10 Different Types of Car Doors (With Pictures)

Different Types of Car Doors

When buying a new car, you want to ensure you get the best deal possible. The same goes for choosing the right car door.

Different types of car doors offer different benefits, such as security or style, but how do you choose between them?

Let’s look into the different kinds of existing car doors with their characteristics to see which best suits your style.

1. Scissor Doors

Scissor Doors Different Types of Car Doors
Image credit: Alexandre Prévot from Nancy, France via Wikimedia

The scissor door is the most elegant car door type you’ll ever see. This door opens like the blades of a set of scissors, and it increased among sports cars during the 1970s. In fact, it became one of the essential features of those vehicles.

In the 1980s, some manufacturers began to use this feature on production models. For example, the Alfa Romeo Carabo used this design from 1968 until 1984. But the first model to introduce the scissor doors was the 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce.

Nowadays, almost every luxury car manufacturer offers these doors on some models, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. People also refer to them as turtle doors and Lambo doors.

Further, the scissor door’s front part is fixed while the rear part swings upwards and outwards. This allows you to enter the vehicle without raising your leg high enough to avoid hitting the ground.

2. Sliding Doors

The sliding door is one of the different types of car doors you’ll see today. This door slides along a horizontal track and is common on vans, minivans, and buses today. Also, it offers a large opening for loading and unloading large items like luggage and groceries.

The first car to feature sliding doors was the 1954 Kaisar Darrin; it improved over the earlier model built in 1949. Both models had problems getting off the ground and stalled frequently, and their sliding doors took up too much space and obstructed the driver’s view.

In addition to being a problem for drivers, the sliding door design presented a safety hazard because of the lack of visibility for pedestrians. In fact, in 1956, there were 7,000 accidents involving sliding doors.

Today, most cars come with standard side windows. However, some manufacturers continue to offer sliding doors as optional features. Many people prefer the convenience of sliding doors, but the tradeoff is having to sacrifice interior space.

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3. Butterfly Doors

Butterfly doors are one of those rare things that you either love or hate. They’re essentially just like regular doors, except they open vertically rather than horizontally.

This style makes them much easier to use than traditional horizontal doors since there’s no need to push against a wall to open them. And because they open vertically, they give you more room for getting into and out of your vehicle.

Butterfly doors aren’t new; they’ve been around for some time. But they’re still pretty uncommon, especially in cars. Most people don’t even know what they are.

People often confuse them with scissor-style doors. However, some key differences make them stand apart. Aside from their style of opening vertically rather than horizontally, they also swing outward rather than inward.

This makes it easier for people to open and close quickly, especially if they carry stuff. Further, butterfly doors open wider than scissors, allowing you to step farther into the car without duckling down.

4. Canopy Doors

The canopy door is also among the different types of car doors, but it is rare. It has several names; its other names are the cockpit, bubble, and articulated. This car door looks like a canopy when you open it and is capable of causing a stir at an event.

When opened, the door mounts on the car top and remains that way, allowing passengers to exit quickly without worrying about the sides.

Because the door is above the roofline, it will enable people to exit without worrying about getting drenched. In fact, the canopy door is famous in parking lots because it helps keep cars safe from each other.

5. Gull-Wing Doors

The gull-wing doors are one of the most popular features of cars today. They provide a comprehensive view of the outside environment while providing easy access to passengers and cargo.

Also, people call these doors falcon wing doors, up-doors, gull-wings, bird-wing doors, and butterfly doors.

In the early days of automobiles, it was common practice to use a single large door at the rear of the vehicle. This type of door could swing outwards, allowing the driver to exit the car without climbing into the trunk area.

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However, because of safety concerns, many manufacturers began designing dual doors; they allow drivers to enter and exit safely, even if there is no room inside the vehicle.

You’ll find gull-wing doors primarily on luxury vehicles, such as sports cars, sedans, coupés, convertibles, minivans, SUVs, and vans.

The first gull-wing doors were introduced on the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in 2012. Today, almost every major manufacturer offers some form of gull-wing doors. 

6. Pocket Doors

The pocket door is also among the different types of car doors. It’s a sliding door that opens like any other, except it does not slide outwards.

Instead, it simply forms part of the adjacent wall. You can see it in delivery vans and trains but very rare in normal cars, and the most famous example is probably the Renault Estafette.

The Renault Estafette has been around since the 1950s and is still in production. Though not all Renault Estafette models come with a pocket door, many versions of the Estafette have pocket doors.

One such model is the Estafette 2.0; it has a different body style and a slightly wider opening.

7. Suicide Doors

Suicide doors are a slang term used to describe a vehicle door hinge that opens at the rear rather than the front.

This term dates back to the early 1900s when horse-drawn carriage owners sought a safer alternative to the old front-hinged door. While the front-hinged style was still trendy, it was dangerous and prone to injury.

The solution came in the form of the suicide door. Instead of having the entire door open like the front-hinged version, it opens just enough to allow someone to enter or exit the vehicle without being exposed to traffic hazards outside. However, it wasn’t long before the suicide door became synonymous with danger.

You could be injured if another car hits you while entering or leaving the vehicle; that’s where the name ‘suicide’ came from.

8. Front-Hinged Car Doors

Front-hinged car doors are among the different types of car doors and are also known as single-door cars.

They come with only one door – the entry/exit point; these types of doors eliminate the risks associated with opening the rear doors. If there is an accident, the passengers can easily escape from the sunroof.

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With front-hinged car doors, there is no risk of injury or death while getting into the vehicle. Also, the driver can open the door without stepping outside.

There are several reasons why manufacturers use this design. First, it makes the car lighter and easier to manufacture. It reduces the number of parts required to make the car and improves its aerodynamics.

It saves the manufacturer money on manufacturing costs and helps reduce weight. Also, it increases passenger safety and allows the driver to enter the vehicle quickly.

9. Swan Doors

The swan door is a folding door designed to open wide like a swan. This unique door type is famous in both residential and commercial buildings. Because of their high-end look, swan doors are often installed in luxury apartments and hotels.

The swan door is one of those innovative products that come along occasionally. It is unlike any other because of its unique opening mechanism.

Unlike ordinary car doors, swan doors open wider than most other types of doors. In fact, they open almost like wings, and that’s what makes them stand out.

Swan doors don’t require much extra space in the garage. Plus, they allow you to park your vehicle even though no ceilings are above the floor.

10. Dihedral Doors

Dihedral doors are the last on our list of the different types of car doors; it doesn’t make them the least good.

They are the newest innovation in the automobile world and are essentially the same as conventional swing doors, except that they rotate outwards rather than opening inward.

This design makes it easier to get into the vehicle, especially for people with limited mobility. Also, several famous cars use dihedral doors, such as the Agera R and the Koenigsegg Regera.


As you can see, different types of car doors exist nowadays, each with advantages and disadvantages. So, deciding on your preferred car door type before buying a car is best to get the most beautiful experience.

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