What is a Hatchback Vehicle?

While hatchbacks share certain features with crossovers/SUVs and sedans, the main characteristics that define most hatchbacks are their open, flexible interior layout and namesake rear lift gate—a hatch-style door to the cargo space. 

When it comes to hatchbacks, versatility is the name of the game. Hatchback vehicles offer a practical combination of comfort, sportiness, and affordability, making them an appealing option for drivers from all walks of life.

Design of a Hatchback


Hatchbacks have a unique design that’s instantly recognizable with an upward-lifting rear door to the cargo area. The gate of a hatchback is hinged at the roof and tends to feature a wide opening, making loading and unloading cargo a breeze. This rear door is outfitted with a broad window, which provides impressive visibility for drivers while also allowing plenty of natural light into the cabin during daytime driving. 

Cargo space is another distinctive design feature of a hatchback. Rather than a separate, enclosed trunk compartment more commonly found in a traditional sedan, hatchbacks feature rear storage space that’s easily accessible from inside the cabin and often expandable to accommodate larger items.

Hatchback Versatility

Hatchback devotees tend to love the convenient versatility of their vehicle’s interior and thoughtful use of space. Commonly, hatchbacks feature a rear row of seats that can fold completely flat when not occupied, making it possible to significantly expand cargo space. In certain hatchbacks, rear seating can even be split with one side folded down and the other remaining upright for greater adaptability. A hatchback’s exterior also offers even more creative exterior cargo solutions, such as roof racks to mount extra storage or equipment. 

Beyond versatility of design, hatchbacks deliver on a wide range of advantages that enhance their overall value. 

  • Compact size: Whether you choose a 3-door or 5-door model, most hatchbacks boast a more compact frame than larger SUVs and sedans, making them ideal for commuting, city driving, and street parking.
  • Fuel economy: The compact size of many hatchbacks means they also weigh less than larger vehicles and consume fuel more efficiently, resulting in considerable cost savings over time.
  • Sporty design: Hatchbacks are often designed to appeal to style-conscious drivers who crave a distinctive look to their vehicles.
  • Maneuverability: For many hatchbacks, their sportiness isn’t limited to aesthetics. A lower-to-the-ground build allows for impressive handling that lets drivers feel closer to the road, creating a fun and enjoyable driving experience.
  • Affordability: Hatchbacks tend to be priced competitively, yet offer plenty of features that make them a practical and worthwhile purchase for drivers who want a vehicle that won’t break the bank.
  • Resale value: Many popular hatchback models prove to be a worthy investment, retaining remarkable resale value at trade-in or private sale thanks to their reliability and utility.

Misconceptions of Hatchback Vehicles

Hatchbacks come with a variety of benefits. However, there are some common misconceptions about these vehicles.

  • SUVs are the same as hatchbacks: FALSE. The defining characteristics of a hatchback are its rear liftgate and easily accessible cargo area. While many SUVs share those features, overall they tend to be larger and have higher ground clearance than most hatchbacks. Contrary to popular belief, not all SUVs are designed with a rear lift gate.
  • Hatchbacks are prone to break-ins: FALSE. Hatchback vehicles offer screens and other covers to keep the contents of its cargo area private and safe.
  • Hatchbacks are less luxurious than other styles: FALSE. Subaru offers advanced trim levels and package updates to provide plenty of features to deliver a premium experience. Therefore, just because hatchbacks are a more compact option, it doesn’t mean that they can’t pack a variety of outstanding features into a smaller package.

Shop the Subaru Hatchback Car today!

Meet the Subaru Impreza, our exciting hatchback offering that’s ready to accompany you wherever life takes you. The Impreza features all the advantages of a compact hatchback design alongside the exceptional all-weather capabilities of our standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.  

Explore the Impreza.