QOTD: Could a Crossover Make You Happy?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd could a crossover make you happy

I was talking with a friend last night, telling him about the Buick LaCrosse tester currently in my stable and describing the declining fortunes of the traditional passenger car market. Full-size cars, especially.

Now, let me tell you about this friend. Ex-military. Practical. Lives in the city but enjoys occasional forays into the bush. Sensible with his money, and prefers products with a natural versatility. Now, guess what he drives? If your answer was anything other than, “A crossover, obviously! Stop wasting my time!” you’d be correct.

This friend seems perfectly contented with his Nissan Rogue. (He’s part of a large club that feels the same way.) Before this, his vehicle of choice was a meticulously maintained Subaru Forester. Before that, a GMC Sonoma, and going back even further, a Volkswagen Jetta. You’ll see a natural progression at work here.

“Why would anyone buy a normal car anymore?” he asked, looking at my generously proportioned sedan which, sadly for Buick, lacked the one feature most car buyers now demand — a cavernous, glass-encased cargo hold in place of a trunk.

He’s right. Buyers want, for the most part, a do-everything vehicle. There’ll always be a market for sports cars, which can be parked right next to that sensible, Monday-through-Friday, take-the-kids-to-soccer vehicle. Still, the market has shifted, and crossovers are king. Pity the poor sedan.

Which brings us to today’s question. In all likelihood, many of you have already decided — some would say “settled” — on a crossover. Others might steadfastly refuse to take this route, be it out of respect for tradition, desire for a more engaging driving experience, or a simple lack of need. But if you had to own one, what would it be?

Out of the plethora of choices on the market today, surely there’s one model that appeals to you just a little more than the others. And we’re not talking SUVs here. If a crossover was the only choice, what car-based cargo carrier most appeals to your personal sensibilities? And, do you think you could be happy with it?

[Image: Nissan]

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4 of 133 comments
  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Mar 22, 2017

    Well, the problem is the lack of the low gear really. So I guess a Renegade it is. It has 1:20 total with 9sp and 1:18.43 with manual and optional 4.438 final drive. _If_ the idiots at BMW sold an X3 or X6 with a 2-speed t-case, I'd give them a good look, even at their obscene prices. But the best they can muster is 1:13, which is just ridiculous. 2015 Forester has 1:15.335 and 2016 (XV) Crosstrek has 1:15.754 (both with manuals). It's just not enough. What I ideally would like is something like Grand Vitara. It had 1:24.845 in low. But they don't sell those anymore. Also, it was car-like, but not car-based. Grand Cherokee is too large. And it's very, very remotely a car (if we look all the way back to an ancient E-klasse).

  • La834 La834 on Mar 22, 2017

    I'd be fine with several of the more carlike crossovers if only they offered manual transmissions, preferably with FWD (and not just in the stripped-down model). I don't need AWD where I live and it would only be of major benefit maybe 5 days a year.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tjh8402 Tjh8402 on Mar 22, 2017

      @JohnTaurus The Jeep Renegade and new Jeep Compass offer a manual in the midline trim levels with most of the nice equipment and paired with 2wd. The Fiat 500 X also offers a manual, but only in the base trim. The Forrester base model has a manual, but that's only AWD. Volkswagen will offer a manual on the AllTrak Golf , which I would call a crossover, although that is also AWD only. I would also called the mini countryman a crossover, and it has an available manual across all trim lines, but I'm not sure if it's available with front wheel drive.

  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.
  • Tassos And all 3 were ordered by Fisker's mother. Seriously, given Fisker's terrible record of Failure in the past, only an utter loser, (for example, VGhost or Art Vandelay?), looking for a BEV terrible enough to be a proper replacement of his 11 mile range Fiat 500E, would order one of these. (apart from Fisker's mother)
  • Tassos And all 3 of them were ordered by Fisker's mother.Seriously, after Fisker's DISMAL record of UTTER FAILURE in the past, only a GOD DAMNED MORON would order this one.