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Saab 9-3, Mazda MAZDA3, Mazda MAZDA6, BMW 3 Series, Scion xA, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan
#8 of 57 Ultimate Hatchback?
Feb 27, 2003 (10:53 am)
Mazda 6 MPS . . . in hatchback form.
2.3L, 4 cyl turbo charged engine
280 HP/ 266 lb-ft
All Wheel Drive
6-speed manual tranny
safety airbags all round
#9 of 57 OK, here's mine
Feb 28, 2003 (8:34 pm)
I will base my "ultimate" hatchback on Toyota Matrix, because it is the closest to my understanding of properly designed car.
1. Driver-oriented pilot-style dashboard with soft plastic (not just soft-look!) Take current BMW, SAAB or Volvo as an example. And do not say it is outdated.
2. No faux anything. Especially faux carbon, aluminum or crome. No real crome, too. I can take either anodized aluminum (real!) or titanium (absolutely unnecessary inside cabin). No flashy stuff. No shiny Pontiac-style gauges. Should be simple, classy and modest.
3. FWD and AWD versions.
4. Any engine with any gearbox and any trim level. No stupid compulsory plastic stuff all around only because it is sporty. No only auto because it is AWD.
5. Drop old-fashioned autobox. Either manual or CVT. If tight on money, then CVT only with manual mode (real one, so "3" means third gear only, not 1,2 or 3)
6. Easy to fold-flat trunk with durable plastic lining. See Matrix -- the best trunk ever. I want to change nothing. But I do not care much about separately opened rear window.
7. Full-size spare for those who would like one, or slim-size for city guys.
8. Availability of: black/gray non-painted scratch-resistant bumpers, non-painted door handles, mirrors. No crome outside. For _any_ trim. I want to be able to get the most powerful sporty version with big wheels and black bumpers. Why not?
9. Rear sprinkler is a must! Along with wiper.
10. Headlight adjusters (like in Europe) is a must.
11. Xenon option.
12. Side blinkers on fenders.
13. No ugly separate side markers (see Protege5 or even Impreza, ugh!)
14. Powerful inline 4. I do not live V engines, they are complex and heavy. So, 2.0 to 2.3 would be a nice range. Also, smaller displacement engine must have VTEC/VVTi version for fighter pilots with wider usable range, say from 5000 to 8500. Diesel also should be included. So far, 4 engines: 2.0 (maybe GDI) "economy", 2.0 (VTEC) "sportivo", 2.3 (long stroke) "torquey" and 2.x turbo diesel "ultra-frugal".
15. ABS probably should be a must, but Traction Control or ESP do not. All electronic helpers should be able to be turned off -- except ABS.
16. 5-door version is a must and should have all the amenities as 3-door. Ford SVT is a good example.
17. Should have at least (at least!!!) 30mpg in city and 35-38mpg on highway.
18. And the biggest thing: modern production site, so anyone can really build a car for his own taste, using the common parts bin. And more colors.
19. Ability to have wiring only for stereo, or wiring and speakers (without head unit).
#11 of 57 So any other ideas here?
Sep 15, 2003 (4:48 am)
It's too soon to be archiving this discussion.
Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
Sep 15, 2003 (5:43 pm)
Unfortunately, my heart isn't in it....seems like no one in Europe wants to import a decently priced hatch here, and the Japanese seem to be giving up on hatches here.
The fact that we're not going to be getting the true BMW 1-series cars or the new VW Golfs is a bit of a blow.
#13 of 57 japanese giving up?
Sep 16, 2003 (3:45 am)
Not Mazda, apparently.
oh, yeah, and not Honda.
uh... and not Toyota...
what japanese manufacturers are we talking about?
Sep 17, 2003 (9:41 pm)
Honda. No standard Civic or Accord hatch..the only hatch they sell here is the Civic Si. It's EXTREMELY niche.
Toyota, no Camry hatch. THEIR only hatch is the torqueless Matrix, which is pushing wagon territory. If only Pontiac would shove an Ecotec down the throat of the Vibe version....
Nissan, no hatches whatsoever.
Mazda and Mitsubishi are the only ones coming with hatches (Mitsu's Lancer sportback and the Mazda line) so they're the only odd ducks (Suzuki's an odd duck too, but the Aerio is odd anyway...heh). Mazda's 6 series hatch has yet to appear though...besides, there isn't a Mazda dealer within 100 miles of me.
The Mitsu might be interesting...Lancer is a nice platform. But I'd like to have a hatch with the quality of a Honda or Nissan.
Sep 18, 2003 (3:33 am)
But Honda does have a hatch regardless. The only thing that really keeps it from being a big seller is the lack of automatic.
The Toyota I was actually referring to is the Prius hatch.
Sep 18, 2003 (9:54 am)
In YOUR opinion the only thing that keeps it from being a big seller is the lack of an automatic. That certainly hurts it, but there's the other fact that it's one of the more expensive Civic models, and is intended only to fill their "hot hatch" niche, and not intended to be a big seller or a normal model at all. Remember, Honda wants hatch/wagon shoppers to go buy the CR-V.
I'll give ya the Prius, even though that's kind of a niche vehicle too. But at least they designed it as a hatch, and not a sedan. It's still a little expensive, but where I wouldn't even have bothered looking at the old Prius, the new one is somewhat interesting.
Sep 18, 2003 (10:39 am)
of course its my opinion and a total theory since it doesn't exist in that form.
Oh, so you're looking for a CHEAP hatch? There is always the Hyundai Accent.