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Thursday, June 30, 2016

2 or 4 door cars are stupid

Good car, Skoda Rapid
I used to think that saloon cars were stupid, but now i know the truth. The problem is not having a
hatch in the back.

My first two cars were estate cars. Not big ones, but small hatchbacks with a little more room. They were brilliant: i slept in them, carried sofas and drum sets, could travel with lots of unnecessary items and had a small and nimble car for city driving. It's a real shame small estates are practically extinct.

Then i had a saloon car. Its boot had a good size but i couldn't even place my grocery bags inside properly, since the boot lid was so small. It was like a tanker lorry: i could carry many litters of something, if it could get inside by a little hole at the top of it. Good for petrol, water or beer. Not so much for suitcases or bicycles.

One time i managed to fit an entire adult sized bicycle inside a Ford Ka. Sure i had to put the front passenger seat all the way to the front, rendering it useless, but i was alone and it worked. Back seats down, front passenger seat forward and the whole thing went in, with all its two wheels and the boot lid closed. Fantastic.

If i had a much bigger car, like a Honda Civic for instance, it could not have been done. Some say that some saloon cars can do it, albeit with a lot more difficulty, but the Civic had a metal wall behind its back seats, with a small opening useful for transporting planks of wood or long pipes.

I get it that this wall might add to the car stiffness, but i'm talking practicality here, not performance. In a BMW M3, sure, but in a Civic? That's when i suspected saloon cars were the devil's work, something made only for appearances. Then i saw the good ones, with real hatches in the back, boot lids that opened carrying the rear window with them. You still don't get all the room that an estate gets, but at least the interior is properly accessible. That bike or a chest of drawers can go in easily.

Bad car, Renault Symbol
If you want all that stiffness, go for a sports car. And even there you can find some with more reason than others. Take an old Toyota Celica or an Audi TT for example. They have those big hatches with all that sweet access to their interiors.

Old american cars can be excused, since their boots were giant boxes with a big lid on top of them, but these modern saloons with their sleek profiles? If the rear window doesn't come up, it's rubbish.

That's what makes a car have an odd or even number of doors. One or two at each side and one or none at the back. If the sum is 3 or 5, great. If it's 2 or 4, stupid. Except for things like the Hyundai Veloster - that's another kind of dumb.

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