By on June 17, 2015

Crossing Over with John Edward

“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?

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112 Comments on “QOTD: What Car Would Be Better as a Crossover?...”


  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    You know the Taurus as a CUV would be a great idea. They could call it something like the Flex and it would sell like hot cakes..oh wait. never mind.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    How about the Mazda 3 five door? You could call it the 3×4.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    For my sake (an urbanite who can barely find a part of nature that doesn’t make him sneeze, burn, or swell), I can’t think of anything that’d be improved for my use by crossover-izing it. I embrace thicker sidewalls, but that’s sadly not even a crossover feature these days.

    That said, as a member of the stick wagon lover’s club (I could take leave brown over any other actual colour, and diesel leaves me cold), I don’t mind Subaru’s efforts, as it feels like playing to their strengths rather than just having something to exist in a specific market segment. The Outback and XV Crosstrek already exist and are plenty successful, while the BRZ really isn’t. I like the rally fighter type look I’ve seen on other old sporty cars, at this point, what does Subaru have to lose by throwing more ground clearance, knobbier tires, and some black plastic cladding? It’d compromise the handling and responsiveness that are the reason to buy one, but not enough people care about that because of those roving gangs of street racers in V6 Camrys.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    The Dodge Magnum.
    I challenge any octane loving gear head to walk away from an AWD Magnum Hemi jacked about 4″ and put on decent off-roady tires. It would be like a Subaru Outback for the testosterone laden market segment. Rear tire carrier must be an option.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I believe FCA calls that the Grand Cherokee.

      • 0 avatar
        FractureCritical

        the grand cherokee forsakes the rally vibe for the real estate mom vibe.
        She’s got her schit together better than soccer mom in the mini-van, but didn’t marry well enough to match the full-time socialite moms in the E class Merc’s.

        There’s no rally inspired crossover for the ballbearing motorhead set.

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    Jack up a VW Golf an inch or two, add AWD, fender flares, all-terrain tires, some “off-road” badges. Bam. VW Crosstrek. Better than a fugly Tiguan anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Pretty much already coming with the Golf SportWagen Alltrack, although a shorter one would probably work, too. Not at all hard to look better than a Tiguan.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      They also did this in the 90s with the Golf! There were a few sold in the US, I have forgot the trim name at this moment. Adventure?

      I will also leave some Corrado eye candy here, with sick aftermarket wheels.
      http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/bf/0b/ce/bf0bcef00a00a3282dc85972b83d4443.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Correct answer

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Why are crossovers “bullshit”?

    They combine the cargo of a wagon, the ride height + view of an SUV and the dynamics of a (bad) sedan in an affordable package. Lets not make this place “Jaloplite”, we have already had enough of Jack Baruth’s bellyaching over the supposed “death of Porsche”.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Let’s not forget that the CUV/SUV shape also allows for a taller cargo-hold, so one can fit bulkier things easier.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I think you mean “affordable,” as they still allow manufacturers to milk customers for a few extra thousand dollars across the board.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        No different than manufacturers charging more for 2 door coupes, with LESS doors, seats and overall practicality. But I’m certain you would never complain about that….

        Not to mention, for example, Accord n CR-V are pretty much matched in passenger room dimensions, as well as content and horsepower… but the CR-V costs a little bit LESS fully equipped. All while having like 3x the cargo volume with the seats up, an easier loading height for kids in child seats, a higher hip point for folks who have trouble getting low, a driving position and view that is favorable to a bigger slice of the population, a shorter body that makes it easier to park, be it in a garage or on the street, yadda yadda. I would not be surprised if it were the same deal for Toyota and Nissan. So how exactly is Honda “milking” customers with the CR-V, when it offers more of everything practical about the Accord for less money?

        Can we actually start using our brains here and get away from this mindless, Pavlovian, group-think contrarianism? Crossovers are perfect for American families, and as I just showed deliver a ton of value… much of which is leveraged by their use of smaller platforms. The CR-V is a competitor to the Accord, not the Civic. RAV-4 is a competitor to the Camry, not the Corolla.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          To be fair, I’m totally indifferent to coupes, and they’re pretty much irrelevant in the market. If everyone shifts back to the personal luxury coupe or something, to the point where most manufacturers offer more coupes than sedans, then we can talk.

