Okay so what is the deal with Hatchbacks?

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So yea, over seas Hatchbacks are a "thing", and recently here I have seen much more of them than I have in the past. I just don't "get it". Why one of those instead of a van/minivan/ SUV if it is a space issue? I see this as an ugly trend that will result in having tons of these things unloaded at some point like the old station wagons. To me, that is all they are is "old station wagons" regardless of the new designs. I just think they look bad.

Then again, My father was a race car designer, builder and driver and designed my car to be aerodynamic and seeing that bulky back end with a door that will hit me in the head does nothing for me. I like sleek, curvy, sexy cars or for practical uses a van that can actually hold an apartment. I am not understanding why choose to hatchback at all instead of the other options. If it was just the price, why would anyone buy a new one instead of a used any other car besides a hatchback?

Someone please help me understand why anyone would actually want one of these.

Smaller, and better for the environment than an unnecessarily big van/minivan/SUV. Reasonably adaptable (work as a family car, but put the seats down and you have an okay carrying capacity (unlike a saloon, for example, where you're always limited by the height of the boot/trunk).

The space argument doesn't really make sense - just because one thing is too small, doesn't mean you need to jump to the other end of the scale. I don't want to live in a caravan, but it doesn't mean I need a castle.

If you think hatchbacks are a trend, boy do I have like 40 years of motoring icons for you to catch up on.

Baffle2:
Smaller, and better for the environment than an unnecessarily big van/minivan/SUV. Reasonably adaptable (work as a family car, but put the seats down and you have an okay carrying capacity (unlike a saloon, for example, where you're always limited by the height of the boot/trunk).

The space argument doesn't really make sense - just because one thing is too small, doesn't mean you need to jump to the other end of the scale. I don't want to live in a caravan, but it doesn't mean I need a castle.

so it is just the modern version of this:
image

And in a few years they will be dumping these all over the place and they will wind up in the crusher?
How environmentally friendly they are can vary widely where you can have vans these days that are more environmentally friendly than some station wagons, just depends on how they are made. As for the space issue, I can see if it was necessary for work and what not, but does someone need that much space for their everyday commute? Is it really all that much more space than they get from non hatchbacks? I am just trying to figure out if pros of the space would outweigh the cons of driving that around all the time.

(Not at all biased against station wagons after driving one that had no brakes on it through a fence when I was a kid and having one almost chop my head off when it tried to shut on me.... no subconscious hate there against station wagons, I am fully aware of my station wagon hatred. XD)

In addition, how are you supposed to "put something in the trunk" to comply with laws that require you to have something in your trunk or truck bed so that it cannot be accessed from the cab? For example, they have laws here that you have to keep alcoholic beverages in the trunk, so that no one can access them from the front of the car.

They also have ordinances here where you have to put valuables in the trunk or carry them with you while in some shopping centers/malls or be ticketed. They ticketed one of my friends for throwing a blanket over her shopping bags in the back seat once saying that was not sufficiently out of sight and secured since someone would break in to see what as under there anyhow. I am not even sure if you can comply with some of the laws here without having some sort of barrier.

Elijin:
If you think hatchbacks are a trend, boy do I have like 40 years of motoring icons for you to catch up on.

I think the increased number of them here recently is a trend, not that they didn't already exist. Just as the old station wagons fell out of popularity, I see these going the same way.

What you call a station wagon is more or less what we would call an estate car. Not quite a hatchback, but generally more practical.

I'm not saying modern vans aren't more environmentally friendly than an old station wagon - technologically you'd expect that. But a modern large car isn't going to be as environmentally friendly as a modern small car - it'll be heavier and take more fuel to move it.

On space - I wouldn't want to have two cars so I could commute in one but carry stuff around in another, so I'd compromise and get the one that could do a decent job of both (the hatchback). Also, I have a dog that travels in the boot, so it would be somewhat cruel to drive a saloon. (I don't actually drive a hatchback, I have a small SUV - Hyundai Tucson).

You can't access the boot of a hatchback while the seats are up - there's what they call a parcel shelf that separates the two. It's removable with the boot open but not closed, so you couldn't access the boot while the vehicle was in motion. Also, those laws are silly and we don't have them here.

It does strike me as a little odd that in such a massive country where you have to drive so far, fuel efficiency doesn't really seem to be much of a concern - mind you, it's cheap as chips over there. Seriously, Americans who complain about the price of petrol don't even know they're born.

Baffle2:
What you call a station wagon is more or less what we would call an estate car. Not quite a hatchback, but generally more practical.

