When it comes to travelling via coupe, three’s a crowd. Flop forward the seat and wriggle into the back through a gap so narrow it’d confound a Cirque du Soleil gymnast, inevitably banging your head in the process and showing off some unsexy butt-crack.
Getting out is even worse: either your front-seat-riding friends forget you’re in there and leave you trapped in backseat jail, or it’s more ungraceful contortionism. Leg out first? Squeeze out head-forward? Either way, you’re gonna look like you’re performing a modern-dance interpretation of the magic of childbirth. Not cool.
Not to worry though, Jack Tripper, ’cause Hyundai’s got you covered. Their funky little hatchback Veloster is a coupe-point-five, with a supplemental door on the passenger side making ingress and egress a little less spastic if you’re third-wheelin’ it. Clever, but it’s not the first to the party. Here’s a round-up of other three-doored rides.
Saturn. A different kind of company, a different kind of car. Well, that was the idea anyway. As it turns out, people like their cars to have door panels made out of aluminum und schteel rather than, y’know, recycled milk cartons. Still the SC2, with its decent fuel economy, wasn’t as terrible as you might think. Rather than a passenger-assist, the SC2 Coupe’s 3rd door was pickup-truck style, found behind the driver’s door to help you stow a bulky object.
Mini Cooper Clubman
Celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, BMW’s MINI is a resounding retro-success. As such, Bimmer’s been sitting around scratching their heads, trying to figure out new ways to fit that blend of scrappy handling and funky styling into new packages. The Clubman can be purchased in any of three flavours from mild base form to the whole-bottle-of-HP-sauce John Cooper Works model. Based on the standard Cooper, it’s a bit longer and boasts slightly more trunk room, with a pair of double-doors at the back to run a seam right through your rearward line of vision. It also has a handy little fold-out door on the right hand side of the car, perfect for dropping the kids off on the school run. Unless, of course, you live in the UK, where driving on the left means you’d be unleashing your offspring directly into traffic to be promptly run over by a lorry, or a Land Rover, or Lord Chumley’s Bentley.
Honourable Mention: Mazda RX-8
While technically possessed of four doors, the now-defunct Mazda RX-8 deserves to be wedged in as a postscript for also stretching the definition of coupe by the inclusion of two little rearward-opening doors. While looking the business, the RX-8 had a few issues. Namely, it combined the fuel economy of a Lamborghini V12 with the low-end torque of a Honda. A Honda lawnmower. Still, rev the nuts off that rotary engine, show the RX some curves, and you’ll surely get your rear-seat riders reaching for the sick bag.
Image courtesy of theKCB.