          And yes, they’re good, they’re pretty practical, but I assume I’d be metaphorically tarred and feathered for bringing up minivans, right? I mean, sliding doors are also easier to work around with child seats, right? And are crossovers actually at the optimal hip-point, or just at a different but still wrong height? Weren’t the thoroughly ignored Five Hundred and Freestyle right around that optimal height? For what it’s worth, I was showing my parents a few crossovers at the auto show this year (because I’m not totally blinded by my biases), and my admittedly very short mom found them all too high up for her taste.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            This is my problem with crossovers – anything a crossover can do, a minivan does better. Usually MUCH better.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Although toned down a bit, the Taurus from 2010 on still has a slightly higher seating position than other cars in its class. For my parents, especially my dad, this is a good thing. He has usually despised cars after driving a pickup since the 80s or so.

            He hated their previous Mercury Grand Marquis because (for one thing) it required stooping down to get into and the seating position was awful. The difference in height between the seat bottom and the car’s floor was very small. It felt like you were sitting right on the floor. Not so with their 2012 Taurus. Its more upright and doesnt make you as tired when driving it for long distances. After completing a 6,000 mile trip a year or so ago, my dad remarked at how much better it was than the old Mercury. His back never bothered him, he never got drowsy or anything, and he was ready to go again anytime (pretty good for a man in his mid-70s).

            I have a horrible chronic back condition and I hated the Grand Marquis. It would kill my back to drive it for more than a few minutes. It wasnt the ride quality (although it didnt help as it was too soft and made me tense up because of the floaty feeling it gave), it was the awful seating position.

            People can say what they want to about how crampt the current Taurus supposedly is, but I find that it has more usable room, especially foot room since there isnt a giant driveshaft tunnel taking up so much space. Although Im not a “big” guy (5’11”, 190-200lbs aprox), I have no issues with the often-complained-about center console invading my space. There is a like 1.5 – 2 inches between my right leg and the console when sitting normally, and as much time as Ive spent in it, I have never once needed any more room. My parents are bigger than I am (not height wise), and its never bothered them. They were genuinely surprised when I mention how the commenters here blast the car for its 50 mile wide console. My mom even asked if I was sure they were talking about the same car.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            What minivan has the small footprint and big gas mileage of something like a CR-V? Most American families don’t need 7 seats.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Most American families don’t need 7 seats.”

            This.

            And most of those that do can’t afford to buy new.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            Do you honestly think Mazda couldn’t at least bring the 5’s mileage up to the same level as the CX-5? Or, for that matter, the CMax has been mentioned a few times here – that lies somewhere between tall hatchback and small minivan, but it’s spacious and gets great mileage.

            One that doesn’t apply to the American market for whatever reason, but is at least a little relevant is the Kia Rondo. As a direct comparison, it’d be easier to use something developed by the same manufacturer, to at least set an equivalency baseline. Going from that, the current Rondo is roomier than the Sportage, both for passengers and luggage, to the point a vestigial third row is a possibility (yes, not all families need 7 seats, but yes, it’s also a nice option to have). On top of that, it gets better fuel economy. Now, to be fair, the Rondo only comes with a 2.0, while the comparable Sportage has a 2.4, so out of fairness, Hyundai offers a 2.0 Tuscson, which gets slightly better city economy, but is worse on the highway (all based on Transport Canada testing).

            Point is, minivan doesn’t have to equal a 7+ passenger 4500lbs land yacht, that’s just the direction the market has gone in. It doesn’t negate the fact that, if we want to point out how great crossovers are for practicality, there’s the possibility that there’s an even more practical form factor that just hasn’t quite succeeded. Most actual rejections of vans boil down to them being uncool, which is kind of insane and arbitrary.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      I know my views aren’t those of the general public, but to me, the ride height + view of an SUV are a negative thing.

      As for being affordable, crossovers cost thousands of dollars more than the cars that they are based on. Most car buyers have the view that the Ford Escape is equal to or better than the Ford Fusion, so it makes sense to them that it is priced comparably. The Escape is actually comparable to the Ford Focus hatchback, and by comparison, it is significantly more expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “The Escape is actually comparable to the Ford Focus hatchback”

        You’re going to have to explain that one. The Focus hatchback has massively less cargo space and a much tighter rear seat than an Escape.

        • 0 avatar
          r129

          Admittedly, my impressions are based mostly on time in the front seats. Upon examining the specs, I do see that the Escape has more cargo room and rear seat space than the Focus.

