Best cars with sliding doors

Fear tight car parking spaces no more by picking a car with sliding doors

BuyaCar team
Sep 28, 2017

Cars may be getting so much longer and wider that the multi-storey car park operator NCP has announced that it will make its parking spaces larger staken notice and is in the process of making its parking spaces larger.

Elsewhere it’s a case of slotting your car into an impossibly tight space and struggling out of a half-closed door, terrified you’ll hit the car parked next to you. It’s worse if you have children or armfuls of shopping. 

Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of the sliding door. Often criticised for making a car look like a van, the sliding door is a godsend in tight spaces. At a stroke, you can get in and out of your car no matter how tight the parking spot. You can lean in and secure children easily and safely. They can get in and out easily and safely, too. Have a vehicle with one, or two, sliding doors and you’ll wonder how you ever coped before.

Downsides? They can be heavy to operate, although Seat is one car maker that offers electrically powered sliding doors on its Alhambra people carrier. Opting for sliding doors does restrict your choice of car to people carriers, which are generally focused on practicality over style and driving excitement.


Read on for our pick of five-seater cars with sliding doors or jump to the seven-seater cars with sliding doors.


Five-seater cars with sliding doors

Ford B-Max

Our pick Ford B-Max 1.0T 125PS EcoBoost Zetec
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If any car illustrates the phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’, it’s this. Not only does the B-Max have sliding doors but it also has no fixed pillar between the front and rear seats. This means it couldn’t be simpler to get in and out of, or to strap a child into their seat, regardless of parking space size.
The car is designed around the parts that make up a Ford Fiesta, so it’s surprisingly compact too. Read more

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Fiat Qubo

Our pick Fiat Qubo 1.3 Multijet 80hp Lounge
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Practicality is the Fiat Qubo's virtue: its twin sliding doors open onto as much as 2,500 litres of luggage space with the rear seats folded, which makes it almost as useful as the vehicle that the Qubo has been developed from: a van.

From behind the wheel, the Qubo does betray its van origins, it's bouncier and leans more in corners than you'd expect for a passenger car, but it's not too uncomfortable, particularly ifn you drive smoothly. The 1.3 Multijet diesel engine, while no ball of fire, will get it from 0-62mph in a reasonable 13.9 seconds.

Avoid the top-spec Trekking version and plump for the mid-range Lounge model. It has all the things necessary to elevate it beyond budget level (alloy wheels, air con, steering wheel controls and a 5.0-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth and a USB connection) without breaking the bank.

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Ford Tourneo Connect

Our pick Ford Tourneo Connect 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec
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Ford offers plenty of cars with sliding doors, each with their own unique features. One look at the Tourneo Connect is all you need to realise that it’s basically a converted van, which gives it an enormous amount of luggage space: the boot is 1,029 litres in size (more than three times the amount that you get in a Ford Focus) - with the seats up.

With rear seats folded forward, the car basically reverts to a van, with a large luggage area. The larger seven-seat Grand Tourneo Connect can accommodate a couple of bicycles stored upright.

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Citroen Berlingo Multispace

Our pick Citroen Berlingo Multispace Feel BlueHDi 100
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Another van that’s been converted into a family car, the Berlingo Multispace makes the most of its height in offering a shelf underneath the roof - like a central overhead storage compartment in an aeroplane, only without the doors to stop items falling on passengers’ heads.

As soon as you sit behind the steering wheel, you feel as if you’e in a van, thanks to the upright driving position and vertical dashboard. It doesn’t feel luxurious, but you do benefit from an enormous amount of interior space. There’s also a seven-seat option.

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Peugeot Partner Tepee

Our pick Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.2 PureTech 110 Outdoor
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Here’s another functional people mover with van-like proportions and roly-poly van-like driving manners. Get beyond those shortcomings, though, and the Tepee is a relatively comfortable but impressively practical vehicle that can carry up to seven people, if you choose the optional third row of seats.

There's a range of petrol and diesel engines, plus an electric option that qualifies for low company car tax and is particularly useful for short journeys, where there's no need to recharge on the go. The Partner Tepee comes in two different specifications and the most expensive Outdoor trim comes with so much more, that it's the one to go for. Features include alloy wheels, raised suspension, a touchscreen digital radio, and front and rear parking aids. Not only these but it also has three individual rear seats that can taken out. Do that, and its sliding doors open to reveal a massive 3000 litres of load space.

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Seven-seater cars with sliding doors

Ford Grand C-Max

Our pick Ford Grand C-Max 2.0 TDCi 150 Titanium
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Not to be confused with the smaller, five-seat C-Max, which has conventional doors, the Grand C-Max is a seven-seater with sliding doors make life easier for anyone trying to clamber into the two seats in the third row. Also making life simpler is the way the middle seat in the second row can be folded away to create a ‘corridor’ from the front to the rear of the vehicle.

The Grand C-Max uses mechanical parts from the Ford Focus, so it’s far steadier and feels more agile than van-based alternatives. An update in 2015 modernised the design, as shown above, but earlier cars are still just as practical with sliding doors.

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Volkswagen Caravelle

Our pick Volkswagen Caravelle 2.0 TDi 150PS SE SWB
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With many versions approaching £45,000 from new and many older cars worth more than £20,000 on the used market, the Caravelle does require a sizeable investment. But the price does buy you an equally hefty amount of space. This means that even adults will be comfortable in the rear, third-row of seats. If you need extra luggage space, there's a longer version too.

The diesel-powered car has enough power for everyday motoring and SE trim comes with alloy wheels, power sliding doors, a digital radio with colour screen, and two removable third-row seats, so more expensive Executive trim is unnecessary for most customers. If space isn't such a priority, then the VW Sharan is a better bet. It's cheaper and more comfortable on the road, thanks to its car-like ride and performance.

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Seat Alhambra

Our pick Seat Alhambra SE 2.0 TDi 150 Ecomotive
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Thanks to its sliding doors, you need never worry about getting this big Seat into a cramped parking spot. And because the Alhambra has seven seats, they make life much easier for those in the third row. Feeling lazy? More expensive versions have powered doors that’ll make you feel as if you're a contestant in the latest BBC Apprentice series.

The Seat badge on the bonnet helps keep prices cheap, and there a regular Seat Alhambra discounts that make ownership even better value. Read more

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Mercedes V-class

Our pick Mercedes V250d auto Sport Standard
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In terms of space and accommodation, the Mercedes V-class is in a class of its own. There may only be two trim levels (both well equipped) but there are no less than three body lengths ranging from the 4895mm-long Standard to the 5370mm-long Extra Long.

Standard length is a seven seater only (Extra Long is an eight seater) but even with all seats in place there’s 610 litres of luggage space. Sport is the lower of the two spec levels but includes 18in alloys, bright LED lights, leather, twin powered sliding doors, adaptive suspension for a comfortable ride and a reversing camera. The diesel engine offers as much power as a packed car full of passengers would want; enough to take the big V-class from 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds.

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VW Sharan

Our pick Volkswagen Sharan TDI 150 SE
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Based on the same mechanical parts as the Seat Alhambra, the Sharan is another large, seven-seat MPV with sliding doors. Like most such vehicles, life’s a little cramped for those in the back row but if you’re small, there’s little to complain about. Its list price is more expensive than the Seat, but you may find that finance deals on the Sharan are slightly cheaper.

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