There are quite a few drivers who prefer a hatchback model automobile to a sedan. The most important reason for this is the practicality of the design. Most hatchbacks have rear seats that fold down either completely or at least partially, making a significant amount of cargo space when it’s needed. Still, it’s important to compare this feature among the various brands because some have a smaller cargo space and not all seats fold down. In general, they’re sleeker in design, they’re more attractive than a station wagon and it’s a meeting in the middle between exterior aesthetics and practical use of space. We’ve put together a collection of the 20 best hatchbacks for 2018 to give you an idea how the various brands and models stack up against one another.
20. 2018 Fiat 500 – $25,871-$32,995
The Fiat 500 made it to the bottom of our top 20 list because it’s favored for cargo space, performance and aesthetics. The car is available in an all electric “3” edition for consumers in the Oregon and California markets. The gas powered engine is a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder with between 101-160 hp depending on the engine type, (it’s also available with a turbocharged Abarth edition), with fuel efficiency of 24-31 city and 32-38 hwy. Seating configurations range between 4 and 5 adults and there are quite a few customization options available when ordering. The 500 has 30.2 cubic feet of cargo room when the rear seats are folded, and without this adjustment, the space is 9.5 cubic feet. It’s not ideal for large shopping tips or even as a family vehicle because of the cramped leg room, but the 500 is available in an SUV model for those who need more space, but like the overall concept. Plan on spending an additional $5,000 if you choose this option.
19. 2018 Nissan Leaf – $29,990 – $36,200
The 2018 Leaf is a hybrid compact that received a complete redesign for 2018, adding horsepower, some new technology with the option for a semi-automatic driving system, good handling and acceleration and a large cargo area. The styling of this hatchback isn’t that exciting, and the performance is a bit mediocre, It gets 151 miles on a single charge but the charging time with a 120 volt connection is a little slow. The Leaf seats five with a basic interior. While there isn’t a lot of leg room, the seats are comfortable. The ProPilot Assist is a big drawing card for the Leaf. It helps with lane management, brakes and throttle and has proven effective in stop and go traffic. The cargo area is also good sized with 23.6 cubic feet of space in the back that can be extended to 30 cubic feet when you fold down the rear seats with a 60/40 split. Another great innovation in this car is the new infotainment system that
can be used for charging the battery, turning on climate control from your phone and monitoring the charging status of the car.
18. 2018 Chevrolet Spark – $13,050 – $17,475
The Chevy Spark is the 18th best hatchback on the market for 2018, with an infotainment system that is base, but offers Bluetooth and Navigation. It offers a 7 inch touch screen that is easy to use and you can link it with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay and it also features a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot. The Spark seats four and only comes with manual seat adjustments. The subcompact doesn’t offer the most comfortable ride for long distances because of the tiny cabin space, but it’s great for shorter commutes. The cargo space in the Spark is small, offering just 11.1 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat, it does however get an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 38 hwy miles.
17. 2018 Toyota Corolla iM – $18,850 – $19,590
The 2018 Toyota Corolla iM is a five seat hatchback with ample space in the front seats, but a bit tight on space in the rear. It gets 29 mpg city and 36 hwy. The cargo space is an attractive feature of this car with 21 cubic feet of space right behind the rear seats, which can be folded flat to give you even more cargo room. The infotainment system features a Pioneer audio system with excellent sound, and an easy to use 7 inch touch screen. It doesn’t come with a navigation system, but it’s available and the dealers will install it for you. The performance is average with a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine and 6 speed manual transmission. You also have the option of a continuously variable automatic transmission when ordering, upon request.
16. 2018 Subaru Impreza – $18,495 – $24,695
The new Impreza is practical and spacious automobile with a fuel efficiency rating of 28 mpg city and 37 hwy. It seats five and one of the attractive features of this car is that there is plenty of head and leg room in both the front and back, so everyone rides comfortably. The interior isn’t upscale, but it’s aesthetically pleasing. The cargo space behind the seats is excellent with 21 cubic feet, but when you lay the seats down flat, this can be extended to almost 21 cubic feet. It comes equipped with a StarLink infotainment system featuring a 6.5 inch touch screen, Apple Car Play, Android Auto, Bluetooth Audio streaming and a Harman Kardon audio system with eight speakers and satellite radio. If you’d like to upgrade the infotainment system, you can make that an 8 inch touch screen, Bluetooth phone connectivity and navigation. A moon roof is another available feature you can request. Thee engine is a 152 hp 4 cylinder that doesn’t supply a lot of power, so the acceleration is a bit slow, but this car handles the road with excellence in all types of weather with smooth handling and a standard all wheel drive.
