By on August 14, 2013

mercedes-benz-gla-1

Normally this is something I would have saved for our “TTAC Staff” news items, but I’m the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz GLA is significant. We’ve reached the event horizon for compact crossovers and their global proliferation.

There’s long been a dichotomy in North America regarding SUVs and station wagons. Ask a certain group of car enthusiast and they’ll tell you that Americans, in their profligacy and pig-headedness, preferred wasteful, dynamically unsatisfying SUVs built on archaic ladder-frame truck underpinnings, or worse, crossovers, which had all the drawbacks of both cars and trucks. According to our wagon evangelists, Europhiles and tenured academics (oftentimes the three intersected), Europeans were wiser in preferring more efficient, car-based station wagons, which were more European and therefore superior to two-box vehicles with taller ride heights.

The past two years have turned that notion on its head. Buyers from Amsterdam to Mumbai to Zaragoza have been flocking to compact crossovers like the Opel Mokka and Dacia Duster, while those who have been less hard hit by the Eurozone crisis are flocking to the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. Even in emerging markets like Brazil, small crossovers are in demand (click here for Marcelo’s definitive explanation of why these vehicles are so well suited for developing countries). It turns out that a raised driving position, higher ride height and SUV-like styling have resonated with consumers the world over. A list of France’s top-selling crossovers shows that 9 of the top 10 sellers are available in North America as well as Europe.

Products like the Mokka, Duster, the Renault Captur and VW Tiguan are all first-generation vehicles, and the segment itself is one of the few bright spots in a dismal European car market. There is plenty of room for growth too. The Nissan Qashqai, credited with inventing the segment in outside North America, has only been on sale since 2007, but its instant success has meant that nearly every brand is readying a competitor for the Qashqai or the smaller, B-segment Juke, for sale in the next couple years.

Beyond Europe, these vehicles are also gaining ground in global markets like the BRIC countries, Australia and even America, where Buick can’t keep enough rebadged Mokkas (dubbed the Encore) on dealer lots. Globally, Range Rover’s Evoque has been an unprecedented success, with Jaguar Land Rover unable to meet demand despite building the cars literally 24 hours a day.

Consumers aside, small crossovers are a profitable proposition for car makers as well. The Encore and Mokka share the Gamma II platform with more modest offerings like the Chevrolet Spin (a low cost minivan built in Indonesia and Brazil) and the Sonic subcompact in North America and Australia. While a Sonic can cost just over $14,000, an Encore’s base price is roughly $10,000 more. And one look at an Encore will reveal that the two cars aren’t terribly different both inside and out (even sharing the same 1.4: turbocharged powertrain).

For luxury car makers like Mercedes-Benz, which is introducing a new compact front-wheel drive architecture, the GLA will serve a similar purpose as the higher margin version of a premium compact sedan. Crucially for Mercedes, it will finally have something to compete against the Audi A3 and BMW X1, rather than letting its two rivals gobble up market share. While BMW continues to build the X1 in Germany, Audi and Mercedes have chosen lower cost production sites like Spain and Mexico (for Audi) and Hungary (for Mercedes) which can help maintain profit margins while also keeping assembly costs down.

The success of these vehicles mean that these vehicles aren’t going anywhere, and current conditions will only help entrench them further. Consumer tastes, the need for ever greater economies of scale through increased volume and utilizing of existing platforms. The enhanced potential for profit through these vehicles means that auto makers will be doing all they can to sell them worldwide. They also provide a regulatory boost for many OEMs when it comes to CAFE or Euro emissions regulations, as the smaller, more-efficient compact crossovers offset less efficient luxury and performance vehicles.

Luckily, wagons aren’t going anywhere, especially outside North America. But compact crossovers are here to stay. And I was totally wrong about them.

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134 Comments on “Editorial: Event Horizon For Compact Crossovers...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    ” And I was totally wrong about them”

    Even monkeys fall out of trees

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Although fortunately for we enthusiasts crossovers are now getting to the point in center of gravity and lower suspensions that they are now just “angry wagons.”

    What is the Mercedes above if not just an angry wagon? What is the Ford Flex other than the greatest Country Squire ever built? (Especially with turbo 6 and AWD.) Is the Mazda CX-5 simply a Mazda 3 wagon traveling incognito?

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Let’s not get carried away. The CX-5 is still very much a CUV, and sits nowhere near as low as a 3.

      It is a good point though and I think an agreeable trend. BMW X1 is another example. Not as low as a 1-series, but I find its presence much closer to a car than a truck.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        .CX-5 is not very much Zoom-zoom when a Buick Encore can beat it in Motor Trend’s figure eight test.

        I’m a year into my Encore AWD and impressed overall with the CUV. If I had to pick one while for the rest of my life this would be it, automatic transmission and all. Even the girl friend wants to trade me her 2012 Forester for the Encore.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      No, the CX-5 is longer than the Mazda3, with a roomier backseat. The Mazda5 will be a minivan version of the Mazda3.

      Personally I’d love to see Mazda bring out a CX-3 to slot in below the CX-5.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      <3 Ford Flex.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        Ford needs to offer that model in more and brighter colors; School Bus Yellow with the black roof cap in the Ti package would be an ideal combination.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I like the small crossover. Big and even medium SUVs look silly and are wasteful. But something like a Tiguan strikes just the right balance, IMO, recalling the weird but fun proportions of the old Civic RT-AWD wagons.

    Wifey just got a Rabbit, but when that is up for trade in I will DEFINITELY look into stuff like the Tiguan and Outlander Sport in addition to the GTI, Jetta TDI wagon and Passat 2.0T wagon I really wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      probert

      Tiguan is pretty big (those hips don’t lie) and how do say “I just got a Tiguan.” without feeling self conscious. Take a look at the Kia Sportage awd – near sports car handling and – to my eyes – a beauty. Maybe you won’t like it but it’s worth a look.

      And if you’re German biased, it’s styled by the former head of Audi design.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Schreyer is very good indeed, and has done fabulous work at Kia. At Audi, the original TT design can justifiably be called iconic.

