Hatchback Features which Define This Body Style
The hatchback is a very popular body style for automobiles which is mainly defined by having a relatively flat rear end with a rear door which swings up and down in order to provide the drive with access to the cargo area. Traditionally, hatchbacks have a two-box configuration. This means that the car is divided into two areas, one for the engine and one for the passengers and cargo combined. However, it is still possible for certain hatchback models to feature a three-box configuration as is normally found on a sedan. Due to this layout, one key feature of the hatchback is flexibility – the second row of seats can oftentimes be folded down whenever storage space takes priority over passenger capacity.
To be clear, a hatchback is not a vehicle class, but rather a body style. This means that it can be applied to a variety of different types of automobiles, ranging from small city cars to family cars to executive cars. A modern derivative of the regular hatchback is the hot hatch, an automobile which has the traditional hatchback configuration but also features sleek, modern styling and improved performance. This kind of car will often have a more powerful engine, better suspension, front-wheel drive, large tires and aerodynamic body parts.
Hatchback Vs. Station Wagon
There are a lot of similarities between a hatchback and a station wagon, primarily the fact that they both have a two-box configuration and use a rear door for cargo access. However, there are differences in their key features. For starters, a station wagon is longer than a hatchback. This means that, while the hatchback has A, B & C pillars, a station wagon usually also has a D pillar to support the extra weight. Also, due to the extra space, station wagons will normally have three rows of seats instead of two.
The rear door is the main defining feature for both station wagons and hatchback and there are differences between the two. While both of them are normally top-hinged, meaning that they open in the same way, the verticality of the opening is described as being one of the main distinctions between the two body styles. A station wagon's rear door will have a 90-degree break while a hatchback's opening is traditionally more vertical than this. Furthermore, the rear door on the station wagon is longer, regularly reaching the rear bumper while a hatchback's does not, though there are a few exceptions to this rule.