By on March 28, 2019

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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112 Comments on “QOTD: Far From the Maddening Crowd?...”


  • avatar
    -Nate

    I’ll never understand why anyone does things to impress others, maybe the comments will educate me .

    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      geo

      Everyone deludes themselves to believe they are individualists who march to the beat of their own drummer, when in truth they’re enslaved by the desire to be admired by others. They choose political views, clothes, homes, cars, and spouses in order to impress others, then become depressed and even more debt-ridden when the adulation stops.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Wait, what ? .

        You mean I could have had adulation ?! .

        Dammit, I missed the boat yet again, it’s too late now .

        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        Very edgy but I think you’re oversimplifying things, geo. You could argue that everyone subconsciously does the things you say, but if it’s subconscious who cares? If people are delusional about their nature and motivations their entire lives then practically speaking what does it matter?

        Also, what about introverts who actively avoid interaction with others?

  • avatar
    Jon

    Next family vehicle will be a fullsize SUV (likely a Suburban) because it fits the family needs. I tow 4000-6000lbs frequently, cant afford a big SUV AND fullsize truck (due mandatory trim packages and safety features) and have too many kids to fit comfortably (less bickering) in a midsize SUV. I don’t care about style, although my prettier half argues in its favor frequently.

  • avatar
    geo

    I believe the standard idiom would be “madding crowd”. “Maddening” would imply that you’re being affected by the crowd, while “madding” describes the crowd.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Ok, here’s the thing, I liked SUVs and then crossovers before they really became the go-to vehicle for, well, everybody. I still like their utility, ride height and available AWD (ok, come at me)

    I take that the gist of this article is to start the ball rolling to turn SUV/crossovers into today’s minivans and station wagons. That day is coming as it does with anything popular (Rubic’s cube, anyone?), but as of today SUV/crossovers are still working for me and will be my next purchase

    Perhaps I’ll check out a tattoo parlor on my way to the dealer to point and laugh at all the trendy hipsters

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      I also have had an SUV in my stable of some sort since the Bronco II. I don’t really prefer them, they just fill a niche. I don’t expect to ever prefer to drive an SUV over a well-sorted sedan, unless the selection of decent sedans dwindles to a point of there not being any good affordable sedan options.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I drive a 2014 V6 Mustang – with summer or winter tires – in Michigan. My wife drives a 2003 Mini Cooper S. Both are stick shifts.

    We only have the one son, who is now a teenager. So a CUV/SUV, while nice to have, is not a necessity. I ended up hating my last vehicle, a 2012 Countryman, even with the 6-speed manual. Driving it was joyless with worse handling than the hardtop and the subcompact form mean it wasn’t very good at cargo or anything more than 4 people (without luggage).

    Next car – probably a Dodge Challenger or Charger, hopefully in 392 form. Wife will take over the Mustang.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Been in a Sienna since 2006. Maybe it will come full circle and I’ll be in the cool crowd again. And since I bough an Avalon, I can show up for dinner at the local restaurants around 4:30 and fit right in.

    Fortunately for me, I have had the ability to have something fun or interesting on the side (muscle cars, miata, etc,). It really would be tough to have a one size fits everything automobile. Same reason a Crescent wrench is ok for most things but never really good at any one thing. Right tool for the right job…………

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I am 40 and male, just leased a sedan, and am wearing steel toe Docs at this very moment.
    No neon though and I have no tats or kids.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Forget individuality or ‘making a statement’ I am all about utility. And for my next vehicle, my preference is a ………. minivan.

    Was talking to one of my closest friends last night, in the same demographic as me. Old enough to collect a pension, kids grown and he said the same thing, how he wants another minivan.

    Can carry 7 in relative comfort. Or 4 plus luggage, pets, etc. Provides the high seating/ride height that so many desire. Has easy ingress/egress with a relatively low step in. And can haul a dorm rooms worth of furniture, while keeping it out of the weather, unlike a pick-up.

    And a Caravan does not carry the premium price tag associated with many SUV/CUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      Utility yes ~ don’t forget Minivans can carry MOTOCYCLES out of the weather and away from prying eyes and grabby hands….

      Jason The Bike Pimp taught me this .

      I had many VW Typ II vans and kombis back in the day and so I hope to never have another minivan but thy’re incredibly useful .

      Pops had a 1984 (?) Plymouth minivan and it was fantastic .

