Buying a five-seat car, but can’t decide whether to go for a hatchback or sedan? Maybe we can help you decide. We’re not going to sugar-coat it – sedans outsell hatchback almost three-to-one, but hatchbacks have certainly grown in popularity over the years. One of the possible reasons for this phenomenon is the fact that sedans are perceived as “cooler-looking,” but let’s be honest here – perception is a terrible indicator of quality. After all, modern hatchbacks really do look nice, while being equally as good as sedans in every other aspect – from performance to interior space and beyond.
But, let’s examine why a hatchback might be a better option than a sedan in more detail…
Hatchbacks are More Practical
One of the biggest reasons to ditch a sedan in favour of a hatchback is practicality. What makes hatchbacks so practical, you ask? The fact that they are much roomier on the inside – especially when it comes to cargo space, which can expand when you fold the rear seats.
One of the more likable hatchbacks is the Kia Forte, and it has the capacity of 23.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up, while the sedan variant offers only 14.9 cubic feet. Some hatchbacks, like the sporty Mazda3, can give you up to 43 cubic feet of cargo space, which is close to what you get in a small SUV. Impressive, no?
Admittedly, the rear hatch may pose a bit of a problem for some car owners since it has a window that allows other people to look into the cargo area, arguably violating the owner’s privacy. Luckily, many modern hatchbacks actually have the option of adding a privacy shelf that can conceal what’s inside the trunk, solving the problem for good.
Hatchbacks Can Be Stylish
Okay, so, we just pointed out that one reason why car shoppers may not like hatchbacks is their supposedly “uncool” appearance. However, we would also argue such a reason to be completely false – or, at the very least, misguided. It’s entirely possible that the majority of modern hatchbacks still suffer the taint of the absolutely awful yet infamous Ford Pinto and AMC Gremlin hatchbacks, with the Gremlin making our top-10 list of the ugliest cars of all time.
But, at their core, hatchbacks are the sleeker and more athletic iterations of the station wagon. Car buyers generally tend to dislike wagons for their family “mini-truck” look, so if you need a vehicle with roughly the same amount of cargo space and better looks, then a hatchback might just fit the bill.
Yet hatchbacks don’t just look better than wagons, but, in some cases, better than sedans too. Take, for example, the aforementioned Mazda3 – it’s sporty and edgy, even with its “fat” backside. The same goes for the Forte and many others.
The biggest appeal of a hatchback though is its stand-out nature, since there are far too many sedans on the roads these days – and many of them look far too alike with their “three-box” styling.
Finally, several hatchbacks are not confined to the traditional five-door setup anyway. For instance, the FIAT 500, MINI Cooper, Kia Soul and Nissan CUBE all have two doors and a rear hatch, which allow for a very unique appearance. Sure, sedans are tried and tested as far as looks go, but many of them are also somewhat bland. So, why not try something a little more risqué?
Hatchbacks Boast Better Resale Value
Our favourite reason, by far, though is the fact that you can get extra money by reselling your hatchback sometime down the road. Yes, it’s true – hatchbacks have a higher resale value than sedans. For instance, Subaru Impreza, Mazda3 and Prius hatchbacks are all predicted to retain more than 50 per cent of their value after three years, with the Mazda3 retaining the impressive 63 per cent. Since the industry average is 35 per cent, these numbers are nothing to sneeze at.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether you want a hatchback or sedan. However, if you really cherish practicality over the “cool” factor, then there is no real reason to ignore hatchbacks.