If I had to choose one word to describe the current state of the auto industry, I'd have to go with "choices." Choices, choices, choices—there are just so many of them. Big or small, manual or automatic, turbocharged or naturally aspirated…you get the drift. What we'll be tackling today though, is a little more straightforward: hatchback or sedan?
I love hatches and detest the lack of hot ones here in the Philippines. Recently, I had the chance to be behind the wheel of two of the most popular cars in their respective segments: the Honda Jazz and the Civic. This got me thinking. "I dig both, but would I really choose a Jazz over the 2016 Car of the Year because of an extra door out back?"
My answer? Just bring the Civic hatch over already! Here are some reasons why I'll always prefer hatches to sedans.
1) That extra door out back does wonders. When it comes to loading and unloading cargo, the hatch wins hands down. Taller objects fit and placing them inside is a piece of cake. In my case, the Civic's trunk couldn't fit a couple of laundry baskets. Having a hatch which opens all the way up matters, and more so if you do plenty of hauling during errand runs.
2) Need something from the rear? No need to leave the cabin. Just have a passenger at the rear hand it to you. This is a deal-breaker during road trips and long drives. It's a major pain in the ass having to stop every now and then to replenish your cabin supplies.
3) The rear can turn into a makeshift tambayan. You probably see this all the time inside parking lots. The barkada just pops open the hatch, lays out a blanket and some snacks and…that's it. The hatch acts as a roof, and the spacious rear as a makeshift couch. Just bring out the guitar and you're all set.
4) You can check on your cargo. Need to check on something out back? No trunk to pop open, just take a look through the window. If you have pets, this is a pretty big deal. But then again, what kind of dick would put their fur buddy inside a trunk, right? Be warned: If you can take a peek, so can everyone else.
5) It's just…cooler. It's more utilitarian to look at, of course. But there are plenty of other quirks and bonuses to owning a hatch, too. Watching the rear pop up and down (more so if it's controlled via remote) and proudly examining how well-arranged your cargo is after you've loaded it are just some of them.
6) They make excellent tracking vehicles. Not having to pop your camera out of a window during shoots is a major plus in our book. Yeah, pickup trucks do fine too. But what happens if it begins to pour in the middle of the shoot? The hatch just ticks all the right boxes.
7) Those seats though. The Civic's trunk has more space than the Jazz's rear—before you fold the seats down, at least. In the case of the Jazz, owners can configure their seats to fit just about any type of cargo imaginable. Also, while this might just be me, folding them is fun, too.