      -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      Welcome to the club, brother.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      If I needed the utility of a minivan I’d be all over the new Pacifica with AWD. THAT is the best of all worlds

    • 0 avatar
      d4rksabre

      My family has had minivans pretty much since the last Caprice rolled off the lines. I like them, but admit that I think they’ve become a little bloated. The GC is the only “honest” minivan left, but it’s also a little dated/low rent.

      Drove one last summer as a rental and really liked it, but I thought the interior plastics were pretty low grade. I’m not sure they’d take the same abuse I subjected the plastics in my ’98 Voyager to.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      +1, Arthur. If I still needed a kid-hauler, I’d be in a minivan.

      The alternative would be something like a full size SUV. I rented one for a family vacation this summer – it fit five adults pretty comfortably, but there wasn’t a ton of luggage room, and it ate a ton of gas.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      We jumped right into a Town & Country, bypassing the three-row crossover that we would have paid significantly more for and been cramped in when traveling with our baby and two dogs. Zero regrets, in part because I hung onto my well kept old 4Runner which I absolutely love to drive and just this week got a compliment on in the gas station.

  • avatar
    d4rksabre

    Bucking trends really isn’t a choice for me so much as a result of my overarching dislike of pretty much all modern cars. Everything is too packed full of nonsense and too worried about sportiness.

    I want a comfortable, relaxing driving experience in a vehicle that is useful and reasonably priced. If I could afford a Suburban LS optioned with a front bench I think that’s where I would be.

    • 0 avatar
      Jon

      Not sure about if its an option in the Suburban but it is an option in the Tahoe. Custom Package – its the base model with some options removed and a front bench seat.

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Sounds like a Fleet option to me .

        I love me some bench seats but then I always carry crap in them and rarely have passengers, a good thing as I have short legs @ 32″ inseam .

        Plus, they don’t like the windows open and always want to touch the radio etc…….

        -Nate (lifelong lover of base model short bed pickups)

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        It’s definitely an option within the last year or two. You can spec the split bench on a 2019 Suburban LS.

        Like I said, if I could afford one it’s what I’d get. I had a ’99 that I miss every day. I really should just scrimp and save and try to realize the dream. With crossovers and minivans hitting $40k easily, the Suburban LS at a little under $50k really doesn’t seem that out of reach.

        I miss land yachts.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      How about a Tahoe? Between the Suburban’s higher starting price and the Custom package that it doesn’t have – a $4200 credit on the Tahoe LS for removing the third row seats, which are too small for passengers and get in the way of cargo – that extra two feet will run you about $7,000.

      • 0 avatar
        d4rksabre

        The Tahoe with the 3rd row delete is not a bad look. I’d entertain it. I like having that extra 2 feet though. You can put some pretty long boards in a Suburban if you run em all the way up to the windshield…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          For a long time, the Tahoe was little more than a trim package for the Suburban, which itself was a truck-based station wagon. So truck based, in fact, that it was given the GM “1500” designation as a half-ton truck with a fully-enclosed bed. About that time is when the Suburban became more of an “SUV”, taking the shorter wheelbase.

          Hey, if it works, right? To me the Suburban is no longer a Suburban just like the Ford Explorer is no longer the Explorer (the Expedition took its place and still doesn’t look ‘right’ for its name.)

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Not a problem: roof rack + ladder.

  • avatar
    0Gravity

    It’s about utility not conformity. We like our current Honda Accord. Good MPG for the commute. But it’s cramped for me at 6 foot height in the back seats. Low clearance, no AWD for winter driving, and limited storage for family stuff. With one toddler and a baby on the way this summer, we’re getting the new 2020 Explorer as our second vehicle once that becomes available.

  • avatar
    DedBull

    My situation is a little unique, but I am trying to buck the trend. I have 2 kids, a 5 YO in a booster and a 11 MO transitioning out of her carrier.

    My family is a VW family, my father has operated an independent shop specializing in VWs for 50 years. I still have my Cabriolet, and have driven a series of Jettas and GTIs. I am currently in a base 14 Jetta (2.0NA/AT)that we got cheap. I have been working with my dad to buy one of the repaired dieselgate TDIs that they are returning to circulation through ADESA. My mother has a 15 Jetta TDI 6spd, and I am hoping for a Jetta or Golf wagon, again 2015 with a 6spd manual. If not, I am waiting for the right gas wagon or sedan to come through the auction.

