MINI’s idea of a modern stationwagon body MINI called the MINI Clubman features a quirky rear suicide door on the right side of the car. While this asymmetrical design is fine for left hand drive countries, for right hand drive cars the door still remains on the right side of the car – it is not flipped to the other side.
There are right hand drive markets that are very important for MINI, the British market for instance. But the positioning of the suicide door on the right side of the car might prove to be a turn-off or rather a function that will rarely be used to most consumers there.
This is because it is inconvenient to keep moving the driver’s seat and opening the driver’s door so that the rear passengers can exit the car using the suicide door. The suicide door cannot be opened without it’s accompanying front door being opened first. It is also abit more dangerous as it opens onto the road instead of onto the pavement when you want to use it.
BMW MINI’s engineers did not develop an left-hand side suicide door for right hand drive markets as it was uneconomical to do so – the fuel filler on the left side of the car was in the way. Nevertheless, BMW MINI is still confident that despite this design characteristic that might turn off some potential buyers, there will be many others who will like it.