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The crossover is what monumental, generational change looks like.
July 13, 2014 9:28 PM   Subscribe

Why Crossovers Conquered the American Highway
Last year, roughly speaking, two crossovers were purchased for every three cars. It's tough to compare apples to apples, but in April, IHS Automotive analyst Tom Libby noted that small crossovers were the single best selling segment of any type of vehicle, including midsize sedans, which are the staple crop of the automotive industry.

"If the trend we have witnessed in the first two months of 2014 continues for the remainder of 2014," Libby wrote, "it would mark the first time in recent memory—if not ever—that a car segment did not lead the industry."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (111 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's a mighty nice station wagon. Does it come with wood paneling?
posted by eagles123 at 9:36 PM on July 13 [26 favorites]


yeah that's what I was going to say. They're just station wagons with higher back ends.
posted by Ferreous at 9:37 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I'll just be happy if sedans disappear in my lifetime.
posted by sonascope at 9:39 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]


When people from the future look back at our cultural moment, they will spot that telltale crossover silhouette as surely as we identify the cute little Volkswagen Bug with the 1960s or aggressive muscle cars with the 1970s.

The penny-farthing of the 21st century!
posted by XMLicious at 9:43 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


I had only ever driven sedans until I rented a crossover to move city-to-city with all my junk. I did feel much more preppy and rich in the crossover, but that's probably because I have only ever driven econo-boxes and I splurged for the "premium" crossover (hell yeah Nissan Murano, vehicle of my outdoorsy suburban mom alternate life). I'm sure I could feel preppy and rich in a Lexus sedan, too. In case anyone wants to arrange for me to try one.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 9:46 PM on July 13


They're just station wagons with higher back ends.

I think that's kind of the point of the article, actually—crossovers aren't really anything new, except in how the form skirts the perceived problems with everything that came before them: they're not painfully uncool like minivans, they don't paint you as a gas-guzzling environment hater like an SUV (which has also become economically unfeasible for manufacturers as well), and they don't sit low on the ground like station wagons and thus feel safer for a generation raised in SUVs. Some basic tinkering with the same box-on-wheels paradigm gets us an interesting generational phenomenon that also shows how some needs never really change—at least, not until we divest ourselves of the automobile in general.
posted by chrominance at 9:49 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


I love having my Subaru Outback because I've always liked station wagons. It's got AWD, it drives nicely, it's comfortable, it gets decent fuel mileage, etc; it's about as close to a do it all vehicle as I've seen. But now the new generation has moved much closer to crossover territory. The Forester has gotten a lot bigger as well. Sigh.
posted by azpenguin at 9:52 PM on July 13 [8 favorites]


I really don't get the appeal of riding high off the ground, it feels like you're steering a shed.

Get me as low to the ground as possible without destroying my undercarriage on speedbumps please.
posted by Ferreous at 9:58 PM on July 13 [32 favorites]


These things are still too big, but at least they're not Escalade big. It's maybe a step in the right direction. SUVs need to die.
posted by limeonaire at 9:59 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Ferreous: " They're just station wagons with higher back ends."

More specifically they are Pre-War Station Wagons.
posted by Mitheral at 10:07 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


At least the trend is slightly tacking towards utility and some kind of economy, although my inner-design daemon says no to their general high-assedness. Also look at this , it's the Nissan Murano Convertible, if possible it looks even more like a bathtub on roller-skates than in the picture, it's bad, it's not good. Here is a picture of a delightful and charming 1976 Unimog as a palate cleanser.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:22 PM on July 13 [3 favorites]


SUVs need to die.

When YOU want the BEST all-terrain Sports-Utility* Vehicle...
Consider the JEEP Cherokee --Named after Indians-- The PEOPLE!
Rip and Tear through Florida's Everglades, or
Trek on down to the rainforests of Costa Rica
For 4X4 Action You Won't Believe-- Feel the Earth TREMBLE--
Under the wheels of your NEW JEEP Cherokee

*Oxymoron not acknowledged

I've been reciting that since college, but it wasn't until the Simpson's satire called the Canyonero I had an indication my cynicism wasn't a tiny minority. The "oil crisis" was big news in my childhood, and all that just went away and cars were bigger and stupider than ever before.
posted by lazycomputerkids at 10:38 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


Took me (non-usian) a while to figure out what a "Crossover" was there. At first I thought you meant like a Subaru Forester or Nissan Cube or something.

