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Why don't hatchbacks have clam shell openings like in the old days?

I know the honda element has one but are there any others? They are so convenient to haul long items.

What exactly do you mean?

He/she is talking about a wagon or SUV-type vehicle having both a tailgate and a lift-gate, rather than just one large lift-gate as is typical nowadays.

Probably because they are more costly to produce and car shoppers typically shop price rather than utility features. More parts, more labor, more time = more money.

I have seen this setup on Ford Explorers and Honda CRVs.

The BMW X5 has this.

Ah. I see. Never understood why that was an advantage. What’s wrong with one large door? Less moving parts to wear out or fail.

Almost no hatchbacks have ever had that, only old station wagons. The CR-V, prior to the current hatchback, had the spare on the side-opening tailgate, with a flip open window, not what the OP’s talking about.

I bet the real reason is based on the fact that really short people have a hard time reaching the upper part of the lift gate on these type of vehicles, if the vehicle is even remotely tall.


tie a rope to the hatch, it will hang down when the hatch is open, shorty can grab that.

On many vehicles, there would not be a place to “tie a rope”.

They are more likely to be broken by meteorites because of the angle

This is what I mean by clamshell hatchback. You don’t have to worry about something sliding out if you don’t tie it down.

Boy, you DO mean the ‘old days’! How about a compact crew cab pickup with a cap?

Well I am old. My 66 volvo amazon wagon had one and and it was the norm on all wagons till recently. My favorites were the wagons whose back windows retracted into the tailgate. Wonder why they stopped making them. Maybe too many dogs committed suicide jumping out of them

Well, ‘recently’ means 20+ years ago. But I get your point. Weight favors the hatchback, I imagine.

S-10 Blazers had that design until they went bye-bye in '04. The Trailblazer that replaced them has a onepiece tailgate w/pop open window.

In addition to cost, split tailgates have always been known to be a bit noisy, “rattley” or squeaky and I suspect structural ridgity and crash ratings issues are involved also.

The worst tailgate IMHO is on the Toyota RAV, stupid, impractical, useless, in the way side swining door,

To say a Rav tailgate is stupid and impractical is short sighted. They sell a gazillion of them and being able to load without height restrictions of lift and a tail gate in the way is practical. The use of a door allows more interior room as the spare has an unrestricted mounting area. Yes, side swing doors have disadvantages, but the smaller and less upper body strength women in our family love it when they have to do the loading… Loading a heavy generator off a tractor for example, is more practical in the Rav than over a tail gate truck or restrictive lift gate in our other suv. People who don’t like them buy something else. Not enough it seems to make Toyota think it dumb.

You won’t convince me, it’s a dumb design and I don’t know anyone who owns a Rav, I know a few who didn’t buy one, partly because of it. To each his own.

FWIW, My wife prefers the weather protection an overhead hatch provides over the always in the way side open door.

Never had an overhead hatch be in the way but I guess I could see it in some designs that don’t open high enough, I wouldn’t buy something w/a hatch that has any part of the hatch lower than the roofline when pushed fully open to the end of the struts.

Just 'cause the sheeple buy it does not make it good.

I don’t intend to even try. Ravs have the lowest loading platform because of this feature. When Toyota agrees with you and wants you and your friends as customers, they’ll change their design. Thus far they haven’t.

Well they did finally get around to redesigning their throttle by wire ECM programing to something resembling what others have had since 1998 (ie brake applied for more than a few seconds runs throttle to idle), but it took a few deaths to convince them to do that so I’m not holding my breath that they will do much sensible w/the RAV “door”.