Why hatchbacks and wagons are on the outs

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The eulogy for one popular American sedan was written this past July when Ford
F,
+6.17%
stopped building its Fusion, but 2020 was also a tough year for hatchbacks and station wagons.

Seven hatchbacks and wagons, spanning from pint-size city cars all the way to luxo-laden barges, won’t be back for 2021. These practical choices have been dropped from automaker lineups as consumers continue to shift their buying preference to SUVs.

Budget-friendly hatches (and their sedan counterparts)

The Chevrolet Sonic — in both sedan and hatchback form — has been axed in favor of crossovers like the new Trailblazer entry-level SUV. Toyota
TM,
+0.91%
introduced the Mazda
MZDAY,
-2.63%
-built Yaris sedan and hatchback a few years ago to quiet, but meaningful, applause, but the model proved to be short-lived.

Honda’s
HMC,
+1.07%
 Fit hatchback has long been a favorite of automotive writers and enthusiasts for its well-packaged interior and zippy road manners. Shoppers, however, have favored the closely-related, but SUV-styled HR-V that offers optional all-wheel drive.

Quirky and sporty hatchbacks

Hatchbacks by their very nature are somewhat oddball vehicles in the U.S., where consumers long shunned practical cars in favor of more conventionally-styled sedans. The automotive world loses one of its weirdest choices with the discontinuation of the Fiat
FCAU,
-1.70%
500L, a tall wagon that splits the difference between hatchback and SUV. Though not perfect by any stretch, the 500L offered a lot of personality and zippy turbo power.

The Hyundai
HYMTF,
+4.34%
Elantra GT’s discontinuation is a stinger. Offering as much as 201 horsepower, the Elantra GT was a budget-priced rival to the evergreen Volkswagen
VWAGY,
+2.15%
GTI.

See: What does the redesigned Hyundai Elantra have in common with a Lamborghini?

At the upper end

Jaguar has dropped its XF Sportbrake, a rarely-spotted and more practical version of the company’s XF midsize sedan.

The Jaguar XF Sportbrake


Jaguar

Perhaps more notably, the long-running Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon — a model with a 40-year genesis — has been replaced by a high-riding version called the E-Class All Terrain. Styled like a Subaru
FUJHY,
-1.53%
Outback, the All Terrain has chunky fender flares and a high stance. Fans of Benz wagons looking for a lot of performance can still opt for the ferocious E63 tweaked considerably by the brand’s AMG division, but good luck finding one for under $100,000

Also see: Soon this cute robot will find you to charge your EV

There are still a few hatchbacks and wagons left, though. Subaru and Honda will happily sell you an Impreza or a Civic with a dose of added practicality, while the 591-horsepower Audi RS 6 Avant wagon was a somewhat surprising addition to the automaker’s lineup.

Don’t miss: The 25 most fuel-efficient SUVs of 2021

And while the models we mentioned may not be sold new anymore, you can still purchase them used.

This story originally ran on Autotrader.com.

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