The hatchback is supposed to be the compact sedan's more enthusiastic alter ego.
It's usually true, and in some cases it's the only body style on offer--as with the left-brained Volkswagen Golf, a sturdy piece that lacks in standard features but makes up in premium feel, from the plastics that decorate its dash to the purposeful feel of its steering rack and its strong brakes.
The Ford Focus and Mazda3 are the current class leaders when it comes to engaging driving feel, either as sedans or hatchbacks.
The Mazda may have slightly better steering feel, while the Focus leads on infotainment features and outright power, particularly with the new 247-hp ST.
Finally there's the Subaru Impreza, a versatile hatchback or sedan with standard all-wheel drive and fine road manners, albeit with a standard CVT that hones off some of the driving edge.
|2013 Hyundai Elantra GTGet FREE Price Quote||2013 Ford FocusGet FREE Price Quote||2013 Volkswagen GolfGet FREE Price Quote||2012 Mazda MAZDA3Get FREE Price Quote||2012 Subaru ImprezaGet FREE Price Quote||2012 Toyota MatrixGet FREE Price Quote|
|26 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I5||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4||Gas I4|
|- TBD -||Compact||Compact||Compact||Compact Cars||Small Station Wagon|
|5-Door HB Man||4-Door Sedan S||2-Door HB Man PZEV||4-Door Sedan Man i SV||4-Door Man 2.0i||5-Door Wagon Man L FWD (Natl)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Hatchback||Sedan||2 Door HB||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||5 Door Wagon|