By on March 17, 2016

2016 Ford Explorer

Millennials are buying Ford SUVs like it’s going out of style, no doubt dismaying the friends who like to lecture people about their lifestyle on Facebook.

That, Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabs a stack of cash with both hands, Mercedes-Benz gives its midsize SUV the AMG treatment, and two more automakers eye the Formula E grid … after the break!

2015 Ford Edge

Conformity never felt so good

It’s like the 1990s never ended.

Ford Motor Company’s SUVs posted their best calendar year start and their best February in the automaker’s sales history, and it’s mostly thanks to car-hungry Millennials and a growing crop of female buyers.

A total of 115,228 Ford SUVs flew off dealer lots in the first two months of 2016, with the Explorer taking the popularity prize. Not only is the Explorer the best-selling midsize SUV in the U.S., it ranks number one among Millennial (25-34) buyers and women.

Ford says this is all the result of Millennials slowly becoming their parents:

“It’s an example of need-based growth,” said Erich Merkle, Ford U.S. sales analyst. “Millennials have begun forming families and those families are growing – in terms of the number of children as well as the size of those children. Explorer provides the space those families need today and tomorrow, while maintaining the image they want to project.”

Ford would be wise to name its future SUV models the “Community Association” and “401(k).”

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD LTZ crew cab pickup with dual r

Chevrolet readies the world for its close-up

Maneuvering a trailer is never fun, so Chevrolet is making it easy for Silverado owners.

A trailering camera system is being offered as an accessory for current-generation Silverado pickups (2014-2016), employing up to four cameras to ensure you don’t take out that mailbox.

Two cameras integrated into the side mirrors will join the pickup’s backup camera and an optional high-mount unit, all accessible through the vehicle’s radio screen. The camera package is meant to compliment Chevrolet’s factory-installed fifth-wheel prep package.

The nice thing about the system is that it is available as a retrofit, so owners of older current-generation Silverados don’t miss out on the new goodies.

FCA

FCA sweetens the pot

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has finally unlocked cash from its American subsidiary, FCA US LLC — a long-held financial dream for the indebted automaker.

FCA has been aggressively pushing for a financial restructuring, but has been held back by debt covenants that are now being amended, Reuters reports:

“The amendments represent the final step toward allowing the free flow of capital among members of the FCA Group, as previously announced, and enabling access to the second 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) tranche of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ 5 billion euros syndicated revolving credit facility,” the company said in a press release.

It also said that FCA US LLC made a $2 billion prepayment applied to the term loans, leaving an aggregate principal balance of the term loans of about $2.8 billion.

The newfound cash will be put towards a product revamp at FCA’s Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 43

More like “OMG,” amirite?

Mercedes-Benz has given its midsize GLC an AMG makeover.

The hot-rodded SUV will carry the moniker AMG GLC43 when it debuts at the New York International Auto Show next week as a 2017 model.

Beneath its hood, the AMG GLC43 packs a 3.0-litre biturbo V6 that makes 362 horsepower and 384 pounds-feet of torque, connected to rear-biased AMG Performance 4matic all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission with shortened shift times.

The Germans are very enthused about it all.

“The new SUV from Affalterbach marks the pinnacle of the GLC product range and in the AMG portfolio it closes the gap between the GLA and GLE,” says Tobias Moers, CEO at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Introducing an AMG-tuned version of the GLC fits with Mercedes-Benz’s plan to offer as many high-performance models as it can, something rival BMW is not happy about.

Formula E racecar (David Merrett/Flickr)

Nissan and BMW excited about doing E

People in the know are saying BMW and Nissan have been sniffing around the Formula E grid, signalling their intentions to join the third season of the electric single-seater championship, according to Autosport:

Nissan, which culled its LMP1 programme late last year, would be FE’s first Japanese manufacturer.

It confirmed to Autosport it was conducting a “fact-finding” mission into the series as part of an evaluation of its long-term motorsport strategy …

BMW has been involved in the series since its inception, and has been open about using its supply of i3 and i8 machines as course cars as a way of keeping close tabs on the category.

Having an entry in Formula E racing is good PR as automakers try to outdo each other with plug-in hybrid and EV technology. However, cost remains a serious concern for those thinking about joining.

[Images: Ford badge, © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars; Formula E, David Merrett/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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70 Comments on “TTAC News Round-up: Millennials Love Ford, Silverado Sprouts Cameras, and Chrysler Finds a Stash...”


