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blog large image - Hatch vs sedan: How do you make the tough choice?

Hatch vs sedan: How do you make the tough choice?

Table of Contents

  1. Hatch vs sedan – what's the main difference?
  2. What is a hatchback?
  3. Pros and cons of hatchback
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  4. What is a sedan?
  5. Pros and cons of sedans
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  6. How to choose between a hatchback and a sedan
  7. Compare the Mazda hatch vs sedan options

When it comes to choosing a new car, how do you decide which body shape works best for you? Both hatchbacks and sedans are popular passenger cars, but there are a lot of factors that set them apart – including cargo space, manoeuvrability and engine power. In this hatch vs sedan guide, we walk you through the pros and cons of each and the most important things to keep in mind when weighing up your options.

Hatch vs sedan – what's the main difference?

The main difference between hatchbacks and sedans is the size and style of the boot space. In sedans, the boot space is a separate compartment to the passenger area but in hatchbacks there is generally no divide between the boot space and the rear seats. For this reason, hatchbacks tend to have more storage space compared to a sedan of the same size.

The differences between the hatch vs sedan don't stop there. Below we dive into more detail.

Hatch vs sedan - quick size comparison

Length (mm)Height (mm)
Width (mm)Boot capacity (litres)Weight (kg)
Mazda hatchback (Mazda 2)
Mazda sedan (Mazda 6)

What is a hatchback?

The general definition of hatchback is a two- or four-door passenger car with a tailgate called a hatch that flips upwards. Built with a two box car design, the hatchback has a front box for the engine and back box for passengers and storage space.

Years ago, hatchbacks were known as small, boxy cars that were a cheap alternative to other styles of passenger cars. But hatchback cars have come a long way since then. Manufacturers have focused on maximising space and improving performance and appearance of their hatchbacks. Nowadays you'll find sleek, stylish and even luxurious hatchbacks on the road. As the designs have evolved, it's now sometimes hard to differentiate modern hatchbacks from other car types such as sedans and coupes.


Pros and cons of hatchback - quick summary

Pros of a hatchback
Cons of a hatchback
  • More boot space

  • Rear seats can fold down

  • Roof heigh ideal for loading/unloading

  • Easier to manouevre

  • Larger rear window

  • More fuel efficient 

  • No separation between cargo area and main cabin

  • Slightly more road noise

  • Not as powerful as sedans


  • Hatchbacks typically have more boot space than sedans and can carry wide and unusually shaped cargo with more ease.

  • You can fold the rear seats down in most hatchbacks for even more space, which is useful if you're carrying a surfboard or carting your new bed home from the shops.

  • Since the boot space extends from the floor of the boot to the roof of the car, it makes for easy and convenient loading and unloading.

  • When you've got a lot to carry, you can pile your cargo high in a hatchback. It makes things easier when you're heading off on a camping trip with your family or helping a friend move house.

  • Hatchbacks are generally shorter than sedans which makes it easier when manoeuvring tight corners or performing a parallel park.

  • Most hatchbacks have a bigger rear window compared to their sedan counterparts which helps improve visibility when you're on the road.


  • Without a cargo cover over your boot space, the contents of your boot will be visible to people passing by. Most hatchbacks come with a removable cargo cover to increase that sense of security.

  • Since the boot isn't sealed off from your passenger areas, it may lead to slightly more noise in the car compared to a sedan.

  • Traditionally, small hatchbacks aren't as powerful as sedans, however it's worth looking at the specs for the particular models you're interested in. Some hatchbacks have more oomph than you might think.

What is a sedan?

A sedan is a passenger car with four doors and a separate boot space. It's built on a three-box body with a front box for the engine, a middle box for the passenger compartment and a rear box for storage.

The definition of a sedan hasn't changed in many years. Even though the styling and capabilities of sedans have improved over the years, the essential three-box design remains highly popular today and it's still one of the most competitive types of car on the market.


Pros and cons of sedans - quick summary

Pros of a sedan
Cons of a sedan
  • Separate cargo area for security

  • Good engine performance

  • Smooth, comfortable ride for passengers

  • More legroom

  • Quieter inside the cabin

  • Less cargo space

  • Trickier to manouevre

  • Less fuel efficient than hatchbacks


  • You might feel a greater sense of security when carrying valuable items in a sedan since the boot space is completely separated from the seating area and out of sight.

  • Sedans are characterised by good engine performance and power which often means a smooth, comfortable drive for passengers.

  • Since they are longer than a hatch, sedans usually have more legroom for passengers in the rear seats.

  • Sedans tend to be quieter inside when driving because the separate boot space means more layers between the passenger seats and rear wheels.


  • Sedans have less space for cargo compared to hatchbacks, and are less capable of carrying wide or oddly shaped items (although many sedans allow you to fold the rear seats down for additional space).

  • The larger body design of sedans means they can be trickier to manoeuvre into a tight parking space.

  • In general, four-door sedans cost more and are less fuel efficient than hatchbacks – however there are exceptions, so it's worth researching the particular models you're interested in.

How to choose between a hatchback and a sedan

When choosing your car, it's important to think about your lifestyle and what you need the car to do for you. Consider the following:

Where do you do most of your driving?

Are you more likely to be found whizzing round the city or do you need a car that can cope with long drives and country roads? Hatchbacks are great at navigating narrow lanes and tight turns in the city and are generally easier to park than sedans. On the other hand, sedans offer excellent stability and security – and usually have a bit more oomph than hatchbacks.

How much space do you need?

If you're looking for a family car that's got plenty of room in the passenger cabin, a sedan is likely to be the roomier option. However, if you're after a small passenger car with a flexible cargo area, a hatchback car is probably going to be more convenient. Keep in mind, sedans tend to have more legroom, while hatchbacks often have more headroom.

What's your style preference?

Sedans are known for their sleek, stylish look with characteristic sweeping curves. Their body shape is more classic and still highly popular today. Modern hatchbacks come in a huge range of styles and designs, but they tend to look fresh and youthful. As for the interior space, both hatch and sedan models vary from manufacturer to manufacturer so it's best to take a look at the vehicles in person and consider the different trims on offer.


Compare the Mazda hatch vs sedan options

The best way to see if a hatch or sedan is right for your needs is to test drive both and compare. Mazda offers some of the leading cars in both categories, including:

  • The Mazda 2 – a popular compact car available in both hatch and sedan models. Offering excellent fuel economy and generous cargo space for its size.

  • The Mazda 6 – one of the best selling four-door sedans with enviable engine power and thrilling performance thanks to the latest SkyActive Technology.

Book a no-obligation test drive at Melville Mazda today to experience the difference for yourself. Our team can assist with any questions you might have about choosing the perfect car body style for you.