Hatchbacks are an excellent option for buyers interested in an economical, affordable vehicle with plenty of space. Hatchbacks that offer all-wheel drive (AWD) have the added advantage of all-weather driving capability, which makes them a practical alternative to a crossover while still maintaining the practicality and ride comfort of a car. 

So what AWD hatchbacks are currently on the market, and which ones are the best? We have the important answers.

 

What is a Hatchback?

A hatchback is different than a sedan, though the two styles are often identified using the same nameplate. The main difference between the two is the design of the rear cargo area. 

In a sedan, there’s a separate trunk that is fully enclosed and cut off from the passenger area. A hatchback, by contrast, is similar to an SUV or crossover. A hatchback has a spacious cargo area that expands from the load floor to the roof and is separated from the passenger area only by the rear seatbacks. 

To accommodate the larger cargo area, the hatchback has longer roof, a sloping rear window, and a large rear liftgate. That rear liftgate birthed the name hatchback. Vehicles of this design are also sometimes referred to as five-doors, as opposed to the four-door sedan or two-door coupe.

Best Hatchback Cars

 

Here are the best hatchbacks available as either new or used cars:

 

Best AWD Hatchbacks – iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg
1 Subaru Impreza 8.9 20.8 28
2 Mazda MAZDA3 8.7 20.2 27
3 Volkswagen Golf R 19.9 26

 

  1. 1. Subaru Impreza
[subaru impreza scores]

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.9 (Reliability: 8.0, Value Retention: 8.7, Safety: 9.0)

Cargo Space: 20.8 Cubic Feet
Combined MPG: 28

 

The Subaru Impreza ranks first. The compact Impreza isn’t just one of the only small cars to offer all-wheel drive, but it also comes standard. What’s more is that it’s the most affordable AWD vehicle available and is considered among the best AWD cars on the market because of its quality and value. It’s also efficient, with a combined mpg of 31 with its CVT transmission. A five-speed manual transmission is also available, which earns a less-efficient 26 combined mpg. The reliable and safe Impreza comes with a suite of standard driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. The Impreza’s hatchback has 20.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, which can fold down to create 55.3 cubic feet of space.

 

  1. Mazda MAZDA3

[mazda mazda3 scores]

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.7 (Reliability: 7.5, Value Retention: 8.6, Safety: 10)

Cargo Space: 20.8 Cubic Feet
Combined MPG: 28

Average New Car Price: $19,345-$33,900

Average Used Car Price: $10,999-$21,989

 

Ranked second is the Mazda MAZDA3, which boasts impressive driving dynamics and powerful engine options, making it one of the best small cars available. It comes standard with a full suite of active safety features like driver attention warning, automatic high-beam headlights, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and forward-collision warning. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, but all-wheel drive is also available for $1,400 on the Premium trim and standard on the Turbo trims. The Mazda3 Hatchback has above-average fuel economy for the compact car class at an average combined mpg of 26 for AWD models and has a respectable 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space.  

 

  1. Volkswagen Golf R

Cargo Space:19.9 Cubic Feet
Combined MPG: 26.0

New Car MSRP: $43,645 – 44,445 

 

The Volkswagen Golf ranks third. New for 2022 after a multi-year hiatus, the model does not yet qualify for an iSeeCars Quality Score. The Golf R is among the surviving variants of the Volkswagen Golf, which was discontinued after the 2021 model year. The Golf R has a 315-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine that comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is also available.

The fun-to-drive hatchback also offers an upscale interior and ample passenger and cargo space. It is among the more spacious hatchbacks with 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The Golf R comes with many advanced safety features, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear cross traffic alert, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Standard infotainment features include a 10-inch touch screen, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

 

Best Hybrid AWD Hatchback: Toyota Prius

 

Toyota Prius

[toyota prius scores]

Cargo Space: 24.6 Cubic Feet

Combined MPG: 49

Average New Car Price: $24,525-$32,650

Average Used Car Price: $10,998-$22,991

 

The Toyota Prius is an option for drivers who want a hybrid AWD hatchback. Its average combined gas mileage is highest among the hybrids on our list at 49 mpg. The roomy hatchback offers plenty of passenger and cargo room and a suite of standard safety features including a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, road sign recognition, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, and a pre-collision system. 

