Hyundai has been on a tear lately, with its cars so popular and in such short supply that dealers like to say they are selling them off the truck.
But when I heard about the latest Hyundai, a sporty compact called the Veloster, I thought to myself, "Hasn't it heard about the curse of the strange doors?"
You see, the Veloster has one door on the driver's side and two doors on the passenger side for a total of three. It is an asymmetrical exercise in utility and styling flexibility that is likely to be at risk in the marketplace.
The same goes for extra doors that don't follow the natural order of things because they are hinged in the rear and open to the front, don't have outside handles, or are otherwise compromised. People who think of themselves as automotive innovators have been fiddling with the basic rear-opening door formula for years without improving it
It's liker trying to build a better paper clip. The original works fine; why mess with it? Customers know the difference -- and they will punish automakers for their unnatural acts.
Herewith, a gallery of three-door coupes and other automotive oddities:
Hyundai Veloster: 2011
The Korean automaker has a knack for taking a familiar concept and making it better. The compact Elantra and midsize Sonata raise the affordable family sedan to previously unattained levels.
The Veloster drives off in a different direction, however. The idea behind its three-door concept is to provide sporty coupe styling without sacrificing convenience. But the design actually penalizes the driver at the expense of the passenger by not providing easy access to the rear seat. Customers will begin to cast their votes shortly.