Happy Family Sitting In A Open Trunk Of Hatchback

Best Hatchback Cars On The 2022 Used Market

Hanna Kielar6-minute read
UPDATED: December 12, 2022


Hatchback cars offer the convenience of an accessible rear liftgate trunk, like an SUV, as well as small-car fuel economy that simply can’t be found in an SUV. Although small, hatchbacks come in every available drivetrain to take you off the beaten path. We compiled the best hatchback cars on the used market in 2022, distinguished by size and performance. Only interested in the best compact speed devils? Jump to hot hatches.

What Makes A Good Hatchback Car

We curated our ranking for the best hatchback cars on the used market based on a number of factors including safety ratings, cargo room, fuel economy and performance. Then, we referenced consumer reviews, automotive journalists, and industry experts, such as IIHS, NHTSA, U.S. News and World Report and Kelley Blue Book.

We compiled our key insights and acclaimed features to find the top 10 hatchbacks available on the market.

Table Of Contents

    Best Small Hatchback Cars

    The automotive industry considers the rear car hatch as a third door, though you’ll often see three-door hatchbacks used interchangeably with two-door hatchback cars. Regardless, these compact cars tend to offer either more performance or fuel efficiency or a combo of each than larger hatchback models.

    Chevrolet Corvette

    Orange Corvette

    Source: mario beauregard - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Luxury performance

    MPG: 15 city | 27 highway

    Cargo space: 12.6 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive

    The 2020 model year Corvette is the first generation that places the weight of its engine above the rear-wheel suspension, which serves to increase control, acceleration and overall performance. While the Corvette is the least fuel-efficient vehicle on our list, it may be the most fun to drive. If you want performance on a budget, know that you can buy a 2005 model year Corvette for the price of a brand-new Chevy Spark.

    Hyundai Veloster

    Hyundai Veloster

    Source: ezstudiophoto - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Budget shoppers

    MPG: 27 city | 34 highway

    Cargo space: 44.5 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

    The second-generation Hyundai Veloster, beginning with the 2019 model year hatchback, is best known for its additional rear door on the passenger side, giving it a hybrid coupe-sedan feel. With a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and relatively low ownership cost compared to others in its class, the Veloster is a good value compact hatchback.

    MINI Hardtop

    Mini hardtop.

    Source: jetcityimage - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Sporty drive

    MPG: 27 city | 37 highway

    Cargo space: 8.7 cubic feet

    Drivetrain:  Front-wheel drive

    The MINI Hardtop is the icon of small hatchback cars thanks to its star status in the movie “The Italian Job.” More than that, it is one of the most fuel-efficient coupes on the market and is available in a convertible model as well. That said, it also has one of the smallest cargo capacities on our list.

    Best 5-Door Hatchback Cars

    If you plan to be hauling passengers who require the convenience of rear passenger doors, these roomy cabins make for the best 5-door hatchback cars.

    Volkswagen Golf R

    Golf R

    Source: Mike Mareen - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Cargo capacity

    MPG: 23 city | 30 highway

    Cargo space: 52.7 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive | All-wheel drive

    The seventh generation of the Golf was introduced to the U.S. in 2015, along with its electric counterpart, the e-Golf. If you want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technology, look for a 2016 model year or later.

    While the Golf R is praised for its exterior body style, the interior uses high-quality materials seemingly above its class. Once you fold the rear seats down, the cargo space increases from 22.8 cubic feet to a whopping 52.7 cubic feet.

    Honda Civic

    Honda Civic

    Source: art_zzz - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Safety

    MPG: 31 city | 41 highway

    Cargo space: 15.1 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

    The 2022 Honda Civic will jump-start the 11th generation of a long line of respected quality Civics dating back to 1973. If you’re looking to save money on a used vehicle, consider a 10th generation (2016 – 2021) Civic.

