Best Hatchbacks for 2020

By Anthony Sophinos

Best New and Used Hatchback Cars

Crossovers may have taken the market by storm, but hatchbacks remain an excellent option for buyers interested in an economical, affordable vehicle with plenty of space. The practicality of this bodystyle checks enough boxes for enough consumers that nearly every major automaker now fields one.

With so many options on the market, it can be a little tough to determine which is the right hatchback for you. To simplify things, we’ve gone ahead and used our data to find the most efficient, affordable, and reliable models currently available both used and new. But first, a quick primer on the humble hatchback:

What is a Hatchback?

A hatchback is distinct from the sedan, though the two styles are often offered under the same nameplate. The primary differentiator between the two is the design of the rear cargo area. 

In a sedan, there’s a separate trunk that is fully enclosed and cut off from the passenger area. A hatchback, by contrast, is similar to an SUV or crossover. There’s a large cargo area that expands from the load floor to the roof and separated from the passenger area only by the rear seatbacks. 

To accommodate the larger cargo area, the hatchback uses a longer roof, more sloping rear window, and a rear liftgate. That rear liftgate birthed the name hatchback. Vehicles of this design are also sometimes referred to as five-doors, as opposed to the four-door sedan.

Benefits of a Hatchback

Some might consider hatchbacks to be more homely than sedans, but objectively the hatchback is the far superior vehicle in cargo space. With its spacious cargo area, hatchbacks are significantly roomier behind the rear seats than an equivalent sedan. Case in point is the Honda Civic, which is offered as both a sedan and hatchback. The sedan’s cargo area is 15 cubic feet; the hatchback has 25 cubic feet.

Fold down the rear seats and hatchbacks become SUV-like. The total cargo area of the Civic hatch, for instance, expands to 46 cubic feet once the rear seats are dropped, which is as much as or more than some small crossovers. Sedans often come equipped with folding rear seatbacks, but they can’t usually hold bulky objects due to the narrow pass-through space.

Hatchbacks don’t come with much of a fuel economy penalty, either. To return to the Honda Civic, an EX-L sedan with the CVT and 1.5-liter engine gets a combined rating of 36 mpg. The identically-equipped Civic hatchback gets 34 mpg combined. 

Now compare that to the Honda CR-V. The popular crossover also offers an EX-L trim with the CVT and 1.5-liter engine, but only manages 30 mpg combined. That’s a 6 mpg difference between the CR-V and the Civic sedan, versus the 2-mpg difference between the Civic hatch and Civic sedan.

The fuel economy of a sedan with the space of a crossover - that’s the alluring proposition of a hatchback.

Best Hatchback Cars

To determine the best hatchbacks out there, multiple factors were considered. Chief among these was long-term reliability, which was based on the percentage of used models sold with more than 200,000 miles on the odometer. Other factors taken into consideration were price, efficiency, cargo space, and government crash ratings.

With so many choices on hand, we’ve made all this easier to digest by breaking the rankings up by hatchback type, ranging from electric hatches to hot hatches. Whatever type of hatch you’re considering, we’ve covered it here. The top three options are presented for each category. Our overall best hatchbacks category shows the top five vehicles, all of which have longest-lasting data that matches or betters the segment average of 0.40 percent.

For longest-lasting data, iSeeCars analyzed over 13.8 million cars. For each hatchback, the percentage of the number of vehicles with at least 200,000 miles on the odometer was calculated. Those vehicles with the highest percentages have been crowned the most reliable. (Models that were not in production as of the 2018 model year, heavy-duty vehicles, and low-volume models were excluded from our analysis.) Here are the longest-lasting hatchback cars

Best Hatchback Cars
Rank Vehicle % Vehicles with 200k+ miles Average price for a 3-year old car Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg NHTSA crash rating (out of 5)
1 Toyota Prius 2.0% $20,099 25.1 cu. ft 52 mpg 4.8
2 Toyota Yaris 0.60% $10,921 15.5 cu. ft 32 mpg 4
3 Honda Fit 0.60% $14,452 16.6 cu. ft 33 mpg 5
4 Toyota Prius Plug-In 0.50% n/a 21.6 cu. ft 73 mpg n/a
5 Honda Civic 0.40% $18,756 24.7 cu. ft 33 mpg 5
Segment Averages: 0.4% $16,658 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg* 4.5
*Reflects the number of electric hatchbacks now available, such as the Chevrolet Bolt

Topping the list is the Toyota Prius, and for good reason. In a segment where the collective average of models sold with 200,000 or miles in 2019 was just 0.40 percent, 2.0 percent of Prius models sold with that mileage. This is an impressive statistic, though perhaps not surprising, considering how frequently Toyota tops reliability ratings.

