By on May 26, 2016

2015 Honda CR-V

Once they’re behind the wheel of an SUV or crossover, it seems drivers stop wanting anything else.

That’s the gist of a report by IHS Automotive, which found that SUVs and crossovers have the highest owner loyalty rates of any body style in the industry.

Once you go big (and boxy), you never go back.

The study, released today by the business information provider, shows that 63 percent of SUV/CUV owners who bought a new vehicle in the first quarter of 2016 purchased another SUV or CUV. The data was squeezed from 1.9 million consumer interactions.

IHS looked at 32 market segments, and the top three with the greatest increase in body loyalty were CUVs. The eight segments where likelihood of purchasing the same bodystyle were highest were, again,  SUVs or CUVs.

Luxury full-size SUVs topped them all, with 70.3 percent of owners deciding to purchase another luxo barge.

Unless something bizarre occurs, growth of the already red-hot market segment will continue for the foreseeable future. The results will light an even bigger fire under automakers and their marketing teams to lure ever more customers into utility vehicles.

Should trunks just go away now, or is there still hope for conventional cars? Well, the IHS data shows some love for the three-boxer, but not much.

Conventional car owners had a loyalty rate of 53 percent, less than one percentage point above the industry average.

In the past five years, SUV/CUV registrations have gone from 35.2 percent of new vehicle registrations to 41.8 percent in the past quarter. Meanwhile, cars took a dive, going from 48.7 percent of new registrations to just 40.9 percent.

Will rebounding oil prices stop the flood of cargo haulers on our roadways? Don’t bet on it.

“The high loyalty rates for SUVs and CUVs lend credence to the current shift from passenger cars to utility vehicles,” said Christopher Hopson, manager of North America light vehicle sales forecast at IHS Automotive. “We expect this shift to be sustained, even when fuel prices are expected to rise back above USD $3.00/gallon by 2020.”

Looks like the federal government was wrong — the crossover is now the strongest drug on our streets.

[Image: Honda Motor Company]

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138 Comments on “Crossovers Will Take Over the World, And Here’s Proof...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    And the pointless article of the day award goes to… (drumroll)

    • 0 avatar
      zip89105

      No doubt about it. The article also doesn’t say what most (older) folks already know – older folks don’t like squatting into cars for various reasons, so they buy CUV’s.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      A literal sea of barely distinguishable upright SEE-YOU-VEE boxes on wheels, sitting nearly still in gridlocked rush hour traffic, slowly going barely anywhere.

      A slowly creeping wave of sameness, blandness and lemming-ness; the New Malaise Era is back, and will be recalled & identified as such sometime in the distant future.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Yup. And it’s worse than the similar creeping wave of 1970s station wagons too, as back then, there were huge greenhouses full of non-tinted glass to see through. And with all of the vehicle beltlines being approximately the same, you could therefore look straight through the glass of the several vehicles in front of you in traffic to see what was ahead. This also made backing out of parking spaces a much saver endeavor as well.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Meh… move out of an efficiency to a larger apartment; you’re not likely to ever prefer another efficiency.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    They list three “body styles”, including lumping CUV in with SUV, of which “pickup” is one and those have several important configuration distinctions by themselves.

    Bullsh*t post on a bullsh*t study, but thanks for playing!

    http://press.ihs.com/sites/ihs.newshq.businesswire.com
    /files/press_release/additional/
    052616_IHS_Automotive_Body_Style_Loyalty.png

  • avatar

    This trend will continue until the subliminal pleasure emitters in these vehicles are discovered.

    • 0 avatar
      anti121hero

      Probably when the next generation comes around and these become seen as the mommy mobiles they are and go the way of the minivan and station wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Is that like Ford’s fake V8 noises ;)

      • 0 avatar

        Kinda. I mean, if VW can fool the world’s regulators year after year, what’s to say someone isn’t putting some kind of subliminal thing in the sound system or other mechanism? I accept that there’s a market for a few crossovers but I cannot accept that crossovers are the automotive nirvana they’ve been played up to be. Something is fishy if the whole automotive world is in love with these things.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          waaaahhhh people buy cars I don’t like.

          99.9% of the car-buying market is made up of people for whom a car is something they “need,” not “want” or “like.”

          enthusiasts are a tiny, tiny sliver of the market, they just refuse to admit it.

          • 0 avatar
            slance66

            Absolutely. Even this enthusiast bought a CUV. It does what it needs to do. “But the handling”, the “high center of gravity”…poppycock. Yes, my CX-5 doesn’t handle as well as my 3 series did, or probably my 83 Prelude, but it out handles all my old Accords for sure, and most passenger cars made before 2000 or so.

            The performance limits of ordinary cars have gone up, up, up for years, to the point where people can buy a CUV with no real world compromise over what they expect in performance. A V6 Accord like Jack’s is a sports car by 80’s and 90’s standards. 1982 Corvette, 0-60 7.9, skidpad .826g. About the same as a V6 Camry XSE.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          The fishy thing is the death of the BOF SUV.

          CUVs have the advantages of both an SUV and a car. The habe SUV-like interior space, and slippery-road handling that is far better than any BOF SUV ever made. They have had the fuel economy and ride of a car.

          If you’re looking for a family transportation appliance, there’s no downside.

          The CAFE footprint rules probably allowed this to happen. My guess is that the offroad pretensions (ride height) were no longer required to game the system. So, carmakers could design cars that have the advantages of a car and an SUV in one package – and lots of people love it.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The CUV is now the default vehicle (as I’ve been saying for about two years). And most consumers just see big SUVs and CUVs in the same category, differentiated only by size. Small sedans are increasingly seen as poverty-mobiles. Large sedans are increasingly seen as old-fashioned. Coupes are seen as something for guys who show off their chest hair (or their female equivalents). Except for CUV/SUVs, the only other category that has an improving image is pickups.

    We just moved from a CUV to a C-Max, which is really a tall wagon thing. But I only got away with that because the styling is very similar to the Escape, a CUV. I’m not sure my wife has figured out yet that it’s not really a CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I’m not sure my wife has figured out yet that it’s not really a CUV.

      lol like my wife’s insistence that her first generation Pontiac Vibe is a CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think both your wives are probably above herd mentality.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Well considering she’s more pissed about the disappearance of manual transmissions than half the B&B and willing to put her money where her mouth is…

          I’d say you might be right.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Next week on Wife Adventures: Dan becomes Mormon, moves to Utah, buys manual transmission Defender.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I kinda thought about going to Utah and seeing if I can negotiate with the locals for a wife, but the more I think about it they are going to want me to join them, and stay there, with no coffee or beer, and I’m like F that noise.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Yeah the one pot of coffee per day, couple of cigars a month, and appreciation of whiskey will keep me out of Utah.

