Car purchaser trends: Europeans like hatchbacks, Americans as well as Indians like saloons

When vehicle enthusiasts travel to Europe they always notice the abundance of hatchbacks. When they travel to the USA, they notice that saloons (otherwise understood as sedans) tend to outnumber hatchbacks by a big margin. This exact same pattern is obvious in India as well. putting aside the reigning supremacy of SUVs in all countries, I wished to try as well as comprehend this trend. What is it that makes hatchbacks so much a lot more prominent in Europe as well as why is it saloons that have a larger market share in the USA as well as India.

One of the few vehicles offered in all of these body types. From top clockwise: Audi A3 hatchback, A3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet & A3 Sportback (estate). (Image source: Audi press site)

One of the primary reasons people in Europe tend towards hatches is the functional element of these kinds of cars. checking out a vehicle that is offered in both body styles like the Audi A3, the Honda Civic, Volkswagen Golf/Jetta or the Ford Mondeo, it seems like a lower price, much better fuel efficiency, simplicity of loading, interior space, as well as managing are the aspects that makes Europeans select their respective hatchback forms.

The hatchbacks evaluate less (helping fuel economic climate figures as well as handling), can be packed with luggage vertically (which makes it much easier to tons as well as discharge the boot), have rear-folding seats that supply much a lot more space than saloons, as well as have a less considerable rear-overhang (again aiding handling). one more functional element of hatchbacks is that they are normally somewhat smaller than their saloon counterparts, a boon on Europe’s narrow roads, as well as making car parking a bit easier. rear headroom is likewise a aspect as hatchbacks do not requirement the swooping roofing that saloons possess, liberating a few crucial inches for rear seat passengers.

The Honda Civic is offered as a hatchback (above) as well as as a sedan (below) in different markets. (Image source: Honda press sites)
An extra point is that it’s much less typical in Europe for a household to have a lot more than one vehicle for this reason they requirement a multi-tasker. The European needs his/her vehicle for daily driving, for carrying loads, as well as bring people while still being fuel efficient. great public transfer as well as the somewhat high cost of fuel likewise do their bit to push European purchasers towards the hatchback rather than a saloon.


Besides the truth that tons of people in the USA think about hatchbacks to be awful as well as unfinished, they likewise tend to favour size in general. The early hatchbacks introduced in the USA, like the Ford Pinto, AMC Pacer, Chevy Chevette, as well as Chrysler Sunbeam, provided this type of design a poor name because of their inherent less than excellent looks, doubtful reliability, as well as an picture of cheapness. This mindset towards hatchbacks has continued in some method in spite of the dazzling hatchbacks offered in the market today.

Doug DeMuro composed an fascinating post about this phenomenon on The reality about vehicles which blamed guns for the preference of saloons. The boot of a saloon uses the person bring guns in their vehicle a degree of privacy not discovered in the viewable hatchback boot. A commenter brought up an insightful bit nugget of info saying, “You will note that hatchback ownership is lowest in European countries with second Amendment rights (Serbia, Switzerland as well as Cyprus – all less than 3 hatchbacks per person).”

The Ford Fiesta sedan on the ideal will provide its owner some privacy when they’re packing warm while the hatchback on the left may offer the prospective thief a great view (if the parcel tray is removed) of the type of gun. (Image source: Ford press site & Wikipedia Commons)
While I personally don’t completely agree with this idea, it might prevent a specific number of people from getting hatchbacks, leading to a preference for saloons. Some other people are likewise anxious that without the extending boot, rear passengers will be less risk-free during an accident.

In the end, I believe it is purely a matter of picture as well as status. The larger your car, the much better off in life you are.


Despite India’s automotive culture being influenced mainly by the British (they drive on the exact same side of the road as well as have embraced roundabouts in lots of locations rather than signals), their vehicle getting culture is a lot more attuned to the USA. size indicates whatever to the typical Indian buyer, particularly when integrated with reliability as well as the added benefit of being very frugal.

Hatchbacks are always looked down upon as more affordable vehicles for trainees as well as the less fortunate while saloons are looked upon as a huge vehicle using a higher status. This pattern is particularly remove when one looks at the “compact sedan” market in the country. In India, vehicles under four metres (with a petrol engine of under 1.2-litres or a diesel motor smaller than 1.5-litres) have been excused from specific duties, making them a lot more affordable. Such is the like for a extending boot that lots of makers have introduced a saloon under four metres particularly for India.

Some of the sub-4-metre sedans offered in India. Clockwise from the top: Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ford Figo Aspire, Hyundai Xcent & Honda Amaze. (Image source: Hyundai press site & Wikipedia Commons)
These sub-4-metre saloons have decidedly awkward-looking boots tacked on to basic hatchbacks, yet sell especially well. Taxis as well as fleet owners are rather taken with them as well. The drawbacks to this type of saloon compared to their hatchback siblings include their looks, extra weight (hindering fuel effectiveness as well as handling), as well as the rear-seat room. Besides the reducing of the rear end of the roofing to flow much better with the added boot, the rear seats are either pushed somewhat forward, or have a almost vertical backrest to liberate a lot more space in the boot.

The age old hatchback v saloons disagreement won’t ever truly have an end. just like a lot of things in life, it takes a lot more than noise logic to persuade people that hatchbacks are a much better buy, especially thinking about their re-sale value. While I’m absolutely a proponent of the hatchback (my tribe on DRIVETRIBE is all about hot hatches), it isn’t for purely rational reasons.

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