          As an aside, of the numerous coworkers and acquaintances I know who drive Ford Escapes, almost none of them carry people in the rear seat on a regular basis, if at all. People with kids seem to “need” a larger vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I did have a Focus ST and VW GTI. Now I drive a C-Max. The C-Max is so much better at being a family vehicle than either. The footprint really isn’t any bigger, but it is easier to get kids in and out of, has more front and rear legroom, has a more open cabin, has more storage space, and gets better gas mileage. I understand why people buy Escapes over Foci. I didn’t before, but I do now.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            People with kids seem to “need” a larger vehicle.

            I will never understand this bizarre judging of other consumers for buying vehicles more convenient for their lives/situations. Yes my family took road trips in a 40hp air cooled Zaporozhets in Siberia that topped out at 60 mph and overheated going up hill. Two adults, a 5 year old, and two 2 year olds fit into a Soviet take on the Beetle, with some luggage. Once we immigrated, we owned a string of rusty old Hondas, including a 1984 Civic Sedan that we drove down to Daytona Beach for vacation from Upstate NY, again as young children. No A/C.

            But surprise surprise, as soon as my family could afford it, we moved up to a used Mazda MPV minivan with air conditioning, and now my empty nester parents own an RX350.

            That’s called progress, why be offended by it?

          • 0 avatar
            r129

            My point was that the superiority of compact CUVs like the Escape for people with children is an issue that is constantly raised, but I see very few people with children driving the Escape or other CUVs of that size.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah, I dunno, people just seem to like them. I still don’t really own a crossover. The C-Max is just a hatchback/MPV thing and our MkT is a wagon/minvan/something. I do love me the new Edge though.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Oh I missed the emphasis, so you’re saying people with kids pass up the compact CUV and head straight for the midsize (possibly 3 row) crossover?

            I’d say there’s some logic in that, but I also know more than a few people that make CRVs and Rav4s works as family haulers. The stretch pricewise from a mid-range compact crossover to a slightly more basic 3 row crossover isn’t too bad IMO, and you get a lot more space. I’ve done a bit of holiday travel in the back of a Rav4 with 4 other adults, and luggage and Christmas gifts. It’s doable and the Rav4 has the largest cargo volume in its class so that helps. But I preferred making the same trip the year prior in an older Highlander.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I get his point about families buying larger cars they dont actually need. Case in point, my cousin and his wife have one child living at home, and she’s 17 and has her own car. Yet, they *had* to have a 3rd row. They couldve been fine with an Escape or Terrain, but they bought a Traverse on the off chance that all their grand children and children would have to ride in one vehicle. A year after their purchase, this has yet to happen. Their daughter with children always take her Grand Cherokee, and their daughter at home always takes her Mustang when they all go somewhere. I dont think anyone has ever sat in the third row of the Chevy.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “People with kids seem to “need” a larger vehicle.”

            Yeah, I don’t get it either. I have a wife and daughter. I don’t see any need to get a CUV.

            Now if they were honest and said “we have kids, we want a larger vehicle” that’s cool. You can afford it, you want it, go for it. Just don’t mistake need and want.

            I for one am not letting my daughter dictate that I should drive a CUV or any other car. So I have a nice, sporty, and quick little 2 door coupe. If she wants her own doors she can buy them herself.

        • 0 avatar
          EMedPA

          When I went new car shopping a couple years ago, I went in thinking I wanted a Focus hatchback. A spring vacation trip with my kids convinced me that I still needed the space of a wagon. If Ford still sold the Focus wagon in the US that’s probably what I would have bought. Instead I bought an Escape, and got in exchange for ride height and weight I didn’t need the ability to tow a small utility trailer when needed. Two years in I think it was a worthwhile trade-off.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Just a bit of perspective, i have one kid and she faces forward now so i’d drive a 911 if i had the dough. But our neighbors, they have a couple younguns and a little dog too. They go away on weekends a lot they have parents living by the ocean. they used to squeeze into their Fit before baby 2, they moved up to the CRV affer that and still you put 2 kids in seats and a dog carrier in a CRV and you are almost full to start then you pack alll the stuff you need. They just gave in and bought the Odyssey a couple weeks ago.

