For many years it was accepted that the only true premium car was a three-box saloon.
There were plenty of upmarket hatchbacks (Rover SD1, Citroen XM, Renault 25, Saab 9000) but the all-powerful German carmakers didn’t agree that a premium car should have tradesman-like utility.
It was only the appearance of ‘lifestyle’ estate cars that brought five-doors into blue-chip territory. The five-door fastback, however, has long been beyond the pail.
Sadly, other manufacturers have given in and dropped the format. Saab didn’t replace 9000 or original 9-3 with hatchbacks.
Renault tried to replicate with relative success of the 25 hatch with the five-door Safrane and Vel Satis, but were rewarded with terrible sales.