What Is the Back Door of an SUV Called

SUVs also known as Sport Utility Vehicles have been a staple in the automotive world, offering a balance between power, luxury, and utility. 

They’re spacious, robust, and have a dominating road presence. But when it comes to their anatomy, especially the back door, there’s often some confusion. So, let’s delve into the enigmatic nomenclature of this vital SUV component. Bear with me, it’s more riveting than it sounds.

What Is the Back Door of an SUV Called
Credit: www.skill-lync.com

SUV Back Door Name

The world of automobiles, with its vast array of terminologies and jargon, can often present a puzzling landscape for the uninitiated. One such term that frequently raises eyebrows pertains to the rear access point of an SUV. 

Traditionally, many vehicles had a “trunk” or “boot” that served as a storage compartment. However, in the context of an SUV, this rear door is neither a simple trunk nor a mere boot. Instead, it is often referred to as a tailgate or liftgate.

Different Names for the Back Door

The rear portion of any vehicle, especially an SUV, serves a functional role. But beyond its utility, the nomenclature of this segment has puzzled many. One might argue that a door by any other name would open just as wide, but when it comes to the SUV’s back door, the story is a tad more intricate.

Tailgate – The Conventional Moniker

The term “tailgate” might conjure images of enthusiastic sports fans grilling before a big game, but in the automotive context, it’s much more straightforward. Originally, the term emanated from trucks where the rear door swung downwards. The tailgate’s name has not only stuck but also elegantly leaped into the SUV lexicon. Simple, straightforward, and to the point, this term remains widely recognized.

Liftgate – A Modern Spin

With the evolution of vehicle design, a door that lifts upward, rather than swings out, has become predominant in many modern SUVs. This design caters to urban environments and tight parking spaces where swinging out a large door might be inconvenient. Hence, the name “liftgate” emerged, quite literally lifting the spirits of those grappling with heavy shopping bags or bulky equipment.

Hatch – The European Touch

Venture across the Atlantic, and you’ll often hear the back door of an SUV referred to as a “hatch” or even “hatchback” for some smaller SUV models. Evocative of an upward opening motion, this term is as functional in its description as it is in its design. And speaking of hatches, have you heard about the chicken who liked SUVs? She always wanted to upgrade her hatch!

Boot Door – A Lesser-Known Entity

While not as commonly used, the term “boot door” occasionally finds its way into automotive discussions. This term is derived from the British word for the trunk of a car, “boot.” Though it may sound like it’s related to footwear, in this context, it strictly pertains to vehicles.

Design Evolution of the SUV Back Door

The back door of an SUV, while ostensibly a mere functional component, narrates a tale of evolution deeply entrenched in human needs and technological advancements. 

Journeying from rudimentary hinged designs to sophisticated automated systems, it reflects not just our progress as a society, but our perpetual drive to enhance utility and aesthetic appeal. As the famous adage goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention,” but one could argue that the SUV back door might well be the prodigious offspring of our insatiable need for convenience.

The Genesis

In the earliest designs of SUVs, the back door predominantly emulated the straightforward nature of regular automobile doors: hinged, manually operated, and unembellished. Their primary function was to provide an entrance and exit for cargo, and they performed that role with understated efficiency.

Split Doors

With the SUV’s growing popularity in both urban and suburban settings, the necessity for more versatile back door designs arose. Enter the split doors. These allowed for either half of the door to be opened independently, providing easy access even in tighter parking spaces. Notably, it also enabled users to quickly access the top or bottom compartments of the trunk without opening the entire back door.

Rise of the Liftgate

As urban areas became densely populated and parking spaces became more confined, there was a palpable need for a design that required less horizontal space to operate. This marked the advent of the liftgate, which vertically lifted upwards. Not only did it solve the spatial challenge, but it also introduced an enhanced aesthetic appeal to the SUV’s rear profile.

Automated Assistance

In our modern era, where technology permeates almost every facet of daily life, the SUV back door wasn’t to be left behind. Automated liftgates, equipped with sensors and motors, offer hands-free operation, a boon especially when one’s hands are occupied with groceries or luggage. 

A simple gesture or push of a button, and the door graciously opens or closes on its own. Such innovation is not merely a testament to our technological prowess, but also a nod to our relentless pursuit of convenience.

Differences in SUV Back Door Designs

In the vast and intricate world of automobile engineering, design distinctions might seem negligible to the layperson. However, these nuanced variations play a pivotal role in vehicle aesthetics, functionality, and ergonomics. 

When we speak of SUVs, one cannot ignore the significance of their rear entry the back door. Over the years, this seemingly simple component has seen an array of design changes, each catering to specific needs and preferences. Let’s journey through some of these intriguing differences.

Traditional Hinged Doors

At the dawn of SUV production, rear doors mirrored those of conventional cars. They typically swung out horizontally, providing access to the boot space. It’s similar to how you’d open a standard room door. Efficient, yes. But as SUVs grew in popularity and utility became paramount, this design soon gave way to more versatile ones.


Derived from the design of trucks, the tailgate is a single door that swings downward. While not as common in modern SUVs, it lends a rugged appeal to vehicles. 