    On the other hand, my wife is now part of the CUV crowd. When her A5 Jetta was totaled we made the decision to buy a new 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. She wanted the visibility, but refused to drive a minivan like her mother. It has been a perfectly acceptable vehicle, and other than consumables I have 90,000 miles on the vehicle with no issues. There have been a couple recalls, and both front wheel bearings have been replaced under the 100,000 mile warranty. I see no reason it won’t last me another 100K. It is a little cramped with the baby seat, I can’t imagine going any smaller. It will be a challenge to pack for a week of vacation this summer.

    Overall, I hope to continue driving cars for as long as I can.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I’m curious being from a VW family what made you decide against a crossover from them?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        VW didn’t sell one in 2015. There was the Tiguan, which was already 10 years old and tight for a single person let alone a family, and the Toaureg (sp?), which was $50,000 and also had an idiot eco-tourist name that was difficult to spell.

      • 0 avatar
        DedBull

        It was her money, her car. She didn’t like the Tiguan, so we decided on the new Mitsubishi over several used options.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I wondered because the Tiguan and Outlander Sport are about the same size, although I’m sure the Mitsubishi was a lot cheaper

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            Yeah, I’m wondering if it’s really a “Sport.” The regular Outlander is an acceptable family car. The Sport isn’t much bigger than a Trax.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    I still don’t get the crossover craze. Granted we have one but it was given to us. I wouldn’t buy another. You can’t haul as much as a minivan and there is marginally more cargo room (assuming you don’t want to see out the back window) than a decent sedan and less people room than most decent sized sedans.

    We do have a 2000 Durango and we keep it around for those nasty winter days since that has winter tires. We use it for our occasional towing as well. With over 192k miles it does need front bushings.

    Our next purchase will be sometime in the next 6-8 months and it will be a minivan. Contrary to what people say, here in the upper midwest you don’t need AWD. Winter tires work great and AWD doesn’t help you stop or steer, though it can help get you out of the ditch.

    Those that like crossovers, to each their own, but I don’t buy many of the reasons. I do get the higher driving position makes it easier to get in and out of.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yeah, something about getting myself out of a ditch when it’s 10 below zero appeals to me. AWD all the way

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Yeah, something about getting myself out of a ditch when it’s 10 below zero appeals to me. AWD all the way”

        — AWD may not necessarily be able to do that. True 4×4 has a better chance (but even then may not succeed.) The driver themselves are the one who will succeed or fail based more on how they were driving to get into that situation than how they’ll get out. After all, when a 2WD Chevy Camaro can stay out of the ditch in a blizzard that sends multiple 4×4 into said ditch, maybe it’s not the car’s fault they’re in there.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          My point exactly. It “can” help but you shouldn’t’ have gotten there in the first place. All you get is a false sense of security with AWD and all seasons. Sometimes AWD hinders your ability to turn as you seldom are able to use the throttle to rotate the car.

  • avatar
    TheDutchGun

    No kids, a smallish dog and a big dog. 2017 focus ST here, but my (much) better half drives a cr-v.

    I’m a recent transplant from an F150. The prospect of $180 tanks of gas this summer was my main motivation to change.

    Kid(s) may be in the not so distant future, but my Focus should do the trick at the beginning anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      As long as you can get the rear facing seat in it will be a fine car!

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        In the Focus? You should be able to … at least on the passenger side. But that will probably require sliding the seat forward a few inches. If your lady is short, she might still be able to ride shotgun. If not, then she will have to sit behind you. That’s nice for keeping an eye on the baby, but she might get tired of that.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I really don’t care about what is in, we own a CRV because it is AWD, sits up a little higher, has more utility than a sedan, and is easier to get in and out of. Most of today’s vehicles are boring style wise so its not that I am in love with the design of most of today’s vehicles. As for tattoos they are there for life and if you get sick of them it is much harder to get rid of them. Most older people unless they are having a midlife crisis are not so much into what is popular.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      With tatts proliferating like they’ve been, I got into the wrong profession! I’d say beginning five years from now, the bodies onto which the tatts were placed in the earliest part of that fad will start drooping, dropping, and doing other crazy things that those people never thought would happen! At that time, with a dermatology sheepskin on your wall and a laser in your treatment room, you’ll write your own ticket, and the sky’s the limit!

  • avatar
    ajla

    In my life I’ve probably put too much emphasis on utility with my cars. I don’t think I’ve opened the hatch on my Stinger since February and I’ve only had more than one passenger twice this month.

    I’d like to go more radical with my next car, but I also want an automatic and don’t want to spend over $55k so I don’t know.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      If a Scat Pack won’t make you forget that your Charger fell apart then I don’t know what will.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Evora

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Automatic?? Heresy!!!

