By on July 15, 2016

2016 Hyundai Sonata, Image: Hyundai Motor America

“Well, I mean, all this is basic and terrible,” said Mrs. Bark, pointing to the dash of our rental Hyundai Sonata. “But this could work for us.”

Mrs. Bark just turned 40. She’s an educated woman with four college degrees. She’s a college professor, almost the definition of a middle-class job. And yet she’s never owned the most middle class of vehicles — a mid-sized sedan.

When she became pregnant with our first child in 2007, she owned a 2005 Scion tC that we bought new from the dealership. After roughly a month of dealing with taking a baby seat in and out of the back seat of the little coupe, she decided that she needed something more suitable for motherhood. Since I owned an RX-8 then, I decided that we’d look at Mazda’s offerings, the Mazda5 and the CX-7.

Strangely enough, we never even considered a mid-sized sedan … but maybe we should have.

The mathematical myth of American society states baby = crossover. It’s almost a badge of motherhood in the middle class. Pregnant? Time to go shopping for a cute ute. After all, everybody who’s ever had a baby knows that having a six-pound person means that you now require the following every time that you leave the house:

  • Diaper bag, including diapers and change of clothes
  • Travel system, including baby seat and giant collapsible stroller
  • Breast pump
  • Milk storage bags
  • DVD player
  • Any number of additional things, most of which you’ll forget

Naturally, that means that you’ll need a crossover. In fact, if you don’t drive a crossover to play dates, there’s probably something really wrong with you. The other mommies, all of whom drove their GMC Acadia Denalis to transport a nine-month old, might whisper about you if you showed up in a Civic.

But is it necessary?

We picked up our 2016 Hyundai Sonata from Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the Tampa airport for our recent family vacation, and our rep sure seemed to think that a crossover was necessary.

“How are you going to fit your family and all of your stuff in this Sonata?” she asked. “You probably need to upgrade to an SUV.” Except we didn’t.

In fact, two adult suitcases and two child suitcases all fit fine in the expansive trunk of the Sonata. Even I was relatively surprised to see how our both of our child seats clipped smoothly into the backseat, with easy ingress and egress for the kids.

“I like this car,” said my five-year-old daughter. “It has more room than the Flex.” What now? But she was actually right. She had more room for all of her favorite stuffed animals, books, and toys around her than she’s used to having in our massive, nearly 5000 pound, three-row CUV at home.

“You know,” said Mrs. Bark as we drove down I-4 toward Orlando, “maybe we should consider replacing the Flex with something like this.” We originally upgraded from an Equinox to the Flex in 2013 because her mother had moved in with us. Two children and a MIL dictate three rows to move five people around. But the MIL has now moved out into her own home and we very rarely fold the third row up.

It occurred to me that Mrs. Bark had literally never owned a mid-size sedan. It then occurred to me that I haven’t, either. I rent them all the time — everything from Fusion to Malibu to Altima to Passat — but I’m always by myself in them. I never considered if one would work for our family.

I then thought to myself: why not? There’s no reason something like the new Fusion Sport wouldn’t be a perfect fit for me when the lease on the FiST ends. And they’re leasing out for right around $400 with zero down. It seems like a no-brainer: four doors, fast enough, handsome, and enough storage for the whole family.

But there’s a bit of a stigma attached to a mid-sizer. It’s the official class of cars for people who don’t like cars, right? We talk about the vanillaness of the CamCordIma all the time, but we don’t do the same with the EdgeInoxUrano. Why not? If anything, the CUV is the official car of people who don’t like driving. At least you can take a Fusion Sport or an Accord V6 or a Camry XSE to the autocross or a track day if you want to. No SCCA region will let an Edge Sport break the lights.

If we’re tired of crossovers domination of the industry — and I think that we all are — then why don’t we just go back to the mid-sizer? They’re big enough. They’re smart enough. And, goshdarnit, people like them! Since they’re typically much more aerodynamic than CUVs and they weigh less, they get better fuel economy, too. They’re even cheaper than the correlating CUVs in most cases.

However, there’s the gorilla in the room, which is ride height. CUVs, which are largely bought by women, give a sense of safety and security by riding higher. But that’s a myth. The Malibu, Fusion, Accord, Sonata, Optima, Mazda6, Camry, Passat are all Top Safety Pick Plus rated by the IIHS. You’re no safer in a CR-V than you are in an Accord.

The bottom line is that the majority of people who think they need crossovers, including my family, really don’t. They’d be much happier in a mid-sized sedan. They’d save money, have just as much or more space inside, and get better gas mileage. All it takes is some exposure to a mid-sized sedan to convince them — and approval from the local play-date club.

[Image: Hyundai]

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280 Comments on “Would Most Crossover Drivers Be Happier With Sedans?...”


  • avatar

    Yes- with bigger sedans.

    Chrysler understands how to get a large, fun-to-drive, powerful car to you without making you spend big money.

    Hyundai understands it even better.

    The problem is:

    More people, because of the financial situation are being forced to choose only one vehicle and if they have to choose one vehicle it has to be good at everything .

    NO MANUALS… Very few couples both drive manuals and if they buy a long-term keeper, most likely their kid won’t either.
    Manual drivers- by the way- skew car reviews by attacking automatic transmission switching speeds while regular automatic drivers DO NOT NOTICE.

    That “one vehicle” has to be just as good a daily-driver as it is ferrying around the children. Trunk space must be good for groceries and baggage.

    Crossovers trade HEIGHT for length.

    We sit upright and require less legroom.

    My JGC SRT is way more comfortable than my HELLCAT.

    Then there’s the ubiquitous AWD system and increased ground height. Many sedans only offer Front-wheel or rear-wheel drive. Subaru and Chrysler 200 being two standouts under $34,000

    I would choose a Crosstour or Versa long before a Camry or Accord if I had a family I needed to drive around.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      The Fusion also has AWD available. The SE and Titanium AWD versions both start at under $34K. The Sport—which is AWD-only—probably costs a shade over that amount.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      BigTrucks,
      The big RWD car frat is diminishing here in Australia. They have moved over to CUVs and pickups.

      You’d be surprised that most families when choosing a vehicle don’t want a modern car. I think the only reason for a car is for it’s FE advantage a pricing.

      Quick cars are nice, but any V6 or even four is quick enough to take the kids shopping, school, soccer, etc. How much does your kid give a fnck whether the car they are in has 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 8 cylinders?

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t have a kid, but every young who rides in my car is like:

        “What’s that sound???”

        And I’m like:

        “It’s a V8 with a supercharger ”

        And they are like:

        “What’s that?”

        And then I say: it’s a device to let you force more air into the engine for more power.

        Then I show them burnouts and revs and they hate their parents import econoboxes.

        Yes- there’s a reason for em!

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          “I would choose a Crosstour or Versa [SIC]long before a Camry or Accord if I had a family I needed to drive around”

          What about AUTOMITIVE DARWINISM, Mr. BigTrucks? You’re precious Crosstour and Venza are gone like the dinosaurs.

          THE MARKET HAS SPOKEN. Soulless Econoboxes hsent your darlings to automotive graveyards.

        • 0 avatar
          golfnotgolf

          Rear wheel drive kills the argument to move from CUVs to sedans. The rear seats in midsize RWD cars cannot compete with what a Camry or even a Corolla can offer.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @BTSR – You’d make a great grandpa. LOL

        • 0 avatar
          NoID

          Sad to say this, but Yup.

          Before I started working for FCA my kids loved my sporty little Mazda5. Then I started bringing home SRTs and HEMI pickup trucks (as well as a one-time fling with a Cherokee Trailhawk) and now they couldn’t care less about my beloved tinivan.

          They’re like a gaggle of tiny little BTSRs. They want MOAR POWAR!!

          I can’t say I blame them. I poke fun at my eldest son (9 yrs old) about the look on his face the first time he revved a Hellcat. What I don’t tell him is that I made the same face the first time I got into one and revved it real good.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          HELLCAT!

          (There. I said it.)

          Not all of us are enamoured of engine noise. I ride motorcycles. With mufflers…that’s an important distinction. The Open-Pipes cretins still wander uncaged, with their irritating blatt-blatt-blatblatblat.

          I can do without engine noise. And I don’t CARE if it’s a V8 with a turbocharger or if it’s nuclear powered. Give me an aluminum in-line six…nice and smooth and not so nose-heavy as the sixes of yore…and I’d be happy.

          What meets my needs, style-wise is a two-place compact pickup. I’d like a six; but I can live with the four.

    • 0 avatar
      mcarr

      “I would choose a Crosstour or Versa long before a Camry or Accord if I had a family I needed to drive around.”

      You’ve clearly never been in a Versa.

      *Edit – I surmised that you meant “Venza”.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      “NO MANUALS”

      Each to his taste; but don’t generalize with couples. Or families.

      My ex came from a family headed by a cheapskate. No, a miser. Their needs were met, but he counted every penny.

      In cars…ONLY manuals. He was sold on (the old) Chrysler Corporation products. He had, in a house full of teenagers, an old Duster with a slant-six and a three-on-the floor; THREE Omnirizons of varying years, which had from 1.7 to 2.4; engines from VW to Mitsubushi and Chrysler home-grown. ALL MANUAL.

      She drove a manual. Drove it well. Liked it. When we bought a VW Fox, for her (believe it or not, the Fox was a solid car; it’s short life was that it was sold to kids and poor people who couldn’t be bothered to care for it…)

      The Fox offered no automatic and she was not the slightest bothered by it. We BOTH liked the solid feel of the shifter…which it should have had; the Fox recycled the old Beetle transmission, turned around and put in the front. Short shift linkage, forty-years in production to iron out the bugs.

      But she drove a manual. Her mother drove a manual. Her sister drove a manual. Goes without saying her brothers owned manuals. The ONLY automatic car in that family was Grandma’s; and she scarcely drove. That Volare was one of the last left in Great Lakes salt-belt country…it was a garage queen and didn’t see much winter use.

      But…some of us prefer a manual. I’m one, although I have had automatics. If you don’t buy the supersize engine with all the afterburners and whatnot, an automatic is a bit of a pain. But a manual? Pick the gear and stomp on it.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Just a correction, but Omniizons never had Mitsubishi motors. The biggest engine they got was Chryslers 2.2l.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          dont you love it when someone bloviates so arrogantly, and shows he knows absolutely nothing of what he speaks about?

          • 0 avatar
            JustPassinThru

            Well, pardon the hell out of me for not knowing what engines were offered in a car I never owned and frankly had little interest in owning.

            And, doesn’t this glaring error, change my whole premise – that not all spouses, women, etc are scared away from manual transmissions, as some other poster asserted?

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “the gorilla in the room, who is RideHeight.”

    I fix!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    One missed feature which is not pondered here is AWD, which -most- midsize sedans do not feature. The ones that do are a) pretty expensive and b) get close to the fuel mileage of the CUV.

    People (whether they need it or not) are veeeery hesitant to give up AWD once they’ve had it.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I took my mother to the local Subaru dealer on Wednesday to look for a new car. The mid sized Legacy is all wheel drive with an EPA highway rating of 36 mpg – the same as my Accord. It also sits a little higher than my Accord that makes access easier for an older person. The only down side I could see is that the all wheel drive adds about $2k relative to a similarly equipped Accord.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I loved seeing all the totally mundane early-mid 90s RHD import Toyota sedans/wagons in Novosibirsk that had a modest “fulltime AWD” badge and slightly raised ride height. Why not an AWD Camry, seeing as Subaru marketing has convinced everyone that they will literally crash and die if they drive on winter roads with a regular FWD car? Kudos to Ford for adding it to their Fusion, and Chrysler for having it as an option on the 200. As Felix mentions, the Legacy is an excellent not-too-pricey AWD option, but I’d feel all warm and fuzzy inside if it had a Toyota badge.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      Once they’ve had to fix the intricacies of it, they’ll think twice of having it.

