Manufacturers Kill Off a Car Body: Why 2-Door Hatchbacks Disappear


First, Volkswagen, then Opel and Kia, and then the Range Rover manufacturer with its Evoque are moving away from 2-door models due to their low demand among US consumers. Why have motorists cooled down to these cars? The specialists from the Indianapolis used car dealership Indy Auto Man share their vision of the future of two-door hatchbacks and SUVs. 

Endangered Species

Given the initially low interest of American drivers in two-door cars, today it is almost impossible to see these models among new vehicles in showrooms. Experts explain such features of the American market with demand for more practical or representative than conditionally sports cars. Manufacturers place their bets on the ever-demanding hatchbacks, sedans, and crossovers for the 2022 model range. The so-called niche models make a certain variety to the assortment but do not bring any impressive profits and sales. If in Europe, two doors are still represented quite widely, then in America, you can find only a few models to choose from: 

  • Hyundai Veloster;
  • Mini Cooper;
  • Smart ForTwo;
  • Fiat 500;
  • Toyota Yaris.

Such a decrease in demand is due not only to the auto market trends but also to the significant price difference. 2-door cars are often more expensive than 4-doors because manufacturers tend to market them as sporty models. But there is a paradox here. Those who enjoy a truly aggressive and fast ride will prefer a powerful sports vehicle over a three-door hatchback. The two-door dimensions and upholstery of almost all models are similar to the full-fledged four-door versions but offer less comfort, especially for rear-seat passengers when boarding. Therefore, these vehicles are somewhat puzzling in their impracticality when comparing their performance with the price tag. 

Their target audience is active drivers, single or just-married couples, who seek exclusivity, sporty appearance, and the ability to stand out on the road. The share of such customers on the market is rather small, so the current 2-door car owners may face difficulties when selling their used cars, especially such models as:

  • Audi A3. The prestigious and expensive A3 is addressed to wealthy buyers who do not need a big car. It is one of the most prestigious golf-class hatchbacks in the world. The car is built on a common platform with the VW Golf. Therefore it has similar body and interior dimensions. With the same engine and equipment, Audi still remains four or five thousand dollars more expensive than VW. 
  • VW Golf. The two-door Golf model with a five-cylinder VR5 engine (2.3 l) in the GTI configuration will find its buyer only among connoisseurs. In this model, comfort is partially sacrificed for driving performance. 
  • Mitsubishi Colt. Colt is the case when a two-door model is more expensive than a sedan on the same platform. The car costs more than the Lancer due to a more powerful engine and richer basic equipment.

Sedans and hatchbacks are more popular with drivers because they offer the best value for money. Fortunately, US dealerships are still willing to buy these vehicles for a good price to diversify their model range. 

Losing a Competitive Race

The crossover boom in the US was instrumental in the drop in demand for two-door hatches as well: the lion’s share of SUVs is presented in a four-door version, which largely caused the reduction of traditional car segments with less practical body types.

If a Jeep or Land Rover is a two-door variation, it looks embarrassing for most consumers and reduces the demand because of the higher cost. Such rare specimens still exist among off-road lovers, as the shortened version gains greater cross-country ability, maneuverability, and lightness thanks to optimized geometric overhangs.

Manufacturers today pay more attention to the comfort and functionality of the car, especially for buyers of compact models. The sporty appearance is no more an advantage people in the US are willing to overpay for, and the era of electric vehicles will unlikely revive this class of cars. So those, who still consider a two-door hatchback or SUV, have only one way to the vehicle of their dream – the used car market. But it is always a good idea to compare the two-door model with the same four-door option in terms of price, comfort, and driving experience to make an informed decision and not regret the choice.