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Agencies like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) judge crashworthiness and crash avoidance to judge vehicle safety. Better yet, many kinds of cars earn the agencies’ Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, including sedans and hatchbacks. So if you want a safe hatchback with cargo volume, you’re not out of luck. Check out one of the IIHS’ picks for the safest cheap hatchbacks, like the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback and Toyota Corolla Hatchback. 

  • Honda Civic Hatchback
  • Mazda3 
  • Toyota Corolla Hatchback
  • Honorable mention: Kia Stinger

Is the Civic Hatchback more expensive?

The Honda Civic Hatchback is around $1,900 more than the sedan, depending on the trim. While that seems like a steep ask, the safe, cheap hatchback does increase cargo volume. Specifically, the newest Honda Civic Hatchbacks offer around 25 cubic feet of cargo volume compared to the 14.4 to 14.8 in the standard sedans. According to Car and Driver, the 2023 Honda Civic Sport Hatchback starts at $25,845. 

The Honda Civic Hatchback, like the Corolla Hatchback, is one of the safest cheap hatchbacks on the market.
2022 Honda Civic Hatchback | Honda

However, the hatchback isn’t just cheap; it’s safe. The IIHS awarded the hatchback (and the sedan) a Top Safety Pick+ rating. That means the Civic with the liftback managed “Good” ratings in every crashworthiness test. However, in an updated side-impact test, the Civic Hatchback scored an “Acceptable” rating overall after torso and pelvic injury simulations earned less than “Good” evaluations.    

Is the Mazda3 one of the safest cheap hatchbacks?

The Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback, and both cars scored Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the IIHS. That makes the Mazda3 one of the safest cheap hatchbacks for 2022. The Mazda3 starts at around $22,765 for the 2.5 S trim, which is the first trim available in a hatchback. 

Moreover, some trims of Mazda3 offer optional all-wheel drive (AWD) for grippy handling in inclement weather. Better yet, the Mazda 3’s safety scores are without a caveat, unlike the Honda Civic Hatchback. 

Is the Toyota Corolla Hatchback cheap and safe?

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback is cheap and safe, but it shares an asterisk with the Honda Civic Hatchback. The Corolla Hatchback earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS but received an “Acceptable” rating in updated side crashworthiness testing. Specifically, the Corolla Hatchback earned “Acceptable” ratings in torso injury measures and a “Marginal” rating in a driver injury pelvic evaluation. 

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback and Honda Civic Hatchback are some of the safest cheap hatchbacks of 2022.
Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Toyota

However, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback retains its 2022 Top Safety Pick+ rating even with the retesting. Moreover, the Toyota model is cheap; the 2023 Toyota Corolla Hatchback starts at around $24,060. 

Honorable mention: the Kia Stinger

The Kia Stinger stretches the term “cheap.” Specifically, the 2023 Kia Stinger GT-Line starts at around $37,735. However, its liftback construction, available AWD, and Top Safety Pick+ rating make the Stinger a solid option for potential owners who want safe, cheap hatchbacks. Moreover, the Stinger’s sharpened sports platform is a bridge between hot hatchback and sports sedan. 

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