Shatchbacks V: The Final Frontier?

I’ll start the fifth update of Shatchbacks with a sobering point. I’ve received enough content suggestions to ensure that Shatchbacks will continue until at least the seventh episode, so not quite the final frontier – yet. Who would have thought that there was so much misery on our roads? On a lighter note, I’m delighted to report that manufacturers are clearly seeing the marketing potential of Shatchbacks. A quick Google search reveals that Hyundai, Peugeot and Vauxhall have all bought Shatchbacks as a Pay-Per-Click AdWord. Nice. But for your information Google, no I didn’t mean to search for hatchbacks!

Shatchbacks Search on Google

But anyway, back to more pressing matters – the small issue of another set of booted horrors.

Daewoo Lanos sedan – nominated by @evomagazine

It is highly unlikely that evo magazine will ever feature a group test of Shatchbacks, but if they ever did, there’s a good chance that the Daewoo Lanos sedan would play a part. Frankly, I can’t see it picking up a coveted five star rating, unless of course the rating is based on ability to cause nightmares or to induce vomit. The Daewoo Lanos was never much of a looker as a hatchback, but in saloon form it is positively dreadful.

Daewoo Lanos sedan Shatchback

Daihatsu Charade saloon – @carliterature

Here at PetrolBlog there’s a quite a bit of love for Daihatsu. It may be no longer possible to buy a new Daihatsu here in the UK, but some of the previous models are remembered with a fair degree of fondess. Firstly, there’s my first car – a magnificent little Charade XTE that cost me only £30 to buy and even less to run for a whole year. It was a brilliant little car for my student days. Being made from old crisp packets and ring pulls meant that the build quality was quite literally rubbish. But it also meant that it was lightweight and therefore easily the quickest car in the college car park.

Then there’s the Charade GTti, a brilliant little hot hatch that was recently remembered in Simon Ford’s Real World Review. Finally, who can forget the Box of Frogs – the Cuore Avanzato? I enjoyed six months with the little rocket and even made a healthy profit when I came to sell it. Thanks for the memories Kermit.

But there’s one car that can single handedly overshadow all of this greatness. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Daihatsu Charade saloon. Words fail me. Almost.

I do wonder what’s going on in the photo. I can only assume that the daughter was so disgusted by her father’s choice of new car, that she instructed her mother to lock him in the boot until he promised to bring home a proper car.

Daihatsu Charade Shatchback

Fiat Marea – @robgt2

When you think of Italian cars, what do you think of? A Ferrari or a Lamborghini perhaps? Or maybe an original Fiat 500 circling the streets of Milan? How about an old Lancia, Alfa Romeo or Maserati? Or, rather cynically, maybe you think of unreliability, dodgy electrics and heavy depreciation. But whatever, you don’t tend to think of a Shatchback, do you? Well if your name is Rob, maybe you do. I therefore present the Fiat Marea.

Fiat Marea Shatchback

Citroen C4 sedan – @DeffoMotoring

These days, there’s much to admire about Citroen. There’s the sublime C6, the handsome C5 Tourer and the delightful DS3. In fact, a quick browse of Citroen’s UK website reveals an array of interesting alternatives to the mainstream choices. But there’s one car you won’t find on the UK website and I suggest you write to Citroen UK to thank them for such a gesture. I’m talking about the C4 sedan and believe me, it isn’t nice. I have a feeling that Citroen agree, which is why they do everything they can to ensure that you don’t look at it. Take this press shot for example. Is it me, or is this a deliberate attempt to use a backdrop so busy that your eyes are diverted from the actual car? Maybe your attention will be drawn to the skyline, or the ship or the annoyingly good looking couple stood next to the lamppost? Quite why the couple are so happy is anyone’s guess? I can only assume that they haven’t been shown the back of the car yet.

