If you’re looking to buy a new car, you may be struggling to decide between getting a hatchback or an SUV. But what are the differences between them and which has the features that suit your lifestyle? Should you get a hatchback or an SUV? This article will help you make an informed decision.
SUVs are bigger than hatchbacks and have a better view of the road, more space, and ground clearance that allows them to drive offroad. However, hatchbacks are cheaper, more fuel-efficient, and are easier to park. Choosing between them depends on what you want from your driving experience.
Purchasing a car is a significant investment that needs to be well thought out. But when it comes to deciding what type of car you want, you have to address your personal needs. What do you want to do with your vehicle? Here’s a look at hatchbacks and SUVs and the reasons why you may prefer one over the other.
What Is A Hatchback?
A hatchback is a small vehicle with its trunk located directly behind the back seats, but not in a separate compartment that protrudes from the back like a sedan. This means there is more trunk space than you’d find in a sedan because the larger body is more ergonomic in its design.
Hatchbacks typically have four doors and can seat five passengers, but there are two door options that you can buy at a cheaper price.
What Is A SUV?
Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are cars with larger bodies than hatchbacks (often four-wheel drives) that can drive comfortably over most terrains. The undercarriage of an SUV is also far higher off the ground, which allows it to drive comfortably over most terrains.
SUVs are also far more spacious than hatchbacks and, at the very least, offer more space for the same number of passengers (five), but larger models which can seat seven by converting a large amount of trunk space into seating with fold-up seats.
Hatchback Vs. SUV
Hatchbacks and SUVs are primarily different in terms of their size, which makes a massive difference to what they have to offer. But there are some less obvious differences, which also affect what you can do with your car. So, let’s look at some of the unique upsides and downsides of getting a hatchback or an SUV.
Pros & Cons Of A Hatchback
Hatchbacks are great vehicles for people that have small families and don’t travel very often. Hatchbacks are easy to drive because of their small bodies, which are perfect for navigating through traffic. Not to mention, because they’re so small, parking is significantly easier, which helps a lot if parking space is limited.
Above this, hatchbacks are a far more affordable option, not only because they cost less to buy, but maintenance and fuel costs are radically reduced.
However, hatchbacks are also not made for big families due to the limited space available. So, if you’re dropping the kids off at school on the way to work, you’re going to struggle to fit the entire family into the car. And, if you like taking holidays and travel frequently, it’s going to be hard to pack all of your luggage in, and the drive will be less comfortable.
Pros & Cons Of A SUV
SUVs are the ideal car type for big families and people who travel frequently and on rough terrains. Because SUVs have such large bodies, they can accommodate up to seven passengers – although they mostly seat five. And they offer plenty of legroom for everyone, making for a far more comfortable drive, especially for backseat passengers.
However, most SUV drivers will agree that the biggest advantage is that SUVs stand taller than most cars and give you a better view of the road, making you feel more secure as a driver. You’re also at a far lower risk of getting injured in the event of an accident.
Above this, SUVs have good ground clearance, which allows you to drive them in rough terrains, and, with four-wheel drive versions, you can go on 4×4 trails if you enjoy offroad driving.
However, SUVs have a few drawbacks, the most notable being their relatively high cost and low fuel efficiency. They are gas guzzlers and aren’t exactly environmentally friendly.
You’ll be getting fewer miles per gallon, and maintenance costs will be far higher, too, because SUV parts and accessories, like their larger tires, are more expensive. And SUVs are also quite difficult to park because of how large they are. They have much bigger turning circles and cannot fit into tight spaces.
Which Suits You Best? SUVs or Hatchbacks?
Now that you know what SUVs and hatchbacks are and what each has to offer, you can consider a few key factors to determine which car type wins in each respective category. This content belongs to moc.sotuaytsur. Here’s a breakdown of the things that you should consider:
Hatchback vs SUV: Size
In terms of size, the difference between an SUV and a hatchback depends on whether you want a car that can fit a large family or all your friends and their luggage if you frequently take long road trips.
But, if you don’t travel much and have a small family, or no children at all, or if you work in the city and need to fit into small parking bays, the hatchback may be a better fit for you.
Hatchback vs SUV: Safety
Safety is one of the biggest concerns for anyone looking to buy a car and, in the case of accidents, which are always a risk, you want yourself and your family to be protected. Because SUVs are heavier vehicles that stand tall and have good ground clearance, you’re better protected in the event of a collision.
While they typically offer a range of excellent safety features, hatchbacks are rarely safer to drive in as SUVs because you’re sitting so much closer to the ground, and your car is far smaller.
Hatchback vs. SUV: Maintenance & Fuel Efficiency
Maintenance costs on SUVs are far higher than those on hatchbacks. And SUVs also are far less fuel-efficient. Insurance premiums are also higher on SUVs, along with taxes.
Maintenance costs on hatchbacks are significantly lower, they are more fuel-efficient, and taxes and insurance premiums will also be lower.
Hatchback vs. SUV: Practicality
SUVs aren’t a great option for people that work in crowded cities, need to park in tight spaces, and make their way through traffic. However, they do offer a lot more comfort if you spend hours on the road.
In terms of practicality, hatchbacks aren’t great for families, as we’ve discussed before. But for people with small families living in areas with lots of traffic congestion and small parking spots, hatchbacks are the best option for practical purposes.
Hatchback vs SUV: Cost
Hatchbacks are generally cheaper in terms of their price ranges, depending on the make. Premium hatchbacks are, however, on par with SUV prices, but they also offer more SUV-like features.
In general terms, SUVs will always be the more expensive car type, with the exception of some premium hatchbacks.
So, if you’ve set out a list of what you prioritize in a car, you can now evaluate whether a hatchback or an SUV would be a better fit for you. In broad terms, SUVs are great for people with big families, live outside of big cities, and like to travel frequently, while hatchbacks are better for people with small families that don’t travel too much or drive in big cities with small parking spots. SUVs are also more expensive to buy and to run than hatchbacks.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.