DS 4 Crossback: is it the best _back?

The DS 4 Crossback: is it the best _back? It’s an unlikely and slightly clunky question, I grant you, but it’s one that’s been troubling me since returning from France. The Crossback is the latest in a line of _backs to grace the automotive world, so PetrolBlog is keen to discover where it ranks in the all-time list of backs. This is a list that matters.

We know Justin Timberlake is a fan of sexy backs, but he was unable to help on this occasion. Similarly, Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis of the Fatback Band was too busy enjoying the love he found in the 1980s. Meanwhile, Will Smith wasn’t keen on backing up to give his brothers room. So creating this top ten essentially came down to a finger and some air. Proper tail on a donkey’s back stuff.

So, what is the best _back? And perhaps more importantly, will we see an end to these daft and meaningless model names? Or are they back for good?

10. Audi Sportback

Audi RS3 Sportback

Today, many Audis are available in the Sportback flavour. It’s all nonsense, because a Sportback is little more than a five-door hatchback. No further words are required.

9. Buick Trunkback

Buick Trunkback

Why doesn’t Audi offer a Trunkback? The Audi Q7 Trunkback: seems quite apt for a vehicle that’s as aesthetically pleasing as Dumbo’s bottom.

8. Nissan Navarra X-Back

Nissan Navarra X-Back

Nissan Navarra X-Back: the ideal car for X-Men? Or maybe builders who do lifestyle things at the weekend?

7. DS 4 Crossback

DS 4 Crossback

The Crossback rides 30mm higher than the standard DS 4 and, thanks to a small list of extras, looks suitably different to its coupe-hatchback sibling. It also wears its C.R.O.S.S.B.A.C.K letters with pride. It’s a Rover Streetwise for a new generation.

One day, the DS 4 Crossback will be a PetrolBloggy car. But that’s a while off.

6. Suzuki SX-4 Shatchback

Suzuki SX-4 Shatchback

Representing the Shatchback is the hapless Suzuki SX-4 sedan, which is almost certainly one of the worst of the breed. The Shatchback slots in at number six on this random list of randomness.

5. Toyota Corolla Liftback

Toyota Corolla Liftback

Back in the 1970s, the three-door Toyota Corolla Liftback was an unfathomably cool thing. It’s fair to say the E110 generation five-door Corolla Liftback had lost most of its charm.

4. Volkswagen 1600 Squareback


Volkwagen 1600 Liftback

Right, now we’re entering the seriously cool part of the feature, although I accept ‘feature’ is perhaps too strong a word for this waffle. The 1600 Squareback stems from a period long before the diesel emissions scandal was a thing. Not that the horse looks that impressed. Why the long face?

3. Ogle Triplex 10-20 Glassback

Ogle Triplex Glassback

Look closely and you’ll be able to spot the origins of this Ogle Triplex 10-20 Glassback. It was based on the Austin Princess and built to showcase Triplex laminated windscreens and sunroofs. Cool wheels, eh?

2. Skoda Rapid Spaceback

Skoda Rapid Spaceback

The Glassback is beaten by the Skoda, purely on the basis of its super-fast name. The fact is, nothing on earth sounds quicker than a Rapid Spaceback. Which is may explain why you don’t see the Rapid Spaceback on the road. Blink and you’ll miss it.

1. Renault 16 Hatchback

Renault 16 Hatchback

As a pioneer of the modern front-wheel drive hatchback formula, the Renault 16 deserves its role as the hatchback ambassador. In the same way the car industry seems to think the estate car tag is so passé, carmakers are all too quick to give the humble hatchback a fancy name.

All of which brings to an end our celebration of _backs. You can go back to whatever you were doing before reading this. It was almost certainly more interesting.

All images © manufacturers, except Buick © Stephen Foskett/Wikipedia.

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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.


  1. October 14, 2015
    David Milloy

    Wot, no notchbacks? And how could you forget this:


    • October 15, 2015
      Gavin Big-Surname

      Two good suggestions!

      My best friend at junior school had a Notchback. Or rather his parents did. For that reason alone, he was the coolest kid at school. Carl Denham, if you’re out there, hello.

      Fastback: good call. Could also add Bustleback and Speedback if we were extending the random list beyond a top 10!


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