For car buyers, one of the most conflicted issues is to choose between a hatchback and a sedan since both are considered as family cars with the capability to accommodate 4-5 occupants at a time. Even though it’s a matter of one’s personal opinion and preferences, many other factors are involved in determining which one is the winner in the fight of Hatchback vs Sedan.
In today’s time, there are so many choices available in each segment that it often becomes hard to make a wise decision. Various aspects of price, fuel efficiency, and the fact that how often you drive around in your car should be taken into consideration before jumping to any conclusion. This debatable discussion regarding Hatchbacks vs Sedans talks about all the essential parameters, which will aid you in choosing the best one between the two.
So, before going into the details, it’s important to understand the basic meaning of both the categories.

What is Hatchback?

A hatchback is typically a 5-door car having a boot at the back that opens upwards and has the capacity to seat 4 adults at a time without any discomfort. These are further divided into categories depending upon their sizes. Such cars may feature either a 2 or 3 box design. The cheapest hatch in the market is Tata Nano GenX at around INR 2-3 Lacs, while some are premium in nature like Baleno which costs more than INR 5 Lacs.
hatchback cars

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What is Sedan?

If we talk about sedans, these are cars with their rear sections slightly extended backward. These look more plush and appealing in terms of appearance and essentially carry a three-box design. Usually, all sedans are offered at the price tag above INR 5 Lacs. These offer a huge cargo space and are equipped with more comfort features than the hatchbacks.
Sedan Cars

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Hatchback vs Sedan Pros

In order to scrutinize the whole matter, first, we need to be aware of the favorable as well as unfavorable features of both the categories. This will give us a clearer picture, thereby providing assistance in making a better decision. These can be enlisted as follows:

  • Practicality When we talk about seating capacity, headroom, legroom and cargo space, the sedan has an unmatchable advantage over a hatchback. A sedan could accommodate 5 people, while a hatch would also do the same but with a slight hassle. Moreover, the boot is also capacious enough to load a lot of luggage in it.However, when we look at a hatch, it has more practicality in the sense that its rear seats can be folded down, thereby providing much more space than that found in a sedan.
  • City of Residence People residing in urban areas tend to travel more as compared to the small town dwellers. This is because their lives are faster and they have so many things to do in a day like going to an office or dropping their kids to school or picking up groceries from the store and then the whole family goes out for a dinner at the weekends. In such a case, a hatch would be a perfect choice considering the average monthly running of the car.On the other hand, a sedan won’t fulfill this purpose of yours. Until and unless you’ve no problem in burning a hole through your pocket, you can buy yourself a sedan. In small non-metro cities with less traffic, you can surely opt for a sedan because then you won’t have to travel by your car everywhere as places are situated at shorter distances.
  • Resale value Indians are kind of obsessed with the amount of money that they receive after selling their old commodities and same applies to those who wish to sell their cars. After selling a hatchback, you may succeed to get 85% of the original value of a top end variant.However, selling a sedan may not yield this much of amount for sure. This may be because sedans are considered to be more sophisticated and hence nobody prefers buying a second-hand sedan. If someone has enough money in his hands to buy an all-new hatch, why would he bother about owning a second-hand sedan for the same amount? Logical, right?
  • Fuel Efficiency For the first time young buyers, this is a really essential aspect to be taken into account, while buying a car. Many times, we tend to believe that hatchbacks are smaller in size and hence they consume less fuel, thereby offering more fuel economy. But the truth is that the fuel tanks of sedans are much more spacious and hence these carry more fuel. This, in turn, increases the range of the car.For e.g. when we compare Maruti Swift and Swift Dzire, the diesel motor returns 25.2 km/l and 26.6 km/l of fuel economy respectively. As we move on to the petrol variants, the same motor with the same fuel tank capacity delivers 20.4 km/l in the hatch and 20.85 km/l in the sedan.
  • Riding and Handling Hatchbacks are lightweight and compact vehicles, thus they are easy to be driven around. So, these models come with a better riding and handling capabilities.Talking about sedans, they are bigger in size and heavier in weight. Hence it’s relatively hard to handle or drive around swiftly in a sedan. Especially those who are beginners may find it extremely complicated to drive such cars because of their extended boot section at the rear.

