The term “Hatchback” quite literally means a car with a hatch at the back. In more popular terms, a hatchback is a utilitarian, sub-compact, small economy car.
Historical reference of a hatchback-type car can be traced back to the 1930s by Citroën; a French car company which developed the first modern hatchback; The Citroën 11CV Commerciale.
It was not until 1983, the year in which India got its first hatchback; The Maruti 800, which set a record with an astounding 2.7 million units sold until production ceased in 2013. The Maruti 800 still remains the second largest selling car after the Hindustan Ambassador.
Did you know? 7 out of 10 best selling cars of 2018 are hatchbacks, counting the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto, Hyundai i10, Tata Tiago, Renault Kwid and more.
So, why does India love these hatchback type cars? What makes them so special? And should you consider a hatchback for your new car purchase? GoMechanic reports.
India and Hatchbacks; The perfect match
With a new car launch every now and then, India’s love for hatchback is only scaling peaks. Hatchbacks have long been the most beloved in India right from the Maruti 800 days. Even today, the Alto 800 by Maruti remains the best selling car every year. It wasn’t just Maruti that dominated the hatchback segment, South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai had its piece of success with the Santro launched in the year 1998 that set the sales chart on fire. Another offering by Maruti Suzuki, the WagonR has been the best seller hatchback in the Taxi/Cab market for years.
Tata Motors also garnered critical acclaim with its “lakhtakiya” car, aptly named the Nano. Although the sales weren’t upto expectations, the Nano still left a significant mark in automobile history as the cheapest 4-door micro-compact city car. At the time of its launch in 2008, the base variant of the Tata Nano was priced at just one lakh rupees.
What is a “Hatchback”
A hatchback has the boot (or “dickie”, as we Indians affectionately say) at the back of the car sharing the space with the occupants. Although available in all sorts of sizes, the effective shape of a hatchback more or less remains the same. Hatchbacks are marketed as versatile, city commuter type cars and true to the words, are compact and frugal traffic munchers.
Globally, the hatchback market has seen a sharp rise in sale over the past few years. Owning to surging fuel prices, lack of parking spaces, low maintenance, hatchbacks just makes sense.
The hatchback market of India can be subdivided into 3 categories:
- Micro Hatchback with cars like Tata Nano, Hyundai Eon
- Mini Hatchback with cars like Renault Kwid, Hyundai Santro
- Compact Hatchback with cars like Hyundai i20, Maruti Suzuki Swift
Should your next car be a Hatchback?
We give you 5 big reasons:
Not in a bad way though. Being small is the very characteristic that hatchbacks are India’s favourite cars. Cutting through the choc-a-bloc traffic is a breeze (Delhi folks will relate)
With fuel prices touching new heights, this is one advantage everybody needs. The best selling Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 returns a mind-boggling fuel economy of 25km/l.
It has a better resale value
It’s low on maintenance
Hatchbacks are developed keeping cost in mind. The average hatchback buyer will not splurge on maintenance. The service is cheap, and so are the spares
It offers more bang for the buck
Where you lose in space, you gain in features. The all-new 2018 Hyundai Santro, a mini hatchback boasts a laundry list of feature which can give an average sedan, a run for its money. Touch-screen infotainment system, rear AC vents, steering mounted controls, Bluetooth telephony are the highlights.
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