      Need more parameters to make recommendations. Mainly your rear seat requirements and if you’re willing to buy used. For me, $55K + real rear seats = Chevy SS and change or an F80 M3. Quasi-rear seats = 991.1 C2S. No rear seat = the world is your oyster.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      G70? OK, it’s not exactly radical, but IIRC it’s a bit quicker and less useful than the Stinger, the price is right, and it’s auto.

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      The McLaren Speedtail holds 3, but it’s a bit over your budget.

      Maybe some kind of lightly used AMG product?

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “In my life I’ve probably put too much emphasis on utility with my cars. I don’t think I’ve opened the hatch on my Stinger since February and I’ve only had more than one passenger twice this month.”

      Finally some truth about cars! I bet most people would report the same. I can count on ONE hand how many times I had to put more then 2 people in my car. Granted I don’t have kids so that cuts down the space requirements massively, but generally it is me and the wife, or me and a friend. Occasionally its me plus my older parents. If we have a larger group we just take multiple vehicles… plus that gives you a way out if the location (dinner, sporting event, movie, party, etc) turns out to be less then enjoyable. If you ride with others you are stuck with them for the duration.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The new Supra is probably my early front runner. I know a lot of people don’t like it but it was kind of a ‘love at first sight’ thing for me.

      But we’ll see- Toyota might have screwed it up. My only real ‘requirements’ are under $55K, automatic, and newer than 10 years old. I’m not looking to go full YOLO and buy a Morgan 3-wheeler or anything but I can certainly take rear seats and cargo capacity out of the decision.

  • avatar
    geo

    We’ve had crossovers and traditional BOF SUVs here in Calgary. We’ve found crossovers to be fragile in the harsh weather and bumpy roads, and we found ourselves replacing suspension components, bearings and other parts as it seems car-based components are cheaper and built to a price.

    Our truck-based SUVs have been unstoppable for us. Our Expedition was driven endlessly with no issues. Our first-gen Suzuki XL7 loves the bad roads and tough winter conditions. Truck-based components are built to last, or at least were in the recent past.

    Crossovers promise ruggedness but only offer what a soft, marshmallowy, cheaply-built car can.

  • avatar
    John R

    Meh. My wife and I have two girls and we won’t have more. She drives a V6 Sonata and I drive a V8 Charger. They both have commodious trunks and they work for us.

    If we need more than that then we’ll find some sort of wagon or hatch (the Stinger GT w/AWD is looking real good). We both had the pleasure of driving SUVs and we hate it. We get why they are popular, but the dynamic behavior of most is a deal breaker.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    Mr. Trend Setter here…
    Purchased a 2017 LaCrosse.
    Why? Because I wanted a big comfy sedan. NOBODY wants a big comfy sedan anymore.
    Utility? It has a huge trunk. And while my children are grown, I now have grandchildren and there are regularly two cars seats in the back which the Buick handles with aplomb.
    Buick? And since NOBODY wants a Buick and much less, a Buick sedan, I got a screaming deal on it.
    No tats…(invisibly) marks me as a trend setter. But the closest I ever come to sporting a mohawk is the faux-hawk I have in the morning when I sleep on the pillow wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      How dare you. HOW DARE YOU put your wants and needs ahead of the approval of the internet!!!

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Hey a la Crosse is on my list as a possible next car for many of the reasons you said, how is the start-stop? I hear you can not turn it off, true? You get a lot of car for a decent amount of cash.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        No, you cannot turn it off but it doesn’t bother me. My brother has an Audi A6 with the same feature, his seems a little more seamless but the difference is hardly noticeable.
        Probably one of the reasons I like it so much is what I traded in – a Kia Soul.
        This is as close as I have come – and probably will ever come to owning a true luxury car. But for me, it meets all of my needs.
        I’ve said before I’d rather own a loaded Buick than a stripped out Benz or BMW but that’s just me.

        • 0 avatar
          ToolGuy

          Blackcloud,

          You moved from a Kia Soul to a Buick LaCrosse. The ‘buyer behavior’ analyst’s head just exploded.

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            On the data sheet, I am known as an outlier. Doesn’t fit in with ANY plot or trend. Therefore, it is discarded.
            I don’t mind, I run with the same individualist crowd that wears Birkenstocks with black socks, lol.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    In a 100 years when my 2016 AWD Buick Regal GS has a billion zillion miles on it. I will probably replace it with something fully electric. It will definitely be a GM vehicle because they will be the only company still around.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    In a 100 years when my 2016 AWD Buick Regal GS has a billion zillion miles on it. I will probably replace it with something fully electric. It will definitely be a GM vehicle because they will be the only company still around.