Hatchback vs Sedan Cons

  • Privacy In hatchbacks, the cargo area is offered with a window at the rear and hence it may disclose all your belongings kept in the boot. After all, who would want to display his/her belongings kept in the car? Moreover, thieves can also break the glass and rob you off.Whereas the sedans have a locked trunk and they offer more privacy as the luggage is not at all visible from outside. Privacy is a very important issue, particularly for the people residing in America and Europe.
  • Parking is a major issue for car owners as many places do not offer adequate parking space. Having a hatch can definitely prove to be an advantage when there isn’t much space for big cars to be parked. They are also convenient to be driven on roads packed with traffic at peak hours.Sedans are larger in size thus making it almost impossible to get a parking space for them. If you own a sedan you may have experienced that you have to literally keep an eye on the parking space. It’s like a race! Often it takes a lot of time to hunt down for a parking space and if it’s a sedan, may God help your poor soul. Grin!
  • Aerodynamics concept is related to studying the motion of the air and it’s something that a layman won’t understand. But we can’t deny its significance in determining the performance of a car. Usually, the cars with less drag coefficient are more aerodynamic and hence perform well. If a car is not aerodynamic and you are driving it at a high speed, the moving wind forms a wall and will affect the performance of your car and then the engine will try hard to produce power.Sedans are designed more aerodynamically than the hatchbacks because they have a more angular design at the rear. This in a way reduces drag and noise, thereby helping the car to accelerate well. Thus, sedans are comparatively more aerodynamic and hence superior among the two.
  • Style Most of the people tend to choose a car based on its looks and appearance rather than any other feature. Currently, hatchbacks are being offered in various designs and are considered to be cool as well as compact. If we take the example of Baleno, it is one of the most stylish hatchbacks being sold in the country. Honda Jazz is yet another hatch that carries a distinctive look. We are no more bound to buy a typical hatchback with limited scope for innovation in terms of designing.However, all sedans in the market come with a 3-box structure with minimal differences. The cosmetics like grille, headlamps, tail lamps or color scheme of the bumpers as well as ORVMs could vary from one model to another, but the basic design remains same. Yet some people argue that sedans are superior as they look much more elegant and classy.

Hatchback vs Sedan Safety

Safety issues have gained a lot of importance lately because of the number of accidents taking place on the roads. Not only the authorities have introduced strict norms, but the automakers have also started equipping airbags and other important fitments across the whole range of the models. Nowadays, every car has to go through the crash test so as to make sure that it is safe enough to be used by the customers.

Driving in busy cities is much different than driving on highways because you can go at the maximum speed without worrying about any traffic light. In such a situation, accidental situations are very common. So, if there’s any mishap, you probably don’t want your car to be unprepared for such an incident. Owing to the lightweight body structure, your hatch would give you a great pleasure of speed, but at the same time, it is very much prone to accidents as it can easily bounce when a collision with another vehicle occurs.

As far as sedans are concerned, they weigh more than the above-mentioned category and hence are subject to less risk. Moreover, due to a high price tag, these cars are fitted with advanced safety components like blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, multiple airbags, etc. Thus, if you have a sedan, you can be ensured that the car will keep you safe in most of the situations.

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Why are Hatchbacks More Expensive than Sedans?

It’s a well-known fact that hatchbacks are offered at a lesser price than sedans. So, why are we saying that hatchbacks are more expensive? Confused? Well, the thing is that even though hatchbacks carry a low price, when we compare both of them, the price difference is so less that it makes no sense to opt a hatch when you can own a sedan at a slightly higher price and that too with more features.
For e.g. Hyundai Grand i10 is available at INR 4.9 Lacs (ex-showroom) and if you add INR 40,000 more to the amount you can get the Xcent at INR 5.3 Lacs (ex-showroom). Similarly, when we look at Swift hatch and Swift Dzire, the base variants for both of them are available at INR 4.8 Lacs (ex-showroom) and INR 5.4 Lacs respectively. There’s just a difference of INR 60,000 in both the models. Thus, logically sedans are not that much expensive, rather hatchbacks offer fewer features.

Final Words

So, the age-old hatchback vs sedan debate comes to an end here and I’d like to conclude by saying that as the time is progressing, the difference between both the styles is declining and automakers are trying to offer as much as they can at affordable prices. The choice between a sedan and hatchback is always affected by personal preferences and hence declaring any one of them as superior, isn’t logical.
Overall, one can’t simply declare which one is better but you can always compare the various aspects that are considered while making a buying decision. A few years back, sedans were definitely superior, but as of now, hatchbacks are also being offered with cool and trendy looks. Moreover, the comfort and safety features have gone a notch higher and there isn’t much difference between the two.
However, irrespective of all the arguments mentioned above a sedan fan will never choose a hatch and vice versa. We can’t influence the decision you make because that is ultimately your money and your choice. Thus, with the help of the positive and negative aspects of both the styles, we have tried to present a better picture of the subject of hatchbacks vs sedan cars.
Whatever you think about our blog, all the suggestions and feedbacks are welcome in the comments section below. So, do let us know about your valuable opinion.