As I was growing up, an undeniable, eternal truth was burned into my psyche: 4 x [doors] = “frumpy.”
Two-door coupes and fastbacks were the sleek, sporty choice of adventurous, globetrotting bachelors and the sexy, glamorous stewardesses they shared their company with; four-door sedans were by their very definition less desirable, suitable only for boring, child-rearing couples whose forced need for practicality had caused them to give up all hope of an exciting, enviable life. Two-doors were the cars you begged your parents to buy, and never the ones they actually picked.
’57 Chevys, A-body Malibus, Fifth-gen T-Birds, Dodge Coronets, even lowly Toyota Tercels and Chevettes all caused that same “too bad it’s the four-door” reaction. Flipping through a copy of Old Car Price Guide will bear this out: coupes and 2-door sedans are nearly always worth a little (or a lot) more.
But there are inevitably exceptions to every rule. Of all the models that have been offered in both two and four* door versions, which are more desirable with more doors?
*we’re counting passenger doors. 3-door and 5-door hatchbacks are included, of course.
Listening to Hoonicast #6 this week caused me to wistfully reflect on the car I learned to drive in: a B-body Bonneville 4-door Hardtop. Man, cruising on a warm summer night with all four windows down was awesome. So I perused the ads on Hemmings and ClassicCars.com, and surprisingly found fewer pillarless hardtops than 2-door coupes. I realized that I find two-door GM B- & C-body coupes a bit silly and out of proportion. If I was to get a ’70s GM battleship, it would have to be the pillarless 4-door version that I remember so well.
For me, Fiat 128s and VW GTIs sit on the cusp — equally attractive to me regardless of the number of doors. Old Mercury Breezeway models seem more “finished” with four doors, too, but that may just be because Breezeway coupes are so rarely seen, and therefore strangely unfamiliar.
What cars would you take a 4-door version of over their 2-door sister models?
[Images: Autopolis, McLellan’s Automotive]
Hooniverse Asks – Which cars look better as a 4-door?
133 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – Which cars look better as a 4-door?”
I always thought the e36 M3 was dead sessy as a 4-door. Sure, it may not have the same sporting pretenses as the coupe, but I like it.
<img src="http://www.m3addict.com/e36-bmw-m3/e36-m3-pictures/e36-bmw-m3-002.jpg" width=500>Loading…
You beat me to it. the e36 M3 sedan is freaking hot. Much better proportioned than the coupe.Loading…
Oddly enough, for motorsports, the sedan was more desirable due to the increased structural rigidity from the B pillar.Loading…
Love the old Bonnies. One of my fonder college memories involves a borrowed Bonnie with a 4-Barrel big-block, rust on hood and trunk, a wrecked GPz 750 stuffed in the trunk and a stoplight drag race against a rich punk in a new 3-Series (who happened to be the ex-bf of my girlfriend at the time). I looked back at his dropped jaw through a cloud of dissipating tire smoke.
Oh, my answer to the question. I look forward to your "thumbs down"…
I thumbed up only because that's not how the Porsche That Should Not Be Named looks like. And that one looks quite good.Loading…
Indeed. What was that, a styling exercise that preceded the accursed design that was chosen for the Porsche That Should Not Be Named? The rear somehow reminds me of a 928. That and almost any sedan with true suicide doors rocks.Loading…
Probably just a journo speculation. There were quite a few, most of them better looking than the real thing.Loading…
Thats the way it should've looked. Love the suicide doors!Loading…
The sixth generation Buick LeSabre(86-91), tenth generation(also 86-91) Olds Delta 88(not to mention most of the ninth gen Deltas from 77-85, too), and the third generation of the Chevy Caprice(77-90). All have a much better four-door look, as opposed to their two-door siblings.
Honorable mention going out to the seventh, eighth and ninth generation(87 until the end) Pontiac Bonneville, as well. Those cars looked so good as a sedan, they didn't even bother to offer a two-door!Loading…
I think you meant "hoonerable mention"Loading…
I rather like the LeSabre coupe, particularly in T-type form. It's almost sleek-looking compared to the somewhat blocky sedans.
<img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2793/4359503322_c4c892ef32_z.jpg" width=400>Loading…
Indeed, the T-type was a looker, especially in a darker shade, such as the dark red, or black. Very sleek.Loading…
And if you wanna be super sleek, you can find a very-limited production LeSabre Grand National, which had block-off plates and smaller quarter windows to homologate the smaller windows for NASCAR.