        But that said, he never was actually the head of design at Audi.

    • 0 avatar
      IndianaDriver

      I have a 2013 Outlander Sport that gets about 25 city/32 highway mpg and have hit as high as 34 highway mpg with 2WD. It specs. at 8.5″ ground clearance, but I swear it’s higher. I’ve taken it through 7″ high snow with no problems at all. It has a high seating position too. I understand the CUV craze, because people want the height of an SUV, but the gas mileage of a car. When it’s usually just you in the vehicle, why bother getting a bigger SUV.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I would like something like the old AMC Eagle…actual getting through crap capability with wagon utility. I really don’t think any of these AWD crossovers can make it through more than 2 or 3 inches of snow without somehow getting stuck.

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      The new Jeep Cherokee broke embargo today and there are reviews all over the internet. It could be the crossover for you NoGoYo

      I’ve said for awhile that the compact crossover will soon be the best selling form factor.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I mean, I can’t afford a new car, but as long as I live somewhere where it snows every winter, I’d like to have something that looks at snow and laughs.

        I look at the Edge, Explorer, Sorento, Santa Fe, and all these other AWD crossovers with meh ground clearance and huge wheels and see vehicles that cannot make it through snow worth a damn.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          How much snow do you get? I’ve had no issue with an Explorer or Flex in Detroit and Northern Michigan. The Edge Sport is an exception, as its 22s with summer tires make it worthless in snow.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Really? They sure don’t look like they can handle snowfall…

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Nose heavy FWD (available AWD) usually does pretty dang good in the snow. My old Chevy Celebrity with a heavy Iron Duke and roughly 70/30 weight distribution was the bomb in snow as long as there was pavement underneath.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Most of the time I drive a Ford Focus hatchback with 15″ steel wheels and winter tires in the winter. It does better in the Detroit area than most CUVs with AWD and all season rubber.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            What PrincipalDan said. I was the proud owner of one of the worst weight distributed vehicles on the planet, a Ford EXP at 68/32. I drove that through several New Hampshire winters and with only M+S All Season crappy OEM Goodyears. The car was literally unstoppable with all that weight pulling it along, again, unless the snow got so deep that the wheels could no longer find pavement,

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The more I see it, the more I like it! The folks at Toledo Assembly have sh!t-eating grins that haven’t been seen in a long while!

  • avatar
    thegamper

    It is rather humorous how much packaging means in the auto business. In the US, consumers tend to stay away from hatchbacks and wagons, yet call it a crossover add a few inches of ride height an AWD option and the same vehicles are selling in droves and at a premium. Personally, I dont really care for the crossover and would rather have the wagon/hatch. I would so love a new Mazda6 wagon, beautiful vehicle, but alas, I am ‘Merican and have to choose only from taller, bloated and more expensive equivalents known as crossovers. I had a Flex for my wife and loved it, but it was lease, want to purchase one before they stop making them. It is a simply brilliant Country Squire as Principaldan has pointed out. In any event, I am pleased that the larger box on frame SUV has been laid to rest.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Amazing and humorous indeed. It’s all about perception. My wife could be the poster child for this phenomenon. “No, I’ll never be caught dead in a wagon! Give me a Venza, Crosstour or Tiguan instead.”

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Or people who treat minivans the same way, but would then turn around and drive a CX-9 or other 3-row family haulers.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Real men drive wagons ( or at least that is what I tell myself when I get in my Jetta TDI sports wagon every morning)

        • 0 avatar
          Mark MacInnis

          Real men do drive wagons. Just as real men take care of and support their wives and families. Posuer men drive midnight blue BMW sedans. Don’t take my word for it…a survey I saw yesterday said that males between 34-50 driving midnight blue BMW Sedans are the most rude and discourteous drivers….

          Of course, I don’t know what kind of mix message we get from Real men who drive midnight blue BMX 3 and 5 series Touring editions….

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      CUV = “whatever you do, don’t you dare call it a wagon.” As one who’s enjoying his Flex wagon immensely, I say too many people are concerned with what it’s called than what it is.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” Angry Wagons ”

    ” What is the Mercedes above if not just an angry wagon? What is the Ford Flex other than the greatest Country Squire ever built? ” .

    I don’t get it ~ to me ‘ Crossovers’ are just modern Station Wagons ~

    Nice if you like new cars , I’ve had plenty of Station Wagons over the decades and still have one : 1984/5 Mercedes Euro Spec. 300TD , a very nice Wagon but it’s surly a car even though it can be worked like a truck .

    Wagons are great Family Trucksters IMO .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I took a more measured approach to the Encore’s unveiling, thinking it was smart to offer both a smaller alternative to the Enclave (though maybe too small; they need something in the middle) and something more youth-oriented.

    BUT I didn’t come right out and declare “This thing will FLY off the lots” the way it currently is. I thought it would do okay, but I didn’t think it would exceed Buick’s own expectations.

    The Encore caught everyone by surprise, including Buick and its competitors, who are scrambling to bring pint-sized competition to the market. It may not be the car – or the segment – for me, but I feel that this development somewhat validates GM sticking with Buick in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Encore sales in the US are about on par with US sales of the VW Golf. It isn’t really a hit, it’s just selling a bit better than expected.

      • 0 avatar
        marc

        “It isn’t really a hit, it’s just selling a bit better than expected.”

        Ah, but that’s not what you hear if you listen to the autblogoshpere. Somehow we’re being led to believe that us dumb ass Americans are just finally learning what Europe alrady knows, that the Mini Sport Cute is the pefect answer to the question (nobody asked).

        Nope, I’m not buying this line. The Encore is averaging about 2500 a month. That’s not flying off the lots. The X1 even less, around 2000 a month. And we don’t even get the Q3.