The Prius isn’t just reliable, though - it’s also about as ideal as a hatchback can get. A generous 25 cubic feet of cargo space and a 4.8 overall crash test rating make it safe and practical, while an incredible 52 mpg combined peg this hatch as one of the most efficient non-electric cars out there. It’s no wonder that 3-year old used models sell for $20,099 on average.

Second place goes to the subcompact Toyota Yaris. Typically a type of car that’s often used and abused, an impressive 0.60 percent of Yaris cars were sold with more than 200,000 miles on them. Its smaller size makes it a great choice in the city, and those on a budget will appreciate that a 3-year old one can be picked up for about $10,000. It’s the most affordable option on this list.

Honda scoots into third with their Fit. Similar in size to the Yaris, the sub-compact Fit is a pleasing little runabout that feels bigger inside than its diminutive exterior dimensions suggest; the 16.6 cubic feet of cargo space says as much. It’s significantly pricier than a Yaris, though, with average 3-year old used prices currently sitting at $14,452.

In fourth place is the Prius Plug-In, which is similar yet distinct from the standard Prius. The Plug-In model was sold here between 2012 and 2016 and is no longer available, though a plug-in Prius is sold today as the Prius Prime. That model doesn’t make the list due to a lack of longest-lasting data. 

Similar to the regular Prius, the Plug-In has better-than-average odds of reaching 200,000 miles, which earns it second place. As newest models are now over four years old, there’s no data on average 3-year old pricing data. However, 5-year old models sell on average for $15,162. The Plug-In manages 73 mpg combined and can hold 21.6 cubic feet of cargo behind the rear seats.

The Honda Civic follows behind the Fit, with 0.40 percent of models selling with more than 200,000 miles. This mainstay of the compact class is efficient as it is roomy and affordable - its 33 combined mpg is better than all other cars on this list save the Prius. It also is second only to the Prius for cargo space, and earns a 5-star crash test rating. For about $18,750 on average for a 3-year old model, the Civic hatchback is a good deal for hatchback shoppers.

The only vehicle not from Japan on this list is the Volkswagen Golf. The Golf is a German Civic - multiple body styles, affordable prices, efficient engines. The VW is known for its more premium feel compared to other entry-level compacts, and its driving dynamics have long been lauded. It has the lowest combined gas mileage on this list, but remains a good value at $15,417 on average for a 3-year old model.

Hybrid Hatchbacks

Best Hybrid Hatchbacks
Make and model % Vehicles with 200k+ miles Average price for a new 2020 model Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg NHTSA crash rating (out of 5)
Toyota Prius 2.00% $20,099 25.1 cu. ft 52 mpg 4.8
Toyota Prius Plug-In 0.50% n/a 21.6 cu. ft 73 mpg n/a
Hyundai Ioniq 0.20% $28,164 23.3 cu. ft 86 mpg n/a
Segment Averages: 0.40% $53,732 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg* 4.5
*Reflects the number of electric hatchbacks now available, such as the Chevrolet Bolt

First place in the hybrid category goes to the Toyota Prius, for reasons outlined in the prior section. Being the best overall hatchback made it a shoe-in for the best hybrid hatchback. New Prius models sell on average for $28,484. New prices rather than used are shown due to the lack of good pricing data for used models in this section.

Second place is the similar but different Prius Plug-In. Again, this model was discussed in detail in the prior section. New models are no longer available, but five-year old models - the newest models for which we have pricing data - sell on average for $15,162.

Third place among hybrids is the Hyundai Ioniq. The Ioniq is essentially a compact Elantra that’s been designed for a trio of advanced powertrains: it's available as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full electric. All three are compelling options. The hybrid model is more efficient than the Prius, and the electric model has 170 miles of range. Average transaction prices for new Ioniqs - there’s no 3-year old used models out yet - is $28,164, which undercuts the average price for new Prius models by about $300.

Best Electric Hatchbacks

Cruise Chevy Bolt EV in San Francisco
Best Electric Hatchbacks
Make and model Average price for a new model Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg
Hyundai Ioniq $36,516 23.3 cu. ft 127 MPGe
Chevrolet Bolt $33,104 16.9 cu. ft 119 MPGe
VW e-Golf $32,881 22.8 cu. ft 118 MPGe
Segment Averages: $16,658 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg*
*Reflects all hatchbacks, including gas, hybrid, and all-electric models

As mentioned in the Hybrid section, the Hyundai Ioniq is also available as an electric, and that’s the first-place model in our electric hatchback category. It tops the list for the same reasons the hybrid Ioniq made it on our list: great mileage and a great value. Of all the electric cars looked at, the Ioniq was number one for average mileage, with a 127 MPGe combined rating. That’s enough for first place among electric hatchbacks.