            Number of children does matter but also what you do with your time. I stil buy stuff at home depot no matter how many kids i have, and our wagon is good for that luckily my wife drives it so i could have a sports car with a minimal back seat if i could afford it!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Rather than a full “crossover-fication” I’d love to see someone come out with a regular fwd sedan/wagon with the following basic features: durable scratch resistant unpainted bumpers without a lot of overhang, about 6.5 inches of ground clearance, stamped steel wheels (bonus for no hubcaps and painting them grey or silver) with 65-70 series tires. Basically I’d like to see someone bring over one of the ‘developing world specials’ to our market here in the US. And it’s not like we haven’t had cars like that here before, my 1990 Civic Wagon had all of these things, including the added ground clearance once I was rolling on some 15 inch Civic Si wheels ;P Between crumbling infrastructure and stagnating incomes, perhaps there is a business case for something like this after all. I know from experience that in some of the more forgotten neighborhoods here in Indianapolis, driving around on low profile tires is a liability. All of a sudden the journalist-maligned wallowy/soft suspension and steel wheels on my 2012 Civic seem like a pretty smart choice!

  • avatar
    Skink

    I’m seeing the letter s. Yes….. Snobbery. I’m seeing snobbery emanated from the PO.

    Crossovers are a new category. Get used to it. The snide jibe against imaginary Midwestern hausfraus is just a narrow stereotype that sells short the crossover’s appeal. But that’s what we’ve come to expect from cloistered coastal types.

    • 0 avatar
      r129

      Yesterday at my local supermarket, I pulled into a spot next to a base model Chevy Trax, complete with plastic wheel covers. I looked over at it, and wondered what kind of sucker with bad taste forked over $21,000+ for this ugly, jacked up Sonic, and why? Just then, a woman who resembled Mama June of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” and her mini-me teenage daughter walked up and lumbered into the Trax.

      Of course, that is just a narrow stereotype.

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        It’s a start. Good job! Keep reporting in this space on every person you observe driving CUVs. Let’s get to the bottom of this with some real data. Include photos. Be fair, now. Don’t just hang out at Walmart.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Cloistered coastal type here. Everyone drives crossovers. You don’t get to feel superior because only you are in Real America.

  • avatar

    Sales of the VW Beetle have fallen flat and it’s never captured a significant amount of male buyers. Why not jack the thing up, put some fender flares on it and call it the Baja? Or, square off the convertible version, add removable doors and call it the Thing?

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      While they’re at it, maybe they should make the Beetle the People’s Car again, rather than a trendy handbag for sorority girls.

      Alas, we both imagine VW still has a soul.

      • 0 avatar

        Sadly true.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Id call it a trendy handbag for old women. The only person I know who has one is a woman in her 60s who previously drove nothing but Buicks. Id rather have a new Regal than that ugly thing. If I wanted a retro small car (and it pains me to say this), Id buy a Fiat 500. What Id love to see is that Opel-cum-Buick Adam. It looks great IMO, stylish without trying too hard, and anything but retro.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This is brilliant! Since its Golf based (aren’t all VWs these days?) they could even throw AWD into it. They are already use the Beetle in Global Rally Cross. Size-wise this would be a VW Juke?

  • avatar

    I’VE BEEN ARGUING ABOUT THIS FOR A LONG TIME.

    #1 Cars ARE TOO DAMNED SMALL.

    #2 People can’t afford the big SUV’s anymore. The price on Expeditions and Tahoes for example has increased significantly since the Big3 turned towards CUV. CUV-ing a “car” means that they are taking a small car and trying to make it something it’s not. TALLER.

    We’ve traded length and width for height.

    #3 The only real competition to a CUV is a “wagon” built on a big car’s platform.

    Those will be the ones that sell best – so long as the price isn’t too high.

    EXAMPLES:

    Pontiac Aztek
    Dodge Magnum
    Honda Crosstour
    Nissan Whatever
    Honda CR-Something

    The problem with CUV’s is that they are more expensive than cars and slotted before SUV’s. The BIG CARS-turned-CUV end up in competition with BIG CARS and SUV.

    If the Dodge Magnum, for example, was designed into a current generation LX-platform’s mold, it would sell. Especially with a HELLCAT version. Hell – put the Jeep’s AWD and 392 in it, sit back and WATCH people line up.

    DO NOT throw that argument at me “the Magnum wasn’t selling so they cancelled it”. The Magnum was never refreshed and was allowed to rot by STUPID PEOPLE who didn’t see the future.