A quick trivia: ever wondered why pre-game parties in the U.S. are called “tailgating”? It’s because of fans sitting and celebrating on these very tailgates!


Evolution in the SUV rear door design brought us to the liftgate. As the name suggests, it lifts upwards, pivoting from the roof of the vehicle. This design ensures easy access to the trunk, especially in tight spaces where swinging a door might be challenging. 

Additionally, the hydraulic or mechanical struts make the lifting process smoother. No more using brute strength to access your luggage!

Split Doors

A nod to retro design with a sprinkle of modern utility. Some SUVs sport split rear doors that open outwards from the center. This design is particularly beneficial when there’s limited rear clearance, allowing one to access the boot even when parked close to another object. It’s a harmonious blend of the old and the new.

Electronic and Automated Doors

Welcome to the future, where doors open themselves! Advanced SUV models have incorporated electronic and automated systems. With a press of a button, the rear door gracefully rises, providing unhindered access to the trunk. 

This is not just a show of luxury but also a boon for those days when your hands are full of shopping bags.

SUV Back Door Smart Technologies

In the epoch of technological advancements, even the humble back door of an SUV has not remained untouched. The realm of automotive engineering now offers an array of smart technologies integrated into the SUV back door, thereby significantly augmenting its utility, convenience, and safety. 

From hands-free operation systems to advanced safety sensors, the back door of contemporary SUVs encapsulates a blend of innovation and functionality. It’s almost as if our vehicles have attended elite tech schools and come out with top honors! Let’s unravel the modern marvels of the SUV back door.

Hands-Free Operation

Arguably one of the most applauded innovations, the hands-free operation system has revolutionized the way we interact with our SUVs. Imagine this scenario: You’re returning from a shopping spree, arms laden with bags, and dread the task of manually opening the boot. 

Enter the hands-free system, where a simple foot gesture below the rear bumper triggers the door to glide open gracefully. The utility factor aside, it’s a feat that never ceases to impress onlookers.

Integrated Cameras

Reversing an SUV, given its size, can be a daunting task, especially in crowded areas. The integrated cameras in the back door offer a clear view of what lies behind, making parking and reversing significantly safer and more accurate. 

With high-definition displays inside the vehicle, it ensures that you’re not just reversing, but doing so with utmost precision.

Safety Sensors

Safety is paramount, and the back door of modern SUVs echoes this principle. Integrated with intelligent sensors, these doors are adept at detecting any obstacles in their path while closing. 

In such an event, they automatically halt or reverse their motion, ensuring no damage is inflicted on objects (or an occasional forgetful friend!) left behind. Think of it as an empathetic robotic arm, always ensuring its surroundings are clear.

Remote Access and Control

With the proliferation of smartphone applications and connectivity, many SUVs now allow users to control the back door remotely. Whether it’s to pop the boot open as you approach or to ensure it’s securely locked, the auto remote control feature offers an additional layer of convenience and security.

Customized Settings

Your SUV recognizes that every user is unique. Thus, some advanced systems provide customized settings where the height to which the door opens can be adjusted and saved. It’s especially handy for those with height constraints or when parked in areas with low overhead clearance. It’s as if your SUV’s back door is saying, “I remember your preference from last time.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Retrofit My Old SUV With a New Style Back Door?

Indeed, automobile customization has come a long way. Retrofitting an older SUV with a newer style back door is feasible, but it is essential to ensure the new door’s compatibility with the vehicle’s model. 

This involves assessing dimensions, hinge placements, and electronic interfaces, among other factors. While feasible, it is always advisable to consult an automobile specialist to assess the viability and cost implications of such a modification.

Is It Expensive to Repair Electronic Liftgates?

Electronic liftgates, as sophisticated as they might sound, consist of both mechanical and electronic components. The cost to repair them largely depends on the specific malfunction. If it’s a minor electrical fault, costs can be relatively low.

What Is the Back Door of a Vehicle?

The back door of a vehicle typically refers to the rear-most entry and exit point of the automobile, primarily used for accessing the boot or cargo space. In SUVs, this door can be particularly significant due to the vehicle’s larger storage capacity. Depending on the model and design, it can open upwards, downwards, or sideways.

Does an SUV Have a Trunk?

This is a bit of a trick question. While cars have trunks, SUVs have what is often referred to as a ‘cargo space’ or ‘boot’. The term ‘trunk’ is more prevalent in sedans and smaller vehicles. However, colloquially, many people might use ‘trunk’ while referring to an SUV’s cargo space, especially in regions like North America.

What Is the Car Boot Door Called?

The car boot door, commonly associated with the rear storage compartment of a vehicle, is referred to by several names, including ‘tailgate’, ‘liftgate’, ‘hatch’, or simply ‘rear door’. The terminology often hinges on the design, functionality, and regional vernacular.


The back door of an SUV might seem like a trivial topic at first. But when you delve deeper, it opens up a world of design, technology, and evolution. Whether you call it a tailgate, liftgate, hatch, or even the thingamajig at the back, it’s an integral part of the SUV anatomy. Next time you’re fumbling with your keys, trying to open that door, take a moment to appreciate the engineering marvel that it is.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *