What is a Hatchback Car?

Toyota Prius presented on the 66th International Motor Show , What is a Hatchback Car?Hatchbacks are popular vehicles all around the world. Their unique design allows for a more open car feel, leaving the trunk and cabin connected. Even though hatchback cars are all over the place, the term is often thrown around loosely and therefore leaves people confused about what defines a vehicle as a hatchback. We've done the research and found the criteria that a car has to meet to be considered a hatchback.

A hatchback is usually a smaller vehicle with a rear door that opens upwards. On top of this, the trunk space and the cabin is one big space. This means you can typically fold down the second-row seats to provide an entirely flat, much larger trunk space. 

Keep reading below as we discuss hatchbacks in greater detail and answer common questions about these cars.

Are Hatchbacks Good Cars?

Yes, hatchbacks are fantastic cars for most people. If you often need more cargo space, a hatchback may be the vehicle you are looking for. They are both versatile and adjustable, which allows them to be precisely what you need when you need it.

Mechanically, hatchbacks do not differ from a sedan or any other vehicle. They both run and operate the same way. This means they are just as reliable as any other vehicle. Their hatchback-style does not affect the performance of the vehicle.

Design-wise, hatchbacks are popular because they can transform so easily. One of the first popular hatchback vehicles on the market was the Ford Pinto Runabout. The hatchback design has been renewed and fine-tuned for over 50 years, meaning it is a fantastic vehicle both in its design and functionality.

What Is The Difference Between A Hatchback And A Sedan?

A sedan is the vehicle most often compared to hatchbacks. While the names may seem interchangeable, they are actually very different. Take, for instance, the Toyota Camry. It is one of the most popular sedans of all time. This small, 4-door sedan has a dedicated trunk space, which is the main difference between a sedan and a hatchback.

Most of the trunk space in a sedan is completely closed off from the cabin. For many, this is preferred because it allows you to separate your storage area from your seating area. It makes for a cleaner look because even if your trunk is stuffed to the brim, it will not hinder your vision of the back window. Your cabin can be spotless without the contents of your trunk affecting it. This can help keep your cabin free of smells if you have dirty clothes or something unpleasant in your trunk.

The trunk of a hatchback flows together with the rest of the interior. The only dividing wall between the trunk and the rest of the car is the back seats. This distinction allows for more storage space with the seats folded down, and also easier accessibility to the trunk from any of the seats. For these reasons, hatchbacks are usually the preferred option.

Hatchbacks are also shorter than sedans. This can sometimes mean less space for seating in the front or back seats. It can also mean the trunks are slightly smaller. However, hatchbacks make up for the area by having such an open concept. While hatchbacks may be smaller, they make up for it by making incredible use of the space.

What Is The Difference Between A Hatchback And An SUV?

An SUV's trunk works the same as a hatchback. It has an open concept where the back row of seats can typically fold down to reveal more cargo space. The difference is the fact SUVs are much bigger than hatchbacks. They can have three rows of seats and the weight/size of a pickup truck. Because SUVs are much bigger and more powerful, they can hold a lot more cargo.

2019 White Honda CR-V on road

SUVs are not as fuel-efficient as hatchbacks, so this can be a major drawback when comparing the two. Someone may buy a hatchback if they are looking for a sportier, faster vehicle where space is not a big issue. They may buy an SUV if they must carry more people regularly and enjoy the bigger space.

What Is The Difference Between A Hatchback And A Crossover?

A crossover is a vehicle you would find if you blended an SUV with a hatchback. They are right in the middle when it comes to size and have the features of both types of cars. Like a hatchback, a crossover's trunk is open to the cabin. The back seats can fold down and make even more trunk space. Crossovers are not known to be the most fuel-efficient, because they are much larger than a hatchback and not as arrow-dynamic. Similar to an SUV, they are much bigger vehicles and provide more room for people and storage, while not being as large as an SUV. They typically seat as much as a hatchback, which is five.

Why Would Someone Want To Buy A Hatchback?

A hatchback is an incredibly versatile vehicle. It is perfect for road trips since it is fuel-efficient. You can also store much more than you can in a sedan. Some hatchbacks are perfect for camping because you can lay down the backseats and sleep 1 to 2 people. Another advantage is their ability to control the climate of the trunk since it is all connected.

Even if camping is not your thing, they are known to be very sporty cars thanks to their lighter and sleeker design. Hatchbacks expound on all the potential to be found in a compact car.

Which Hatchback Car Is Best?

With all the options available, which hatchbacks stand out among the rest? Here are three different cars you can count on.

Honda Civic Type R

Honda is known to make some of the most reliable vehicles on the market. One of their fastest and most popular cars is the Civic Hatchback Type R. Out of all the options, and if you are looking for a car with speed, this is the winner. The Type R can go 0-60 in 5.4 seconds while still maintaining a combined mpg of 25.

It offers a high-tech interior, ample cargo space for a vehicle its size, and a reliable Honda engine.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is the world's most popular hybrid vehicle, and it also is a hatchback. The 2020 Prius averages 56 MPG combined because of its compact design and hybrid power train. This makes it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the world. And because of its hatchback design, there is no need to sacrifice any cargo space.

The Prius remains to be one of the most successful hatchback and hybrid vehicles, all while existing under the dependable umbrella of Toyota.

Mazda3 Hatchback

Finally, the Mazda3 Hatchback is a small vehicle with plenty of power. Its crossover design and small frame make it one of the most unique hatchbacks on the market. It goes 0-60 in about 7 seconds, yet has slightly more room inside than its competitors. The Mazda3 also wins against the Type R in fuel efficiency by getting a combined MPG of 31.

If you're looking for a blend of the efficiency of a Toyota Prius and performance of a Honda Civic Type R, then the Mazda3 Hatchback is perfect.


Overall, hatchback vehicles have become some of the best-designed cars to date because they can adapt to almost any situation. Whether you are transporting numerous items, carrying a car full of people, competing in a race, or wanting to save money on gas, a hatchback can do it all.

Toyota Prius presented on the 66th International Motor Show

To learn more about compact or hatchback cars, check out these related posts that you can find here on Vehq.com:

How Much Does A Honda Civic Cost?

How To Charge A Hybrid Car

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