    My problem with my Jeep is the ride height. I want to be close to the ground, yet have ridiculous amounts of power and storage space my 300 can’t have. I can barely get a 50″ TV in my 300.

    • 0 avatar

      I am 6′ and 240# and find my Fiesta to be just about perfect. I also have a farm truck for doing heavier work.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      The Magnum was refreshed when they took out that “surprised” look for a more masculine front end treatment.

      The Magnum’s coupe-like roofline was silly to me. It certainly didnt help cargo space, and nobody mistook one for a Challenger. Wouldve looked better as a 300 (although they sold in Europe as such), then they couldve squared up the rear and not looked out of place.

      Just because you say not to mention that it was killed due to poor sales does not make it any less true. The 300 and Charger were not updated before the Magnum left, yet they continued to sell well. If your argument was that sales wouldve improved if it had been allowed to live and enjoy the changes brought to the 300/Charger, Im sure Chrysler considered that and dismissed it because the likelyhood of it selling in decent numbers after a redesign was low.

      Magnum was one of those cars that sold right away to all the people who wanted one, and those people were not enough to allow it to continue selling. The Jeep Wrangler, on the other hand, has obtained a cult following with generation after generation of buyers. Im sure if something similar had happened to the Magnum, they wouldnt have had to dump it in rental fleets in its later years and they couldve justified a redesign. For all the Hemis you can point to, there are plenty of rental-grade 2.7L models to show exactly how many people were actually pining for a RWD sporty wagon with a compromised cargo hold.

  • avatar

    We have to give a nod to the AMC Eagle here I think. Lets take a Hornet, jack it 2″ and give it a full time AWD system! Good stuff back in 1979.

    For the modern buyer it is indeed the challenge to find a platform not already crossedover. How about a Mustang or Camaro?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      There’s a silver two door Eagle for sale in someone’s yard on my way home from work. I’m tempted to just stop and look, but I tell myself NO POINT every time I think about it.

      EDIT: It’s a Spirit, and has this center grille logo.
      http://www.nashnut.com/wp-content/uploads/nj09-80spirit1.jpg

      So maybe it’s just RWD?

    • 0 avatar
      jimble

      The Outback and XV Crosstrek are basically the descendants of the Eagle, and that’s why I like them. You get decent ground clearance and they’re a bit easier for my 56-year-old bones to climb in and out of than a sedan or wagon, but you have the driving position of a sedan, which to me is a lot more comfortable than the more upright position in most SUVs/CUVs, and they aren’t too tall to comfortably put bikes on the roof rack. You do lose some of the utility of a vehicle designed as a CUV from the ground up, like more vertical space in the cargo hold, but for me it’s a reasonable compromise and a lot of people seem to agree.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Let’s turn this question around. What CUV would be better as a car?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Are there any CUVs that don’t have a car version?

      • 0 avatar
        r129

        GM’s Theta vehicles are the only ones that come to mind.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Good one. Lambdas too?

          I’m not sure if the Thetas or Lambdas would make good sedans though.

          • 0 avatar

            Lambda is somewhat related to the original Epsilon platform, which underpinned the mid-sized sedans (G6, Malibu, Aura, 9-3) in the early and mid-aughts. Really, though, Lambda vehicles are more or less glorified minivans. That’s great for a crossover, because it means that they are positively cavernous (although Nissan’s Pathfinder competes handily in that arena), but not so good for a sedan.

            I know the old MDX shared its platform with a number of other Honda vehicles, and ultimately the Accord…but I’m not sure if the latest one (2014-present) has anything to do with one of Honda’s sedans, or if it’s just a brand-new architecture.

      • 0 avatar
        Truckducken

        How about Sorento / Santa Fe?

    • 0 avatar
      Skink

      It’s not a CUV, but the Nissan Armada SUV would look great lowered and horizontally sectioned to make a handsome wagon. That roofline.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Are crossovers bullshit if they fill the needs of a huge part of the market? People simply prefer them. Let’s not act like our preferences are better than others. Let’s also not pretend that deciding on a car is a perfectly rational decision process that we all follow to a T.