  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    That GLC-Class AMG looks mean, at least from that angle. But isn’t the GLC compact, while the GLE-Class is mid-sized?

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Don’t be fooled – its a C class station wagon aimed at folks who like the utility but not the image of owning such a car.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Funny to think of that, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually seen a C-Class wagon. They were here for what, three or four years?

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I’ve never seen a Benz wagon smaller than an E class.

          Conversely, I’ve seen a lot more BMW 3 wagons than 5 wagons…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The first time I ever did see a C-Class wagon was in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. That’s what Angelina had, and he had a CTS-V.

            Their car choices alone would make me suspicious of them as a neighbor.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I was stuck in traffic behind a GLC in my Highlander and I could see over the roof like it was a sedan… This is supposed to be a CUV/lifestyle vehicle?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Kyree,
      I do like AMG. I do think in many instances not only AMG but many performance divisions of motor vehicle manufacturers do improve the aesthetics of the products they modify.

      I’m looking forward in seeing what AMG are going to do with the up and coming MB midsizer we’ll be getting. If the truck is around the AUD $80k mark and AMG concentrate on the off road aspect of the vehicle I would seriously consider one.

      Remember AMG produce the world’s best pickup already in that G Wagen 6×6 pickup. Awesome vehicle. Hopefully the AMG midsizer will be the world’s second best pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      laserwizard

      So nice of Total Recall Motors via brand x to offer something that Ford already has offered for at least a year. Pretty soon Brand x will offer their latest version of their 1999 pickup but this time it might have more aluminum than the beer can that the UAW worker slipped under the rear seat as it was moving down the line.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I thought a GLC was an inexpensive Mazda hatchback.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup,” as opposed to all those pickups with only partial sides. :P

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Ugh that low hanging Explorer airdam… *triggered*

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I wish they had done something with the rear with the revamp. It’s too similar to how it was, while the front is now more international Land Rovery looking. The whole front end makes me think of a globe logo every time I see one.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’m probably the only one but that new Explorer grill in blingly Limited trim reminds me of the old Cadillac grills from the 50s when they had lots of little facets to catch the light.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Lol, it’s pretty blingy.

          http://www.tflcar.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2016-ford-explorer-platinum-1.jpg

          I wonder if they’re going to offer color keyed grille again, I liked that on the pre-revised version. Especially in pearl.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think their LR “inspiration” is working out very well. It looks very handsome and people are buying them up. But when they released their latest ad campaign for this refreshed model playing up the ‘adventure’ aspect and showing a family bounding through remote areas in one of these, all I could do was smirk. My old MPV is truly a more capable vehicle off the beaten path than this impostor, doesn’t matter how many ‘terrain settings’ they put on that stupid knob on the console.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The Sport trim doesn’t work for me anymore on this, though.

          http://pictures.dealer.com/g/graydanielsfordfd/1667/d4beb79b1232e05769acffd410f2e966x.jpg

          Just ends up looking like a base model/police cruiser.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            I thought that was the point. Buy a white Sport and put a bike rack on top and a grille guard with lights, and you’ve got the modern civilian CVPI.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Weeooooh weeeoooh. I spent $42K to look like a base model! Weeoooh.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I strongly dislike the current black-on-white trend and this car is the reason why. It does look just like an Interceptor Utility.

            For an even more horrifying example check out the LS Crafted Line… a nearly $90k car with black Civic DX door handles and mirrors.

            http://cimg7.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.clublexus.com-vbulletin/2000×1333/80-img_7583_1b2a3325ad453302446872362aae5ec864b30d99.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hey, here’s a new LS460! The great thing about it is how it costs over $80,000 but looks straight off the BHPH next to the abandoned Hardee’s!

            *That’s Carl’s Junior, for people not in the Midwest.*

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          gtemnykh – that is very true. Advertising plays to the fact that many younger couples starting families are fearful of “giving up” or “giving in” to the needs of parenthood. Minivans are seen as taboo and anything associated with boring parenthood.
          Several young couples that live(d) on my street have Wrangler Unlimited’s. I’ve noticed that phenomenon elsewhere too. My 20 ft long F150 has seen more off-roading than the SUV’s/CUV’s of those younger couples I know.