I'm not saying modern vans aren't more environmentally friendly than an old station wagon - technologically you'd expect that. But a modern large car isn't going to be as environmentally friendly as a modern small car - it'll be heavier and take more fuel to move it.

On space - I wouldn't want to have two cars so I could commute in one but carry stuff around in another, so I'd compromise and get the one that could do a decent job of both (the hatchback). Also, I have a dog that travels in the boot, so it would be somewhat cruel to drive a saloon. (I don't actually drive a hatchback, I have a small SUV - Hyundai Tucson).

You can't access the boot of a hatchback while the seats are up - there's what they call a parcel shelf that separates the two. It's removable with the boot open but not closed, so you couldn't access the boot while the vehicle was in motion. Also, those laws are silly and we don't have them here.

It does strike me as a little odd that in such a massive country where you have to drive so far, fuel efficiency doesn't really seem to be much of a concern - mind you, it's cheap as chips over there. Seriously, Americans who complain about the price of petrol don't even know they're born.

You would think that the smaller car would necessarily be more environmentally friendly, unless of course the cars are made in the US for the US specifically that way as they have been lobbying for lowering the standards. Fuel usage is also varied as it can depend on what fuel they are running, whether or not they are a hybrid, electric ect. There is a van that drives around town on Vegetable oil here that smells like french fries all the time so yea it can vary quite a bit.

The fuel efficiency issue has to be balanced with speed here as well, as the speed on our highways around here is 80mph in some areas (or 128.748 kph), and everyone is driving faster than that. Drive much slower and you can get a ticket and possibly lose your license for reckless driving and impeding the flow of traffic since drivers driving too slow cause more accidents than those speeding do. due to how spread out everything is, people tend to want to go everywhere fast here or they would spend all day just driving to and from anywhere. The big issue here is lack of city planning so walking or even riding a bike is not even an option in many areas unless you have a death wish. (no bike lanes, no sidewalk, unwalkable, torn up, uneven with piles of rocks and debris terrain next to drivers going 80mph) in addition to no public transportation and nothing is placed to where it is quick or easy to get to.

You would still have to rent a truck or van to move though if you can't fit an apartment in one of them. Not necessarily have to own one, but still have to use one now and then.

I have never seen one of those "parcel shelf" do people actually use them? The hatchbacks I have seen here can access the back from over the seats. For the people who do a lot of camping and what not that requires a lot of space, they usually have an SUV or drive an all terrain jeep that can get then out of anywhere rather than risk getting stuck somewhere.

There are very few cars on British roads that can't go 80mph. Maybe some in the sub-1L engine range like the Matiz, but even a 1.1L Ford Fiesta can do 80mph with ease (our national speed limit is 70mph, but I'd guess most people on those roads travel at 85-90mph). In my (limited) experience, British motorways are in generally much better condition that US highways.

I would expect to hire a van (more likely a long-haul vehicle) if I was moving house, regardless of what car I drove. I've got a three-bed house in the suburbs - you'd never move all my stuff in the sort of vehicle you'd drive day-to-day. I did do it with a small van (a Vivaro) once, but only because I was getting rid of most of my furniture when I moved.

Edit: The parcel shelf is part of the car. People may well remove them for convenience, but then people can see what you keep in the boot. Also, they're where you mount massive speakers in your hot hatch.

Baffle2:
There are very few cars on British roads that can't go 80mph. Maybe some in the sub-1L engine range like the Matiz, but even a 1.1L Ford Fiesta can do 80mph with ease (our national speed limit is 70mph, but I'd guess most people on those roads travel at 85-90mph). In my (limited) experience, British motorways are in generally much better condition that US highways.

I would expect to hire a van (more likely a long-haul vehicle) if I was moving house, regardless of what car I drove. I've got a three-bed house in the suburbs - you'd never move all my stuff in the sort of vehicle you'd drive day-to-day. I did do it with a small van (a Vivaro) once, but only because I was getting rid of most of my furniture when I moved.

I used to move every 6 months before I bought my house, ( would get 1st month free rent if moving into a new place so I had a first month free rent every 6 months XD) and always moved with friends and a van and or truck, never rented anything to move. When I sold my house, I downsized anyhow and everything fit into a van then as well. The US highways here are all under construction and in terrible shape with everyone driving 80mph+ like bats out of hell and that is the majority of the driving that people do here. Just to go to the market, schools, or anywhere else for that matter you have to get on the highway here.

Better city planning of course would reduce that, but I doubt I will see that happen in this area within my lifetime.

