flip down tailgate or bust!
January 3, 2008 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Is there a newish station wagon with a flip-down tailgate?

The wife and I are looking to buy a station wagon or mini-SUV sized auto that has a flip-down tailgate, or one that opens sideways, like a door. This has been surprisingly difficult to find in recently-manufactured vehicles. Secondary desired features are: good gas mileage (Hybrid would be ok), AWD, <$20,000.

We're looking for this to transport our dog, who likes to chase things he shouldn't. Thus, the need for a back that we can block with our bodies or the gate itself. Plus we don't want to catch his tail when closing the gate either!

We don't mind new or used within ~10 years. Any recommendations with or without anecdotes are appreciated!
posted by Four Flavors to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
The Honda CR-V from model years 2006 and before and all Toyota RAV4s have rear gates that opens sideways like a door.
posted by zsazsa at 8:50 PM on January 3, 2008

The Honda Element has a flipdown tailgate.
posted by Manjusri at 9:27 PM on January 3, 2008

At the very small end of the spectrum, the Mini Clubman has a barn-door tailgate. It is available with stability control, but not AWD.
posted by adamrice at 7:46 AM on January 4, 2008

When you're looking at a car with a door-like rear gate, check which side it opens on. My '05 CR-V door swings towards the sidewalk (if you're parked on the correct side of the street), so you have to walk around the door to get to the back of the car. A minor annoyance, but if I could switch it, I would.
posted by natabat at 8:12 AM on January 4, 2008

I just got a Mitsubishi Outlander, and it has one. Seems to fit all your criteria, and I love it so far.
posted by FlyByDay at 10:58 AM on January 4, 2008

A minor annoyance, but if I could switch it, I would.

Aah, but if it opened the other way, it would open into the street, quite possibly in the way of traffic (if you're anywhere with narrow, urban streets). A minor annoyance is much better than a reason for traffic to swerve -- or a blocked bike lane.

I've seen this very disaster narrowly avoided on many occasions... but I live on a one-way street with parking on the "wrong" side.
posted by toxic at 11:01 AM on January 4, 2008

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