            Now if polygamy meant I could have each of them specialize in some area like housework…

            Nah… I know better than that.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought on the polygamy angle as well, but they seem to be doing it all wrong out there.

          • 0 avatar
            CincyDavid

            My baby sister worked for a company based in SLC, and their Christmas party invitations were addressed to the employee and wife, limit one please. She wasn’t sure if they were kidding or not?!?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Typically it would say “spouse” or “significant other” and then limit one. They don’t want you bringing your GF and her GF for free booze and food.

            (Which people would do because they have no concept of graciousness.)

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          My wife is fantastic at sniffing out what the herd wants (probably something to do with her years in politics) but usually feels free to ignore it. But she does like CUVs for both styling and seat height reasons.

      • 0 avatar

        If the EPA could classify the PT Cruiser as a truck, why not the Vibe? At least you could get 4wd on the Vibe.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I’ve really grown fond of the C-Max, especially because of how cheaply it can be acquired on the used market. It’s the best vehicle on that platform, if you ask me.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        So far we love it, although we’d like it to be just a bit quicker. The only vehicle I’d rather have on that platform is a FoST. As our kid car, that wouldn’t fly with the wife, to put it mildly.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        Same here. I’ve been researching them heavily and am planning to test drive one this weekend. I’m thinking it could be the car to replace my Jetta wagon and maybe I’ll have money left over once VW buys my car back. 2015 CPOs with ~20k miles are in the $18k range even though the cars were over $30k new.

    • 0 avatar
      Slow_Joe_Crow

      That was one of the arguments in favor of our used Mazda5. Usefully higher seating position for my short wife, tons of interior space, emergency use third row seats, and 1/2 the price of a Subaru Outback. With ABS, traction control, and the mandatory studless tires winter mobility on pavement is just as good as a Subaru, and we don’t go further off road than the mountain bike trails so awd isn’t that useful.

      • 0 avatar
        Conslaw

        I just bought a used C-Max to replace my wrecked one, and I was shocked to find out how much the price had gone down in the used market. Compare a C-Max with a similarly equipped Escape and the price difference is Trumpian HUUGE. It stuns me how much Ford screwed up the marketing of the C-Max, trumpeting the 47 MPG (as opposed to real-world 40ish). The fact is, the car has essentially the same interior room as the Escape, is as quick as the small Ecoboost Escape and gets at least half again the MPG. Right now used C-Maxes are priced closer to Focuses. The C-Max is significantly roomier and quieter.

  • avatar

    Crossovers are more practical.

    They just are.

    They trade height for length and are just more spacious and allow you to carry things cars don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Who are you and what have you done with BTSR?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Minivans are even more practical, yet can be a tough sell these days because people are ashamed of parenthood or something. It’s the adventurous marketing image that sells crossovers and SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        TonyJZX

        Minivans, if you think minivans are 4,400lb V6 things, have poor mileage though.

        The CRV and those 2.0-2.4 CUVs have decent mileage with 99% of the utility.

        Thing is minivans are great if you cant control your reproduction and need 7 or more seats.

        For most people the 5 seat CUV does most things pretty well.

        My daily driver is a V8 full sized sedan. The ski-port in the back seat firewall is a poor subsitute for the liftgate in a CUV.

        If I wanted one car that does it all, I would probably take a 6 spd manual 2.5 Mazda CX5 (something that doesnt exist here).

        One of the nicer small 4 cyl. CUVs is a perfect compromise.

        I dont drive on any rough tracks at all but even for the 5% of the time I’m on unsealed roads, I think rudimentary 4WD ability in your CUV is a good thing.

        See. I hate CUVs and even some of them appeal to me.

        • 0 avatar

          Is minivan mileage really that bad? My beater Voyager gets pretty decent gas milage – although it is a SWB, and it doesn’t like hills much.

          It does way better than my Pathfinder, and doesn’t require premium. Granted, my Pathfinder is a previous-gen, so it’s an actual BOF SUV, not a CUV.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Compact CUVs have maybe 1/2 to 2/3 the utility of the average minivan. They’re much smaller, better fuel mileage would be expected.

          The more appropriate comparison would be comparing minivans to their midsize/full-size crossover counterparts where CUVs net similar or worse fuel mileage and less interior space and versatility.

          Lots of buyers give up those advantages, AND PAY MORE on average, for the sake of the SUV image.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        In some sense CUV’s are the contemporary minivans (or perhaps microvans), boxy, roomy, and lots of them can be had in 2WD.
        Okay, so they sit a little higher, but that is not some sort of profound difference.
        “mini”vans are hardly mini anymore after decades of steady growth.

      • 0 avatar

        Minivans are effeminate.

        SUV and crossovers look more manly and menacing.

        I could take a Pacifica, drop a HELLCAT in it, upgrade the brakes, give it AWD, make it look TERRIFYING and people would want it even at $75,000 Jeep SRT prices.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          Nothing proves you are more of a man than raising and taking care of your family. Minivans are perfect family haulers. Hellcats are for little boys.

          • 0 avatar
            Luke42

            @Fred: +1

            I take care of my family, and my minivan is one of the tools I use.

            Strutting around trying to prove your manlieness with fast cars (or whatever) is a teenager’s game.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Fred – filling a minivan with kids sounds manly to me. LOL

        • 0 avatar
          threeer

          This. My best bud’s wife steadfastly REFUSES to even consider a minivan, though it’d likely serve their needs better because she thinks it’s too dowdy (or something to that effect). She wants a SUV down the road because it doesn’t look like a soccer-mom delivery van. Just one more reason SUVs are so popular. People want what people want…and what they can afford to accomplish the mission.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    What is wrong with having a taller vehicle that is easier to get in and out of and that is easier to see out of. Most sedans are lower to the ground, harder to get in and out of, and have poor visibility. Unless you are getting a vehicle to commute to work and getting it cheap there is not enough headroom, leg room, visibility, and trunk space in most midsize and compact sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      What’s wrong is that they cost more, get worse mileage, and are slower.

      Look, I’m young, fit, tall, and cheap so I see the world different from the old, sedentary, fat, and spendthrifty.

      But I can tell you about my car – my sedan was made by a company that takes sedans seriously, it’s very easy to see out of, it’s a 2001 but it’s combination of mileage and speed is simply untouchable by any SUV – I get 27 mpg at 75 mph and I can crack out a mid-14 second 1/4 mile.

      And because I’m tall and sit upright, I’m eye level with most old people / poor posture people driving CR-Vs/Rav4s.