        So why the reverse hype for a middling selling Buick? I believe it’s that Euro snobbery that Derek is spinning here about the GLA. “Event Horizon?” Not even close. Very few people outside of the “I want everything that Europe gets, only I won’t actually buy it” crowd are interested in this vehicle. This class of cars sells in miniscule numbers, and I would venture many of the sales would have gone somehwere to the same dealer. Is someone banging on the BMW dealer’s door for an X1? No, they are buying one instead of a 3 series wagon or X3. At a lower price mind you.

        So we can stop with the hype about the Encore flying off the lots. As with so much else on the ‘nets, the realities and facts just doesn’t back that up. Oh, and we don’t have another game changer in the GLA.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “So why the reverse hype for a middling selling Buick?”

          On August 5, Automotive News published an article entitled “GM moves to ease shortage of ‘red hot’ Encores.” The “red hot” part comes from a dealer quoted in the article, who used the term in the past tense, and who noted that his store was now getting more inventory after a period when supplies had been limited.

          The blogosphere took the headline and ran with it. But the numbers aren’t really there to support the position. At this point, it looks like a 30,000-35,000 unit vehicle — not terrible for a niche vehicle, but not amazing and certainly nowhere close to a high-volume mainstream performer.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Agreed about Derek’s hyperbole over Encore sales.

          The bar of expectations was set very low, and only by that relative metric is it successful.

          We were treated to two articles in the last week, one proclaiming that the Camry, selling nearly a 1/2 million units in the U.S. yearly was a “stealth failure,” and the maybe 28k a year Encore is a massive success.

        • 0 avatar

          You misunderstand two things here:

          1) I thought the Encore would be a flop. It’s not. This post was part mea culpa. Nobdy said it was doing CR-V volumes though

          2) I am not here to herald the GLA as some kind of market-altering product. I think it is signficant that M-B is choosing to enter this space since the X1 and Q3 are popular in world markets and Mercedes has yet to have a competitor. My point is that small crossovers are here to stay, especially in Europe, land of the wagon. This has not traditionally been the case. I think it will extend to Brazil, China, Russia etc. The X1 and GLA may not do big volumes in America but this is going to be a growth segment globally.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “I think it is signficant that M-B is choosing to enter this space”

            The automakers are looking for cost efficiencies. For Daimler, this is another way to squeeze something more out of the A-class platform.

            It’s also a defensive move of sorts. Everyone wants to jump into it, assuming that they have something to lose if they don’t. Crossovers have been a growing segment ever since Toyota created the RAV-4, and the luxury makes are clearly on the crossover bandwagon in the larger size classes.

            These things don’t need to be a home run in order to justify their existence. Just so long as they amortize a sufficient quantity of the costs of their respective platform families, that will be good enough.

          • 0 avatar

            That was something I discussed in the article

            “For luxury car makers like Mercedes-Benz, which is introducing a new compact front-wheel drive architecture, the GLA will serve a similar purpose as the higher margin version of a premium compact sedan.”

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            It’s interesting to watch, but this seems more evolutionary than revolutionary.

            Crossovers have been on the rise for two decades. They’ve become increasingly common in Europe, too, but for larger size classes. This whole thing has not been very quick.

            Moving down the size ladder seems like an obvious place to go. If your customers are already buying crossovers and your goal is to capture more customers who (a) have less money to spend and/or (b) want better fuel economy, then it makes sense to simply build a smaller version of what you’re already producing on an existing platform of similar size.

            It seems that the German luxury brands aren’t quite sure yet that this effort will succeed; this time around, they are trying to get ahead of the curve. But it doesn’t cost them that much to find out, so they may as well give it a shot. The fact that VW, Daimler and BMW all have small car platforms begging for more cost amortization doesn’t hurt, either.

          • 0 avatar

            PCH,

            With respect to the larger sizes, what were the popular models prior to 2007? I ask this because I was under the impression that the Nissan Qashqai really sparked growth in this segment, although I suppose that the Land Rover Freelander was also a hit at least in the UK.

          • 0 avatar

            PCH,

            Your comment get deleted as I was trying to get it out of the spam filter. I am trying to figure out why this keeps happening. My apologies. Feel free to re-post.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I didn’t express myself properly with the last comment. My intention was to refer to the European, particularly German, luxury brands, not to the industry as a whole.

            Porsche, BMW, etc. have been making larger crossovers, such as the Cayenne, X3, X5 and Mercedes M-class for some time now, and with reasonable success. Given the increasing demand for crossovers generally and the desire of the German premium brands to expand their reach, it’s not surprising to see them getting into the subcompact premium crossover space.

            The market for premium small crossovers hasn’t yet been proven. But it’s worth the effort, and I’m not surprised to see the effort being made, given trends in the industry. There’s a time long ago when it would have made no sense at all, but now it’s a smart and calculated risk.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It depends on how you describe a hit. If it is selling 50% better than expected (25K vs 18K expected) and it is from an unfashionable name plate in a market segment size-wise that doesn`t normally sell well in the US then it could justifiably be called a hit.
        Selling what the Golf does is pretty good considering the Golf is cheaper and a more established name from a brand that sells more cars than Buick.

        • 0 avatar
          marc

          Percentages are not a great indicator on numbers as small as the Encore’s.

          My point is not to diss the Encore. I am completely ambivalent about the vehicle itself. My point is to debunk the author’s point that a sea change is happening in this class of vehicles, of which the GLA will be the captain.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I agree with your last paragraph that there hasn`t been a huge sea change since this will be a small segment of the market.
            You say the hype about Encore’s flying off lots should be stopped. But if days to turn from data on Edmunds and others is of <20 days and production having to be increased to meet demand then maybe in this instance the hype is justified for now. I wouldn`t judge the success or otherwise of this vehicle from just 7 months data I would want to see how it does in the second model year and see if the sales success against all expectations is maintained.

          • 0 avatar
            marc

            That’s fair. But my point really isn’t about the Encore, which may be the cream of this crop. It may be a neat little car. And it certainly is selling better than expected. But Derek is deluding himself and readers into thinking that its (and the X1s) paltry numbers indicate a path to success for the GLA, his hyperbolic Event Horizon.

          • 0 avatar

            THe event horizon already happened. It’s called the Dacia/Renault Duster. After that car’s success, everybody wanted in on the action.

