Almost a million new cars are sold in Australia each year and there are models to suit every kind of consumer. When you’re looking for a new car, there are so many varieties that you’re spoilt for choice. Before you zero in on a make or model, you need to decide what kind of car you need.
You may consider an SUV if you’re looking for something roomy and powerful, but if you prefer a compact vehicle, then you’re likely to consider either a hatchback or a sedan.
A sedan is a car with three distinct parts: the bonnet where the engine sits, the passenger cabin in the middle, and the boot at the rear where luggage is stored.
A hatchback is a slightly smaller car compared to a sedan. The first two parts are often similar to a sedan’s, but the rear of the car is smaller.
Advantages of a sedan
- Power: Sedans generally have more power in their engines than hatchbacks, which can be appealing to some customers. That said, sedans are often more expensive than hatchbacks and are sometimes less fuel-efficient.
- Space: A sedan is usually longer than a hatchback. Depending on the model, it may have better legroom, particularly for people seated in the rear seats. Keep in mind that you may need a slightly larger parking spot to fit your car.
- Noise: As the rear wheels and cabin are separated with more layers, sedans often feel less noisy than hatchbacks.
Advantages of a hatchback
- Space flexibility: You can often fold the rear seats of a hatchback if you need to store more luggage for a holiday. Keep in mind this would mean no room for additional passengers in the back.
- Size: A smaller size can serve as an advantage for the hatchback. It’s not only easier to drive but also smoother to maneuver in traffic.
- Economical: Hatchbacks often come with a smaller price tag. They’re also often more fuel-efficient than sedans and may be a easier to maintain, thanks to relatively lower servicing costs.
Are sedans safer than hatchbacks?
A car with better Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) ratings will provide more safety features. The maximum rating for any car is five - so aim for those hatchbacks or sedans if safety is your top-of-the-mind priority.
If you still can’t decide because you like features of both hatchbacks and sedans, there may be another option to consider.
Station wagons are essentially longer hatchbacks with ample boot space. Their engines are ramped up with more power, so they sometimes compare well with SUVs.
Once you’ve thought about the difference between a hatchback and a sedan and decided which one you prefer, you can explore different dealers and financing options. Before you do that, you also need to define the budget range and down payment amount. Don’t forget to factor in ongoing costs, such as insurance, registration and maintenance.