Good Used Hatchbacks
Yes, we live in an SUV era, but there is something extremely useful about a good hatchback. The typical hatchback is economical to purchase, costs little to operate and insure, and can haul a surprising amount of stuff. Additionally, hatchbacks are typically more fun to drive than the typical small SUV, which tends to have a higher center of gravity and be skewed completely in favor of hauling people and stuff instead of hauling down canyon roads. Because hatchbacks are relatively inexpensive to purchase new, they are even better values as used cars. One sweet spot revolves around models that are just a few years old. Many of them are of the same generation as the 2021 model, which means they typically have similar levels of safety equipment and creature comforts — but someone else has paid for their first few years of depreciation. Here are 10 good used hatchbacks that should provide you with excellent service for years to come.
2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback
The hatchback version of the Toyota Corolla builds on the model’s well-known durability traits in a body that is both more attractive and more versatile than the sedan version. The hatchback’s impressive list of standard features includes Entune 3.0 with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Connectivity, a sport-tuned suspension, and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. TSS 2.0 features a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control that functions in all speed ranges, a lane-departure alert with steering assist, road sign recognition, and lane-tracing assist. When teamed with a continuously variable automatic transmission, its 168-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine delivers truly stellar fuel economy — 32 mpg city / 42 mpg highway / 36 mpg combined. The up-level Corolla XSE hatchback features genuine leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and blind-spot monitoring.
2019 Subaru Impreza
In comparison to other hatchback models, the Subaru Impreza five-door is distinguished by its standard all-wheel drive and an uncommonly strong emphasis on safety. Of course, the two go hand-in-hand. “Symmetrical AWD” continuously powers all four wheels and can transfer more torque to the wheels with the best grip. The all-wheel-drive system is accompanied by Vehicle Dynamics Control to enhance all-weather stability and traction. For the 2019 model year, Subaru expanded its EyeSight active safety features to every trim and made them standard on the Limited version. They include reverse automatic braking and automatic high-beam headlights. Another piece of good news is that Subaru markedly improved the model’s interior comfort and infotainment systems in this generation. The “boxer” 152-horsepower four-cylinder engine is noted for ruggedness, and it delivers EPA ratings of 28 mpg city / 38 mpg highway / 32 mpg in tandem with its CVT automatic transmission.
2019 Kia Soul
Some might say the Kia Soul is a crossover, but its ride, handling, and price qualify it for this list. One of the best things about the five-door hatchback is it is bigger than it looks. So it offers superior versatility, plenty of interior cargo space, and a fun-to-live-with demeanor. Kia’s UVO3 infotainment interface is one of the best in the business, and the 2019 model offers an interior lighting system that tailors the lighting to the music in a variety of selectable moods. The available Kia Drive Wise safety features include forward collision avoidance, lane-change assist, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, a driver attention warning, and adaptive cruise control. In terms of product quality, the Soul has topped the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study in its category several times in recent years.
2019 MINI Cooper Hardtop
For the 2019 model year, the MINI Cooper was available as both a five-door hardtop and a three-door hardtop, the latter a rarity in today’s marketplace. Both are exceptionally versatile, but the five-door wins that sweepstakes. Another sweepstakes the MINI Cooper wins versus most hatchbacks is for style. It's a good-looking car with a cheekiness about it, inside and out. It also can be equipped to handle like a true sports coupe. The base MINI Cooper hatch has a turbocharged three-cylinder engine delivering 134 horsepower, but a better choice is the 189-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Then there’s the John Cooper Works model with 228 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbo motor. Standard features include a six-speed manual transmission, traction control, and electronic stability control. Synthetic leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a rearview camera are also standard.
