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A Hatchback By Any Other Name Is A ...

Shush! The hatchback is back, but don't call it a hatchback. "If you say 'hatchback,' people tend to think of a yellow Pinto," says Art Battaglia, product manager for the Volvo C30, one of the latest vehicles in a new crop of hatchbacks from luxury manufacturers. Volvo calls the C30 a "coupe." And at Audi, the A3 is always referred to as a "sportback."

According to a study by CNW Marketing Research, cars with traditional trunks are still the most popular body type among new car buyers, but hatches are generating significant interest. In the "near luxury" category, just over 20% of new car buyers said they preferred a hatchback to a sedan or station wagon.

Avoidance of a "hatchback" connotation isn't just endemic to luxury brands. The Mazda3 is called a "5-door." Toyota prefers the term "liftback" for a version of its wee Yaris. And the difference between a four-door wagon and a five-door hatch is sometimes just in the name.



Read the whole story at MSNBC/Forbes »

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