Have I mentioned before how much I love that feeling of learning some new weird detail about a car? I love it. I chase it like a goddamn junkie. I’m in the throes of that sensation right now, thanks to a new pusher of mine, a guy named Hans who first tipped me off about the Lancia Gamma. Now he’s got a new fix for me, but, unlike the Gamma, this one is about something terribly wonderful instead of wonderfully terrible. It’s a feature on the 1987 to 1999 Nissan Cedric (or Gloria) Wagon.
This is one of those features that, when you see it, you’ll wonder why the hell isn’t this offered on pretty much every wagon, crossover, and SUV available today? It’s so simple and brilliant and deliriously, deliciously rational that your chest will ache with the intense, uncut cleverness of it all.
Want to know what it is? Of course you do. You’re human. You seek delight.
See that little key hole there on the C-pillar? That’s unusual, right? What could that be for? It’s for this:
Look! Do you see what’s going on there? The key, inserted into the hole on the C-pillar, lowers the rear cargo-area window!
Why does it do that, you may be asking, the answer bubbling and percolating on the tip of your cerebrum? To load things in the car, from the side! Keep in mind, this is a right-hand drive JDM car, so it’s only on the left, curb side, where one would be standing if the car was parallel-parked on the side of a road.
Just imagine this common scene: you’ve parked on the side of the road, it’s busy, and there’s someone parked right behind you, close and tight. There’s no room to get behind your car to open the tailgate, and yet here you are, just emerged from a store, carrying a big, warm, plastic 15-gallon bag filled with clam chowder.
How do you load it in your car? You can’t get the tailgate open, and if you try and cram it in through a door it’ll just make a mess all over the place. But, you, clever Nissan Cedric/Gloria wagon owner, you know better!
Turn that key, vvvvvtttt, the window drops, in you slide your chowder bag, and window back up! Brilliant, easy, wonderful.
What I can’t figure out is why this isn’t a bigger deal! This feels like one of those little but significant convenience details that makes people pick one car over another — so why can I find hardly any mentions of it at all, even in Nissan’s own brochures?
Why isn’t one of those little pictures showing someone loading things into the side window? Or even just the window down, so you know it’s possible?
It’s not like it seems to be an unusual feature, either. They all look to have it, based on that extra black window frame 2/3 of the way back in the window. Look, if you look at the other, non-opening side you can see it doesn’t have that bar there:
…but on the opening window side, there it is:
And they all seem to have it, wagons Cedric and Gloria alike:
This seems like absolute madness to me. How can it be that the only picture I’ve seen of the window lowered has been on one site selling one of these wagons?
This makes no sense. I’ve tried to find some commercial or ad or reference of any kind about this glorious feature, and I’m not coming up with anything.
Hell, the commercials don’t even seem to show the wagon at all:
I mean, they have plenty of mood, though:
I did find a walk-around video, but it just glances past the side window keyhole and doesn’t even pause:
Sure, the jump seat is cool and all, but zero other wagons have the outside-activated opening side cargo area window feature and I do not understand how one could ignore that.
I checked for the Gloria variants, too, but just found very blond golfer Jack Nichlaus saying that he enjoys the “silent comfort of Gloria,” which is so creepy to hear out of context:
Hopefully, despite the visual evidence I crave, you’re convinced. A curb-side exterior-activated lowering cargo-area side window would be so handy for pretty much any SUV or crossover today, for so many reasons.
Getting a dog in there, instead of putting you and the pup in the way of traffic in a parking lot! Giving that dog a bit of air while driving! Loading things in while parked on the road! Letting someone load things in while you’re in the car, having pulled up to some roadside whatever!
It’s just a good idea that’s not a big deal to implement and the fact that it seems to be limited to just this one make and model is baffling to me.
Automakers, wake the fuck up. Copy this feature from these old Y30 generation Nissan Cedrics and Glorious shamelessly, and shoot video of people using the side-load window feature with influencer style and glee.
Then rake in the money. You’re welcome.