Second place goes to the Chevrolet Bolt. Chevy has been building electrics since 2011, and their headstart likely accounts for the Bolt’s excellence as a practical electric car with a great range. An impressive 119 MPGe combined rating is second only to the Ioniq, and there’s a class-leading 259 miles of range. And with prices of 3-year old models currently averaging at $23,560, the Bolt is a great deal. Seasoned fans of electric cars or new enthusiasts just entering the fold will alike be happy with the Bolt.

Coming in third place is the VW e-Golf.  An electrified Golf manages to retain all the excellence of the regular Golf - spacious, comfortable, and competent - but with all-electric power. Cargo space is a spacious 22.8 cubic feet, and the 118 MPGe combined is nearly equal to the Chevrolet Bolt. Prices for 3-year old used models are just $18,346, an even better deal than the Bolt. The VW’s 186 miles of range can’t top the Chevy but does outdo the Hyundai Ioniq.

Best AWD Hatchbacks

Best AWD Hatchbacks
Make and model Average price for a 3-year old car Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg NHTSA crash rating (out of 5)
Toyota Prius $20,099 25.1 cu. ft 50 mpg 4.8
Mazda Mazda3 $16,345 20.2 cu. ft 31 mpg 5
Mini Paceman n/a 11.7 cu. ft 27.4 mpg n/a
Segment Averages: $16,658 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg* 4.5
*Reflects all hatchbacks, including gas, hybrid, and all-electric models

All-wheel drive hatchbacks are rather uncommon, especially in the more affordable end of the market. The Toyota Prius only just started offering an awd system last year, but it’s enough to put it on the top of our list. The AWD Prius sends its power to the rear wheels via an electric motor that can operate up to speeds of 43 mph. The optional drivetrain slightly reduces fuel economy, from the 52 mpg combined to 50 mpg combined.

The Mazda3 is another excellent option for those looking for an affordable AWD hatchback. Mazda’s system is more traditional than the electric setup in the Prius, as it comes with a physical differential and is not speed-limited. The Mazda3 hatch is on the small side of hatchbacks, with just 20 cubic feet of cargo space, but it has an upscale feel and great driving dynamics. The 31 mpg combined isn’t too bad, either.

The Mini Paceman is perhaps the most whimsical choice here. It hasn’t been made since 2016, but it is a cheap way into a fun, stylish, athletic runabout. Cargo space is just 11.7 cubic feet, but this is a small car that only measures 162 inches long, hardly longer than a Mazda Miata. For those who want something obscure, fun, and practical on a budget, the Paceman is a compelling choice.

Best Sporty Hatchbacks

Best Sporty and Hot Hatchbacks
Make and model Average price for a 3-year old car Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg NHTSA crash rating (out of 5)
Honda Civic $18,756 24.7 cu. ft 33 mpg 5
Ford Fiesta $11,779 13.7 cu. ft 31 mpg 4
VW GTI $19,407 22.3 cu. ft 28 mpg 5
Segment Averages: $16,658 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg* 4.5
*Reflects all hatchbacks, including gas, hybrid, and all-electric models

Sporty hatchbacks, also known as hot hatches by their enthusiastic fanbase, are hatchbacks that bring sports-car dynamics to an otherwise ordinary hatch. The result is a practical, comfortable commuter car that can come alive with nothing but a downshift and a tight corner.

Among sporty hatchbacks, the Honda Civic gets an easy first place. This is because it offers two trim levels of sport, depending on your budget and personality. The Sport rejiggers the suspension for a more responsive chassis, while the Honda Civic Type R is a 306-horsepower turbo-charged track weapon that redefines the term hot hatch. The sporty Si trim slots between those two but is not available as a hatchback. 

Despite their lean towards performance, neither the Sport or Type R sacrifice the qualities that make the Honda Civic such a successful compact hatchback. There’s the great gas mileage (even the Type R will get 25 mpg combined), roomy interior, and massive cargo space. These two sporty hatches will make any drive around town more enjoyable.

Second among sporty hatchbacks is the Ford Fiesta, specifically the ST trim. This model has recently been discontinued, but used models are a bargain at just $11,779 on average for 3-year old used models. The ST trim is more about handling than horsepower, like the Civic Sport, and also like that Honda the ST can be buckets of fun for menial cost. The small size of the Fiesta earns it a good 31 mpg combined rating, but cargo space is a roomy 24.7 cubic feet.

No list of sporty hatches would be complete without the original sporty hatch: the Volkswagen GTI. Well over 30 years of production has allowed Volkswagen to perfect their popular hatch, and the current model is just the right balance of fun-loving and buttoned-up. Like the Golf it is based on, the GTI is roomy, upscale, and has a comfortable ride. 