            As a foreruuner to the Duster, there was the Ford EcoSport (Brazil and selected markets only). It gave the formula a test run and was deemed very successful. So much so that’ll be in Europe soon enough, and maybe the US. The Duster will also make it there albeit wearing a Japanese kimono.

            (Last 2 statements pure speculation on my part)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “My point is to debunk the author’s point that a sea change is happening in this class of vehicles”

            You can rest assured that there will be a flood of this type of vehicles, given the increasing popularity of crossovers.

            This segment also represents a good bet for the luxury brands, since they can build them easily enough on shared platforms. It’s an affordable experiment; it costs more to avoid trying it.

            We’ll see how well these sell. If it turns out to have been a flop, then this will become obvious over the next 5-10 years or so. Personally, I think that it will be a niche that will be just large enough to justify its existence, but the competition will be fierce. There will be no shortage of choices.

          • 0 avatar
            jimbob457

            The little Encore/Mokka is on pace for 10,000 units in Germany with maybe another 5,000 or so in the rest of Europe for calendar 2013.
            It is still mostly a product for the Chinese market. China accounts for around 60% of its global total.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I actually saw an evoque in the wild a couple days ago, windows really are like little slits.
    Seems compact crossovers are simply what’s in, they seem to only be taking sales from small cars, but hey if someone wants a lifted compact for a 10k premium, well there’s a sucker born every minute. They just don’t make any sense for the sensible consumer.

    Also reminded me of an article I read where someone tried to explain how an el camino had all the worst parts of a car and truck put together, can’t help but to wonder about some people…

    • 0 avatar
      Waterview

      Saw one this morning on the way in to work and couldn’t agree more. Looked at it several different times trying to find something redeeming about it – simply couldn’t. But if it’s someone’s “dream car”, then please, be my guest.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        I am not a SUV/CUV guy at all I drive a wagon but If I wanted a CUV/SUV with a statement the Evoque would be it, nothing looks like it , it may be a bear to drive but gotta admit it would be the only Rover I would even look at if I won power ball

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I have to respectfully disagree. Compared to their car brethren, most CUVs get a couple inches extra length and height, as well as an increased towing capacity. We have a Mazda 3 hatch, and had the CX-5 existed when we were shopping, I don’t doubt we would have purchased one of those instead. My biggest gripe with the 3 is trunk length: you cannot fit a large suitcase longitudinally, the hatch needs to be 3 inches longer, where the CX-5 has that length. Rear legroom is also better.

      The mileage penalty is also now at the point (33-35 vs 40) that it really makes little difference in overall running cost to go with the cute-ute over the compact hatch.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Maybe the crumbling infrastructure has something to do with it? Having a few inches extra ground clearance and a bit more suspension travel can make a big difference when on bad roads. Raising the impact zone can also make it safer while a higher seating position can also provide better forward visibility and easier entry and exit.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I wonder what the average buyer age is on these. They seem tailor made for old folks (easy to get in and out, easy on gas, reasonably practical).

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Mid 50′s I would imagine. Most that I see are driven by 50 somethings with minivan eschewing soccer moms as a somewhat distant second.

        The CUV craze is an early indicator of consumer product offerings shifting to meet the tastes of an aging boomer population.

        • 0 avatar
          bunkie

          Interesting point. As a so-called “aging boomer”, I must admit that I’ve been attracted by certain CUVs. My wife, however, wants nothing to do with them, period.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Ha! In my household it’s the other way around.

            My wife loves her 2012 Grand Cherokee, and before that her 2008 Highlander.

            I don’t care for either of them since I’m happy as a clam with my 2011 Tundra.

            But if I had to compromise I would choose a Sequoia. Just the right size and masculine enough for a man to be seen driving it.

            A friend of mine had to do just that. His wife wanted a compact AWD CUV; he wanted a 4×4 Suburban (hunting, fishing, boating, etc).

            They bought a 2012 4×4 Sequoia and all’s well.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Mercedes will sell every single GLA they can build. The question is why Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti, Lexus, and Porsche and aren’t in this space yet.

    I think it’s well established that the luxury SUV/crossover is encroaching on the luxury sedan in all size categories as the aspirational vehicle of choice. The 3 box format won’t go away because it sends a clearer signal of social rank than the 2 box format, but no one thinks you’re crazy for cross shopping an S-class with a GL-class, or an E-class with an ML-class.

    • 0 avatar

      Audi has the Q3, Lexus has a small crossover coming soon, Porsche has the Macan.

      • 0 avatar
        marc

        But the US doesn’t get the Q3, the Lexus NX is supposed to be based on the RAV4, making it an X3, GL, RDX competitor. And the Macan is based on the Q5. These mini utes (a market of 2 right now-X1 and Encore)are not the future, no matter how much Europe likes them or how much the autoblogosphere wishes the US was more like Europe. If you base the success on how well the class is doing, I’d say the future looks bleak for the GLA.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Supposedly Lexus will reveal an NX to slot below the RX later this fall. Porsche has the Macan coming as well.

    • 0 avatar
      npaladin2000

      Caddy JUST got into the C segment for the first time (unless you count the Cimmaron and Catera…which most people don’t). I don’t think they’re ready to hit the B segment just yet.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I agree with not doing B segment, but disagree on forgetting the previous attempts. You can laugh off Cimmaron as 80s GM Xeroxing, but they were serious about Catera and it was a dismal failure to its unfortunate owners.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      Doesn’t the Infiniti EX occupy this space? It does seem to fly very far under the radar but they’re still offering them.

      • 0 avatar
        WaftableTorque

        I consider the EX to be an X3/GLK competitor. The Q3 and Macan aren’t even available yet.

        I feel rather sorry for the EX. The Q5 and RX outsells it in Canada 4:1, and even the G it’s based on outsells it by a good 40%. It’s as if Infiniti is losing marketshare by following the Audi playbook.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Your implication that people who buy German luxury wouldn’t be caught dead buying an Encore is probably correct.