<img src="http://www.zamiska.net/bltregistry/LGN03.jpg" width="500">
<img src="http://home.flash.net/~rjgeorge/images/86lgn22.jpg" />Loading…
I didn't like that blanked-off window. Give me the regular T-type.Loading…
I'm with you…unless it looks like the red one in the lower pic, a regular T-type is more than adequate.Loading…
I can never decide if the last two series of GTI look better in two or four doors. One day the two looks cleaner to me, one day the lines on the four just seem to work better. I have to walk by at least three of them on my way to work, which is why it's often in my mind.
70's and 80's LTD Crown Victorias.
Just a little awkward in 2-door version.
<img src="http://www.supermotors.org/getfile/270731/fullsize/85%202-door%20Crown%20Vic%20-%20New%20R%20Springs%2012-04-05%20002.jpg" width="400">
By the mid-sixties or so, Lincoln had added a two-door Continental to the line. By then, the classic look of the suicide doors was already established, so it just didn't look right. Plus, the Mark III came along later and really made it look frumpy by comparison.
Most full size late 1970s-mid 1980s American sedans looked better as a 4-door.
Lincoln Town Car/Coupe
It continured into the FWD era.
Eventually they just gave up in the 1990s and quit making full or mid size coupes.
I think citroen67 mentioned some of these.
I agree on all but one – that Parisienne looks awesome and I'd stuff a 455 under the hood in a hurry.Loading…
I'm with you there. The TC and the 98 aren't lookin too good, but the Parisienne is pretty bad ass.Loading…
my tastes are sick and wrong… but i like those 2-doors (prior to the FWD part) i think they look great in either manifestation.Loading…
The biggest problem with the cars you pictured is with the vinyl half-roofs which really cheese up the styling. Here's a 1985 GM C-body without the vinyl – a little better looking.
<img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/15dm937.jpg" width=400>Loading…
I intended to post the suicide door Continental, but west-coaster got here first.
Instead, I'll mention that sometimes four doors still isn't quite enough.
I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say Renault 5.
<img src="http://www.renaultfive.com/R5images/renault5-TL-GL-berline.jpg" width=400>
OK, I accept that its uglier and fussier looking than the 3-door. But it's also quirkier and more interesting.
(This is also the argument I use about myself versus more conventionally attractive chaps)
Current gen Honda Civic.
Disagree. I hate the A-pillar windows on the sedan. The coupe still looks like a normal car. But for 2012, the sedan looks better, whereas the coupe has gotten too fat.Loading…
Like the question what is more black than the cover of a Spinal Tap album, the answer is none.
While not a direct comparison <COMMENT FAIL>, the 4 door Audis look much better than the 2 doors.
I suppose the A4/S4 sedan and convertible fit the letter of the law.
Not really a two door / four version per say but the Charger SRT8 looks a hell of a lot better than the Challenger.
I couldn't disagree more, but I'll defend your right to say it. (My other car is an '05 Dodge Dakota, so I'm used to being a heretic on the subject of styling.)Loading…
I like the Challenger but my current auto fetish is the SRT8 Charger. There is a black one in the parking garage at work and damm if I don't drool at that several times a week. In black they just look mean, I think it looks better than the blue GT500 that is in the garage as well. – And that is coming from a self proclaimed 'Ford Guy'.Loading…
<img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5214/5497407350_50076af0bf.jpg" width="400">
This two-door has always struck me as awkward in comparison to the other body styles, which is not something I'm often prepared to say.
Oh man, I could't disagree more. This generation Mercedes coupe is very elegant with just enough curves to give it elegance. The previous-generation coupe, however, did look a bit gawky.
<img src="http://americandreamcars.com/1971mercedes250c062308.jpg" width=400>Loading…
We'll have to disagree on this one, then, because my main complaint with the previous generation is merely that the two-door greenhouse seems a bit Rolls-Royce-ish to me, which is off-putting on this car, even though the execution isn't bad in itself. With the later generation, I find the two-door comes across as an imposition upon the overall coherence of the four-door body.
Then again, Alan Galbraith once told me that I'm in no position to criticize anyone's taste in cars. Ever. I admit he's got a point.Loading…
I'll throw out a slightly odd one here: Datsun B-210. The coupe was so very, very awkward, and the 4-door was um, normal-ish. Of course, the same thing could be said for the 610 and 710.
Almost every Datsun from this era has quirky styling.Loading…
while the two-door 610 has one of my favorite C-pillars of all cars ever, the sedan just looks too sharp and unfinished by the rear of the back door. I disagree with your judgement, but I do give a tip of the hat to some old Datsun styling lovin'Loading…
My first thought:
Look at those approach/departure angles!!Loading…
Did you know that the Subaru Justy came as a four-door? Several times I would be waiting in the driveway of a friend's house waiting for him to get out because he thought I had to get out first.