  • avatar
    relton

    Bentley Continental works fine for my family. Why would you have anything else?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    If the only avenue of individuality you can think of is the car you drive you might as well get a CRAV4. Who are you when you aren’t in, near or talking about your car? There has to be more to one’s identity and existence to be complete.

    I am beginning to wonder if the desperation car enthusiasts exhibit stems from this overemphasis on cars in the context of our identities. If they kill stickshifts or whatever, I’d be bummed but life goes on. A lot of people seem distraught and panicked in the face of anything that threatens their automotive identities.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Who are you when you aren’t in, near or talking about your car?”

      ->Asleep?

      “There has to be more to one’s identity and existence to be complete.”

      ->Now you tell me.

      “from this overemphasis on cars in the context of our identities”

      ->Yes, very much. You get rid of vehicles and I’d practically cease to exist.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        You come to an auto enthusiast site and are surprised people are auto enthusiasts?

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Tying one’s who identity and self worth into the car they drive and/or being a judgmental a-hole are not prerequisites for being a car enthusiast.

          Unfortunately, increasingly those seem to be the only two defining characteristics of people who self-identify as car enthusiasts. Don’t have to look very hard in the comment sections here to see it.

    • 0 avatar
      MoparRocker74

      You don’t get it because you lack passion for cars. If you have to ask, you’ll never know. If this were a forum for people who are passionate fans of heavy metal and you’re just a casual listener you’d be asking the same questions. “Why are these metal heads such metal heads?” and such.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I post here and on other car sites every day, wrench (currently piecing together a custom suspension for my daily driver), spend hours every week on my sim racing rig etc. Of course I have a passion for cars. What I don’t have a passion for is crapping on anyone who isn’t into cars the way I am (or at all), or tying my whole sense of self worth into what I drive. Do you understand the difference? I can’t make my point any more plainly.

        • 0 avatar
          MoparRocker74

          Sounds a lot like you ARE crapping on people for having a level of passion for cars that doesn’t line up with your own. Do some of us overemphasize or obsess about our automotive interests? Sure, that’s valid. I can also justify that, as for most people your car and the maintenance, insurance, care/feeding is your #2 expense. I can’t see investing this level of my income on an appliance that is as disposable as my washing machine. Most importantly, like those with a passion for firearms, gearheads face a never ending onslaught of regulatory and economic threats every day. So while being forced out of a V8, manual transmission or even the option of controlling your own vehicle might be nothing to the average schmo or maybe just a bit of a ‘bummer’ to casual motorists it’s an affront to the right to pursuit of happiness for those of us with passion. Since it’s those same passionless types who are complicit in driving those said forces, personally I’ve got ZERO remorse about hurting those fragile feelings.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            What it “sounds like” I’m saying is irrelevant. What I am saying is pretty crystal clear. If the only thing that defines your identity is the car you drive you are probably more boring than the average crossover driver. And if you use your identity as a car enthusiast to look down your nose at other people, you’re a prick. Again like I said… nothing wrong with being into cars… entirely something wrong with clinging to them out of desperation or using them as an excuse to be mean.

            And framing cars within the “right to pursue happiness” is pretty silly. Not only do you want to be able to drive a car with a HEMI in it- which is fine- you want to do so without any restrictions on public roads that everyone else also pays for. That’s not how this works

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “If the only thing that defines your identity is the car you drive you are probably more boring than the average crossover driver. And if you use your identity as a car enthusiast to look down your nose at other people, you’re a prick. ”

            I try very hard to not be a jacka$$ to others, but liking vehicles is still an extremely *large* part of my life (or ‘identity’ if you prefer) and it has been since I was around 11 years old.

            If you took that away from me it would be a major, depression-inducing blow. I would not be able to just shrug my shoulders say “well, it was fun while it lasted” and then go scuba diving or tend to a rose garden or whatever.

            Maybe that makes me a boring, one dimensional loser. But it is what it is.

          • 0 avatar
            HotPotato

            You know, this posture of belligerent victimhood is exactly why some folks have a low opinion of gearheads and/or gun nuts. You’re not a persecuted minority. Your hobbies happen to carry a unusual risk, as hobbies go, of killing or injuring other people. So those other people get to have some say about reducing your chances of killing or injuring them. That’s it, and that’s fine. Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, we’re in the golden age of automotive performance, whether you prefer it fueled by dinosaurs or batteries. Enjoy it!

