Hatchback vs sedan - What are the differences?

Team AckodriveDec 20, 2022

Hatchbacks and sedans are popular categories of cars among Indian buyers. However, both have their pros and cons. Thus, you should understand the differences between the two body types to make the right buying decision. In this article, we will compare hatchback vs sedan in detail to ease the selection process for you.

Hatchback vs sedan

Difference between hatchback and sedan

A hatchback is a four-door car assembled in a two-box design, while a sedan is a four-door car assembled in a three-box design, having a boot built separately. If you look at the parameters like size, comfort, fuel economy, etc., there are subtle differences between a hatchback and a sedan. Here is a table showcasing how different factors vary between the two body types.

Parameters Hatchback Sedan
Design type Two-box design Three-box design
Size Smaller than sedans Larger than hatchbacks
Rear visibility Higher rear visibility Lower rear visibility
Cabin space Lower cabin space Higher cabin space
Boot space Generally a smaller boot space Generally a bigger boot space
Wheelbase Shorter wheelbase Longer wheelbase
City use Easier to drive due to compact size More difficult than hatchbacks due to bigger size
Highway use Less stable at high speeds More stable at high speeds
Fuel economy More fuel-efficient due to lighter weight than sedans. Lesser fuel-efficient due to heavier weight than hatchbacks.
Price Less expensive More expensive
Resale value Better resale value Lower resale value than two-box cars
Comfort Less comfortable due to shorter wheelbase More comfortable due to longer wheelbase
Rear crash safety Lower Higher

Also, read: Car segments in India explained: Know different car types

Pros and cons of hatchbacks

Here are the major pros and cons of hatchbacks.

Pros of hatchbacks Cons of hatchbacks
Easy to drive in cities Less stable at high speeds
Higher rear visibility Lower rear crash safety
Great for fuel-efficiency Doesn’t strong road presence
Costs lesser to buy than other body types Cabin isn’t usually spacious than other body types

Also, read: Best hatchback cars in India

Pros and cons of sedans

Here are the major pros and cons of sedans.

Pros of sedans Cons of sedans
Easy to drive on highways Difficult to park due to bigger size
Higher rear crash safety Lower rear visibility
Powerful engine for smooth drive experience Lower fuel efficiency than hatchbacks
Quiet and spacious cabin More expensive than hatchbacks

Also, read: Best sedan cars in India

As of June 2022, these are some of the popular hatchbacks and sedans in India.

Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and other manufacturers offer popular hatchbacks in India.

1. Maruti Wagon R

Price: Rs. 5.47 lakhs to Rs. 7.20 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Maruti Wagon R.

Parameters Details
Engine 1-litre/1.2-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 88.50 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 113 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 23.56 kmpl to 34.05 kmpl
Body type Hatchback
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Maruti Wagon R

  • A cost-effective hatchback for city use.

  • The car offers a spacious 5-seater cabin with practical features.

  • You get multiple powertrain and gearbox options.

  • It features essential safety features like high-speed alert, rear parking sensors, seatbelt reminder, etc.

2. Maruti Swift

Price: Rs. 5.92 lakhs to Rs. 8.85 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Maruti Swift.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.2-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 88.50 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 113 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 23.2 kmpl to 23.76 kmpl
Body type Hatchback
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Maruti Swift

  • The Maruti Swift is a stylish-looking hatchback.

  • The smooth steering makes it a fun-to-drive vehicle.

  • The latest model comes with cruise control.

  • It features a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which can be paired with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT) gearbox.

3. Tata Altroz

Price: Rs. 6.20 lakhs to Rs. 10.15 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Tata Altroz.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.2-litre/1.5-litre
Fuel type Petrol/Diesel
Power 88.77 bhp @ 4000 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine), 84.88 bhp @ 6000 rpm (for 1.2-litre petrol engine)
Torque 200 Nm @ 1250-3000 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine), 113 Nm @ 3300 rpm (for 1.2-litre petrol engine)
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 18.37 kmpl to 23.03 kmpl
Body type Hatchback
Seating capacity 5-seater

Highlights of the Tata Altroz

  • Tata Altroz is one of the safest 5-seater hatchbacks in India.

  • It has obtained a 5-star safety rating from Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Program).

  • The cabin offers a premium appeal with leather upholstery.

  • The driving experience is top-notch due to smooth automatic transmission.

4. Maruti Baleno

Price: Rs. 6.49 lakhs to Rs. 9.71 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Maruti Baleno.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.2-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 88.50 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 113 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 22.35 kmpl to 22.94 kmpl
Body type Hatchback
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Maruti Baleno

  • The Baleno is a practically built 5-seater hatchback from Maruti Suzuki.

  • The spacious interior and rich features make the driving feel premium.

  • The refined 1.2-litre petrol engine delivers an enjoyable driving experience.

  • It is an easy-to-drive hatchback even on bad roads. 

5. Hyundai i20

Price: Rs. 7.03 lakhs to Rs. 11.54 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Hyundai i20.