    This is the big HUGE miss:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/januarys-best-sellers-fusion-closing-in-on-accord-for-numero-dos/

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      Just came back from vacation and some observations:

      Nissan is selling the Altima to rental fleets in MASSIVE quantities. I just could not believe the number of new Altima’s I saw as rental units roaming the streets. The same goes for the Fusion.

      Funny though, the rental car I most admired were the W-body Impala’s.

      I think I must buy one now. What a perfect family car.

      I dont doubt a 6 speed auto, 300hp 2012 Impala couldnt be had for well under $15k in the very near future if not now.

      Why buy anything else? How are any of the new mid-sizers better cars especially in view of upfront purchase price and long-term durability?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        The future is now. Check your local auto trader. If you don’t have to have an LTZ model you can get an LS or LT with less than 50,000 miles for less than $15,000. Some of them are even CPO.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Whats that got to do with the topic of the article? Must everything you post include some pro-Honda item (even if you are correct, which in this case you are). Lets try and stay somewhere near the topic for the article.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    IMHO….

    This is THE best looking of the small cross-over bunch. The X1 has disgusting proportions and the X3 looks cheap unless in full sport trim. The Q5 is a good solid design.

    I also want to throw a theory out there regarding the new CLS/S/CLA/GLA

    To date, the new S Class and this GLA wear the new MB design language best. It is very effective on the S Class and on this new GLA.

    On the flip side, try as I might, the new CLS doesnt look right. My theory is that the design language was “forced” onto the CLS to both debut the new theme AND evolve the original CLS design motif; it doesnt work.

    The S Class and this GLA were designed from the ground-up to wear this new language without trying to link to their past design DNA.

    Anyways, I think MB has a winner here with the GLA and it is going to outsell the CLA 2:1 in North America.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I won’t specifically disagree with the detailed analysis presented here because its spot on, but I’ll add these things are simply a fad until the next “big thing” comes out or (perhaps sooner) until fuel prices spike. Look what’s happened since 1999:

    City/Hwy/Combined

    1999 Ford Explorer 4.0 V6 4×4 auto
    13/18/15

    1999 Ford Explorer 5.0 V8 4×4 auto
    13/17/14

    2013 Ford Explorer 3.5 V6 AWD auto
    16/22/18

    and although there is no true direct comparison to an actual SUV of old

    2013 Ford Explorer 2.0 I4 FWD auto
    20/28/23

    So in fourteen model years we went from a durable truck based product with true 4×4 to a heavy car with a much more finicky drivetrain, gained over 500 lbs in curb weight (99 XL 4×4 4,128 lbs vs 13 XL AWD 4,697 lbs), added giant wheels with expensive thin tires, and only gained an EPA 3 mpg city and 4 mpg highway driving? So essentially we went forward by going backward and fuddled up the style along the way, this about right?

    I can’t speak for international markets but in the US the next big spike in oil will kill demand for these things because they really haven’t improved any over their SUV counterparts, and SUVs in theory have other uses than hauling your brood around. Oil breaks $150/again for a prolonged period (30+ days) and they’ll be giving these away and you know what I don’t think people will bite this time. There is little to no utility in C-U-V. The only thing to keep them viable in such an environment would be to add diesel or hybrid options to them in order make up for the huge shortfall in fuel economy, even then they’d still be rich lady grocery getters.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=1999&year2=1999&make=Ford&model=Explorer%204WD&srchtyp=ymm

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=33252

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2013&year2=2013&make=Ford&model=Explorer%20FWD&srchtyp=ymm

    http://autos.aol.com/cars-Ford-Explorer-2013/specs/

    http://autos.aol.com/cars-Ford-Explorer-1999/specs/

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Good points sir. To add to your analysis the 2013 5.3 V8 4×4 Tahoe is within 1 MPG of the 2013 Explorer V6 AWD in every category.

      Despite the increased towing capacity, off-road ability, and durability of the Tahoe (not to mention greater interior space) the perception is that the Explorer is modern, smart, and efficient while the Tahoe is a gas-guzzling dinosaur. Which would you rather have?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I’m not a big Explorer fan, but if you aren’t going to ever actually go off-road or tow anything, why not spring for the CUV or minivan?

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          The latest iteration of Explorer is a CUV so my point was that buyers sacrifice a lot of capability without actually gaining much in the way of fuel savings.

          I agree with you on the minivan; it is a much better vehicle than a SUV or CUV for most.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The current Explorer Sport is a best Explorer Ford has ever built. It’s much more powerful, safe, and refined than previous generations. It has a better interior and more striking looks than the Tahoe. I’m not suggesting its more capable than a Tahoe as far as offroading or towing is concerned, but it’s still a capable vehicle.

            The interior materials are a few notches above the Ford or GM BoF SUVs. Hopefully, the next large SUVs have better interiors. Ford has tried the station wagon, and the fantastic Flex just doesn’t move units. The Explorer is more things to more people. The resale has also been crazy. A 2011 Limited will run you more than $30k. I can buy a new Limited for under $37k.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I hate to save it but the minivan has its purposes whereas the CUV does not, it does everything a minivan can do but much more poorly.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            That Chevy Uplander thing seemed to be a competent vehicle…yet I’ve never seen anything else that tried to copy it. I guess it actually sucked.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            How do you mean? IIRC those were just U body minivans, nothing special.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Agree with your larger point but you cannot directly compare 2013 EPA figures with pre 2008 data since the methodology changed making post recent data more stringent and more achievable in the real world. So the gain shave been more than 4 mpg, lets say 6mpg and that is over a 33% increase even with the weight increase.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            A CUV sells better than a Minivan and for more money. These are the capabilities manufacturers care about.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In addition to EPA changes gas wasn’t diluted 10% in 1999 so the figures may be skewed. The best was to do it would prob to use true delta information.

            So if we go with your figure of 6 (to 24mpg), sure that’s a 33% increase in highway driving. But highway driving is an easy figure to increase and that really doesn’t impress me much, my ’90 5.0 Panther could achieve 24mpg on straight highway as recently as 2010 (it was about 15/24/18 in real world conditions).