        • 0 avatar
          dig

          I bought a brand new Mazda MPV 4×4 in 1993. It lacked a low range but you could lock the front and rear together with a push of a button. It was great for the PNW at the time. It was even dark green with tan interior. The only thing that I remember sucked was even with all the rear seats out the floor was not flat. Somebody needs to make a similar, more capable vehicle with today’s tech. Maybe new FCA Pacifica jacked up. FTW!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I hear you dig, they truly were a unique combination of ruggedness, roominess, and good on-road manners. The lack of a true 2-speed transfercase is unfortunate, because Mazda even offered one in the unicorn-like 5spd manual models. My ’98 has been retired from daily driver duty a few years ago and now is living out its retirement with my parents, towing a small sailboat and hauling various implements and such to and from their hobby farm.

            I like to take it on access roads through the state forest when I visit them, and on these fairly mild trails it does great;

            linkhttp://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/comment-image/288169.jpg

            That washout would probably give the Explorer in this article pause

            And my brother has done more offroading in his old RWD ’89 that most people do with legit 4wd SUVs:

            linkhttp://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/comment-image/288168.jpg

            And of course, there’s Russians in Siberia using these things way past their intended performance envelope:

            linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRroSWIzDJg

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      gtemnykh,
      Those ridiculous airdams on the front of US pickups and SUVs/CUVs. You must thank CAFE regulations for this.

      I hope we don’t go down a similar path as the US.

      On true off road vehicles (4hi/lo) these airdams impede and reduce a vehicles off road capability. Even down a track these airdams would be a hinderance.

      I read an article on the new aluminium FX4 being tested driving though a muddy, flat and level “track”. The tyres were in the mud only as deep as the sidewalls the the airdam was “bulldozing” mud out front.

      Ridiculous, the FX4 is AN off road package. It seems off road is the shoulder in some instances.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    More like FCA milking Jeep profits to squander on Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Ford Motor Company’s SUVs posted their best calendar year start and their best February in the automaker’s sales history, and it’s mostly thanks to car-hungry Millennials and a growing crop of female buyers.”

    Overpriced throwaway junk with the added bonus of less capability than its predecessor brought to you by decreased credit standards, ZIRP, and the lack of critical thinking skills in Amerika.

    Same shit, different decade.

    The devolution continues unabated.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I dunno, 28…I’m actually thinking CUVs are rational as all hell. With cars costing as much as they do now, it only makes sense to buy one that’s versatile, and an Explorer fits that bill. A car like that will literally do it all. Plus it has all weather capability.

      I don’t want one or need one, but 15 years ago, with two little kids and a job I had to commute to, I’d have taken one in a heartbeat (well, not a 2001 model, but you get the idea).

      It’s the irrational cars (i.e., coupes not named “Mustang”) that aren’t selling anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Nice post. Assuming BLS inflation adjusted pricing from 1996, the 4×4 4D XL Explorer was 34,8 in 2016 dollars.

        http://www.autotrader.com/1996-ford-Explorer.jsp?modelId=11378

        The intelligent 4WD is optional on Base, XLT, and Limited while being standard on Sport. The AWD is a 2K option, which means on a base model the total price is 32,995 before any other options were added. So assuming BLS data is accurate, you’re spending about $1,800 less but also losing true 4×4 capability and whatever the difference in towing happened to be. I’d wager nationally only maybe 20% cared about true 4×4 for offroad and probably 50% or more were concerned about 4×4 on road for inclimate weather conditions in the MY96. Ignoring all of the quality problems of the gen 2 Explorer, and any incentives vs MSRP which we can’t determine, I see this as a loss of functionality and increase in complexity for a minor savings in cost and fuel economy. In the automotive world, the Toyota Sienna offers the *exact* same features and limitations for a similar price plus more cargo room (transverse FWD with optional AWD transfer case). What I personally don’t understand is this obession with versatility in one vehicle. Vehicle models, like anything else, are subject to mission parameters and there is no one size fits all, just one size fits some. The Pentagon is finding this out first hand with the F-35, jack of all trades and master of none.

        ““Some of these modifications are driven by faults in the original design that were not discovered until after production had started, such as major structural components that break due to fatigue before their intended lifespan, and others are driven by the continuing improvement of the design of combat capabilities that were known to be lacking when the aircraft were first built,” the report said. “This ‘concurrency tax’ causes the program to expend resources to send aircraft for major re-work, often multiple times, to keep up with aircraft design as it progresses.””

