A source of constant debate is whether hatchbacks are seen as declassé on this side of the Atlantic or not. Let’s set that question aside for a moment, though, and just pretend that we all agree that they’re both classy and visually appealing. In this make-believe space of universal acceptance, how do you like your hatchback? As a kammback? A fastback? With three doors, or five?
I personally don’t buy the line that hatchbacks fail to convey wealth and prestige. It’s more likely that U.S. consumers simply failed to buy large hatchbacks like the Renault 16 (pictured at the top) for reasons that had nothing to do with their body style, and never got such other efforts as the Citroën BX.
We never got the VW Polo either, but that doesn’t mean we can’t admire and evaluate its crisp design.
However, if the trope that Americans don’t like hatchbacks contains any truth, then cars like the Gremlin, which sold in large enough numbers to leave their mark on a generation of consumers, can’t avoid scrutiny.
That still doesn’t fully account for why cars like this Mazda 626 failed to sell; however, when you look at its dull lines you’ll find an explanation that has nothing to do with that fifth door. Ultimately, though, we don’t have to ponder why the hatchback is unpopular in the U.S. to discuss our favorite designs, do we?