Although hatchbacks are not made for off-road usage, some of them are more than capable of traversing uneven terrain. For such a feat you ought to consider a hatchback that offers adequate ground clearance, but still does not suffer high wind noise when on the highway.
It’s just maybe because the roads in your area are bad, or you want a car that can go anywhere if the situation requires. And for such purposes, a hatchback might not be the best idea, but rest assured, there are a couple of options that do just that.
The Subaru Crosstrek is a hatchback with a ground clearance of up to 8.7 inches which is plenty even for some serious off-roading. The new Fiat Punto is also a car with decent ground clearance measuring up to 7.6 inches.
The Kia Soul, Nissan Leaf, and the Ford Fiesta offer up to 6 inches of ground clearance, and the Hyundai i20 offers up to 6.6 inches. If you want a more luxurious option, the Audi A3 offers a ground clearance of up to 6.3 inches which is the best in its category.
The Subaru Crosstrek
The Subaru Crosstrek is a hatchback that offers the highest ground clearance out of all cars on sale today. 8.7 inches of ground clearance is higher than a decent amount of true SUVs. And it comes as no surprise that a Subaru holds such feat as this brand has always been incredibly capable off-road.
The Crosstrek also offers ample space and a fairly comfortable riding suspension. This means that the Subaru Crosstrek does not suffer when it comes to highway driving. The interior of the new Crosstrek is a huge improvement compared to the older generation and the whole package seems to offer a lot of value.
The Fiat Punto is an incredibly popular car in some countries around the world, especially in India where the roads are substandard, to say the least. And the new Fiat Punto certainly manages to stroll over such roads with a ground clearance of 7.6 inches.
Such ground clearance numbers are not all that common in the hatchback segment which further reiterates the reason why the Punto exists. Besides the high ground clearance, the new Punto offers a decently styled exterior and interior and lots of modern-day technologies.
The Ford Fiesta is one of the most popular cars on the planet, and it’s easy to see why because this compact hatchback offers modern-day styling and technology at a price that is easily accessible for most of the general population.
And the maximum ground clearance of the Ford Fiesta is around 6 inches tall. 6 inches of ground clearance is easily enough to comfortably go over any speed bump out there, and hardly any pothole should ever touch the car’s underside.
The Hyundai i20 is a small hatchback that still manages to offer high ground clearance, as much as 6.6 inches which places the i20 at the very top of the small hatchback ground clearance club. Besides the high ground clearance, the i20 offers a relatively appealing design inside and out and enough space for the majority of customers out there.
The i20 falls a bit short when it comes to luxury and cargo space but that was never the intent of the i20. But even so, the i20 should satisfy most customers, especially if you take the price into the consideration. The i20 is also mostly bought in India, which further reiterates why the i20 is offered with such a high ground clearance.
But if you want a more luxurious hatchback that still manages to offer decent ground clearance, the Audi A3 is the way to go thanks to 6.3 inches of ground clearance. For a spot of context, the Mercedes A-Class falls a bit short, and the BMW 1-series is the worst of the lot with a ground clearance of around 6 inches max.
Besides the ground clearance, the Audi A3 offers a premium badge that comes with loads of comfort and luxury amenities. The quality of the interior is high, and the comfort levels are leagues above any other car listed in this article. Even though the A3 is not made to go off-road, a gravel road is where Quattro Audis were born.
How high are average speed bumps?
The height of a speed bump is mostly associated with how much you have to slow down to go over them. In most countries, speed bumps vary from 3 to 6 inches at the very maximum. But usually, a residential area is the only place where you might find a speed bump that is 6 inches tall.
In some countries, the height of speed bumps is decided by the federal legislature, but others tend to decide the height at a more local level. Nevertheless, 3 to 6 inches is the average in most countries. Any higher than that would require an SUV.
Which types of cars are best in India?
Even though you might consider a hatchback, an SUV or a crossover is the best option for places such as India as the roads out there are fairly low quality. Buying a large SUV is not such a good idea as most roads are also fairly congested, and driving a huge SUV in such circumstances is stressful.
Another great option would be to opt for a sedan/estate such as the Audi A4 All-road or the Golf All-track. Both of these are a mixture of a crossover and an estate car, and both of them are capable of mild off-roading as well.
How much ground clearance is enough for true off-roading?
Even though all of these cars offer class-leading ground clearance, off-roading is an entirely different ballpark. For such purposes you ought to have at least 8 inches of ground clearance, otherwise, you might get stuck or damage your car severely.
Hills, mud, rocks, and such can damage your car fairly easily, especially so if you are not well acquainted with the area in question. If you want a smaller, relatively affordable car that can offer great off-roading capabilities, go for a good old Jeep Wrangler.