The Real Reason Hatchbacks Are Better Than Sedans
Andrew Maness July 14, 2015

The rear end of a silver 2013 Subaru Impreza hatchback

Look at that picture, what do you see? Easy access to a generously sized cargo area, overly accentuated wheel arches, the reflection of some apartment buildings in the windows. Ok, now look closer, you’re missing something big, something that most everyone, myself included takes for granted.  Do you know what it is? Study this photo of the Impreza sedan for a minute and then see if you can spot the difference.

The rear end of a plum 2013 Subaru Impreza sedan.

Alright, I’ll tell you but only because I consider this to be a public service announcement and the definitive reason that hatchbacks are and always will be superior to their sedan counterparts. Hatchbacks (and wagons of course) have that oh so crucial piece of equipment for anyone who lives where there is precipitation, a rear window wiper.

Yes, that is correct, the little mechanical rubber arm that clears water; frozen water or nearly frozen water from your rear window is the most overlooked component on a car. Everyone with a hatchback or wagon takes it for granted that with the flick of the wrist, your rearward vision is clear of weather induced obstructions. I know this because I’ve had primarily 5 door vehicles and when I’m in a sedan I realize that a defroster simply doesn’t cut it when doing battle with mother nature.

You might be thinking to yourself, “I live in a warm weather area where it rarely rains, why do I need rear window wiper?“. The answer is you might not, at least not on a regular basis. Aside from having that oh so important piece of equipment, 5 doors look better, hold more stuff, are more unique and did I mention that they look better? In the used car market there’s no shortage of choices when it comes to 5 door vs. sedan and I would urge anyone looking at a vehicle where both are an option, to go with the one that’ll instantly clear debris from your rearward vision when needed. Just look at the disparity in these numbers pulled from our search tool database. What are people thinking?! The Focus looks WAY better as a hatchback as does the Mazda 3. At least the Subaru numbers are close but still, the hatchback should win on that front as well.

AutoTempest Search Results

Ford, Focus Hatchback : 8320
Ford, Focus Sedan : 19055

Mazda, Mazda 3 Hatchback : 2700
Mazda, Mazda 3 Sedan : 7871

Subaru Impreza Hatchback : 1605
Subaru Impreza Sedan : 2704

How I had gone so long without appreciating the function of such an integral part of a car I will never know. What I am sure of is that I will never overlook the rear window wiper ever again. Having recently found myself in a situation where I was looking backward in the pouring rain, my backup camera obscured by rain drops, I realized there was no way for me to clear my view. Most enthusiasts love hatchbacks because enthusiasts love cars that are different but everyone should love hatchbacks because they’re just plain better. Sure, America has fallen in love with CUVs, the steroid abusing cousin to the hatchback, but for the most part sedans remain popular with used car shoppers. Perhaps the knowledge that with a sedan you’re missing out on the ability to easily clear the rear window of precipitation, we’ll see a spike in hatchback sales because people will have accepted once and for all that they are better than sedans.

Here are just a few examples to get you started and you can find way more using the AutoTempest search tool.

A blue 2006 Mazda 3 hatchback.


Mazda 3

A Silver 2003 Ford Focus SVT Hatchback


Ford Focus

A Black 2002 VW Golf Volkswagen Golf


Avatar photo
Andrew Maness Head Writer

Native New Englander currently residing in Los Angeles. I like to go fast and tell stories, sometimes from behind a camera, sometimes in front of one.