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What do you like about hatchbacks?



  • mel41mel41 Posts: 2
    I have just purchased a 1991 Hyundai excel GS hatchback for 1,300 dollars from 75 year old women that the doctors said she couldn't drive anymore. She has all of the maintenance records on it. It has 41,000 miles on it and is in very good good condition. I figure once I tint the windows and put some custom wheel covers and fog lights to compliment the rear spoiler she will be a real looker. I was just wondering whether anyone has heard that there was any problem with this year. I look forward to enjoying it for years to come.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Welcome mel41! Since this discussion, "What do you like about hatchbacks?" (Topic #3)is more general, I suggest you start a new topic on the Hyundai Excel GS hatchback. Just use the "Create Topic" button at the top left of the Topic List. If you have any problems, just email me or leave a note for me here.

    Thanks for joining us. IMHO, you've got a cream puff on your hands! :-)

  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Hatchbacks combine s/w-like cargo capacity with sedan/coupe looks. Many times, it's not the volume of the cargo, it's the odd-shaped items that a car trunk can't handle. Like having a s/w with a 30 degree slope on the backside.

    Looking over the early posts, I gotta agree with "Guitarzan." I have a Fender Quad-Reverb amp (same shape as his Super, but with 4-12"s in the cabinet). It barely fits in my Legend coupe's trunk, so I usually use our minivan. Except for its high liftover, our long-departed Integra would have the Legend beat in this category.

    One funny thing, though. A number of women, whom I generally regard as "practical," have told me that they prefer coupes with separate trunks. I guess that cargo covers aren't good enough. Also, one used her coupe to haul 50-lb. bags of feed for her horses - the hatch would have been infinitely better with fold-down rear seats.
  • My 90 Integra hatchback has amazed my friends
    many times over its 179K journey.

    Just this summer, I was able to help a friend
    move a twin bed (mattress, box spring, frame,
    and headboard). I needed about 6 more inches
    to close the hatch. I guess I could have moved
    the driver's seat up but I didn't want to
    sacrifice my driving position. 5 ft. of rope
    did the trick.

    One more example of hatchback utility.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thanks, bluetahoe! With recommendations like these, I don't know why *everyone* doesn't drive a hatchback! :-)

  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Hatchbacks-love 'em! Everything said here is true. My first was a 1980 Ford Fiesta-loved that car. Sports car feel and station wagon utility. I had it tweaked with a rear sway bar, Konis, and 13x5.5 wheels with the old Pheonix 30011 tires. Rolled the car and destroyed it right after putting on the big-throat Weber carb. Now, I have an 85 Dodge Daytona Turbo, which I bought new. After 206,000 miles, the original turbo is still going strong, thanks to the water-cooled bearing and meticulous maintenance. At 170,000 miles, the head gasket started leaking, so I replaced the whole engine [except turbo]thinking it was time. Turns out I could have just put on a new head gasket and gone another 100,000 miles. The mechanics told me that engine was designed from the ground up to take the turbo, and with the high chrome alloy block, was a 300,000 mile engine. Heck-it,s still comfortable, fast, fun to drive, and gets 30+ mpg on the road. Plus I can load my bike and all camping gear in the back and still have sports car handling and mileage with suv utility. I really think some [not all] of Chrysler,s engineering is underated, and the rputation for unreliability is not totally deserved.
  • mel41mel41 Posts: 2
    I'm back. The 91 Hyundai excel hatchback with 41,000 miles that I was so happy about turn out to have a blown head. No problem though it's costing me about 250.00 to get it fix,but I figure its worth it,because I only paid 1,300.00 for it. I'm just looking forward to driving it. Its performace wasn't to bad with the blown head,I can imagine what's it's going to do when I get it out of the shop. I'm just sad that I'm going to have wait to put some of the extras on it,like the tinted windows and fog lights. I did manage to find some pretty nice chrome wheel covers for it though. That dressed it up pretty nice.
  • 1985 Honda Accord Hatchback, 8 years, 115,000 miles. belts/hoses/oil changes/tires.
    Never even had to adjust a belt.
    Pulled everything from a motorcycle trailer to a full sized Helicopter with it.
    Growing family caused me to part with it.....
    Thank You Mr S. Honda for what you started.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thanks for your testimonial, maydaytoy! :-)

  • One thing I've liked about hatchbacks is how useful they are for carrying things. My past cars are a 1984 Chevrolet Chevette (bought as a dealer demo) and a 1989 Dodge Shadow (bought as a leaseback).Although I liked the Chevette, I traded it in because I didn't like how it handled on the highway and the poor acceleration. The Dodge accelerates better but needs frequent repairs. I have a couple postings in 1989 Dodge Shadow.
  • Hatchbacks rule!

