’s cargo area is one of the most important factors when choosing a car, especially if you plan on commuting or traveling with a large amount of luggage. Hatchbacks tend to have larger trunks than sedans of the same size, so if you need room for multiple suitcases or an SUV-sized cooler on your next Cleveland trip, a hatchback is worth considering.

Many small hatchback models have rear doors that flip up to reveal a large cargo space, and larger vehicles like the 2022 Honda Civic hatchback feature folding second row seating for maximum flexibility. If you’re worried about prying eyes peeking through your back seat, look for a model with a cover or privacy screen to hide your valuables.

In addition, hatchbacks are often shorter than sedans bumper-to-bumper, so they can provide an extra margin of cargo capacity if you need it. For example, the Subaru Impreza hatchback can hold up to 55.3 cubic feet of gear, nearly doubling that of the sedan version.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all manufacturers provide accurate measurements of their cargo space, so it’s always best to test drive a vehicle before making a purchase. Also, be sure to take into account that the rear seats in a hatchback can fold flat to allow for even more space, but this reduces passenger capacity.

Convenience

The hatchback’s rear door, known as the ‘hatch’, flips upward to provide easy access to cargo. Many manufacturers offer the option of folding the rear seats to further expand storage space.

In India, the Maruti 800, Ford Fiesta and Tata Indica are some of the most popular hatchbacks. These cars are compact, affordable and very practical to drive. However, there are other models which also offer a great combination of performance and size like the Polo GTI and the Mercedes-AMG GT53.

A major advantage of hatchbacks is that they have better rear visibility than sedans. This makes it easier to reverse into parking spaces. It’s a feature that many first-time car buyers will appreciate.

Hatchbacks are available in either three or five-door variants. Three-door hatchbacks usually have two front doors and the hatch while five-door vehicles have two doors for passengers, two more for keeping/removing luggage and then the hatch.

As premium brands realised that their customers wanted hatchbacks too, they started offering powerful hatchback versions of their larger models. For example, Mercedes-Benz launched the A-Class hatchback, BMW the 1 Series and Audi the A1 Hatchback. These performance hatchbacks have a similar design to their sedan counterparts but boast a higher output engine and stiffer underpinnings for a more exhilarating driving experience. They are also more fuel-efficient and cost less than the equivalent sedans.

Ease of Maneuver

The difference between hatchback and sedan ultimately comes down to what you prioritize in your vehicle. If fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and cargo space are important to you, a hatchback is the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a more refined appearance and ride quality, you may prefer a sedan.

With their rear roof doors, hatchbacks aren’t as aerodynamic as sedans. This can make them feel unstable at high speeds. The good news is that most manufacturers have come up with solutions to mitigate this issue.

Honda’s Real-Time Drive Monitoring (RDM) system, for example, uses a monocular camera to recognize lane features. It then provides steering assist—or, in rare cases, braking assistance–if it detects the Civic Hatchback is about to leave its lane. It also warns the driver with a visual indicator on the driver information display and through a vibration in the steering wheel. The RDM system is available on select models of the Honda Civic Hatchback.

Style

Most hatchback cars feature a rear door that opens upwards and is hinged at roof level (as opposed to the boot/trunk lid of sedan/saloon models which are hinged below the rear window). This allows taller objects to fit easily and also makes loading easier as there is a full width opening. Hatchbacks often offer clever rear seat arrangements too, including flat folding seats, making them ideal for carrying bulkier items.

They are typically more stylish than sedans too, with sloping roof lines that add a sporty aura. They are often more fuel-efficient too, as their sleeker body shape helps improve aerodynamics and reduce wind resistance.

Hatchbacks make the perfect city car as they have great storage space and are easy to maneuver in busy urban traffic. They are also a great choice for new drivers as they offer a safe and practical way to get behind the wheel.

They are also a popular choice for performance fans as many manufacturers offer powerful and affordable hatchback versions of their larger models such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series. They can even be more spacious and comfortable than their sedan counterparts, making them a good option for families who need to transport children and luggage. They also hold their value better than sedans, which is another major benefit for buyers.