This is how I always see people driving around with them here:
image

They are practical. They are good cars for people that don't do long distances, and they are generally fuel efficient and cheap to run. They are manoeuvrable, which is good for countries that have more interesting road systems that were designed long before vehicles were around, so you can potter around country lanes knowing you aren't scraping both hedges.

Most people here just want a car that is practical for them, and if you don't drive very far and just want something to pop down the shops in then a hatchback is perfect. They are also great for new/young drivers who are trying to navigate the tight corners and compressed car parks for the first time. They are damn easy to park, and they are cheap.

Why is that an issue? No one is forcing you to buy one are they?

Elementary - Dear Watson:
They are practical. They are good cars for people that don't do long distances, and they are generally fuel efficient and cheap to run. They are manoeuvrable, which is good for countries that have more interesting road systems that were designed long before vehicles were around, so you can potter around country lanes knowing you aren't scraping both hedges.

Most people here just want a car that is practical for them, and if you don't drive very far and just want something to pop down the shops in then a hatchback is perfect. They are damn easy to park, and they are cheap.

Why is that an issue? No one is forcing you to buy one are they?

Of course no one is forcing me to buy one! I am just curious as to why they are increasing in numbers again. I do have to look at them though. It sort of comes with the territory of driving :p

and.. Of course they still are not more popular than Muscle cars, SUV's, Trucks or vans around here, just found it odd that they were increasing in numbers when they are dragging an arse that looks like that around.

Here in the UK hatchbacks are the most common type of private vehicle to see on the road, and have been for as long as I can remember. Infact, some brits, myself included, hold the trend of increasing Minivan/SUV usage in disdain.

So, it seems that the US is getting more hatchbacks whilst the UK is getting more SUVs..... Perhaps people who need Hatchbacks/SUVs who previously never considered them as they're rare in the relevant country, are now discovering them and buying what they need, rather than what's most common?

(for the record I own neither)

nickpy:
Here in the UK hatchbacks are the most common type of private vehicle to see on the road, and have been for as long as I can remember. Infact, some brits, myself included, hold the trend of increasing Minivan/SUV usage in disdain.

So, it seems that the US is getting more hatchbacks whilst the UK is getting more SUVs..... Perhaps people who need Hatchbacks/SUVs who previously never considered them as they're rare in the relevant country, are now discovering them and buying what they need, rather than what's most common?

(for the record I own neither)

The US is getting more SUVS as well, just noticing the hatchbacks increasing as well, not anywhere near as much as SUV's but still enough for me to be bewildered that people are actually buying them.

From what I can tell though, the UK hatchbacks tend to be smaller than most of the ones I see here in the US.

I like the higher seating position that comes with SUVs, which is why I got one when I had to change car (my last car was a Tiburon/Coupe, which is completely inappropriate for a larger dog). You can see further and are generally a bit safer in the event of a crash (you're above the height of the impact). I'd quite like to see more options for that higher seat without the seemingly obligatory four-wheel drive, which I'm fairly sure I'm never going to need.

Well, as other people have said, for most practical day-to-day purposes a hatchback is fine. In the UK at least, the primary functions of a car are: drive to work, take kids to school, transport shopping home from the supermarket. For all those purposes it works just fine. The cars are cheap and relatively economical. Consequently, for most people, they're the most obvious choice to buy unless they have some specific and unusual need or are petrol-heads. On the rare occasions that hatchback owners need something larger, you can rent a van easily.

Baffle2:
I like the higher seating position that comes with SUVs, which is why I got one when I had to change car (my last car was a Tiburon/Coupe, which is completely inappropriate for a larger dog). You can see further and are generally a bit safer in the event of a crash (you're above the height of the impact). I'd quite like to see more options for that higher seat without the seemingly obligatory four-wheel drive, which I'm fairly sure I'm never going to need.

Yea, the vans, trucks and SUVS all have that higher position but the Hatchbacks here seem to be just sedans with a bigger arse with no where to hide the bodies, You do need the four wheel drive here though. You never know when the highway is going to get shut down due to accidents and you have to go off road to get to the service road. Or where I happen to live in tornado alley, that you have to go off road to stay alive in the event a Tornado or 90mph straight winds we get here throws trees at your car while driving down the road and you have to go off road to avoid them. ALSO the MUD here can be ridiculous.

Hatchbacks are great. They're small, economical, and have plenty of room in the back for their size compared to a similarly sized saloon/sedan, allowing you to easily transport large pot plants without having to rent a transit van. People with kids and/or large amounts of luggage may find an LAV more practical, and those in rural areas will likely find the increased power and comfort of a 4x4 highly attractive, but for everyone else a hatchback is generally the best option.