      My car weighs ~500 lbs more than the Rav4s and CRVs and Escapes of the world, but it has way more head room and leg room. And there’s no comparison between the back seat of my car and the back seat of any mainstream SUV. My co-workers jump at the chance to ride in my car on the way to lunch and offsite meetings.

      So perhaps you’re right if your conception of sedans is 2010 Impalas and Chrysler 200s, but the best-selling modern sedans are fantastic. And CUVs are for people who put a premium on laziness.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        “And CUVs are for people who put a premium on laziness.”

        Your arrogant certitude will insure that *someone* is really going to enjoy watching you age and enter the hurty years.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          Perhaps. But I’m entirely honest. We both know that people with bad knees can use sedans, they just chose not to. Look at the CARS that the elderly used to drive. Right now, the AARP crowd would rather not find a way to get into sedans and is more than happy to drive their CRVs/Buick CUVs around. Is that not laziness?

          And you hear parents say “SUVs are so much easier when you’re loading kids”. My parents managed to put me in a carseat in the back of their Acura Integra. Obviously they’d rather spend the money on an SUV than keep it in the bank and bend over to buckle up their kids. Is that not laziness?

          If you have the money to burn, why not get a CUV? More power to you. Perhaps I need to be thrifty now so that I can afford a CUV in the future. My knee is already acting up because I inherited bad joints (and I was born with a limited range of motion in my shoulders). And I know that I take it easy on my knee because I am lazy. I could go to P.T and explore surgery and maybe take medication / supplements / get an artificial joint. Or I could just be extra careful when I’m squatting 300+ lbs and quit running marathons. That certainly is laziness on my behalf.

          My point of contention is that CUVs aren’t strictly better than sedans (as Jeff S claimed), just that they’re better for some people and in my ways, sedans are competitive with CUVs.

          That said, are you saying that SUVs/CUVs are not attractive to people who put a premium on laziness?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            ” We both know that people with bad knees can use sedans, they just chose not to.”

            You have no inkling of what I know, pupa. But I’ll avail you of one tiny, glittering facet:

            It will be a glorious day of comeuppance when you realize that deep bone pain doesn’t just go away and it prefers that you don’t sleep while it’s speaking to you.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You really are being a d!ck.

            Did it ever occur to you that someone might actually prioritize ease of entry over handling for entirely rational reasons? That some people never drive aggressively and could care less about the last few hundredths of a second or a g, but have back issues?

            My wife had back surgery about 18 months ago. She’s mostly better, but still has trouble with tasks that require her to bend over for any more than a few seconds. Like… loading a kid into a sedan. CUV height (or C-Max height, where the floor is lower but the seats are just as tall as those in a CUV) literally means she can take care of our kid without pain.

            Go a little easy on the smug judgment and people might not yell at you so much.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            kenmore,
            I think most young guys have deep bone pain of some form as well;)

            Didn’t you, when young and foolish?

        • 0 avatar
          ttacgreg

          My 95 year old dad hardly classifies as lazy. Feeble is more like it. A seat surface that is butt height makes an incredible difference. He has little trouble getting in to my Suzuki Vitara. The fun starts when I show up with my 1990 Plymouth Laser.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Hell I’m 64 and lazy but have no problems getting in of my car. Well the Lotus takes a bit of effort. I use it as a gauge, when I can get in and out of it, I’ll move into a retirement home and die.

        • 0 avatar
          James2

          I resemble that remark. Tried to get into a NC Miata in the showroom, could barely raise my bum knees over the tall sills. God decided there was no way I was meant for this car.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Funny thing..last year, at age 44, my back nearly went out while hopping into the Scion Toyobaru whatchamacalit at the auto show!

            Felt fine clambering into the Corvette a little later!

            I can do my Accord just fine. I’ve had CR-Vs as loaners, and they’re OK, but sitting up high, I feel it’s too easy to miss something like a Miata, smart, or motorcycle in the blind-spot. And I wasn’t crazy about the mileage, either!

            I’m not going to cast stones at people who want them; sometimes they may not be the tool I’d choose, but whatevs!

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Audi, Mercedes, or Saab?

        I like sedans too, but you sound more like a d*ck than “honest”.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          It’s a Lexus LS

          I might be a dick but I’m right. SUVs are compromise vehicles for at least 90% of the owners and they settle on SUVs because they’re too lazy to make other vehicles work.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            They’re not, and you’re only calling the cuv/owner out because you don’t have/aren’t one.

            I just got out of a compact cuv and into a sedan. It’s been nothing except compromise. The cuv did more things.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            This sounds too much like Jack’s rant a while back about CUV’s. LOL

            I have never owned a car other than a ’68 Galaxie 500 my folks gave me.

            My wife wants a small to mid-sized CUV/SUV once we no longer need the minivan. I like the thought of AWD and a tad more ground clearance. The slightly higher seat height is also welcome.
            I was starting to look at little cars since my son will driving soon but after my wife’s friend lost a daughter in a broadside I’m now inclined to get my son a regular cab pickup. He is an outdoorsy kid and you aren’t going to get a sedan into the places we like to go.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I, too, have a Lexus LS. It’s really good at some things. But our C-Max, and our Forester before it, is better at others.

            Also, you’re only getting 27 mpg in steady-speed highway cruising. Plenty of CUVs do that too.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            it’s not “laziness,” you arrogant whatever. It’s that *most people aren’t enthusiasts.* They don’t care about handling, they don’t care about Miata, they don’t care about brown diesel manual transmission station wagon. a car is something which enables them to do what they need to do on a daily basis.

            you, like most other enthusiasts, refuse to accept the fact that YOU DON’T MATTER.

          • 0 avatar
            slance66

            CUVs are compromises, but less of a compromise than any other vehicle overall. Focus purpose vehicles like Miatas require the most compromise because they do almost nothing well, and a few things really well. A Wrangler is similar.

            My CX-5 will out handle your Lexus. It gets better MPG (much better in the city). You have 37.7″ rear leg room. I have 39.3. Headroom? Mazda has more. Lexus is more than a foot longer, bad for my garage. 0-60, you win. Mine holds way more stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        @yamahog,

        Just wanted to point out some inaccurate statements you’ve made. Your Lexus LS is rated at 16/23 by the EPA. That’s V8 pickup truck gas mileage. And nowadays a Silverado 6.2L or F150 3.5L have no problem ripping off low 14s in the 1/4. That’s with EPA ratings just an mpg or two off your LS. Your 27mpg claim does not pass the smell test even a little bit. Maybe at 55mph while drafting a tractor-trailer… Give me your car and I’ll return 18mpg with it.

        As for interior room versus a CUV; think again. You have 37.7″ of rear legroom. My Terrain has 39.9″. Compared to my Silverado the backseat of your LS is child sized.