      If you buy/lease new and turn the car in or trade in a couple of years…it’s just the purchase price and the lower gas mileage. But if you plan to keep it…think about all those CV boots, the rubber bands in the transmission(s) and other various singularities.

      Not all of us need them and not all the time. Discretion is the better part of valor, even in purchase.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    If said sedan didn’t make you feel like you’re sitting on the ground, sure.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Sometimes I sit in my bathtub with my arms and legs straight out ahead of me just to capture the feeling.

    • 0 avatar
      JustPassinThru

      The last time a major manufacturer tried to sell a sedan where you DIDN’T feel like you were sitting on the ground, it flopped.

      It was the original Toyota Echo. You sat higher in that car…and nobody wanted it.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        Well, yeah, but that’s because the Echo was super ugly, and it screamed “Cheap!” That’s the thing about SUVs – none of them look like bargain basements specials, even the ones that are, because people are conditioned to think of them as the more expensive option. This is despite the fact that the $15,995 Jeep Patriot is probably the worst car sold in America.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        It didn’t help that the Echo competed with the Corolla or Yaris, both much better buys.

        The original xB, itself related to the Echo, sold quite well and was often complimented for its taller seating.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Another issue: ground clearance. Today’s midsize sedans are just too darn low. Bending down to get in is annoying and more than that one has to worry about scraping the bottom. Personally, I wouldn’t want a vehicle that couldn’t handle running over the occasional curb.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Oh hush midsize sedans are taller than ever. Go try sitting in a mid-90s Accord / Lumina / Camry and then sit in a 2016 Malibu / Accord / Impala and tell me which one is taller.

      most sedans have 5.5-6.5 inches of ground clearance. Small CUVs have 6-7 inches of ground clearance.

      I drive a large sedan and I’m eye level with most people who sit in a reclined position in the smaller SUVs and older trucks. And I tower over the 90s sedans.

      I don’t have kids but sometimes I take my brother’s kids for the afternoon and my sedan is much easier for kids to climb into than my brother’s SUV and the generous rear leg room means I have a lot of space to put the kids in their seats and they can’t kick the back of the seat. And the car is so wide that my sister-in-law, the babymama, can sit back there with two car seats and my brother and myself can drive up front. It’s not the most comfortable for her but it’s worse putting me or my brother in the 3rd row of their highlander.

      All the while, my sedan gets real-world freeway mpg that SUVs can’t dream of and costs less than SUVs. And the 20 cubic foot trunk swallows strollers, diaper bags, and all the child paraphernalia. And my sedan with tiny rims and fat tires rides way better than their SUVs on comically large rims do.

      Yeah, the SUV trade-off gap is shrinking but it’s still there. SUVs tend to drink more gas, they tend to be slower, they tend to cost more, and I’m not convinced that everyone who got an SUV gave the alternatives (minivans, sedans, and wagons / hatchbacks) a serious look.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I think most midsizers are closer to the 5.5 number than 6.5 these days, and spec sheets alone don’t tell the story. Older cars have shorter overhangs, and that front bumper may very well have been closer to 7-8 inches off the ground, the exhaust or something else under the car would be the lowest point. New midsizers have these aero-optimized front ends that really do interfere with curb-parking. GMs seem to be the worst offenders across the board, from what I’ve observed Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys are actually not too bad, even in SE trim with sportier fascias.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          At gte:

          Thats no joke on GMs front overhang, a family member drives a Malibu and it scrapes our driveway nearly every time it pulls up. It really needs a longer wheelbase.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        In 10 years of redesign, the Malibu may seat you higher (cannot confirm that one; I am not sure it does), but the front end can no longer get over the parking spot barrier if you happen to be one of those people who drives up into the spot. If the parking lot at my office building is an indication, nothing that isn’t 10 years old or a truck-derived thing is very good at parking with its nose breaking the plane of the sidewalk. 10 year old cars – you can drive them to put the wheels on the parking spot barrier or sidewalk lip. That’s the lost ground clearance.

        Yes, it gives you a few more MPGs for, what Toyota famously called in a horrible commercial “grounding to the ground”, but, if you do not park carefully, or if there’s a little bit of snow on the road, you are in real trouble. I’ve seen these newer sedans plowing their own trench down the middle of the snow instead of gracefully straddling it.

        Edit: In other words, eye level has nothing to do with this complaint. It’s the lowered noses they are putting on them now.

        • 0 avatar
          yamahog

          The only people who tell me I can’t drive a RWD Sedan though a Minnesota winter are people who don’t own RWD sedans.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Same thing in for people driving to Vermont

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I made it through two winters in a 4×2 Safari van. All you need is good tires, balanced weight distribution, and smooth driver inputs. Most people thought I had the AWD version.

          • 0 avatar
            Driver8

            Preach it.

            Any WD with snow tires >>>>> AWD with no-seasons.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            It doesn’t matter if the car is RWD/AWD/FWD/Fred Flintstone’s FeetWD or riding on snow tires, all seasons, or glazed doughnuts; if the nose is acting as a snow plow it’s not gonna end well.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            At yama: Why are you so hesitant to tell us WHAT you drive?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Mandalorian – true. I was coming home from work one morning after a blizzard and a 3 foot deep drift and -30C weather did a wonderful job of shattering the front facia like glass. I didn’t get stuck though.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I actually owned a 94 Accord, family member has a 13 Malibu, both are quite low inside so Im not exactly convinced that newer cars sit higher.

        Though I will give props to the Honda, it doesn’t scrape nearly as much as the Malibu.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    My wife and I went on a two-week road trip from NY to Florida in our Sonata, and fit everything we needed in it. Barely, but we did. And yeah, the back seat is huge.

    It could reeeeeally use another hundred horse, though.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    If they would be happier with sedans, they would be buying sedans. Most car buyers don’t care anything about their car other than how convenient it is for them to live with. A car is something they “have to have,” not something they “want.” And today’s market has decided the CUV is the most convenient.

    Telling people what kind of vehicle they *should* like goes over about as well as a fart in church.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      Exactly. The free market speaks… unless the free market gives an answer that we don’t want to hear.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      You’re not wrong but you’re not entirely right. No one here is saying every person who bought an SUV is a CHUMP. Just that some people might be rewarded for giving their vehicle purchase more consideration.

      The people who reflexively buy an SUV when they expect a child aren’t wrong to do so but they’re paying a premium for less-than-perfect-information for every extra bit of vehicle they buy and don’t use. Go look at some of the 3rd rows in SUVs at the used car lot. Or the people who get AWD in Arizona and never drive in inclement weather the AWD premium in purchase price and fuel economy (discounting it by the resale value, natch) are paying extra for ignorance / laziness / a transaction they don’t have to think too hard about.

      And that’s their call and that’s fine but that’s not a hallmark of an efficient market and when the used car value bubble pops, this consumer behavior of stretching the limits of affordability is going to have very real consequences in financial markets and perhaps for the rest of us.

      Not all equilibrium and choices are ‘efficient’ and you’re right that every revealed preference is ‘best’ for the person who made the choice but these people are making choices based on poor information and weak consideration and a non-trivial amount of them don’t realize they’re the sort of person who can’t make financial mistakes.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        S/CUVs make a lot of sense over a sedan for anybody with small children though. Our son is almost a year and a half now and I’ll definitely say that the Santa Fe (3-row) has been a god-send for us.

        As Bark said, you can absolutely fit everything you need in a sedan. We did when my wife’s car was in the shop. However, the ease of access is the more important thing here. Getting the kid in and out and dealing with the car seat straps is much easier with the extra height. Likewise, extracting everything through the hatch is significantly less difficult than fitting it through the mail slot opening most trunks have nowadays.

        While we only use the third row on occasion, I prefer having it in a pinch than having to take two vehicles. The fact that the 3-row gives you a longer wheelbase is a plus over the two-row version as well – I fit a lot of materials from home depot in there.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        AWD gets rid of torque steer. That’s reason enough for some people.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      They may care how convenient it is but they care more about what their neighbors think of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Laughing during the sermon is much worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      Yup, exactly. People are increasingly buying more CUV despite their higher price because they tried it and found it to match their needs better than the equivalent sedans. I mean, it’s been 20 years since the original modern CUV appeared in the form of RAV4.

      One characteristic of CUVs that I hear mentioned often but not mentioned here yet is their reduced footprint compared to sedans of similar volume. With compact CUVs, you may have a footprint similar to a compact sedan with an interior room closer to a midsize, making it easier to drive and park. Combined with higher seating to ease ingress and fitting child seats, it’s a great match for the modern 1.5 children family.

      Caravans and Siennas have been replaced by CRVs and RAV4s as family size shrunk. You don’t need a bulky sliding door without the 3rd row, and (optional) AWD is appreciated for few that want it. Modern CUVs have become a crossover between a traditional sedan and a minivan instead of the earlier crossover between sedans and trucks to match the current needs.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      ” And today’s market has decided the CUV is the most convenient. ”

      For the same reason “the market” would quickly decide transatlantic travel is best done by spacious ship, if cramped little airplanes was banned from breaking shipping lane speed limits.

      Sedans’/Coupes’ advantages over CUVs, are their ability to travel at higher speeds at any given level of safety, comfort, fuel economy and cost. Once their owners are straight up banned from making use of that advantage, by “we’re all equal now” speed limits, written to make mining truck drivers feel equal as well; dynamically superior, lower center of gravity vehicles, are kind of stuck fighting an uphill battle.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    The real answer of course is ‘station wagon’….those wonderfully functional things that were purchased by horribly oppressive patriarchs for so long.

    A fat lot of good ‘sitting high’ does when every other a$$ on the road is up there too.

    Buy one with a three pointed star or roundel on the hood if you want to impress the other hens at dropoff or ‘book’ club. Oops, too late, unless your husband is rich enough to buy you an E class.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “The real answer of course is ‘station wagon’…”

      the thing you (and other enthusiasts don’t realize) is that the kinds of vehicles you think people “should” buy were widely available, and people *actively stopped buying them.* Up through the ’90s, you could get wagon versions of the Camry, Accord, Corolla, Civic, Escort/Tracer, Taurus/Sable, Caprice/Roadmaster, and probably others I’m forgetting. They weren’t all canceled because the automakers hated wagons, they were canceled because *people stopped buying them.*

      Plus I think a lot of it is each generation hates the idea of buying the kinds of vehicles their parents drove. My dad grew up hating 4-door sedans because that’s what his dad drove. My generation grew up hating wagons because that’s what we were shuffled around in. Younger people hate minivans because that’s what their parents have. Who knows, maybe in another generation people will hate CUVs and go back to wagons.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        Hence why KIA will not bring the Optima Wagon here.

        http://www.kia.com/eu/future/kia-optima-sportswagon/

      • 0 avatar
        Driver8

        It doesn’t take an enthusiast to appreciate the tangible benefits of passenger cars over -UVs, just a basic knowledge of physics over ‘feelz’.
        They accelerate, turn and stop better. They get better gas mileage. They are cheaper to buy,maintain, generally. They pollute less. They generally have greater cargo space per footprint and per pound.

        The biggest disadvantages of the current crop of sedans: pillbox designs (blame the Europeans here and other SUV CUV buyers) and lousy ride from clownishly huge wheels and 40 series tires (see #1).

        If UVs didn’t benefit from the artificial crutch of the ‘light truck’ classification, they may not have thrived like they did.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “They accelerate, turn and stop better.”

          hardly anyone drives in a way which makes that important.

          “They get better gas mileage.”

          not so much, the difference in gas mileage between a 2.0T Fusion and 2.0T Edge is 1 mpg. Even if it was more than that, gas is too cheap for most people to care.