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/02/04/pentagons-top-weapons-tester-airs-major-list-of-grievances-against-f-35-program/

        We are studying the F-35 debacle in my Project Mgt course, in addition to gigantic cost overruns the finished product has a number of limitations due to its multi role complexity. This means existing aircraft platforms are being artificially kept going because they work and are more cost effective while money is being poured into the F-35 hole, meanwhile the Red Air Force is introducing a Mig 29 successor at an estimated development cost of $8-10 billion vs the $1.3 trillion development cost of the F-35, *so far*. Even if the F-35 is superior, its not going to be 900 times better than the Sukhoi and the latter jet will likely not suffer design issues related to an expanded multipurpose role (think fighter/bomber vs VTOL fighter/bomber/interceptor for land and carrier use).

        You really can’t have it all.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sukhoi_PAK_FA

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28-Cars-Later,
          You can’t build an “everything” aircraft, ie, carrier based, V/STOL, ground attack, air superiority, etc.

          It’s like trying to find and all round fishing rod/ reel combo. If you want to baitcast you buy a bait caster, if you want to surf fish, you buy at least a 12′ rod, etc.

          The F-35 should of been a US only project. Having many nations involved, plus the aspiration of an “everything” airframe has ruined this aircraft and greatly reduced it’s capability. Sort of like an EU project, taking longer than necessary and the end result is a good, but mediocre product.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s precisely my point, it can’t be done profitably in an aircraft or automobile at the current levels of technology.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            28-Cars-Later,
            The way in which the F-35 project has unfolded has given the US a greater advantage in how it manages itself and improves it’s leadership roles among NATO and other allied nations. It’s a learning curve for all involved.

            As the US’es influence declines on the global stage the US will be better able to work on complex (read fantastically expensive) engineering projects it can’t manage on it’s own.

            So, this aspect of the F-35 project is not measurable, that is political, economic leadership during periods of extreme duress.

            What we sometimes see as a waste can ultimately produce a net positive. Call it a positive negative.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Didn’t the Europeans build a multi-nation collaborative fighter aircraft though?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Less capability? Depends on what capability you’re talking about.

      It cannot do the same things off-road. A tiny number of buyers use it off-road.
      It can still tow, but probably not quite as much. But anyone towing anything bigger than a jet-ski trailer was buying a pickup or Suburban anyway.
      It is more comfortable. Most of the buyers in this segment find comfort an important priority.
      It can hold a lot more stuff and two more people. Everyone who buys these things uses them to carry people and stuff.
      It gets better gas mileage. Everyone who drives a car can appreciate that.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Everyone who buys these things uses them to carry people and stuff.”

        Is the Explorer really better at carrying people and stuff than the Taurus X or Flex or Monterey? All of those sold in low numbers until Ford butched up the look of the D4 (I believe at the expense of interior volume). So the CUV segment seems to have the same vanity buying built-in that everything else does.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        It doesn’t matter whether or not it is better off-road or has more capacity what matters is perception. Critical thinking does not enter the picture in most purchase decisions or most things we do. it is all emotionally based. Even if we tinker with “critical thinking” once the veneer is removed it is just an exercise in the rational trying to justify the irrational. In terms of human behavior, emotions always win.
        (Not much different than the Repubs coming to terms with Trump;)

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          You have your finger precisely on the problem at hand. I can piss away $40 or $400 and it not kill my budget, I can’t piss away $40K and get something which is essentially a minivan when/if I need a truck. I also can admit to myself a minivan is actually the best choice for my mission whereas I suppose most of the USDM is in self denial on this fact. This the is the same sort of thing with a $400K McMansion or a $600 fricking telephone. Wise spending? Huh? Equity, what’s that?

          “Not much different than the Repubs coming to terms with Trump”

          Ah the one party system masquerading as two finally being exposed. Let’s burn this f***er down.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            28-Cars-Later – it isn’t so much the revelation of a single party system masquerading as a two party system but a case of the populace realizing the fact that the people they elect do not serve them.

            ” Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

            “People” have been removed from that quote so “perish” is the logical next step.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Lou_BC,
          So, why is your view regarding SUVs/CUVs any different than what 75% of pickup buyers are looking for??

          Hmm………

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al from Oz = and your point is?

            My view isn’t different.

            Both are emotional purchases but With a CUV it is difficult to overload the thing and thus get yourself into trouble.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            Then don’t rant and rave regarding load and tow on pickups to denegrate Ram (as always).

            Try and be unbiased in your commentary. I do believe you do have more to offer.

            You seem intelligent, but as you develop more and reduce your Ford biased comments and become truly an open minded person you can enhance many of the ideas you put forward.

            I do hope this will assist in your personal development.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al from Oz – once again you miss the point.

            The only time someone asks another to be “open minded” is when the other disagrees with their point of view.

