You love to spend the weekends in the country. You’re single and like to travel with your friends. You describe yourself as someone active; you like to go to the beach, the mountains or a lake house to unwind and recharge for the week to come. Perhaps you’re looking for a new car, too, but you’re unsure about what to get. Should you go for the looks and fuel economy of hatchbacks or the versatility and all-wheel drive traction that crossover SUVs offer?
Why You Should Get a Crossover
Over the years, crossovers have become popular players in the industry. Their larger SUV-style bodies means more interior space, and the higher ride is more appealing than sedans or hatchbacks because you get both better visibility and better ground clearance for inclement weather. Although most of them are front-wheel-drive, a vast majority offer all-wheel drive, which allows you to have better traction when driving on snow, sand or a trail.
Crossovers generally also deliver a smoother ride compared to truck-based SUVs. Their unibody construction means that they offer a settled ride and also allows them to be lighter, giving them better fuel economy than larger traditional body-on-frame SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe or Jeep Wrangler.
There are different sizes of crossovers—from subcompacts that aim to appeal to a single, younger buyer, to three-row CUVs that can seat the entire family. There’s the fun and attractive Hyundai Kona, which delivers an enjoyable ride behind the wheel, or the new Toyota Highlander with seats for up to eight passengers and an available hybrid engine delivering up to 35 mpg. Most crossovers are powered by a four-cylinder engine—some even offer three-cylinder mills— but mid-size SUVs are usually powered by six-bangers given their larger bodies. If you’re looking for a go-fast SUV, there are more out there than ever. Whether you like the Porsche Macan or the Ford Explorer ST, performance SUVs are here to stay. They are meant to provide a dynamic experience at the wheel while delivering the versatility and all-wheel drive traction that buyers look for in SUVs.
You should get a crossover if you want a higher ride and are thinking about driving on snow or trails often. If you have friends and family regularly with you in the car, a crossover will offer more interior space.
Why You Should Get a Hatchback
Besides being attractive, hatchbacks are great conventional passenger cars. Nowadays, most of them come with four doors and a spacious cargo area, offering more versatility than sedans. They’re also known for offering great fuel economy, better performance than crossovers, and a smaller body, which could be good if you’re limited to street parking or tight parking spaces.
Like with crossovers, there are hotter versions that provide a thrilling drive while still delivering on the basics. Some of these include the Volkswagen Golf R, Hyundai Veloster N, and Honda Civic Type R. But unlike crossovers, we don’t have many hatchbacks that support all-wheel drive. The new Mazda Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, and Golf R are some hatchbacks that offer all-wheel drive traction.
The nicest thing about hatchbacks is that they offer similar accommodations to sedans but with more versatility. If the seats folded flat, hatchbacks can carry larger objects or more camping gear, which is pretty important if you’re traveling during the weekends.
You should get a hatchback if you live in an area where parking is limited and your budget is tight. Hatchbacks are cheaper than entry-level crossovers, and because they also offer great fuel economy, they are cheaper to own than crossovers. But if you’re planning to go camping or hit a trail often, you should definitely go for a crossover.
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