    All trims are equipped with Honda Sensing, its suite of standard safety features that grant the model five stars all around from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

    Mazda 3

    Mazda 3

    Source: RoClickMag - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: All-weather driving

    MPG: 26 city | 35 highway

    Cargo space: 20.1 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive | All-wheel drive

    This sporty hatchback is lauded for its smooth ride and tight handling. The 2019 model year introduced the option of an all-wheel drive (automatic transmission only), making it a powerful option for drivers who need more traction in wintry weather. Select the AWD hatchback model and you get an extra 7 cubic feet of cargo space to toss in your camping essentials as you go off-road.

    Toyota Prius

    Toyota Prius

    Best for: Fuel efficiency

    MPG: 54 city | 50 highway

    Cargo space: 27.4 cubic feet

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

    2016 – 2021 Prius models haven’t changed much across each model year and all boast driver assistance technology that will automatically stop your car when it senses a collision. That said, the infotainment system doesn’t include Apple CarPlay until model year 2020 or Android Auto until the 2021.

    While the pioneering hybrid won’t be able to compete in performance with any other hatchbacks on our list, none can compete with its fuel efficiency.

    Best Hot Hatches

    Hot hatches are defined by their superior performance, powerful engines and sporty handling. Some also have more advanced tech features and luxury appointments than their base vehicles. Hot hatches have traditionally been more popular in Japanese and European markets than in North America.  

    Hyundai Veloster N


    Source: art_zzz - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Good value

    MPG: 22 city | 28 highway

    Cargo space: 44.5 cubic feet

    Horsepower: 275 hp at 6,000 RPM

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

    Introduced in 2019 as a performance package trim for the Hyundai Veloster, the Veloster N quickly became the most popular option and is now the only remaining trim being produced in 2022. Drivers report satisfying engine noises and cargo capacity at an affordable price, though the interior leaves room for improvement.

    Audi A7

    Audi A7

    Source: tomasdevera - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Luxury interior

    MPG: 20 city | 29 highway

    Cargo space: 24.5 cubic feet

    Horsepower: 333 hp at 5,300 RPM

    Drivetrain:  ll-wheel drive

    2019 – 2022 Audi A7s all fall within the same generation of this popular midsize hatchback performance sedan. The A7’s powerful 333-hp V6 turbocharged engine can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds, but that does not outshine the A7’s luxury features and impressive attention to detail.

    The inner cabin includes standard leather seating for five passengers, and the Individual Contour seating package adds memory settings, ventilation, massage, and leather on the armrests and center console. While a new A7 can easily surpass $75,000 at MSRP, a 3 – 5-year-old model with similar performance and features can be found on the used market at less than $50,000.

    Volkswagen Golf GTI


    Source: Moose - stock.adobe.com

    Best for: Handling

    MPG: 25 city | 34 highway

    Cargo space: 53.2 cubic feet

    Horsepower: 220 hp at 4,700 RPMS (Performance pack)

    Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive

    Much like Hyundai abandoned its base model Veloster in the U.S. in favor of the hot hatch Veloster N, Volkswagen has stopped selling its “warm hatch” Golf to concentrate marketing power on the performance models Golf R and Golf GTI. Compared to the larger Golf family, the GTI offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine known for its rapid, coordinated response time and strong braking system. As you shop for used models, one noteworthy change to consider is a driver’s assistance package that, once optional, becomes standard with all 2020 model year GTIs.

    The Bottom Line: Hatchbacks Have More fun

    As you can see, not all hatchbacks are built to offer maximum cargo capacity, maximum performance, or maximum fuel economy. Depending on where you choose to tip the scale, you can find a hatchback that balances your needs.

    With so many options available, it’s no wonder car buying has gone virtual. Expand your search beyond your local market at wider price ranges by learning how to buy a car online.

    Hanna Kielar

    Hanna Kielar is a Section Editor for Rocket Auto℠, RocketHQ℠, and Rocket Loans® with a focus on personal finance, automotive, and personal loans. She has a B.A. in Professional Writing from Michigan State University.