15. 2018 Mini Cooper – $21,600 – $36,600
The new Mini Cooper is available in two versions with a two door that seats four and a four door that seats five. The fuel efficiency is 28 mpg city and 38 hwy. The appeal of the mini cooper is the comfort level of the seats. The upholstery is leather like material with heated front seats that offer plenty of support. Leg and head room is a little tight in the rear however, unless you go with the four door, which is a little better. The interior features upscale materials. The cargo space is limited to 8.7 cubic feet when the rear seats are up but with them down, you can expand the cargo area. The infotainment system comes with LED lights surrounding the screen, navigation, a head up display and a Harman Kardon sound system. When it comes to performance, the engine is lively with the base model cranking out 134 hp, and you can upgrade this if you want more power on the highway. All Mini Coopers come with a six speed manual transmission unless you request a six speed automatic. The Cooper offers a firm suspension with fast braking and steering responsiveness. The low center of gravity keeps it firmly planted on the road.
14. 2018 Hyundai Elantra – $16,950 – $24,350
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is appreciated for its premium interior. Although not the most elegant when it comes to layout, it is crafted with high end materials, it offers a quiet ride and there is ample room for passengers. It comfortably seats 5, but the rear seats could have just a little more legroom. Behind the seat, there is almost 25 cubic feet of cargo space. When they’re folded down, this extends into a little over 55 cubic feet, which is a large amount of room for a hatchback. The infotainment system includes a six speaker audio system, a standard USB port, and Bluetooth. If you want to upgrade, you can opt for 2 additional USB ports, a sunroof, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7 or 8 inch touch screen and an 8 speaker audio system and navigation. The GTs come with a 161 hp 4 cylinder engine and the sports models come with turbo four engines cranking 201 horsepower.
13. 2018 Ford Fiesta – $14,205 – $21,285
The 2018 Ford Fiesta five door hatchback seats five. The interior features cloth upholstery and comfortable front seats, but the rear seats are a little cramped. If you’re not a fan of the upholstery, you can upgrade to a sportier version of the cloth or go all the way and order leather. It offers 14.9 cubic feet of cargo space that extends to 25.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The Fiesta is designed with keyless entry, and an infotainment system featuring a six speaker audio system, Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio Jack and a 4.2 inch display. The windows are manual on the base model, but you can upgrade and request power windows. You can also upgrade to a 6.5 inch touch screen display and an 8 speaker audio system, satellite radio, 2 USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Audio. You can also add automatic climate control, cruise control, navigation, push button start and a moon roof. The Fiesta comes stock with a 4 cylinder 120 hp engine. You have your choice of a six speed dual clutch automatic or five speed manual transmission. If you go with the best performer, you an order yours with a 187 horsepower 4 cylinder that’s turbocharged. The average fuel efficiency is 27 city and 35 hwy.
12. 2018 Chevrolet Cruze – $16,975 – $25,920
The 2018 Chevrolet Cruze is the twelfth best hatchback for 2018, favored for its roomy backseat that is large enough to accommodate 2 child car seats, or five adults comfortably with ample leg, head and shoulder room. The cargo area is 22.7 cubic feet with the seats up and 47.2 cubic feet with them folded down. The seats are padded well for comfort with the base model available in cloth upholstery with an upgrade to leather available. The Cruz is precision tuned, but not for speed, but rather performance in the sense of responsiveness and fuel efficiency. The average mpg is 27 city and 40 hwy. The gasoline engine is turbocharged in the standard hatchback model and there is an optional turbo-diesel is available. It comes with a MyLink infotainment system with a standard touch screen display, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a rear view camera, a Wi-Fi hot spot and Bluetooth.
11. 2018 Kia Forte – $16,800 – $26,100
The Forte has a comfortable cabin that is guaranteed to deliver a quiet ride with comfortable seating for 5 people. The interior features high end materials with a user friendly infotainment system, Bluetooth, satellite radio, one USB port and a four speaker audio system. This hatchback has over 23 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, Fold the rear seats down, and you have more than 56 cubic feet of room. the Forte is available in two engine sizes, a 147 horse power and a 164 horsepower, both four cylinders. The Forte5 has the option for a turbo-charged 4 cylinder that cranks out 201 horse power. The average fuel efficiency rating for the Forte is 29 mpg city and 37 hwy.
10. 2018 Mazda Mazda3 – $18,095 – $24,945
The 2018 Mazda3 is the tenth best hatchback for 2018, and features high end interior materials along with excellent handling and responsiveness. This car can comfortably seat five adults in comfort. The seats offer excellent support and just enough padding. The cargo space offers just over 20 cubic feet of room with the seats up, and when they’re laid down, there is 47 cubic feet of storage. The infotainment system is one of the best offered today with intuitive menus, user friendly controls and a responsive 7 inch touch screen. You may also opt for a moon roof and upgrade to a 9 speaker Bose audio system and satellite radio. The engine is a 155 horse power 4 cylinder with an average fuel efficiency of 28 mpg city and 37 hwy.
9. 2018 Volkswagen Golf – $20,910 – $40,885
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf seats five adults with supportive seats and a cabin that features luxury interior components. It’s not only stylish, it provides a quiet ride even on the highway at higher speeds. The hatchback offers almost 23 cubic feet of cargo area behind the back seats which extends to 53 cubic feet when the seats are folded down. The infotainment system features a Fender eight speaker audio system with a 6.5 inch touch screen and the package can be upgraded to an 8 inch touch screen, satellite radio, navigation Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. An optional sunroof is also available. The engine choices are a 170 horse power turbocharged 4 cylinder or the Golf-R model comes with a 202 horsepower turbo four. The average gas mileage is 24 mpg city and 33 hwy.
