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Hatchback vs Sedan: Main Differences (With Pictures)

hatchback vs sedan

Once upon a time, all the cars available were practically the same. There are some minor differences but they were generally the same. Today, though, there are at least 10 different types of vehicles out there. Two of these are hatchbacks and sedans.

While both of these vehicles are somewhat similar, they also have a few differences. Before settling on the exact car to get, you first have to settle on the type of car. In this article, we’ll help you explore the differences between hatchbacks and sedans.

Click Below to Jump Ahead:

car and road divider

Hatchback Overview

Image Credit: AutoPhotography, Pixabay

Hatchbacks are a bit complicated. Once upon a time, hatchbacks were cheap, small cars. Usually, they looked boxy and were for those with serious budgets or space constraints. Often, these cars did not even have trunks.

However, hatchbacks are a bit different today. They got an upgrade over the last couple of years, which makes them a bit more accessible to the modern audience. Today, they tend to be much sleeker and less of a box. In some cases, they aren’t nearly as cheap as they used to be. Most are well-built and look quite nice inside.

  • More cargo space than a sedan
  • Often have folding seats in the back
  • Stylish (at least more recent models)
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Some newer models have better handling
  • Not as cheap as they once were
  • Can be louder to drive due to the exposed trunk

car and road divider

Sedan Overview

white mercedes benz daimler car
Image Credit: reverent, Pixabay

Sedans were once a clear winner over hatchbacks. However, that is not the case today. Sedans have mostly stayed the same over the last few years, while hatchbacks have become increasingly modern. Simply put, a sedan is a passenger car with four doors with a separate trunk. These cars have been around for a long time.

The trunk is completely separate from the rest of the car. The inside has a back seat to cut the trunk off from the rest of the car. However, sometimes, these seats fold down to allow the transport of bigger items (though this doesn’t always occur). The trunk also can’t be seen into from the outside, which may help prevent theft.

The classic proportions of the sedan have been around for nearly 7 decades.

  • Four doors, which allow for the transport of passengers
  • Fuel-efficient compared to bigger cars
  • Roomy interiors
  • Usually has great safety features
  • Lower insurance premium
  • Not as “stylish”
  • Not as much space as SUVs, trucks, and minivans
  • Not great for hauling anything

car and road divider

The Differences Between Hatchbacks and Sedans


Space is a huge deciding point when picking a car. If you have a larger family or need more room for storage, you’ll likely need a bigger car. Families made up of two or three individuals will need much smaller cars, on the other hand.

Either way, hatchbacks traditionally have far more space than a sedan. When the backseats are folded, you can fit a lot in even a smaller hatchback. They also fit more people easily, thanks to the larger backseat. Therefore, for larger families, hatchbacks are typically the way to go.


Hatchbacks can also be used to do a lot more than a sedan. Their folding back seats make it easier to haul more items. Plus, they can usually fit more items in their trunk, too. If you need to carry many passengers, though, they can do this as well.

On the other hand, Sedans are much smaller and have less flexibility. Sometimes, they have folding seats, but this is rarer. The interior volume of a sedan is also much smaller than a hatchback.

red toyota corolla car
Image By: Goodfreephotos_com, Pixabay


Hatchbacks are the obvious choice for those concerned about headspace. They’re taller in general with more expensive materials. Of course, if you have taller passengers, this is helpful. However, the expansive interior also allows you to pack your car full of tons of stuff without increasing the car’s footprint. Therefore, these cars do great in urban areas.

If you’re carrying bulkier items, the expansive headroom can be very appreciated. Passengers in the backseat also won’t have to worry about slouching or hitting their heads on the roof.

Fuel Efficiency

Hatchbacks are usually larger than sedans. Therefore, they have a lower fuel efficiency. If you’re looking to use as little gas as possible, we recommend choosing a sedan. These little cars are known for their fuel efficiency.

Sedans are one of the most fuel-efficient types of cars on the market. For those looking to save money on fuel, they’re easily the best option.

toyota prius at gas station
Image By: bgstaiwan, Pixabay


The weight of a hatchback is much higher than the weight of a sedan. This additional weight usually isn’t a problem. However, the extra weight may require a bigger jack and other maintenance tools. While this isn’t a huge deal, it is something to keep in mind.

Rear Window

You likely weren’t expecting the rear window to be a huge deal. However, some hatchbacks have notoriously horrible back windows. Plus, if you’re trying to stack items in the trunk, you’ll probably cover some or all of your back window.

Therefore, hatchbacks may look like they have lots of cargo space, but this isn’t true in many circumstances. Instead, they usually have less than advertised due to the back window.


Usually, hatchbacks are more expensive than sedans. In some cases, car models are offered in sedan and hatchback styles. However, the hatchback style is usually more expensive than the sedan style. If you don’t need the extra room and utility, the extra price may not be worth it. For budget-conscious buyers, sedans are typically the best option.

blue bmw car
Image By: Mikes-Photography, Pixabay


Admittedly, it can be harder to get your hands on a hatchback than a sedan. Sedans tend to be more varied and more available. Nearly every car dealership will have a selection of sedans, but hatchbacks may be rarer. This also means that hatchbacks may not have the features you’re looking for, while you usually get more options with sedans.

This is especially true in the USA, where consumers avoid hatchbacks. Therefore, companies usually don’t make many hatchbacks, leading to shortages when they become popular.

car and road divider


Sedans are a great option for those that simply need a way to transport a couple of people. Usually, they are cheaper and more fuel efficient, making them great commuter cars. These vehicles get you to and from wherever you need to go as cheaply as possible.

On the other hand, hatchbacks have more utility. You can fit more people in them, don’t have to worry about headspace, and can transport larger items. However, these cars are larger and more expensive than sedans. You may also have difficulty finding them, especially if you live in the US.

While neither of these cars is better, they are better suited to certain situations. If you need to haul multiple people or transport larger items, you may enjoy the utility and room of a hatchback. On the other hand, if you just need a commuter car, a sedan is probably your best option.

Featured Image Credit: Image Credit: (L) Piqsels | (R) ArtisticOperations, Pixabay


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