10 Most Popular Hatchbacks and Wagons

Christian Wardlaw | Sep 23, 2016

2015 Ford Focus ST photo

Contrary to what is an increasingly popular belief, not everyone wants a crossover SUV as a solution to a requirement for greater practicality in a vehicle. Enter the hatchback and station wagon, two often-shunned vehicle types that provide more cargo space without the fuel economy penalty typically associated with crossovers.

This guide details the most popular* hatchbacks and wagons in America, including pricing; quality, reliability, and appeal ratings; fuel economy; safety ratings; and cargo volume.

*Popularity based on calendar-year sales through July 2016

10) Chevrolet Sonic (33,136 sales)

2016 Chevrolet Sonic RS Hatchback photo

One of Chevrolet’s best-ever efforts at building a small car, the Sonic Hatchback is affordable, practical, efficient, and even stylish. Four trim levels are offered (LS, LT, LTZ, RS), and buyers choose between a 4-cylinder and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Only the Sonic LTZ comes standard with an automatic transmission. In other versions, it is an option.

Base Price—$15,820
Initial Quality—4/5
Predicted Reliability—4/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—25/40
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—19.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—47.7 cu. ft.

9) Subaru Impreza (34,965 sales)

2017 Subaru Impreza Hatchback photo

Equipped with standard all-wheel drive and the interior space of a small crossover SUV, the Subaru Impreza Hatchback provides a safe, roomy, and practical alternative to a traditional sedan. Sport Premium and Sport Limited trim levels are available, featuring a 4-cylinder engine and manual or continuously variable transmission. Want to sit up higher? The Subaru Crosstrek is basically the same thing, with extra ground clearance.

Base Price—$19,590
Initial Quality—3/5
Predicted Reliability—Not rated
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—24/37
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—22.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—52.4 cu. ft.

8) BMW 3 Series (39,775 sales)

2016 BMW 328i xDrive Sport Wagon photo

Station wagon lovers rejoice! A handful of them remain on sale, including the 3 Series Sports Wagon. Availability is restricted to turbocharged 4-cylinder gas and diesel engines with automatic transmission, and they both come with standard all-wheel drive. For maximum acceleration, get the 330i. For maximum efficiency, the 328d is your car.

Base Price—$43,945
Initial Quality—4/5
Predicted Reliability—2/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/40
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—27.5 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—61.5 cu. ft.

7) Hyundai Accent (46,376 sales)

2016 Hyundai Accent Hatchback photo

For an entry-level car, the Hyundai Accent Hatchback is stylish, practical, and unexpectedly powerful. It’s got a 137-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, paired with a choice between a manual and automatic transmission. Trim selections include SE and Sport.

Base Price—$15,830
Initial Quality—5/5
Predicted Reliability—3/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—26/38
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—4 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—21.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—47.5 cu. ft.

6) Toyota Prius (58,451 sales)

2016 Toyota Prius Four Touring photo

Given its official EPA classification as a midsize car, its hatchback body style, affordable starting price, top safety ratings, and an EPA fuel-economy rating of 52 mpg in combined driving, the Toyota Prius hybrid is an exceptionally smart choice in personal transportation. Whether you prefer the styling or not is entirely up to you.

Base Price—$25,065
Initial Quality—3/5
Predicted Reliability—4/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—54/50
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—24.6 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—Not provided

5) Mazda 3 (59,484 sales)

2016 Mazda 3 5-Door S Touring photo

A fun little car with a cramped back seat, the Mazda 3 Hatchback blends expressive styling and enjoyable driving dynamics with practical considerations such as utility, safety, and fuel efficiency. Two 4-cylinder engines of different potencies, as well as both manual and automatic transmissions, are available in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring flavors.

Base Price—$19,380
Initial Quality—3/5
Predicted Reliability—4/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—3/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—26/40
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—20.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—47.1 cu. ft.

4) Kia Forte5 (63,045 sales)

2016 Kia Forte5 photo

A member of the Forte family trio, the Forte5 Hatchback is available in both regular-strength and turbocharged formulas, with a manual or automatic transmission. Trim levels include LX, EX, and SX, each covered by one of the best warranties provided by any car company.

Base Price—$18,940
Initial Quality—5/5
Predicted Reliability—4/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—4/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—21/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—Testing incomplete
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—23.2 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—56.4 cu. ft.

3) Kia Soul (83,685 sales)

2016 Kia Soul photo

The safe, comfortable, and affordable Kia Soul features expressive styling and is just an optional all-wheel-drive system away from qualifying as a compact crossover SUV. Buyers choose between two 4-cylinder engines and a pure-electric drivetrain, and the Soul performs highly in quality, reliability, and overall appeal in J.D. Power auto studies.

Base Price—$16,750
Initial Quality—5/5
Predicted Reliability—5/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—5/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—24/31
Electric Driving Range—105 miles
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars*
IIHS Crash Test Rating—“Top Safety Pick”*
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—18.8 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—49.5 cu. ft.

*Rating does not apply to the Soul EV

2) Hyundai Elantra GT (116,935 sales)

2016 Hyundai Elantra GT photo

The Elantra sedan might be more popular than the Elantra GT hatchback, but the GT supplies greater practicality. The two cars are different in more ways than style and configuration, as the Elantra GT is an older vehicle based on a European-market model while the Elantra sedan is completely redesigned for 2016.

Base Price—$19,635
Initial Quality—5/5
Predicted Reliability—3/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—24/33
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—23.0 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—51.0 cu. ft.

1) Ford Focus (117,117 sales)

2016 Ford Focus RS photo

The diversity of Ford’s Focus hatchback lineup is unmatched, ranging from the popular SE to the rally-car-for-the-road RS, and with a pure-electric variant called the Focus Electric tossed into the mix for good measure. The Focus Titanium gets a dose of luxury, while the Focus ST is a sporty and powerful alternative to a Volkswagen GTI.

Base Price—$19,890
Initial Quality—3/5
Predicted Reliability—2/5
Overall Vehicle Appeal—2/5
Fuel Economy (city/highway mpg)—22/42
Electric Driving Range—76 miles
NHTSA Crash Test Rating—5 Stars*
IIHS Crash Test Rating—Not rated
Cargo Volume Behind Second-Row Seat—23.3 cu. ft.
Cargo Volume All Seats Folded—43.9 cu. ft.

*Rating does not apply to the Focus Electric
 

 









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