“A sedan is a 4-door passenger car with a separate trunk built on a three-box body, while a hatchback is a 4-door vehicle assembled on a two-box body with a tailgate that flips up. ”
A sedan is defined as a 4-door passenger car with a trunk that is separate from the passengers with a three-box body: the engine, the area for passengers, and the trunk. Throughout the generations, the definition of a sedan has been the same. Even after the many changes and facelifts in comparison to other car segments, it has continued to maintain its popularity as the flagship car for most automobile manufacturers with a large, growing demand base. Thus, facing a large amount of competition.
The definition of a hatchback was traditionally a two or four-door vehicle with a tailgate that would flip upwards called a hatch. While the present-day description of a hatchback would be a vehicle with four doors and a hatch at the rear-end that flips up, based on a two-box body for the engine and passengers or cargo. But the modern-day hatchback has gone through a few modifications. From smoother lines in its design to maximizing space and practicality, it has become more difficult to distinguish between a hatchback and other car segments (i.e. sedan, coupe, etc.).
Now that the main difference is between a sedan and a hatchback has been identified, let us compare their proportions, interior space for passengers, space for cargo, fuel efficiency, and price & trim options.
When it comes to the length of the car, hatchbacks are generally a bit shorter than sedans which is beneficial, especially when maneuvering tight corners or parallel parking. It also makes it easier for the driver to see how much space is left between their vehicle and the car in front of them. One additional highlight of the hatchback is the noticeably bigger rear window that allows the driver to have better visibility.
Interior Space for Passengers
Both vehicles can fit 4-5 passengers,[A4] but the major difference lies in the type of interior space. If legroom is most important to you, a sedan might be a better choice since it is based-off on the 3-box body, which has a designated area that separates passengers and cargo. If headroom is more essential, then a hatchback would suit the bill due to the height of the car’s rear.
In the cargo space square-off between the sedan and the hatchback, the latter easily trumps the former. The key advantage of owning a hatchback is the plethora of cargo space since the vehicle is essentially “trunkless.” When extra room is needed, you can fold the rear seats with a single touch without any worries. Thanks to its flexibility and efficient utilization of space, it has the upper hand when it comes to fitting wide or oddly-shaped objects in the trunk.
Although the sedan might be less flexible due to its separated trunk, you can still fold the rear seats to create a bit of room for longer objects. Also, if you have valuable items, it is best to secure them in a sedan because the trunk is completely isolated from the passenger compartment and hidden out of sight. This way your valuables are stowed away safely. Safe from prying eyes and unwanted attention.
In comparison to other car segments such as coupes, SUVs, and crossovers, hatchbacks and sedans are both known to be some of the most fuel-efficient cars. As for fuel efficiency, it is difficult to say if one is more fuel-efficient than the other and depends on each model.
Price & Trim Options
Similar to fuel efficiency, the price greatly depends on the vehicle model as some hatchbacks are more affordable than sedans and vice-versa. However, there are usually more trim options available to sedans given their popularity over other car segments.[