Quarantine Comfort: here are some great 2020 hatchbacks to cozy up with

Small 5-door cars do it best

We will all crave more together time with family and friends by the time COVID-19 passes—if you aren’t already.

One thing the pandemic has exposed is our need to be close to one another. It’s a great thing to be reminded of when we need positive vibes. 

With that in mind, here we highlight five cozy hatchbacks that will allow you to get a little closer to the special people in your life. And if you’re shopping for a small 5-door, check out our reviews here.

Whether it’s having more connection with your loved one up front or being able to pile into the back with friends, these hatchbacks will keep you close to the people that matter for your next road trip—all equipped with Apple Carplay and Android Auto to share all the playlists you’ve created!—or, simply, a day out to aimlessly explore the city with new eyes of appreciation. 

2020 Kia Forte5

Kia has once again reinvented their Forte5 hatchback—and it’s an absolute winner. Check out our 2020 Forte5 hatch review here.

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It always had a sporty feel, and thankfully Kia keeps that intact with this update. However, they’ve found a way to add a level of maturity to its appearance. The subtle lines down the side leading to the hatchback, which gently slopes to the bumper, somehow creates a stated look that pairs well with the Forte5’s youthfulness. 

Inside, expect to find a typical Kia interior: simple, clean and clear infotainment layout, and a wealth of features for your comfort. The GT model ups the level of cozy with sport bucket seats, while upgrading to a 1.6L Turbo engine with a 7-speed DCT transmission—it creates a drive experience that is as fun and exciting as the Forte5 appears. 

Some key features:

Sport bucket seats (GT models)

Standard heated front seats 

Leather-wrapped, heated steering wheel

2020 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

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Don’t call this a comeback. But, we won’t blame you if you did.

While always a top-seller, recent generations of the Toyota Corolla felt a step or two behind the competition. It was reliable, but felt short in most other categories.

That’s all changed. 

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback brings this nameplate to the top of the pack in all aspects. First, it looks the part of a sporty hatch—hands down the best designed Corolla to date. Second, its interior is chic and well carved out, making you feel instantly at home. Third, it drives and handles in a positively unexpected way. 

If you’ve passed on the Corolla in the past, now is the perfect time to reconsider. 

Some key features:

Based on Toyota’s New Global Architecture, providing better handling

Rated most fuel efficient in its class (6.7 L/100 km automatic; 7.5 L/100 km manual)

18-inch aluminum wheels on SE and XSE trims

2020 Hyundai Elantra GT

The Hyundai Elantra has been a consistent hit for the last decade—the GT hatchback version takes it to the next level. 

One of the more stately hatchbacks on the market, The Elantra GT is one of the few hatchbacks that can transform before your eyes. Its side profile is stately and stout. From the front, with its eye-catching grille, and back, it comes across as a sporty little guy. 

It brings all the amenities you’ve come to expect, from heated seats and steering wheels, to a gorgeous panoramic sunroof that allows you to experience the world around you from the comforts of the GT. 

The drive select mode lets you customize performance to your needs, while always providing a great experience whether in the city or on the highway. 

Some key features:

Heated steering wheel

Dual-climate control

Panoramic sunroof

2020 Mazda3 Sport

The latest iteration of the Mazda3 hatchback is a standout. Mazda’s designers continue to refine the look and feel of their popular compact. The 2020 model somehow combines equal parts upscale, sporty and aggressive. It was crafted with lines that reflect light and shadow, giving it a sense of motion, which they’ve nailed. 

The 8.8-inch display, beautifully placed above the dash, brings all your infotainment needs right to the fore—no squinting or straining required. Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus increases handling and braking ability, providing a smoother drive for your packed ride, with enough power to make you think you’re in something much pricier. 

Some key features:

Large 8.8-inch display

Concert hall quality sound via Bose 12-speaker system (GT trim)

Available i-Activ AWD

2020 Chevrolet Bolt

Silence certainly helps create cozy environments. The Chevrolet Bolt EV will give you all the silence you need. 

The Bolt EV has a range of up to 417 km on a full charge, which is more than enough for your family’s weekend getaway. There’s room for five, and a surprising amount of cargo space for this cute little hatchback. 

The two-tone interior design gives the Bolt a really fun vibe, and clever storage areas in the front ensures clutter never accumulates. 

Some key features:

Up to 417 km range on a full charge

Location-Based Charging allows you to program charging during off-peak times

1603L of cargo space

2020 Nissan Kicks (hatchback alternative)

Some might call the Nissan Kicks a compact crossover. That’s completely fine by us. It does however, fit what we’re looking for—a small, cozy vehicle with a hatch that is a joy to drive. Here’s our Kicks review from 2018.

The Kicks really allows you to customize based on colour. The two-tone roof is a fun head-turner. This style has failed on other vehicles in the past, but Nissan has found a way to make it work incredibly well with the Kicks. 

Nissan has always made one of the better CVTs, and the experience is no different on the Kicks. The shifts are smooth and seamless, and its 122-HP engine provides what you need for all your city jaunts. 

The Bose headrest speakers, on the top-end SR trim, is a nice touch, especially when all your friends are tucked in snuggly. 

Some key features:

D-shaped steering wheel

Two-tone roof design

Bose headrest speakers (SR Trim)

2020 Ford Ecosport (hatchback alternative)

The Ford Ecosport falls into the similar compact crossover world as the Nissan Kicks. While we are cheating a little (as its rear “hatch” actually swings out, rather than upward) it is an incredibly fun little vehicle that drives with a surprising amount of pep—and fits the post-COVID world where we’ll all want to be closer to each other. 

The EcoSport first hit the market for 2018 – here’s our First Drive review.

It’s a tad larger than the others on this list, so it can store a bit more if you have gear to bring along for the ride. Intelligent 4WD is also available as an option, which is always nice to have during the winter. 

Ford’s 1.0L EcoBoost engine is standard, but you can also jump to the 2.0L EcoBoost if that’s more your speed. Either works well, as this little guy handles the road with a lot of confidence.

Some key features:

Available Intelligent 4WD

Bang & Olufsen sound system (Titanium trim)

Hill start assist

There you have it, a list of some comfy hatches to cozy up with during these crazy times. There are some other great hatchbacks off this list, including the Honda Fit, VW Golf, and Impreza 5-door to name a few. But this short list will get you started. Just make sure your buddies are COVID-19 free.

Travis Persaud
Travis Persaud has contributed to a number of magazines across North America, including enRoute and Exclaim! He loves variety and it shows in the wide range of topics he’s covered: automotive to music, technology to travel, beer to real estate. He’s currently the editor of WHERE Ottawa (city travel guide), beer columnist for Ottawa Magazine, a frequent contributor to CAA Magazine and the former associate editor of Zoomer Magazine.