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If you’re looking for fuel efficiency and practicality, there’s almost no better choice than a hatchback. Most hatchbacks in the market are equipped with fuel-efficient engines, have seating for five, and have adequate trunk space for plenty of cargo. There are also plenty of hatchbacks in the used market that can be found for cheap but aren’t worth their prices. Here are four of them.

1. Mini Cooper

A red 2002 Mini Cooper driving down a side road
2002 Mini Cooper | Heritage Images via Getty Images

There’s no denying that the Mini Cooper is a fun car to drive. It doesn’t matter if you pick the Roadster or the larger Clubman; you can rest assured that a Mini will get you to where you need to go with a smile on your face. However, it’s worth noting that the Mini Cooper has not been known for its reliability. Vehicle History reports that some of the older models are known for having leaks, electrical issues, and cracking radiator tanks.

If you really want a Mini Cooper, we suggest opting for one of the newer models, as they are less prone to needing repairs. Otherwise, stay away; there’s a reason the first-generation models can be found for around $3,000.

2. Chevrolet Spark

A blue Chevy Spark at an auto show.
Chevrolet Spark | via Getty Images

It can be easy to fall for the Chevrolet Spark when shopping for a used hatchback. It’s cheap price and stellar fuel efficiency figures will lure your attention away from what really lies ahead. U.S. News warns that “used Chevy Sparks have poor reliability ratings, which means that maintenance and upkeep may erode any potential savings.” Although some Chevy Sparks may be in the market that can go the distance, it’s better to stay away and find a Honda Fit that suits your budget.

3. Suzuki Reno

The rear view of a Suzuki Reno in a parking lot
Suzuki Reno | Wikimedia Commons

The Suzuki Reno was discontinued in 2008, meaning you can find one for around $3,000 in today’s market. We advise avoiding it, though, as it’s not the most fun car to drive. The editors at Edmunds once noted that the 2008 Suzuki Reno has “below-average fuel economy, weak acceleration with the automatic transmission, poor road manners, and inconsistent quality.

4. Chevy Aveo

A yellow Chevy Aveo at a car show
Chevrolet Aveo | via Getty Images

If we could pick the worst of the worst cars to buy, it would be the Chevy Aveo. Like a couple of the other cars on this list, you can currently find an Aveo for around $3,000, but you would be better off buying scratchy lottery tickets with that money. In our prior experience in driving an Aveo hatchback, it felt like the doors were going to fall off, and the lackluster 108-hp engine made it a dog in traffic.

There are better hatchbacks in the market

If you’re searching for a used hatchback, we recommend cars like the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, or Toyota Yaris. Those three are inexpensive, fuel efficient, and practical. Best of all, they’re more reliable than the cars listed here.


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