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  #1  
Old 09-06-2004, 04:54 PM
gyt_fx gyt_fx is offline
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Why do they make 2-Door cars?

The only reason I could think of is that it is possibly safer..? instead of a door with parts and prolly lots of wires and such.. to a more impact worthy car side.
Or maybe because it costs less for the car makers.. so they are just too lazy and decide to only put 2 doors.
Or less of a hassle... so the car owner doesn't have to worry about locking ALL FoUr of the DoOrs! and making sure aLL the windows are rolled up so nobody can break in!? (Which I do believe they have fixed with.. what, power windows/locks?)

But I believe 2-door cars are just impractical.. and makes it more work for the car owner and their passengers to have to.. push the front seat up, crawl in there.. and then get belted up and such.

Unless of course, the car only has 2 seats... but what is the purpose of that as well? unless you just want a ton of trunk space...
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2004, 04:58 PM
Lobsang Lobsang is offline
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I always thought it was to make the car smaller.


It could be to acknowledge the fact that cars are nearly always driven by only one person.

And to save money.
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2004, 05:00 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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I have a Ford Mustang convertible with two doors. I have a backseat, but nobody ever rides back there, so I don't need four doors. And I think a four-door convertible would just look silly. Why have doors I'd never, ever use?

So, the answer is, carmakers have two-door models to appeal to buyers like me who simply don't want a larger car.
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  #4  
Old 09-06-2004, 05:12 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyt_fx
Unless of course, the car only has 2 seats... but what is the purpose of that as well? unless you just want a ton of trunk space...
Sometimes it's just for looks:

http://userweb.suscom.net/~sokosfamily/toy.htm

Trunk space? Ha! Can't even fit a suitcase in that one.

OK, so it's not your typical car, but most sports cars have a similar design, 2 seats, little trunk (although it's usually in the back), but fun to drive.
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  #5  
Old 09-06-2004, 05:20 PM
chaparralv8 chaparralv8 is offline
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A car's side is a lot more rigid with only one big hole in it than two.

There is a significant weight savings associated with only having two doors.

It absolutely prevents a kid from opening the door while the car is in motion and escaping.

There's less of an expectation of rear seat room in a two-door car, so the car can be shortened to reduce weight.

It allows a more aerodynamic, more sloping rear roofline.

It reduces the cost of manufacture significantly - door hardware, airbags, window motors, and locks are all expensive.

It also allows its owner to project the image that this is patently not a family car - good for singles.

Enough for you?
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  #6  
Old 09-06-2004, 07:58 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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Of course, all of thosa advantages are negated by the fact that it's a pain in the neck to find enough space in the parking lot to open those long two-door-car doors that give minimal access to the back seat...
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  #7  
Old 09-06-2004, 08:36 PM
chaparralv8 chaparralv8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
Of course, all of thosa advantages are negated by the fact that it's a pain in the neck to find enough space in the parking lot to open those long two-door-car doors that give minimal access to the back seat...
What are your dimensions? I've never had trouble climbing out of my back seat even in a tight Massachusetts parking lot. Neither has my father and he used to play left linebacker.
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  #8  
Old 09-06-2004, 09:18 PM
kniz kniz is offline
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When we were raising 5 kids, my wife had a station wagon and I had an RX7. That way I couldn't get stuck with more than a couple of the kids (this of course was back before all the rules on seat belts, children's seats, etc.). Today, I had a standard pickup, with two doors and my wife has traded from a Miata to an RX8. which gives you all of the advantages of a 2 door, with a bit of the four door feature. If you can't tell the person in back cannot open his door without the door in front being open. It also got top rating in going around curves.
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  #9  
Old 09-06-2004, 09:22 PM
chaparralv8 chaparralv8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kniz
When we were raising 5 kids, my wife had a station wagon and I had an RX7. That way I couldn't get stuck with more than a couple of the kids (this of course was back before all the rules on seat belts, children's seats, etc.). Today, I had a standard pickup, with two doors and my wife has traded from a Miata to an RX8. which gives you all of the advantages of a 2 door, with a bit of the four door feature. If you can't tell the person in back cannot open his door without the door in front being open. It also got top rating in going around curves.

The RX8 is a sweet, sweet car, but I'd think it would be better as a conventional two door. Those back doors aren't big, and I've heard that they add something like fifty pounds to the car.
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  #10  
Old 09-06-2004, 09:25 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman
And I think a four-door convertible would just look silly.
Well, there's always an exception.
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  #11  
Old 09-06-2004, 10:21 PM
ticker ticker is offline
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On very small cars two doors can make more sense as on a four-door each door must be very small, making it quite hard to get out. Obviously this is more of an issue outside the US.
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  #12  
Old 09-07-2004, 12:03 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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You want the simple answer?
People buy them.
If nobody bought them, no car maker would make them. Since car makers continue to build them, somebody somewhere is buying them.
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  #13  
Old 09-07-2004, 12:47 AM
gyt_fx gyt_fx is offline
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Well as for the 2 door car's being smaller; that is not always the case.

