As reported in The Morning Shift, sales stats show that the Sedan is dead. Or at least dying in the way that old folks in nursing homes do: Abandoned and slowly being forgotten until they're gone and no longer a burden. And the truth about the waning interest in the sedan is for one very good reason: They've become the most impractical vehicle on the road today. Now that may seem like a bold statement, especially with Hummers and Bro Trucks rolling around cities with 4 wheel drive and lift kits that are never used save for driving over curbs to get into turn lanes, or brush guards that will never see anything more than a shopping cart. But believe it or not, they're picking up the slack where sedans let consumers down.
Thanks to fuel efficiency and the reduction in size and weight of cars, a modern sedan has been rendered impractical. Why? Two words: Trunk Space!
A small trunk, and especially a small trunk portal is fine on a sports car. Those you use as a commuter, or for recreation. You typically don't have to pack tons of stuff in them for an entire family. But on a sedan it's different. We were spoiled back in the day with our cavernous trunks that had large cargo volume as well as larger portals to insert and remove thing through. Here's an example of what 50 or so some odd years of engineering devolution has done to the Cadilliac:
Look at this! The trunks just keep getting smaller and more impractical. Look, I understand it. As cars have gotten smaller on their CAFE Diets, trunks and especially trunk lids have become the silent victims. Sure they've tried to work in figures such as "Cargo Capacity" to compensate and offer condolences, but as anyone with a cooler, boxes, or especially a stroller and a child will tell you, trying to get your stuff into a trunk isn't easy any more! Instead of literally throwing stuff into the trunk, you've got to cram it, and figure out a mini puzzle of what angle to slide stuff in, and then how to stack it, and all without scratching and gouging the paint on your bumper in a cruel, twisted version of "Operation". Accidentally nick the paint? BZZZT! That's $200 damage to the finish, and a $1,000 off your resale value. Try again.
Auto manufacturers have tried and tried to make it up to us on the reduced trunk space and trunk openings with fold-down rear seats, and even trapdoors to get those extra long parcels and pieces of cargo in there. But it's still not an easy proposition. Especially with the frame of the car and the rear glass hindering height. Sure you can make that trunk a little longer at the cost of passenger space, but you still can't make it higher for those big boxes.
Hatchbacks, CUVs, SUVs, Minivans, and Pickup Trucks have all come to fill the void. With trucks we have a massive cargo area, and with larger cabs have gobs of enclosed cargo space. With the former on this list, we have giant doors that raise up to give us access to our cargo area that is almost as wide and as high as the vehicle itself. And we still can have a large, secured, and covered cargo area with the correct accessories. Even if we need more room we can fold those rear seats down, or even outright remove them to convert the vehicle into a wagon configuration for those really HUGE items.
Even in modern times of the compact car, we can remove the factors of time, trends, and engineering differences over those spans when we compare the sedan and hatchback versions of the Ford Focus:
Even with the smaller, sub-compact Chevy Sonic, you can clearly see the advantage:
The hatchback clearly is the winner here. With a much wider opening, and a taller cargo area with more cubic space and easier ingress and egress of stowage items, all without sacrificing passenger seating, the fact is clear: A hatchback isn't simply *more* practical than a sedan, it's the accepted standard that renders the sedan impractical.
The only two valid reasons NOT to buy a Hatchback are either it's out of your budget since most manufacturers charge a premium, or you prefer the styling. And that's OK. But it's just not more practical.