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            ? A _pogo_stick_ ? .

            Whatever happened to Jesus H. Christ on a crutch ? .

            =8-) .

            BTW : if God himself didn’t want us to drive I.C.E. powered vehicles, why then did he make the dinosaurs go into the ground ? .

            -Nate

  • avatar
    iMatt

    At my workplace in the last three years, there have been three collisions with moose which resulted in two people being seriously injured including paralysis, and one able to walk away.

    We used to feel smug driving my Jetta and her Versa. After a close call ourselves, it had to be a larger high riding, safer vehicle. She said if you want a pickup, then go buy one. We decided on an SUV. I will still crap my pants at the sight of a moose or bison on the highway at night…keeping in mind the shortest daylight hours are less than seven hours where we live in northern Alberta.

    If anyone has any suggestions as to the best vehicle for smoking (or avoiding) an animal with, I’m all ears!

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      M1 Abrams main battle tank.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      AFAIK Volvo are one of the only (the only?) companies to do moose tests internally, so if you’re worried about clobbering one of those, a Volvo of some stripe probably isn’t a bad idea. Pickups might lend a false sense of security; the height will help but passenger cells don’t tend to be engineered to the same standards as normal cars, and at least in the past have often been surprisingly awful. I suspect that’s changing as more people use them for normal-car-duty, but given a choice between clobbering a moose in an F150 and an XC90, I’d still take the XC90.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Hmm, wow, I had heard the Swedes test for moose avoidance, but I wasn’t aware Volvo actually tested for moose strike! That is cool. https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a22604428/what-happens-when-you-actually-hit-a-moose-volvo-has-a-moose-strike-test-for-that/

        From seeing the results, even the Volvos got blasted pretty hard. I am thinking your best bet is something low, with a full roll cage and windshield reinforcement. Late-model NASCAR?

        • 0 avatar
          PeriSoft

          I suppose one option would be to call physics’ bluff, and drive a Countach. When you see the moose, hit the loud pedal, and by the time you make contact you should be going fast enough that you’re under and past the thing by the time its body is close to your roof line…

          Can’t make any guarantees about future insurance rates, though.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Might I note that moose and elk have been known to butt heads with 18-wheelers and hit hard enough to drop the trucks’ engines to the pavement and still walk away from the encounter?

        I’ve had truck drivers tell me of personal encounters with moose and elk and personally saw the results of one myself.

        Essentially, you don’t want to be anywhere near one if it gets angry and you certainly don’t want to hit one. You’re talking about up to 2,000# of iron-hard muscle in those critters.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      Some M1 drivers complain of limited rear visibility.

      I recommend KC HiLiTES, a 23 MPH speed restrictor and about 14 of those deer warning whistles. (If the whistles don’t activate below 30 MPH, I was wrong.)

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Volvo. Its sensors may stop you hitting the moose to begin with. If you do hit the moose, it’s infinity-star safety ratings will keep you alive. Looking for a way to drive the category of car you actually want without sacrificing safety? Volvo. You’ll sacrifice other things instead, like headlight bulbs.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I am all for individuality. But I remind you that individuality is more than just CUVs vs non-CUVs. Shapes, styles, colors, trims, they all have a factor in individuality and too many vehicles simply look too much alike any more. It’s gotten to the point where the proverbial “rat race” has become an almost literal ‘rat race!’ Everything is essentially either grey or black with a few reds, whites and blues thrown in. There is almost no uniqueness to our personal vehicles any more, short of the extremely niche micro-cars by Fiat and Mini and a few so-called “muscle cars” which themselves are beginning to look too much like the rest of the crowd. About the only truly ‘unique’ vehicles outside of the two already mentioned are the Jeep Wrangler and the soon-available Jeep Gladiator.

    A variety of colors–true colors, not just shades of grey–would help but having unique body styles that are not limited to ever-more-exaggerated grilles would go so much farther. Sure, I’m aware that aerodynamics is the current deciding factor on overall shapes but as we move to electric-powered vehicles, the aerodynamics simply aren’t as critical; even the boxiest BEV would still get a better MPGe than the most streamlined ICE-only vehicle. And the whole intent of going BEV is to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels for propulsion and help clean our air. Retro-styled cars and new styles with truly unique shapes can again come to the fore and let people get vehicles they really like.

    And just as an example, go to Disney World and go through the Test Track at Epcot; the ‘build your own’ there shows you where style can go when you’re not so dependent on minimum fuel usage.

