The utility of a hatchback is an undeniable advantage of this type of automobile. You get many of the benefits of the SUV in a smaller, more readily manageable footprint. While many people say they like the carrying capacity an SUV affords them—in addition to the all-wheel drive powertrain—they don’t particularly like the size.
With this group of 2016 hatchbacks, you get the utility, the all-wheel drive, better fuel economy and easier handling than a large SUV. BTW, some of the models we’ve included here are marketed as crossovers, but if you look closely, you’ll see they’re really hatchbacks in disguise. For the record, we aren’t here to call anyone out; we just want to make sure nothing gets overlooked:
10. Volkswagen Golf R:
If you love the GTI but crave more power, check out the Golf R—it’s also a 10Best winner for 2016. The R is an all-out performance model with a 292-hp turbo 2.0-liter four, all-wheel drive, a sport suspension, 18-inch wheels, and a six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic with launch control is optional. Sadly, the automatic is faster to 60 mph by 0.7 second, at 4.5 seconds. Standard luxury features include satellite radio, heated seats, keyless entry with push-button start, and Bluetooth.
9. Toyota Venza:
Here’s another case where we say tah-MAY-toh, while others say tah-MAH-toh. Venza isn’t a crossover SUV by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a traditional wagon. This only leaves—hatchback. A big hatchback—no doubt—but don’t let the size fool you OK? To get all-wheel drive you’ll have to opt for the pricier XLE and Limited Venza models equipped with V6 engines. This means you’ll get 268 horsepower and 246 ft-lbs from a 3.5-liter V6, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission. XLE features include power-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, navigation, and Toyota’s Entune Smartphone applications integration. Venza Limited brings xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, and front and rear parking sensor arrays.