The first hatchbacks appeared in the late 1930s. The vehicle became widespread across Europe in the 50s and 60s, making their way into the Canadian market in the 1970s. In spring 2017, one of the original fan favourites, the Honda Civic hatchback, celebrated two million vehicles sold in Canada since their launch in 1973.
What’s all the hype about the hatchback and why do customers like them?
Hatchbacks are a popular choice amongst many consumers for numerous reasons, including the most aesthetic one, sleek design. The vehicle is a blend of characteristics of the sedan, wagon, and SUV. This combination in a compact car with the features of a utility vehicle, while not at all skimping on design, makes it a winning option. Additionally, the versatility of hatchbacks lies in their ability to seat a family of four or offer more room, rendering space for your cargo.
The cherry on top of the hatchback sundae is the vehicle’s affordability. There are numerous options at a very accessible price point, starting around the $20,000 mark. In general, there’s a lower cost of entry to luxury features while still having the utility vehicle-like versatility of a hatchback. The sporty hatchback also boasts fuel economy, which means more money in your pocket. Why have hatchbacks increased in popularity over the years? In 2017, sales of the Volkswagen Golf jumped 23% in Canada from 2016. There’s no doubt that more consumers are choosing a hatchback, but what has made the vehicle rise to the top in popularity?
In addition to affordability, design, and extra space, the hatchback is a great vehicle to fit the modern urban lifestyle of young professionals and families, Baby Boomers, and beyond. Compact yet versatile, the hatchback adjusts for more space when needed (think IKEA trips!) The vehicle’s compact size is a big positive for those living in city centres because of the ease of parking and navigation as well as the eco-friendly benefit of improved fuel economy.
Manufacturers have continued to evolve the hatchback over the decades, offering hybrid and electric options that an increasing number of environmentally conscious consumers are opting for. Hatchbacks are also being produced by a plethora of brands across the car market, including luxury models by Audi, BMW, and Lexus. These smaller makes of high-end vehicles are more financially approachable than their SUV counterparts, offering a mix of versatility and luxury.
What are the best hatchbacks to buy in Canada?
Here are our picks for the top 5 best hatchbacks on the Canadian market:
This sporty yet cute compact car starts from $15,490, making it an affordable option for first-time buyers. Although the non-SUV car market has experienced a slight decline, Honda hatchback sales continue to increase yearly. Honda has a range of hatchback offerings that are best sellers.
The Fit may be small, but it’s designed to improve energy efficiency without sacrificing on performance. Enjoy the most efficient drive ratio possible with the Fit’s continuously variable transmission (CVT). Plus, turn on ECON mode and non-essential functions are adjusted to help further reduce fuel consumption, so you can drive farther on less.
Back in 1997, Toyota was one of the forerunners behind the hybrid craze. Toyota has refined its technology over time and today’s Prius is an exceptional energy-efficient hatchback that starts under the $30,000 price point. It’s an accessible optional for those looking for a greener vehicle. Its electric-only mode is perfect for city driving, reaching up to 60 km/hr. For highway driving, the Prius features an eco-friendly fuel efficiency of 4.5 litres/100 km.
Chevrolet Bolt EV
The Bolt is Chevrolet’s first mass-produced all-electric vehicle, delivering an exceptional range. You’ll be able to drive up to 383 kilometres per charge, with a full battery charge requiring about 9.5 hours. Over and above, the Bolt has two features to help even further prolong battery life.
For example, Regen on Demand, with a simple pull of the paddle on the steering wheel, it slows down the vehicle without using the brake pedal. Thus, converting energy that would be normally lost during breaking into usable electricity that transfers back to the battery. Overall, the Bolt EV offers great handling, ample power–accelerating from 0 to 96 km/hr in 6.5 seconds–all with quiet precision. Not too shabby for an eco-friendly ride!
This classic compact car is now into it’s seventh generation of production. Thirty three million Golfs have been manufactured worldwide over the last 40 years. It features a crowd-pleasing combo of comfort, sportiness, and utility, while also having one of the best transmissions on the market.
The 2018 Golf has no shortage of tech functionality, including App-Connect, giving drivers hands-free access to their favourite apps. Plus, back-up cameras are a standard feature, 60/40 seats easily allow more cargo space or more seating, and its 1.8 L TSI engine is fuel efficient without sacrificing performance.
This last hatchback pick is on the luxury end of the spectrum. The BMW i3 is an electric, eco-friendly option that doesn’t cut any corners on cutting-edge style. It’s focused on sustainability–many of its components are made from recycled materials and it’s 100% manufactured with renewable energy sources.
Although this hatchback might be “green” it can still perform, going from 0 to 100 km in 7.3 seconds and reaching up to 160 km/hr. So, get behind the wheel of an i3 to look really great and feel great supporting sustainability–it’s completely emission-free while you’re driving!
We’re here when you’re ready to get into the driver’s seat of your first or next hatchback. Birchwood Automotive Group is Winnipeg’s largest network of dealerships, offering a wide range of options to fit your needs and lifestyle.