Suicide doors – full-size car doors that hinge at the rear – have been an endangered species for decades and are closer to extinction by 2022, with two more models gone and only one or two on the road (both electric vehicles) to replace them.
Connected: Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition: Some Folks Call ‘Em Suicide Doors
Below is the list of 2022 vehicles with suicide doors. For the purposes of this list, we’re only including proper suicide doors—that is, full-size doors with rear hinges that open fully. We are excluding half measures, such as half hinged rear doors that require opening the front door first. They are found in some extended-cab pickups as well as various other vehicles such as the Mazda RX-8, Honda Element and Toyota FJ Cruiser; among current examples is the Mazda 2022 MX-30 EV. We’re also excluding other non-standard doors like gullwing doors, butterfly doors, and scissor doors commonly found on exotic cars, as well as Tesla’s Falcon Wing variation on a gullwing found on the Model X .
2022 Vehicles with suicide doors
Maybe it’s the horror movie name – car manufacturers prefer the label “bus doors”, but good luck with that. (On the other hand, the moniker “donorcycles” hasn’t been a problem for motorcycles.) Or blame Ralph Nader. His 1966 book “Unsafe at Any Speed” took just one chapter to kill the Chervolet Corvair; the rest of the book targets just about everything else about cars, and among its targets was the suicide door. (It’s worth noting that in 1972, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration dismissed Nader’s allegations about the Corvair.)
But suicide doors continue to appear on expensive luxury cars and concept cars thanks to an image of being classy and stylish. They literally date back to the doors of horse-drawn carriages, hence the name, and had a heyday with cars in the early 20th century. Then, as now, their main functional advantage was to make entry easier and more pleasant, which has embellished their luxurious image. On a more mundane level, they also make it easier to install a child seat.
Safety criticisms include being more prone to flying open at speed (at least before watertight enclosures), more likely to let car occupants fall out (at least before seat belts) and prone to catching a departing passenger if the door is hit. (Of course, with a front door, they’d hit you first). Among the worst examples of safety was the small Subaru 360, the first Subaru sold in the US Consumer Reports in 1968 rated the car as “unacceptable” and among the many, many flaws found by CR, the suicide door opened and returned when a passenger. attempted to secure a partially closed door while in motion.
Despite the feature’s prevalence in high-end cars, the doors have made a brief appearance in more affordable vehicles. The least expensive example in recent years was the limited edition Lincoln 2019-20 Continental Coach Door Edition, a stretch Continental with suicide rear doors. Previously, the doors had a good run on the 1961-69 Continental Classic (including the convertible) and appeared on the 1967-71 Ford Thunderbird Landau four-door and the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. One of the last mainstream cars with suicide rear doors (called FlexDoors in this case) was the Opel/Vauxhall Meriva family carrier in Europe, unveiled for 2010 while Opel was still a GM subsidiary.
2021 Vehicles with suicide doors
2020 Cars with suicide doors
2019 Vehicles with suicide doors
Models of the future
All the models on the last list have price tags in the six figures and all have four doors with suicide doors for the rear. They’re in the super-rich stratosphere, where smooth ingress and egress can matter, and where, in some cases, they’re more convenient to reach the driver opening the tailgate. Rolls-Royce cut the list this year by two when it dropped its two-door Dawn and Wraith models. Global production ends in 2023.
However, the brand will bring suicide doors into the era of electric cars with the two-door Specter (like the James Bond movie). It’s an EV coupe due in 2023 and currently undergoing testing in (where else?) the trendy south of France. The long-delayed Faraday Future FF 91 high-end EV will also have suicidal rear doors when it lands.
More from Cars.com:
The Cars.com Editorial Department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In accordance with Cars.com’s longstanding ethics policy, editors and reviewers do not accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial Department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.