          “They are cheaper to buy,maintain, generally. ”

          Buy, yes. Maintain? Not evident.

          “They pollute less.”

          anyone who cares about this probably has a Prius.

          “They generally have greater cargo space per footprint and per pound.”

          probably true, but the cargo space in a CUV is far more easily accessible via liftgate than the trunk of a sedan. Especially when hands-free open is in the mix.

          • 0 avatar
            Driver8

            Real world MPG spreads are usually larger than sticker.
            Not to go full on sperg, but a quick review of tires price between a Mazda 3 and cx5, similar platform, mid range trim, and tires are 30 to 50 percent pricier for the ute.
            Heavier vehicle means more frequent and more expensive brake and shock replacements, in general.

            Oh, and I forgot better ride and NVH.

            In a panic stop, I’d rather have that extra car length of capacity that a car would have over it’s gimped UV platform sibling.

          • 0 avatar
            BobinPgh

            Another thing, the CUV will hold more of the big Pampers boxes from Sam’s Club!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The difference between ’90s-style SUVs and current CUVs is that current CUVs have mitigated these disadvantages. Not totally, but enough that it doesn’t matter anymore, and people are free to focus instead on what they see as the advantages, like higher ride height and that big-tire style.

          The dynamic differences are small these days. The fuel economy difference is basically gone in the city (which is most driving) and less than it used to be on the highway. Packaging has improved dramatically – a “compact” CR-V today has more interior space than any old-school SUV except a full-size. Trucky ride has given way to ride that’s indistinguishable from a car of similar weight.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        I guess I’m a confirmed weirdo, my parents owned an ’81 Civic wagon for about 10 years (until it rusted apart). I had a couple of Jettas, including an ’85 coupe. Those weren’t bad overall. Then I had a 2002 Golf (again not bad, a nice improvement for carrying cargo) and now am driving a Jetta/Golf wagon and it’s such a useful car. I like hatches and wagons and don’t understand the insane CUV love.

      • 0 avatar
        john66ny

        The wagon’s demise and the minivan’s rise came primarily as a result of the latter being classified as trucks for CAFE purposes, and less to do with what people’s parents drove. CUV’s are just the marketing replacement for minivans.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          I get so very tired of hearing this cliche.

          Station wagon market share in the US peaked in 1959, 24 years before the minivan.

          Station wagon sales volumes in the US peaked in 1963, 20 years before the minivan.

          This slide began around the time of the launch of the Ford Econoline, which itself was inspired by the VW Type II microbuses, and that inspired the other domestics to get into the van market.

          In the early 80s, Chrysler was building itself up out of bankruptcy. The minivan could use a design that had already been in the works and that could use the K-platform that it was essentially using for every car in the lineup. The minivan was a home run smash, which spawned a host of imitators. CAFE had nothing to do with any of that.

          The PT Cruiser is a different story, but has nothing to do with the demise of station wagons that had begun decades prior.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          why do people keep bringing up CAFE? car buyers have no need to know or care about what a vehicle is classified as for CAFE purposes.

          • 0 avatar
            npaladin2000

            Maybe not, but CAFE and its classifications affect the product mix that manufacturers want to build and prefer to push. So it has a real impact.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Typical thought process:

            -I like station wagons/compact pickups/chariots with wooden wheels and spikes/whatever blah blah

            -They aren’t around much anymore. WHY?!?!?!

            -Solution: Blame the guv’mint, because everyone should just love all of the same things that I love and there is no way that I could possibly be out of step with the rest of the world (obviously!!!)

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        I understand what you’re saying but treating consumer preferences as infallible is a recipe for disaster – doubly so when debt is involved. Tell me why the same people who bungled real estate in 2006 are making great decisions in 2016 cars.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      I hate wagons. I like a discrete trunk. To each his own; a “three body” trunk as the dealer described it on my old Delta 88 does a great job of swallowing what can be thrown at it without having to share the cabin – smells, temperature changes, all those things are isolated.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I agree with this but you have to trade off the separateness of the trunk against the inability to carry odd-sized or awkward items. One sedan and one hatch/CUV/etc. has been the best of both worlds for us, at least.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      An SUV or CUV are the modern interpretations of station wagons. Cargo area connected to the passenger space with the option of additional seats in the rear (if there is enough room) is one of the things that defines a station wagon. Ours today are taller (although look at a 1940’s era woody wagon from any manufacturer and you’ll generally find them taller than their sedan brothers) and some have the option of AWD or 4WD but they are all clearly derived from the body style formerly known as “station wagon”.

      The station wagon is actually winning; we just call them by different names now. Now if you’ll please excuse me I’m going to take a snooze on the davenport in the front room.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      05LGT gloats, still happier on his 11 year old car than in any rental/loaner less than $50k to buy.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Nope, the real answer is – minivan. They just aren’t the “in thing” with the stylish set.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        If you think you have the “real answer” for everyone else, you really should just be quiet. because going around acting like everyone else is stupid and should just listen to you since you’re the only smart person in the world is the fastest way to get ignored.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I’ll chime in with the same “sitting on the ground” complaint. Sitting with my legs splayed out directly in front of me becomes miserably uncomfortable within 30 minutes of driving. The doors in our CR-V sound and feel a hell of a lot more tinny and hollow than the Accord doors, but I’d much rather sit up and not be in misery.

    Our CR-V has AWD but it has never engaged, as far as I know…ditto for the ’06 Kia Sportage that one of the kids drive…I don’t even know if the AWD works.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Yes and no.
    I just left the SUV fold after 3 in a row RX350s.
    I really miss the ride height. But I also miss the low cowl. Most midsize sedans, with the recent pedestrian crush zones built into the hoods, have high hoods and high cowls. This leaves mail slot sized windows, front and back.
    I hate that.
    As far as safety, weight is the big factor in safety (due to how much metal surrounds the cabin), but the height of the center of gravity counts too.
    The factor that swung me back to a sedan is the ride quality. The newer SUVs are too “sporty”,meaning bouncy.
    I’m 69 years old, so younger drivers may have different priorities.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      You are spot on with this. Modern sedans are caves. I feel like I’m in a 1974 Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      ejwu

      “Mail slot sized windows” is the main reason I turned away from recent models of Toyota and Lexus. The waist lines are too high. I turned to Honda and Subaru instead. They both have great all-around visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      Weight is a big factor but it doesn’t always work in your favor. Weight can become a bad thing in single vehicle crashes.

      A 1990 civic might bounce off a guard rail. A 2014 Suburban might go right through a guard rail and plunge into a valley.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    If you see me walk into a dealers to buy a cross-over, please shoot me. I’ll drive a Jeep – by that I mean old-school Cherokee, I’ll drive a sedan – by that I mean sports-sedan, I’ll drive a coupe – by that I mean Mustang/Camaro/Challenger and I’ll drive a truck – By that I mean 1972 GMC.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    We have both, 2013 Forester manual transmission and 2014 Camry SE V6.

    We have two kids, one in a front facing child seat, one in a rear facing child seat.

    Most of the time, we use the Camry. The back seat is bigger, it gets better gas mileage, it’s quieter, the trunk is huge, and it does 14 seconds in the 1/4 mile.

    The Forester is only better in a Blizzard or if you need enough space to pack for a weeklong camping trip.

    Otherwise, the Forester drives like a small bus and it makes the Camry feel like a BMW M3.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Yeah, we have an 07 Element and 08 Scion xB. I love many things about the E, but the xBox is my go-to most of the time. Quieter, rides better, easier in/out.

  • avatar
    musicalmcs8706

    For me, it comes down to the fact when I have to replace my 2005 Impala LS that mid-size sedans fit better into my budget. And they are fun to drive, especially when you get them with the right trim – the Fusion, Mazda6, come to mind right away. I’ve lived in the midwest my entire life and always had FWD and been just fine. A lot of people would be more than happy with a nice mid-sized sedan than in a crossover. But it all comes down to image. You don’t want to be behind in keeping up with the Joneses.

  • avatar

    “After all, everybody who’s ever had a baby knows that having a six-pound person means that you now require the following every time that you leave the house..”

    Well, I’ve raised three kids to adulthood and frequently watch my grandchildren (8 months to 14 years) and I wouldn’t say “everybody”.

    Diaper bag, including diapers and change of clothes – agreed

    Travel system, including baby seat and giant collapsible stroller – the baby seat is semi-permanently in the car and a lightweight umbrella stroller works just fine. I only take a big stroller if I’m going to a car show and carrying cameras.

    Breast pump & milk storage bags – breast fed kids do just fine with an occasional bottle of formula. Dry formula and tap water is a lot easier than carrying around ice packets to keep breast milk safe. Also, if mom is traveling with the kids, aren’t a breast pump and stored milk a bit redundant?

    DVD player – how did parents ever travel with children before keeping them busy with their own personal electronics? Oh, right, we interacted with them and taught them things.

    Also, my ex and I once took three not so small children on an extended camping trip to the Upper Peninsula with a two door Chrysler K-Car. It took aobut 30 minutes to pack and unpack, but everything fit, including the kids.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “DVD player – how did parents ever travel with children before keeping them busy with their own personal electronics? Oh, right, we interacted with them and taught them things.”

      +1 to that, and your other comments. Which is why I’ve never bought an entertainment system for our cars. I raised 5 kids without anesthetizing them during car trips, long or short.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Somewhere, there’s a happy medium.

        The DVD player, iPad, etc. are genuinely useful on long trips. Kids get fidgety with hours in the seat, and there’s only so much looking out the window at miles of identical freeway (or featureless clouds, on an airplane) before they get bored.

        But it’s terrible when kids use them as an every day crutch, or need them for routine half-hour car rides around town.. My biggest bone to pick with my SIL and BIL is that their boys are hardly ever without their iPads, and use them hours a day. It hurts their social development and their curiosity.

      • 0 avatar
        CobraJet

        We used to do it. Had no choice really. My wife and I traveled from Arkansas to upstate NY and back in about 1981 in a 1980 Olds Omega 4 dr with an infant and a 3 year old. We went to NY city and on up into Canada on this 15 day trip. All the kids had were coloring books and a view of the countryside. Infotainment was an AM/FM radio. Not even a cassette tape.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      > Breast pump & milk storage bags – breast fed kids do just fine with an occasional bottle of formula. Dry formula and tap water is a lot easier than carrying around ice packets to keep breast milk safe. Also, if mom is traveling with the kids, aren’t a breast pump and stored milk a bit redundant?

      Our pediatrician strongly advised against using formula at any time, and it can be hard on the kid, particularly if the kiddo is very young. Mom needs the pump because of supply and demand mismatch or if she’s off doing something while dad watches the kid. In any event, our portable dairy took up an immaterial amount of room.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “Our pediatrician strongly advised against using formula at any time, and it can be hard on the kid, particularly if the kiddo is very young.”

        This.

        Breastfeeding issues forced us to supplement with formula during the first two weeks of our son’s life. He figured out the difference within days, even when both were from a bottle, and started holding out for breast milk. Fortunately, the issues worked themselves out and he got what he wanted.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          “Breastfeeding issues forced us to supplement with formula during the first two weeks of our son’s life.”

          We went through the same thing with our first. It wasn’t fun. I was an associate at a huge law firm at the time and in the middle of a massive transaction and billing 220-270 hrs/month. I’ll need to be dead for a decade or so before I catch up on the sleep deficit.

          Number 2 was much easier.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Oh man I feel your pain. I’m also a BigLaw associate, but fortunately (or maybe unfortunately for my total numbers) I’m in a specialty practice that doesn’t tend to feature 250-hour months. Been there, done that, threw away the t-shirt.

