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US vs. European vs. Japanese vs. Korean (Hatchbacks)



  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    I would classify some SUV's as hatches. We have a tendency to classify everything and if it doesn't fit an exact match we call it something else.

    I think the PT cruiser is a hatch. There is no doube it HAS a hatch. It is based off a Neon chassis. Personally, the functionality and price really interest me. I'm waiting for the GT Cruiser though.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    When people say "hatchback" I think of golf, ZX3, Civic and PT cruiser. basically economy cars.
    When a liftback is on a sports car (integra, Celica, Firebird etc) I consider it a fastback, not a hatch, a different effect altogether.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    rex12- did you have opportunity to drive the pt?
    they should have went with a 6cyl.modelthe one i drove
    had the cruise control installed upside down. it
    appeared solid while driving but not a fun car to
    drive.power window switches were located in an odd
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    Yep, drove one. I'd agree with your synopsis. Didn't notice the window switches though.

    From what I've read/seen, CP is relying on aftermarket to enhance performance. A turbo on the 4 should help significantly. I don't know if the 6 would fit. (I don't think it would.)
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    So basically, a liftback is a slanted window liftgate and a hatchback is a vertical liftgate? Then what is a station wagon? If it looks like a rose, and smells like a rose, isn't it a rose? (Cleaned up a little but, it gets the point across.)

    Basically what you're saying is hatchback is a term that only refers to compact station wagons?
  • focuszx3rfocuszx3r Posts: 92
    Ever since I was a little kid and my dad bought a Dodge Colt hatchback I loved them. That car was really nice. Now that I am 18, I went out to buy a new car and the only hatchback I liked was the ZX3, and boy do I love it! i even liked when my dad commented on the testdrive that it "reminded me of my colt". When I was over in Norway 4 years back, I saw all those nice hatchbacks and wished we had them in America. I especially liked the Fiat UNO and the Corolla hatchback that we never got here.
    When i told people what car i got, 9 times out of 10 I heard "hatchbacks are ugly, that car is ugly, i like the sedan better......" Americans are resistant to hatchbacks for some reason. Only like 1 of my friends likes me car and boy does he like it, the rest say that the sedan is nicer 9which I think is really ugly). I usually get mad at them and yell because they are the reason my only choices was a base , base, base Civic CX, and my beloved ZX3, which would have been my 1st choice if I had a choice of many. I dont consider the Golf for a number of reasons I wont discuss.
    Mine cost 12k out the door, and I dont even have a/c.
    Well nayways, hatchbacks are the best, and I think the ZX3 is the nicest, but that Lancia Delta in Gran Turismo is really cool!
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    hatchbacks have been unfairly characterized as
    being cheaply made.econoboxes is the term widely
    used.i am referring of course to american my opinion the honda civic has brought respect to the hatchback.again, my reference is to in u.s. has posted
    some fine european hatches that never make it here.
    i am owner as well of the zx3 and very pleased with
    my purchase.this is the first hatch by a u.s. mfg.
    that i ever gave consideration to purchasing.the
    zx3,i believe will spurn other follow suit.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    I was VERY surprised to say the least, that people here don't know where the term 'hatchback' comes from, and what cars it applies to.

    The term hatchback comes from the time when German poultry-farmers were struggling with depressed markets, and they typically held a second 'day-job'. They couldn't afford a Mercedes for their daily commute, and they needed to look after the egg hatching process as well. In short, they needed a small cargo area where they could put their eggs, and allow them to mature in a warm environment. For this purpose, Volkswagen created the Golf GTI. Small, zippy, and equipped with a purposeful 'hatching' space in the back. The HATCH-BACK was born.
    With time, some farmers became more wealthy and could afford more powerful hatching-cars. These were given the name of 'FASTBACKS'.
    The 'LIFTBACKS' were equipped with a lifting device at the back of the car, which allowed for ease of loading.
    The origins of these names prove (once again) the ingenuity of European car designers, who strive to cater for all customer needs. In time, Japanese manufacturers have caught up of course, equipping some of their finer cars with rice-cookers in the front. Different markets, different demands.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    The thing is Hatchbacks do tend to be economy cars. Not necessarily cheaply made however. Fast backs are usually sports coupes. Two completely different cars.

    The ZX3 is a nice car, I really liked the interior and the ride quality. The car is much better built and more refined then the Escorts ever were, I was just dissapointed with the overall performance of it. Rather sluggish, and quite top heavy. I also think they should have made the front end different then the Sedan and Wagon versions.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    i agree that right out of the box,the zx3 is
    sluggish.this zetec engine requires a long really begins to smooth-out at about 3,000mi.
    i also wish they made the front-end different as at 4,800 mi. and the engine performance
    overall is significantly improved.your initial
    impression of the engine performance is a fair one.
    i think those that have purchased one would tend to
    alfaromeo- im a city boy,i did not know of the hatchback origin.very interesting.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Hey, don't take my above post seriously (!).... I just thought a little humor couldn't harm!
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    What, German farmers don't raise chickens in their cars? There you go, tearing all of my illiusions down. What next? No Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny got hit by a ZX3? Geeeessshhh!

