By on August 29, 2011

Think “French Crossover” and you might picture something like the Peugeot Bipper Tepee: willfully weird, wildly named and highly functional in a boring, European delivery van kind of way. But Peugeot seems determined to craft a new image for its people-carrying future, starting with this HX1, which it says represents what a crossover offering could be in 2020. With “4 + 2” modular seating and a version of Peugeot’s real-world diesel-hybrid AWD system, the HX1 belies its concept-y dimensions and half-scissor doors. And though its style is based on the design language that debuted with the SR-1 Concept, it’s long-and-low looks remind me of its sister-brand Citroen’s recent Metropolis Concept. In any case, it’s got as much in common with the Bipper Tepee as I do with Laetitia Casta… which gives me some hope for the crossover future.

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28 Comments on “Peugeot Imagines A Future In Which CUVs Don’t Suck...”

  • avatar

    Looks like a case of Peugeot reinventing the station wagon and it is a very nice looking vehicle.
    I don’t understand why people want CUVs. Can someone explain why anyone would want a jacked up hatchback/station wagon? X6? Crosstour? Juke? They are ugly and have no more utility than the cars they are based on. Seems nobody wants to admit that what they really need is a station wagon. And the auto industry suffers until people come to their senses.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with the comment about Jukes and suchlike tiresomeness as well as nobody wanting to admit they need a station wagon. And I loved our Peugeot 404 station wagon that my parents bought when I was 12, which we drove all over Europe. But I’m not going to drive any “car” that does not have real windows. By that I mean something you can actually see out of without having to twist your neck or scrunch down in an awkward manner.

      Also I would like a windshield that rises at no less than a 50 degree angle

    • 0 avatar

      CUV is a euphemism – my friends and I have taken to calling these vehicles tallcars as in “what does she drive?” “She drives one of those new Nissan tallcars – a red one.”

      Tallcar takes away the mystique of the utility vehicle while providing a more fitting and functional description.

      I am still bitter that the SUV craze of the 90’s killed off short wheelbase, stripped down purpose built full size SUVs like the Bronco and Blazer but I’m not so sad to see CUVs killing off the bloated mega barge SUVs of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Hopefully this will mean the return of the Bronco with a ecoboost 6, bench seat, and a manual transmission…a guy can dream can’t he?

    • 0 avatar

      I drive a tall station wagon–I mean, CUV. There, I said it and I feel better.

      I never thought i would own one and I am still surprised every day I get into it. My last 4 cars have been 4 cyl. hatchbacks with manual transmissions. This car … i mean CUV… is automatic and has a V6. I thought a lot about the Mazda6 wagon (that is no longer made), but its rust resistance and sporty suspension didnt seem like a great fit for where I live, plus it is significantly smaller inside, both cargo area and back seat (a.k.a.: car seat bench). Subaru Outback was another I thought about, but none of the subaru dealers wanted my car and again, it just doesnt have the space of my tall station wagon.Here are the reasons I have it:

      1. I need a station wagon, but I cant afford one. I have one baby who sits in a rear-facing car seat, and we decided that she needs a sibling which will most likely mean having 2 car seats at the same time, one of which will be either an infant one or a backwards facing convertible one. The only true wagons with a lot of cargo room are too expensive and/or tend to break down, which I can’t have either because i need the car every day to drive from place to place to place to place for work. And on the weekends, we knock out groceries, laundry, visiting the grandparents and getting the dog out of the house all in one trip.

      2. I live in a neighborhood adjacent to downtown in a very large city that experiences winter. The tall wagon I own has front wheel drive only. I dont need the additional maintenance and expense (including fuel economy) just to have the back wheels powered when the front wheels are slipping. If the AWD/4WD option was that the front would only get power if the rear slips, I’d be all over that. Our fair city also has absolutely terrible roads. Potholes that get filled with silly putty in the winter, which then melts in the summer. I park on the street, so the smaller the overall footprint of the car, the better – and my tallcar … i mean CUV… is easier to park than any of my hatchbacks were, especially considering I no longer have to worry about scratching needlessly large and heavy (but pretty) wheels on curbs. And the suspension on my new car is much better at handling the aforementioned potholes and other forms of roadway disintegration.

      3. we spend large parts or all of our summers on the road, and the wagon-on-stilts has a lot of room inside for cargo and passengers (who can sit upright with knees and hips at natural angles because the roof is tall). It has a fairly low load floor and a very high roof. When the back seats (which recline and slide) are down, there is a flat floor and a space that will fit a refrigerator. When the wagon is filled with stuff and people, the V6 manages to get 25-29 miles per gallon on the highway, depending on hills and traffic.