What's your problem with hatchbacks? I own a Renault Clio and it's the perfect size and boot space if you don't have a family. It's also easy to park.

Yeah, pretty much everything has been said from a European/UK perspective. As a little runabout town they are very practical.

dscross:
What's your problem with hatchbacks? I own a Renault Clio and it's the perfect size and boot space if you don't have a family. It's also easy to park.

I am not talking about those, I am not even sure if they sell those in the US since I have never seen one here. I am talking about the "US hatchbacks" or aka Station wagons. They are not small, these are what I am talking about:
image

I am not talking about the small, European cars, this is what I am starting to see pop up and am curious why someone would choose that over the many other options. I am seeing this trend end with these things eventually being crushed as I cannot see this trend lasting that long.

Oh...estate cars. 2.4 children, plenty of room for shopping, the dog or a family holiday but you don't want to drive a chunky great people carrier.

That's what we would call an estate. Pretty similar to the hatchback but with a longer boot and flatter boot door. More practical than a hatchback, generally a bit more expensive too.

You do have little hatchbacks in the States - I drove a Nissan Versa while I was there. Or it might have been a Note.

Baffle2:
That's what we would call an estate. Pretty similar to the hatchback but with a longer boot and flatter boot door. More practical than a hatchback, generally a bit more expensive too.

You do have little hatchbacks in the States - I drove a Nissan Versa while I was there. Or it might have been a Note.

I live in Texas, you see very very few small cars that are not sports cars on the road here. Huge cars/ vans/ SUVs/ trucks everywhere though.

Hatchbacks were all the rage like 10 years ago, hardly ever see any now though. But to answer the thread. Small, practical, fuel efficient. Can look a lot better than sedans with a sports package. Some of the higher end hatchbacks look like rally cars.

To put it in perspective, im 34 and still on my first car, a 2001 ford focus hatchback, which ive owned since 2003. In 5 more years, I will own one car for half of my life. They just look sporty than your average car, without having to spend 200+k.

http://www.evo.co.uk/ford/focus-rs/20116/ford-focus-rs-mountune-m400-review-can-the-rs-cope-with-nearly-400bhp

I will say that i dont think the cars you are linking are hatchbacks, they are a bit big. They seem to be more in the station wagon or crossover region.

EDIT: if i can figure out how to post pictures i would, but my link for image does not seem to work.

Lil devils x:

In addition, how are you supposed to "put something in the trunk" to comply with laws that require you to have something in your trunk or truck bed so that it cannot be accessed from the cab? For example, they have laws here that you have to keep alcoholic beverages in the trunk, so that no one can access them from the front of the car.

They also have ordinances here where you have to put valuables in the trunk or carry them with you while in some shopping centers/malls or be ticketed. They ticketed one of my friends for throwing a blanket over her shopping bags in the back seat once saying that was not sufficiently out of sight and secured since someone would break in to see what as under there anyhow. I am not even sure if you can comply with some of the laws here without having some sort of barrier.

The same way you do in a van or suv.

A hatchback is literally just an suv but smaller. They get a lot of use in Europe because SUVs just don't really fit in a lot of European cities (try to parallel park something bigger than a bread box in Madrid), and they're more economical then an SUV.

Seriously, I was in Spain recently and saw a Jeep Wrangler driving around and it looked like a massive monster in comparison to everything else while in the US it's a small SUV.

As for them not being sporty enough for you, my dad has a mini and I love driving it, very snappy and responsive. There's a reason pretty much all rally cars are souped up hatchbacks.

Hah. Claiming that SUVs offer more space than a hatchback. Most SUVs have the same space or less, just higher up, these days.

Hatchbacks are cheaper, more manoeuvrable (particularly on confined roads like you get a lot in the UK), easier to park, still fit in plenty of stuff, and go at speeds where the aerodynamic impact of a bit of turbulence is next to nothing. Even at 70 they are generally more efficient than larger vehicles due to engine size and cross-sectional area.

But if performance is your issue, the Honda Civic Type R begs to differ. Just saying.

More to the point, in a world where we are driving towards greater efficiency, we should be cutting down on pointlessly unwieldy large vehicles and moving towards lighter ones.

Catnip1024:
Hah. Claiming that SUVs offer more space than a hatchback. Most SUVs have the same space or less, just higher up, these days.

I would say that the cab in an SUV offers much more space than in a hatchback - certainly I find it a more comfortable drive. Quite a few SUVs have crappy boot space, but the back seats are much more roomy than a hatchback, so when you put them down you get a lot of extra space.