        The 2016 Chevy Impala is virtually identical to your 01 LS in performance; has MORE interior room, is safer and gets better gas mileage (18/28 vs 16/23) with no requirement to burn premium fuel.

        However the biggest thing to consider here is that your car is really goddamn expensive. Not within the reach of most families. Most people will not drive a 14 year old car if they can avoid it. Your car is missing 14 years of safety advancements.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          My 2008 LS is rated at 16/24 but will legitimately get 31 mpg at a steady 65 mph. They really do have good aero. So that part is right. But your criticism of the rest is right on.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          The EPA is bologna. I get 13 mpg in the city, and at least 26 on the freeway. The LS430 didn’t game the EPA tests like modern trucks do. Also, the EPA rates cars for the highway, not the freeway where I do 95% of my commute. The low CD and relatively tall gearing really help. If you tried to get bad milage, I have no doubt you could do much worse than 18 mpg.

          If I were going to lie about mileage, why wouldn’t I go for the gold and say that I get an honest 50 mpg at 80 mph? BEAT THAT PRIUS. Full size cars do very well at relatively steady state cruising – most vehicles do. On my commute, I’ve beat the EPA highway for every sedan I’ve ever owned and did way worse with my Honda Element. For what it’s worth, I find my mileage is nearly spot on with Consumer Report’s 150 mile trip mileage. I actually think that I could get nearly identical freeway mileage out of a Silverado with a 5.3 and a tall rear end. But the aerodynamics are significant – I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that my car would get better mpg at 80 mph than any truck available in America today.

          I don’t know where you get your numbers, and perhaps there’s more distance between the end of the front seats and the beginning of the front seats in your terrain. But my boss has a platform mate (the GMC Arcadia) and the tall floor / relatively stout roof make it a less-comfortable place for someone tall like me to sit. I’m not going to lie to myself – I like quiet, spacious, relatively zippy vehicles. That’s why a 5.3 silverado is on the short list of next vehicles.

          And I agree that the largest cab half-ton trucks are spacious.

          And you’ve really proved my point with the new Impala. What’s the OTD price on an Impala? I bet it’s lower than an Equinox. I bet the Impala is quieter and more spacious for a tall person and faster and more fuel efficient than the Equinox.

          And I’m very aware that I drive a 14 year old car. I bought it with the money in my checking account because it was a good deal. Do you know what sorts of trucks or SUVs I could have purchased with the chump change I spent on my perfectly fine car? Rusty heaps of crap are the only things available for a comparable amount of money. Go check the price of a 2001 LS430 with 100-120k miles, it’s shockingly low.

          I’m not saying that everyone should drive an LS430 and everyone else is so stupid that they want bill cosby to be their bartender.

          My point is other vehicles are usually better than SUVs in specific use cases –

          Have kids? Minivan / MPV.

          Haul stuff? Truck.

          Want to see over traffic but not drive a semi-truck? XR650.

          Need AWD? snow tires / awd sedan / 4×4 truck

          And SUVs are compromise vehicles and you gotta pay for that compromised capacity.

          In many ways, the fastest growing segment of street legal motorcycles (adventure bikes) are like SUVs – they’re tall, they have cargo space, they have a lot of creature comforts, big motors, they’re rugged looking, ect. Some people buy them and are disappointed that they’re usually the slowest bikes of their price point, or they suck off-road compared to dirt bikes, ect. but the people who love them love them for the care-free/lazy aspects of them. You can toss your helmet in the trunk of an NC700x. If someone knocks your africa twin over, it’s no big deal you can pick it up, dust it off, and keep riding.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            ” 50 mpg at 80 mph? BEAT THAT PRIUS”
            Can’t resist.
            As soon as I had a few thousand miles on it, I took my 2016 Prius for a spin over Vail pass on I-70, and did 75-85 the whole way over to Gypsum and back over Vail pass again back home. (that is a lot of gas burning long steep grades) I did 53.x mpgs. I was hoping for better. :(

          • 0 avatar
            Frylock350

            @yamahog,

            Thanks for the well written response!

            After reading your post I looked at the going prices for an 01 LS and wow; that’s a heckuva deal. Any pickup at comparable prices is indeed beaten into the ground or has a quarter million miles on the clock.

            I guess I read hat 27mpg as “this is what I average” versus “this is what’s possible”. I drive to work downtown in a major city so my fuel effeciency experience is typically a hair above EPA city regardless of vehicle. You give me your car for my daily slog and it’ll return 17-18 at best. Hell I’ve had a rental Sonata I4 return 17mpg. I’ve gotten 24.5mpg out of my Silverado (5.3L CCSB 3.42 4×4) in ideal conditions (64mph cruise, flat and straight backroad).

            My Terrain doesn’t share a platform with the Acadia; it shares with the Equinox. The Acadia and its competitors (Highlander, Pilot, Explorer, etc) all have compromised 2nd row legroom in order to provide three rows of a seating and a cargo area. My Terrain has no such design compromise; its designed purely as a two row vehicle. It also have a very long wheelbase and the second row slides fore/aft to trade legroom for cargo room depending on needs. It has the most in-class legroom and really does deliver full-size sedan legroom with a midsize sedan footprint. The room combined with the boxy truck-like styling, low beltline, and airy greenhouse led to the Terrain purchase. The mrs didn’t want to drive anything as long as your Lexus (or an Impala) and didn’t want wedgey styling. The replacement for the Terrain will likely be a JKU. A minivan also wasn’t a consideration because they’re simply too big. Versus a Pilot or Acadia, yeah give me the keys to a Pacifica 10/10 times; but the midsize CUV really does fill a role well. It offers full-size sedan room with midsize sedan size and more cargo room than either.

            My next vehicle will be an SUV most likely,though not one you are likely to criticize; a Chevy Suburban. it has three rows that can seat adults, has plenty of room behind the third row, can tow and has an RWD V8 drivetrain.

            The OTD price on an Impala vs Equinox with similar is equipment is very similar. I’d choose the Impala; it really is a great car. I’ve had them as service loaners and they’re quick, quiet, comfortable, ride well and can deliver 31mpg highway with a little conscientious driving. The Equinox however can hold more stuff and is easier to load. The Impala is substantially more efficient and about 0.5 quicker to 60 and in the 1/4.

            My point was that just because someone chooses a CUV doesn’t mean they’re lazy sedentary people; it usually means they’re willing to pay for utility and find the performance/mpg good enough. I too would chose an 01 LS430 over a brand new RAV4, but I’m an enthusiast and I don’t represent the population at large. For them the CUV’s downsides don’t matter and its upsides rule the roost.

