Most motor vehicle manufacturers have a hatch or hatchback vehicle available in their range… but have you ever stopped to think where this interesting term comes from? When I hear hatch, for some reason, the hunchback of Notre Dame always comes to mind. I picture Quasimodo, this short little man with the curved back who used to ring the bell in a land far far away from here…
However, that is not quite where the term hatch comes from! In fact, the only thing poor Quasimodo and a hatch have in common might be their slightly curved backsides…
These types of vehicles usually include very nifty, even sporty designs and have the added bonus of offering more space than a standard sedan.
When referring to a car as a hatch, the easiest way to describe it would be the incorporation of a passenger vehicle with a lot of cargo space… the best of both worlds in effect! The car body style incorporates a shared passenger and cargo volume with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged boot. In the case of a hatch, the rear door usually includes the back window and opens vertically to allow access to the storage area. The storage area is usually not separated from the rest of the passenger compartment. This is also the main difference between a hatch or hatchback and a standard SUV with a boot.
Fold-down rear seats contributes to this ever popular style’s features, enabling flexibility within the shared passenger/cargo volume. For families with a baby and a stroller, this is often a popular choice as, for some reason; baby strollers are simply not designed for a standard car boot and you’ll always find at least one wheel refusing to cooperate!
Hatch vehicles may be described as three-door (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-door (four entry doors and the hatch) cars, and even though they range in size, they are all designed with the same important goal – to create more space! For this reason hatches are mostly family-orientated vehicles, more based on practicality and safety than on sleek design features and impressive top speeds. Many manufacturers prioritise style over interior volume, with a shorter rear overhang and with smaller windows (or no windows) aside the cargo volume. This does not mean that these vehicles are slow and ugly – not even close! Some of the most popular models in manufacturers’ ranges are indeed their hatchbacks!
A common feature in most hatches, which assists in storage space, is a removable rigid parcel shelf, retractable with the tailgate or a flexible roll-up cover to cover the cargo space behind the rear seats.
In some countries the hatch is such as popular vehicle that it is now referred to as a “hot hatch”, shortened from the term “hot hatchback”.
The hatch will always be favoured and remain a popular seller for manufacturers. What it all comes down to is the following: If you’re looking for a practical vehicle with more than enough space, you cannot go wrong with a hatch! “It’s hot if it’s in a hatch!”