Notch back is a term for styling which describes the variation of three – box styling where the third distinct volume or "box" is short relatively — especially where the rear deck or the third box is short or where the rear window is upright or a car’s body style. Generally a notchback refers to the distinct angle of the rear window in relation to the vehicle's more horizontal rear deck lid and the car’s roofline.
The term “Notch Back” is derived from the noun notch which means v – cut or indentation — though as a styling term it runs from its precise definition and can overlap with other styling terms. The term can be applied to a coupé, sedan, lift back or cars of hatchback configuration — especially where the third box of the three – boxed car remains articulated, as is the case with the third generation European Ford Escort. Notch back may highlight a design's sharp or abrupt roof / rear – window angle. Examples include the U.S. Mercury Montclair and the European Ford Anglia which also included a rear window that could be lowered for breezeway ventilation.
This styling term may also overlap the marketing use of the term notch back, for example where this term can be used to differentiate between the models of same range, for example the Chevrolet Vega Notch back (sedan) from the Vega Hatchback. Although, the compact Ford Mustang is labeled under a hardtop coupe but it is exhibited as a long hood – short deck notch back, a styling that was common in 1960s compact coupes.