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How safe is your Hatchback?

dzuldzul Posts: 9
edited March 23 in Geo
I am wondering if anyone has ever had another
vehicle rear-end your Hatchback. If so, I am
curious as to how much damage was done and whether
or not it was easy to fix or costly.

I'd like to get a hatchback, but I'm afraid that
if I ever get rear-ended at a traffic light that I
will have to get a whole new hatch.

ANY input will help me. Thank you.


  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    My poor little 91 Honda CRX has been rear-ended 4 times !!! I'm afraid it is such a low car and all the glass in the back gives it a kinda "see-through" quality, so people don't see it.

    You would not believe how little damage there is though. I have never bothered to fix it, as the only visible damage is some minor denting on the valence and one inch of overlap between the edge of the bumper "cladding" and the rear fender (quarter-panel).

    Call me lucky....

  • alextalext Posts: 63
    My girlfriend has a 99 Chevy Metro, one of the smallest hatchbacks around, and she got rear-ended by a honda accord doing roughly 30-35 mph. The damage was only to the plstic bumper, and was so minor all you could see was a few scratches! Well, the offending motorist's insurance was picking up the bill, so we had it fixed by a body shop anyway, which came out to $700 including labor to replace the bumper and the fiberglass underneath it.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    I was rear-ended in a 1989 VW Golf and came out much better than the Volvo that hit me. Me: a couple of scratches and a small dent. The Volvo:
    creased hood, cracked grill and one unhappy driver!

  • dzuldzul Posts: 9

    How fast was the Volvo going when it hit you?

    I always thought Hatchbacks would get their entire backside destroyed if they were rear-ended by a larger car. I've been mistaken.


    The bumper on that Metro must be incredibly strong. For that car to survive a crash at that speed gives me confidence in getting a Hatchback!
    The bumper did its job. Thanks.

  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Hmmm dzul, I was just slowing for a stoplight. It was probably at about 25mph. We were all (me, the other driver, and the Capitol policeman) were stunned at the amount of damage the Volvo sustained.

  • alextalext Posts: 63
    I think the hatchback's strength is in distribution of energy...I mean, I'm no physicist, but to me it seems that a larger surface such as a hatch is more structurally rigid than a trunk. Bumpers on hatchbacks tend to be bigger and thus absorb more force. Also, when a car hits you from the back it tends to go downward, that is the nose of the car hitting you goes into the bumper and down, so the car itself is not taking much force. I've seen it happen many times. Of course, if you're hit by something like a full-size pickup or a SUV, then it may be another story.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    ALEXT: If your girlfriend's Metro got hit by a 3,000lb Accord at 30-35 mph. your girlfriend would be seriously hurt and you would have a lot more damage than just "bumper" damage. Your bumper is called a "5mph bumper" because anything over that means the bumper will sustain damage.
    30-35mph are speeds at which you have fatalities and mangled cars. She probably got hit at 10 or 15mph at the very most. It sounds and feels a lot faster when someone even hits you at 5 mph!!
    Accidents at slower speeds than 30mph are enough to bend your car's frame. Many bodyshops cannot diagnose bent frames or don't want to tell you because it's a pain straightening out frames and a lot of times the cars are totalled with a bent frame. You may not have any problems with a bent frame for 1 or 2 years but eventually it gets worse, and you 'll feel it when the car starts vibrating or doing funny things. Some times, the differential might go because of misallignment with the axle, etc. etc.
  • alextalext Posts: 63
    Well I may not have been in the accident, but I believe a police report and the eye witness account of the woman who hit her saying she was doing about 30 mph (If you ran into someone would you lie and say you were going faster than you really were?). My girlfriend did get an injury to her lower back, for which she was on vicodin and physical therapy (and we're in the process of a lawsuit with the insurance company to compensate for this), but she's pretty much recovered now. My point was that the little car can take a beating without much damage and still offers very good protection to it's occupants. I agree that a rear-end crash at 30+ mph could result it serious injury, but my girlfriend avoided such in her metro.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Now you 're forcing me to educate you.
    I was a police officer for 3 1/2 yrs. I 've seen more accidents than I 'd like and I 'm sure if that little Metro was standing still and got hit by an Accord at 30+ mph, it would 've been very close to being totalled and the hatch door would 've been very close to the back seat! Most people don't know how fast they were going before hitting someone, especially when braking. Before most accidents occur on the road, the vehicle that hits the other almost always applies the brakes for a couple of seconds unless you 're in a parking lot and back up into somebody. You will be surprised how much you can deccelarate in 1 or 2 seconds!
    I 've seen police officers hospitalized with broken ribs, head injuries, dislocated disks etc. etc. from accidents at slower speeds than 30mph (depending how and where they got hit). And they drive 3,800lb+ Fords and Chevys. I don't think I have ever seen people walk away from 30mph collisions.
    At 30mph the Accord would have gone over the bumper or under the Metro's bumper. Most bumpers are designed to drop down around 7-10mph so there should 've been trunk/body damage or under carriage/exhaust and gas tank damage. At 30mph the Metro should be sitting right on the Accord's hood (or on the engine because the hoods pop up sometimes or get bent and recede back). This is because usually the front bumper of the car that hits you from behind drops first in the collision. If the accord when over, then the Metro's hatch door would very much bend and its window shattered.
    That woman was just guessing. Trust me when I tell you she was not doing 30 when she hit the Metro.. and you only replaced the bumper.
  • alextalext Posts: 63
    Fine, believe what you wish. I still think the metro has a very safe rear quarter, regardless of any circumstantial testimonies. If your motivation is to discredit me, than there's no need to waste your time because I really don't care. Those who know don't respond to critics.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Noone is trying to discredit anyone and I do believe the Metro is a relatively safe car for its size.
    I 'm just saying that maybe the lady that hit your girlfriend's car was off by a few miles in her estimation.. and by my knowledge of collisions.
  • zca3zca3 Posts: 2
    enjoyed reading the discussion regarding a metro that was rear-ended

