Both hatchbacks and SUVs offer drivers a variety of different benefits. Whichever one of these two vehicles offer the best benefits varies from person to person, and what their individual vehicle needs are.
Some people might need a powerful payload capacity to haul passengers and cargo, whereas others may need better fuel economy. These are important factors, among others, to take into consideration before deciding between a hatchback or an SUV for your motor vehicle needs.
Generally, hatchbacks are noticeably cheaper than an SUV when bought outright. Plus, the rate of depreciation of a hatchback is slightly lower than it would be for an SUV. Hatchbacks usually manage to retain more than 58% of their initial cost after three years. This is usually pretty enticing to many car owners, as the manufacturing standard for most vehicles is only 35%.
When it comes to which vehicle has the better gas mileage, the hatchback has the SUV beat. On average, hatchbacks will consume noticeably less fuel, and save drivers more money than if they had decided to go with an SUV instead. On average, most SUVs will get around 20 miles per gallon, though they can range from 11-25 miles per gallon depending on the make and model . A hatchback on the other hand, will get an average of 23 miles per gallon, though ranging between 16-39 miles per gallon depending on the individual make and model.
On average, SUVs are noticeably bigger than hatchbacks. As a result of their height and higher seating, they offer drivers a more overhead, wide open view of the road. Plus, they tend to be able to seat more passengers. Cargo space, depending on the individual make and model, can still be fairly comparative however. That said, the hatchback has a lower center of gravity, smaller size, and easier maneuverability. These benefits make the hatchback more appealing to different people.
People often assume that an SUV has more space than a hatchback, but that is not necessarily always the case. It really does come down to the individual vehicle, as there is no average size. To give an example, a 2015 Honda Fit has 16.6 cubic feet for cargo room, while the 2014 Hyundai Accent provides 21.2 cubic feet. That is more spacious than a 2015 Toyota Land Cruiser, which only has 16.1 cubic feet of cargo space. For the most part, many compact SUVs and hatchbacks have pretty similar amounts of cargo space. In this department, it sort of comes to a draw.
When it comes to the seating situation, the SUV has the hatchback beat. Hatchbacks tend to have only 4-5 seats, whereas SUVs can have up to 7-8 seats. In addition to that, SUVs are much easier for people to get in and out of. There is no need to crouch down and squeeze through a pushed forward front seat (which can be a major pain). Plus, accommodating large car seats, or transporting a whole soccer team is much easier to do in an SUV.
Aside from there being a few exceptions here and there (such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid), hatchbacks are generally cheaper to insure than SUVs. This is because on average, hatchbacks have lower repair costs, lower injury rates, and are less likely to get stolen. Many insurers see hatchbacks as a safer investment of their money and resources. And as a result, do not charge as much to insure them.
SUVs tend to be fairly high ranking when it comes to safety. But hatchbacks are the safest car on the market overall, despite being less bulky and sturdy. This is especially true during the event of a head-on collision. That said, when it comes to the safety of each vehicle, the difference is not all that staggering between the two. The safest hatchback on the market is a Volvo V40, with a safety rating of 90.25% from the Euro NCAP. While the safest SUV is a Ford Kuga, which got a score of 87.5% from the Euro NCAP.