          • 0 avatar
            Paragon

            Am not even in the legal field and I put in on average 240 hrs/month – for the past 10 years! Am always needing to catch up up sleep. But I’m on here rather than watching TV.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

        Not all kids can get enough food from breast milk. If you gotta supplement, you gotta supplement.

        • 0 avatar
          Jimal

          @bball40dtw, exactly. When our first daughter was born six or so years ago, my wife had to supplement until her milk came in. At the hospital we were in they didn’t make a big deal out of it, as long as the baby got what she needed.

          Fast forward to this past January, when we had our second girl. The lactation consultant put together this plan to get my wife to breast feed, including insisting that the baby stay in the room 24/7. Aside from Lily being a noisy baby, my wife suffered from preeclampsia and ended up on magnesium sulfate, which really screws up your system and your sleep patterns. On Day 2 I stepped in, brought Lily to the nursery for the night, told them they could use formula, and had a little discussion with the lactation consultant about unrealistic expectations.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Yeah, we heard this from the breastfeeding purists at the hospital, too. However, daughter #1 was just hungry and wanted more food than my wife could produce, so she got a bottle or two per day. It’s better than letting the child go hungry.

        If you have a child who doesn’t tolerate formula well, there are alternative formulations that are available. With daughter #2, we went from conventional dairy based formula, to hypoallergenic, to soy hypoallergenic, to this stuff named Neocate, which she could process well. Fortunately for us it was just for supplementation, as it comes out to $60 USD per gallon when it’s mixed. If she’d been 100 percent on formula, it would have cost more to feed her than it would have to feed the other three of us.

        The advantage of breast milk is that it is better tolerated by the infant’s digestive system and it has antibodies. If you have an infant that can digest formula there’s no harm in giving them some.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          Health care professionals really pressure women to breastfeed. If I were a woman, I tell them to [email protected] off and do my best to breastfeed. I also wouldn’t pump when going back to work. Society puts a ton of pressure on women to breastfeed and then tells them do to do it in public.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            This.

            After my first kid was born, a severe woman I nicknamed the “Lactation Nazi” came in to lecture us on the pure, unadulterated evil that is formula.

            It’s probably better for the kid…but there are alternatives.

          • 0 avatar
            CincyDavid

            The hospital where my wife is a labor and delivery nurse has a “lactation consultant” who tries to help new moms with breastfeeding issues…the nurses call her the “tittie committee”

          • 0 avatar

            People don’t understand how many infants were at risk from malnutrition for a variety of issues relating to breastfeeding before the invention of baby formula (which is assumed by many to be a demon spawn of Nestle likely impregnated by Monsanto).

            People didn’t use “wet nurses” for convenience, it was so that mothers who could not nurse didn’t end up with sickly and dead babies.

            Some women have a difficult time producing milk and some babies don’t like to breastfeed. One of my kids was almost exclusively breastfed, one was almost exclusively bottlefed, and one drank whatever went in their mouth.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            My wife damn near didn’t live to see our daughter. The blood loss *may have had something to do* with the complete shutdown of the dairy. The breast is best fanatics could not let the F*** up, show any compassion, and as far as I know are still dumbfounded that our daughter survived and thrived on formula. Regardless of the issue, zealots are morons with a cause, and they weild it with all the morality of a two year old with a sharp stick.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I do not understand some of these space needs either. 20 years ago my parents took my sister and I, then 10 and 12, on a 2400 mile road trip from our home in Orlando to Yellowstone National Park. We packed the 4 of us, and all of our stuff, in an Infiniti G20. It was tight, but it fit. Then again, a lot of space was taken up by the entertainment system. We bought one of those (tube) TV VCR combos and put it in between the front seats. That plus the dozens of VHS tapes we brought took up a lot of space but it worked.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “how did parents ever travel with children before keeping them busy with their own personal electronics?”

      Corporal punishment and yelling at them to STFU is no longer politically correct ;)

      Allowing them to sleep on the back window sill is taboo too. LOL

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Perception of time is really the key. For an 8 year old, a year is 12.5% of their life, so it feels like an eternity. For a 40 year old, it’s 2.5%, so a comparative drop in the bucket.

        DVD players really are a godsend. When I was a kid and even to this day, if I try to read a book or magazine in the car, I get horribly carsick. I know I’m not alone on this one.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Most people today want something that’s right for them.
    SUV/CUVs are selling because that’s what people, in general, want.. a vehicle in which they have a taller height to see and easier to climb into seats and AWD/4WD.

    Sedans nowadays ride low and don’t have the 4WD/AWD option.

    Forget about the luggage issue. Do people actually carry lots of ‘stuff’ in the back? Most sedans today have a relatively roomy trunk and you can stuff your carry-ons in the backseat!

    So what if you have kids? Sedans and SUV/CUVs can both handle them!

    It all comes down to personal preferences and SUV/CUVs are selling because people want them and are willing to pay for them, regardless of price.

    The one thing I’ll give to SUV/CUVs is the high seating position.
    It’s terrible though for tall people as many a driver’s seat can NOT be adjusted downward enough or back enough so you’re knees are NOT bent uncomfortably.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      “SUV/CUVs are selling because that’s what people, in general, want.. a vehicle in which they have a taller height to see and easier to climb into seats and AWD/4WD.”

      Maybe. When gas prices climb, we’ll see if that holds up. Civics are now pretty roomy and post really good mileage estimates.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Seat height, more specifically, is becoming an issue to me.

    I’m not as interested in a commanding view of the road as I am in not destroying my knees every time I fall into or climb out of a sedan (I’m 52, 6’6″). And the seat height of sedans seems to have gotten lower over the past 40 years.

    My former xB1 had seats that permitted you to simply rotate out of, almost like a dining room chair. Our Optima Hybrid sits an inch lower than the regular Optima, and it’s a real challenge to crawl out of it.

    If Tesla introduces a “Model Y” CUV version of the Model 3, I might switch my reservation for this issue alone.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I don’t understand why people don’t get this. It isn’t just about room. Of course an Accord, Camry, Fusion…whatever, is big enough for a family of 4.

    Yet I recently switched from an E90 3 Series to a CX-5. It’s bigger, rides better, has better tech, holds way more stuff, has better visibility, and has the ride height to allow me to function in traffic and avoid breaking my back or bumping my head getting in and out. I looked hard at a GS350, and ultimately didn’t want a sedan.

    My wife recently rented an Altima. Her comment upon returning home? Thank God you didn’t get another sedan. It wasn’t the particular car, just living with a low to ground vehicle was unpleasant. It’s not about safety, it’s about functionality.

    • 0 avatar
      ejwu

      BMW 3 series were never known for roominess. It’s a small RWD car with a long hood, what do you expect? The second row is cramped, the trunk opening is small, and the rear humps in the floorboard is enormous.

      After E46 I never bought another BMW again. I still like the way they drive but they’re just not practical enough for me.

      • 0 avatar
        slance66

        It’s not a size thing. Cars that low…you can’t see forward on the highway because everything else is tall. Getting in and out is miserable. There are plenty of roomy midsize sedans. People are buying CUVs mostly because modern sedans are too low, with seats that are too low and sills and cowls that are too high. It’s that simple.

        • 0 avatar
          burgersandbeer

          I’m in an E46 now; the greenhouse is very good, but the car is low even by the standards of its day. I think Miatas are the only vehicles I can see around. With brodozers becoming more common, I have a better chance of looking under the traffic in front of me.

          Modern sedans don’t improve this by much, and I can’t stand the bathtub feel of the interiors.

          I used to think SUV/CUVs were the devil’s work, but lately I find the fiance’s X3 pretty damn comfortable to use without giving up much in ride and handling. Maybe I’m just getting old.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            I loved my e46’s feel and view from the drivers seat. The view out was fantastic, especially to the front, and yet I still felt like I was sitting nice and low and connected to the road. The flat planted suspension and wonderful steering only amplified the affect. The car just felt like it was hugging the road. God I miss that sucker.

    • 0 avatar
      Der_Kommissar

      Similar situation, but I chose the Mazda 3 sTouring instead to save some money and get more features. It’s actually a bit bigger than then e90 and it rides higher, making getting my 3 year old into a car seat easier. I really liked the CX-5 except that I felt you really needed sport mode to get good performance, and that really increased the NVH. That, and that at the price of a GT you could get a Sportwagen SEL which I liked better. Was not satisfied with content at the Touring level.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    And yet we can’t get hatchbacks and wagons in Canada. Why? The excuse given is usually “Americans love sedans”… So there is no financial sense in designing/importing hatch or wagon versions of cars available as such elsewhere in the world for the small market percentage of buyers that is Canada.
    (caveat: There have been a few models in recent history brought to Canada and not the US)

    Yet all I see is people tooling around in is what are essentially wagons/hatches riding on jacked up suspensions.

  • avatar
    ericb91

    Here’s my story. I have a 2001 Camry 4cyl auto. MIL bought it new, wife bought it from her, I got it when we got my wife a minivan. She wanted a CUV when we started having kids, but I said “NO! We get van!” She loves it. We have a 2-year old and a 6-month old.

    When they are in booster seats or older than that, we can likely get a midsize sedan. Car seats are huge and I like the van for all the room.

    My next car (after the Camry) will probably be cheap and efficient, or a truck. Soon I’ll have a 3-mile round trip commute, so I’m not sure what I’ll buy.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Here’s one reason “ride height” might be important.

    My wife had back surgery in 2014. She’s mostly recovered, but some things still tweak her back. One of them is bending down to strap our kid into his carseat at sedan height. When we replaced our Forester, one of the most important criteria was that the rear seat be high enough that she could strap the kid in without bending over. Oddly enough, even though it has the ground clearance of a sedan, the C-Max has very high seats and it’s just as comfortable as the Forester for her to use.

    Any time we take the kid anywhere in my Lexus, I need to do all of the kid loading and unloading, every time. So we end up using the Lexus pretty much only for adults-only trips and long road trips.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

      The C-Max doors and seating position are tremendous.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        I can confirm that. Loved the C-Max SEL I test drove recently. Felt like I was in a CUV and had a better ride, visibility and fuel economy than the CX-5 I test drove right after it.

        Once the TDI buyback stuff is sorted out, I’m planning to get myself a 2017 C-Max Titanium before Ford pulls the plug on them.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          I could write an article like this telling people to buy a C-Max instead of a small CUV. It gives up a bit of trunk space and ground clearance to the Escape and you get a better vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            and if you like the Escape’s interior, the C-Max has the exact same dash!

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            I think the seats are (were?) the same too. Well, at least very similar.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “bit of trunk space”

            Try “a lot of trunk space”

            Cmax: 24.5/52.6

            Escape: 34.3/67.8

            That makes the difference between fitting the family’s luggage on a trip and not, IMO. In that case, the worse-driving Prius V makes more sense from a strictly utilitarian/roominess point of view.

            If that is not a factor then I absolutely endorse your suggestion, especially given how under-priced and quickly depreciating CMaxes seem to be.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            It’s worth it to have double the real world fuel economy. Use the money that you saved in gas to buy a Red Oxx bag and some packing cubes.

        • 0 avatar
          Kyree S. Williams

          Hopefully that one will have the newer front-fascia that they’ve been using since ’15 on the European C-Max and Grand C-Max.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          No C-Max Titanium here, only SE and SEL with a few different packages on SEL. The top SEL versions are pretty well loaded with Sync3/Sony/nav, leather, pano sunroof, auto parking, dual auto climate control, and heated seats. The only feature I really miss on our fully loaded version is a memory driver’s seat (WHY FORD WHY??). Power passenger seat and blind spot warning would also be nice but I don’t really care about them.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        I couldn’t disagree more. It may be better than CUVs but I recently drove my friends C-Max and I hated the driving position. I felt like I was sitting up way too high.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

          My point is that the ride height is what people that are buying CUVs are looking for in a more usable package for transporting people. The height of the C-Max’s doors make it extremely easy to load a kid in a car seat. High roof + low floor is nice. Too bad they had to raise the load floor in the trunk.