Best Luxury Hatchbacks

Best Luxury Hatchbacks
Make and model Average price for a 3-year old car Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg NHTSA crash rating (out of 5)
BMW 3-Series $27,296 21.8 cu. ft 25 mpg 5
Ferrari FF n/a 15.9 cu. ft 13 mpg n/a
BMW 5-Series $32,569 18.7 cu. ft 21 mpg 5
Segment Averages: $16,658 17.8 cu. ft 53 mpg* 4.5
*Reflects all hatchbacks, including gas, hybrid, and all-electric models

Who says hatchbacks have to be entry-level? There’s a few luxury hatches running around, including hatchback iterations of the BMW 3-Series and 5-Series. The hatches of both models were known as the GT, and sold in small numbers while they were in production. 

Yet despite their apparent lack of popularity, the GT versions of both cars were surprisingly practical and efficient. They also enjoyed the famous BMW handling chops and had a luxurious interior. 3-year old models of the 3-Series GT change hands at about $27,296, while the 5-Series sells for an average of $32,569.

For the epitome of luxurious, high-performance hatchback goodness, there’s the Ferrari FF. Yes, that’s right - Ferrari, esteemed purveyor of six-figure sports cars, has tried their hand at a hatchback. The FF seats 4 and can carry 15.9 cubic feet of cargo. Under the hood there’s 654 horsepower, making this the most powerful hatchback out there. Pricing data for 3-year old models remains TBD, but suffice to say this is also the priciest hatchback you can buy.

Best Used Hatchbacks by Price

If you’re interested in a used hatchback, there are many budget-friendly models available.

Best Used Hatchbacks Under $10,000

Best Hatchbacks Under $10,000
Vehicle Average Price
2011 Hyundai Accent $5,105
2013 Chevrolet Spark $6,460
2015 Hyundai Accent $8,952
2015 Ford Fiesta $9,280
2015 Toyota Yaris $9,431
Compared to most other types of vehicles, finding a compelling selection of used hatchbacks under $10,000 is a relatively easy task. Of the various options, the 2011 Hyundai Accent looks to be the cheapest way into the class, with average prices sitting at $5,105; the 2015 Accent that sells for $8,952 on average is another affordable choice. The 2013 Chevrolet Spark represents a cheap option from a domestic automaker. 

On the higher end of this price range is the 2015 Ford Fiesta and 2015 Toyota Yaris, both of which sell for between $9,000 and $10,000.

Best Used Hatchbacks Under $15,000

Best Hatchbacks Under $15,000
Vehicle Average Price
2015 Hyundai Elantra GT $10,387
2015 Toyota Prius C $12,427
2015 Mini Hardtop $13,387
2017 Fiat 500L $13,584
2017 Nissan Leaf $14,247
Used hatchbacks under $15,000 are abundant in the marketplace, with a variety of options available from all manufacturers. On the low end of this budget, there’s the 2015 Hyundai Elantra GT, which sells for $10,387 on average. Hybrid enthusiasts will want the 2015 Toyota Prius C, which has an average selling price of $12,427 and gets the best gas mileage of anything on this list at 47 mpg combined.

Heavy depreciation makes the 2015 Mini Hardtop a great option as well, offering buyers sporty handling and retro styling for about a third of its $30,000 MSRP. The 2017 Fiat 500L and 2017 Nissan Leaf are two other hatches that have bargain resale values. The Fiat will cost roughly $13,587 on average, while the Nissan Leaf - the only electric on this list - offers all-electric motoring for just $14,247.

Best Used Hatchbacks Under $20,000

Best Hatchbacks Under $20,000
Vehicle Average Price
2017 VW Golf $15,417
2017 Mazda Mazda3 $16,345
2017 Toyota Prius C $16,663
2017 Honda Civic $18,756
2017 VW GTI $19,407
The cream of the hatchback crop is found between $15,000 and $20,000. Stalwarts in this price point include the 2017 Volkswagen Golf, Mazda3 and Toyota Prius C. This trio of 3-year old hatches can be picked up for less than $16,750, with the Golf the cheapest of the three. If the Golf seems a little too tepid for your tastes, the hotted-up 2017 GTI sells for $19,407 on average. The Honda Civic, a sales leader on the back of its reliability, comfort, and spaciousness, sells for $18,756 on average.

The Bottom Line

Hatchbacks come in many forms - as luxury cars, city runabouts, hot hatches, hybrids, even electrics. It’s no surprise they’ve proliferated as they have, as this is one class of car that comes close to letting buyers have their cake and eat it too. After all, what’s not to like about a vehicle with the space of a crossover and the efficiency of a sedan?

That agreeable combination has led to a gaggle of different five-door options to choose from. There’s sure to be a hatch for your tastes that fits your budget, no matter what you may be looking for in your next car.

If you’re interested in a new or used hatchback, try searching iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine. It uses advanced algorithms to help shoppers find the best car deals and provides key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report. Filter by price, fuel economy, drivetrain, and other parameters in order to find your next hatchback.