What Is A “2+2” Car?

Welcome to another edition of Car Facts, the series where we answer your car questions.

Today’s short article seeks to answer the following question:

“What is a ‘2+2′ car’?

Perhaps you’ve been browsing the classifieds or online auction sites and come across a car described as a 2+2 (or something similar like “two plus two”).

What exactly does that term mean?

Keep reading to find out!

What Is 2+2 On A Car?

Long story short, 2+2 refers to the seating arrangement in the car.

In a 2+2 car, there are two main seats in the front (driver and passenger) and then two smaller seats in the rear, which generally don’t have their own doors to access.

Normally the rear passengers will access their seats by lifting or adjusting some kind of handle on the front seat, which causes it to fold forwards and along the position rail.

The term 2+2 has historically been used by manufacturers to differentiate from the two seater model, such as with the Nissan 300ZX which could be purchased as a two or two plus two seat car (read our 300ZX buyer’s guide here for more information on this topic).

Here is an example of what 2+2 seating looks like on a modern Porsche 911:


As you can see, there are two proper seats – but they aren’t particularly spacious.

How Useful Are The +2 Seats?

2+2 seating has been pitched by car manufacturers at various times as being a more practical seating arrangement for sports coupes.

There is no denying that having rear seats is useful, but it’s important to remember that the rear two seats in a 2+2 are generally meant for occasional use only.

You will find that these rear seats are simply not suitable for taller occupants or longer journeys.

Instead, the +2 seating is helpful if you are transporting a couple of extra passengers over a short distance (as these seats generally comply with all legal requirements as they have their own seatbelts) or possibly for carting around small children … but even then if your jurisdiction requires the use of car seats the rear seating may be impractical.

In our view you should think of the 2+2 format as giving you the option to occasionally transport a couple of passengers in the rear. If you need to move more than two people around on a regular basis, then look elsewhere. The +2 seating can also act as a useful parcel shelf or storage area, as well as be used for transporting furry passengers.

+2 seats on the Nissan 300ZX … not exactly the best for a long road trip.

Should You Buy A 2+2 Car?

Ultimately, the answer to this question depends on how much practicality and seating space you require.

If you need to transport more than two people on a regular basis (and the car will be your daily driver or only vehicle) then don’t go for a 2+2 … you will tire quickly of the lack of legroom and space, or at least your passengers will.

On the other hand, if you genuinely believe that you can get by with what is basically a two seater with the capability to occasionally transport an additional passenger or two, then a 2+2 coupe could be a great compromise option.

What do you think about 2+2 seating? Would you buy a 2+2 car? Let us know in the comments below – we would love to hear from you!


  • Sam

    Sam focuses mainly on researching and writing the growing database of Car Facts articles on Garage Dreams, as well as creating interesting list content. He is particularly enthusiastic about JDM cars, although has also owned numerous European vehicles in the past. Currently drives a 3rd generation Suzuki Swift Sport, and a Volkswagen Touareg (mainly kept for taking his border collie out to the hills to go walking)

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