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Colors! That’s what kills me. I just ordered a JL Wrangler and while I appreciate the range of colors offered (far superior to other models) I wish Jeep offered two more dark colors: a maroon, dark red and a dark forest green. The only non-greyscale/non-white/non-black color I could get for my Wrangler that ALSO wasn’t a loud color (bright red, green, orange or light blue) was Ocean Blue, a kind of darker blue, not quite navy. It’s a great color in person but I wish I could have gotten a deep dark red.

      Oh and by the way, the JL I ordered is probably one of the rarest combinations (3.6L, manual, 2-door, Rubicon, cloth seats, base radio option) and yet I have no delusions about my choice of car having anything to do with my individuality or uniqueness or anything. It’s just a car.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        @multicam: “Oh and by the way, the JL I ordered is probably one of the rarest combinations (3.6L, manual, 2-door, Rubicon, cloth seats, base radio option) and yet I have no delusions about my choice of car having anything to do with my individuality or uniqueness or anything. It’s just a car.”

        — No, it’s not. It’s a car that can do things almost no other car can do and is therefor unique. It’s shape is also very individual and therefor unique to all cars of any other class (Yes, the Mercedes G-Wagen is just as boxy but is also designed for the same capabilities as the Wrangler.)

        Tell me: WHY did you buy the Wrangler Rubicon and not some lesser vehicle? Could it be that you’re an off-roader that enjoys playing in the dirt once in a while, or are you going to use it as a daily driver that never sees dirt and mud?

        Do you really believe that, “It’s just a car”?

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I should stay out of this conversation. But in times before, I definitely found it useful to have a smallish minivan like Mercury Villager. Absolutely no need for huge one like current Sienna, but something where you can throw some bikes, booster seats, etc, yea, I would do it again.

    • 0 avatar
      MKizzy

      Unfortunately,smallish minivans are passe, either because consumers didn’t want them or in the case of Daimler, they preferred to sell a poorly engineered Dodge Journey over a still-popular Dodge Caravan Sport.

  • avatar
    nwfmike

    Volkswagen drove me to a Rogue S driving appliance.

    Moved back to the US in July but before and in preparation for our permanent arrival in Hawaii, I made a deal on a manual equipped GTI that just came in on the boat. I was there for temp work and would return 2 weeks later. Scratch on bumper, special ordered wheels, tint would all be taken care of. I’d roll in, pick up the car, and fun on the islands would commence.

    That….didn’t happen. One TSB after another, then a longer delay resulted in me asking questions with the answer being (something like): “Sir, your car had a problem at assembly. A wire to the brakes got pinched and we are going to need to replace a wiring harness, rip out your dash, cool?” No. Not cool. refused the car and got my deposit back.

    During that month, the dealership was great and gave me a rental. A Rogue S. I hated the thought of an SUV, but… I’m tall and could crank the seats up and adjust the steering wheel. It got great gas mileage. Swallowed LOTS of stuff. Not fun, but thoroughly inoffensive.

    After refusing the GTI, went and bought a CPO Rogue and will be my wife’s once she starts to drive. It’s been reliable while returning 30.3 mpg on average.

    I, on the other hand, have channeled all the hate generated by the Ranger and ordered one…and not some typical super crew, but a supercab.

  • avatar
    carguy

    CUVs are just America’s way of coming to terms with hatchbacks and wagons.

    If a 2″ lift and some plastic cladding make you feel better, good for you.

  • avatar
    shane_the_ee

    If you’re got kids, will your next “family vehicle” purchase be something other than a crossover or SUV? Yes.

    simply for the sake of individuality? No. It’b because I bought a new minivan between kids 3 and 4. And then a new Expedition when the travel trailer came along. I don’t intend to replace either of those until the kids are out of the house. So the next family vehicle is likely to be something for the kids to drive once they can transport themselves. Either a smallish electric car (’cause it’s cheap) or a 4 door wrangler ’cause it’s fun.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Just reading an old review of a CRX. 84.5% of the owners surveyed had a manual transmission. I guess I’m not unique, just old fashioned.

  • avatar
    MoparRocker74

    Following trends and fads to ‘fit in’ is a great way to start out losing at life. Already, you’ve surrendered your own decision making rights to a crowd you may not know or even like.

