You might have seen it on an online car listing or in a magazine: a 2+2 car. But what exactly does that mean?
2+2 cars have a seat for the driver and front passenger, as well as two rear seats. These rear seats can be individual bucket seats or fold-downs, and typically offer much less leg room than the front seats. Generally speaking, 2+2 cars are sporty coupes that offer a bit of flexibility for transporting occasional passengers or children.
The Ford Mustang, for example, was a 2+2 car during its 1965 and 1966 production runs, and could be purchased either as a two-seater or as a four-seater with the addition of the optional fold-down rear seat. This seat is not accessible through normal doors, but rather is accessed by pulling or adjusting some sort of handle on the front seat, which causes it to fold forward and along the position rail.
Pontiac used the 2+2 designation for a series of sports coupes that it produced beginning in 1965, and continued until 1967. These 2+2 cars were based on the Catalina platform, and were distinguished from other Pontiac models by faux louvers (in different locations on the fenders each year) and unique exterior body trim. They were also offered with the full range of Chevrolet V8 engine options, from small-block to big-block.
There are a number of other cars that meet the technical definition of a 2+2 car, but are often referred to by their manufacturer as a “4-seater” instead. These include convertibles, targa tops and hatchbacks that have only two rear doors. However, the rear seating in these cars is often very cramped and not suitable for adult occupants on longer trips.