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7 Best Hatchback Cars for 2021

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When you need more room than a typical compact car but aren’t looking for a traditional sedan, a hatchback can be a practical choice. The best hatchbacks couple the utility of an SUV with the performance, fuel efficiency and price tag of a smaller car. Hatchbacks are defined by a rear fifth “door” that raises to provide access to the cargo area versus a separate trunk. Today’s hatchbacks are versatile in other ways, sometimes offering all-wheel drive and hybrid or all-electric models.

Best Hatchbacks for 2021
Model Score MSRP
Honda Fit 4.60 $16,190
Honda Civic Hatchback 4.52 $22,200
Chevrolet Bolt EV 4.43 $36,620
Volkswagen Golf GTI 4.27 $28,595
Toyota Prius LE 4.24 $25,735
Hyundai Ioniq 4.17 $23,200
Mazda3 Hatchback 4.15 $22,650

How we chose the best hatchback cars

We evaluated 11 new hatchback models and ranked them based on expert and consumer reviews from Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book (KBB). The seven best hatchbacks are included here, listed from highest to lowest average score.

2020 Honda Fit

  • 4.60 out of 5
  • $16,190 starting MSRP
  • 31/29/36 MPG

The Honda Fit may not have the flash of its sibling Civic Type R, but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly hatchback with a (relatively) roomy cabin, the Honda Fit is a practical choice. Powered by a four-cylinder engine, the Fit delivers 130 horsepower and comes standard with a manual transmission and cloth upholstery. The optional continuously variable automatic transmission adds $800 to the starting price. Moving up the Fit’s four trim lines brings additional comforts and features. The Sport trim starts at $17,600 and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, satellite radio and a 7-inch touch screen. The EX trim adds the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features with automatic high-beam headlights and adaptive cruise control. The range-topping EX-L trim, priced from $20,620, comes with two rows of leather-trimmed seats and heated front seats. This versatile hatchback includes Honda’s Magic Seat feature that lets you slide back seats for expanded access to the rear. If you want one, you’ll need to act fast — Honda decided to discontinue the Fit after the 2020 model year.

2021 Honda Civic Hatchback

  • 4.52 out of 5
  • $22,200 starting MSRP
  • 34/31/40 MPG

The Civic is so popular, Honda offers four variations: a sedan, a coupe (discontinued after 2020), the performance Type R or a hatchback. The hatchback provides 25.7 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats, compared with the Civic sedan’s 15.1 cubic feet of trunk space. Even its base LX model seats up to five people, but you’ll have to go to the next trim, Sport, for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 7-inch touch screen. Upper trims include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and an 8-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat. All models come with the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features.

2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV

  • 4.43 out of 5
  • $36,500 starting MSRP
  • 118/127/108 MPGe

There is a lot to like about the Chevrolet Bolt EV, a fully electric hatchback that produces 200 horsepower. The Bolt can travel 259 miles when fully charged. Its five-passenger cabin has plenty of space, and its expansive cargo hold features a 60/40 split-folding rear seat to help fit larger items. The Bolt comes with tech features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, Wi-Fi hotspot capability and an infotainment system with an impressive 10.2-inch touch screen. Optional features include a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel, heated front seats and advanced safety features, such as rear cross traffic alert and rear park assist. Choose the Premier trim for heated rear seats and additional storage. A 2022 Bolt is set to arrive in summer 2021 with the addition of a new, so-called EUV design that offers more space than the Bolt EV.

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

  • 4.27 out of 5
  • $28,595 starting MSRP
  • 27/24/32 MPG

A so-called “hot hatchback,” the Volkswagen Golf GTI is the sporty version of Volkswagen’s practical Golf hatchback. It offers performance plus the Golf’s 22.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats (52.7 cubic feet with the back seats folded down). That’s plenty of room for luggage, sports equipment or shopping bags. The GTI S begins at $28,595 and comes with cloth upholstery, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 6.5-inch touch screen. The GTI SE trim gets leather upholstery and an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. The top-tier Autobahn model adds a premium stereo system and advanced safety features including adaptive cruise control.

2021 Toyota Prius LE

  • 4.24 out of 5
  • $25,735 starting MSRP
  • 52/54/50 MPG

The Toyota Prius LE is a roomy hybrid with excellent gas mileage and plenty of features. It’s not the lowest-priced Prius — the L Eco model, priced at $24,525, is the first of seven trims, concluding with the top-tier Limited, starting at $32,650. The Prius LE produces 121 horsepower using a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. All-wheel drive is available for a starting price of $27,135. The Prius LE has impressive fuel economy ratings but still comfortably seats five people. With 50.7 cubic feet of space when the rear seats are folded down, the Prius has a decent amount of cargo room. All Prius trims come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot capability and a 7-inch touch screen. The Prius is equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of advanced safety features, including pre-collision with pedestrian detection and road sign assistance.

2020 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

  • 4.17 out of 5
  • $23,200 starting MSRP
  • 58/57/59 MPG

The Ioniq is one of the most inexpensive hybrids on the market. It offers 139 horsepower using a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and excellent fuel efficiency. The base Blue trim comes with push-button start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat and tech features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SE model starts at $25,150 and comes with heated front seats and expanded advanced safety features to include blind-spot collision warning and rear-cross traffic collision warning. The SEL trim starts at $28,400 and adds a power sunroof and stop-and-go cruise control. Leather seating and a 10.25-inch touch screen with navigation come in the Limited edition, which begins at $31,200.  A 2021 version of the popular hybrid hatchback is in the works — its plug-in and fully-electric versions are already out — but wasn’t available on the Hyundai website at press time.

2021 Mazda3 Hatchback

  • 4.15 out of 5
  • $22,650 starting MSRP
  • 29/26/34 MPG

The sporty Mazda hatchback, not to be confused with the sedan version of the Mazda3, comes in six trims starting with a 186-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The five-passenger cabin has cloth upholstery and comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a handful of advanced safety features like a lane departure warning system and stop-and-go cruise control. Move up to the Select trim for available all-wheel drive and leatherette-trimmed sport seats. The 2.5 Turbo trim starts at $31,050 and comes with a 250-horsepower engine and all-wheel drive. The 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus model begins at $33,900 and adds perforated leather-trimmed sport seats, navigation and traffic jam assist.

Ways to finance the best hatchbacks

Before you buy a new hatchback, it’s important to shop around for an auto loan. You can save money when you arrange your financing ahead of time. But for many of us, combing the internet or calling local banks in your area for information on an auto loan may sound daunting. At LendingTree, you can complete a quick online form and receive up to five auto loan offers from lenders, based on your creditworthiness.

 

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