To Australians, those cars featured are just four-wheel-drives - and this is one area where we are well ahead of the US in terms of fashions - those cars have been ruling our roads since the mid 2000s. It makes sense from a family point of view: you can seat a lot of people, and still have a lot of room in the back for stuff. Visibility is also excellent, which is something many women drivers I know value (for me, I feel it's outweighs by the fact I feel like I'm maneuvering a small bus that wastes fuel like the Exxon Valdez but horses for courses).

The problem is, here in Aus, that if you're in a crash with one of those things, and not driving them (driving, say, a hatchback), you are going to get totally fucked up. They just wreck small cars. The other thing is the visibility at the front does not equal visibility at the back, and children being run over by their own parents reversing has become a Thing here (thankfully newer models are arriving with reversing cams for precisely this reason).
posted by smoke at 10:40 PM on July 13 [5 favorites]


I have an '04 Forester. This was soon before they got huge and luxe. It's basically a station wagon, yeah, but it can drive over or through anything that happens in New England winter weather, and it's saved our bacon more than once. Plus I can fit a huge subwoofer and 2 PA speakers into the thing, and still have room for 2 passengers. That's kind of amazing for anything that isn't a van!
posted by 1adam12 at 10:59 PM on July 13 [2 favorites]


It's basically a station wagon

They're ALL basically station wagons. Even pickup trucks are just huge station wagons with the back roof chopped off.

As with most shopping behavior, it's all about the aesthetics (and, of course, mimetic desire). I guess it's been a while now -- maybe since the jelly beans of the 1990s -- but most cars now REALLY look the same.

I love having my Subaru Outback because I've always liked station wagons. It's got AWD, it drives nicely, it's comfortable, it gets decent fuel mileage, etc; it's about as close to a do it all vehicle as I've seen. But now the new generation has moved much closer to crossover territory. The Forester has gotten a lot bigger as well. Sigh.

We bought a 2008 recently and it's honestly one of the nicest cars I've ever driven. I'll take it over a Lexus, BMW, Mercedes any day. The 2005+ Outbacks are/were pretty sweet.

I don't like the new Outback look either, but again, pure aesthetics. Interestingly enough, I think it's still classified as a "Mid-Size Car."

When people from the future look back at our cultural moment, they will spot that telltale crossover silhouette as surely as we identify the cute little Volkswagen Bug with the 1960s or aggressive muscle cars with the 1970s.

I live in Berkeley. For me, 2000-2015 will be all about the Prius. Good lord, the Priuses. So many.

I give "the crossover" another 4-5 years before it's replaced by "the snack hut" or the "tilt-a-whirl" etc. ... shifting fuels will be enough reason alone to spawn a new aesthetic.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:14 PM on July 13 [1 favorite]


Oooh! Here is one! The Bowler EXR S.
posted by poe at 11:22 PM on July 13


You'll take my FR-S and its 2800lb chassis from my cold, dead hands.
posted by Talez at 11:25 PM on July 13 [4 favorites]


Get me as low to the ground as possible without destroying my undercarriage on speedbumps please.

As you age and your knees get crackly you may find your preferences changing. I hate riding in ultra low cars, because I'm tall and have injured enough joints that getting in and out is a pain.

but most cars now REALLY look the same.

I find the sedans the most indistinguishable. Without looking at the brand marking I often can't tell a Honda from a Hyundai from a Mazda. The crossovers have more individuality, at least some of them, and the midsize SUVs (Wrangler, FJ, Xterra) are startlingly unique in comparison.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:31 PM on July 13 [7 favorites]


They're just station wagons with higher back ends.

They aren't though, not really.

They lack the storage capacity of a real station wagon, as well as the passenger capacity.
Towing capability is usually abysmal, if it's possible at all.

As far as I know, no one sells a station wagon anymore.
posted by madajb at 12:18 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Cadillac is selling a wagon (right from them rather than a coachworks conversion). And you can get it with the engine out of the Corvette which brings back all sorts of big block wagon memories.
posted by Mitheral at 12:37 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the one thing the crossovers lack compared to a real wagon is load space. This can be mitigated to a certain extent if the rear seats truly fold flat and not "flat", but that's only if you're not carrying four people. I think the semi-weird Honda does well in that regard, but it's a love/hate relationship with the styling for most.