    I've read (or at least skimmed) every post here, but no one has mentioned the infamous Plymouth Horizon! I've had an '88 since it was new <$6000 and still going.

    Four doors, comfortable back seat, cavernous storage, and a 2.2l FI engine! I live in Minnesota and it has NEVER not started.

    I have a web page tributed to it here (<A HREF=""> ) - I've exaggerated some problems for comedic value.

    Although rusting profusely (my fault for parking it on the street for 3 years in addition to not having mud guards) it has been great. I can fit 2 mountain bikes along with camping gear in the back. It was my first car and has been driven VERY hard over the past 11 years. It has accepted challenge pretty well.

    Anyone else?

    Want a bigger garage? Trade in your SUV for a Hatchback.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    "Want a bigger garage? Trade in your SUV for a Hatchback."

    You're absolutely right, ydnaydna!! Now all we have to do is get that tip into one of the many "how-to declutter" books that sell so well in January! :-)

  • redeeredee Posts: 1
    would like to find out the price of 1976 ford
    hatchback restored
  • I sure do love my 1988 Nissan Pulsar. not only is it a hatchback with all that unbelievable storage capacity, but it's sporty, zippy and has a T-top (better than a convertible!)

    Why don't they make stuff like that anymore????
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Well, philthwing, IMHO, it is because hatchback owners are the red-headed stepchildren of the auto world. All we want is something sporty, zippy, & with great storage capacity. And they do make it, BTW, they just make it available in Europe only. :-(

  • k2sk2s Posts: 2
    I think Ford should bring back the Ford Escort in the old body style. the 89 RULES! The thing that I would like most is if they made a convertible. That would be cool. And they need to put more power in it, so it can blow the doors off a Cavilier.
  • shiro85shiro85 Posts: 2
    mzn writes:

    "...hatchback owners are the red-headed stepchildren of the auto world. All we want is something sporty, zippy, & with great storage capacity. And they do make it, BTW, they just make it available in Europe only. :-("

    I agree that its a cultural difference between the USA and Europe in particular: the hatch is a wonderfully _practical_ vehicle, particularly when combined onto a fun, good handling, platform.

    Europeans have high gas prices which foster a "small is beautiful" attitude and they of course prefer much tighter suspensions than the land yachts of the USA.

    Unfortunately, the USA's initial exposure to hatchbacks was often in the inexpensive, low-end imports, so they got the stigma of "hatchback=cheap", whereas the real message was one of _frugality_.

    IMO, I think that hatchbacks will continue to be an increasingly rare breed for at least the next 10 years, partly because of design cycle lag. A hatchback can be the vehicle of for the "<30 and no kids" demographic. Unfortunately for those of us >30, this also means "and doesn't have a ton of money to spend", which is why the "NICE" hatch is even a rarer breed (the BMW was dropped for 1999). Unless gas prices shoot up this week to kill off the SUV craze, the current age<30 demographic group (...aka the baby-boomette population bubble...) is going to pass by and they'l be out having familes and be doomed to a minivan, so there won't be enough demand to spark interest among the manufacturers.

    For the older age>50 customer, this is the baby boomer who's kids have left the nest. If Dad still remembers what it was like to be an enthusiest after 15 years of driving a minivan, he's going to be buying a highly masculine SUV (which he'll never go offroading in) or a "real sports car" such as a Miata, Z3 or a Corvette. He's unlikely to buy a hatchback because he's not going to tolerate a cheap entry level car and he doesn't ski or bike or scuba or have some other type of athetic life that promotes the utility of a long as it can him to & from the office and carry groceries, he's fine.

    The bottom line is that all vehicles are design comprimizes of one sort or another: hatchbacks are just in a very hard segment to build for and if you ignore the market, they will eventually settle on buying something else.

    ...but I still _miss_ my Scirocco. I called it my UAUV, which stood for "Urban Assault Utility Vehicle" :-)
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Are you in marketing, shiro85? If not, I think you're a natural! Your analysis makes sense to me. Too bad we have such a bleak future... :-(

  • shiro85shiro85 Posts: 2
    No, I'm an Engineer. I've been a hatchback fan ever since having suffered thru a 70's vintage Honda Civic with a "8 inches tall" trunk :-).

    If there's any justice in this world, just yesterday I wrote: "Unless gas prices shoot up this week to kill off the SUV craze..." and the TV news last night reported that OPEC is getting their act together and the price of gas is starting to head back up. Maybe there's still a little bit of hope on the horizon...

