What is a Hatchback?

October 26, 2023

Photo of a hatchback car

When it comes to car models, few are as versatile and beloved in the United Kingdom as the hatchback. Hatchbacks have been a mainstay on British roads for decades, offering a unique combination of style, practicality, and efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explore what a hatchback car is, examine its pros and cons, and compare it to the saloon and estate car models. We’ll also touch upon some of the most popular hatchback models in the UK, including the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, Mercedes A-Class, and BMW 1 Series.

What is a Hatchback?

A hatchback is a car body style characterised by a rear door that opens upwards, providing access to the boot space. This design feature makes hatchbacks incredibly versatile, as they combine the benefits of a compact car with a spacious interior and a rear hatch that can be used for cargo storage.

Hatchbacks come in various sizes, from superminis to compact and midsize models, allowing consumers to choose a vehicle that suits their needs and preferences.

Pros of a Hatchback:


Hatchbacks offer a large rear cargo space, making them ideal for shopping trips, weekend getaways, or even moving small furniture.

Fuel Efficiency

Due to their compact size and often lightweight construction, hatchbacks tend to be more fuel-efficient than larger car types.

Easy Parking

Their compact size makes parking in crowded city streets or tight parking lots a breeze.

Agile Handling

The smaller size and lighter weight of hatchbacks often result in nimble handling and a fun driving experience.

Cons of a Hatchback:

Limited Rear Legroom

In some hatchbacks, rear legroom may be limited, which can make them less comfortable for taller passengers.

Reduced Rear Visibility

The sloping rear design can reduce rear visibility, which may require additional caution when reversing.

Boot Space Trade-Off

While they offer decent cargo space, hatchbacks might not be as capacious as estate cars for larger loads.

Hatchback vs. Saloon vs. Estate

To better understand the benefits of a hatchback, it’s essential to compare them to saloon and estate cars.

Popular Hatchback Models in the UK

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

The Golf is a British favorite, known for its reliability and wide range of engine options.

Ford Focus

Ford Focus Hatchback

The Focus offers a great balance of affordability and performance, with a variety of trim levels.

Mercedes A-Class

Mercedes-Benz A-Class Hatchback

This premium hatchback brings a touch of luxury to the segment with a stylish design and high-quality interior. They are super popular on our car subscription scheme.

BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 Series Hatchback

Combining BMW’s driving dynamics with a hatchback body, the 1 Series is an appealing choice for those who enjoy spirited driving. Another popular choice for business users using our corporate car rental services.

The Rise of “Gran Coupes” and “Sportbacks”

In recent years, some manufacturers have blurred the lines between traditional hatchbacks, saloons, and even coupes.

Models like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback have introduced the concept of “gran coupes” and “sportbacks.” These cars often feature sloping rooflines and a rear hatch, much like a hatchback.

While they offer a unique blend of style and practicality, they can sometimes create confusion for consumers trying to classify them under traditional car body styles.

The Future of Hatchbacks

Hatchbacks remain a popular choice for those looking at car subscriptions and short-term car leases in the UK. They provide an excellent balance of affordability and practicality, making them a versatile option for various needs. Additionally, hatchbacks are particularly well-suited for urban driving, thanks to their compact size and excellent fuel efficiency.

As we look to the future, there’s also excitement surrounding the potential release of a Tesla hatchback, codenamed the Model 2. Tesla’s innovative approach to electric vehicles could bring a new dimension to the world of hatchbacks, offering eco-conscious consumers an exciting alternative.

In conclusion, the humble hatchback continues to be a popular and practical choice for many UK drivers. With a wide range of models available, from budget-friendly options to premium offerings, hatchbacks are likely to remain a staple on British roads for years to come. Whether you’re looking for a compact city car or a versatile family vehicle, the hatchback’s enduring appeal makes it a top choice.

Latest Hatchback Subscription Offers


Octavia Hatchback

1.5 TSI SE L

Skoda Octavia Hatchback available with 1000 miles per month on a Skoda Car Subscription

Specification Includes: USB-C Port, Bluetooth, Boot Lid Release, Satellite Navigation, eCall, Driver Fatigue Sensor, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Front Assist System, Turn Assist, Digital Cockpit, Voice Control, Wireless Smartlink, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB Digital Radio, Privacy Glass, Heated Front Seats, Hill Hold Assist, ISOFIX, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Keyless Entry, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, LED Headlights, Alloy Wheels

Availability: In Stock

From: £649.00 + VAT p/m

From: £778.80 inc. VAT p/m


Golf Hatchback

1.4 TSI eHybrid Style

VW Golf Hatchback available with 833 miles per month on a VW Flexible Car Rental

Specification Includes: Plugin Hybrid Technology, Adaptive Cruise Control, Car2X Communication, Digital Cockpit, Driver Alert System, Dynamic Road Sign Display, eCall, Lane Assist, Lane Change Assist, Multifunction Camera, Travel Assist, USB-C Port, Wireless App Connect, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, XDS Electronic Differential Lock, Automatic Headlights, Illuminated Front Grille, Climate Control, Front Sports Seats, ISOFIX, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Satellite Navigation, DAB Digital Radio, Bluetooth, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, Keyless Go, Alloy Wheels, High Beam Assist, Privacy Glass

Availability: In Stock

From: £699.00 + VAT p/m

From: £838.80 inc. VAT p/m


EQA Hatchback

EQA 250+ 140kW AMG Line Premium 66.5kWh

Mercedes-Benz EQA Hatchback available with 800 miles per month on a Mercedes-Benz Car Subscription

Specification Includes: Satellite Navigation, Dynamic Select, Easy-Pack Tailgate, Smartphone Integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wireless Smartphone Charger, Comfort Suspension, 11kW Onboard Charger, 100kW DC Onboard Charger, Advanced Sound System, DAB Digital Radio, Bluetooth, MBUX, AMG Bodystyling, Roof Spoiler, Privacy Glass, AMG Sports Seats, Panoramic Sunroof, Heated Front Seats, Climate Control, Alloy Wheels, ISOFIX, Keyless Go, Ambient Lighting

Availability: Please Call

From: £995.00 + VAT p/m

From: £1,194.00 inc. VAT p/m

More Information

If you would like any further information on our vehicles, please speak to the team on 01332 290173 or use the ENQUIRY FORM at the bottom of this guide.

We also offer business services and a find a car lease service, if you needed something longer-term.

There are so many circumstances where you may need that flexible vehicle, just call the team on 0330 330 9425 to see how we can help you!

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