    I saw America's priciest hatch on the road today. Excuse me while I puke. Could the BMW Z3 coupe get any uglier?
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    While the Z3 is pricey, the M Coupe is the more pricey of the two. Still the same ugly design though.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    In its 'euro-spec' 321bhp version, the M3 just HAS to be a blast to drive though. The cosmetics of the car are not a study in esthetics, I agree, but the least you can say is that the car has character! But you know what? That car must have been designed for midgets! I'm fairly 'normal' at 6'1'' and there is absolutely NO WAY I can fit in that car! If the Miata is small... the Z3 M coupe is even smaller... (and that car is German!!!)
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210

    This one is of the Golf. You can see a glimpse of the Recaro seats (optional) and the 5 cylinder engine. To my knowledge, the 1.8t and Vr6 are 'out' in Europe, replaced by the Audi V5 and the upscale V6 on the 4 motion. I have no clue about the V5 engine. I know it's 150bhp, but I remember reading that the 1.8t was more appropriate for the car...
  • Now, the Ka is a cute car. Too bad we got that ugly ZX3 instead.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Has to be this one... (but is it a car?)

    I am not sure, but I think it's some sort of collaboration between Mercedes and ...Swatch (you know, the plastic watches).

    I saw one in Copenhagen with Swiss plates (I hope 'they' hauled it in the trunk of their E Klasse, and didn't drive all the way!)
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    Yeah, the M would be a killer ride.I'm sure it handles great and you know it is a rocket.

    The Audi A3 looks so much like a Civic! Sure, there are some minor differences. (Audi headlights are easy to recognize.) If I took all of the badges off of it in Photoshop, I could pass it off on these pages as a Honda. Same rear window, same rear spoiler, similar front end , similar tail lights, similar moldings on the doors, A-B-C pillars look similar, the rear windows appear to open (I wish mine did.), antenna is mounted in the rear instead of above the A pillar, stainless steel over the mirrors? It really isn't much of a stretch. I'd take the interior over mine. I'd take my $13,400 price. The Audi engine would be nice too.

    You can keep the rest of them. I have seen a Smart around my home. Pretty weird and it doesn't look very safe. I would think it would be a pain in heavy cross winds.

    The interior on the Golf looks great. Everything is so tight (tolerances not slang). Recaro seats sure would be nice!
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    The Ka would be an embarassment to drive. Not only is it an eyesore, but half the thing is made out of recycled drinking boxes.

    M coupe: I thought this onewas the ugliest things to hit the road since the last gen. caprice, but I guy on my street had gotten one last year and its actually grown on me. It looks different and is eye catching and perfoms amazing. Of course, I will still take the M roadster...
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    alfa- i knew it was an american farmer not a german
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    alfa- you really do find some fine looking cars.
    that is a beautiful vehicle.will it ever hit the u.s. shores?
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i know it might sound stupid, but what are the differences between polo and golf? Jetta and Vetta?
    thank you
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    It's not a stupid question at all! Here goes:
    I haven't heard of the 'Vetta' - I guess you are referring to 'Vento' which may be one of the names used for the 'Jetta' model in some markets.

    When the 'new' Jetta model came out in Europe, VW decided to rename it 'Bora'. Simply different names on the same car.
    The smallest car (really tiny by US standards) is the LUPO. Next up is the POLO, just around the size of the original GOLF I! (the Beetle is somewhere in there too!)
    The Polo is a rather conservatively styled car, albeit many regard it as the 'true GTI' because the GOLF has put on so much size and weight over the years. All these cars are available in Europe in two and four door hatches (I even think you get the Polo in a wagon version, like the Golf Wagon).
    On VW's UK site, you may see the range of cars. However, VW markets slightly different versions even within European countries. Thus, engines may vary (some countries like France have a five cylinder 2.5 engine in the GTI) and the VR6 is to my knowledge not available since the V6-motion came out.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    The Spanish subsidiary of the Volkswagen-Audi Group (VAG):
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210

    In my opinion, this is a lot closer to the initial GTI concept than today's GOLF!
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    thank you for your detailed answer. i saw a vetta once here in US. it looked like the 93--98 ?? generation jetta. but it had a "vetta" badge on it.
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    i just saw a VW RV on the road yesterday. i am not sure if it was customized euro van, but i was a medium sized RV. anyone seen those?
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    I've never seen or heard about the vetta! Maybe it was a one-in-a million ocurrence (like a pic I saw in Car and Driver of a 'Chrysler' car!!! - new post-merger spelling???)

    Excuse me, but what is 'RV'?
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Third victory in a row for Peugeot! Gronholm finishes over a minute ahead of McRae who nevertheless gives Ford the title lead so far...
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