Hooniverse Asks: Are Half-Doors on Cars So Donezo?

It’s an interesting bit of trivia that Porsche owns the patent on the half door that was so popular a decade or more ago. Sadly for that German company, it seems that—for cars at least—the fad has run its course.
A few pickup trucks still offer the added access form factor, including the Toyota Tacoma Access Cab, Ford’s F150 SuperCab, and… well, I think that’s about it. For cars, your choices are even slimmer, as—at least here in the States—I don’t think there are any of them left. That’s right, no more RX-8, Saturn SC-2s, or Mini Clubmans with the unique backseat portal.
Do you think this is just a lull in the design’s epic history, or, are half-doors most likely a thing of the past?
Image: mrsrecycling

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  1. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I really like the half doors on pickup trucks. I had them on my 2011 F-150 and found the arrangement more useful than full rear doors for loading things into the back seat area.

    1. LEROOOY Avatar

      Some configurations of the Silverado have such small traditional doors that they may as well be more convenient as suicide doors.

      View post on imgur.com

      1. Eric Rucker Avatar

        The previous generation had suicide doors, AFAIK, but I’d guess they went away for side impact reasons.

    2. TobyShine Avatar

      Those rattles though!

  2. P161911 Avatar

    Possibly useful for pickup trucks. Probably has more to do with the waning popularity of coupes in cars. I had my 2011 Silverado for a few months before I realized that the rear doors opened about 170 degrees, not just 90 degrees. Good for getting child car seats in and out of the back. Also a fun way to keep people in the back seat since they can’t reach the front door handle.

  3. Alff Avatar

    Can’t you still get this on an i3?

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Was just thinking the same. Fords B-Max has a sliding rear door variation on the idea, I wonder if that could catch on for pickup owners?

      1. Alff Avatar

        I don’t think they’re played out so much as they will never be more than a niche feature. They’ll have a place in the relentless push for efficient packaging.

      2. Sjalabais Avatar

        What about a second set of doors that is different from the first, and opens in the most complicated way possible?

        1. crank_case Avatar

          Really hope Tesla doesn’t follow Delorean in other ways…

        2. Vairship Avatar

          And completely destroys the load path through the roof pillar (needed for crash safety)!

      3. karonetwentyc Avatar

        Or just eliminate the side-opening doors and go full-sliding on both sides.
        That was exactly the one thing about the Peugeot 1007 that I liked; the rest of the car was not very good.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          If they’d let you open the doors yourself instead of installing slow motorised doors it might have been better.

          1. karonetwentyc Avatar

            No, good point. The idea was fine, but the execution left more than a few things to be desired.

  4. Papa Van Twee Avatar
    Papa Van Twee

    I’d still buy one of these. I wouldn’t close one new, but if I got a good deal, getting the kids in back wouldn’t be that bad.

  5. jim Avatar

    Among pickups, there’s also the Fiat Strada, which is currently available with one passenger side half-door.

    View post on imgur.com

    Old Suburbans were also available with a regular-sized third passenger door.

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      Only the ’67-’72 generation. All the Suburbans before were 2-doors, and all the ones since have been 4-doors.

    2. Monkey10is Avatar

      Clever sliding lower fixing point for the driver’s seatbelt.
      But explain to me how this works if you open the door whilst the driver is already strapped in to their seat? Or do the door overlaps (and handle position?) only allow you to open the 1/2 leaf once the driver’s door is open — essentially making it a door only really intended for fitting childseats & strapping kids onto them?)

  6. Inliner Avatar

    I still like the idea of half doors – I’d rather there be more creative designs on cars today, rather than fewer, which is what is happening today.

  7. Eric Rucker Avatar

    BMW i3 has them, for what it’s worth.
    The big thing is that side impact safety standards killed them in most cars, but the i3 is using a CF tub, which helps a lot.

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