          If you don’t like sitting is an Escape or CR-V, you probably won’t like sitting in a C-Max.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            You are right I hate the high up seating position in CUVs. I am not a huge fan of my Fiat 500s position either. It’s not as bad as a CUV or the C-Max but its still too high. I miss my e46 BMW and my families Miata.

  • avatar
    Ian

    Great article, this is exactly what I did a few years ago. Sick of the $4 gas prices, I switched out of a 2008 Yukon Denali to an Accord sedan. Many thought it was crazy and an odd choice, though in reality, I gained far more than I lost. Since then I’ve had a Chrysler 300s, and now a BMW 328 Sportwagon. There are some wonderful choices on the market for cars in the segment, and fantastic values as well since many automatically gravitate to an SUV or crossover or some sort.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    CUVs sell because they are more appealing than a sedan. They are not as large as they appear, like a pickup. It’s the height that makes appear larger than they are.

    CUVs do offer a better working height with kids and their associated gadgets to keep them entertained. To unload and repack a CUV is easier. Look at many modern wagons the rear of the wagon seems to be short and for aerodynamic reasons the back roof line droops.

    I do believe that the station wagon is heading in the direction of the dodo.

    Most CUVs are station wagons as is most SUVs. Those hatch looking SUVs are just a car.

    The CUV is a car that is better designed for the rigours of day to day living, like most modern 1/2 ton pickups.

  • avatar
    TheDoctorIsOut

    Somehow my wife and I managed to schlep two kids and all necessary gear while driving no more than an ’83 Honda Accord sedan. I think we are raising a generation of wimps and pusses. The justification for a 4000 lb crossover to carry a 30 lb child and associated hardware does not pencil out.

    • 0 avatar
      AK

      My mother drove my brother and I around in a 1977 Buick Lesabre Coupe.

      Never a problem.

      I reminded her of this when she bought her new Acura RDX last year.

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      I grew up with an ’81 IraqiBu and an ’81 Civic wagon. That was before car seats and all of the associated kid stuff these days. My brother and I didn’t die and turned out to be normally functioning adults, at least as far as I can tell. No reason a modern sedan or a hatchback or wagon can’t fulfill the same role.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Is my kid a wimp because I use my 4Runner to take little hiking/biking/camping adventures with her or is she not a wimp because I shoehorn her into the back of my midlife crisis FR-S?

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        You need a lifted Wrangler Unlimited on 35’s or a brodozer for camping and a HELLCAT FOR EVERYTING ELSE.

        LOL

        • 0 avatar
          TheDoctorIsOut

          No one could fault you for using a 4Runner for its intended purpose, and what better way to introduce your progeny to the joys of tail out drifting in an FR-S? Not me. I strapped my kids into my Mazda the earliest I could in those days before we were mandated to tuck the little dears into those crash capsule things in the back seat.

          My objection is the inefficiency of the SUV and the CUV to a lesser extent. The most common SUV in my part of the country is the Suburban/Tahoe that more than not is driven by a petite blonde whose idea of a rough road is negotiating the speed bumps in the parking lot of Whole Foods.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    The older kids get – particularly once strollers are a thing of the past – the more a sedan makes a lot of sense.

    The two kid-carrying vehicles in my household are a Charger and a minivan. after looking around, we viewed almost all crossovers we saw as half-measures. We had more-than-occasional requirements to take 5+ people, and the 3-row CUVs were compromised when compared to a van’s space efficiency. Plus, there has never been a day where I don’t appreciate the power sliding doors. We’ve used the Charger more frequently now that my 3 and 5 year old generally don’t need strollers.

    The van’s capacity, however, makes life with little boys much easier. It’s just so easy to take their Powerwheel to Grandma’s, both bikes to a far-away park, a quality large-wheeled stroller to the zoo without disassembly (cheapo umbrella strollers are instruments of torture), etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Nick 2012 – then they turn into teenagers with size 12 feet. We have a minivan and it is great. It ain’t cool but we don’t care. I have no desire for a car but that is me.

  • avatar
    5280thinair

    In response to some of the other comments about people “already buying what they need”, I would say people buy what is fashionable and meets their minimum needs. Fashion/popularity trumps better meeting their needs.

    I am old enough to remember when minivans were the hot thing to have, and then when they were suddenly not the thing to have and everybody had to have a Ford Explorer. The minivan was actually an upgrade on the old station wagon in many practical ways (greater interior height, flat floor, sliding doors) but the SUV was mostly a downgrade in truly practical aspects (less room, higher load height, etc.). People bought them in droves anyway, even when the all-wheel-drive systems were a pain to use and not nearly as automated as they are now.

    Sedans with fold down rear seats can carry a surprising amount of stuff, but most people don’t even look at them on their way to test drive a CUV or SUV.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      That is pretty much my opinion and/or understanding of things, too. Many people unwittingly make the choice to be followers, while others are leaders or at least think for themselves. Please understand I mean no disrespect in speaking of followers;some family members as well as friends and close co-workers fall into the category of followers. As for myself, I’m not afraid to be different and NOT follow the crowd.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    When my son was born, my wife was driving a 1997 Altima while I was bumming around in a *1994 Nissan King Cab. Both were just terrible for moving the kid around.

    The truck is self-explanatory, but the Altima was a literal pain in the back: getting the baby seat in the middle, and bending over while holding a baby and buckling him in place. Add in the small trunk and it was easy to run out of room if going on a long trip.

    After a few months we switched to a Mercury Mountaineer. Complete gas hog but it was so much easier to get everything – kid included – situated.

    *My Nissan truck didn’t last much longer – but I went with two cars to replace it, a 1991 Buick Park Avenue beater car and a 1986 Monte Carlo SS project.

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Sorry, I tried to read this article, but I was unable to comprehend the following set of letters “midsize sedan.” I’m pretty sure that’s not Americanese. I”m not sure what foreigner language that is, but it’s probably a terrorist plot to force us to elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in order to reorganize the Republic into the Galactic Empire and condemn all our souls to the Dark Side, where we will be forced to stand on bread lines and drink endless amounts of vodka while driving poorly replicated Fiats.

    In closing, I’d just like to say “HELLCAT!” :)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      HELLCAT 2016

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @npaladin2000 – you win.

      I’M NOT WORTHY

      I’M NOT WORTHY

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Am so relieved that it has become socially acceptable to publicly say HELLCAT! It is totally OK to promote FCA’s awesome HELLCAT, no matter whether it be in the form of a Charger or Challenger. As a matter of fact, Chargers and Challengers are great cars even if you don’t get a HELLCAT. But, we know everybody wants a HELLCAT! Yes, everybody wants one, and I want one too!! Everybody needs one, how about you?

  • avatar
    mmarton

    SUVs/CUVs are just consumer fetishism, giving the buyer that feeling of “rugged individualism” in a world where almost no one lives a rugged lifestyle.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “rugged individualism”

      You know, you’re right? Just realized I got into CR-Vs about the same time I stopped smoking Camel straights!

      Damn, how little I know myself, pretending there were all kind of rational reasons and everything.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

      Does anyone buy a CR-V thinking that they are going to go offroading?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My cousin does more offroading and kid/family hauling in a beaten to death 1.8L Toyota Corona sedan than any rugged individualists I can think of here in the US. That’s not to disparage anyone’s wants/needs, I’m not that kind of guy. But it really puts things in perspective when you see what people get by with. To my own embarrassment, his daily commute sees more offroad driving than my 4Runner does all summer. He also uses a truck gas tank suspended in the air with a shower head tapped into the bottom as an outdoor shower so using a sedan as a do-it-all family vehicle is the least of it all.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      According to BigAl, that is what full sized pickups are for. You gotta look macho driving to WallMart to get the wife some pads.

  • avatar
    AK

    Yeah man, midsize sedans are great.

    Crossovers are worthless.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

    We have to keep a large CUV or SUV/truck unless midsized sedans can start towing 4500 lbs.

  • avatar
    readallover

    Then: (whining) Are we there yet?

    Now: (whining) There`s no Wi-Fi !

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’m a European, so no, I hate sedans. Sedans are for old people, and by old, I mean mostly ‘dead people’, but they were still just ‘old people’ in the late 80’s, when Ford caved in and finally offered the Sierra and Scorpio as sedans insetad of the better looking and more practical Hatchback sedans (or combi-coupe as they are called here)
    The only people who still drive sedans here are those who buy german ‘premium’ (poverty spec) cars, who are also technically dead people, having to wear shirts and stuff at work, and go to meetings every day and such (poor useless bastards)
    It’s worth mentioning that this other group rarely own their cars, as they are either company cars or leased. Also, they are rarely the only car in the family, as they are practically useless for anything but commuting (despite the fact that here in Europe you are allowed to use them for towing things)
    Most of the sedans I thing look good are (a lot) older than me (MY78) and most of them have tailfins, no B-pillars and preferably more engine than the suspension can even dream of handling in a sporty fashion…

  • avatar
    Von

    Click bait mastery achieved!

  • avatar
    lastwgn

    Many people responding here have hit the nail on the head regarding crossovers versus sedans: Height of the seat as it relates to entry and exit. My wife and I turn 53 this summer and graduated the last from high school. Looking for a new car to replace her 11 year old Tribute we tried both the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Both were too low for my wife’s taste. She has no interest in strain on knees, hip and/or back getting into and out of a car with a lower hip point than a crossover. I drive an RX-8 and a Miata, so it does not bother me, but she gripes everytime she has to get into even a normal sedan like a 6, let alone my sports cars. There are numerous reviews of the CX-3 that conclude that the Mazda3 is much more car for comparably less money than the CX-3 so why bother with the CX-3. Well, we bothered with the CX-3 because its hip point on entry is high enough for middle aged comfort. My wife loves the new CX-3. If we had gotten the Mazda6 that I was hoping she would like, she would have simply griped everyday about the hassle of getting in and out of a “lower” sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      This is what I observe as well. Here in New England you can add the benefit of AWD for snow and it becomes obvious. There’s a reason the Subaru Crosstrek crushes the sales of the Impreza it is based on, and the people here who attribute it to merely “fashion” as blind to reality. The CX-3 is a pretty sharp looking vehicle, and I expect that it won’t take long before it outsells the regular 3.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “The bottom line is that the majority of people who think they need crossovers, including my family, really don’t. They’d be much happier in a mid-sized sedan.”

    To many of those who have spent at least some of the last two decades in SUVs, minivans, large pickups and/or crossovers, as well as those who may have spent a decade or two prior to that in a compact pickup, this would seem like a bizarre suggestion.

    “CUVs, which are largely bought by women, give a sense of safety and security by riding higher. But that’s a myth.”

    It only needs to feel right.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      The primary advantage of a higher seating position is being able to see further ahead in heavy traffic to avoid getting stuck a couple cars back behind a slow driver. I drive a sedan and have to guess what’s happening by the reactions of the smaller group of cars I can see. It’s amazing how much one slow car can gum up traffic flow on a 6 lane suburban street.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    people have finally realized how much more versatile a hatchback is, now that they arent only tinny 2 door budget stripped models.

    you can just put more stuff in there, of various sizes. potted plants, a bike or 2, costco sized stuff. i took home a washing machine in my xA… cant do that in any car with a trunk. ive also taken home a dishwasher, and transported a rather large recliner.

    yeah, i shoulda just got a new xB instead, but in 2006 everyone had xBs, and i liked and still like my “baby matrix”

    • 0 avatar
      Wodehouse

      Well said, er, written! Whenever I read yet another post about how “stupid” Americans are supposed to be because they don’t buy hatchbacks and/or station wagons I have to smile. All of these SUV/CUV things are hatchbacks and/or wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Wanted to say that the xA has been my favorite vehicle in the Scion lineup. That is to say were I to buy a (used) Scion, the xA would be my first choice. Seems like a “just right” little car.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Bark,
    Having 3 rows is a real luxury as your kids grow and start to do things with friends. I advise hanging onto the Flex. If the kids are especially challenging, you can at least stick them in the way back, where you won’t have to hear them as much.