8. 2019 Hyundai Veloster – $18,500 – $28,150
The 2019 Hyundai Veloster is the 8th best hatchback for 2018. This latest edition was recently released and it features a redesign. It seats four adults with plenty of leg, shoulder and head room. It’s an affordable version that is in many respects, basic, but for the price it’s hard to beat. The cargo area is nearly 20 cubic feet with the seats up and when their folded down, the cargo space increases to over 44 cubic feet. It comes standard with an Infinity audio system, a 7 inch touch screen, 2 USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You can upgrade the six speaker system to an eight speaker audio, wireless phone charging, satellite radio, an * inch touch screen and navigation. The engine is a 147 horsepower 4 cylinder, turbocharged as the base, and later in the year, the N model will be offered with a 274 horsepower turbo four. There is currently a second choice with a 201 hp turbo 4. The average mpg is 27 city and 34 hwy.
7. 2018 Chevrolet Bolt – $36,620 – $40,905
The Bolt seats five adults comfortably with tall headroom similar to an SUV. The interior is rather basic, but the outlay offers excellent visibility for the driver and headroom for all passengers. The cargo space behind the rear seats is 16.9 cubic feet to extend with the 60/40 split to an amazing 56.6 cubic feet of space. It’s loaded with a MyLink interface that features a high speed Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. The infotainment system has a 10.2 inch touch screen, audio and climate control.The engine is an electric 200 hp paired with a 60 kwh lithium ion battery with an estimated range of 238 miles on a single charge. Full charging on a 240 volt charger takes approximately 9.3 hours.
6. 2018 Chevrolet Sonic – $15,295 – $21,320
The 2018 Chevrolet Sonic features a basic interior, but it’s still a great value for the low price. It seats five adults and offers 19 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. The infotainment system includes the MyLink interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a built in high speed Wi-Fi hot spot. It is powered by a
1.8 liter 4 cylinder and it’s also available in a 1.4 liter 4 cylinder that is turbocharged. The average mpg is 25 in the city and 34 hwy.
5. 2018 Ford Focus – $17,950 – $41,120
The 2018 Ford Focus seats five adults and offers 23.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats for thee gas powered model but the Focus electric version offers just 14.2 cubic feet. The infotainment system comes with SYNC 3 interface with an 8 inch touch screen display, a 10 speaker Sony sound system, satellite radio, HD radio and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is powered by a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine that averages 25 mpg city and 34 hwy.
4. 2018 Kia Rio – $13,900 – $18,700
The Kia Rio seats five and is among the most spacious of all 2018 subcompact cars. The head and leg room is ample with 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space. The infotainment system is basic and comes with a 5 inch touch screen and satellite radio. Upgrades to the EX trim get you Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a larger touch screen and enhanced smartphone integration. This budget priced vehicle is powered by a 130 horse power 4 cylinder engine with a fuel efficiency rating of 29 city mpg city and 37 hwy.
3. 2018 Honda Civic – $18,940 – $34,700
The 2018 Honda Civic hatchback seats five, and offers 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats up and 46.2 when they’re folded down. It’s loaded with Bluetooth, a USB port and a 5 inch display screen for the infotainment system. It can be upgraded to include an extra USB port, a 7 inch screen, Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, Android Auto, and navigation. The 205 horse power turbocharged 4 cylinder engine averages 31 mpg city and 40 hwy for excellent gas mileage.
2. 2018 Volkswagen GTI – $26,415 – $36,170
The GTI is the second best hatchback for 2018 and is favored because of its spacious passenger area, that seats five very comfortably. I’s also packed with appealing technology and styling that gives it the feeling of a luxury car, complete with premium interior materials. The cargo space offers 22.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and when they’re up, and when folded down, the storage area increases to 52.7 cubic feet. The high tech infotainment system offers a total of three smartphone integration systems, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. It also comes with a responsive touch screen that is 6.5 inches which can be upgraded to an 8 inch. The GTI is powered by a turbo charged four cylinder engine that generates 220 horsepower with a fuel efficiency rating of 24 mpg city and 32 hwy. Responsive handling and a comfortable ride are also selling points of this highly rated hatchback.
1. 2018 Kia Soul – $16,200 – $35,950
The Kia Soul is the number one hatchback model for 2018. It features an upscale cabin with user-friendly latch hardware and seating for five. The interior materials are high grade and the cargo space is 24.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats. When the rear seats are folded down, the available space increases to 61.3 cubic feet for more than ample storage. The cabin itself is roomy so there’s plenty of head, shoulder and leg space. The infotainment system is an intuitive UVO interface that comes with your choice of a 7 or 8 inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple Car Play, a Harman Kardon premium audio system and navigation. The 2018 Soul is powered with a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine, or the available 2.0 liter 4 cylinder, the 201 horses power turbocharged four or the battery powered electric EV model. For the gas version, the average mpg is 25 city and 30 hwy.