Hatchbacks may be the workhorses of Europe, but here in the U.S., they're only now regaining in popularity, after decades dominated by SUVs.
You probably have plenty of questions when considering a new hatchback, especially since today's models aren't just economy cars--not when you include five-door models like the Porsche Panamera and the Audi A7. You may even wonder what divides a hatchback from a wagon or even a crossover; for us, the hatchbacks are closer in roof length to the cars to which they're related, and the angle of the hatch slopes more than the tailgates on utility vehicles.
But you're most likely to have more questions if you're shopping for a used hatchback. Take all those questions above, and add on the multipliers that face every used-car buyer--is it safe? Is it reliable? Am I getting my money's worth?
We're taking some of the mystery out of the process, and helping you find some of the best bets in the hatchback class, whether they're from economy-car roots or luxury origins. We've sifted through a few different kinds of data to come up with a handful of hatchbacks that we think have the most complete, most well-rounded reputation for safety and reliability, as well as driving satisfaction. We've arrived at this Best Used Hatchback 2013 list by looking at three-year-old vehicles that must score:
- at least an 8.0 rating on The Car Connection's full reviews from three years ago--in this case, the 2011 model year
- at least four circles on J.D. Power's predicted-dependability rankings, or at least average reliability on Consumer Reports
- at least four stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
After studying those sources, the following vehicles qualified for our recommendation. We'll note here that some higher-priced vehicles like the Panamera were lacking in crash-test data, which led us to drop them from the final list. Even with that loss, the field of contenders yielded plenty of great hardware ready for you to shop from our vehicle listings pages:
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2011 Honda Fit SportEnlarge Photo
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2011 Kia Forte hatchback, Catskill Mountains, Nov 2011Enlarge Photo
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2011 Kia Soul 5dr Wagon Auto Sport Angular Front Exterior ViewEnlarge Photo
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2011 Subaru WRX STI
2011 Subaru WRX STIEnlarge Photo
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