    If you wife wants to enjoy her drive, she can always steal your ST.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      VoGo – true. The little brats end up as tall as you are with friends just as big.

      The advantage to the third row is to put the one with the shorter arms back there and the other one in the opposite mid-row seat.

      Sometimes I want an old cop car with the “silent partner” intact but placed longitudinally.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    We are about to experience this phenomenon. After driving a 2006 Mazda MPV for 10 years, which we bought when our sons were 6 and 3, we made the decision to downsize, ditch the minivan and get a new 2016 Jetta. My wife, who has been the primary driver of the MPV, actually was quite clear that she was “done” with driving a minivan. Too boxy. Too much vehicle. A lot of wasted space she never used except on rare occasions. We just needed a vehicle that could handle two teenage sons (that don’t always ride with us any more) and whatever stuff we needed to bring.

    What impressed us about the Jetta — and could probably be said by a lot of other mid-size ish vehicles – was that it had all the space we needed, had better pick up than the minivan, will get about 10 MPG better and had all of the safety equipment needed to feel comfortable. We never had AWD, even though we live in MN, so that wasn’t an issue. The ride height makes a marginal difference – what makes more of a difference is that the Jetta handles, brakes and accelerates better and is more agile than the minivan ever was.

    So, we will be a two sedan family for the first time in 15 years and see how it goes. They’ve come a long way since the old Mazda Protege and Honda Civic we drove back in the 90’s. I am looking forward to a smaller footprint actually,

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      I liked hearing your personal account. Specifically, I liked your mention of “agility” in regard to your Jetta sedan. The aspect of agility rarely comes up when I hear people speaking of what they want or need in a vehicle, but it does for me. Agility is a top factor in me driving a mid-size sedan. Maneuverability also. As a mid-size sedan isn’t generally too big nor too small in regards to utility and maneuverability.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Higher ride height offers several real benefits, not just the “illusion” of safety.

    – Better visibility (also thanks to the lower door sill height)
    – easier ingress/egress
    – significantly easier loading of humans incapable of loading themselves, thanks to their car seats being at chest height rather than hip height and the higher roof and door openings

    Not to mention the more upright seating position enables CUVs’ footprints to be smaller for the same amount of legroom- key for someone like me, who parks in and uses the hell out of my garage year round.

    The Sonata is a bit of a freak of nature in the segment as well; it, the Passat, and I think the Optima and Altima have abnormally abundant combined legroom. The rest of the field is about on par with something like a CR-V. So CUVs are definitely catching on for legitimate reasons. Writing it off to “women” wanting a false sense of security is silly.

    • 0 avatar
      Carfan94

      Absolutely I think you hit the nail on the head. Also most crossovers and SUVs have more HEADROOM than the equivalent sedans. At 6’5″ I take headroom very seriously. I don’t fit in most midsize sedans especially if they have a sunroof. No problem with CUVs though. That’s why I have one. I disagree about the seat height though, when I stand next to my RX 350 with the door open, My butt is about 12 inches higher than the seat bottom, so I still have to bend down, and duck my head when getting in, just not as bad as a sedan. Regarding length, My RX is 186” long, so it’s about 5 inches shorter than most midsize sedans, and yes it does make it easier to park in the garage, I can even open the tailgate with the garage door closed.

      • 0 avatar
        gasser

        I had a 2009 RX 350 and I liked the head room. . I didn’t like the front leg room. I’m 5’10” and I had the driver’s seat back all the way, and wished for a bit more room. My 6’3″ son hated it. Also the seat cushion was too short.
        These were the first things I checked for in May new car shopping.
        I do miss the seat height on entering and leaving and I really miss the forward vision of the SUV.

        • 0 avatar
          Carfan94

          @gasser, mine is a 2007, I noticed it has less legroom than my Volvo did. But it seems like the seat doesn’t go back as far as in the European cars. It doesn’t seem so bad to me. I put my left foot on the footrest, and it just barely has enough legroom for me. If I was an inch or two taller, I would probably consider the legroom unacceptable. It helps though that the seat sits high up off the floor, and my knees are above my feet, also I have the bottom cushion tilted all the way up so thigh support is good.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Minivans. The ultimate family vehicle for doing everything an S/CUV can do…and better. Except towing stuff, but hey, I never see SAHMs pulling a boat to their play dates. More room, power sliding doors, bigger, safer, etc.

    That said, with older kids who no longer require car seats, diaper bags, and strollers, a mid-large size sedan is ideal for all the reasons stated above.

    Even the rental-grade Impala that we recently took possession of at the Boston airport was big, comfortable, powerful, and safe…and probably a lot cheaper to buy than the Jones’ new CUV.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    The biggest practical problem with sedans is the trunk openings are so small and the sloped backs most modern ones have make it hard to access the front part of the trunk. If more were like my Mom’s 1996 Lincoln Town Car with its giant box on the back that had its whole top open, that would be easier. Otherwise, some sort of liftgate/tailgate is the easier way to go. Of course, you have to deal with everything else you correctly point out as advantages of the sedan over a CUV which is why the answer is what we all yell and scream about: WAGONS!!!! Everything you like about a sedan with the ease of use of a CUV. Or a minivan with way more space and cargo versatility than any of them.

    You are absolutely right that the market has made it where reproduction means you must have a CUV or else you will face social scorn. I don’t get it. If making a baby mandates a CUV, then I don’t see how buying one somehow maintains your cool stylish factor. I have a friend who’s going through this now with his wife. She is pregnant with the first child. She must have a CUV. I talked to him and he and I both agree a minivan would be best for them but she refuses to have one. It’s an image thing for her somehow. Mind you, she currently drives a 10 year old Hyundai Accent or Elantra, but for some a minivan offends her sense of style. SMH.

    CUVs are and always have been largely a vanity purchase and among the most unecessary vehicles on the market.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      tjh8402 is correct. Sedan trunk openings have become too small. A liftback would work better with the currently popular coupe roofline.

      • 0 avatar
        Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

        Ford makes a Fusion liftback for other markets. Both it and the Civic have designs that are much more functional as liftbacks.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          There are a lot of cars that could’ve ended up in my driveway instead of the Fiat (such as a Fusion Hybrid or a Civic) if they were available as liftbacks. I not only fill most of my 500’s 30 cubic ft of cargo space, it happens on a pretty regular basis so constant loading and unloading. A sedan would’ve been far more difficult and less practical, even if total space had been higher.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            It’s dumb that the Fusion is not a liftback.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Mazda used to offer the 6 as a liftback, in addition to sedan. Pity that it didn’t sell well and scared off everyone else from selling liftbacks in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Heck, just float the already existing liftback version and see what happens.

          • 0 avatar
            Acd

            VoGo it pains me to agree with you about anything but the Mazda 6 Hatchback and its predecessor 626 Touring Sedans in both first and second generations were some of my favorite cars that never sold worth a darn in the U.S.

            I even liked the Chrysler Lebaron GTS and Dodge Lancer 5 doors in the 1980’s even though they were unrefined K-cars underneath a sexy and useful body.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Acd,
            I drove a Dodge Shadow 5-door hatchback for a while. These were the years my wife and I were putting every dime we made into our house, and were happy to inherit disused cars from the family.

            No A/C. No heat, really. But damn, you could haul just about anything with the rear seats down.

          • 0 avatar
            Acd

            I forgot about the Shadow/Sundance twins but they were probably about the closest thing to a commercially successful hatchback-sedan ever sold in the U.S. But because of their K-car heritage they still drove like crap compared to a Honda or almost any other import of the time.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The Fusion and Civic should just go liftback. This its 80% there for liftback but isn’t does not compute.

          • 0 avatar
            Adam Tonge (bball40dtw)

            Agreed.

            The worst part is that Ford actually builds one and we can’t have it. Forget about the wagon, just give us the liftback.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I doubt very much sales would be negatively impacted.

            Gotta run.

          • 0 avatar
            thattruthguy

            The Chevy Citation was a phenomenally popular hatchback til it earned its bad reputation.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @tjh8402 – my wife has been getting browbeaten by some of her friends since we have a minivan. It is silly. Other than AWD which is an option in most minivans, I don’t see any reason to buy one. We looked at the CRV and Rav4 and she didn’t like the small size. She liked the Highlander but not the price.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    Seat height does matter for taller people so SUV/CUV may not be good esp. when some models do NOT include a seat height adjuster.
    Tried some SUV/CUVs and my knees were folding upwards considering I’m 6′ with long legs and broad shoulders.

    Don’t need the visibility as I’m already tall and see far enough.

    I like the CUVs because of the ease of entry/exit in that I don’t have to sink down into/out of the seat like I do in my sedan.

    Hopefully, in the years to come, the CUV prices will drop and the overall design will make it easier for tall people and the engine will be more fuel efficient like that of sedans.

    I like the roominess, maneuverability and fuel economy of my sedan and would go up to a CUV if it had all the same.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Great piece, Bark.

    Just start calling the CUVs, minivans, either as a statement of fact (which is what I do) or “mistakenly” and then self correct. Once the play date mothers equate CUV = minivan on a subconscious level, these things are toast.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Imma still call em hatchbacks with no-profile tires on big-wheels with pontiacesque cladding and a whole inch lift kit. Only issue is no one listens 10% of the way through.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    Simple answer – small minivan. My Mazda 5 has a raised seat height (hip), sliding doors to make getting kids into carseats easy. Third row for the occasional grand-parent visit (and yes, I got four adults and two toddlers into the 5 with no issues).

    40mpg imperial, 33mpg US, on a run. Always do at least 29mpg US.

    Dog fits in perfectly, unlike a mid-size sedan.

    Pair of Nokian Hak R2s and that’s winter dealt with.

    6 speed manual transmission, because it’s better.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    We use the 3 rows of our SUV probably 20% of the time – a few times/week. Carrying other people’s kids with ours (4-5 kids). None of the kids are tall/heavy enough to sit in the front seat.

    The idea of a minivan is great. Decent mileage, lots of space, great utility, not horrific mileage. The execution of a minivan is the problem. They look dumpy, they drive worse than they look and the social stigma they carry is tough to get over.

    The only non-minivan and non-SUV with 3 rows is the Flex. I think the Flex is pretty cool, but since this is my wife’s car and she hates how it looks, it was a no go.

    If Volvo or Mercedes or Acura released a minivan that drove well, we’d be open to it. I guess the 10 other households that would consider such a thing isn’t worth the development costs.

    Until carpooling is something we won’t do, we have to have a car with 3 rows.

    • 0 avatar
      cornellier

      “the social stigma they carry is tough to get over”

      Would someone like to describe what this means in a practical sense? Is the “stigma” entirely imagined? Or are you literally shunned from the golf club/Walmart/whatever.

      Anecdotally, I’ve never heard of anyone being inconvenience or ill-treated because they were in a minivan.

      Otherwise I call BS.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      Have you seen and looked at the all-new Chrysler Pacifica? It is considered a minivan though doesn’t look like the old boxy minivans. Since it is still new and hasn’t been out very long, it should appeal to people who like minivans as well as people who don’t like minivans. You can get one with high feature content, low feature content or one somewhere in the middle. Whether you’d actually want to get one doesn’t matter, they are worth checking out because they are so new, and of course improved.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    I do love my 5. Benefit of living in Canada is that we still have the Rondo and the 5 (although 5 about to be killed). Unfortunately no new 5 will be coming out.