<puts on flame suit>
* IMG from see giant watermark on photo
No flames, but I think these coupes are the best looking Subarus made. That's a bit like saying that Obama is the blackest president ever.Loading…
That's one thing I love about this site; I don't really have to worry about putting on a flamesuit as we all respect each others opinions and their differences from our own. It most often leads to very good discussions.Loading…
Kinda gotta agree with you there. I'm not even sure what it is, but maybe it's the way the b-pillar lines up with the overall window shape. It just looks better with a door back there…Loading…
For me its the size of the rear quarter glass. It's just too big NOT to have a door there.Loading…
The shape of it too… If it was sloped more, or had a Hofmeister Kink, then it would work better. As is, it kinda looks like a sedan that was converted into a 2-door. I'm not saying I don't like it. I truly love it. But it does look a bit better as a 4-door.Loading…
It's got a PTCruiser-ish hunker… where the rear roof of the car seems taller than the top of the windscreen. The sedan breaks that up.
I bought a 2.5 RS sedan in the day… it was about $2k less than the coupe they were selling. Not as popular I suppose.
Oh, I bought it with my wife thinking I was buying a Legacy GT wagon. When I came home with the RS, she came unglued. She hated it. Don't have the car anymore… or her either.Loading…
In turn, it creates one of the few wagons I don't care much for. Its replacement is better-balanced, and the contemporary Legacy was wonderful, but something about the original Impreza wagon was… a little off.Loading…
Hey Fuzzy! Good to see you again, man.
I agree with that too. I have to say though, Subaru has a way of designing new generations of cars in a way that changes them significantly, but somehow stays consistent, with a few outliers. I may not always like them, (more often than not, I do) but they are distinctly Subaru… every time.Loading…
And I even played nice by picking the 2001-2003 version that matches the Monaro and GTO.
I have to disagree, even though that does look good.
It's possible I am biased though 😉
Nothing wrong with the GTO coupe, but this, this is the hotness.Loading…
As an owner of three 2-door cars (and nothing else) I have a hard time answering this, so I will present the only example I can think of: The current STi, which looks so much better as a sedan than a hatch.
Since this is my first comment here, I'm taking a stab at how to display pics and hoping it works: <img src="http://www.subaru2012-spyshots.info/images/2011-subaru-sti-sedan-1.jpg">
Edit: Yay! 5th try worked!
I really can't appreciate the rear of the '08/newer Impreza Sedans, no matter the trim level.
Although I must confess I own an 08 2.5i Hatch.
and Welcome to Hooniverse.Loading…
I think the reason I like them is the boxiness of them. I've always been a boxy car fan, and I see a bit of that in the sedan. It also looks a lot better without the spoiler or with the smaller spoiler.
Thanks for the welcome! 🙂Loading…
Ah, good advice. Glad I picked the smaller of the images I was considering…
I know you!Loading…
I don't suppose it is technically a 'car', but the 2-door Explorers always looked awkwardly short to me.
<img src="http://www.fordexplorertrader.com/medium/4282_73778947.jpg" width="600">
<img src="http://images.dealercarsearch.com/Media/2210/98FO165_17.jpg" width="600">
I'm willing to consider anything as a car that isn't a dually or otherwise purposely designed for commercial use, so they count as far as I'm concerned.
Also: Holy crap, the 4-door's from the future!Loading…
Guess all that hubbub about 2012 is really not much to worry over. If the Explorers can survive, so can we!Loading…
While they're not exactly the same model, I preferred the look of the Acura TL over it's CL coupe sibling.