            People buy trucks for multiple reasons and some of those reasons do involve towing and/or hauling. For those purposes one needs to know capacity.

            The Titan XD isn’t a Ram so what’s your point?

            I can list quite a few pickups that I won’t buy because of cargo ratings. The Raptor and Limited are two Ford examples so once again what’s your point?

            I’m not obliged by military rule nor I am bound by military duty to do as you say. The only salute I have for you dates back to ancient Greece.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m honestly not sure what the original buyers of the MY96 Ford Explorer did with them, but I’ve seen quite a few Explorers since in use in rural areas and on farms. I can remember a time when an Explorer could be had slightly cheaper than an F-150 at auction and perform most of the same tasks.

        The reason we don’t see the Explorer as a truck is three fold:

        -Ford doesn’t have a small truck platform anymore to share costs.
        -Ford -to this point- is wary of competing with F-150 sedans which do nearly accomplish the Explorer mission (and do with a truck cap).
        -A large percentage of new buyers don’t need capable vehicles, it was simply an added bonus.

        Any space utilization bonus of FWD architecture is completely negated by the inclusion of giant center consoles front and rear to accommodate AWD while delivering all of the limitations of a transverse FWD platform. It is literally the worst of both worlds and I personally find it absolutely insane this is not only happening, but popular.

        I also find it interesting Ford is able to field four models which all can accomplish a similar people mover mission and yet is able to sell all of the concurrently. The latter two are as similar to each other as the former two, yet if you listen to the Ford marketing mouthpiece each is ideal for the husband, wife, and 2.2.

        Ford Edge (CD4)
        Ford Explorer (D4)
        Ford Expedition (U324, updated Ford U)
        Ford F-150

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh


        It can hold a lot more stuff and two more people. Everyone who buys these things uses them to carry people and stuff.
        It gets better gas mileage. Everyone who drives a car can appreciate that.”

        I’m not even sure about those two points to be honest. I’ve never seen a rental Explorer (AWD, 3.5) get more than 21mpg highway, even with my fairly sedate style of driving. That is right around what I’ve seen with rental 4Runners driving the same route for work, likewise I’ve been in a late-model BOF Explorer with the 4.0 that was getting 20 mpg on the highway (if the display is to be believed)going 75ish mpg. Around town, okay sure let’s give the new CUV style Explorer the benefit of the doubt and say it gets maybe 3mpg better. But it’s not very dramatic, especially in the days of cheap gas.

        Interior colume-wise, I don’t necessarily see it either. Comparing a final year BOF Explorer to the CUV one (just using cargo space for simplicity sake):

        2006-2010: Cargo seats down 85.5 cu ft, seats up 45cu ft

        2011+: seats down 80.7 cu ft, seats up 43.8 cu ft

        The single biggest difference is the lower step in height and lower foot wells in the CUV variant, not insignificant for smaller or older folks, but I’ll take the BOF/higher clearance choice every time. The CUV third row is probably(?) better than the older trucks’ although that one wasn’t too terrible, what with the rear end being IRS and all, allowing for decent packaging.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      28 took a trip for work, and it’s made him despondent!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      28-Cars-Later,
      Your view doesn’t appear to match up to the increasing sales of these types of vehicles.

      Having owned a full chassis SUV, 4×4, I can tell you they are more refined and have better off road capability than a pickup. They can’t be used to the same degree in the utility department as a pickup, but they will more than suffice for the average family who want a smaller, more economical, and yet versatile vehicle that can tow. Even a CUV can tow and carry more than what most would ever tow and load with a pickup.

      SUVS and CUVs are the ideal family product, with pickups coming in second. The biggest drawback for pickups are their size. Even my midsizer is 6 metres long. or 19 and a half feet.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I don’t know what you’re driving in Australia but the D4 Ford Explorer is not an SUV, maybe the next one will be. What it comes down to is FoMoCo has decided what I “need” and only given me a slight discount for less capable product. I’d rather have more product than I need rather than need more product than I have for similar money. I do have the choice to shop others of course, but the field isn’t full of many good choices.

        “Your view doesn’t appear to match up to the increasing sales of these types of vehicles.”

        You missed the comments on the lack of critical thinking skills on display in today’s market. If one needs a FWD van, buy the van, if one needs a truck, buy it. This mismash jack of all trades and master of none is a symptom of a greater problem among buyers.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28-Cars-Later,
          The Explorer we did have and it was a flop. Terrible off road, unreliable and overly thirsty for what it was. The new Explorer we don’t receive as we have the Ford Territory. This is a CUV with an optional AWD setup about the size of the Explorer or an interchangable comparative vehicle.

