We do hate to open with definitions, but we can't leave it undefined; a liftback is a lot like a hatchback except in that it slopes a lot more (35-degrees or more depending on who you ask), and a fastback is the same thing but in a coupe form. If you disagree, feel free to reach out. In the meantime, let us admire these sexy cars—perhaps some of the most good-looking fellas to ever be made and steered by human hands!
To be clear: there aren't hatchbacks like any classic VW Golf or Subaru WRX (sorry, not even the 22B). These also aren't guesses or based on quick snapshots, it's based on years of public opinion listening and several college design classes, but trust us, it didn't take all that to know that the new Acura Integra is ugly! (mostly, we blame this on being lazy). Being liftbacks/fastbacks is part of these cars' natural beauty, so naturally, we will show you how great they look from the rear. Let's get into it!
10Gorgeous: 1985 AE 86
Yes, Takumi, Tofu, Night Kids, Ghost of Akina, Keiichi Tsuchiya... techno music plays as some kid spend $40 on tires delivering $15 of tofu and we don't care because it looks amazing! What is basically Japan's "cool" '80s Corolla has really blown up into an icon thanks to one animated show- Initial D. But say there never was a Panda Trueno or an unholy number of highly privileged Japanese youth with sick cars... the AE 86 would still make the list!
Thanks to its simplicity, the design has aged well. So well, in fact, that a good old 86 of any kind gets more on the market than any brand-new Toyota 86 by almost double! If there was any way...we would bring back this super-clean, boxy-but-not-ugly sports car look that just makes you wanna chill in the rain and see it roll around corners in the canyon! Mmm...
Related: Here's How 'Initial D' Made The Toyota AE86 A Global Drifting Legend
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9Gorgeous: Mercedes AMG GT
Sure... I guess this is a pretty fast car. It did beat many record-holding AWD track beasts at the Nurburgring with not but two powered tires. It did have a questionable green color for a while that gave it the nickname "The Hulk," and the hood it a little lengthy... but then again... who wouldn't want to be seen behind the wheel?
A tasteful yet functional fin sits atop the fastback that leads back from a wide cockpit that is sat behind its wide and long hood, and yet it just isn't that big at all in real life! How do they make it look so massive? Mercedes, frankly, sucks at making exciting-looking vehicles in modern times. Where did this even come from? We don't know but we love it! And Man is it fun to ride in!
8Gorgeous: 1972 Mustang GT Fastback
The Ford Mustang has just cropped up and settled into a pattern, and with as much raw 1970's cash as Ford had ($4 Billion net earnings, adjusted for inflation; second only to Exxon and GM in the world), they ought to be able to afford the best designers in the world! Right? Well, Lee Iacocca hired four, and Gale Halderman got the gold after drawing the thing at home on a notepad on his porch to keep it a secret. From that design success, Gale then went on to make the GT Fastback design as well and did not disappoint!
I mean... just look at it! Would you look at that? It looks like those sketches you see when people design cars before "engineers" get to hacking it up, only no ugly functionality blemishes this, as it's all integrated. The angles, every one of them, make it seem graceful yet speedy, driveable but fearsome. To top it off - black paint does the hood and forms the most tasteful side decals we may ever see.
7Gorgeous: 2017 Type-R
If you disagree, you know where to find us. Some say that the Type-R is "overdesigned" and "too much for what it is." Is it really? Sure, it's no McLaren, but can it not still look impressive as heck? Frankly, all the angles, intakes, and that giant wing are all luxuries, seeing how it's very hard to make car parts that have more than a few angles of dimension.
In truth, it looks like a car our little kid selves would look at and admire—a classic race car! Almost like a rocket ship! Symmetry, performance, and even the gosh darn Fibonacci sequence were taken into account. If you still hate it, don't worry! The 2022 Type R promises to be toned down and even understated! We haven't seen an officially released version as of posting this, but if it compares to the 2022 Civic and is as mellowed as they say - everyone will likely be accepting.
Related: Here is What We Love About The FK8 Type R
6Gorgeous: 1970 Aston Martin DBS
Yes, another movie star car, this one used in tandem with the DB5 by James Bond. The DBS was Aston's answer to the American sports car if you can't tell by looking at it. You also can't tell by looking at it that it made an impressive (estimated) 350+ horsepower from a 5.4 L V8. Also, like American muscle cars, it was affordable at a mere $16,500 when it was new (that is... cheap for an Aston Martin: $115,000 in today's money).
Despite looking a lot like a Camaro-Mustang mix, it clearly has its own flavor that earns its $1.1-million valuation today. It has a bold front end and strong lines that let you know it's an Aston without overstating it. The hood and cabin are aligned just right to look amazing and driveable, and the relevant part - the fastback - looks incredible with lines that slope off in a flirty, sporty manner. Now, were you to open the trunk you'll find it's not connected to the glass per-se, but since the slope matches in the whole rear, it counts as a fastback.