    about 6 months ago my 96 metro hatchback was rear ended by a jeep cherokee at 25 mph (verified by the driver and tests conducted on the skid marks)

    my back was slightly sore for three days and then was fine

    2500 damage to the jeep (grille, hood, all front lights, bumper, etc.)

    1200 damage to my metro (new bumper, bumper cover, realign the frame which was slightly bent)

    was also in another accident in the metro, hit someone who ran a stop sign at about 10-15 mph (again verified) and no injuries, only needed bumper cover

    i'm impressed with this small, almost maintenance free gas sipping car
  • wgintzwgintz Posts: 22
    Had my Nissan NX2000 crunched like an accordian.
    Traffic came to a sudden stop on the freeway and some idiot in a Dodge Intrepid was not paying attention. He smashed into the Olds Cutlass behind me at approx 50 mph, causing a "domino" effect into my car and I hit the car in front of me. Basically my hatch was pushed into the backseat, the two rear quarters crinkled and seemed to absorb most of the energy from the hit. My muffler stuck out about 1 foot after the hit! I was not wearing my seatbelt and the airbag saved my life.
    The accident seemed to happen in the blink of an eye. To answer dzul's question I'd say hatchbacks are fairly safe, but IMO the bigger the car the safer.

    Also - ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT. I got lucky once, I'm never going to test fate again.
  • only1harryonly1harry Posts: 1,136
    Your accident is the worst kind. If there weren't anyone in front of you the damage would 've been a lot less, but at that speed your frame would have been bent and very few body shops can bend your frame back exactly to its original specs.
    Unfortunately most of the time the car is never the same again after collisions such as these and if the insurance doesn't total the car we almost always wish they would...
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Amen, wgintz! I became a believer in seat belts in 1978 when I broke the windshield of a friend's car with my head. I was the front seat passenger.

    I never start my car until everyone is belted. No belt? No go.

  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    i was rear-ended twice in my 91 hyundia excel. the first one, two months after i bought it, just damaged the bumper. the second one, about two years later, happened at the same place on the other side of the road! hit from behind by a ford pickup, pushed in the bumper, rear panel, and hatch, and shattered hatch glass. car was drivable but totalled by the insurance company since the frame would have had to be straightend. i took their check to the bank, paid the loan off, and walked out with $19.
  • I wasn't so much rear-ended as almost sodomized by a pickup with a big snowplow pump in front. Punched sort of a crater just off the rear driver-side corner but no penetration; no explosions either. The frame got bent and the ride was never true again.
  • (don't know if anyone still checks this but...)

    My girlfriend's '93 Golf got rear ended on the NJ Turnpike. Traffic was moving at around 65 MPH when all of a sudden it came to a screeching halt. She stopped in time, but the guy behind her couldn't so he swerved around and the huge van behind him plowed into the back of our car. Needless to say the car was left undrivable and for some reason my seat ripped completely out of the floor and I fell into the back seat. Amazingly, no one was hurt at all!!!

    oh yeah... and she was driving me to an aquarium to surprise me for my birthday. :(
  • My wife was driving her Mitsubishi Mirage HB and she was rear-ended by MYSELF (this is not a joke) with my Eagle Talon TSi. The Mirage had absolutely NOTHING, but my Talon's damage was severe...$2,500!
  • A long time ago, in a land not-so-far away (Indiana), the ex-girlfriend backed her Scirocco into a lightpole while trying to do doughnuts in reverse. She thought it would be easier to break traction in reverse, being a front-wheel-drive car. She may have had a point, but the point was she traded the car to me for my Tempo. That wasn't too bad. Having a Scirocco with a Hefty bag over the rear window and a bumper that smirked was fun. Now I am trying to figure whether or not to repair my rear-ended Dynasty, I should leave it as a testament to those who might tailgate me.
This discussion has been closed.