Much of the space gain I find having an SUV comes from the shape of the boot rather than the overall size - same as with an estate - the boot is square so you can fit more long things in (that is, you can stack them higher than you can in a hatchback). I transport a lot of wood.

Catnip1024:
Hah. Claiming that SUVs offer more space than a hatchback. Most SUVs have the same space or less, just higher up, these days.

Hatchbacks are cheaper, more manoeuvrable (particularly on confined roads like you get a lot in the UK), easier to park, still fit in plenty of stuff, and go at speeds where the aerodynamic impact of a bit of turbulence is next to nothing. Even at 70 they are generally more efficient than larger vehicles due to engine size and cross-sectional area.

But if performance is your issue, the Honda Civic Type R begs to differ. Just saying.

More to the point, in a world where we are driving towards greater efficiency, we should be cutting down on pointlessly unwieldy large vehicles and moving towards lighter ones.

Yea the idea of needing smaller vehicles is why I was wondering why anyone would get what I was referring to a hatchback here, I think they call an "estate car" there.(The car in the photo in post 20 above is what I am referring to), not a compact European car. The ones I have seen in this area are quite long, not small or as easy to maneuver, some of them stick out of their parking spaces and are quite annoying to have to avoid.

I feel like the pushback you're getting here is that a hatchback clearly refers to a type of car, popular in most of the world. And you're looking at a stationwagon, or an estate car with a hatchback-like design and saying "Well that's a hatchback!".

I also cant say I've ever seen a car of that design which is any longer that a standard 4 door sedan or SUV, so I cant get behind the complaints its longer than 'regular cars'. Its longer than smaller cars, but....they're small.

Lil devils x:

I am not talking about those, I am not even sure if they sell those in the US since I have never seen one here. I am talking about the "US hatchbacks" or aka Station wagons. They are not small, these are what I am talking about:
image

Ohhhhhh... So that's what you meant by hatchbacks. For this entire thread, up to this post, i thought you were talking about these:

image

I always thought these were called "caravans" in the US(here it's a "kombi"). And yeah, those are go-to "family vehicles". Or atleast were until SUVs gained traction.

Elijin:
I also cant say I've ever seen a car of that design which is any longer that a standard 4 door sedan or SUV

Most of them are about the same I think (they do, after all, need to fit in the same spaces), though you do see the occasional one that makes you think 'Shit! That's a long car!'. The Honda Accord Tourer is one of those.

Damn... this is about Estates!? Now your argument makes more sense! I based my entire post on hatchbacks!

Yeah... fuck estates. Ugly bastards them... I guess they are good if you have large dogs though. The extra length in the back gives dogs more room and you can easily fit a cage at the top of the seats. Most estates I tend to see have the dog cage installed.

I actually quite like estates, but I really do like the higher seat in taller vehicles. Also, I'm getting older; getting in and out of a car where the seat is at my standing hip height is much easier than one where it's around my knee or so. (I'm not ancient, but know when you've been sitting in a Tiburon for six hours.)

Lil devils x:
Yea the idea of needing smaller vehicles is why I was wondering why anyone would get what I was referring to a hatchback here, I think they call an "estate car" there.(The car in the photo in post 20 above is what I am referring to), not a compact European car. The ones I have seen in this area are quite long, not small or as easy to maneuver, some of them stick out of their parking spaces and are quite annoying to have to avoid.

Aaaahhhhh...

You mean estates. Or saloons... Very different things.

They have their limited niche. People who engage in long hobbies - canoeing, surfing, cycling. And they are pretty much the same as an SUV only not as high - easier to clean, better for small people (seriously, little is as terrifying as a tiny old lady behind the wheel of a huge 4x4).

Lil devils x:

dscross:
What's your problem with hatchbacks? I own a Renault Clio and it's the perfect size and boot space if you don't have a family. It's also easy to park.

I am not talking about those, I am not even sure if they sell those in the US since I have never seen one here. I am talking about the "US hatchbacks" or aka Station wagons. They are not small, these are what I am talking about:
image

I am not talking about the small, European cars, this is what I am starting to see pop up and am curious why someone would choose that over the many other options. I am seeing this trend end with these things eventually being crushed as I cannot see this trend lasting that long.

Station wagons have as much room as an SUV but retain the driving experience of the sedans they're typically based on. Hell, Holden Australia sells wagons with the same V8 as a Camaro and they're popular as hell. That sais creating a good looking station wagon is a fine art and basically no one other than Holden has made one here in like 10 years.

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