    Consider the Accord and Camry. Two of the most popular family sedans in the country. Their respective crossover variants – the Crosstour and Venza – didn’t sell very well. Proof that popular crossovers aren’t simply a result of raised ride height and body cladding.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Yes, they are bullshit, because they don’t serve the needs of petulant children, who generally aren’t even in the market for new cars in the first place.

      Sometimes the group think in internet auto enthusiasm reaches an unbearable fever pitch. CUVs aren’t cool, we get it. Now get over yourselves.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I couldnt agree more. The argument when truck-based SUVs ruled the road was “they suck gas and handle like a truck! Moms in LA dont need a locking diff or body-on-frame ruggedness!”

      So, automakers combined the positive attributes of an SUV (better visability, an open cargo hold without an ugly minivan body, some sort of AWD if wanted) while answering the complaints about ride, handling and fuel economy.

      Now the same folks hate CUVs, although most dont seem to know exactly why. They just wish for station wagons instead. If wagons like those of yester-year were all the rage again, theyd hate them just like they did in the 70s (etc).

      Maybe they should badge the Traverse as a Vista Cruiser and satisfy all 3% of those wanting wagons instead of CUVs. I mean the marketing is all theyre actually complaining about if you considee most of their arguments. Its not as though CUVs are so tall that theyre tipsy or difficult to handle. They really feel just as car-like as old fullsize wagons, and its not as though those wagons handled particularly well. Id be willing to bet that a new Explorer could set a much faster time around the ‘Ring than a 1991 Country Squire, even if their weight and power numbers were similar. They certainly feel more confident and planted compared to those old Twinky-on-roller skates wagons.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Tesla Model 3. They’re wisely going to offer it as a sedan and CUV right out of the gate.

    • 0 avatar
      Rasputin

      With a hefty chunk of our tax dollars needed to produce & sell it.
      And just to keep it in perspective, by “our tax dollars” I mean the money you & I worked very hard for that the government took as its ‘share’ and gave to a ‘green’ huckster (huckster defined here as someone who needs billions of our money just to come somewhat close to breaking even).

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Please substantiate your claim with actual evidence.

        Tesla repaid its Federal loan years ago.

        The corporate welfare it receives is similar to every other mfr.

        The carbon credits it receives are sold among other mfrs, not consumers, and Nissan sells more than Tesla.

  • avatar
    pbr

    Answer: none. There is always a better choice.

    Q: good driving dynamics
    A: car

    Q: high mpg
    A: car

    Q: carry lots of X
    A: pickup/van/minivan, depending on what X is

    Q: offroad
    A: Wrangler

    Q: safe/capable in winter weather
    A: real winter tires

    Q: but once in a while i need capability Y
    A: rent something that does Y well when you need it

    if you WANT a crossover for aspirational reasons, that’s fine. I do not buy any of the justifications for how they’re “better” other than subjective desirablity.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Jesus Christ.

      “Good driving dynamics”… 99% of people on the road don’t care about driving dynamics. If they did, Mazda would be a top seller.

      “High MPG”… CRV is only 1 MPG down from the Accord with the same drivetrain. CUVs are not far off there.

      “Carry lots of X”… o please. Most pickup drivers arent hauling anything… wheres your beef with them? And if you have a small family (like most Americans families are) what exactly do you gain buying a more expensive, more gas guzzling, bigger n harder to park minivan over something like a CRV?

      “Offroad” lol nobody is buying a RAV4 to go offroad.

      “Safe/capable in winter weather”…. winter tires help, as does ground clearance… you can put winter tires on any car, you cant get more ground clearance.

      “But once in a while I need capability Y”… renting cars is a hassle and a needless added cost. I already showed a CRV is cheaper than a similarly equipped Accord… then on top of that added cost you demand people pay more to rent a car for stuff their Accord cant do.

      O and here are the two big reasons why CUVs make sense:

      – for young families, the higher ride height = much easier to load kids into child seats, which is something a young family will have to do literally EVERY DAY.
      – for older people, higher hip point = easier entry, which again is something they will have to do EVERY TIME THEY GET IN THE CAR.

      Silly to demand people forego those very practical considerations just to force them to subscribe to your automotive preferences. What are the daily practical benefits of “good driving dynamics”? Who crowned you king of the world?

      • 0 avatar
        LeMansteve

        Thank you, sportyaccord.

        pbr, I would add that no, CUVs aren’t the BEST at each of those things, but they do all of them reasonably well. Nor do they need to be the absolute best at any one thing.