If you takes dogs around and about, it becomes problematic if you cannot easily gate their area...most wagons have factory or aftermarket ways of doing that, crossovers, not so sure.

We have an '05 outback and it's a pretty nice size with a decent amount of interior space. The new ones look gargantuan in comparison.
posted by maxwelton at 12:56 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Cadillac is selling a wagon (right from them rather than a coachworks conversion).

The CTS-V with a supercharged V8 would be stupid fun, no doubt.

But it has about the same cargo space as a VW sportwagen, despite being a foot longer.
It's about the same width, the same height, has the same number of seats.

It's a glorified hatchback.
posted by madajb at 1:22 AM on July 14


No takers on the bowler? It only costs 280K, and you can get it with either the road suspension or the track one. (But not both)
posted by poe at 2:09 AM on July 14


It has little to do with practicality. Station wagons to mini vans to SUVs to crossovers - when another generation has kids, they don't want to be caught dead driving the same thing their parents did.
posted by klarck at 3:17 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


Wagons are still available in North America, but they are niche and generally carry a stiff premium over their CUV/sedan counterparts. You need to pay to play:

Audi allroad (A4 Avant)
Volvo V60
BMW 328 Sportwagen
VW Jetta Sportwagen (soon to be renamed Golf)
Cadillac CTS Wagon

I used to be anti-SUV and CUV, but as I age, I find them nice. I still prefer smaller, sportier sedans, hatches and wagons, but my wife has a new Honda CRV which is great, and we recently drove a new Jeep Grand Cherokee, which I was shocked to like as much as I did.

But CUVs are rapidly taking over the market everywhere, Europe included. Audi, BMW and Volkswagen have product roadmaps with a *lot* of CUVs.

One other item to note: CUVs have come around at the same time that many families are paring back the number of cars that they own. CUVs cover enough needs that they're extremely practical for most.
posted by tgrundke at 3:26 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I see these a lot in Europe. Crossover as in "pretty ugly."
posted by pracowity at 3:52 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


If by "station wagon" you mean an estate car, Volvo still sell 'em. I currently drive a 2006 V70 I acquired 18 months ago. 6 speed manual transmission, 2.5 litre turbocharged diesel -- 49 miles per imperial gallon if you drive it economically, 0-60 in 8 seconds if you lead-foot it. Bags of space in the boot even without dropping the back seats (the load bed with seats down is just about 2 metres long).

I do virtually no town driving and I don't commute to work: it exists for long-haul runs. As a motorway cruiser with two adults plus 1-2 weeks' luggage it's great.

I'm not enamoured of this particular car (it has, shall we say, some maintenance issues) but when the time comes I'll trade in this mark 2 V70 against a mark 3 without batting an eye. Worth every penny.
posted by cstross at 3:52 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I really don't get the appeal of riding high off the ground, it feels like you're steering a shed.

Back when my mom and dad were shuttling us and nearby friends to school, we used a van and then a Ford Expedition. Trust me, I am glad they're gone too, but riding high does feel a little less intimidating in a field of trucks, SUVs, and semis.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 4:09 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


2006 V70 I acquired 18 months ago. 6 speed manual transmission, 2.5 litre turbocharged diesel

I doubt that you could get either the manual or the diesel option in the US.
posted by octothorpe at 4:14 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


So this is what happened to all the affordable Station Wagons? Fuck. Bring back the Ford Focus Wagon immediately! *marches around in a tiny circle until I have to leave for work*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:26 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Took me (non-usian) a while to figure out what a "Crossover" was there.

I'm American but I'm operating on low sleep so before I clicked on TFA I'd convinced myself that 'Crossover' meant 'hybrid' and I was really fucking excited for progress.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:37 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


"Crossovers' look a lot like Sport Utility Vehicles that aren't pretending to actually be able to do the sport bit. Nor are they pretending that their owners will actually do the sport bit. So I guess my hang up is that we're not calling them utility vehicles.
posted by Slackermagee at 4:39 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


My mom got a Toyota RAV 4 a few years ago. I thought it was sort of a ridiculous choice, especially since my parents were by then empty nesters and originally said that their next car would be a hybrid. And they got a SUV instead! (No one gave me the "crossover" memo)

But I have to admit, I really like driving it. It is nice being a little bit off the ground, but it handles well and the mileage is good. So I can see the crossover appeal.
posted by lunasol at 4:41 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


They lack the storage capacity of a real station wagon, as well as the passenger capacity.