Parameters Details
Engine 1-litre/1.2-litre/1.5-litre
Fuel type Petrol/Diesel
Power 118.36 bhp @ 6000 rpm (for 1-litre petrol engine), 81.86 bhp @ 6000 rpm (for 1.2-litre petrol engine), 98.63 bhp @ 4000 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine)
Torque 171.62 Nm @ 1500-4000 rpm (for 1-litre petrol engine), 114.74 Nm @ 4200 rpm (for 1.2-litre petrol engine), 240.26 Nm @ 1500-2750 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine)
Transmission 6-speed manual/6-speed automatic/7-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 19.65 kmpl to 25.2 kmpl
Body type Hatchback
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Hyundai i20

  • The Hyundai i20 is known for its upmarket features.

  • It is a 5-seater hatchback that offers an edgy look.

  • There are multiple engine choices available with manual and automatic transmissions.

  • The space for the rear seat is better than many other cars in the segment.

Here’s a list of some of the popular sedans in India. 

1. Tata Tigor

Price: Rs. 5.98 lakhs to Rs. 8.57 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Tata Tigor.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.2-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 84.82 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 113 Nm @ 3300 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 20.3 kmpl
Body type Sedan
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Tata Tigor

  • The Tigor is one of the best-looking sub-4-metre sedans in the market.

  • This 5-seater car holds a 4-star Global NCAP rating for safety.

  • Features like automatic climate control, all-digital instrument cluster, etc., make this a good value-for-money car.

  • Apart from petrol, this car offers all-electric and CNG variants as well.

2. Maruti Dzire

Price: Rs. 6.24 lakhs to Rs. 9.18 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Maruti Dzire.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.2-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 88.50 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 113 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 24.12 kmpl
Body type Sedan
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Maruti Dzire

  • The Dzire from Maruti Suzuki is popular for its refined engine performance.

  • This sedan offers a claimed fuel efficiency of 24.12 kmpl.

  • You get 378 litres of boot space to carry enough luggage on long trips.

  • The interior highlights include beige upholstery and a 7-inch touchscreen for infotainment.

3. Honda City

Price: Rs. 9.30 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Honda City.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.5-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 117.60 bhp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 145 Nm @ 4600 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/5-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 17.4 kmpl
Body type Sedan
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Honda City 

  • The City from Honda is a sedan trusted for its build quality and interior space.

  • With 510 litres, the City offers one of the most spacious boot spaces in the segment.

  • There is also a single-touch electric sunroof to enjoy the panoramic views while driving.

  • The top variant comes with 6 airbags along with the standard safety features. 

4. Hyundai Verna

Price: Rs. 9.41 lakhs to Rs. 15.45 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Hyundai Verna.

Parameters Details
Engine 1-litre/1.5-litre
Fuel type Petrol Diesel
Power 113.45 bhp @ 4000 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine), 113.18 bhp @ 6300 rpm (for 1.5 litre petrol engine), 118.41 bhp @ 6000 rpm (for 1-litre petrol engine)
Torque 250 Nm @ 1500-2750 rpm (for 1.5-litre diesel engine), 143.8 Nm @ 4500 rpm (for 1.5-litre petrol engine), 172 Nm @ 1500-4000 (for 1-litre petrol engine)
Transmission 6-speed manual/6-speed automatic/7-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 17.7 kmpl to 25 kmpl
Body type Sedan
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Hyundai Verna

  • The Verna is a sporty-looking sedan from Hyundai.

  • It gets a refined petrol engine of 1.5-litre, which can be mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox.

  • Driving the Verna feels effortless even in rough road conditions.

  • The ventilated front seats add further comfort to the driving experience. 

5. Maruti Ciaz

Price: Rs. 8.99 lakhs to Rs. 11.98 lakhs

Key specifications

Here are the key specifications of the Maruti Ciaz.

Parameters Details
Engine 1.5-litre
Fuel type Petrol
Power 103.25 bhp @ 6000 rpm
Torque 138 Nm @ 4400 rpm
Transmission 5-speed manual/4-speed automatic
Fuel efficiency 20.04 kmpl to 20.65 kmpl
Body type Sedan
Seating capacity 5

Highlights of the Maruti Ciaz

  • The Ciaz is a spacious and comfortable 5-seater sedan.

  • The petrol engine uses a mild-hybrid technology to ensure decent fuel efficiency.

  • Even the lower variants come well-equipped with features for a premium feel.

  • The pricing is highly competitive among other cars in the segment.

Hatchback vs sedan: how to make your decision?

While comparing cars, you will find the pros and cons of each model. Ultimately, it comes down to which car serves your needs the best. You should evaluate your options based on power, cabin space, price, driving comfort, etc. It will help you get to a perfect car purchase decision. 

A hatchback would make sense for everyday use when most of your driving is within the city. However, choosing a sedan would be better if you need a car for your family with good legroom and a powerful engine for long journeys. 

Also, read: Car buying guide: Tips for buying a car the smart way

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about hatchbacks and sedans.

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Which car is more stable at high speeds, hatchback or sedan?

A sedan is usually considered more stable at high speeds than hatchbacks due to its larger wheelbase design.

Why are sedans considered safer than hatchbacks?

Sedans are considered safer than hatchbacks due to the additional metal shield they offer at the back. The boot area of a sedan can absorb the impact of a crash (from the rear) before it reaches the driver and passengers. However, the safety rating of some hatchbacks may be higher than sedans due to other parameters.

Should I purchase a hatchback or sedan with a budget of 10 lakhs?

You can choose between a top variant of a hatchback or a base variant of a sedan with this budget. The best approach would be to compare both options using the tips given in this article and choose as per your requirements.

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