Search Cars for Sale

The Biggest New Car Trend Is Split Rear Pillars

Here’s something you may not have noticed: The biggest new trend in the car world is not automated driving, or active safety features, or increasingly massive wheels that cost $9,000 to replace when you damage them on a pothole. The biggest new trend in the car world is split rear pillars. And many, many new cars have them.

I noticed this when I was walking around the New York Auto Show, photographing weird things on vehicles, more of which I will show you over the next few weeks. After a couple of split rear pillars, it seemed interesting. Then I kept looking, and I saw dozens of them. EVERYONE is splitting the rear pillars. EVERYONE!

What exactly do I mean by “split rear pillars”? Well, peruse the images above, and you’ll see precisely what I’m talking about. Vehicles formerly had their C- or D-pillars body-colored, with no break, and now they’re split by some piece of black plastic or other trim. It’s the latest styling element to make a car look fresh and cool, and virtually everyone is doing it — from the Range Rover (which basically started this trend decades ago) to the latest Hyundai and Kia models.

So why the split rear pillars? Style is certainly one reason, but I think it goes beyond that. In most cars, the giant body panel in back that contains the rear pillar is the biggest panel on the car — and it often goes from the roof over the windows and down the rear pillar, and covers the entire rear fender and rocker panels. My assumption is that many automakers are splitting up this panel to simplify the production process and cut their own costs, allowing them to create two smaller panels which are cheaper to make, cheaper to ship (to factories where cars are built) and cheaper to install.

Of course, this may not actually be the case, as I know some cars with split rear panels really are just incorporating the component for style and keeping their huge rear panel. But surely some aren’t. And regardless of the motives for doing it, you’ve heard it here first: The next “big thing” in the car world is a split rear pillar. Don’t be surprised if your next vehicle has it. Find a car for sale

Here’s Everything I Hate About My Cheap Ferrari F355
The BMW M760i Is the Most Expensive BMW Ever
Autotrader Find: 1989 Cadillac Allante With 1,600 Miles


Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

Sign up for Autotrader newsletters

The best cars and best deals delivered to your inbox

Email Address 

By subscribing, you agree to our privacy policy

Where You Can Buy

Loading dealers...


Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: First Look

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid jumps to the head of the hybrid class.

Best Truck Deals: June 2022

These are the best deals on trucks for the month of June 2022.

Here Are 5 Great 1980s Performance Cars for Sale on Autotrader

Looking for a fun 1980s car? Look no further.

Search By Style

More Articles Like This