Citroen C4 sedan Shatchback

You may or may not be pleased to find out that there are more Shatchbacks waiting in the wings. Watch this space…

Marea image courtesy of Rudolf Stricker and Lanos image courtesy of OSX.

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ABOUT AUTHOR
Gavin Big-Surname
The chief waffler and founder of PetrolBlog in 2010. Has a rather unhealthy obsession with cars from the 80s and 90s, and is on a one-man mission to collect the cars nobody else wants. Also likes tea and Hobnobs.

16 comments

  1. April 14, 2011
    Darren Leslie

    Oh yes, I remember the Charade XTE. You mustn’t forget the filler that held the crisp packets together……

    Is it me, or does the C4 sedan look like it’s been photoshoped into the picture? Maybe the customs guys and girls wouldn’t let it in the country they thought it was that bad?

    Reply
    • April 14, 2011
      MajorGav

      Now you mention it, that C4 does look photoshopped. Shame they couldn’t photoshop do anything about the look of the car.

      Reply
    • April 14, 2011
      DeffoMotoring

      Yeah it does look like it’s Photoshopped does the C4 saloon. I think Citroen only sold them in China and Eastern European markets. Where they prefer Shatchbacks.

      Reply
      • April 14, 2011
        MajorGav

        Yep, and they can keep ’em!

        Reply
  2. April 14, 2011
    Simon Hingston

    Was that C4 done with the stretch tool in Photoshop?

    Reply
    • April 14, 2011
      MajorGav

      There’s a definite consensus of opinion that some photoshop wizardry may have been used in that shot…

      Reply
  3. April 15, 2011
    Darren Leslie

    I was just wondering, are these genuine shatchbacks or are they hatchoons (saloons with the boot chopped off)?

    Reply
    • April 15, 2011
      MajorGav

      Ah, these are the real things alright. All based on prettier, less offensive hatchbacks. Shudder.

      Reply
  4. April 21, 2011
    Chris C

    Re: Marea

    Get a HLX with a 20v 2.0 five-pot engine, and much will be forgiven!

    Chris

    Reply
    • April 21, 2011
      MajorGav

      Hmm…might need to check that out. Purely for research purposes you understand?

      Reply
  5. March 9, 2012
    Ciao_Chao

    I must say, as a C6 owner who regularly travels to China, a place where the shatchback is king, seeing the C4 sedan (C-quatre/C-Triomphe) is quite a soothing sight. So long as you don’t look carefully you catch a hint of C6 in there, and when you’re 5000 miles from home it becomes quite reassuring.

    Furthermore, have you thought the 5-door version of the C4 looks quite an afterthought too?

    Reply
    • March 9, 2012
      MajorGav

      Ah, a C6 owner? I salute you. Tell me more about it please!

      The C4 Shatchback certainly isn’t the worst offender and I know what you mean about the 5-door…

      Reply
  6. October 12, 2012
    Neil

    The Daewoo Lanos shouldn’t be here, as it was a saloon first, with the hatchback added a few months later. Its prime market was South Korea, where hatchbacks were less popular.
    Of course, by the time the car arrived in Europe, about a year after the saloon’s Korean launch, the hatchbacks were available alongside the saloon, and were favoured in most of Western Europe. In Korea the saloon was simply the Lanos, whereas the 3dr hatch was the Lanos Romeo, and the 5dr was the Lanos Juliet.

    Reply
    • October 12, 2012
      Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

      As you say, they arrived in the UK at the same time, so some degree of goalpost moving gets it on the list! It’s also one of the worst offenders. 😉

      It didn’t know that about the Romeo and Juliet. Laughable model names!

      Reply
  7. October 12, 2012
    Simon Hingston

    They could only afford a stock photo to edit after they’d paid the therapy bill for the designers. Now whether that was to restore them to health after being forced to design that thing or cos they were mental I’ll let you decide for yourselves!

    Reply
  8. October 12, 2012
    Simon Hingston

    Only slightly less Mr Fiat

    Reply

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