        Crossovers/CUVs are the Swiss Army Knife of the automotive world. That’s the whole point. They are very flexible tools and work very well with families.

      • 0 avatar
        r129

        What exactly is the value of dismissing the importance of driving dynamics? If 99% of people don’t care about it, can’t the remaining 1% raise it as a valid issue here? Regardless of capacities and figures, there is just no way that you can convince me that the CR-V is as nice of a vehicle as the Accord in a bunch of other subjective ways.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          That’s fine… if driving dynamics are a priority FOR YOU, then you can buy a car that has good driving dynamics.

          The issue here is, if 1% of people care about it, why should the other 99% who don’t be FORCED to sacrifice what is a priority for them to serve the whims of that 1%? You are free to buy something other than a CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Trauto

        Agreed, sportyaccordy.

        r129, however, has answered his own question to his satisfaction. ;)

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’ll answer for my buddy who recently purchased a CX-5.

      Q: good driving dynamics
      A: Yes. Better than many cars, and probably better than all cars when driving on terrible roads.

      Q: high mpg
      A: Not bad with a 6-spd, FWD, and 2.0L. Better than the ’92 V6 Camry it replaced.

      Q: carry lots of X
      A: Don’t need anything the size of a van/minivan to accommodate a single child family. It’s the perfect size. Easier to pack for long trips than the Camry it replaced. Have a Frontier too if I need a bed.

      Q: offroad
      A: The Frontier does that regularly.

      Q: safe/capable in winter weather
      A: The ground clearance will be an advantage here in the Rocky Mountains. It will be getting a set of factory studded Gislaved Nord Frosts just like the Camry had, so traction should be the same.

      Q: but once in a while i need capability Y
      A: With a hitch and bike rack, it does everything needed.

      Q: what if my family gets hit by a pickup truck or SUV?
      A: If that happens, I’ll sure be happy the wife and kid are in that instead of a sedan where the high bumper might go over the structure of a car.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I read the challenge posed above, but scratched the word “today” from it, without even thinking. And my mind went to – a jacked up, cladded 5000 Avant Allroad. Two-tone.

    http://www.tflcar.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Audi-100-Avant-C3-1982%E2%80%931987-1.jpg

    You think about that for a minute.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Hyundai could probably do worse than to crossoverize the Sonata (or Azera). They’ve got a hole in their lineup that could plug nicely.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      What is the Santa Fe for then?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      They tried that, it was a flop. Just like Ford replacing the Excursion with an extended Expedition, Hyundai simply added a third row (and more space) to the Santa Fe to replace the horrible-selling Veracruze (and I know that isnt spelled right lol).

      They are supposedly bringing out a new CUV based on the Genisis, and like that car, itll be a psuedo-luxury vehicle that will appeal to 0 of the people its supposed to (those driving high end German and Japanese luxomobiles).

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Crossovers are growing on me. I’m seeing the benefits. It’s not like I drive on nice roads anyway. I think they have good reason to exist.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Ford SVT RAPTOR. 4-doors, not a Bronco.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Um, that wouldnt be a crossover as its defined here (based on a car). All theyd need to do to build the vehicle youre talking about would be to Raptor-ize the Expedition. Im sure it wouldnt sell well enough to justify it. Anyone in the market for a Raptor would buy…wait for it…a Raptor.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    VW Beetle.

    After all, the Morris Minor was once configured as a delivery van and it worked, so why not?

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I am going on a slight derail here to address the whimsical introduction of this article, John Edwards.

    “If you’ve never seen it (and, if you haven’t, please don’t go searching for it),”

    If you haven’t seen it, just watch the South Park episode “The Biggest Douche in the Universe”. They pretty much sum it all up for you in a neat and tidy package.

  • avatar
    Featherston

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

    I realize the distinctions may be lost on younger folks, but late night on Sci-Fi Channel/Sci Fi/SyFy is neither network nor prime time.

  • avatar
    aenal spore

    Crossovers aren’t really anything new. You can find older cars from the 30’s 40’s and 50’s that have a command seating position and raised ground clearance for easier ingress/egress.

    I’d rather have “crossovers” aka jacked wagons running around rather than suv’s.

    I myself drive a station wagon that’s brown with a 5 speed stick, but that’s me. I don’t expect everyone else do to it.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    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?

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      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.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    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?

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