Vellum Venom Vignette: Pointless Bumpers, Sacrificial Body Parts

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
vellum venom vignette pointless bumpers sacrificial body parts

Dan writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Perhaps you or doppleganger Sanjeev have an answer for this. Why are a lot of SUV/Crossovers these days ending up with cut lines along the lower third of their liftgates?

This is showing up on the Ford Escape, 2012-2016 Honda CR-V, Hyundai/Kia crossovers, and maybe some others I can’t remember. Is there a removable panel here, or what? I’ve noticed that this has disappeared in the 2017 CR-V’s redesign, but there’s still plenty of brand new CUVs that have this design feature.

Sajeev answers:

Son, let me tell you something: that Sanjeev’s overhyped like a pumpkin spice latte, with an even worse flavor profile!

To your query: for years we’ve known SUVs are faux tough, and that rear CUV bumpers do the insurance industry no favors. Today’s crop of flat-faced intermediaries are a joke, compared to Thursday’s Vellum Venom design analysis of some monumental bumpers. Proof of such inadequacy lies (so to speak) in the flat posterior below.I reckon that, as the modern minivan’s biggest sales threat, most (all?) CUV tailgates went downtown for extra practicality. Thus their bumpers — in an unorthodox gentrification metaphor — took the hint, moving to less valuable real estate. Sacrificial body parts entered the scene, offering some protection after the land grab: behold Ford Escape part number CJ5Z78423A42APTM.

It’s sad, but logical and expected. No automaker wants to cram another minivan down our collective SUV-loving throats, and their CUVs must meet the [s]public safety [/s] collision repair concerns of the insurance companies.

Regarding the 2017 CR-V’s one-piece tailgate, this eBay auction suggests Honda told the insurance industry to go pound sand. Photos of the damage suggest the eBay tailgate coulda been saved had a sacrificial body part been implemented. Better have full coverage on one of them!

[Image: Honda/OP]

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2 of 47 comments
  • Mike N. Mike N. on Sep 09, 2017

    Always wondered why some crossovers have that faux split tailgate look. Speaking of, I find the split tailgate on my X5 very useful. Kinda surprised they're not more common (only available on X5s, Volvo XC90s, and Range Rovers far as I know).

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Feb 25, 2018

    I recall that the BMW e46, with the hood/front grille integrated (and a pretty stamping) was changed in the e9X series, because it was too easy to need a new hood when there was a front fenderbender....that cut line was a definite step backwards, but again, most things BMW has done past the e46 have been a step backwards...

  • Teddyc73 A resounding NO. This has "Democrat" "Socialism" "liberalism" "Progressivism" and "Communism" written all over it.
  • Jeffrey An all electric entry level vehicle is needed and as a second car I'm interested. Though I will wait for it to be manufactured in the states with US components eligible for the EV credit.
  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)