<img src="http://www.productioncars.com/send_file.php/acura_cl_coupe_black_2000.jpg" width=500>
<img src="http://www.acuratls.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/acura-2002-tl.jpg" width=500>
The B2 Audi 80 4 door (4000 in the US) is neater and better proportioned than the coupe, even if it was the Ur-quattro
<image src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Audi_90_v_sst.jpg" width="500">
<image src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Audi_coupe_2_h_sst.jpg" width="500">
apologies for botched tags
The B2 Audi 80 4 door (4000 in the US) is neater and better proportioned than the coupe, even if it was the Ur-quattro
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Audi_90_v_sst.jpg" width="500">
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Audi_coupe_2_h_sst.jpg" width="500">Loading…
Taste is hard to discuss, but more or less 99.993748% of the Hooniverse would disagree with you.Loading…
I may say some things to get kicked off the 'verse here. I, like most of us here I think, am a huge 2 door fan, for everything. Not Coupe's as much, but 2 door sedans. However, I think that BMW's in general from the E36/E34 generation on should never be coupe's. They just look so much better by proportions than their 2 doored brethren. I also really like the muscle cars of the 60's in their extra doorness. Like this
<img src="http://www.riverroadauto.com/100_1091.JPG" width="600">
I really like the '64-'67 GM A-body sedans. Clean styling and the proportions aren't bad. And considering how ludicrous the prices for A-body hardtops have gotten, they aren't a bad way to get into that line of cars. However, the '68-'72 sedans, which road a longer wheelbase, are pretty unappealing.Loading…
I love the A5 coupe, but I want one of these so bad.Loading…
I always loved this generation of Frontier in Crew Cab, ESPECIALLY the long bed:
<img src="http://images.autosweet.com/338/1N6ED29X52C32032301_640.jpg" width=500>
I think it's because the regular/king cabs were so plain:
<img src="http://www.theautochannel.com/media/photos/nissan/1998/98_nissan_frontier_4x4_kcab.jpg" width=500>
These C-body coupes were designed to use the sedan's roof sheetmetal without changes. That explains the awkward looks. Apparently buyers agreed because sales of both the Buick and Olds C-coupes were minuscule and they were dropped after 1987.
I'm too smart (61p/61 iq) to know how to post pictures, but I was surprised to realize that I like the looks of the 1998-2002 Saab 9-3 better in sedan form than in coupe form. Especially the Viggens. The two-door's proportions just look…wrong.
Hell yeah! I love that shit.
I saw one for sale earlier this week on Craigslist. The dude wanted 20k, which I thought was entirely reasonable. He also asked of interested parties to include "Clown Shoe" in the subject line, so he would know whats what.
Lutz called the G8 a 4 door Corvette. Honestly, that actually looks better than what first comes to mind:
<img src="http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/4448/pontiacg8gxp.jpg" width="600">
The G8 is a gorgeous car, but I also quite like what I see above.
/Mmm, aero efficiency….Loading…
Yea in retrospect, this photoshop job looks like it would work. Whether it's as successful as the Panamera remains to be seen but it seems anything made by Porsche sells like it was cast in gold.Loading…
Yes, the argument could technically be made the El Camino looks weird, but wait until you throw an extended cab and dual rears on the beast!
<img src="http://www.elcaminocentral.com/gallery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=71415&g2_serialNumber=2" width="600">
The Isuzu Stylus/Impulse example is interesting because I seem to recall there being a lot more Impulses(and Geo Storms) on the road than the 4-doors. IIRC, the Stylus replaced the FWD I-mark and Chevy Spectrum, two cars that sold well enough to be ubiquitous in the mid to late '80s. The Stylus was always a rare car, and probably helped Isuzu right out of the US market.
<img src="http://www.speedlux.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/2011-cadillac-cts-sedan_100316634_m.jpg" width="500">
<img src="http://www.desktopcar.net/wallpaper/21572-2/Cadillac_CTS-coupe_156.jpg" width="500">
I think the coupe looks like an awkward fatty.
Some of us prefer the fat ones. Cars.Loading…
Glad I'm not alone in this.Loading…
Saw it at the auto show, IMO the coupe looks better in person than in picturesLoading…
<img src="http://image.motortrend.com/f/auto_shows/detroit/2010/1001_2011_cadillac_cts_v_coupe/26474786+w750+st0/2011-cadillac-CTS-v-coupe-rear-three-quarter.jpg" width=500>
The more CTS-V doors, the better.
Beat me to it.Loading…
The current Honda Civic. I've never warmed to the Civic coupe, which seems visually off in ways I can't pinpoint.
have to agree – the current coupe looks mis-proportioned. However, Honda did make an attractive Civic coupe in the mid-1990s.
<img src="http://www.japanesesportcars.com/photos/d/62640-2/honda-50th-anniversary-us+_6_.jpg" width=500>Loading…
The current Accord has the same problem, IMO. The coupe's nose-heavy, "I am too a fastback!" profile is a little too out there (at least for a two-door that makes no apologies for being sedan-based), while the sedan's more traditional shape is actually rather handsome.
<img src="http://www.japanesesportcars.com/photos/d/24985-2/2009-honda-accord-coupe+_29_.jpg" width="500" />
<img src="http://autocarmanual.com/automotive/2008-honda-accord-ex-l-v-6-sedan-front-side-view-image.jpg" width="500" />Loading…
While the last generation Eldorado isn't hideous, the proportions (particularly the greenhouse) aren't as tidy as the Seville with which it shared its platform.