            Also pretty much any modern sedan has piss poor headroom. Your LS is a notable exception to that rule.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        I’m 6’5”. And guess what? When I was car shopping last year, All the Lexus sedans I sat in had p!ss poor headroom, I couldn’t sit upright!, and yes they all had sunroof’s (that’s pretty much unavoidable in luxury cars). The only Lexus models that had enough headroom in them were (surprise!) SUVs. Of course I wasn’t looking for a sedan anyway, I just sat in them for curiosity. Plus I grew up around big trucks, and SUVs, so i’m used to the higher seating position. I like the extra space, visibility, And my 2007 RX 350s ability to effortlessly soak up pot holes, and bad bumps, and with a 0-60 in 6.8 seconds it’s no slouch either, it’s not the fastest thing in the world, but it’s fast enough for me. The only thing I don’t like about my RX is that the handling is a bit sloppy, But it’s a luxury CUV not a sports car, and it’s perfect for 90% of my driving.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          I agree the current crop of lexus sedans have poor headroom (except for LS460 IMO). I wouldn’t buy an ES or a GS or an IS. I’m not saying that sedans are right for everyone. I’m not saying everyone should buy a lexus. I’m just saying that SUVs are compromised and expensive. They don’t dominate cars in their price bracket.

          A V6 camry is maybe 2/3rds as much and knocks a second off the 0-60 over the RX.

          A hybrid camry has a comparable 0-60 but has half the fuel consumption and costs 2/3rds as much.

          If you like your RX, great. Congratulations. You’re going to get a lot of use out of it and the ride height is great for rough roads. But when you select a given parameter to optimize (storage space, fuel efficiency, cost of ownership, acceleration, track time, ect.) you’re unlikely to find that an SUV is the global solution.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            @yamahog
            I sat in a 2016 LS 460 at the car show, and found the headroom quite poor, rather unfortunate because the rest of the car is absolutely flawless. The current GS 350 seemed to have better headroom oddly enough (maybe it’s because it’s one of Lexus newer designs?), But the point is moot, as my next Lexus may likely be a GX 460.

        • 0 avatar
          slance66

          We are about to sell our 2007 RX350. 140k on it and it is showing its age. Handling always sucked, but is worse now. Probably a used Volvo XC60 used to replace it, or a 2013 RX. I’ll say this, the RX holds a ton of stuff. Cargo space is way above the other 5 seat CUVs and dwarfs what you get in any car.

          My new CX-5? Like you, I’ll probably get a GX-460 to replace it. I should be close to done commuting to work by then.

          • 0 avatar
            Carfan94

            @slance66
            My 2007 RX has 149k miles on it now. I got it last year to replace my 2007 XC90 (don’t buy a used Volvo out of warranty by the way). It’s also showing it’s age, but think it has a lot of life left in it. It was a one owner, and though the driver seat shows signs of wear, the rear seats look like they’ve never been sat in. Also everything on it still works, and it has all the features I like (navigation, bluetooth, power tailgate, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, backup camera, rain sensing wipers, auto dimming rear view mirrors, adaptive HID headlamps) so I’m going to be keeping for a while.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Are CUVs really that much easier to get in, or does it just trade off one struggle for the other. My mom’s on the short side, but last time she went car shopping, I figured I’d at least suggest she check a couple out, figuring she’d be in her mid-60s by the time she got rid of the new car. She had to climb up into them (and we’re talking Kia Sportage size), and ruled them out pretty much immediately (I mean, I feel absolutely no disappointment over that).

      I’d think if ease of entry is that important to you, you’d want a fairly low floor, and a seat roughly at the height of a dining room table, but the odd selection of mini minivans (C-Max, Mazda5, Kia Rondo) or the Ford Five Hundred that should have been optimal mostly failed.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The seat height of our C-Max is, surprisingly enough, almost exactly the same as the seat height of our Forester was. My 5’3″ wife doesn’t have to climb into either; the seat is right at butt level and she just sits down.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          The C-max is the perfect size vehicle and if I were king, everyone would drive something practical like it and use the money they saved for useful stuff like building spaceships. I think Europe gets one with a sliding door and if that isn’t the bee’s knees I don’t know what is. I have no idea why people shell out the big bucks for escapes when the C-max exists.

          Also, regarding your comment:
          Also, you’re only getting 27 mpg in steady-speed highway cruising. Plenty of CUVs do that too.

          Yes. That’s true. But not many CUVs get 27 mpg at 70 mph and have the ability to crack off 14 second 1/4 miles. My whole point is that SUVs don’t have the fuel efficiency or speed of cars that cost a similar amount of money.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The one you’re thinking of “with a sliding door” is the Fiesta-based subcompact MPV, the B-Max (with two sliding doors).

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Is the C-Max its own platform, or does it share with the Escape (Kuga outside of N/A)? They look like two peas in a pod, and I know that the last Escape Hybrid rivals the Prius for bulletproof, but there isn’t any Escape Hybrid available now, AFAIK.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            The C-Max MPV is on the same platform (Global C) as the other C-segment Fords, the Kuga/Escape CUV and the Focus. Note that the Focus and the C-Max have the same wheelbase (although Ford also makes a LWB Grand C-Max). The Transit Connect van and the Lincoln MKC are on a more modified version of the same platform.

            Ford’s platform for the Fiesta (Global B) also underpins the B-Max MPV, the Transit Courier van, and the EcoSport CUV.

      • 0 avatar

        My septuagenarian parents still have their 13 year old Town and Country (with less than 60k on it). My mom has had both knees replaced. She can’t get into my (previous gen) Pathfinder, if I drive her someplace when I’m visiting I have to drive her van.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “What is wrong with having a taller vehicle that is easier to get in and out of and that is easier to see out of.”

      There Absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just don’t want one, and I hope that at least a couple manufacturers remember that there are customers like me out there who prefer driving coupes.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My 2014 Escape is far from my dream car, but it does what I need it to do for me right now, which is haul rescue dogs comfortably, transport camping gear and make the occasional run to Lowes or the recycle center. For better or worse, it checks off more boxes of what I need a vehicle to do than what a BMW 3-series can. And since I don’t have unlimited funds to buy multiple cars to satisfy different needs/desires, the Escape does enough of what is important at a price I can afford.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      The Escape is on my <$5K SUV good used buy list, along with the Tribute. Just hard to find them without rust in salt states.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @CoreyDL, search in places like Phoenix to find low rust examples. There will always be retirees who buy the 4×4/AWD model, drive it 5,000 miles per year, and then their children/estate wants nothing to do with it after they expire.

