Hatchback vs SUV: Which Should You Choose?

Despite their distinct designs and features, both hatchbacks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) share a common versatility that make either style an excellent option for many drivers. There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding between a hatchback or an SUV. However, all Subaru hatchback and SUV models are equipped with our legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, alongside other safety features that earn Subaru recognition year after year.

When deciding between a Subaru SUV or hatchback, the best choice for you is the one that most fits your needs and lifestyle. Learn more about our available options below.

What is a Hatchback?

Hatchbacks tend to be small or compact cars that share design features with both sedans and SUVs. While their size, footprint, and height off the ground are similar to a sedan, hatchbacks tend to have a sportier look that more closely resembles an SUV.

A hatchback’s most distinctive feature is its trunk/cargo space, which is located directly behind the rear seating and conveniently accessible from inside the cabin. This vehicle gets its name from the hatch-style rear door. SUVs share the same open cabin and cargo space design, too, although typically on a larger scale.

Beyond aesthetics, Subaru hatchbacks often offer drivers additional benefits:

  • Increased fuel economy
  • Sporty feel on the road
  • Exceptional handling around corners due to its low center of gravity
  • Greater rear visibility through hatchback window

What is an SUV?

Sport utility vehicles blend the rugged nature of a pickup truck with the comfort of a sedan and aesthetics of a hatchback. In general, their interior versatility and spacious, comfortable cabins make SUVs the ideal daily car for many families. Subaru SUVs are also renowned for their all-terrain and all-weather capabilities, thanks largely to built-in features like X-MODE® and their higher ground clearance design.

When it comes to hatchback vs SUV benefits, SUVs offer many particular advantages:

  • Robust driving, comfort, and technology features
  • Smooth ride and higher ground clearance
  • Elevated driving position for optimal visibility
  • Roomy seating and interior
  • Generous cargo space
  • Convertible seating to expand storage, when necessary
  • Towing capabilities

Subaru Hatchbacks

A Subaru hatchback is both easy on the eyes and easy to handle, equipped with our standard Symmetrical AWD, alongside a host of features to make driving more enjoyable.


Our impressive hatchback offering, the Subaru Impreza, provides compact versatility and a sporty, dynamic driving experience. Its fuel efficiency and MPG makes it an economical choice, as well. Cutting-edge features like EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology and SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia come standard, offering greater peace of mind when traveling the road, and easy access to your favorite music, podcasts, and more on long trips. Dual-zone automatic climate control gives drivers and passengers alike the ability to customize their ideal temperature inside the Impreza, offering an even more comfortable ride.

Shop Impreza

Subaru SUVs

With world-renowned Symmetrical AWD and exceptional craftsmanship, Subaru offers a diverse lineup of SUVs to meet drivers’ and families’ unique needs.



Compact and sturdy, the Subaru Crosstrek proves that adventure comes in all sizes. Despite its small footprint, the Crosstrek has a comfortable interior with enough space to accommodate your friends and your gear, along with plenty of features available to make the most of any road trip.

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The roomy interior of the Subaru Forester combined with its compact frame make it an agile and practical option for families. A higher ceiling and expanded trunk/cargo space – compared with the Crosstrek – create a more open and spacious atmosphere that’s ideal for daily commutes and weekend excursions alike.

Shop Forester


Rugged and dependable, the Subaru Outback is equipped to take you wherever adventure leads. The midsize, wagon-style SUV comes standard with Subaru X-MODE, making it a great choice for off-roading. The Outback is available in nine different trims, each packed with features to reflect your personal style and accommodate your life.

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Our largest SUV yet, the Subaru Ascent has three rows of seating to transport between 7 and 8 passengers. The Ascent also comes standard with an impressive suite of safety, driving, and technology features, including X-MODE, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and a large touchscreen.

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The newest addition to the Subaru SUV family, the Subaru Solterra is also our first-ever all-electric vehicle. Built upon the StarDrive® zero-emissions all-electric drivetrain and equipped with Symmetrical AWD, the Solterra delivers the classic Subaru driving experience while being kinder to the planet.

Shop Solterra

Compare Subaru Hatchbacks and SUVs

Both hatchbacks and SUVs have a lot to offer drivers and families on-the-go. Compare the full Subaru lineup to find the model that best suits your needs to accompany wherever life takes you.

SUV vs Hatchback FAQs

Which is Better, SUV or Hatchback?

Between SUVs and hatchbacks, the best vehicle style is the one that best serves your needs and suits your tastes. Fortunately, with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive standard on all Subaru hatchback and SUV models, you’ll never have to sacrifice handling and versatility for other concerns like affordability, fuel economy, or aesthetic preference.

Is a Hatchback More Fuel Efficient Than an SUV?

Neither the hatchback nor the SUV is inherently more fuel efficient than the other. Cars that are smaller tend to weigh less. With that in mind, cars that weigh less tend to be more fuel efficient. When it comes to Subaru models, both the Impreza (a hatchback) and the Crosstrek (an SUV) offer comparable mileage and fuel economy for both city and highway driving.

Of course, despite being larger and heavier, the Solterra – Subaru’s first all-electric SUV offering offers outstanding efficiency, minimizing your carbon footprint. Solterra does not run on gasoline, but on electricity, delivering equally impressive mileage for highway and city driving.

Which Is Safer, SUV or Hatchback?

All Subaru vehicles – including our hatchback and SUV offerings – are made with safety and optimum handling in mind, including our standard Symmetrical AWD. Subaru prioritizes safety alongside an outstanding driving experience, with numerous accolades and awards serving as a testament to our commitment.

Other safety features available in all Subaru hatchback and sport utility vehicles include EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, with its Pre-Collision System and Acceleration Suppression Low Speed controls to help enhance vehicle response to prevent or minimize the impact of a collision.

Shop For Your New Subaru

Whether you’re looking for a new car, hatchback, or SUV, there’s a Subaru for you. Explore the full range of Subaru vehicles and drive towards your next adventure.