Difference Between Sedans, Coupes and Hatchbacks

Sedans vs. Coupes vs. Hatchbacks: What’s the Difference?

So, you’ve decided to stray away from the ever popular crossovers & SUVs that have taken over the automotive market in recent years and you’ve settled on buying a conventional car. Good for you! Now that you’ve narrowed down your vehicle options, it’s time to decide what type of car best suits your needs. When it comes to non-SUV vehicles, the three most popular variants are sedans, coupes and hatchbacks. The ownership experience of these types of vehicles come with many benefits when compared to their crossover and SUV counterparts. These include generally cheaper maintenance costs, easier maneuverability in tight urban spaces, and better overall fuel efficiency, resulting in savings. Continue reading below to learn more about the differences between these types of vehicles.

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If you were to ask the average person to draw what they think a car looks like, chances are, they’d draw a four-door automobile that’s low to the ground, with a pronounced hood in the front and a similarly shaped trunk in the rear. That’s exactly what a sedan is! This vehicle bodystyle has been around since the inception of the automobile, and is still a popular choice for motorists all over the world. Their low centre of gravity, relatively small wheelbase, ability to seat five passengers, and above average fuel efficiency (when compared to larger vehicles), make sedans an ideal choice for a wide range of drivers.

  • Number of Doors: 4
  • Exterior Styling: Conventional four-doors, front hood and rear trunk
  • Interior Space: Average, typically seats five (5) 
  • Cargo Room: Average to large rear trunk 
  • Performance: Average to high-performance, depending on the model


Now that you know what a sedan is, imagine a similar vehicle but with its two rear doors being replaced by a sloping roofline towards the trunk. In a nutshell, that’s what a vehicle with a coupe body style is. Performance car enthusiasts prefer driving two-door coupes as they are typically lighter than their sedan counterparts, have better handling due to their reduced wheelbase and in general, have a more desirable, sporty exterior design. Although more fun to drive, coupe ownership comes with a few downsides including a considerably smaller interior cabin, miniscule to non-existent rear seats, a smaller rear trunk to store cargo, and are generally more expensive to purchase than their sedan or hatchback counterparts.

  • Number of Doors: 2
  • Exterior Styling: Dramatically raked, sloping rear roofline design 
  • Interior Space: Minimal, typically equipped with rear seats best for two passengers
  • Cargo Room: Minimal; small rear trunk & rear seats can be used for cargo
  • Performance: Typically the best performing, handling and most sport-oriented vehicles


If you’re looking for a vehicle that can handle both family duty and day-to-day commutes, a hatchback is likely the best choice for you. These jack-of-all-trades vehicles have a reputation for being practical, utilitarian people movers, with their generous interior passenger space, and the ease of access to cargo area, thanks to the rear hatchback design. These vehicles typically come equipped with front-wheel drive drivetrains and economical gasoline or hybrid powertrains, however, some models may be equipped with all-wheel drive and high-output performance engines.

  • Number of Doors: 5 (including the rear hatch)
  • Exterior Styling: Conventional four-door styling with a rear, upward swinging door
  • Interior Space: Average, typically seats five (5)
  • Cargo Room: Above average, highly flexible rear cargo area with rear hatch access
  • Performance: Average to high-performance, depending on the model

Sedan, Coupe or Hatchback: Which One is Right for You? 

Now that you’re aware of the differences between each vehicle bodystyle, it’s time to decide which type of vehicle is right for you. Ultimately, this decision depends on your lifestyle and what you need your vehicle to do for you. If you require a car that can double as a family vehicle and a comfortable daily driver, then a sedan may be the best bet for you. If you value performance-oriented driving dynamics, and don’t mind sacrificing some practicality to get it, then a two-door coupe may be the right choice for you. On the other end of the spectrum, if you lead an active lifestyle that requires you to frequently move people, pets, gear and other accessories in your vehicle, then a hatchback might just be the ideal vehicle for you.

Auto Depot Sudbury is your go-to used car dealership in Sudbury and the surrounding Northern Ontario region. Conveniently located at 933 Kingsway in Sudbury, Ontario, we have been proudly serving our community for over 25 years and have helped hundreds of new drivers get behind the wheel of their first vehicle. Our top notch sales team can help you browse our wide array of high quality used vehicles to find the right vehicle for the right price! Purchasing a vehicle from us is only the start of our relationship as we proudly offer routine service and repairs at our state of the art service centre. Don’t hesitate to visit us and chat with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives about our featured vehicles under $15K!