        But it has to be a good enough deal to justify flying out and driving back. YMMV

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          That is soooo far from here.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Make it a vacation. Go see the Grand Canyon, or hit up Vegas if that’s your thing. You can also find rust free cars in the Pacific North West (Seattle, Portland, etc). You’re more likely to find 4wd/AWD there because that’s snow country. They use sand instead of salt, so unless it was parked close to salt water, it won’t have any rust.

            For example, I had a 1978 Mercury Zephyr Z-7 I bought north of Seattle. I put it on a lift and tried to find rust. There was none. I wish I could’ve found a way to have kept that car. I’d have upgraded the 200 c.i. I-6 to the 250 c.i. and used Aussie parts to convert it to EFI. Add an overdrive automatic, a set of 79-86 Mustang/Capri instruments (to add a tachometer, oil pressure, voltage and temperature gauges) it would’ve been awesome. I knew a custom body guy who said it was possible to make the doors rear-hinged (like a Rolls Phantom Drophead). I would also replace the grille with a modified one from a Grand Marquis with thicker chrome bars and a big honkin Mercury logo front and center. Two tone paint would’ve looked good on the unique Z-7 body style. I digress…lol

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Overall, not sure I want to drive <$5k car that many thousands of miles, either. That sounds no fun and fraught with breakdown potential.

            1800 miles and 27 hours, assuming no stops.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Well, that’s the difference in me and most people, and I’m lol at myself here, I have taken so many cross-country trips in old cars, I’ve lost count.

            I have to know the car well and trust it, and I have had issues but have never been stranded. My Taurus will probably end up going from here in Florida to Washington sooner or later, assuming we don’t get something more road-trip friendly.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            I was also going to say, you could run it by a Ford dealer for an inspection before you buy it, that should negate and major issues laying under the surface.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Make it a vacation. Go see the Grand Canyon, or hit up Vegas if that’s your thing. ”

            if someone’s looking for an under-$5k car, that kind of vacation is probably not on the checklists.

            man, you people are good at trying to tell other people how to spend their money.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            What you fail to consider during your judgment, Jim, is that some people buy a cheap car intentionally. It’s a secondary car which sits outside and will not be sole car/DD.

            That’s what this would be.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Calm down Jim, it doesn’t cost anything (aside from fuel) to visit the Grand Canyon. There are plenty of things to do on a road trip that cost nothing besides perhaps fuel to go out of your way.

            I was just attempting to give him an excuse (and a legitimate one) to justify the road trip. For me, the trip itself is the fun part, but there are plenty of things to do that don’t cost big money.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        @CoreyDL: “The Escape is on my <$5K SUV good used buy list, along with the Tribute. Just hard to find them without rust in salt states."

        Be especially wary of the rear strut tower mounts. This is where the earlier Escapes get the most serious and hidden rust.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The plastic cladding on my Tribute seems to have protected it from the worst of rust even in MN, along with me not putting it in a heated space in the winter (so the snow doesn’t melt and run into the rocker panels on a daily basis). As others have said, watch the front and rear strut towers.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      “And since I don’t have unlimited funds to buy multiple cars to satisfy different needs/desires, the Escape does enough of what is important at a price I can afford.”

      Bam, you nailed it. For many people cars are too expensive to have several of them in the garage, so they need a swiss knife. The SUV or minivan often fits the bill.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I dunno, I have a ’16 Honda CR-V in the garage that I could drive, but I find myself reaching for the keys to my 20 year old Volvo V90 wagon…BIG windows, low beltline, high seating position as cars go, no reason to put miles on the new car.

    Drive an Accord back-to-back with a CR-V, and if you’re older than 50, you’ll choose the CR-V every time. It’s a matter of sitting up, seeing around you, and being halfway comfy. The CR-V does have a more firm ride, with more head toss, but that’s the only downside I see.

    I do have a beef with newer cars…the damn headrest is pushed too far forward, and makes me nuts…gives me a stiff neck and headache too.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      I believe that is for safety, to minimize whiplash in a rear-end crash. I know they are like that on my parent’s 2012 Taurus, but it doesn’t bother me. I guess its just the way I sit, but my head rarely touches the headrest on any car I drive. Not the case when I had a single-cab Isuzu Hombre, as I recall.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      The problem is you bought a CR-V. The Forester has big windows, adjustable headrests, and 30+ mpg hwy.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        The nearly-vertical rear on the CR-V can provide 38 MPG with a stiff tailwind. No, really.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          38 mpg is damn good. But, is that a fwd or awd CR-V? My wife and I tried to like the CR-V. The interior was just to bland and stereo was awful even on the Touring model. The Forester was so open and the new interior on the 2016 sold us. We also get 33-35 mpg hwy which was a big surprise.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            AWD, but it was a hell of a tailwind pushing us all the way home. Normal driving on the interstate nets about 29 MPG, which is still loads better than my Tribute’s 21.

            The interior is quite bland, even on the refreshed models, but well put-together. My mother is no audiophile, so as long as the stereo plays NPR, podcasts, and books on CD, she’s happy. The CR-V was sort of a spur-of-the-moment purchase; my parents had been sorta-looking for a replacement for her ’09 Kia Sportage for a while, but then my sister’s Focus (a bit of a lemon to begin with) blew up, so they gave her “the blueberry” Kia and got the CR-V for a song on the way home. NVH is nothing special on the Honda, but it’s miles better than the Kia was, and even the middle trim (EX?) has more creature comforts than the FWD Kia. (When my sister went to Spain for a semester, Dad took the Kia back and used it for his winter car–17 MPG from all the little trips into town is still better than 12 in a full-size pickup.)

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        I really liked the tall glass on the Forester. If the XT wasn’t so scarce here, I’d have gotten that over my CX-5.

        I hate, hate, hate, the high belt-line of modern sedans. I can’t stand being in any car where the top of the door is above or even close to, my shoulder. Better that it’s just above elbow height.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I’m more inclined towards a traditional BOF SUV or a van of some kind. I am considering a first gen Odyssey, and its four swing out doors and car like styling certainly lends it to the CUV crowd, its far too low and not AWD, so its a van I guess.

    I take one back, I’ve always liked the Honda Element and would love a 4wd/manual.

    Speaking of vans, I think Mazda should get some credit for its 1990s MPV AllSport as an early version of what is now a common CUV setup. Car based, check. Four swing out doors, yep. 3rd row, you betcha. Avalible AWD and increased ride heigth, yes.

  • avatar
    John R

    suv’s are a blight.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Do most buyers care about driving dynamics? Nope.

    Do they want ride height and something that kinda resembles the 1990s BOF SUV craze without the ridiculous buy-in price and fuel economy? Yup.

    Will they pay a little MSRP premium and sacrifice some mpg and lateral G over a comparable sedan to get it? Definitely. Are we surprised manual transmissions are disappearing?

