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Why Don't Sedans Have Rear Wipers?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2016

Here's something that maybe one of you people will know: Why can't I have a rear wiper on a sedan? This is something that's always irked me, like when you're at the airport, and you're behind someone on an escalator, and then the escalator ends, and they get off, and then they stop for a few seconds just to look around.

For a little background, here's what I'm talking about: It seems like every single hatchback in the modern era has a rear wiper. It also seems that basically every single one of today's SUVs has a rear wiper. Apparently, the thinking is that "tailgate" equates to "rear wiper" -- or maybe it has something to do with the fact that SUVs and hatchbacks have vertical rear glass, while the rear glass in non-SUVs and non-hatchbacks is more horizontal.

BUT SO WHAT????

On many occasions, when I'm driving a sedan or a coupe through a rainstorm, I'll look in the back and see the rear window completely covered in water -- and yet I'm stuck inside the car, wiperless, with no way to clear it. Now, I admit that it doesn't seem like water collects on a sedan's rear window as much as it does on the rear window of an SUV or hatchback, but it's still there -- and without a rear wiper, I can't get rid of it.

Clearly, I'm not the only person who has thought of this, because there's precedent for rear wipers on sedans and coupes. For years, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution had a rear wiper, despite being a normal sedan with a normal trunk. My 1990 Nissan Skyline GT-R had a rear wiper, even though it was a normal coupe with a normal trunk. And I used it all the time! And you can purchase, today, right now, a Porsche 911 with no rear hatchback, with no vertical rear window... and with a rear wiper!

So why can't you do this for other vehicles?! Why is it that an SUV without a rear wiper is a curious anomaly, while a sedan or a coupe without one is normal automotive existence? WHY IS THIS???? WHY CAN'T I HAVE A SEDAN WITH A REAR WIPER??? WHY?!?!?!??!!?

I look forward to your answers.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Why Don't Sedans Have Rear Wipers? - Autotrader