    Transit Connect seems nice, but over-priced here.

    I do wish Ford had brought over the Grand C-Max like originally promised (with a gas/diesel engine).

    The Chevrolet Orlando was an utterly disgusting car. Had one from a rental fleet. Brand new. Dreadful.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I love when someone tells me they know better than me what will make me happy. Especially when they assume I have zero experience. You think everyone who bought a CUV has never driven, ridden in, or God forbid owned a sedan just because your wife hasnt? My wife drove a Jeep for years (2x Cherokee then Liberty) then switched to a sedan for 7 years, and then wanted a CUV after that (RDX). She knows what she wants on account of having tried lots of things. She’s hardly unique in that respect.

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    Do it Bark, I promise you won’t regret it. After paying 5 years of mini-van penance I jumped into a used V70. At just over 200k it was finally sent to live out its days frolicking with older 200’s, 240’s and 700 series wagons on a lovely farm.(I tell myself that to keep from crying at night.) The V70’s unexpected death forced into something cheap so I schlepped the kids about in an Elantra GT for a couple years. Being as the Bluetooth module was the best thing about it I was soon looking to replace the Hyundai. Forced to rent a car for a couple weeks(another story)we ended up with a new Camry. Long story short I gained a new respect for this much maligned mid-size vanillamobile. I checked out pricing and realized you can’t get a much better car without spending a good bit more money. A local dealer sold me one for under $24K out the door and I’ve had my 2015 Camry for a year. I love it as much now as when I bought it. No I don’t hate cars. No I don’t hate to drive. The XSE model will actually take the occasionally twist in the road very competently. It has everything one needs in a modern car. It’s very safe according to IIHS. It’s comfortable even on long trips. The non-JBL stereo while light on the bass is quite good otherwise. The A/C is cold in the summer, one of the best I felt in some time. The seats are warm in the winter. The Bluetooth system works well and is easy to use. It’s fuel efficient and the 175 horses pushing it along are up to the task. No I didn’t feel my soul being slowly pulled from my corporeal form the moment I bought it. My Camry is like a Golden Retriever. There are other dogs that are more interesting and yet few that are as loyal, steadfast and reliable.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Funny…well into my teens my parents owned a 1981 Toyota Corolla and a 1976 Mercury Montego, both were two door variants. We survived quite nicely, thank you. My wife now drives a Cruze. I admit that my vehicle is a 2014 Escape…and the biggest reason is to make hauling rescue dogs easier. I would rather a smaller, fun sedan (like a three or so year old manual transmission BMW), but the Escape fit the bill for what I actually use the car for. I guess the take away is “buy what you want.” Most could live easily with a decent sedan, but there are solid reasons for vehicles like SUVs.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I drive an F150. My wife drives a week old Santa Fe that replaced her well worn Tucson. Last week I had a little fender bender in the F150 and have been driving an Altima. I enjoyed driving a car, but after the week of getting in and out of it and living with it I realized why people buy taller vehicles and I mostly missed my truck.

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      Funny I had the opposite reaction. I spent 2-3 months on a light duty assignment at work and it involved me driving around all day. For most of the assignment, I had a previous generation Ford Explorer or an F150. I hated parking the damn things, I hated sitting up high, hated driving them in traffic and tight spaces, and I hated climbing in and out of them. Towards the end, a Ford Transit Connect van became available, and as soon as it did, I snagged it and never gave it back. It was nice to be driving something that felt like a car again.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I’m a truck guy through and through. There is the rare time I think it is too big but I just drive over something and that sensation passes immediately ;)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Yeah the F150 felt huge for like a week but I got used to it. I did spend a year driving really large and high trucks with crap visibility around downtown Baghdad though so it probably just doesn’t bother me anymore. I live in the south so most parking places are truck sized here except ironically at the post exchange on Fort Gordon. I park in the “low emitting and fuel efficient” only space there because the truck has that little green ecoboost emblem, I once saw a TDI in those spaces, and I’m a 19 year CW2 so what are they gonna do.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I owned an F-150 for three years and never liked it because of its size. In that three-year period it collected a grand total of 4,000 miles as I preferred to drive my Jeep Wrangler, a shorter and narrower vehicle, than that big pickup.

          Now I own a ’97 Ranger and it has garnered 3,000 miles in less than a year, my go-to moderate-weather vehicle, while the Wrangler is the winter and stormy-weather vehicle.

          I don’t like big. I will never like big. And yes, even the Colorado/Canyon twins are too big. For me.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It wasn’t the right tool for you. That’s all you had to say. When you’d rather have something else, the little things annoy that much more.

            The brown 1990 F-150 regular cab, long bed 2wd, isn’t exactly anyone’s top choice for pickups. Didn’t they still force a lumpy bench seat that wouldn’t recline?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I had a 1990 F250 reg cab 4×4 for 15 years. I sold it because it wouldn’t carry 2 adults and 2 baby seats. I bought it because a Ranger reg cab wasn’t enough truck for me.

            Each to their own or is it the manufacturer’s fault for not making individualized vehicles?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ford has absolutely proven they can make individual vehicles.

            • Six cars with an average of four trim levels each.
            • Six CUV/SUVs with an average of four trim levels each.
            • Six trucks and vans with as many as 6 trim levels each–Not including no less than three body styles for each truck

            By all means they have the ability.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            I’m with you Vulpine on the Ranger. My grandfather has a 2001, and aside from it feeling like its likely a death trap in an accident, that’s probably the best truck I’ve ever driven. Seating position is a little on the high side still (the contemporary Chevy S10 was better in that regard), but it’s definitely better than the F150 and I don’t have to climb in or out of it. I just don’t like the gargantuan F150 proportions. Oddly enough, I never had an issue driving my Mom’s Town Car. Fo reasons I can only speculate on, somehow that felt less unwieldy, I had a better sense of where the corners of the car were, the steering felt more precise, and I had an easier time placing the car where I wanted. Maybe sitting lower and/or closer to the center of the vehicle (pickups tend to have the driver more forward) helped that sensation somehow.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    I guess as Americans have gotten fatter heaving their fast food induced bulk into a pudgembile CUV is more important than the actual driving experience.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      nobody- and I mean nobody- gives a s**t about “driving experience” aside from a handful of enthusiasts.

      and it’s always been that way. for most people, “driving” is something they have to do in order to get s**t done.

      you’re not special. so stop being so smug.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I think that a lot of people care about the driving experience.

        The car starts! (That’s good — it can’t be driven if it doesn’t.)

        It’s comfortable.

        There’s a good view.

        There are whiz bang features inside and out, cold air when it’s hot and warm air when it’s cold.

        There’s a sensation of low-end torque when you hit the gas.

        It can pass other traffic when it needs to.

        It may not be some gearhead’s idea of a driving experience, but is a driving experience.

      • 0 avatar
        Carfan94

        The “driving experience” in My Lexus CUV is perfectly acceptable to me, A smooth creamy ride, comfortable seats, good visablility, Naturally aspirated 3.5 liter V6 power is good enough for me!

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @Whatnext: Your mistake here was that you said it wrong. Yes, for most the CUV is all they need or want. But there are enough of us out there who prefer a true Driving Experience.

      My father, rest his soul, believed like many here that a car is “just transportation.” I disagree. Driving is fun, when you can get away from the crowds. I would much rather drive on old, near-deserted 2-lane highways than on the expressways that blow by the world and ignore the majesty of this our only home.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        But I have not owned a vehicle that I didn’t appreciate driving to some degree. From my Saturn SL’s, to my Autobiachi A112 and clapped out Alfa 75 to my 3 series Bimmers, my Miata’s and my current F150. they all had an ability to put a smile on my face in some manner.

      • 0 avatar
        cornellier

        “the majesty of this our only home” will be the title of my autobiography.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    “The bottom line is that the majority of people who think they need crossovers, including my family, really don’t. They’d be much happier in a mid-sized sedan. They’d save money, have just as much or more space inside, and get better gas mileage. All it takes is some exposure to a mid-sized sedan to convince them — and approval from the local play-date club.”

    My retired parents have one of each. The sedan is a little fancier than the crossover. They all but fight over the crossover, and I suspect the sedan will be replaced with an upmarket crossover when the time comes.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      That sounds like someone who has never loaded an infant in and out of a car seat and/or had that same child in the seat behind them 14 years later when he is 6’2″ in one of the modern looks like a coupe with that sloping roofline “sedans” on sale today. If you look at the shape of cars back in the 40’s and the ground clearance the CUV’s proportions are really not new.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        In my case, BAFM, you would be right. I’ve never needed four doors, never wanted four doors, but it’s getting darned near impossible to AVOID four doors any more.

  • avatar

    The article fails to support the basic thesis. The “big enough” and “smart enough” do not form an argument for replacement when other advantages of CUV are included, such as better visibility and roof rack.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Roof rack is unimportant and patently unnecessary for 90% of owners. I have owned two different vehicles for which roof racks are available (one with the framing in place) and never, ever, needed to even consider using one.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Vulpy, if we allow you to decide what’s necessary for other people we’ll all be sleeping in jammies with feet and a flap in the back.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          If Vulpine doesn’t like something, then there’s absolutely no reason that anyone else should.

          The slogan “What Would Vulpine Do?” should be posted in every classroom in America so that every child could be blessed with his wisdom. (And the kids would love it because they could burn their textbooks, stop doing homework altogether and say stupid s**t all day long.)

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ylvis made it into a huge hit single 3 years ago with “What does the Fox say?

            https://www.google.com/search?q=what+does+the+fax+say&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=what+does+the+fox+say

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        I put a roofrack on my car. I’ve only used a few times (could probably count on one hand), but those alone made it worth it. There’s simply know way I could’ve easily or affordably transported what I needed to without it. Those few times made it worth every penny. It’s not like it has cost me anything to own since the initial purchase (no fuel economy penalty was seen). That being said, plenty of sedans are able to have roof racks. Hell, you can put roof racks on Porsche 911s. You don’t have to have a vehicle with a liftgate or liftback to put a roof rack on.

        I also see roofracks getting used all the time, but my area may be one that favors them. Locals love to put kayaks, paddle boards, and bikes on their roof racks. I also live in the hometown of, and work in the area of that most holy of international shrines to the family vacation that Bark just visited, and regularly commute down I-4, the same interstate he took from Tampa. I-4 and I-95 are full of every manner of SUV, Crossover, wagon, hatchback, and minivan with the ubiquitous cargo carriers on their roof racks, out of state plates, stick figures families on rear windshields, and some reference to pilgrimage to the temple of the Mouse they are making written on the windows.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          “I put a roofrack on my car. I’ve only used a few times (could probably count on one hand), but those alone made it worth it. There’s simply know way I could’ve easily or affordably transported what I needed to without it. Those few times made it worth every penny.”

          There are temporary roof racks you can purchase for that specific reason and they offer the benefit of clean aerodynamics through their ability to be removed when not needed. I can’t tell you the number of times I installed or removed roof racks for a rental agency as a part time job in Denver, CO for the ski season.

          Again, for 90% of people there is simply no reason to carry a permanently-mounted roof rack on their vehicle.

        • 0 avatar

          I know how that works. It used to be the case that all normal cars had the racks, anchored into rain drains. In fact, purely coincidentally, I came across a Tesla Model S with a roof rack (let it sink for a moment). I even took a picture. Nonetheless, you cannot buy a Model S with a factory rack. So the difference exists.

      • 0 avatar

        And I owned RAV4 with roof rack that I bought, in part, because of roof rack, and I used it all the time. So now we have 2 personal testimonies in direct conflict. This should teach you the difference between anecdote and data, as well as the hazards of personal projection.