      4. In May, I estimated that my hatchback’s resale value was as high as it could possibly get (it was actually worth more in May than it was the december before), and at the same time, SUV-ish cars with 6 cylinders were sitting on dealer lots. I never really liked this latest hatchback and I saw opportunity. The difference of what the new tallcar with 32k miles cost (20,000) and what the dealer offered me on trade-in for my 56k mile hatchback (17,000) was too good to pass up. Both cars were the same age, coming out of factories during the same month. Originally, my hatch cost 22k and the tallcar’s Moroney lists 33k. I think most of the soccer moms passed on my car because it has ONLY 2 wheels driving it, so the dealer was willing to work with my low-ball offer.

      Further, the gas mileage hit I am now taking is somewhere between 0 and 4 miles per gallon, depending on where I am driving. Some of that is made up by tires costing about half as much as the low profile performance ones on the hatch. And now, my “cute ute” has leather and a sunroof and can go 0-60 somewhere around 6.5 seconds, making it the fastest car ive owned.

      However, the leather, sunroof, and great engine still do not make up for a third pedal and tight suspension in driving enjoyment. Since 99% of my driving is on straight roads from stop light to stop light or creeping in rush hour, I can live with less corner carving ability for comfort from tires with actual sidewalls and a suspension with a bit more give to it–but it still has driving dynamics that strike me as more car than truck. If I lived in mountains or even on the east coast with it’s curvy roads, I dont think I would have gotten this car. Plus, some buddies and I are going to upgrade that suspension and see if we can work out some of the body roll and nose-diving this tallcar is prone to doing (especially in front-heavy V6 form).

      5. within a year or so, we will be purchasing another car and we are thinking hatchback with manual transmission.

      My tallcar is the result of practicality and so far, it is performing its duties admirably. When our daughter was born, it meant we have entered a new phase in life. Unfortunately this phase isn’t as wealthy as I had imagined 10 or 15 years ago, so when having a car with space became necessary, I had to work with what was there, and now instead of station wagons or minivans being the affordable choice for young families, we have CUVs. I cant wait till the phase where I get the Porsche.

      It feels better getting this off my chest. I love cars, but i also need them – and since I dont have the money for both, i had to make a choice based on what I need and not what I want.

    • 0 avatar

      Why CUV’s? Gotta be CAFE. It certainly isn’t reason.

    • 0 avatar

      @ARacer: “Can someone explain why anyone would want a jacked up hatchback/station wagon? X6?”

      On the contrary, I’d like a jacked-DOWN X6 (if I could afford it, that is, of course).

      Why? Because it seems pretty much to be a jacked-up 5 GT, but the 5GT is ugly as sin and the X6 has rather cleaner lines — only they’re all placed too far skywards, so to speak…

      Jack the 6 down from SUV/XAV/whatever into a car, and it could perhaps be what the 5 GT should have been.

  • avatar

    Looks good. Did they release the dimensions?

    The reason most people prefer a higher roof is it allows more room and a higher seating position.

    • 0 avatar

      And gets over the snow better. My 98 Accord becomes a plow in the deep stuff.

      • 0 avatar

        The roof height doesn’t help seat height. The floor does, but raising it hurts headroom unless the roof goes up, too.

        This is why the Rondo, for example, can fit very tall people (low floor, high roof) while many crossovers cannot.

  • avatar

    Really? Is it really going to take another 9 years to get back to yer basic station wagon configuration? Just like the fashion and pop music industry, same ideas recycled every 20-30 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex French

      Yeah I thought this was a little odd. They’re making the CUV better, by… um, what exactly? Making not-a-CUV?

      • 0 avatar

        right – like the Venza. “It’s like a CUV combined with a station wagon” So … it’s 1/2 car and 1/2 cuv (which itself is half car and half truck)??? So it’s 75% car?

        we cant just call it a wagon?

  • avatar

    That’s a nice concept.

    Lets see what it looks like when someone figures out that you need to make allowances for little things like, oh, a trunk, headroom for people taller than 5’5″ (or, if it’s designed for normal-size humans and those wheels are any guide, replacement 30″ rims), front-seat footroom, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Have you tried to load any cargo of significance into a car without a trunk lately?

      They really reduce the kind of cargo you can handle, as compared to a hatchback, wagon, or a CUV, SUV, or minivan. Cars with trunks are far less useful for their size than any of the types that I just mentioned.