<img src="http://www.theautochannel.com/media/photos/cadillac/1997/97_cadillac_eldorado-2.jpg" width="500" />
<img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2010/04/13/14/25/1994_cadillac_seville_4_dr_std_sedan-pic-6369097161452883240.jpeg" width="500" />
<img src="http://lexusenthusiast.com/images/weblog/08-07-02-red-lexus-is.jpg" />
<img src="http://www.japanesesportcars.com/photos/d/60412-2/2010-lexus-is-c-red+_2_.JPG" width="600" />
I'd have to say the Fiat 124. The 4 door 124 gave birth to the drool-worthy Lada 2101 and I love the Lada so much that it spoils me for any other variant.
…for more whores.
Something about the 242's rear side window (necessitated by the bodyshell being identical to the 244's aside from the B-pillar, doors, and side glass) has always thrown it off, to me.
242 > 245 > 244
The only downside to the 242 is that you can remove the rear quarter windows from the outside with a Phillips head screwdriver. Hence why mine are JB Welded in place…Loading…
I think – you might frown again, here – that the coffinhood is part of what throws it off. Any 240 with a flathood is lovely, but I think 242s and 245s can pull it off better. The coffinhood, though, just looks a bit odd on a 242 (less so on an intentionally-ridiculous 262C).Loading…
Anytime the 2 and 4 door body styles share the same wheelbase and roof line, I'd rather have the four door. Unless the "coupe" is a truly unique, sportier proposition (or a true hardtop), I'm really not interested.
I do find my own two door Opala better looking, just by small margin, than the four door version.
<img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_jENN4i7WodY/TF85JLCB3gI/AAAAAAAACtI/crDWOUQ0wZM/s800/DSC05567.JPG" width="500">
How about 2dr Vs 4dr Neon
Good point! The coupe seems more formal/less sporty than the sedan, with that big C-pillar and the more-vertical line of the rear edge of the quarter-window.
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/91/1997-99_Dodge_Neon_Coupe.jpg/800px-1997-99_Dodge_Neon_Coupe.jpg" width="500">
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/55/%2797-%2799_Dodge_Neon_Sport_Sedan.jpg/800px-%2797-%2799_Dodge_Neon_Sport_Sedan.jpg" width="500">Loading…
The Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries. Then again, until the '87+ LeBaron (and to a lesser degree, the Shadow/Sundance), all the K-coupes looked a little awkward.
But without their quarter panels, there might never have been a limo!
<img src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2009-09-14-1984chryslerkcarsedanlimousineexecutive.jpg" width="500" />
Ditto the C-Body Caddy Fleetwood 75!
<img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2631/3935102228_e81a53c2f9_b.jpg" width="500" />Loading…
Next question: was there any car that looked better as a 2+2 than as a 2 seater? Not a Z-car or E-type, IMO. Anybody? Some Ferrari I'm not thinking of maybe?
AUDI TT COUP VS ROADSTERLoading…
<img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3054/2945044183_b6b640e389.jpg" width="350">
I'll probably catch some flak for this, but I prefer the appearance of the regular four-place Thunderbird convertibles over that of the Sport Roadsters. The roadsters are fine cars, sure, just not quite as nice* in my eyes.
*These gently disparaging remarks are not intended for the original '55-57 two-seaters.Loading…
Yes and yes.Loading…
First generation Yaris/Echo/Vitz/Platz. It's not good looking, it's just better looking.
(Source: random spamblog)
The hatchbacks look better with fewer doors though. 4>2 but 3>5.
Nearly anything that was designed for four doors has huge, slabbity-ass flanks on the two-door version. Example given is Honda Accord coupe, 03+ model:
<img src="http://www.automedia.com/NewCarBuyersGuide/photos/2005/Honda/Accord/Coupe/2005_Honda_AccordCoupe_ext_1.jpg" width="600">
On the other hand, the '98-'02 model somehow managed to look fantastic. Better than the sedan, IMO.
<img src="http://img2.netcarshow.com/Honda-Accord_Coupe_1998_1024x768_wallpaper_04.jpg" width="600">
last-generation Camry/Camry Solara. The Solara was horrendous.
Wow, there are a surprising number of good answers here. More than I would have assumed.
My dad is much more of a 4 doors = bad guy than I am. He's always owned a 2 door, sometimes two. '65 Barracuda from new until 1982, a '77 Cutlass from new until 1987, an '80 Toronado, an '87 LeBaron and currently a '97 Sebring. Along the way there were a series of vans and minivans too, but there was never a time when there wasn't a 2 door around.
At 70, he's looking to replace that Sebring and he has his eye on a late model Accord coupe.