A hatchback is a type of automobile design, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or flip-up window.
Technically speaking, SUVs, station wagons and minivans can also be classified as hatchbacks. However, the term hatchback is typically used in reference to small economy cars. Saab often use the term combi coupé for their take on the concept.
Peugeot 306 Hatchback, with the hatch lifted.
Small cars often incorporate a hatchback to make the best use of available space. Hatchbacks are often truncated, with the hatch nearly vertical, to reduce the car's footprint. This adds to the car's manuveurability, an important consideration in countries where small streets and traffic congestion are factors. Hatchbacks frequently include fold-down rear seats, which enable a substantial portion of the interior space to be used as a cargo area.
Many sports cars are also designed using a variation of hatchback design, sometimes called a liftback. Here, the hatchback is angled down from the front-passenger's roof, over a small rear seat, and smoothly integrated into the tail of the car. This often improves aerodynamic performance, resulting in a reduced drag coefficient.
High performance variants of typical family hatchbacks are now common, known as hot hatchbacks.