5Gorgeous: 2022 Audi RS5 Sportback
We gotta admit it, looking back... Audi has never made cars that stood out much more than Mercedes visually, always with the same rounded front-ends and similar lines across all models, SUVs, sedans, and coupes alike. It wasn't until 2015 that we started to be very impressed. The grille was widened, the aerodynamics were made more clear, and lines formed to break up what once was a big, flat panel that couldn't suffer even one hailstorm without looking like a teenager's face.
Now, we got an RS5, a 444 horsepower beast that puts Audi's fancy Quattro AWD to the test! Frankly, we'd love it if it was a 180 horsepower four-cylinder instead of the fancy twin-turbo V6, because this, in our opinion, is the best in Audi design second only to the R8, perhaps not even that... I'd like to draw your attention to the side skirts and the crease right above the door handle that runs the length of the car and tells your eye what to think. Canards and harshly-angled intakes make you wanna see how hard the thing can punch the clean air, and wow! the space inside! Yes, you could sleep in it... or even take a set of four-track tires with you to race day.
Related: 2021 Audi RS5 Sportback: Costs, Facts, And Figures
4Ugly: 2023 Acura Integra
We at Hot Cars avoid using cars that people don't own or haven't driven yet, but as of writing this, there doesn't seem to be any promise of change from the outcries of the general population. Frankly, the new Integra doesn't look... too terrible on its own. It's just that... it's an Integra. These FWD sports coupes have built a name for themselves enough to warrant the need for a rebirth! We all got our hopes up from renders and teases, and even compared it to the recent Countach rebirth by Lamborghini, an impressive, modern nod to the past...
Lazy production has let us down. We get it, this is a "gateway car" that will only cost $30,000... but did it have to look so much like Civic? Or all the other existing Acuras? For reference, we've pictured here the Integra we wanted, and you've seen the "Integra" we got. The butt is long and interesting. There's no wing or even a notable spoiler. The wheels are claimed to be 19" but look more like 17's on the long, sluggish body that is just a few dimensions shy of a minivan.
Related: News Vs Old: Acura's New Integra Tries To Recapture The Glory Days
3Ugly: 2010 - 2016 Porsche Panamera
The Panamera is impressive! We would own one, especially after seeing one carry four people over 210 mph on a public road! It's smart, even: a car by a luxury name based on their cheaper Audi that caters to the wealthy with more than one passenger to carry. For more reasons than one, however, it didn't turn out looking as great as it could. It seems like the whole thing is just too long!
For one, the hood is plenty lengthy already, then you got two rows in a cabin and hatchback of sorts. The whole thing seems stretched, and even looks fragile, and until they beefed up the look around 2017. Still, the one-glass-side illusion and bubbly shape just don't play as well as they could, and we're glad they're already taking notes from the RS6 and 8.
2Ugly: 2020 Kia Stinger
Kia isn't a very well-loved brand but people who own them always seem satisfied. They aren't the most reliable but the GT1 and GT2 offer lots of power for a low price point, so good on them. Now to tear them a new one (crack knuckles). What do you think you're doing coming to America trying to prove your brand's value and make a name for yourself and Korea and then going and making a nock-off police-looking connected tail light that throws everyone off and makes us mad! Break 400 horsepower, have a legacy built by the car, or even make it do more than just a typical sedan! Then we'll talk about looking like a Dodge Charger.
And another thing! Minus some cute (fake) air intakes, couldn't you make the car more exciting? Look at the Type-R! A car that's slower, less powerful, and FWD compared to your Buick-looking four doors. Listen, Kia. This is basically a sedan. Why did it need to have a fastback? It's not like the other cars listed above... but it could be! Thankfully the three-spork rims and excessive chrome of the past are now gone, but it might be too little too late.
1Ugliest: Honda Crosstour
When you go to register a Crosstour it is, in fact, classified as an "SUV," because the DMV doesn't have an option for liftback. Honestly... we don't much care seeing how the Crosstour may as well be an SUV that got dropped on its head. The thing is cool! A V6 AWD Accord of sorts... we would most likely own one... if it didn't look like one of those Fancy Dwarf hamsters with the long butts.
Nothing stands to break up the long, round, jutting behind of this car, and the whole thing seems to be raised into the air like a skunk's rear. Not one body kit, rendering, or even photoshop-remake has saved this car yet, and so it makes a lot of sense that Honda nixed it as soon as physically possible after its release in 2010 (ended in 2015). If you own a Crosstour and have somehow made it look cool... we'd be very curious to see how!
These Are 10 Of The Best Hatchbacks To Buy Used Read NextShareTweetShareEmail Related TopicsAbout The AuthorWyatt Peterson(109 Articles Published)
Wyatt is from Utah and likes to bike, ski, and drive too fast. He's written articles on motorcycles and cars for years, and especially likes Japanese cars and off-road vehicles. He has been featured in DriveTribe more than once and some of his content has had over 6.5 million views. He loves Formula 1, Formula Drift, the Baja 1000, and World Rally Cross!