    The CUV is here to stay for awhile. Rising gas prices may dent Tahoe and F150 sales a bit, but probably not CUVs with their higher fuel efficiency. I fully understand the utilitarian appeal of the CR-V class. I’m not willing to pay for it over something like an Accord, but plenty of buyers apparently see the CUV as the perfect compromise between the midsize sedan and the 1996 Ford Explorer.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Yeah that’s probably because crossovers are awesome!

    If you have little kids midsize sedans are a piss poor alternative and compact sedans are hilariously incapable. Here’a fun experiment. Purchase two modern convertible car seats and attempt rear face them. In all midsize sedans you’re getting field mouse levels of legroom and near 90 degree seatback angles because the front seats need to be moved nearly all the way up to provide enough clearance for the car seats. Try putting three seats of any kind across the back (have an infant 2yr old and 5yr old? you need three seats, two of them rear facing). YOu’ll find the rear seats designed for 2, not 3 occupants and a rear hump that makes carseat installation unsafe. That rarely exists in a CUV. Now try to put a diaper bag, jogging stroller, and box of toys in the trunk. Hope you were good at Tetris as a kid, cuz that’s gonna take a while.

    An Equinox or CRV will provide more interior room, cargo room, legroom, etc than a Malibu or Accord with virtually the same footprint. The difference is very significant. The 2-box design and hatch vs trunk rear makes the CUV far easier to load cargo into. The fuel economy penalty isn’t much either.

    Outside of handling the CUV literally does everything else better. And aesthetically they have lower beltlines; higher roofs; airy greenhouses; etc.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Now you’re just exaggerating and being silly. Or are 6 foot 7. I’m six feet 0, we have a cheapo prior gen Altima and two kids in bulky reverse child seats when we bought it. Inches of clearance between their seats and the seatback when I’m driving, and the Altima has less space back there than an Accord. I also put far more than a “jogging stroller, box of toys, and diaper bag” in the trunk on a 2000 mile road trip without problem. We were just as comfortable as we would have been in a CRV and used less fuel to boot. There was no compromise in having a sedan on that trip as opposed to a CUV.

      You can fit 3 across in a CUV? Maybe in an Acadia. Try 3 across in a RAV4 that costs more than a Camry. The RAV will have more headroom in the center, but the Camry is notably wider.

      Look, I get why CUVs are popular and they do have advantages over sedans (and some drawbacks). But you don’t need to get ridiculous about it.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @30-mile-fetch,

      I’m not exaggerating. I took our convertible car seat out of my wife’s Terrain and tried to put it in my in-laws Sonata rear facing and reclined enough that my kid’s head wouldn’t fall forwards when sleeping. I had to slide the passenger seat very far up in order to accommodate the car seat. I don’t have to do that in the Terrain. With just one kid; its not a problem; one parent just sits behind the driver. Add another kid and now you’re both sitting pretty close to the dash. For occasional use this wouldn’t be a problem; but for daily use I’m buying more legroom (an Impala solves the problem as easily as a CUV does)

      I was more referring to the large size of the items versus the not so large opening. In any CUV/SUV you just chuck it in there; the opening is HUGE. In a car, you’ve got a small opening to navigate made possible by stubby trunk lids, aero styling and cab forward nonsense. I’m not saying it won’t fit; i’m saying packing it in isn’t as easy. This isn’t an issue on older designs like a Panther.

      As far as 3 across, what I was referring to is the fact that in most CUVs (and pickup trucks) the rear seats are relatively or completely flat. In most midsize sedans they’re recessed for passenger comfort (SUV seat front profile ————, sedan -__/–__/-) That hump in the center isn’t wide enough to support the base of a car seat; making it unsafe. It makes such a car a nonstarter for families with three kids in car seats. For the record I would drive a Dodge Charger over any CUV; but having one on my driveway I’m very impressed with the raw utility of these things.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Hmmm, not sure how to explain the difference between your experience and mine regarding the child seats. We tested ours in the 2012 Mazda6, Camry, Passat and Ford Fusion before deciding on the Altima and only the Fusion felt remotely tight. I completely agree about the narrow trunk aperture nonsense; the Altima is ok, but the current Fusion is a mailslot.

        The Passat, BTW, is the best at being a sedan. Absolutely enormous backseat and trunk with a decent opening.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    I won’t give in, but I would like a small hatch for my next one.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I have more capacity and better milage in my TSX Sportwagon than my brother has in their CRV for about the same money. I look cooler and go around corners better too.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “more capacity”

      Nope.

      TSX Sportwagon
      Interior volume: 125.9 cu. ft.
      Cargo capacity (down): 66.2
      Cargo capacity (up): 31.5

      CR-V
      Interior volume: 141.3
      Cargo capacity (down): 70.9
      Cargo capacity (up): 37.2

      CUV packaging has massively improved over the last few years, at least if you have one made by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, or Subaru.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Forget the official numbers I’m talking about me. I can put anything in my car my brother can and vice a versa. The one exception is I put a 6′ step ladder in and close the hatch. He can not. I also have a longer roof and feel confident I could carry a 4×8 sheet on top if I had the cross bars. He thinks it would over hang too much. We both have/had pickups to do that chore.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          @Fred,

          With my old b-body wagon I could put the 4×8 sheets of material INSIDE! Long live station wagons!

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Wagons are the beautiful unwanted middle ground between CUV and sedan that we cannot have anymore. My jetta wagon is a Corolla-sized car that fit 8 foot 2x4s with the hatch closed, but in order to get that form of car you have to roll the dice with a VW.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I wish there were more station wagons available because I would probably choose a wagon over a crossover but sometimes you have to get the closest thing you can to what you want. A 2001 model sedan is much different than a 2016 one. My wife had a 2000 Taurus which had better visibility, more interior room, and a bigger trunk than most of today’s full size or midsize sedans. It also had a split bench seat with the shift on the column. I am not a lazy person and yes I am older with a wife that is disabled with limited mobility. Yamahog if you are fortunate to live long enough you will appreciate what it is like to get in and out of a vehicle. A crossover is not that much more expensive than a sedan and if you live in a climate with snow it is nice to have all wheel drive which most sedans do not offer. Also I tend to keep my vehicles 10 plus years so over the long run am I spending that much more on a vehicle than a person that buys a new sedan every couple of years? Yamahog what is the longest you have ever kept a vehicle? I had one car I kept for 18 years and my wife had a 77 Accord hatchback for over 17 years. I currently have a 99 Chevy S-10 pickup I have had for over 17 years with normal maintenance. I am willing to bet you will not keep a vehicle that long. I plan on keeping the S-10 past the 20 year mark. I calculate my depreciation on that S-10 to be about $750 a year before salvage or resale.