No fair counting the way back!
posted by escabeche at 5:09 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


But now the new generation has moved much closer to crossover territory. The Forester has gotten a lot bigger as well. Sigh.

I've got an '14 outback, and the '15s are eve bigger. It dwarfs a '90s Grand Cherokee, and doesn't look much smaller than a new Durango. It drives big, too - not too wieldy in the parking lot, and the steering feel is at once leaden and squirrelly.

But, here's the deal tho - the new '15 Outback gets much better fuel mileage than the ones you grew to love, while still doing all of the crazy bad weather/off-roading stuff it did before. 32mpg for the 4cyl, which to be blunt, is all you really need. Some quarter-ton pickups in the mid-'80s had V8s that put out less power.

This is why the crossover rules, and why it will fall out of favor like a meteor in a few years - it's comfortable, it hauls a lot of people and stuff and is easy to load and unload, and is fuel efficient.

Remember, the Ford Explorer was a unibody design that was as fuel efficient as competing minivans, while also better in bad weather and easier to load and unload passengers. (Remember when minivans only had a rear door on one side?)

So, the SUV was a vehicle as cool as a pickup, as practical as a minivan, great in the snow with 4x4, and didn't look like Dad's old Family Truckster stationwagon.

Then Katrina hit, gas jumped to $3.50/gallon and never rolled back. At the same time, Gen X'ers and Millenials decided that SUVs were old people cars, or for women who were Republicans (men who were Republicans would have half-ton crew-cab diesel pickups as family haulers, jacked up and rigged to "roll coal")

Once the Post-Millenials (Gen Z?) come of age, crossovers will be for the olds, and they'll move on to another wagon variant that's practical, holds lots of people and stuff, and doesn't look like a crusty old crossover/SUV/stationwagon. My vote is for egg-like aluminum and carbon Dymaxion self-drivers.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:20 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


This story is relevant to my interests. I drive a sedan, but it was destroyed a week ago (luckily while it was unoccupied), and when I went to pick up a rental for the ~3 weeks it's going to take to repair my poor sedan, there was only one car on the rental lot: Chevy's crossover. This thing is the vehicular equivalent of Henry Winkler's post-Arrested-Development career shilling for reverse mortgages: it has jumped so far over the shark that it has sighted it again from below. It's a dumpster fire on four wheels. I've dubbed it The HMS Overcompensation (sometimes after a few drinks I lapse into argot, and it's the HMS Tiny-Penis), and it drives like a wet phone book. Top-heavy, underpowered, horrible handling, atrocious gas mileage, and too wide to fit into standard parking spaces comfortably. It also has all the same safety drawbacks as full-sized SUVs, in that the number of accidents per mile driven is three times as high as for a sedan, and five times as high as for a minivan (and this thing is absolutely intended for aspiring minivan drivers who wouldn't be caught dead driving a minivan). I am absolutely unable to put myself in the shoes of anyone who would choose to drive around in one of these things, much less spend $30,000 for the privilege.

Seriously, how are these a thing?
posted by Mayor West at 5:24 AM on July 14 [14 favorites]


Remember, the Ford Explorer was a unibody design that was as fuel efficient as competing minivans, while also better in bad weather and easier to load and unload passengers. (Remember when minivans only had a rear door on one side?)

When did this happen? Last I checked (which was admittedly a generation or two ago) the Explorer was still body-on-frame, as most trucks are.
posted by indubitable at 5:38 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


When did this happen? Last I checked (which was admittedly a generation or two ago) the Explorer was still body-on-frame, as most trucks are.

In the most recent redesign (Wikipedia says 2011).

there was only one car on the rental lot: Chevy's crossover

The problem word in that sentence is "Chevy," not "crossover." Crossovers can drive just fine or terribly, depending on how they are designed; it's not their crossoverness that makes them drive a certain way.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:43 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


When did this happen? Last I checked (which was admittedly a generation or two ago) the Explorer was still body-on-frame, as most trucks are.

