Congratulations, Mazda. For eight years, PETROLBLOG has enjoyed pointing at compact saloons and inviting the world to look on with a mixture of horror, ridicule and sympathy. For better or for worse, this little old car blog has become the official home of the Shatchback.
Heck, PB has even developed a certain fondness for the much-derided Shatchback. PB likes the underdog, you see, and the Shatchback certainly puts the dog into underdog.
They’re an easy target. For those of you who weren’t with PB in 2010, a Shatchback is loosely defined as a hatchback with a saloon boot grafted on. City cars, superminis, compact hatchbacks – if it started life as a hatchback and the bolt-on rear end has been attached with little aesthetic sympathy, it’s a Shatchback.
Over the years, the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Skoda Fabia saloon and Dongfeng Peugeot 207 have stood out like beacons of poor taste, coming to symbolise all that is wrong with compact saloons.
Others, like the Renault 19 Chamade, Ford Orion and Honda Civic saloon have demonstrated that a Shatchback doesn’t have to scare small children. Then there’s the Renault 7, which seems to get better with age.
Recently, the tide has started to turn. While the Mercedes CLA proves that manufacturers still get things wrong, the A3 saloon is arguably one of the best looking cars in the entire Audi range. It just looks so… right.
Then there’s this, the Mazda 3 saloon. Unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Show of New Cars, it has done the unthinkable and upstaged its hatchback sibling. It’s probably the best looking compact saloon since the Chamade. Fair play, Mazda, fair play.
Because it’s a Mazda, it’ll drive like an MX-5, be as efficient as the Tokyo transport system and go wrong about as often as a Swiss watch.
A good Shatchback comes along about as often a total eclipse, so this should be a reason to celebrate. We should be proposing a public holiday in honour of the 2019 Mazda 3 saloon. National Shatchday has a good ring to it.
Car manufacturers will continue to build automotive afterthoughts and PETROLBLOG will continue to stick the boot in. Meanwhile, PB’s loyal readers – yes, both of you – will continue to travel the world sharing their compact saloon holiday snaps with the #Shatchback hashtag.
But Mazda has performed a minor miracle and built a modern compact saloon that won’t give you nightmares and won’t send small children scurrying behind the sofa for safety. For this, we must raise a glass to Mazda.
Not only is the Mazda 3 saloon PETROLBLOG’s Shatch of the day, but it’s also the Shatch of the century. Shatchtastic.