I think it's a scared driver thing.
This. I have seen people who are otherwise more careful (or scared) drivers buy SUVs and become terrors. On the other hand, I have also seen people (I do not want to be sexist, but they are all women in this case) who were timid to the point of being dangerous (driving too slowly for traffic, stopping when they were not able to merge, etc) become more confident (or more aware) and drive more like normal drivers.
There is a break-even point somewhere, and that is why I think the compact SUVs are so incredibly popular. They are only a little bit larger in volume (I think our CRZ have about 25% less total volume than the CR-V), and they have small engines (compared to truck-sized SUVs), but the driver sits up higher.
My only issue with hatchbacks in the beginning was the inability to hide stuff. Then some clever person came up with the cargo cover.
Cargo covers worked so well, they started putting them on SUVs.
All my hatchbacks came with cargo covers originally, but by the time I would buy the car, the cover would be long gone. My '89 CRX was the first that I had the cover...