          We also now have the Everest (sh!t naming convention). It is apparently a very capable off roader. I’ve read better than the Grand Cherokee.

          The only real US SUV 4x4s with any potential are from FCA. The problem with FCA products is they are very unreliable for what we require. The Asian an some Euro SUVs/pickups are far more reliable. You will not drive in remote areas with a FCA product off road, even the Wrangler doesn’t have the endurance.

          The only Ford and GM 4x4s we have you just don’t get. These are quite reliable in comparison to FCA/Chrysler 4x4s.

          At the moment I personally think Ford has gotten it’s act together globally in the SUV/CUV and pickup department.

          The US doesn’t have as large a 4×4 lifestyle we have, hence the lack of decent off road (durable and endurance capable) vehicles.

          As Lou pointed out, in the US as here to a certain degree the choice of buying a larger CUV/SUV/pickup over a van has a “look at me” quality. A sign of middle class success. Driving what appears to be the “average vehicle” and not a prestige name in the same price bracket.

          We call these people here in Australia “Ockers”. Normal middle class, conservative Aussies that don’t want to be associated with snobbery and elitism.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “As Lou pointed out, in the US as here to a certain degree the choice of buying a larger CUV/SUV/pickup over a van has a “look at me” quality. A sign of middle class success.”

            That isn’t what I said.

            ” Advertising plays to the fact that many younger couples starting families are fearful of “giving up” or “giving in” to the needs of parenthood. Minivans are seen as taboo and anything associated with boring parenthood.
            Several young couples that live(d) on my street have Wrangler Unlimited’s. I’ve noticed that phenomenon elsewhere too. My 20 ft long F150 has seen more off-roading than the SUV’s/CUV’s of those younger couples I know.”

            I did not mention “middle class success”.

            I did not mention size either.

            If you are going to quote me at least get it right.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          “If one needs a FWD van, buy the van, if one needs a truck, buy it.”

          And if one needs a CUV…?

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Trailering camera is a great feature.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      thelaine – I agree. Anything that eliminates blind spots is great. I LOVE the backup camera on my F150.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lou,
        I agree with cameras in the rear. Not just for backing up a trailer, but also keeping an eye out for kids.

        When you hear of a toddler being backed over on the news, you wonder how this can be avioded. Anything to help in this area is great.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Wait, what? When did the Explorer eclipse Escape sales? In fact I thought the Escape numbers were much better than the Explorer’s since the mid 2000’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The Escape is a compact and the Explorer owns the title best selling mid-size. So no the Explorer has not surpassed the Escape in sales.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The Explorer is a mid-size CUV? I thought they marketed it as a full-size (even though it’s really got the space of a three-row mid-size).

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          They market it as a mid size SUV while they market the Edge as a mid size CUV. The Expedition and Flex are marketed as the full size SUV and CUV.

          Yes many will say that the Explorer is a CUV and not a SUV but the reality is they are marketing terms with no set definition and the basic definitions have changed over the years.

          The Wrangler is the only vehicle left that meets the original definition of SUV.

          • 0 avatar
            TEXN3

            Was there ever a definition for suv or is this just your opinion? At least add the 4Runner to your list, it’s been an suv since 1984.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @TEXN3 – early definitions of SUV were of a truck based BOF vehicle with off-road abilities.

            Merriam-Webster dictionary: “sport utility vehicle” is “a rugged automotive vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis”.

            Today that has been expanded to cover any 4×4 or AWD platform that has raised ground clearance. The lines between CUV and SUV have become very blurry.

            ScoutDude is 100% correct.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            And Land Rover Defender?

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            “[A] rugged automotive vehicle similar to a station wagon but built on a light-truck chassis”.

            By that definition, the Tahoe, Expedition, etc. are SUVs too.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Drzhivago138 – Those SUV’s you have mentioned have gotten pretty soft but then again so have the pickups they are derived from.

            Good point.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “The Wrangler is the only vehicle left that meets the original definition of SUV”

            This is silly. Unless you insist on the 1970s 2 door definition, I’d argue the 4Runner is more classically SUV as most people understand it, than the Wrangler.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            gtemnykh – valid point. I somehow forgot about those other vehicles.

            I’ll post the excuse that my brain was fried from teaching a class 2.5 days in a row when I should of been on vacation ;)


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