My friend drives.. a Ford Thunderbird (1994 maybe?). It is a long, car. Two door.

I drive a 1987 Dodge Shadow. It's a short car (prolly a few feet shorter). Four door.

Why did they not make the T-bird a 4 door....

My car fits just about great with 4 doors, just enough room without being cramped. But for his car being considerably larger.. it is much less comfortable with 2 doors.. making people have to crawl in and such.
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  #14  
Old 09-07-2004, 05:50 AM
Go You Big Red Fire Engine Go You Big Red Fire Engine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman
I have a Ford Mustang convertible with two doors. I have a backseat, but nobody ever rides back there, so I don't need four doors. And I think a four-door convertible would just look silly. Why have doors I'd never, ever use?
This begs the question, why have a back seat you never, ever use?
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  #15  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:02 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go You Big Red Fire Engine
This begs the question, why have a back seat you never, ever use?
Insurance costs, I'm sure. Not having a rear seat must put the car into another (more expensive) insurance category. "Oh, you're not driving a 'family' car? You damn, reckless, hot-rodder." Yeah, this is a conjecture, but I remember when I was considering a Del Sol instead of a regular Civic, the insurance was substantially higher on the two-seater.

On the other hand, I rarely, if ever use the rears seats on my full-size, four door car, for people anyway. It still comes in handy for throwing the case of beer or the bag of apples. In the trunk, they'd end up at the front of the space, and I'd have to crawl inside the dang thing to reach them (and I'm 6'2").

As for the doors, well, essentially what everyone else said boils down to "cost."
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  #16  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:54 AM
Who_me? Who_me? is offline
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I think 2 door cars just look better.
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:29 AM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Go You Big Red Fire Engine
This begs the question, why have a back seat you never, ever use?
Four answers to this:

1 -- It's not like I custom designed my car. Otherwise, it might look like this. Notice, four seats, two doors.

2 -- That's where I keep my groceries and other purchases when I go shopping. (I keep golf clubs in my trunk, just in case a game breaks out on the freeway or something.) Also, the rear seat is useful for carrying stuff around because the trunk is slightly smaller due to the fact that it is a convertible.

3 -- I have carried people in my backseat like, uhm, maybe two or three times since I've had my car. I would have felt bad if I had told my friends to take a bus. ("Never, ever" was a bit of hyperbole in reference to extra doors, not extra seats.)

4 -- (nitpick) My statement did not "beg the question," it "led to a question." Saying "I have two doors because two doors are better, and two doors are better because I chose two doors" is begging the question. (/nitpick)
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:39 AM
cabdude cabdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Who_me?
I think 2 door cars just look better.
About time. It looks cool. It says "I don't need no steenking rear doors for no steenking kids. I am single and available, if you play your cards right." It also reduces weight and gives a more rigid body, both of which are desirable on sports cars.
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:45 AM
curly chick curly chick is offline
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My car has two doors. I decided I wanted the car I wanted and it so happened that it had two doors. I've had it for four years and no one has ever sat in the back seat; such as it is.
In fact, for 99% of the time the only person in it is me, so I could probably get away with one door, if such things were made.
Maybe I should get one of those bubble car jobbies which open up at the front!

So it's like someone said; car manufacturers make 2 door cars because there's a market for them. Not everyone has 2.4 children and a few dogs.

On a side issue ; when I went to buy this 2 door car I now have, the man in the first showroom that I went into said he didn't have any of the model that I wanted in stock, but would I consider this lovely 8 seater MPV people carrier, instead?

Wot?

Why yes, instead of this nippy little sporty number for me and me alone, I'd like a big old deisel bus, you clever old salesman, you.
I bought it at a different garage, you won't be surprised to hear.
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2004, 08:56 AM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
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For a given make and model, they are less expensive -- to manufacture and therefore to purchase as a consumer. They appeal to an element of the market that constitutes a large-enough fraction to warrant continuing to make them: single persons who may at most take a single other person as a passenger; young married couples without kids (and older married couples with no kids at home, such as myself and my wife); couples with smaller children (for reasons already given) -- the occasions we've used our rear seat in our two-door car have been to transport our grandchildren when taking them to places they needed or wanted to go. In many "fastback" and "hatchback" cars the rear seat will fold down to give extensive cargo space, permitting one to use it either as a four-passenger vehicle with small quasi-trunk area or a two-passenger vehicle with extensive rear area for transporting larger or longer objects.
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  #21  
Old 09-07-2004, 09:06 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Why make them?

