Coupes and hatchbacks are some of the hottest compact cars on the market today. With added features for comfort and a price tag for almost any wallet, they make sense for someone looking for an economical car.
Here’s a look at some of the features of coupes and hatchbacks and how they stand up against the bigger model sedan:
What Is a Coupe?
A coupe is a closed-body vehicle with either two or four seats. The coupe does not exceed 33 cubic feet of rear interior volume, and the body of a coupe has two doors and a sloping roofline.
People often call coupes sporty cars, although manufacturers are changing the definition of sporty cars recently with larger models. Coupes are typically for people who don’t have large families and who like to think economically.
Comparing a Coupe vs. Sedan
Most people consider the difference between a coupe and a sedan to be the number of doors on the vehicle. This is no longer accurate. It comes down to the size of the actual vehicle.
A sedan always has four or five seats, with two in the front and usually a bench with three seats in the back. It also has a longer wheelbase and more cargo space than a coupe.
Both types have a fixed roof, making it easy for manufacturers to blur the traditional definitions. Here’s a look at some of the key differences between the two:
Among the advantages of coupes are shorter wheelbases that offer better overall performance. Coupes can turn quickly and in smaller spaces, making them better cars for city traffic. A coupe can also stop and accelerate faster than a sedan because it weighs less.
Sedans have heavier engines, which negatively affect overall performance, but gives them more power. They often come with four- or six-cylinder engines for better gas mileage and power upgrades.
The two-door exterior of the coupe is much sportier than the four-door exterior of the sedan. To accommodate one entrance to each side of the car, manufacturers often elongate the windows and the doors. While this is great visually, it can sometimes make parking lots tricky. The longer doors need more room to open, which can be difficult in small spaces.
The amount of space available in the back seat of a coupe varies among models. If you are planning to take more than two passengers in a coupe, it is important to consider the amount of headroom and legroom in the back seat.
Some cars offer high-end seating in the back with molded seating and cup holders. Sedans often drop the sporty vibe for a more comfortable backseat experience, giving passengers in the back more headroom and legroom.
Sedans offer more trunk space than coupes, period. They have larger interior spaces and longer bodies, naturally giving more cargo area.
Some coupes have fold-down back seats, creating larger cargo areas. Check the features of your coupe to see if you have the option to expand your trunk space when needed.
What Is a Hatchback?
Hatchbacks can come with two-door or four-door options, but the back hatch also counts as a door, bringing the official count to a three-door or a five-door model. The hatch provides access to the cargo space, with no separation from the body of the car. Instead, it remains accessible from the interior cabin of the vehicle.
Hatchbacks vs. Sedans
Driving a hatchback is a fun combination of the ability to carry cargo and transport passengers comfortably, all in one car option. When choosing a car model, it is important to carefully consider how you will use the vehicle, including who and what you plan to transport.
Let’s look at the key differences between the two vehicles:
One advantage of hatchbacks is that they typically offer more trunk space options than sedans. While it may seem that sedans have a larger trunk space because they have a separate area from the cabin, most hatchbacks come standard with back seats that fold down flat. This gives almost as much room as a small SUV to transport large items, but it can mean choosing between large cargo and extra passengers.
When the seats are up, the hatchback offers more room for travelers, because the trunk is a part of the cabin. The body of the hatchback does not need to slope to accommodate the trunk, leading to increased headspace.
Sedans offer increased visibility out of their rear windows. Manufacturers often compromise the hatchback’s rear window to fit the mechanics of a door, providing less visibility for the driver.
The higher window also can cause blind spots. Today’s technology, including backup cameras and warning systems, easily fixes this problem.
Are Hatchbacks More Aerodynamic?
It depends on which models you’re talking about. Sedans are usually more aerodynamic, but it depends on their roof angles and how the rear designs enhance air flow.
Looking into a hatchback? Here are five that we believe are worth your consideration:
This car is perfect for city driving or road trips. As a smaller-sized hatchback, it offers the ability to zip through tight spots while boasting the speed needed to make it up a mountain. The Fiat 500 has Italian elegance in mind and offers room for four passengers.
The Chevrolet Sonic offers a turbocharged engine for those looking for more power in a smaller vehicle. It comes in either a five- or six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission. Newer options include a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, keyless entry and safety upgrades.
This Ford made its debut in 1978, but U.S. drivers were not ready. After gaining popularity overseas, it came back again in 2011. It combines style with practicality, giving drivers the best of both worlds. Ford offers a three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, increasing gas mileage while not compromising on power.
The Rio offers drivers a cost-effective mode of transportation. With one of the least expensive prices on the market, this is one of the most popular models the company makes. It debuted in 2000 and continues to be a favorite among those looking for an economical hatchback option.
This car is available as a sedan, as well as a hatchback model. The company discontinued the car for a time, but it is available again with engine options for a choice between speed and efficiency. This practical model can seat up to five passengers with 23.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
Discover the Advantages of Coupes and Hatchback Vehicles in Mesa, AZ
If you are in the market for a preowned vehicle, check out USA Auto AZ’s current inventory to see what we have available for coupes, hatchbacks and sedans.