 

Best Electric AWD Hatchback: Tesla Model S

[tesla model s scores]

Cargo Space: 26 Cubic Feet

Combined MPGe: 120

 

While commonly incorrectly identified as a sedan, the Model S is actually a hatchback. The Tesla Model S revolutionized the EV segment since its introduction in 2012 with its long list of innovative features including over-the-air software updates and autopilot technology. It also raised the bar with its all-electric range that far surpasses rivals. The Model S comes standard with all-wheel drive and has an estimated driving range of 412 miles for its standard Long Range version. It also comes with a more expansive list of standard safety features than most luxury cars, which include forward and side collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

 

Best Luxury Hatchbacks

 

For drivers who want more refinement, here are the best AWD luxury hatchbacks:

 

Best AWD Hatchbacks: Luxury – iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg
1 Audi A7 8.2 24.9 24 
2 BMW 3-Series 8.1 24.6  25
3 Porsche Panamera 7.9 18.3 20
4 Audi A5 Sportback 7.8 20.8 28 
5 BMW 5-Series 7.8 18.7  21

 

  1. Audi A7

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.2 (Reliability: 6.8, Value Retention: 7.0, Safety: 10)

Cargo Space: 24.6 Cubic Feet

Combined MPG: 25

Average Used Car Price: $16,471-$34,762

 

The Audi A7 is a chic and sporty hatchback that is as elegant as it is functional. The A7 comes standard with a powerful 335-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine that provides rapid acceleration and smooth handling as well as Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. It earns an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ rating and has impressive value-retention and long-term reliability scores. Thanks to its hatchback design, the A7 leads the large vehicle class in cargo space wih 24.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

 

  1. BMW 3 Series
[bmw 3 series scores]

iSeeCars Quality Score: 8.1 (Reliability: 6.8, Value Retention: 7.0, Safety: 10)

Cargo Space: 24.6 Cubic Feet

Combined MPG: 25

Average Used Car Price: $16,471-$34,762

 

The popular BMW 3 Series small sedan had a hatchback variant that was discontinued after the 2019 model year. The hatchback-style Gran Turismo model has 24.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats that expannds to 56.8 cubic feet when they are folded down. All-wheel drive comes standard in this fun-to-drive small car and standard features include a panoramic moonroof, a 6.5-inch infotainment display, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

 

  1. Porsche Panamera

[porsche panamera scores]

 

The Porsche Panamera ranks third. A superluxury car with a hefty price tag, Porsche calls this car a sedan, but it’s technically a hatchback thanks to its liftgate and separate trunk. The opulent Panamera has a lineup of powerful engine options that deliver the performance of a sports car.  

 

  1. Audi A5 Sportback

[audi a5 sportback scores]

Cargo Space: 21.8 Cubic Feet

Combined MPG: 25

Average Used Car Price: $16,471-$34,762

 

The Audi A5 Sportback is the hatchback version of the popular Audi A5 small car.  The small but mighty A5 Sportback comes standard with a 201-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which provides balanced handling and a comfortable ride. All-wheel drive is also standard. The A5 Sportback is among the most spacious cars in its class with 21.8 cubic feet of cargo room and comes standard with a full suite of standard safety features.

 

  1. BMW 5 Series

iSeeCars Quality Score: 7.8 (Reliability: 7.5, Value Retention: 5.9, Safety: 10)

Cargo Space: 17.6 Cubic Feet

Combined MPG: 25

Average Used Car Price: $19,347-$35,657

 

The popular BMW 5 Series midsize sedan had a hatchback variant that was discontinued after the 2017 model year. The hatchback came in two trims: the 535i and 550i. The 535i GT featured a 300-horsepower turbo six-cylinder engine and came standard with leather upholstery, a power liftgate, and high-intensity xenon headlights. The 550i GT had similar features but with a more powerful 445-horsepower six-cylinder engine. The BMW 5 Series Hatchback had 17.6 cubic feet of cargo space that grows to 63.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

 

A used BMW 5 Series Hatchback costs between $19,347 and $35,657.

 

Best Hatchbacks Without AWD

 

For shoppers considering a hatchback without the need for all-wheel drive, here is a list of additional options:

 

Best Hatchbacks – iSeeCars
Rank Vehicle iSeeCars Quality Score Cargo space behind rear seats (cubic feet) Combined mpg
1 Honda Civic 9.0 24.5 34
2 Toyota Corolla 8.9 17.8 34
4 Volkswagen Golf 8.8 22.8 32.5
6 Hyundai Veloster 8.4 19.9 29
7 Volkswagen Golf GTI 8.1 22.8 26.5
8 Kia Rio 7.8 13.7 36
9 Chevrolet Spark 7.7 11.1 32.5

 

The Bottom Line

 

Hatchbacks come in many forms – as bodystyles of popular sedans, as luxury cars, hot hatches, hybrids, even electric vehicles. This versatility of the hatchback strikes the right balance with drivers who want a vehicle with plenty of interior space but would prefer a more-efficient car compared to an SUV. Regardless of whether you want an expensive luxury model or a more cost-conscious hatchback, there is likely a model to suit your needs and budget.

 

If you’re interested in a new or used awd hatchback, try searching iSeeCars’ award-winning car search engine. It uses advanced algorithms to help shoppers find the best car deals and provides key insights and valuable resources, like the iSeeCars VIN check report. Filter by price, fuel economy, drivetrain, and other parameters in order to find your next hatchback.

Search used cars for sale and find the best deals near you at iSeeCars.com.
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