Shatchbacks 3: The Rise of the Machines

Major Waffle Shatchbacks
The third instalment of Shatchbacks, a look at four more booted hatchbacks that bring horror to our roads. The sedans in question here include the Ford Ikon, Ford Orion, Renault Clio Sedan and Seat Cordoba. Also features some light relief courtesy of Nicole from the Clio ads.

When I first wrote about my irrational hatred of Shatchbacks, I fully expected to be singled out as a little strange. Some people choose to despise 4x4s. Some people chose to take a dislike to BMW X6s, X5s, X3s and X1s. Quite right too. But for me, the biggest horror on our roads is the booted hatchback.

A group of cars so hideous that they're becoming known as Shatchbacks. What is quite surprising is the sheer number of people who share my distaste of the automotive equivalent of an afterthought. I've been contacted by fellow petrolheads who have quite literally taken time out from their holidays to take photos of Shatchbacks.

This doesn't necessarily go down well with other halves, who'd rather be admiring a stunning Mediterranean vista and not the back end of a Spanish saloon car.

But thanks to the dedication of others, I've been able to compile the third instalment of Shatchbacks. Worryingly, I've also got enough of a library to compile at least another two episodes. Whether that's a good thing is debatable, but for now here are five more booted hatchbacks for your perusal. As always, please do not read on if you're easily offended - this blog article contains some images which some readers might find distressing.

Seat Cordoba - nominated by @TheCarDisco


The legendary James Winstanley produces a great range T-shirts which can often be seen worn by some of the country's finest motoring writers and presenters. He also writes a jolly good blog and is one of the most entertaining Twitterers.

So it is perhaps of some surprise, (or indeed no surprise depending on your point of view), that Mr TheCarDisco took time out of his well earned holiday to take a snap of the first Seat Shatchback to grace this blog.

How the Cordoba escaped the wrath of PetrolBlog is anyone's guess, but it makes an unwelcome entry here. Mr TheCarDisco went to great lengths to take the following snap and very nearly got caught out by the Cordoba's proud owner.

Fortunately, Mr TheCarDisco escaped before the owner could give chase. Unfortunately, Mrs TheCarDisco hasn't quite forgiven Mr TheCarDisco for spending more time thinking about booted hatchbacks than enjoying a romantic walk along the beach.

PetrolBlog salutes you Mr TheCarDisco.

[caption id="attachment_778" align="aligncenter" width="614"]Seat Cordoba Shatchback I just want you back for good[/caption]

Ford Ikon - nominated by Torquesteer


Throughout time, the Ford Fiesta has been a popular little hatchback Always a top seller and a firm favourite as a first car, or a small family runabout or maybe something to learn to drive in. There have been some interesting 'hot' versions of the cheeky hatch too, including the now collectable MkI XR2 and the the more recent Fiesta ST. Job well done Ford, nothing to see here, let's move on to the next Shatchback...

Well actually no, not quite. You see, the Fiesta's copybook has been blotted by a foreign cousin that is so embarrassing that it is actually banned from passing through many of the world's border control points. Indeed, our very own HM Revenue & Customers lists this car as a banned item, alongside the likes of illicit drugs, fur skin and firearms.

The car in question is the Ford Ikon, and think yourself lucky that you'll never see this horror on your journey to Homebase this Saturday afternoon. As if the woeful looks weren't enough, there's also the issue of the name. Ikon? Ikon? Really? Notwithstanding the single letter change, surely calling an automotive afterthought an icon is asking a huge amount?

It sounds like one of Louis Walsh's boy bands who did well to finish seventh in the X-Factor in 2008. Ford's marketing department must have been delighted with the ingenuity of the name. "We've created an icon overnight," came the cry of Justin, the work experience boy put in charge of the Global Product Naming Development Office.

Well, here you go Justin, for your next Shatchback, why not consider the words Shot or Rollocks for your next brainstorm. With a single letter change on each, you'll be on to a winner.

[caption id="attachment_811" align="aligncenter" width="614"]Ford Fiesta Sedan Ikon Backstreet's Back[/caption]

Ford Orion - nominated by @MarkoLeRosso


I'll start with a confession. During my college days, I, like many of my car loving friends, had a soft spot for the Ford Orion. Not in basic L or GL spec, you understand, for us, it had to be the Orion 1.6i Ghia. Even saying the words 'Orion-one-point-six-injection-Ghia' stirs up images of a fondly remembered crush of yesteryear – a crush that never materialised into a trip to the cinema or a chance to meet her parents.

But unlike other teenage crushes, there's no chance of finding this thing on Facebook. Instead, the Orion languishes within the depths of eBay Motors, unloved by the majority and coveted by the few.

Most likely to survive will be the 1.6i Ghia as this was the Orion to have. Offering the same levels of performance and handling of the Escort XR3i, the Orion was somewhat of an insiders' choice. A slight tap on the nose and a brief wink told you that the Orion managed to slip under the radar of the insurance companies and therefore represented somewhat of an inspired choice for those looking at an XR3i but were put off by spiraling insurance costs.

Today, I look back on my crush with a high level of regret and shame. Like my life size poster of Cindy Crawford or my Dire Straits wall calendar, it is something that I try to forget. Unlike Ms Crawford, the Ford Orion has failed to grow old gracefully and won't be seen advertising Olay anti-wrinkle cream anytime soon.

[caption id="attachment_812" align="aligncenter" width="614"]Ford Orion It's all coming back to me now[/caption]

Renault Clio Sedan - nominated by @vHenryk


Ah, you just knew it wouldn't be long before the French made an appearance and here they are with the Renault Clio Sedan. You may remember the advertising for the Clio in the early 90s? You know, the ads featuring the delectable and delightful Nicole. Here's a brief reminder and respite from the other horrific images on this blog.

[caption id="attachment_813" align="aligncenter" width="465"]Nicole Renault Clio Sexy Back[/caption]

Nice isn't she? The thing is, there's a little known fact about Nicole which is rarely mentioned by her, or indeed her Papa. Truth is, Nicole had a sister called Monique who, let's just say, didn't quite share the same aesthetic qualities as her more glamorous sibling. While Nicole would be every inch the French glamour puss with her wardrobe consisting of some of the finest material from the Parisien fashion houses, Monique would be seen sauntering around Papa's estate in jogging bottoms and an oversized T-shirt. She also drove a Clio Sedan.

I rest my case.

[caption id="attachment_814" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Renault Clio Sedan Don't look back in anger[/caption]

So, four more Shatchbacks to peruse and even more imagery guaranteed to keep you awake at night. Keep the suggestions coming and look out for Shatchbacks IV: Salvation coming soon.

Ford Orion image courtesy of Charles01 via Wikipedia