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New Breed Hatchbacks with Attitude

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012

The hatchback has held a special place in the heart of many a motorist. From cheap run-arounds to highly tuned performance cars, there is a hatchback to fit every personality. Nor does the popularity of the hatchback look set to wane any time soon. As people increasingly look for cars which perform well in regards to fuel economy and emissions, the hatchback is going from strength to strength - and as a result of this a new breed of spunky hatchbacks are hitting roads around the world.

Here are some to keep an eye out for:

Hyundai i30

The i30 is the embodiment of what the new breed of hatchbacks are all about. Its styling is fluid and precise- this is not a car that would be interested in growing designer stubble- and yet it still has something a little bit wicked about it. In part this is due to the wide front grill, from some angles reminiscent of the plankton filtering mouth of the gentle whale shark, from others the muzzled snout of flat nosed guard dog. One point reiterated in many a Hyundai i30 review is commitment to reducing emissions - another common feature of the new breed of hatchbacks. The i30 even features an Eco Drive indicator that tells you the optimum time at which to shift gear for maximum fuel economy.

The Holden Cruze

When you think of hatchbacks, Australia is not the first place to come to mind. Rather you imagine SUV’s or muscular four-doors like the former undisputed King of the Australian highway (unless you happen to own a Ford Falcon), the Holden Commodore. But times have changed and now Holden’s biggest selling car is the altogether less imposing, Cruze. Lacking the in-your-face styling of some of its contemporaries, it certainly delivers on the economy front, with the 1.4 intelligent turbo induction engine capable of travelling 1000 km on a single tank.

Nissan Qashqai

The Qashqai, or Dualis as it is known in some parts of the world, is an unusual amalgamation of styles and priorities. Part hatchback, part SUV its design is indicative of the demands of 21st Century living. Ideal for families, indeed it is just as at home on the school run as it is on a skiing trip, the Dualis combines top notch safety features with boys toys (360 degree camera, anyone?). Although initial response to it may have been muted, many a Nissan Dualis review now speaks of it as something of a game changer.


The second generation Mazda3, released in 2010, has been a revelation. It is the true embodiment of what we have come to expect from a modern hatchback. Its styling is verging on the aggressive, there’s a definite air of ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough’ about it. And it’s not all talk either - the 2.0 DISI petrol engine combines with the lightweight body to provide a drive dripping with attitude. A diesel version is available, should you like your hatchbacks more bark than bite.

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