Buying a new car is no small decision. There are many considerations you have to make about the build, comfort, and suitability of the vehicle you take home. In this article, we give a detailed comparison of a coupe vs sedan vs hatchback.

Find out what each car body type offers so that you can make an informed decision.

At a Glance: Comparing a Coupe, Sedan, and Hatchback

Coupes and sedans tend to share a similar design and have a clear demarcation between the trunk and the rest of the vehicle. If you are looking for a sleek and sporty style, you may want to consider the coupe version rather than the sedan.

Getting the right vehicle is so much more than outward appearance, although that is very essential too. Some of the differences you should look at include how many doors the car has, how spacious it is, and its overall performance.

Many car models are available in all three body types. For example, if you are interested in a 2019 Honda Civic, you have the options of a Honda Civic sedan, a Honda Civic coupe, and a Honda Civic hatchback.

Alternatively, you can find cars that incorporate the key features of a coupe, sedan, and hatchback, all in one model. An example of this is the Audi Sportback.

Let's take a look at the features and functionality of the coupe vs sedan vs hatchback in the next section.


coupe vs sedan vs hatchback

Features and Functionality

The best way to break down the differences between a coupe, a sedan, and a hatchback is to look at the main features and functions one by one. If you are on the hunt for a new vehicle, asking the right questions can help you pick the right one.

Examples of questions include:

  • How many people are going to use this vehicle regularly?
  • What are the space requirements? Consider legroom, height, and size.
  • How much storage space do I need?
  • What kind of road terrain will I be driving on most of the time?
  • Is this car intended primarily for long-distance usage or city driving?
  • How important are exterior design and looks?
  • Does the car's fuel efficiency align with its purpose?
  • What's the best option for my budget?
  • What extra trims and features would I like to see in my next car?

Everyone has unique priorities when searching for a new car. It's a good idea to take time, ask lots of questions, and do thorough research to make sure you end up with a vehicle that you can enjoy for years to come. 

In this next section, we explore in more depth what each vehicle has to offer.

coupe vs sedan vs hatchback

Accessibility (Doors)

Although a sedan and a coupe are very similar in many ways, the main difference is their accessibility. Sedans have four doors, while the coupes have two. As far as a hatchback, you can find models with either two or four doors. 

Accessibility will depend on how many people need to get in and out of your car easily, so it is worth looking at the various 2-door or 4-door passenger car options available to see which ones would work best for you. 

If you are the only one who needs to use the car, then a two-door option is more feasible. If you have a big family or small children or infants, you should opt for a four-door vehicle with comfortable passenger space - some two-door coupes don't have a back-seat row.

Interior Space and Seating Capacity

Consider how much space there is inside the vehicle. If you are looking at a family car, then a large interior space is a must-have. Greater legroom is always a nice-to-have.

We've already mentioned that coupes and sedans have a similar structure, with coupes being sleeker. If a large interior space and sizable seating capacity are among your priorities, a sedan would best fit your needs. Coupes, on the other hand, can either have one or two rows of seating. 

The seating capacity and interior space of a hatchback depend on the model. More compact two-door models have less room, while the most spacious four-door models can compete with the sedan.

With coupes and hatchbacks, back-row seats and passengers often get the least room, while much more emphasis is placed on the front-row comfort. 

Cargo Space

When you are traveling or you want to keep a lot of items inside your vehicle, the size and security of the trunk or cargo space are key. 

Because of their elongated design, both coupes and sedans offer a secure trunk where you can place items you need to lock away. Sedans’ trunks are much larger than coupes’. 

Out of the three car types, a hatchback has the largest cargo space. It is worth noting that you would have to trade having lots of cargo space for privacy.

Fuel Economy

Different factors can affect the fuel efficiency or fuel economy of a vehicle. Of the three car types, coupes are known to have the best fuel efficiency. This is largely due to their sleek design and enhanced aerodynamic stability. 

The weight of the car can also influence its efficiency, and this works in favor of the coupe, which is the lightest of the three car types.

Driving Performance

Coupes are the sleekest and smoothest to drive because their body shape is smaller and the wheelbase is shorter. Many car manufacturers also optimize the engine of the coupe, which makes this car all the more fun to drive.

Many top sports cars and supercars have a coupe body type.

coupe vs sedan vs hatchback


Car features and functionality are important, but another critical factor is the cost. When you are comparing a coupe vs sedan vs hatchback, you have to consider the value for money. 

It's important to think about your budget when purchasing a vehicle. You always have the option to buy a brand new car or go for a used one. There are pros and cons to each, and it all depends on your budget.

If you opt for a pre-owned vehicle, figuring out the used car value is an essential step. You need to get a good idea of the actual value of the car so that you get your money's worth.

In general, coupes are more expensive than both sedans and hatchbacks for two main reasons:

  • Coupes are made in limited numbers, so they are more exclusive.
  • Coupes have superior design and better performance on the road, both of which are attributes that customers are willing to pay more money for.

There are many other factors and advanced features you should look at when comparing car body types. Some of these include whether to get a petrol or diesel engine, distance or city driving suitability, and looks, among others.

FAQs About Coup vs Sedan vs Hatchback

Perhaps you still have some questions about which of three car body types is ideal for you. Take a look at the FAQs below for more relevant information.

  • What is the best option for a family vehicle? Although performance and design are always great to have, when it comes to a family car, space and accessibility are essential. Sedans have plenty of legroom and interior space, which provides the ideal design for families. Four-door hatchbacks are also another great option. 
  • What are some examples of popular coupes? Coupes include many sporty and sleek vehicles, including the Ford Mustang, Toyota Supra, and Chevrolet Corvette.
  • What are some examples of popular hatchbacks? The Kia Soul, Volkswagen Golf, and Mazda3 are some examples of hatchbacks.
  • Which car body type makes for the best sports car? Many sports cars and supercars are coupes. These cars have superior performance due to their powerful engines, enhanced suspension tuning, and more responsive steering. 
  • Which option offers better driving visibility? Hatchbacks offer better visibility than coupes and sedans, thanks to their taller car bodies, rear and side windows as well as their extended roofs.

There are lots of different coupes, sedans, and hatchbacks out there, with many new models always coming out. For more specific information about particular models, you can always check online on the car manufacturer's website or visit a car dealership near you.


A lot goes into the decision between a coupe vs a sedan vs a hatchback. Each vehicle has a lot to offer, so it boils down to which one might work best for your situation. 

If you are looking for a four-door vehicle with plenty of backseat room, then you can consider sedans and hatchbacks. If high performance and sleek design are both a priority, then a coupe could be the car for you.

For more useful information about buying or selling a vehicle, take a look at Nada Book Info.