So, you’re in the market for a new car but can't decide if you want a hatchback or a sedan? Here is where we can help you. Each body type has its own pros and cons, ranging from safety and security, all the way to cargo space and flexibility. Here’s a couple of quick points to look out for when deciding between a sedan or hatch.
For this article, we’ll be using the Mazda2 Sedan and Mazda2 Hatchback as a point of reference.
Sedans usually come in the form of a three-box design. This means that the engine bay, passenger cabin, and the trunk all act as their own separate spaces. With that being said, having a sedan configuration lets you separate the cargo to the back of the vehicle without it interfering with the cabin of the vehicle. Having the cargo area separate allows more room in the cabin for passengers. Having a sedan is ideal for those who prioritize moving people and don't need big cargo spaces.
Having a trunk makes storing your cargo safer. Your cargo will be hidden from view and will be under the protection of metal and a lock.
Safety is another strong point of the sedan as it has more room for crumple zones. There is a lot more metal and space behind the vehicle when compared to a hatchback. This gives more time for vehicle to disperse the energy of a crash.
Cargo space becomes limited when taller objects are needed to be loaded in. The trunk mechanism, specifically the hinges, also limits the dimensions of the objects you can load in. While some sedans do have folding rear seats, these are often only for longer objects but not for tall and/or bulky ones.
Hatchbacks in the Philippines come in the form of a 5-door setup; however, in some cases, there are exceptions to this like the Hyundai Veloster which features 4 doors but is still a hatchback. A hatchback utilizes a two-box design. This means that the engine bay and cabin are separate from each other. It allows for cargo to be loaded within the cabin itself and be accessible from inside the vehicle, as well.
Rear visibility is typically better than that of the sedan counterpart. The hatch allows for better visibility, thanks to a better window to metal ratio. Hatchbacks also get the advantage of being shorter, thanks to this they are also easier to maneuver. Sedans have longer rear overhangs which add length to the vehicle.
Hatchbacks also have the added bonus of flexibility as the seats can be folded in order to create more room inside the vehicle for storage. The rear hatch also makes for an easier entrance into the cargo area.
While the sedan gets the benefit of a larger rear crumple zone, the hatch does not. It means that there is less metal to absorb in an event of a rear-end collision for the rear passengers. Initial cargo space without the rear seats folded is also much smaller. It means that when all the seats are being used cargo space is limited.
Security is also something to keep in mind. If the hatchback does not have a cargo cover, people can easily see what is inside your vehicle and may even want to break into your car. Most hatchbacks, however, come standard with a tonneau or cargo covers.
Things to consider
When choosing between the sedan and hatchback body types, you have to keep in mind what you will use the vehicle for. If you are going to be loading relatively tall objects into your vehicle a then a hatchback may be for you. It's ideal for those who want to carry cargo and don't need to utilize all the seats that a vehicle has.
For those who need to carry people and luggage, you can opt for the sedan instead. The sedan body type allows for the use of all seats while at the same time giving you cargo space that doesn't impede into the cabin.
Decide on what kind of flexibility you will need. In terms of flexibility, the hatchback has it over the sedan. The second row can be folded allowing for more space. While a sedan can have its rear seats folded the hole from the second row to the trunk isn't as wide. It can be a limiting factor for larger objects.
One last thing to consider is safety. While certain vehicles share certain active and passive safety features, the hatchback form of the vehicle you want may have design limitations. The sedan has a bigger crumple zone in the back thanks to its trunk, while the hatchback has less metal between the rear bumper and the passengers in the second row.
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