QOTD: Far From the Maddening Crowd?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd far from the maddening crowd

Protecting one’s individuality often means isolating yourself from the “in” crowd, sometimes at your own peril. Steering clear of fads. Giving short shrift to the dominant trends of the day. You author never went in for neon or Doc Martens back in Grade 5, despite all the cool kids wearing this incongruous attire combo. The jury’s still out on whether that was a good idea or not.

In the automotive sphere, buyers are making sure builders of SUVs and crossovers are well rewarded for their actions, scooping up boxy, high-riding family haulers like it’s going out of style. You’re not one of those people, are you?

You’d be forgiven for joining the hoard. Buying a crossover makes a great deal of sense for a great many buyers, but perhaps you’re holding out, desperate to retain a sense of individuality you can’t find in a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.

Maybe you’re a contrarian, bound and determined to stand apart from your friends, family, and neighbors.

Crossovers and SUVs sit high on the list of the average American car shopper, and the continued growth of this segment means once-dominant people-movers like sedans, wagons, and minivans have become nonconformist. Remember when having a body covered in tattoos signalled your membership in a punk band or biker gang? It’s now the go-to look for thirtysomething dads, vegan bakery owners, and brewery shop employees. Going tatless is now akin to wearing a spiked mohawk.

If you’re got kids, will your next “family vehicle” purchase be something other than a crossover or SUV, simply for the sake of individuality?

[Image: Toyota]

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5 of 112 comments
  • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Mar 28, 2019

    If you really want some iconoclast cred in the school pickup line, you roll up in one of these: https://www.japaneseclassics.com/vehicle/1990-nissan-homy-limousine/

  • MKizzy MKizzy on Mar 28, 2019

    Its kind of hard for families to buy mid-sized sedans when the choices of a traditionally styled sedan has been narrowed down to the Camry. Those automakers who haven't given upon on the mid-sized sedan have pretty much given up on them as family vehicles and rightfully so; focusing more on attracting sedanophiles by offering sharp styling and performance over utility and roominess. Examples can be seen from the Accord's swoopy roof costing it rear headroom to the current Malibu and next Sonata being noticeably lower to the ground than their predecessors (A Malibu is likely to have a lower roofline than any sedan its parked next to.) If there's not enough room in the back for growing teenagers or grandma has a hard time getting into and out of a Malibu or Fusion, well your local dealer has a nice tall Equinox or Escape to sell you for a few dollars more.

  • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Mar 28, 2019

    Without even looking at all the comments as of my writing this, since I’m single, I’ve got a bit more latitude, but... ...this weekend, I will probably place a factory order for my 4th Honda Accord, a 2019 Touring. (My fifth Honda in 25 years.) The dealer accepted a deal with the same terms as a local auto broker could get me before dying of pancreatic cancer two years ago—set amount over invoice. Done. I’d briefly considered a Passport, but the ZF 9-speed as the only transmission choice nuked that idea. When I’ve driven the CR-Vs I’ve had as dealer loaners, I’ve found that I don’t like sitting up as high, as I’m afraid I’ll miss a motorcycle or a Miata next to me when changing lanes, plus there IS a difference in fuel economy! I suppose I’d better enjoy this one, because if Accords are selling as well all over as they are at my dealer, I may not have a choice next time around!

  • PandaBear PandaBear on Mar 28, 2019

    Maybe I'm the only one seeing this: what your grandma wore when she was young becomes cool and what your mom wear now is uncool. Around here Full size SUVs and pickups are too rednecky (Tahoe, Escalade, Suburban, Sequoia, I'm looking at you), people either go with Tesla if they have money, or minivan and crossover if they don't. For some reason there's a huge boom in the last 2 years for Prius V, yes, the one that nobody buys and sit at the dealers for months as left over from last year. I now can't go a block without seeing one. Maybe it is finally at the right price used with good fuel economy compare to the newer crossover? Who knows. What's next? I don't know, but I'm starting to see more and more younger people start with domestic mid size, haven't seen that since, early 90s.

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Mar 28, 2019

      Except there aren’t going to be domestic mid-sizers left, save for the Malibu. (Charger and 300 are the only other ones, are full size, and the 300 goes to the gallows come 2020.)