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Fuel economy figures are obtained from the EPA website (www.fueleconomy.gov) use the more stringent 2008 standards to report the fuel economy ratings of pre-2008 vehicles.

            The fuel economy tests are conducted using ethanol-free fuel. But E10 should reduce fuel economy by only about 3%, so the reported figures will be barely affected, if at all.

      • 0 avatar
        suspekt

        eff’n rights on the Tahoe comment

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Thank you for the complement. If I had to choose of course I would go with the Tahoe, but then again we aren’t the 90 IQ buying public.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Isn`t the average IQ 100? I would have assumed the average new car buyer has at least average IQ if not higher to be able to afford a new car (except maybe the minority of buyers who are sub-prime).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @mike978

            According to attached link its 98 in the US and 97 in Canada. Perhaps not in today’s US but in the past it was not uncommon for people of below average intelligence to find success in life.

            http://www.statisticbrain.com/countries-with-the-highest-lowest-average-iq/

            @seth1065

            You make a great point, mileage may suck but if it does what you need it to and only sees occasional use, why not right?

            If automobile ownership in general (initial cost, maint, insurance) were more affordable, I might join you with an SUV, CUV, or minivan for occasional use. One of my goals in life is to again obtain a dealer plate I can put on any car I own just for such a purpose (I don’t work in the industry anymore so its a lofty goal).

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Gotta disagree my wife has a 05 pilot we have 3 kids and haul a ton if semi useless carp and additional passengers and in town the mileage sucks maybe 17 but you know what who cares a crap she drives about 7,000 miles a year if that, we need the space if gas goes to 6 bucks a gallon we will pay it bc we need the room. My car drives 50,000 miles a year and if diesel goes to $6.00 I am screwed but will pay it, if you do not drive a lot of miles you really do not care that much about the price of gas.

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        The explorer would be my choice if that was the only 2 choices the Tahoe is a boat ( and I am not a FORD lover at all) the better of two bad choices

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Sadly, a dollar or two increase in gas cost won’t make a bit of difference for the simple reason that the folks who can afford new cars in this class won’t care. They can afford it. They buy what they want, and the Crossover is the “in” car to have at the moment.

      Personally I find most of them appalling. My rental this week is a Dodge Journey, and it is nothing but a decently sized minivan ruined in the name of fashion.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m prepared to be wrong but I was still in the business in 2008 during the summer runup and my did SUVs get cheap quickly on the block.

        • 0 avatar
          hf_auto

          Ohh yea, which is why I bought my Range Rover in 2008 and sold it a year and a half later for a profit (if we don’t count repair costs…).

          I’m going to miss all the irrationality of the recession, it made investing so easy. People freaked out about something? Buy it, it’s coming right back in a few years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Don’t worry about the economic irrationality of the past few years, as Arnold says “I’ll be back”.

    • 0 avatar

      To be fair, that weight gain has produced a far safer, more refined vehicle…which manufacturers quickly found our was what the consumer actually cared about.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Gotta disagree my wife has a 05 pilot we have 3 kids and haul a ton if semi useless carp and additional passengers and in town the mileage sucks maybe 17 but you know what who cares a crap she drives about 7,000 miles a year if that, we need the space if gas goes to 6 bucks a gallon we will pay it bc we need the room. My car drives 50,000 miles a year and if diesel goes to $6.00 I am screwed but will pay it, if you do not drive a lot of miles you really do not care that much about the price of gas.

  • avatar
    hf_auto

    I’m a BIG wagon lover/CUV hater, but this GLA is actually pretty compelling, and I feel pretty terrible admitting that. I see an AWESOME city car here.
    - It’s small, so I can get it out of my driveway.
    - Taller seat height might allow me to see over parked cars at intersections and avoid the daily hail-mary merges into traffic.
    - Looks better than a Tiguan and Encore.
    - Hopefully drives better than a Tiguan.
    - Assuming the $30k starting price rumors are correct, it’s priced right, unlike the Tiguan and X1.
    - AWD would be nice for the winter ski trips and occasional fire-road trips in the summer.

    I’ve yet to find a car that combines small size, nice interior, good price, decent styling, handling AND all-wheel drive. This is the most compelling combination I can think of (assuming ~$35k with a decent spec).

  • avatar
    ajla

    “But compact crossovers are here to stay.” -2013

    “But convertibles are here to stay.” -1950

    “But personal luxury cars are here to stay.” -1976

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      You forgot station wagons. Let’s see, from 1950 the convertible lasted another 25 years, the personal luxury car from 1976 which was about the halfway point, another 10 years. If I was a car maker, I think I’d want in on those “fads”

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Hood’s too short and the front overhang’s too long. Looks cheap and FWD to me! Everything else looks great, though.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    This phenomena is a lot easier to understand once you accept the truth that everyone wants to be an American.

    Haha, just kidding. Or am I?

    The GLA looks great. Hopefully they offer it with the diesel in the USA.

  • avatar
    panayoti

    As one of those “old folks” mentioned above, I agree with the author’s major premise of event horizon. I just can’t understand why it took so long to be accepted. I drove pickups for 35 years, and then ventured into the SUV horizon only to be disappointed with the lack of handling, disgusting fuel economy, high insurance costs and terrible fit and finish problems. So I tried a midsize cute Ute, the Kia Sportage. That was much more like it and other than the horrible fuel economy and chintzy interior; it seemed to suit my needs much better than the Envoy that I previously owned. In all honesty, even though I had the top of the line EX model, the car was cheap and not much of a performer at all.

    I then saw a clip of a Subaru Forester pulling a semi out of a snow bank on an interstate in Minnesota and became so enamored with that vision that I bought a brand new 2009 Forester and for the first time I felt that I had the perfect car for me. Horrible gas mileage and inadequate handling and no performance reminded me of the event horizon as I was sucked up again to the inevitable search for the “better vehicle”. I still had enough testosterone that I was willing to return to a more car like vehicle with the utility of the Ute. I ended up with a 2012 Jetta Sportwagen TDI. The handling was there, the mileage was terrific, the utility was there, the fit and finish were there, but I couldn’t get in and out of the damned thing. They put the driver’s seat behind the B pillar and entry/exit was painful.