Crud, you're right - the newest Explorer is Unibody. The Explorer of Yore was body-on-frame, but wasn't based on a pickup-truck frame, which was it's unique draw at the time. Need moar coffees.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 AM on July 14


So...what I'm hearing is for our sense of "individuality" and our "crackly knees," we're willing as a species to accelerate our destruction of the earth with the greenhouse gases from these things. That's basically what you're telling me.

Some say it's about their personal safety...but it comes quite obviously at the expense of others, as more fuel-efficient sedans are crushed by these things, which get in far more accidents per mile driven than smaller cars do.

And then some say it's about the safety of their children...but as noted above, these things literally back right over our children, without adequate rear visibility in many cases. (If you have to add a camera to fix a vehicle's visibility, you're not doing it right.) And what about the safety of the world our children will grow up in, as we drive right past 400 ppm of CO2 in SUVs and crossovers?

These things are just the epitome of short-sightedness, and we need to start calling it out.
posted by limeonaire at 5:58 AM on July 14 [4 favorites]


No takers on the bowler? It only costs 280K, and you can get it with either the road suspension or the track one. (But not both)

bespoke steering geometry?

I hope we have all just witnessed the utter, complete and final death of that word.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:07 AM on July 14


My '89 Jeep Cherokee would fit in "Compact Car Only" parking spaces and did everything I could ask for. But then I foolishly replaced it with a '97 Chevy Tahoe. I actually thought I needed the additional carrying space but I could probably have lived without it.

The Tahoe was second worst vehicle I've ever owned (my '78 Chevy Monza was the worst). When the brake lines finally rotted out (I live in an area were salt is liberally used in winter) I was in a bind and bought a 4-door sedan. It's mostly okay in winter but I still wish I had four-wheel drive.

So the idea behind a CUV appeals to me and since I'm likely to be replacing the sedan next year, I'm going to be looking hard at them. But vehicles like the Outback are also on my radar given my kids are grown and what I really want is the AWD and only occasionally need the carrying space. I'm just glad I have a choice.
posted by tommasz at 6:13 AM on July 14


I currently drive a 2006 V70 I acquired 18 months ago.

It's still new, which is great. My wife had a 2003, which by 2009 was costing us about $4000.00 a year in repairs. It was a nice car until it hit about 130,000 miles, then it became an absolute money pit. Our mechanic reported similar stories across that line of Volvos so we ditched it while we could. Now they're all gone. I haven't seen an early-00's full-sized Volvo wagon on the road in months. They all broke beyond repair. She's been in an '06 CRV since which, while a bit more plebeian in amenities, has been an absolute jewel, maintenance-wise.

Me, I like my Celica a bunch still. 30 mpg in town, & it's nimble enough that I can get out of the way of all the distracted, texting X-over drivers. Amazingly enough, although it looks like a sports car, the hatchback is huge & deep, & when I lay the seats down, I can fit a lot of stuff in there. It's a damn shame Toyota gave up on the econo-sport car market.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:27 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


So basically everyone is driving a 1979 AMC Eagle.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 6:27 AM on July 14 [12 favorites]


As far as I know, no one sells a station wagon anymore.
Bring back the Ford Focus Wagon immediately!

There are tons of Mazda 5's around here. It's sort of a Ford Focus wagon with a Mazda body. It costs 1/3 of a Volvo wagon (afaik), and has minivan-style sliding doors, which are cool. It seats six, and I can put my trike in the back and still use the two middle seats, which no other car can do. My impression is that Ford/Mazda sell the Mazda 5 in NAmerica and the Ford Focus in Europe.
posted by sneebler at 6:30 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


crossovers are smaller than suvs and more fuel efficient, with some ranking right up next to sedans in gas usage. pretty much everyone i know who is driving a crossover now was driving an suv 2 years ago. this seems like a win to me, or at least not a short sighted loss.
posted by nadawi at 6:30 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


I have 2010 Subaru Outback (which was marketed as a "wagon.") I needed all wheel drive for Minnesota winters; my previous car couldn't get up my driveway some days. I had been sad that I couldn't find such a thing as an AWD hybrid, but once it occured to me that I would probably need to burn gas to run the heater six months out of the year (does anyone know what kind of fuel efficiency hybrids get in cold winters?) I wasn't sure if it would have been much of a win for the environment even if I got one.