    Here’s the news: whenever a fad or trend becomes prevalent among soccer moms and retirees, it’s definitely not ‘cool’. Never never was anything cool or individualistic about crossover SUVs. Their very existence owes to the fact that that the masses wanted to look ‘hip’ and ‘trendy’ in a 4×4 but were such phonies and posers that they whined about the rougher ride, reduced creature comforts, thirst, and increased maintenance associated with a ‘real’ sports utility. So the result is a more practical daily appliance than a midsized sedan but definitely not anymore rugged, individualist, or whatever buzzwords they’re going for. That Chevy ad where the middle age dad says how much he ‘always wanted to be a cool dad’ so he got a traverse is all you really need to know about crossovers and who they are meant for.

    Some will point out how many posers are driving Wranglers and lifted trucks that roll on blingy 20”+ rims wrapped in low profile tires, and have never seen dirt. Or all the base level pony/muscle cars with pedestrian V6 engines. Fair enough, but how a casual fan uses/options their vehicle doesn’t detract from the fact that these all have substance where it counts and haven’t completely sold out to the masses, rendering themselves worthless to those who are enthusiasts or have actual work to do. Blingy man sedan super crews, pristine pretty Jeeps and v6 Camaros pay the bills so the versions that you see on the jobsite, at Moab, or the dragstrip can still hit heavy where they have to.

    I drive a ‘09 Challenger because it’s the car I wanted. I could have afforded an SRT or Scat Pack at the time, and I hear all the tired criticisms (mostly from idiots who if they drive at all, have worn out beaters worth less than my shirt) about how if it’s not a Demon it ain’t worth a damn etc. No matter WHAT you do, some moron is always gonna be spouting some kind of noise. I buy cars/trucks that I think are cool and that suit me. My paid for 10 year old muscle car just turned 40K, has all the power I can use on a public road, looks like like it’s barely broken in and it never fails to put a smile on my face even when doing mundane errands. Life’s just too short to deny yourself a good time, trends and fads be damned.

  • avatar
    don1967

    How is it individualist to brag about one’s 25-year-old sedan in a TTAC forum?

    Here’s what you do. Find yourself a nice 2019 Nissan Rogue FWD with fender flares and finance it over seven years with zero down. Then upload fifty or sixty photos to Instagram and post the link right here at TTAC. That’s the stuff which real rebels are made of.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Trendy let’s see I drive a sedan from a company that is dead so my Saab 9-5 is not trendy at all, well maybe the car before it – a VW jetta TDI wagon, only trendy on the internet so no to that one, well maybe the Volvo xc wagon, nope. let see my last 6 cars were wagons, Saabs or Volvo’s . It seems I am not trendy at all How will I survive??????

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Too much thought goes into this. Buyers just go for whatever sucks the least. There’s no love for CUVs necessarily.

    Sedans fail, come short, or simply annoy in too many ways. Or they’re just overpriced for what you don’t get.

    Absolutely none of the industry experts or auto journos want to acknowledge the massive backlash against new cars, and sedans are just the least common denominator.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I have a kid on the way, but with a car that only has ~55k, I’m not going out of my way to spend money replacing it (daycare’s going to be more than our mortgage payment, when that time comes) unless I know it’s unbearably too small.

    If the time comes that it gets replaced, crossovers aren’t exactly the value choice. Cheaper to get an unwanted sedan or minivan, and I’d really rather just have a Golf wagon (which still would be marginally cheaper than something RAV4-sized).

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    As an only child, individualism always came naturally to me. No more so than with cars. My first purchase was a Fiat “Cabriolet.” The second was a German minicar I’d never heard of, named for a disease I had heard of: NSU. Yep, my mother offered me her Firebird instead, but I wouldn’t listen. Eccentric choices continued, with several SAABs. I did the school dropoff years in a lime-green diesel Beetle. Each car was delightful, expensive to maintain, and I kept many of them a year too long.

    I rode that maverick pony too hard, though, when I bought a used Audi Allroad. Yes, I knew the horrible reputation, but I needed a powerful wagon to tow a Scamp travel trailer on family trips. On our first long trip, the radiator fan grenaded on Vail Pass, puncturing the radiator and warping the heads. We owned that car six months, but only had possession of it for about two, as it was fixed and fixed again. Finally we practically gave it away and got a Tiguan, which has served us faithfully until now. The Right Vehicle for the Job turned out to be a crossover/SUV after all.

    These days, I’m vacationing at the other end of a plane ride, so the Tiguan’s virtues are unimportant. My plug-in hybrid is the right too for urban meandering, so I’m basking in the quiet, smooth contentment of 65 MPG (plus a dollar’s worth of juice per night).

    Once again, I matters not that hybrids are out of favor, and sales are down now.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    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/

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    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.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    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!

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      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.)


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