Hatchbacks vs Sportbacks. A Complete Guide

When it comes to hatchback vs sportback, there’s a lot to say about these two confusing car body types. Truly speaking, many people often find hatchbacks and sportbacks quite confusing.

After all, these body types have a lot of similarities. But they also have numerous differences, begging the question; what are the most common differences between them? 

The difference is largely in the roofline and the rear. When it comes to the roofline, one body style features a steeply sloping roofline and another body style lays out a gently sloping roofline.

As for the rear, each body style has the car’s rear designed in a different kind of way, affecting how the car looks and its cargo capacity.

Of course, several other elements distinguish these body designs. These include but are not limited to the trunk design, the resemblance to other body designs, the backseat design, and the trunk top design(on the inside). 

What Are Hatchbacks?

Hatchbacks are cars with a two-box body design consisting of a rear door that swings upward to provide access to the inside of the trunk(boot).

These cars can have either 3-doors, 4-doors,  or 5-doors and they kind of resemble station wagons only that they look smaller. 

What Are Sportbacks?

Now, sportbacks are a particular type of car that combine the exterior and interior design characteristics of three different kinds of vehicles; fastback coupes, hatchbacks, and sedans.

They(sportbacks)have a sporty look characterized by a sloping roofline with a truncated rear end, a rear door that swings upward to provide access to the trunk(boot), and roomy interior dimensions just like fastback coupes, hatchbacks, and sedans, respectively. These cars usually have 5 doors

Differences Between Hatchbacks vs Sportbacks

Check out the main differences between hatchbacks and sportbacks below:


1. Have a steeply sloping roofline with a Kamm tail wherein the rear of the car is abruptly cut off with a vertical surface. 
2. Have non-roof-mounted trunks. 
3. Resemble station wagons, but with a smaller look. 
4. Have less cargo space than sportbacks. 
5. May feature a fold-down backseat, allowing for the reconfiguration of the interior to increase cargo space.  
6. May have a flexible roll-up tonneau cover or a removable rigid parcel shelf to cover the cargo space behind the rear seats. 
7. Are generally less potent than sportbacks. 
8. Rolled out in the mid-twentieth century i.e in 1938. 
9. Are generally inferior to sportbacks. 
10. Are generally cheaper than sportbacks. 
11. Are smaller than most sportbacks. 
12. There are more hatchbacks than sportbacks, in general.
13. Driven by almost anyone, thanks to their pocket-friendly price tags. 
14. Mostly fall in the regular car class. 

1. Have a gently sloping roofline and truncated rear end.
2. Have roof-mounted trunks. 
3. Resemble sedans, but with a sporty look characterized by a sleeker and slightly more slanted rear.
4. Have more cargo space than hatchbacks.
5. Feature a non-fold-down backseat, which does not allow for the reconfiguration of the interior to increase cargo space.
6. Do not have a flexible roll-up tonneau cover or a removable rigid parcel shelf to cover the cargo space behind the rear seats. 
7. Are, in general, more powerful than hatchbacks. 
8. Rolled out in the 21st century i.e in the late 2000s.
9. Are generally superior to hatchbacks. 
10. Are generally costlier than hatchbacks. 
11. They Are larger than most hatchbacks. 
12. There are fewer sportbacks than hatchbacks, in general. 
13. Mostly driven by rich people, thanks to their exorbitant price tags. 
13. Mostly fall in the luxury car class. 

Similarities Between Hatchback VS Sportback

Hatchbacks and sportbacks are also similar in a few ways as shown below:

1. Have a hatch-type rear door that opens upwards.
2. Have 3 or 5 doors.
3. Can carry 3-4 passengers.
4. May feature a two-or-three-box design though most hatchbacks use a two-box design body style.
5. Are compact or small family cars. 
6. Some hatchbacks have sophisticated features and technical specs similar to those found in many sportbacks.  


For years, drivers have had a choice of hatchback and sportback car body shapes each having its own unique characteristics. While these car body shapes have a few similarities here and there, it’s worth noting that they differ in many aspects including the roofline design, and trunk design.

Other differences can be seen in the cargo space, backseat design, as well as vehicle power, dominance, price, numbers, class, and popularity. 

Though each type of car has its own advantages and disadvantages, sportbacks carry the day anytime. These cars are superior to their hatchback counterparts, thanks to their higher features, technical specs, and overall design.

All these make them more powerful and spacious both for passengers and cargo.

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