    This year I looked for something that had a nice ride height and ease of entry/exit along with the other parameters mentioned above. I was drawn to the Mini Countryman which seemed to fit all my parameters. I was wary because it looked so small but as soon as I sat in it, all my fears were allayed. It was perfect. But to get all the things that I wanted and to satisfy what little testosterone that is left, I had to look at the price tag twice. A turbo and AWD added up to more than my budget would allow. Not two months later Fiat introduced the 500L (stop with the wisecracks already). Like the Mini this very small vehicle had scads of room, a frisky little turbo engine, but no AWD, decent fuel economy, lots of utility and some very funky looking appointments, all for $10K less than the Mini. To be totally honest, this thing is just plain fugly. So the author is correct about the event horizon. It is here. But will it stay??

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      A fiat or the Mini is easier to get in or out of than the JSW??? I have a JSW and have no issues but maybe you did but any mini or the Fiat is easier to get in and out of?? Wow I never would have guessed.

  • avatar

    I’ve just changed the car policy at my work and we’ve moved from Holden Commodore V6 petrol wagons to Mazda. The sales guys get a choice of CX5 or 6 wagon both with the diesel. About 90% have chosen the CX5. I prefer wagons but to me the CX5 seems nicer to drive. The Sky Active diesel engine is pretty special too.

    Me personally I’m still a wagon guy but firmly in the minority when it comes to taste. I have the Subaru Legacy GT wagon and still prefer the wagon to the compact SUV. I’m eyeing up an RS4 when it comes time to upgrade the Subaru.

  • avatar
    CelticPete

    It’s been this way for a while now. We were discussing this in the death of the FWD midsize coupe thread. If you are going to give up on dynamics and get a FWD people mover kinda of car. You might as well go all the way and get a CUV.

    Its easier to get in and out of. But its also easier to load stuff in. It’s easier to park. It’s easier to put in car seats. They often hold more things. Sure they give up something dynamically – but a Camry is pretty average to drive anyway..

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @28: It was a minivan with SUV-esque proportions, that’s almost a crossover. And I thought it looked better than its minivan predecessors for sure.

  • avatar
    marc

    I’ve mentioned a couple points in response to posters above, but I think it bears standing alone.

    Derek, I think you are way off on this. The Encore is not nearly the hit some are making it out to be; it is just selling more than expected. But that may be due to any number of factors, like buyers going to a Buick dealership and being unenamored by the Regal (which was last year’s Buick’s savior according to the ‘nets). The X1 is also a sales loser, and is likely cannibalizing sales from other BMWs on the same lot. At a lower MSRP. And that’s about all the US has in this segment.

    Other mini Utes- Juke, Countryman, maybe even Tiguan- are not luxury cars, and they sell in pretty miniscule numbers as well.

    New entries are not on the horizon. The two Derek mentions above-the NX and the Macan are not even in this class, but in one up (think X3, RDX, GL class).

    Sorry to Mercedes, Derek, and everyone who pines for Euro cars but then never actually buys them. This is going to be another niche car for an unecessary (in the US) niche.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I can understand people being unenamored by the Regal but that was Buick’s saviour if you will 3 years ago. Last years was the Verano which is still selling well.

      • 0 avatar
        marc

        Has it been 3 years? My how time flies. Mike, you must be quite the Buick fan. I’m not sure my points have been as much about Buick as about the segment as a whole. (You also must not be American, as you spelled savior with a “u.”)

        My problem is not with the Encore. My problem is with this article’s hyperbole from Derek “game changer” Kriendler.

        “Normally this is something I would have saved for our “TTAC Staff” news items, but I’m the arrival of the Mercedes-Benz GLA is significant. We’ve reached the event horizon for compact crossovers and their global proliferation.”
        “The success of these vehicles mean that these vehicles aren’t going anywhere, and current conditions will only help entrench them further. Consumer tastes, the need for ever greater economies of scale through increased volume and utilizing of existing platforms.”

        Just as quick as you are to defend you beloved Buick to anyone (such as myself) slighting their success, you should be as offended that Derek and posters here are using them as a defense for this ridiculous class of over-priced mini jacked-up Euro hatches.

        • 0 avatar

          Marc,

          Enough with the strawman argument about myself and others pining after European vehicles that North American consumers will never buy. This article has nothing to do with that.

          Rather it’s about how European consumers and world market consumers are buying crossovers, which have traditionally been stronger in America than anywhere else. Ironically, I’m usually the one that ends up sticking up for crossovers. I understand their appeal to a broad segment of the market even if they aren’t my first choice for myself (a CX-5 on the other hand, is something I wouldn’t mind owning).

          With respect to the Encore, I thought it was awful and it would flop. It is doing better than I expected (those expectations were low).

          • 0 avatar
            marc

            You accuse me of a straw man, arguing against a point you are not making. I submit that you have made the point even if it was not your intention. This is a Euro class of vehicle if ever there was one. And the internets clamour for them. Until they actually go on sale.

            I think you make it clear that this class comes from Europe and is on its way to success in America. For reasons, I have stated, I disagree. And I think your belief in this position is another kind of fallacy, fitting your “facts” (high sales, others entering the class, all of which I have disputed) to a predetermined outcome (GLA will be a huge success). An outcome that is anything but a foregone conclusion.

            Had you talked about how successful they are overseas and stuck to that there would be no quarrel here. But TTAC and you are prone to hyperbole. Camry sales are a failure! Mini luxury cute-utes are the next big thing! When the facts stand in the way, well no big deal.

            I agreed with your first article about the Encore. I think you’re way off on this one. For the sake of not having more of these awful little over-priced, underwhelming vehicles, I hope I am right.

          • 0 avatar

            “I think you make it clear that this class comes from Europe and is on its way to success in America.”

