Several choices are available for consumers looking for the most reliable hatchbacks. Fuel-frugal, economical, fun-to-drive and affordable are common attributes. Sources for this information include Consumer Reports Best and Worst Used Cars, Kiplinger Best Used Cars of 2011, and Edmunds 2010 Used Car Best Bets.

  • 2007-2011 Honda Fit – Consumer Reports singles out the 2007 and later Honda Fit as the top choice among most reliable

    hatchbacks. Fit not only packs a huge amount of usable space into a small package, but it also features standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) and curtain airbags. Note that prior to 2007, electronic stability control was only available on models with optional navigation system. CR editors comment that Fit “has been an economical, reliable and versatile hatchback ever since it went on sale in the U.S. in 2007.” Kiplinger selected the 2008 Honda Fit as one of the Best Used Cars of 2011, commenting that although Fit might look small from the outside, it has plenty of legroom and cargo space inside – 21 cubic feet. Fit was also tops in the subcompact segment for reliability by J.D. Power and Associates. Stellar fuel economy of 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway is another compelling reason to consider the Honda Fit.

  • 2003-2008 Pontiac Vibe – No, the Pontiac Vibe is no longer being built, but the 2003 to 2008 model year Vibes still are

    among the most reliable hatchbacks, according to several sources. One of them is Consumer Reports, which lists the hatchback in other good choices (along with the related Toyota Matrix). Edmunds also selected the Pontiac Vibe (and Toyota Matrix), singling out the 2003-2008 model years, saying that the Vibe has “more than a touch of style, impressive space-efficiency, compact dimensions and a smooth, reliable powertrain, courtesy of Toyota.” Edmunds editors find Vibe better looking, and say that prices should be lower for the Pontiac than the Toyota Matrix.

  • 2003-2008 Hyundai Elantra – The hatchback version is the GT, and Edmunds highlights the 2003-2008 Hyundai Elantra as one of its 2010 Used Car Best Bets. Edmunds says of the GT version that “it provided added cargo capacity in addition to standard leather seating, moonroof and sport-tuned suspension that improved the car’s handling.” Impressive crash test scores are another strong point in Elantra’s favor.
  • 2004-2008 Toyota Prius – If a hybrid hatchback is what you want, Edmunds recommends the 2004-2008 Toyota Prius.

    These years mark the second-generation Prius, and Edmunds comments that the “snub-nosed hatchback design devotes most of the car’s body to passenger and cargo space.” Large interior, easy-to-maneuver, and outstanding fuel economy are other features in favor of the Toyota Prius. Kiplinger also singles out the 2008 Toyota Prius as one of the Best Used Cars of 2011, saying “America’s best-selling hybrid will always be in demand when gas prices rise.” Finally, Consumer Reports recommends 2004-2009 Prii, saying “The Prius has had outstanding reliability and has delivered standout fuel economy.”