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A hatchback car is identical to a sedan in construction, and not a station wagon as many people think. Both sedans and hatchbacks have A, B and C pillars and it's the difference on the C pillar that makes the entire distinction between the two vehicles. A station wagon, on the other hand, typically adds a D pillar to the frame to provide support and structural integrity to the third column. Another difference between the station wagon and a hatchback is the utilization of space: if station wa... (full review continues below)
A hatchback car is identical to a sedan in construction, and not a station wagon as many people think. Both sedans and hatchbacks have A, B and C pillars and it's the difference on the C pillar that makes the entire distinction between the two vehicles. A station wagon, on the other hand, typically adds a D pillar to the frame to provide support and structural integrity to the third column. Another difference between the station wagon and a hatchback is the utilization of space: if station wagons are usually designed to get maximum space, hatchbacks are typically not the same and space is sometimes compromised for better looks and aerodynamics.
Though the word 'hatchback' was first used in the 1970s, you can find many examples of hatchbacks in history much earlier than this. It was in 1938 when Citroen, the leading automobile manufacturer, introduced the Traction Avant Commerciale with a two piece tailgate that prompted manufacturers around the globe to start thinking about a new design concept.
DeSoto, an automobile brand owned by Chrysler Corporation, introduced a sedan in 1946 with a rear door and folding rear seats. This probably is the most advanced version of a hatchback from history.
It is interesting to note that the concept of hatchbacks was popularized by European and Japanese cars and these hatches were popular for space over looks. A good example is the Volkswagen Golf, which was introduced in 1974. The car has picked up massive sales across the globe with an estimated sales volume of 25 million cars by 2007. The car was hugely popular because of its fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs.
Ford, a successful American car manufacturer, tried to penetrate the market of hatchbacks with their Ford Pinto but the car wasn't a great success. It was discontinued in 1980, on its 10th anniversary.
Ford didn't have a great start in the hatchback market but with the Ford Fiesta, they have really come to the party. The car has excellent sales volume and it's a very reliable, affordable car.
The Subaru Impreza WRX is a performance oriented hatchback with a turbocharged engine that can move really fast. If you thought that hatchbacks are not that fun, consider an Impreza and you will be amazed.
Mini Cooper isn't exactly cheap but this is a stylish automobile and for those of you whom class and luxury is a concern; it's an incredible car to drive. The car comes with three engine options although the highest variant, the John Cooper Works can be incredibly expensive.
The single most attraction of the hatchback is the fact that it's really fun to drive due to its compactness. If you choose a good engine, the performance and small size of the hatch will usually produce excellent fuel efficiency. For regular commuters, it's very difficult to come up with a cost-effective alternative for regular use. Similarly, a hatchback parks like a charm, thanks to its size and with large rear door glasses, the visibility can be incredible.