Three door vs. five door cars

3-door-vs-5-door-carWhen it comes to finding the best hatchback to buy for your next vehicle, there are a number of important decisions to make. Firstly answer questions the following questions:

  • What’s your maximum budget?
  • Which fuel type is best suited to your needs?
  • Do you want a manual or an automatic transmission?
  • Are you looking at new or used cars for sale?

Once you’ve refined your search based on these questions, you’ll be in a better position to find your ideal next car.

Another key point to think about is whether your next car should feature three or five doors. Depending on who will be using it and for what common purposes, this can really influence your decision, although there are advantages and disadvantages for both.

Three door cars

You can often find a three door hatchback that has five door versions as well. While it may seem to be a simple choice between the number of access points you require, there can be other subtle differences. Have a look at either the Mini Cooper or VW Polo is you’re looking for a strong all round small hatchback.


In general, a three door hatchback will be a few hundred pounds cheaper than its five door equivalent. For those on a tight budget it can be a decisive factor. For the most part they also look a lot sportier and sleeker, with more space for the designers to work with when fitting in the rear windows. This allows room to add in some extra trim and create a vehicle that will appeal to a wide range of drivers.


The main disadvantage of a three door hatchback is the increased difficulty accessing the rear seats. This has a knock-on effect though, as the side doors are often wider and heavier than the best five door cars to allow access. Parking in tight spots is more difficult therefore, and while kids may enjoy the challenge, it’s not ideal for elderly or other adult passengers. The sportier style also leads to angular rear windows and extra pillars which make checking blind spots and rear visibility a bit harder too.


Five door cars

Five door cars continue to outsell their three door counterparts, with many of the best five door cars included in the top-selling vehicles in the UK each year. They may not always look as stylish but they can be a good option for many drivers. We’d suggest looking at the Ford Focus or Seat Leon as a starting point.


The main advantage of five door cars is the improved ease of access each one provides over a three door model. Especially for those regularly ferrying children, pets and other passengers around, this is incredibly helpful. It makes getting a child seat into the car simpler and the best five door cars tend to retain their value better than three doors, as they are such popular family car options.


Aside from the less stylish exterior and the fact that most five door cars usually cost a few hundred pounds more than three door options, the other main disadvantage is the reduced legroom they offer. Extra space in the back means for taller drivers and passengers it can be a little cramped in the front. Plus, the increased weight of the car, whether it is full or not with passengers, means it will use up more fuel and cost more to run.

Decide what your requirements are to choose between a three or five door car when selecting a hatchback for your next vehicle.

Image courtesy of iStock.


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