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If you're in the market for new hatchback cars, you've got some pretty good timing. Although the thinking used to be that U.S. car customers preferred sedans over hatchbacks, that's changed in recent years, and automakers are responding. In fact, this year alone, three new compact hatchbacks are set to debut from mainstream auto brands, increasing the overall number available by more than 40-percent. And those are just the compacts—hatchbacks come in a variety of shapes and sizes today. For example, drivers who put a high priority on fuel economy can enjoy highway EPA ratings of more than 40 mpg from some hatchbacks, as well as city fuel-efficiency grades that exceed 30 mpg. Is high performance more your thing? If so, check out one of the growing number of "hot" hatches on the market. These pocket rockets can pack a surprising punch of power for enthusiasts, along with sizzling 0-60 times.

The current crop of new hatchbacks also can meet most customers' demand for premium amenities and comforts. Leather appointments, climate controlled seating and top technologies are all in the mix, and a few new hatchbacks are now offering mobile Wi-Fi hotspots, and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. With those technologies, it's like having your smartphone home screen—and many of its functions—available right through your car's on-board infotainment setup. Further, new hatchback cars serve up the same kind of proactive driver-assistance measures found on sedans, from rearview cameras to automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning. By combining those occupant-protection measures with robust construction and high-strength steels, many new hatchbacks earn Top Safety Pick+ recognition from the IIHS and 5-Star Overall Safety Scores from NHTSA, too. The traditional luxury brands boast their share of hatchbacks as well, though they are sometimes called “four-door coupes.”