      The fact that the Prius is a hatchback that you don’t have to be poor to drive is probably a big part of its success. Yes, the green halo sells a lot of them — but the hatchback, the low fuel costs, and the low maintenance costs probably explain why people are so reluctant to part with them on the used market. (Also, once you get used to the CVT in that thing, everything else feels jerky and primitive.) After owning a Prius, I’m probably not going back to cars with trunks again — at least until my 18 month old graduates from college and I can justify sporty-car to tinker with.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    It looks like it was designed for dwarfs who suffer from agoraphobia.

  • avatar

    Talking about CUV’s, I see Motor Trend just released a new test drive on the new Explorer. This one has the Eco Boost 4 cylinder. What a disaster. Plus, this was not a pre-production model.

    • 0 avatar

      jj99 – This thread was about the Peugeot, not Ford. Note I have never owned a Ford but I am disinclined to comment too much on what you say though since you have a very clear bias towards Toyota as shown by your recent comments in other postings. No problem having preferences and likes/dislikes but when it blinds you then it goes to far. My case in point is when you stated and argued with MK that the 2012 Camry has a new platform/chassis. You argued until blue in the face that MK was wrong and that the platform was new. Toyota said it is not new – yes some high strength steel has been added, but it is not new. Toyota said so. So just accept that. Accept that all cars have good and bad points, even your favored models.

      • 0 avatar

        The 2012 Camry is a new platform. I suppose you could play games with the definition of platform in order to make others think the Camry is just a small change from the old model.

        And, the new Explorer has a real problem. A problem CUV is relevant here.

      • 0 avatar

        Two points jj (people have said you change your name or have multiple identities on here) :

        a) I don`t care about the Explorer, obviously you do but this thread was not about problem CUV’s. I know you will work Explorer and Ford problems into a reply again to make a point but really..
        b) I am not a engineering expert, nor pretend to be one. In the Camry review article last week you argued with qualified engineers and what Toyota themselves said about the 2012 Camry being based on the same platform/chassis whatever you want to call it than the 2011. There may be more high strength steel. I go of what Toyota says, why can`t you?

        I know I should feed a troll but sometimes…..

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry you found the Motor Trend review on the explorer posted Sunday upsetting. This site is about the truth about cars, and this is a relavent article about a popular CUV. I suggest everyone read it.

        Here is a direct quote:

        “It’s just such inefficient packaging,” crowed bossman Angus MacKenzie as we stood contemplating Ford’s big-on-the-outside, cramped-on-the-inside kiddie hauler. What exactly is so wrong with it? “It’s intellectually dishonest,” continued Angus. “It looks roomy, but it’s not. It looks sporty, but it’s not. And the interior looks good, but that MyFord Touch is a mess. It’s just a bad vehicle.” Keep in mind, Angus hadn’t even driven the four-banger version yet.

      • 0 avatar

        jj99 or jimmy – you are incorrect, I didn`t find the article upsetting! I have never owned a Ford (yet) and I agree with the reviews that have the Explorer in the lower half (or bottom). It is a good looking CUV but does seem to have issues. What I have issue with is your unrelenting way of just pushing, even when the topic thread is something different, a message. You sound like a politican who answers any question with his own prepared text.

        Since you place such store in magazine comparisons I assume you accept the recent multi-compact tests that had the Corolla last in both of them. The other cars tested like the Focus and Elantra had variable positioning, just the Corolla was consistent (at bottom).

  • avatar

    How about they imagine a future in which French cars in general don’t suck?

  • avatar

    This just in: Somebody read Motor Trend this week. Wow!

  • avatar

    Yawn…. Yet another European only product/concept that will never be available to USA customers. It seems every auto journalist has been fawning over these as of late.

    Then again, perhaps most of TTAC’s audience is European?

  • avatar

    I would regard this as more of an MPV than a crossover – where is the ground clearance?

    I think the move to CUV’s is completely rational, it gets away from the lack of ground clearance that current cars suffer from especially with long crash/pedestrian friendly front overhangs, the seating style is more upright and the vehicle more versatile than a sedan.

  • avatar


    Four Doors?

    misguided attempt to go premium again?

    if it manages to escape the junkyard because of electrical faults, it will be a nice used bargain in three to four years.

  • avatar

    Looks nice to me! If it can tow a 4’x8′ utility trailer, I’m sold.

    I like the Venza, too, but as a guy with a young child (with another one as a real possibility), buying a new car is a stretch.

    I’m also watching the used mininvan market — they have a lot of utility for the dollar and utility for the gallon, even if my wife keeps vetoing anything that even remotely reminds her of her mother’s Grand(ma) Caravan. (Neither my wife or I care for SUVs or CUVs.)

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