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Hatchbacks may be described as three-door (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-door (four entry doors and the hatch) cars. A model range may include multiple configurations, as with the 2001–2007 Ford Focus which offered sedan (ZX4), wagon (ZXW), and three or five-door hatchback (ZX3 and ZX5) models. The models typically share a platform, drivetrain and bodywork forward of the A-pillar. Hatchbacks may have a removable rigid parcel shelf,liftable with the tailgate, or flexible roll-up tonneau cover to cover the cargo space behind the rear seats. Sometimes a hatchback model is sold with a different name to a saloon version, but is identical bar the rear configuration, such as the Renault 9 and 11 of the 1980s.
Hatchback vs. station wagonDiagram of a five-door hatchback (two-box) superimposed over the station wagon (two-box) from the same model range—in this case, both with a D-pillar.
Both station wagons and hatchbacks typically feature a two-box design configuration, with one shared, flexible, interior volume for passengers and cargo—and a rear door for cargo access.Further distinctions are highly variable:Pillars: Both configurations typically feature A, B & C pillars, station wagons more likely also feature a D pillar as well.Cargo Volume: Station wagons prioritize passenger and cargo volume—with windows aside the cargo volume. Of the two body styles, a station wagon's roof (viewed in profile) more likely extends to the very rearmost of the vehicle, enclosing a full-height cargo volume—a hatchback roof (especially a liftback roof) might more likely rake down steeply behind the C-Pillar, prioritizing style over interior volume, with shorter rear overhang and with smaller windows (or no windows) aside the cargo volume.
Cargo floor contour: Favoring cargo capacity, a station wagon may prioritize a fold-flat floor, where a hatchback would more likely allow a cargo floor with pronounced contour (e.g. the new Mini or the sixth generation Ford Fiesta).
Seating: Station wagons have two or three rows of seats (e.g., the Ford Taurus wagons) while hatchbacks have one. the MGB GT) or two rows of seats.
Rear suspension: A station wagon may include reconfigured rear suspension for additional load capacity[and to minimize intrusion into the cargo volume, (e.g., worldwide versions of the first generation Ford Focus).
Rear Door: Hatchbacks typically feature a top-hinged liftgate for cargo access, with variations from a single liftgate to a complex tailgate that can function either as a full tailgate or as a trunk lid (e.g., the 2008 Škoda Superb's TwinDoor). Station wagons also have numerous tailgate configurations. Typically, a hatchback's hatch or liftgate does not extend down to the bumper, as on wagons — with exceptions including the Skoda Superb.
Automotive journalist Dan Neil, in a 2002 New York Times report described verticality of the rear cargo door as the prime distinction between a hatchback and a station wagon: "Where you break the roofline, at what angle, defines the spirit of the vehicle," he said. "You could have a 90-degree break in the back and have a station wagon."
Liftback – Toyota Celica, IV. generation, SX (ST162), 2.0
A liftback is a broad marketing term for a hatchback, which incorporates a shared passenger and cargo volume, with rearmost accessibility via a rear third or fifth door, typically a top-hinged liftgate—especially where the profile aspect of the rear cargo door is more horizontal than vertical, with a sharply raked or fastback profile. In comparison with the hatchback the back opening area is more sloped and longer and is lifted up to open, offering more luggage space. Very similar is the "fastback", but it miss the "step" visually resembling sedan. Liftback is not used as a term in the UK, fastback or hatchback are used instead.