The TCC List: 12 Cars With Roll-Up Windows

October 27, 2010
2011 Ford Fiesta

2011 Ford Fiesta

You might be swayed to spend a lot of money on new-car features--but if you're cheap or scare easily at the thought of big repair bills, can you still get manually operated wind-up windows?

Sure you can. It's becoming ever more uncommon, but even though power windows are almost ubiquitous in new cars sold in America, some vehicles still start out with roll-ups.

Most new vehicles come with power windows for good reason: cost. It seems odd, but installing wind-up windows could actually be more expensive in some vehicles. It's less complex, and therefore cheaper, to toss them in instead of deleting them, which would mean new door panels and new mechanisms and new engineering.It's only a difficult choice in the very least expensive new cars, or in some ultra-high-end exotica where automotive anorexia is a good thing.

So if you're a Luddite, or hate things breaking, or just want to scrimp in every way possible on your new car, more than a dozen new cars will fit your peculiar bill. The break-over point lies somewhere between subcompacts and compacts, though. Anything larger, and you'll be clicking a switch, instead of winding a lever, to get some fresh air.

These 12 vehicles still offer manual windows as standard equipment, though all of them can be optioned up into the modern era:

Chevrolet Aveo: In the final year of life, the base Aveo still comes with wind-up windows.

Chevrolet Cobalt: Its replacement comes with standard power windows, but some 2010 Cobalt sedans go the manual route.

Ford Fiesta: It's a party inside and out, but you'll need to roll down the windows yourselves.

Ford Focus: In its last year of production, the old Focus has a wind-up-window model--and so does the new 2012 version.

Hyundai Accent: The base Accent comes with wind-up windows only.

Kia Rio: You can get power features on higher-spec models, but base cars will need elbow power.

Kia Forte: The highly-rated Forte sedan skimps on the switches in its base form.

Nissan Versa: No Versa 1.6 sedan can be equipped with power windows.

Smart Fortwo: Pure coupes omit power windows.

Toyota Corolla and Matrix: Manual windows are standard on the base versions of the Corolla sedan.

Toyota Yaris: Power windows are an option on the base Yaris sedan.


And frankly, you might be surprised that these vehicles can't be had with roll-ups:

Chevrolet HHR and Chrysler PT Cruiser: These fleet specials get power windows, even in commercial versions

Honda Fit and Honda Civic: The competition cuts power features on base models, but all Hondas have power windows.

Mazda2: The similar Ford Fiesta does with wind-up windows on some versions, but all Mazda2 hatchbacks are power-windowed.

Mazda MX-5 Miata and Porsche Boxster Spyder: You'd think two essential sports cars with light weight as a selling point could do without, but the Spyder and Miata have power windows.

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