  • avatar
    ItsJustaRide

    My wife & I (DINK plus 25kg dog) became first-time CUV owners for the practical benefits: higher step-in and cargo/dog space.

    Making the switch from a ’07 Legacy sedan (NA, 4AT) to a ’13 Escape (2.0T/AWD) was an easy call.

    Escape Likes:
    – ride height
    – relatively quick reflexes
    – ample torque
    – cargo space
    – long-haul comfort
    – easy ingress/egress
    – same MPG as the Legacy with ~70% more power
    – better AWD system than the Legacy (we have long Winters).

    Compared to the 3 Subarus we owned previously, the Ford has been far more reliable

    We’re not anti-sedan (that Fusion Sport is a nifty package), but it would be tough to give up the useful attributes of the Escape to get back some performance-biased dynamics. Besides, we’ve got a NB Miata in the garage for analog driving enjoyment.

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      I’m very surprised you find the AWD on the Escape better than on the Legacy.

      The Legacy is full-time with a 40/60 split and viscous coupling. I’ve always found Subaru incredibly well planted, and not thrown off by standing water on one side (or deep snow) like slip-and-grip systems. The Escape on the otherhand is FWD until wheelspin is detected.

      I wonder, did the Legacy have traction control? Perhaps the electronics make the Escape move around less under power? Or is it the ride height?

      Would love to know why you find the Escape AWD better than the Legacy.

      • 0 avatar

        I think the word “planted” is the key. At the WRC speeds, a VC system may serve you better. In other situations, a clutch pack works just as well or better. The observations of the electronics is the most pertinent, however. Bad software can ruin any AWD system.

  • avatar
    scwmcan

    I recently bought an Escape to replace my matrix, it rides better, has pretty much just as much space (miss the folding passenger seat for long items) is quieter gets better fuel economy, is more comfortable, and easier to get in and out of. I would have considered a wagon if one had been available, I have had sedans and prefer something with a hatch for practicality. I Remer when my old Volvo 140s had more group d cleared ce than the escape does though, they had 8″ of clearance as I recall.

    As for minivan they are great for their purpose, I haven’t owned one but if I needed one I wouldn’t hesitate. I think they need to stop marketing them as minivans though, start calling them Family Utility Vehicles (I’ll leave the acronym to you) and people muggy flock to them again :)

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      it’s worth noting that you went from a pretty crummy and rather old hatchback (the Matrix) to one of the best new CUVs on the market (the Escape). While the Escape does have more space, a Mazda 3 hatch or Golf hatch/sport wagon would probably have been far more competitive with the Escape in terms of how they drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      scwmcan, am highly amused at your idea to replace the name minivan with Family Utility Vehicles, or FUVs. After all the seriousness of hearing peoples’ personal accounts of their family situation and why they bought and drive what they do, your idea to stop marketing minivans as minivans sounds both valid and highly entertaining. Kudos!

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’d be happier with a true 2-door coupe that isn’t a sub-compact or a true mid-sized (compact–meaning smaller than Colorado/Canyon) extended-cab pickup.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Two additional thoughts. On the issue of visibility – the catch 22 of this is that the more people buy these tall vehicles in an attempt to see over other cars, the less effective they actually become at that because now the road is full of tall vehicles that are all at the same high height. It becomes a self reinforcing cycle of needing progressively taller cars. I’ve noticed this driving the Ambulances at work. We use 450/4500 spec type III ambulances (van chassis cab with a box) and despite sitting pretty high in that, I don’t have a great view in traffic. My view is pretty well blocked by all the F150s, Traverses, Sequoias, Suburbans, etc.

    I should also add that as much as I encourage crossover buyers to consider sedans and hatchbacks, do think that your average family sedan is superior in every way to you average crossover, and wish more hatchbacks and wagons were on the market, aside from enthusiast choices like the Fusion, Accord, and Mazda 6, I probably wouldn’t take my own advice if I were buying and my first recommendation to a non enthusiast wouldn’t be one either. Honestly, my first choice family vehicle is a Prius, or a Prius V if you need the extra space. How can I say this as an enthusiast? Simple. A Camry, Sonata, etc are not exactly inspiring to drive on their own. Better than a crossover but still nothing amazing. Even the above enthusiast choices aren’t truly amazing vehicles. Inspiring to me is a BMW E46, Fiesta ST, or GTi. If I can’t be inspired by what I drive, I’d rather just save as much $ as possible and spend it on something fun. At the current national average of $2.21/gallon for regular, a family sedan averaging 30 mpg will cost you $1105/year at 15k annual miles. A Prius will cost $663, a savings of $442 (that’s a few princess and pirate makeovers for the kids Bark). Personally, I can think of a lot of ways I can spend $442 every year that will bring me more pleasure and fun than going from a Prius to a Camry. BTW, if you assume a crossover gets a bit less, say 25 mpg average (which is half the Prius’s mileage), the argument for the Prius is even stronger. The crossover will cost you $1326 per year in fuel, an extra $663. I can’t think of a single CUV who’s driving experience is worth that kind of savings over the Prius. That’s probably a couple extra weekend road trip getaways for you folks with families. For me as a single guy, that’s new stuff to fix up my house, a nice extra vacation, or money to be put away in savings to buy an extra car more fun than anything we’ve talked about (the answer is always Miata right?). Either way, that’s why I think the best most rational family vehicle on the market for anyone who doesn’t need the space of a minivan and who isn’t an enthusiast is the Prius.

    • 0 avatar
      Paragon

      tjh, I’ve got to admit that while none of us would consider a Prius to be an enthusiast machine, I’ve witnesses more than a few drivers drive them as fast if not faster than any car on the road;speeding like crazy, weaving in and out of traffic like a maniac. Acting exactly like the opposite of someone who cares about the environment. I suppose if you’re going to drive crazy fast, it still gets better fuel economy than any other vehicle you could choose. It just seems so atypical/abnormal.

  • avatar
    wstansfi

    I learned a long time ago that you have to spend a lot of money before you can get an SUV that drives and handles as well as a Honda Civic EX. The higher ride height is really only useful for increasing your risk of rollover when you hit that little civic. The added weight only increases stopping distance, and the amount of damage you do to yourself or someone else when you hit someone. The cost of ownership for CUV tires, breaks, and everything else is hideous compared to the cost of a midsize sedan. The Aztec was derided as that the ugliest car of it’s time, but it was really just ahead of its time. Now the roads are filled with Aztecs!

  • avatar
    Maymar

    There was a time when the best selling car in the US was the Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and the Personal Luxury Coupe was the standard of the day. All the interior space of a Soyuz capsule, with a hood and deck to make an aircraft carrier feel inadequate. Later on, many of the people who bought those Cutlasses moved on to Ford Explorers, which were roughly the unloved Bronco II with a set of rear doors, and more urbane detailing. And then everyone went and started rolling them like we’d found a new, more efficient way to drive. So just because the free market has spoken, just because something is popular, doesn’t mean it’s best (also, Avatar was one of the highest grossing movies of all time, and I think it’s been practically wiped from our collective conscious, like those times where you drive half an hour, and have no recollection of how you got there). That said, CUVs at least have practical merit, and have cleaned up almost all of the SUV’s flaws. I would still rather have a minivan a thousand times over than a CUV, but then I don’t need either. What I really want is a VW Golf Wagon (because I’m so unsensible like that) without the concern of long-term VW ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      So lease a damn Golf and quit complaining

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        I thought the B&B all knew leasing was a terrible option, and you should keep a car until it dies. So it turns out I’m wrong to want exactly one more option on the market that’s not one of the hundreds of crossovers because I should just go ahead and lease? You’ve earned that dunce cap.

  • avatar
    BobinPgh

    Ford Explorer has more vertical space which parents need for Pampers. Also for all the Playskool and Little Tykes kindercrap they have to bring home from Toys R Us. And more Pampers. Also so Bark can make late night runs to get you guessed it, more Pamepers. Not only that, but the high ground clearance keeps the vehicle from running onto p–py Pampers in the parking lot.

    • 0 avatar
      BobinPgh

      Bark, I just have to ask, highly educated women are less likely to be moms. So what happened with Mrs. Bark? Being a professor is long hours and she will have to cut back to take care of the kid. There is a saying: Your parents could not change the world, they were too busy changing your diapers. And think of all the jazz gigs you had to turn down because you had to spend the evening with Pampers.

  • avatar

    What I really would like the automotive industry to build is a SUS, or a sedan on stilts instead of a wagon on stilts. Subaru could make an XV Crosstrek version of Imprezza sedan instead of a hatch. The best of both worlds. But it appears that the only manufacturer smart enough to build one is BMW, and their prices are outside of my comfort zone. Also, it’s not really a sedan, more like a liftback with sedan-like separation.

    • 0 avatar
      theonlydt

      S60 cross country – it exists. It doesn’t sell well. The old Legacy sedan was available on stilts, also didn’t sell well.

      Minivans are the way to go for young, or large, families, especially those with dogs. For older families, station wagon is the way to go. In the snowbelt, jacked up with AWD.

      My parents in Europe have a Skoda Octavia Scout.

      This is the new version. Yes it’s brown, it’s awd, it’s station wagon AND it’s diesel! (actually I prefer it in other colours) http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/skoda/octavia/92461/long-term-test-review-skoda-octavia-scout-pictures#5

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “a sedan on stilts instead of a wagon on stilts”

      Curious. Once up on stilts speed, FE and “handling” (unnecessarily speedy cornering, I guess) have been somewhat sacrificed so why give up cargo and passenger space, too? Sounds like lose-lose.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Imagine if you had your choice of mid-size station wagons built from those mid-sized sedans. Such now almost extinct wagons are the most practical and enjoyable form of all-purpose transportation for a majority of people, but someone declared them uncool and unprofitable when the great SUV monster conquered the world starting in the 1990s. Our daughter is still driving a ’96 Volvo 960 wagon, and it is perfect for hauling family and/or friends, yet it still goes, stops and turns like a car while having amazing visibility and decent crash protection. From the driver’s seat you can actually tell where the car ends and who else is around you!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My regular family whip of choice is usually a Hemi Charger or 300, AWD in the winter. Plenty of room for a family of 4 with kids 5 and under plus our gear for overnight or a week away. An SUV or minivan might allow us to take a few extra cubic feet of stuff that we don’t need, but my wife would pack anyway. I actually enjoy driving these cars, and the extra fuel mileage over a utility is significant. Averaging 28+mpg hwy in a car with good performance and room for the family is a win for me.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    In others everyone is safer if they buy what we tell them too. You dont need that dang big ol truck get a Ridgeline. You dont need that crossover thingie get a Minivan.

  • avatar

    No. The 2 box design of the crossover is more practical and has more room than a comparable sedan. I have a little Chevy HHR, which could be argued is a small crossover (I disagree, I think it is a tall station wagon) and I like it much more than I would if it were a sedan. There is plenty of room for bulky objects and I can put a drum set and an amp or two in it with the seats folded down. I couldn’t fit all of that in a sedan. I don’t like the big fat looking crossovers but I don’t like modern sedans either. At least the crossover has more utility than a sedan, and many crossovers have a third seating row, which is something that is not available in any sedan that I know of that isn’t a stretch limo. I can’t believe I’m defending crossovers but they are a whole different animal than sedans and are used for different purposes. There is an anti-crossover bias in the automotive media (including this website) and a resentment that crossovers are gaining sales at the expense of sedans. I never saw the appeal of sedans anyway. All the cars I’ve ever owned were coupes, 2 door hatchbacks, and the HHR compact wagon. Sedans are typically ugly and no more practical than coupes when you rarely carry more than one passenger. If a crossover owner wanted a sedan, he would have bought one. Get over your resentment over crossovers outselling sedans and let the market decide.

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