Because people want two-dars cars.
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  #22  
Old 09-07-2004, 09:10 AM
cabdude cabdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp
For a given make and model, they are less expensive -- to manufacture and therefore to purchase as a consumer.
Not so sure about that - they are usually more expensive as they are less popular and therefore the volumes are lower, which results in lower economies of scale, which largely drive (pardon the pun) the automotive industry.

Compare The Mighty Holden Astra.

Sedan 4-door $19,990
Hatch 4-door $19,990
SXi 3-door $21,490
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  #23  
Old 09-07-2004, 09:48 AM
Philster Philster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philster
Why make them?

Because people want two-dars cars.
So, I haven't recovered from my holiday weekend.

I recall that one of the major car mags (Motor Trend, C&D, R&T) did a piece on two- door cars and trucks and that they were more than twice as likely to roll over in an accident, and that rollover was more directly related to the number of doors than any other factor. Wish I could cite it.
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  #24  
Old 09-07-2004, 10:28 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cabdude
Not so sure about that - they are usually more expensive as they are less popular and therefore the volumes are lower, which results in lower economies of scale, which largely drive (pardon the pun) the automotive industry.

Compare The Mighty Holden Astra.

Sedan 4-door $19,990
Hatch 4-door $19,990
SXi 3-door $21,490
Well consider the Focus 2-door vs 4-door. The two-door is quite a bit less expensive. Is the SXi you mentioned a "sportier" version? That may well have something to do with the increase.

For a given car, as Polycarp said, they're definitely cheaper to manufacture. There's not usually any ecomony of scale to think about -- they come down the same assembly line. All of the engineering investment is made coincident to the design of the four-door (i.e., the cost is "hidden"). The tooling in a modern flexible body shop should cost about the same. But you get huge price differences in the cost of materials. A big two-door door isn't all that much more expensive than a small four-door door, and you only have to use two of them. Only two windows. Only two sets of locks. Only two sets of window motors. Only two sets of trim panels. Zero sets of those child lockout things that stop you from opening the door when you're inside. Big, big cost savings.

I'm not a chassis expert, but I can find one if we're generally curious, 'cos: I wonder if given the same car it's true that a two-door is stiffer than a four door. A modern unit body vehicle gains most of its stiffness from the rails and crossmembers under the floor, as well as the dash assembly in the front and the "rear-floor" in the back. Most of this is the same or similar in two- and four-door models. The four door, though, has the advantage of having another body pillar between the front and rear passengers, which connects to a crossmember in the roof, which connects to the other pillar. Both pillars are welded to the outer rails that make what you might think of as the frame.
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  #25  
Old 09-07-2004, 11:05 AM
lawoot lawoot is offline
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The other side of the ridiculous coin - all the new four door pickups. Let's get rid of that excess bed in the back, and add seating and doors! Meanwhile, you can no longer bring a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood home without leaving the gate down! (I don't mind doing this when I have to, I would just rather have my BUMPER be the first thing the other driver hits, NOT the top of the gate.)
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  #26  
Old 09-07-2004, 12:08 PM
cabdude cabdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
Is the SXi you mentioned a "sportier" version?
Not really - pretty similar equipment fitout, just two less doors. Kind of puzzling when you compare the Focus.

I guess I was mostly thinking about cars which aren't just two door versions of four door cars, but which have different body styling in their own right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Balthisar
I'm not a chassis expert, but I can find one if we're generally curious, 'cos: I wonder if given the same car it's true that a two-door is stiffer than a four door. A modern unit body vehicle gains most of its stiffness from the rails and crossmembers under the floor, as well as the dash assembly in the front and the "rear-floor" in the back. Most of this is the same or similar in two- and four-door models. The four door, though, has the advantage of having another body pillar between the front and rear passengers, which connects to a crossmember in the roof, which connects to the other pillar. Both pillars are welded to the outer rails that make what you might think of as the frame.
Are you saying that a four door body would be as stiff or stiffer than a two door body? I'm curious to know if this is the case as well, as it's accepted wisdom in racing that coupes make for stronger bodies. Perhaps it was more true 20 years ago than today.
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  #27  
Old 09-07-2004, 12:39 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyt_fx
Why did they not make the T-bird a 4 door....
Once upon a time they did make a 4-Door T-Bird. My father owned one.

I can only guess that there wasn't much of a market for 4-Door T-Brids.
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  #28  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:11 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Well, my 2001 Saturn SC2 has three doors, two on the driver's side and one on the passenger side.
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  #29  
Old 09-07-2004, 06:24 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou
Once upon a time they did make a 4-Door T-Bird. My father owned one.

I can only guess that there wasn't much of a market for 4-Door T-Brids.
Obligatory pic of said car
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