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Hatchback VS sedan

My wife and I am planning a trip to France (Normandy and Loire Valley) in May. We will be hopping from town to town and leave our luggage in the car during the day.

Should we consider renting a sedan for its back trunk to hide our luggages? or a budget hatchback will do just fine?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
881 posts

Is it just the two of you, Benedict? The reason I ask, most European hatchbacks slope towards the front so steeply, they don't carry more than two persons luggage. (Though some models go strait up and have more room.) Just something to keep an eye on if it's more than just you two.

Posted by
188 posts

We found that most hatchbacks had a partition that kept our luggage or whatever was in the trunk from being visible.

Posted by
808 posts

I guess it would depend on which models you are considering? If the hatch doesn't show your luggage that should be ok. If the sedan has a separate trunk that you can't easily access from inside, that might be better?

Posted by
186 posts

I would think a sedan would be best. I wouldn't want to risk someone breaking the window just to get into the rear area of the car, cover or no cover. I'm getting a sedan for my upcoming trip in May.

Posted by
3313 posts

Unless you're renting at the premium end of the car classes, you may not be able to control whether or not you get a hatchback. Station wagons and hatchbacks are very common.

I haven't had a problem with a hatchback, but I do take the basic precautions - leave nothing of value visible, park in well-lighted, visible places. If you're out in the country, the places you'll be able to stay at should have private parking. I wouldn't worry about those.

Rick's best advice for parking safely is to look at the area around the parking spot. If you see a lot of glitter, that's a sign of broken windows.

Posted by
934 posts

I think the most important thing is where you park.Look for well lit areas.A hatchback at night leave the glove box and cover open so anyone can see in and dont leave anything in the car at night.A car with a trunk sounds better but they might assume you have something in the trunk and break a window and enter the trunk.

Posted by
495 posts

For what it's worth, I live in Europe where hatchbacks are very common and they all come with covers (called parcel shelves in English.)

Posted by
12077 posts

If I had a choice, I would choose a trunk. If not, there will be a cover that looks like a rolling window shade to cover the bags. My concern is, with the cover extended, it's obvious that you have something in the car.

Regardless of which you end up with, use some care where you park. We skipped parking near the train station in La Spezia because the lot had lots of broken glass and questionable people milling about. I chose to park near the navy base and walk back to the station.

Keep in mind, it will probably have plenty of room for two carry-on bags. If you're carrying two 26" wheeled bags, however, they probably won't fit below the cover. Trunks aren't much bigger - pack light.

Posted by
495 posts

I'm not sure about "a rolling window shade", every hatchback I've seen over here (and they are very common) has had a rigid shelf that covers the boot all the time. They are removable but it's a temporary thing for carrying large loads. A hatchback with a cover is not an unusual sight in Europe and would not be of note.

The only time I've seen something that could be described as a rolling shades is on estate cars (station wagons in American-ese.)

Posted by
668 posts

My sister has a Ford Fiesta hatchback and three of us travelled around Ireland with 3 good size suitases (2X26" & 1X24") and two smaller cases. all except one of the carryons fitted in the rear underteh parcel chelf.