Inspired by my post on the short lived Altima Coupe, I noticed something.
As the 90s waned and the 2000s bloomed, cars were getting more and more expensive to build. Fewer and fewer cars were offered in multiple body styles because they cost more to design, build, and certify for the road. The last of the body on frame passenger cars were also dying off, soon to be replaced with unibody sedans and SUVs, which were more difficult to modify.
As a result, fewer manufacturers built lower volume body variants, even as people shifted towards the extreme practicality of SUVs. That era produced quite a few forgotten body variants of normal cars, some of which will be listed here. Thanks to the comments section, who suggested some of these.
Thank you, Ash78, for suggesting one of the strangest of all. Everyone is familiar with the incredible utility of the Chevy Avalanche, but one more vehicle got the treatment; that vehicle is the GMC Envoy.It had a retractable roof and a tailgate that folded/swung for maximum ease loading bulky objects that ordinarily wouldn’t fit. These never sold that well, and are pretty thin on the ground now.
Thank you to Punkgoose to beating me to it. This two model year only vehicle ran from 2013 to 2014, which Hyundai seemingly forgot to tell anyone about, or even build any for that matter. I have only ever seen one (1) in the wild, and they are so dramatically smaller than their sedan counterparts I can’t imagine I missed many. Merely viewing this vehicle in person is known to cause anger, distension, hushed deliberations, and eventually revolution and war. The US employed this tactic back in 2018 when it drove a fleet of these through [recacted] and later dropped pictures of the Elantra Coupe on [redacted], leaving chaos and confusion in its wake.
Based on the Mirage, this woeful pile is proof once again some cars are only good as hatchbacks. Hatchback Mirages far outsell G4s in a twist almost unheard of in the US. These have such a weird tiny trunk and thin rear wheels that I laugh out loud when I see one. The Versa sedan is similarly unfortunate, but most Americans still bought the sedan for the previous generation where the Versa Note Hatchback was available. Another rare body style of a
normal woeful car.
Thank you Feather-Throttle-Not-Hair for reminding me of this. Virtually indistinguishable from the sedan, the first generation Mazda Mazda6 offered a stealthy hatchback version. I cannot say whether this or the rather attractive wagon was rarer, but both are uncommon sights. I simply do not understand why they made a traditional sedan body style to begin with when they already developed a much more practical and almost identical alternative. I also find it funny how the rear wing remains constant, which is a fun way to tell a V6 apart from an I4.