QOTD: What Car Would Be Better as a Crossover?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

“Crossing Over with John Edward” was probably one of the looniest shows to ever see a five-year primetime run on network television.

If you’ve never seen it (and, if you haven’t, please don’t go searching for it), this was the premise: John Edward, proudly wearing a “professional psychic medium” title that’s just as illustrious as “social media expert” or “NAMBLA community outreach liaison”, would do his little psychic dog and pony show for members of the studio audience.

For example, he might tell audience member Lucy about her best-friend’s sister, Tammy, who took herself out with a lethal amount of Drano. Dead Tammy didn’t have much of a connection with studio Lucy. The semi-related deceased person would typically be someone just far enough to the edge of Lucy’s social circle for her to not to question the smaller details, while still being far enough inside said social circle for Lucy to believe the “bigger” message. John would then deliver that bigger message from Drano-drunkard Tammy – that this person has made peace with the universe, for Lucy not to worry, etc.

At least that’s what we saw on TV. In reality, Edward’s hackneyed attempts to cold read studio audience members were left on the editing suite floor and only the juiciest of bits made it to air.

The show wasn’t the first of a new wave of studio-based reality shows, but it was the first to blend the surprise of winning something – if you can call speaking to your dead dog through John Edward winning something – with a certain flavor of bullshit very popular with the mid-western housewife set – extrasensory perception.

Crossovers are very much the same. Hybridizing two things, car and SUV in this case, produces a result that is also a certain flavor of bullshit very popular with the mid-western housewife set. While you can almost, kinda, sorta get the fuel economy of a sedan/wagon/hatchback and almost, kinda, sorta get the utility of a utility, it’s mostly just a bullshit marketing exercise meant to grab the attention of a certain demographic.

But, not all crossovers are created equal. Some have been utter flops – the also-hackneyed Honda Crosstour and Toyota Venza come to mind – while others have been wildly successful. You’d have thought crossedover versions of the Accord and Camry would set the sales charts alight, but it was not meant to be. However, another very small Japanese automaker jacked up their sedan/wagon, named it after the vast, arid asshole that sits in the middle of Australia, and created a sales jackpot – the Subaru Outback.

Considering the popularity of “Crossing Over” with the same demographic of people buying these new-fangled crossovers, this all makes sense.

What if we could crossover any vehicle on sale today? Surely there’s still room for more bullshit to find its way to America’s roads by way of a slight suspension lift and body cladding. And, surely there’s at least one vehicle out there that, made into a crossover, would absolutely annihilate the Outback.

Predict the future using the past as your guide – or just clumsily cold read your way into Internet commentator stardom. What car would you crossover?

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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  • RideHeight RideHeight on Jun 17, 2015

    TTAC Managing Editor characterizes the fastest-growing and 2nd most important new vehicle segment as "bullsh1t". What would be a rational response to this? Call a wambulance or the guys with butterfly nets?

    • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Jun 17, 2015

      It seems to always be fashionable to hate vehicles that are popular. Some with good reason, some not. The online self-proclaimed automotive experts (not meaning the author of this article, Im speaking of commenters mostly) hated truck-based SUVs due to their truck-like handling, ride and fuel consumption. All of those concerns have been addressed by crossovers, but theyre still not happy. Now, those haters ask why people dont buy "real" SUVs instead of "jacked up wagons". Although I dont have an issue with crossovers or those who buy them, theyre not really for me as I dont have kids and I prefer truck-based SUVs personally. If my situation were different, Id have no problem buying a crossover. For some people, they just work, and that is fine by me.

  • RideHeight RideHeight on Jun 17, 2015

    TTAC Managing Editor characterizes the fastest-growing and 2nd most important new vehicle segment as "bullsh1t". What would be a rational response to this? Call a wambulance or the guys with butterfly nets?

    • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Jun 18, 2015

      This would be an extreme proclamation on Jalopnik... this kind of clickbait is well below the standards that were maintained by DK

  • Eric No, I just share my opinions. I have no use nor time for rhetoric from any side.
  • Redapple2 Jeez. This is simple. I 75 and 696 area. 1 nobody -NOBODY wants to work in downtown Detritus. 2 close to the tech ctr. Design and Engineering HQ. 20 miles closer to Milford.3 lower taxes for the employees. Lower taxes for Evil GM Vampire.4 2 major expressways give users more options to suburbs. Faster transport.Jeez.
  • Clark The Ring (Nürburgring) is the only race track I've driven on. That was 1985 or 1986 with my '73 Fiat Spider (and my not-so-happy girlfriend). So I made the Karussell (today: Caracciola Karussell, which I believe the author meant; there is another one: Kleines Karussell).
  • AZFelix This article takes me back to racing electric slot cars with friends on tracks laid out in the basement. Periodically your car would stop due to lost connections or from flying off the track and you would have to dash over to it and set it right. In the mean time your competitor would race ahead until faced with a similar problem. It seemed like you were struggling harder to keep from losing than trying to win. Fun times.“History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme.” Mark Twain
  • MaintenanceCosts What Americans get told (a) vs. actual EV ownership experience (b)(and, yes, I am an actual EV owner)a. You'll be waiting indefinitely for slow chargersb. Nearly all of your charging happens while you're at your housea. EVs are prohibitively expensive toys for the richb. Fuel cost is 1/4 that of gas and maintenance about the same, with purchase price differences falling quicklya. EVs catch fire all the timeb. Rates of ICE vehicles catching fire are much higher, although the few EV fires can be harder to extinguisha. You can't take a road tripb. Road trips are a bit slower, but entirely possible as an occasional thinga. iTz A gOlF cArT!!1b. Like a normal car, but with nicer power delivery and less noise