            I don’t know how many times I can state that the thesis of the article is that crossovers, an American style of automobile, are enjoying growth in Europe. Anything more than that is putting words in my mouth.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          I am originally from the UK so my use of “u” continues! I just checked goodcarbadcar for sales information and the Regal started sales in May 2010. I am more familiar with it since it is the Vauxhall Insignia and as such is a reasonably big seller in the UK.

          Where was I defending Buick in my comment? I merely corrected you that it has been not 1 year but 3 years since the regal came out. I said I could understand people not being enamoured by it. Hardly a ringing defence of the brand. It was fair to point out the Verano was doing OK and was within your original timeframe.

          • 0 avatar
            marc

            Derek, maybe because blogs are not written like college essays, I was not clear that that was your thesis. I was pretty sure that your thesis was that this class of mini utes would be successful here in America, and the GLA is set to lead the charge. I see from your comments last night and today where the confusion may be. Maybe that’s why you accused me of a straw man; I am arguing a thesis that only appears to exist. Hmmm, misinterpretations on a blog. Such a rarity. I’ve said my peace on this topic, and now let’s let the market speak for itself in the coming years.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    If CUVs are such a useless disaster, how come everybody’s making them and a lot of people with the average IQ of a 100+ want them?

    BTW The only people who think the average IQ is 90 are the ones with IQs of a 100 who like to think they’re smarter then the average person

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Oh Lie2me you need a few more months experience on here. The loudest, but least buying, special interest group seems to be the brown, 6MT, diesel station wagon bunch. Another close-knit bunch are the ones who carry on about the sublime qualities of their car. While boring the shit out of other people like oenophiles; but it’s worse because we’re sober. Another hard charging group is the my Japanese car ran for 37 years and a hundred bazillion trillion miles. It didn’t even new wiper blades. OK, that was a wee bit of hyperbole from me. What people don’t get about C/SUVs is that their owners use them for what they were intended for. Rock crawling four wheel drive? No, I just need a tad of AWD to get near the trout stream. A macho he-man pick up with an 8ft bed? No, I just need to be able to haul shit back from IKEA. It can haul two adults and two teenagers? Yes, and I don’t give a damn about backseat comfort, I don’t ride there. A sublime tribute to a car makers mastery? Please bitch, I’m in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic. Good visibility, ride height, and usefulness are why people buy S/CUVs. That’s my reality.

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        Finally! A post that brilliantly sums up the silliness that permeates every discussion thread about this class of vehicle. I remember when scorn was heaped upon “Soccer Moms” hauling their brood around in enormous Chevy Suburbans when everyone just *knew* that a station wagon was what they really should be using, preferably with a manual transmission. Yeah, right. Twenty years later, we get CUVs that weigh a thousand or more pounds less, handle better, are smaller and easier to navigate in the urban landscape with 50% better fuel economy — and the blogosphere peanut gallery still heaps scorn on these Betty Drapers because they still deign to desire the benefits a SUV/CUV offers over a station wagon: upright seating position, a higher view above the surrounding traffic, and a taller cargo compartment for stuffing strollers, cribs, and the enormous child car seats that accompany them for a good ten years or more of their lives. And never forget that women as a rule feel safer in a big vehicle than they do in say a Toyota Matrix or Subaru Outback.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I do agree with the second half if your thoughts however it is not accurate to say they weigh less and get 50% better economy without checking into the facts. I did check into some in the post above and found the “new” Explorer actually weighs more than its predecessor and does not even approach 50% better fuel economy in either city or highway driving. These things are an overall “fail” as an SUV replacement and the reason they are such a sales success is a combination of the average buyer being too lazy or stupid to check into the facts and said buyer wanting to keep up with the Joneses.

          Give me two things in a CUV, *impressive* and not phoned in fuel economy (diesel, hybrid, reindeer power I don’t care) and the ability to deactivate the rear wheels in “AWD” so I don’t have to waste fuel 90% of the year when I don’t need AWD in my climate and I’ll eat my hat.

          • 0 avatar
            LeeK

            I think comparing Ford Explorers from generation to generation is not quite fair, as the vehicle has morphed into a larger class over the years. Today’s Explorer (17/24) compares to a 1997 Expedition (15/20) in size and cargo capacity. My point is that the CUV class as a whole is lighter, more nimble, and more fuel efficient than the SUV class that has drawn so much scorn from the automotive blogosphere.

    • 0 avatar
      marc

      The only people who think CUVs are a disaster are autobloggers. Yet now that Europe has embraced them, CUVs are the next coming. And we end up with these same bloggers fawning over $35,000 subcompacts on stilts. Ugh.

      • 0 avatar
        CelticPete

        What? People have been fawning over them for a while. Didn’t we read articles about how fun CX-5s were on the track? Personally I don’t get the hate. Car and Driver has been singing the praises of the CX-5 since it has arrived as has this site as best as I can remember.

        Remember ground clearance is a trade off. Picking something on the higher end of the spectrum is not really something you can mock in the US. We have very low speed limits – and plenty of bad roads. Higher ride height vehicles are not sides of stupidity. They are the more practical choice.

        And I say this as someone who drives a pretty low to the ground car. I like the dynamics. Its fun to me. But not everyone is interested in driving fun. If I was buying a second vehicle I would consider an SUV – because practicality has it merits too.

  • avatar
    DrSandman

    Hmmm…. automakers resist selling tall, small hatchbacks until they call them crossovers, then they can’t keep them in stock.

    Meanwhile, automakers resist selling compact pickup trucks, Because SilveradoRamF150!

    I’m just happy to finally get a car my 6yr old can sit up straight in the back seat without touching her head on the headliner…. yes, she is THAT tall.

  • avatar
    pg123456789

    Just as a contrast, Volvo brings in the V60 to the US, but not the V40 and the V40 Cross Country. Don’t get it. I think they need all three models to participate in this hot segment, or they’ll keep losing out. I hope they might also improve their dealers as well … hopeless in the three I’ve visited.


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