Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car windows

May have to look for a car in the next 12-24. Why are side and rear car windows so much smaller these days and is this just a temporary trend (because I hate it)

Probably because the shapes of the cars are different now, and the windows can’t be any bigger than the car is. Just guessing.

What cars are you talking about?
The windows on my Nissan Altima are pretty big.
The windows on the Mazda RX-8 I’ve been test driving over the past week are way smaller.

Can’t compare 1 car to the other, even though they are both 4 door cars.

Just like I wouldn’t compare a '1976 Chevy Caprice Estate station wagon to either of them.


I would guess it is mostly styling and a little engineering, to lower the car profile and reduce air resistance and increase mileage.

Problem is bad, I doubt it’ll get better. Styling + safety, car companies want to get top rated in safety tests, small windows helps. Also the rear seat headrests really block the view!

What type of car are you looking for? Some are OK. The Forester has pretty good visibility.

Well my groom just got a 2010 golf and that’s when I started noticing how the windows had shrunk (my 2000 jetta windows came at least to the middle of my upper arm as I sit pretty straight in the saddle).

The hatchback window is smaller too making a long driveway in reverse more challenging.

Safety? I think it contributes to lane drift all the more. I’m in Milwaukee where the painted lines are just a general guide for most people. Now if the passenger can’t see the lane who will yell at the driver??

I want to stay small (30+ mpg if possible)

Hmmm…if your chief priorities are large windows in a smallish car that gets good gas mileage, the vehicle that comes to mind first is the Nissan Cube.

Of course, the Cube is as ugly as a car could possibly be, and has reliabilty that is below par, but if you want big windows, this is the (ugly) car for you!

People like quiet cars – smaller windows = quieter.

Small vehicle? 30+ mpg? Large windows?

Honda Fit.

It has really big windows and no reliability problems.


Yeah, safety. Smaller windows increases rigidity so that side impacts intrude less into the passenger compartment.

Nobody rolls their windows down anymore, so they don’t really need that much of a window.
With all the safety they’re trying to throw into the car, a smaller window will provide less glass to break off into the cabin if they get rammed in the side.

Styling and perhaps weight saving. A sheet of stamped metal is per square inch a lot lighter than a sheet of glass. Supercars are even using thinner glass to save weight.

Its a styling/safety thing. Side impact requires more metal meat between you and what is hitting you. Also it looks better to the people admiring your jewel from outside the car. Mind you inside you feel like you are in a cave. The worst offenders are the HHR and the Camaro, followed by the mustang. I like glass myself. Seeing out of a car and avoiding an accided are more important than being looked at and protecting you from the accident you didnt see comming.

Let us not forget the unfortunate-looking Chrysler 300 of recent years.
That car is another excellent example of a car with tiny windows and very poor sightlines to the rear quarters and the sides. Sitting in that car is reminiscent of being a little child in a bathtub.