    FWIW, the Station Wagon market is another one that's suffered over the years. Granted, a lot of times minivans are indeed a better material solution for the customer, but for many years, they were much, much less safe from a crashworthiness standpoint. I'm currently driving a Saab 900s "5 door", but there was a Passat Wagon in the running and if I had to do it again today, an Audi A4Q Avant looks very all of these wagons "square end hatchbacks" :-) :-)
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioPosts: 759
    I agree there should be a good selection of station wagons. Minivan's are large, obstruct the view of cars, and have poor handling. If I ever have a family, I think my choice will have to be a "cool" Volvo wagon :)

    The Acura Integra is EVERYTHING anyone could want in a hatchback. Sure does hold a lot of band equipment too.
  • quickshiftquickshift Posts: 16
    I like litte hatchbacks because they are very manuverable and the backseats can fold down to increase trunk space.
  • gnlgnl Posts: 94
    I had a Datsun 310 back in the earlier 80's. My husband bought a Mazda 626 hatchback (used, 1986 model) in 1988. We had to sell it when we went overseas again in 1993. We both loved our hatchbacks. Hubby still mourns the fact that he had to sell his. This was an example of a "better" hatchback with a few creature comforts. Great vacation car - took all our stuff and the 50-lb dog as well!
  • freakboyfreakboy Posts: 1
    I bought a cheap '87 Toyota Celica hatchback for my senior year and it has been amazingly trouble-free (Nothing broke for a whole year!). But now that I have a job and my A/C compressor died last week, I'd like to buy an interim car (1990 -1996) until I get a promotion.

    Here's what I love about my car:
    1) the extra space because of the hatchback
    2) even though it's old, the v6 engine still makes it zippy/sporty
    3) it's not "cute" (ie., I don't want to drive a GOLF)

    So now that I've been looking around for cars, I realize there's not much out there in the 2 dr-sporty-hatchback-that's-not-"cute" department

    Do I have any options besides a Saab 900? Or am I going to have to accept the high maintenance / high depreciation of the Saab?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    freakboy, I think the best way to get an answer to your question is to look at our model-specific conversations, especially our Saab, VW Golf & Beetle, and Honda Civics. Our users are very generous with their expertise and experience.

  • jimlandjimland Posts: 9
    freakboy, I was surprised to see anyone call the Golf '"cute." The New Beetle is cute. In my book, the Golf is stylish and refined.

    I've only owned VW Golfs and Jettas since 1985 and my next car will be a 2000 Golf.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I love hatchbacks. My family got a 1989 Horizon. I could open the back, sat on it, and watched movies in those drive-in cinemas. However, the built quality was terrible. Too many problems.

    My dad had 2 Mazda 323 before. 1 is new and the other one is a demo. The demo was a nightmare. The new one is a perfect car. Even though it's a 2 door small car, I can sit in it comfortablly. I can move a lot of stuffs. I like the rear wiper especially in a heay rainny day. When it is rainning or snowing, I can move to the backseats, put down the seats, and then get all the luggages and umbrella from the trunk.

    Some people used the old Civic hatchbacks to move everything in their apartments. I saw a guy
    used a 70+ Civic to tow something. He must be crazy !

    I hate my Altima. The trunk is high and narrow.
    I can't even put a 20" TV into my car (even the back seat because the read door cannot be opened wide) . I had to remove the box to get the TV into the back seat.
  • r35r35 Posts: 2
    I used to like hatchback, it was very fun to drive. However, as I get old now,it's considered too dangerous to drive as if there were no tail to the car. I have more chance to get serious injury when there is an accident.
    hatchback should be stopped !!!
  • r34r34 Posts: 178

    To certain extent, I agree with you. Those small hatbacks like Suzuki Swift and Geo Metro are too small and dangerous. However, Integra, Cougar, and Probe are ok to me. I prefer a hatchback to a car with a trunk because most hatcbacks have a rear wiper (and washer fluid). I like this very much.

    As I mentioned before, putting big objects into my sedan's trunk is a nightmare.
  • r35r35 Posts: 2
    I don't agree with you, if you are really looking for storage, you should own a truck instead; hatchback is for fun driving only, however, because it is so light weighted and therefore is dangerous.
  • scooter63scooter63 Posts: 1
    my new honda civic hatchback is great, plenty of room for four adults, drives great and insurance was good on it, you look at it and it makes you smile. who needs a beetle or a golf for 20000. my honda was 13000 and looks just as great and will have a great resale value
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