    Kenmore is right you are an arrogant certitude. There is nothing wrong with sedans, it is a matter of what vehicle best fits your needs and a Honda CRV best meets my needs. If I were to buy another sedan it would not be a Lexus, the Chevy Impala LTZ and the Buick LaCross are much nicer and less money. I don’t need to drive a status symbol.

  • avatar
    RetroGrouch

    It is time to remove light truck CAFE chicken tax from CUVs/SUVs/trucks. They are no longer a tiny percentage of vehicles and are used like any other passenger vehicle. It is also time to eliminate the “footprint” crap as well. Automakers should get dinged for whatever MPG the car/hatchback/CUV/family truckster gets.

    I propose a center of gravity calculation for CAFE: the higher the CG, the worse the multiplier.

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    Compact station wagons! I’m still waiting for Ford to launch the station wagon version of the Focus.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff S

      I believe they have the Focus wagons in Europe. Years ago my wife had an Escort LX wagon with a 5 speed manual, a nice car. The Focus wagons that Ford use to sell in the US was a nice car as well. Doubt if we ever see those wagons or most wagons again.

      It is doubtful that most politicians want to put stricter fuel standards on higher profile vehicles unless they are not planning on running for reelection. That would be about as popular as gun control. There are already stricter mandates in place starting with 2015 and going thru 2025 to increase efficiency of trucks, crossovers, and suvs. That is why Ford has gone to aluminum bodies on their trucks.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    It may be that cuv’s offer the best combination of capabilities relative to their drawbacks, for the most people who drive. It’s not like those who don’t like them are forced to buy them, as there are plenty of alternatives.

    I had a big wagon once. Nice that it seated 6 people, had room for an incredible amount of stuff and rode like a limousine. But it used more than twice as much gas as my cuv, sucked for ground clearance, lacked awd, and the low roof often was a nuisance.

    Part of what’s going on is that sedans have become so low-slung. It wasn’t all that long ago sedans were the same height as today’s cuv’s. I remember being surprised when I suddenly realized most sedans had noses about ankle-height.

    On the other hand, my mother, who is in her 90’s, can get into her Corolla easier than my cuv because she can’t lift her legs into the cuv.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I doubt sedans will go away but there might be fewer models especially in full size. It is much harder to justify spending large amounts to redesign a full size rear wheel drive body on frame sedan with a V-8 power train. Not so hard to spend money on redesigning a compact or midsize sedan where the platform can be shared with a crossover. The more uses for a platform the quicker the costs can be recovered. A CRV is based on a Civic platform as a RAV4 is on a Corolla. This is not a hard choice for manufacturers to offer a slightly higher profile vehicle based on a car platform and making a higher profit. Eventually crossovers will not be as popular but then it could be another type of vehicle. Easier access, more functionality, and optional all wheel drive have created a popular selling vehicle. All wheel drive is not as important in a warmer climate but is very important in the snow belt. The fuel economy on the compact crossovers is not that much less than a compact car especially on the highway. I have gotten over 30 mpgs driving at 75 mph on the interstate and 24 mpgs around town. For that kind of mpgs plus having all wheel drive when I need it for the Winter is a compromise that I can live with. Also when the rear seat is folded there is a lot of cargo room. I didn’t buy a CRV to race on the Autobahn but to have a multi-functional vehicle that I could use and live with for a number of years.

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    Point being, for the last 25 years the major growing market has been the high earner female and as I learned since I had a brand new red ’85 4Rrunner with the removable hard top, girls like trucks.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    CUVs will not go away.

    Unlike the minivan the CUV is the vehicle Goldilocks would own. It is not only a US success, but a global one at that.

    The reality is people want utility over massive hp and cart like handling. I also think people really like sitting behind the front axle rather than over or nearly over the axle.

    Like the US pickup the CUV also offer more carlike on road dynamics.

    How many FWD control Izuzu’s, Canters, Hino’s sell in lieu of a pickup? If a FWD control setup was what people wanted minivans would rule the roost.

    Even though minivans were popular at one time they never occupied such a huge chunk of the market, nowhere’s near what the CUV owns.

  • avatar
    Duffer 1948

    If the manufacturers would put an additional ten inches of trunk behind the rear glass of their four door sedans, so that the had a larger, more useful trunk, many people would begin making the shift back to sedans. Most of the short bobbed tail ends of sedans and coupes today have such a narrow trunk opening (front to back) that large suitcases, boxes holding anything of even moderate size will not fit through the opening. I’ve lost count of the number of times I seen people outside of stores trying to figure out how they could fit newly purchased items into their trunk/ back seat to get it home. I’ve even seen people opening the carton and taking the new product out of the box and all of the protective packaging to try to somehow fit it into their car! Car today have lost their proportion, front to back. They all look nose heavy. People buy SUVs and CUVs out of frustration over not being able to fit anything into the trunks of their cars. It’s not just about the cubic feet of space in the trunk; the dimension of the opening is what is wrong with virtually all cars. Sadly, it’s the only styling model today’s designers know. If you look at all of the classic cars of yesteryear, much of their beauty was in their proportion and balance from bumper to bumper. This is obvious if you attend a Concours event like Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Pinehurst, etc. The practicality of cars has disappeared. Not usable trunk, no practical bumpers. Body color plastic bumpers that involve expensive body and paint shop repairs for even the most minor scrapes don’t make sense. I guess I’m just an old foggy, but until and unless car designers change their ideas of what a “car” should look like, SUVs and CuVs will inevitably continue to take over the world!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Remember that the mail slot of a trunk opening isn’t just due to a bobbed end, but also the sloped fastback roof. Many trunks are of a respectable volume, it’s just difficult to get things in there. If more sedans had a more upright roofline–it wouldn’t have to be Dodge Dynasty levels of upright, just more than they’ve got now–not only would it be easier to access the trunk, headroom in the back seat wouldn’t be laughable. There’s another reason people prefer CUVs: you can sit in the second row without bumping your head on the ceiling.

      I’m not sure why you brought up body-color bumpers; that’s not just a feature of sedans, but CUVs and some SUVs as well. And it’s a non-issue, or at least, people got used to it 25+ years ago.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I’ve driven two crossovers, a 2015 Hyundai Tucson and a 2016 Lexus NX and only have utter contempt for the breed. These things are just too compromised in every way. The Lexus in particular was cramped and the suspension was schizophrenic (raised up high, but sports-car hard, no compliance). I have really liked full-size SUVs like the Tahoe and Expedition; they seem more honest in their purpose and function. For me, bring back the station wagon.

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