Hatchbacks and sedans are the most common and popular factor when it comes to body styles available in the Indian car market. While a majority of the car buyers in the country prefers hatchbacks, sedans and Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) still hold a strong position among those who want an elegant model that offers space and comfort. A hatchback is the regular 4-door car with a shared passenger and cargo space that can be accessed via the fifth door. In a sedan there is a dedicated cargo space in the rear that is separated from the interiors, while the cabin is dedicated to passenger comfort only; this is the biggest difference between these two body styles. Hatchbacks running on petrol, diesel and CNG are available in the market.

What is the difference between a Hatchback, Liftback and Station wagon?

Hatchbacks, also known as liftbacks, are the cars in which the cargo space has been incorporated into the passenger cabin. The cargo space can be accessed through a fifth door at the back of the car which lifts upward. The extra door at the rear end is the reason why hatchbacks are called five-door cars. These are preferred by buyers looking for a car that can easily accommodate a small family and can be easily manoeuvred in cities, with focus on comfort and convenience features.

Though they are 5-door vehicles as well, station wagons feature a comparatively higher roof and more space in the cargo area. Though the cargo space does not exceed that of a mini-van, it is certainly at par with that of a sedan. Besides, the rear upward lifting door to access the cargo space, a station wagon also features a tailgate opening to ensure comfortable loading and unloading.

Even though both hatchbacks and station wagons are five-door vehicles, the cars differ from each other in terms of size. Station wagon offers more space than the hatchbacks in the cargo space. However, station wagons have never picked up in popularity, mostly due to Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) and Multi-purpose Vehicles (MPV). Since station wagons, also known as estate cars, have never been a favourite with Indian buyers, there are not many models available for sale in the country. Conversely, the Indian auto industry is replete with hatchbacks in various sizes.

What are A1 and A2 segment hatchbacks?

It is somewhat confusing to determine a car type and car segment by solely looking at it. Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has outlined all types of cars according to their length and the body shape. This classification helps customers identify and differentiate between similar cars to ensure an easier and simpler buying process. The hatchbacks are broadly classified into two segments A1 and A2, as per SIAM's classification. The mini-hatchbacks belong to A1 segment includes all models which are under 3,400 mm in length. On the other hand, compact hatchbacks or A2 segment models comprise all the cars which are above 3,401 and below 4,000 mm in length.

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