Access and performance and economy (oh my!).

Best Hatchback Cars | CarMax

What is a hatchback? It’s more than just a compact car, or a sub-compact car.

Hatchbacks are two- or four-door sedans with a hatch that hinges at the roofline and lifts up, in order to give you lots of access to the rear for gear and groceries.

Our customers choose hatchbacks because they’re small and have lots of storage. They’re typically powered by four-cylinder engines so they’re usually easy on fuel consumption, too. Some used hatchbacks come with turbocharged engines, which give them stronger, more spirited performance!

Below are 10 best hatchback options, based on sales at CarMax stores between November 1, 2017 and April 30, 2018.  Please note that some of these vehicles are also available as non-hatchbacks, depending on the trim and model year, so it's always best to double check.

  1. Toyota Prius
    Best Hatchback Cars: Toyota Prius | CarMax
  2. Nissan Versa Note
    Best Hatchback Cars: Nissan Versa Note | CarMax
  3. Hyundai Veloster
    Best Hatchback Cars: Hyundai Veloster | CarMax
  4. Mini Cooper
    Best Hatchback Cars: Mini Cooper | CarMax
  5. Ford Focus
    Best Hatchback Cars: Ford Focus | CarMax
  6. Fiat 500
    Best Hatchback Cars: Fiat 500 | CarMax
  7. Honda Fit
    Best Hatchback Cars: Honda Fit | CarMax
  8. Toyota Prius C
    Best Hatchback Cars: Toyota Prius C | CarMax
  9. Chevrolet Volt
    Best Hatchback Cars: Chevrolet Volt | CarMax
  10. Mazda Mazda 3
    Best Hatchback Cars: Mazda Mazda3 | CarMax

These cars aren’t too big, but they also aren’t so tiny that you feel cramped inside.

Some of the specific trims you’ll find on the cars on this list, like the turbocharged 2013 Mini Cooper Countryman S, pack in the horsepower for an exhilarating ride. But there are also some options for those looking to minimize time at the pump, like the 2015 Toyota Prius and the 2016 Chevrolet Volt.

We really like the swoopy, low-slung looks of some of the hatchbacks on this list, like the 2015 Hyundai Veloster Turbo. City-driving commuters might just love the small-sized-but-roomy-inside 2016 Honda Fit — it lets you hold a surprising amount of cargo and still delivers an impressive estimated 33 city/40 hwy mpg (with continuously-variable transmission).1

What is a hot hatch?

A “hot hatch” is a hatchback that’s designed for higher performance — stronger acceleration and improved road-handling characteristics. While not on our list, enthusiasts love hot hatches like the Volkswagen GTI or the Subaru WRX because they offer a great mix of comfort and high performance.

For you, the best hatchback is the lift-back car that gives you the best mix of performance and fuel economy for your needs.

Want more hatchbacks? Check out these hatches:

Ready to shop? Check out this related article:

1 Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information relating to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.

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