2018 Mazda Mazda3
The Mazda3 five-door hatchback looks great, handles beautifully, and offers substantial safety. It resembles more expensive European hatchbacks both in its handling and in its superior interior accommodations. The Mazda3 offers room for up to five passengers, and the hatchback configuration and folding seats deliver roomy and versatile cargo-carrying options. The standard equipment list is impressive — remote entry and start, a collision mitigation system, a rear camera, and six-speaker sound accompanied by a 7-inch infotainment screen. Many of the 2018 Mazda3s have upgrades like alloy wheels, automatic climate control, heated seats, and heated steering wheel. Power from the 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine isn’t overwhelming, but it contributes to making the Mazda3 one of the most satisfying hatchbacks on the road. For the 2019 model year, the Mazda3 was completely redesigned and got Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
2018 Honda Civic
As we’ve said before, the 2018 Honda Civic hatchback is the very definition of small-car versatility. The hatchback configuration means the Civic can swallow up a lot of cargo or a mix of cargo and rear-seat passengers. It can be equipped very simply and economically or buyers can build themselves a sports sedan with capabilities that rival much more expensive European models. The 174-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder offers speedy acceleration, and its CVT automatic transmission offer the best fuel economy. Even the base model offers LED running lights, split-folding rear seats, a backup camera, and Bluetooth. Some used Civics might be equipped with luxury items like heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, a power-operated sunroof, and LED headlights.
2018 Kia Forte
The Kia Forte hatchback delivers quality, reliability, and a wealth of features in an underrated package that is surprisingly fun to drive. The base engine is a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while a 164-horsepower 2.0-liter direct-injection four-cylinder is also available. Topping the powerplant list is the 201-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that drives the sporty SX hatchback. In the Kia tradition of equipping its vehicles generously, the Forte includes a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated power-operated mirrors, and Bluetooth integration. A package enables Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, so look for that in the used model you’re considering. The up-level Forte EX has electronic driver aids that include a rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot detection with lane change assist. Also available are leather seats, a rearview camera, remote start, and a collision mitigation system. When it comes to quality and reliability, the Kia Forte has scored high in several third-party studies.
2018 Chevrolet Cruze
Remember the Chevrolet Cruze? It was a highly rated, reliable compact car that Chevy decided to eliminate after the 2019 model year. if you’re seeking big-car quiet, comfort, and features on a small family budget, a used Cruze is a very good choice. While the Cruze was also available as a sedan, we favor the versatile hatchback model. A variety of trim levels enable you to equip your Cruze to fit your tastes and budget. The standard Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system features a 7-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Remote start, remote keyless entry, Teen Driver safety system, and a rearview camera are on all Cruze hatchbacks. The standard 153-horsepower 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine enables the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in a brisk 7.7 seconds. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel has just 137 horsepower but enables stellar 31 mpg in the city / 47 mpg on the highway. Finding one used won’t be easy though.
2018 Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius hybrid hatchback is known for its incredible fuel efficiency and for its utterly practical demeanor. It’s a solidly built, inexpensive-to-maintain vehicle that is definitely skewed toward economy. The 2018 model’s eye-popping fuel mileage numbers are 58 mpg city/53 mpg highway/56 mpg combined in the EPA ratings, topping every mass-produced car with the exception of plug-ins and pure electrics. Its hybrid system combines the output of a 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and two motor/generators through an electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission. With Toyota Safety Sense P driver-assist technology standard across the board, the Prius includes the pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive radar cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights.
2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
A pure battery-electric vehicle isn’t an obvious choice for this list, but the Chevrolet Bolt EV is a hatchback many will find very attractive. Its topline appeal is the fact it offers no-emission driving in a sprightly package that will accommodate up to five. The Bolt’s electric motor delivers 200 horsepower and abundant low-end torque for nearly instant acceleration. The car’s 238-mile range on a charge means it can be inexpensive to operate and a practical daily driver. Restoring a full charge can easily be done overnight using a 240-volt charging station. Standard features include alloy wheels, xenon headlights, remote entry rear camera, and split/folding rear seats. Collision mitigation, rear parking sensors, and leather upholstery were on the options list, so you might want to seek cars so equipped.