But I was still thinking "I'll get the Legacy sedan. AWD and a smaller car, so better gas mileage."

Nope. The sedan's gas mileage was not as good as the Outback's, at least on that year's model. Something about the continuously variable transmission?

The saleswoman told me the Outback looked bigger because it was up on stilts (starting that year), but that the mass wasn't much different.

My takeaway was that crossovers don't necessarily get worse mileage than sedans.
posted by OnceUponATime at 6:34 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


There are tons of Mazda 5's around here. It's sort of a Ford Focus wagon with a Mazda body.

Their website calls it a "minivan," but it looks like a station wagon to me. I presume that's a marketing distinction mostly, especially the sliding doors. It looks like a ridiculously practical vehicle, though; I'd love to have something like that around for the cargo and dog carrying alone.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:36 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


does anyone know what kind of fuel efficiency hybrids get in cold winters

Our Prius continued to get around 45-47 mpg this past winter. We're in Maryland, but the temperature was regularly in single digits or the teens for weeks on end here.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is AWD, unfortunately it runs about $50 grand.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 6:40 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


(If you have to add a camera to fix a vehicle's visibility, you're not doing it right.)

This is baloney. I'll take my new rear-camera over the lovely greenhouse view of my old Ford Fesitva hatch any day of the week and Sundays. The ranger marker lines are especially useful backing in and out of places. It's yards and yards better than the obstructed view of my old compact sedan (Dodge Neon.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:40 AM on July 14


I have a profound hope that the evolving diminishment of machismo in millennials that conservatives get so shrieky about will mean the return of vehicles that don't have to constantly trumpet sportiness over every rational element of car design.

The CUV thing is a step, but a better one will be making proper station wagon/break/estate cars again in which the rear of the car is squared off, because all those bent-over, eggy, swirly, flame-surfaced nonsense designs do the same idiotic thing sedans do, which is to lop off a huge notch of free cargo space for…what, again? If CUVs help us to understand that practical hatchbacks will not actually cause your dick to fall off, though, then hurrah for CUVs.

The next generation appears to be getting over the whole cubicle-farmer not-doing-stuff fad, and is going to need vehicles that have the utility that's just been an empty buzzword in naming conventions thus far. There's a reason that the Volvo 240 wagon has status as a beloved model, and it's not its expensive unreliability and relatively mythical longevity—it's that, when you open that straight-cut hatch and look through the open cargo space, you can't help but think about what you could do with all that space.
posted by sonascope at 6:43 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


(If you have to add a camera to fix a vehicle's visibility, you're not doing it right.)

Hitching to a trailer is so so so so so so much easier with the camera. So much easier.

Plus no arguments with my wife about her nonsensical hand signals.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:50 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I've always thought of SUVs as butch station wagons, so crossovers are... soft butch, I guess?
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:02 AM on July 14


I was having a debate with an "old man yells at cloud" type on another forum, so I made a graphic showing the benefits of a rear view camera.

Rear view cameras have a wide-angle lens, and they're mounted on the back of the vehicle. This allows a much wider field of vision than is possible from the driver's seat. People drive too fast through parking lots, and often will walk right behind me as I'm trying to back out.

I didn't think I wanted one when I bought my car, but it happened to come with it. I've since grown to appreciate it. I still use my mirrors and turn my head, but the camera gives me an extra level of vision that's really nice to have.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:08 AM on July 14 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the rear-view camera was the ony bright spot on the garbage scow of a Durango that we rented on vacation last year.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:20 AM on July 14


The Mazda CX-5 is their crossover - the 5 is the mini-minivan (and part of a legacy naming system, hence the confusion) which, if it had a bit more horsepower and perhaps an AWD option, might very well be the world's most perfect car (Small, efficient and maneuverable but with 3-row seating and tons of cargo space with the seats folded down, and still available with a manual, at least in the lowest trim level).

Of course the only model Mazda sells fewer of here in the US is the Miata, so rumors abound the 5 will soon be pulled from our market. And I'm still in mourning over the demise of the 6 Wagon.
posted by jalexei at 7:31 AM on July 14


the actual difference between an SUV and a Crossover is that an SUV is usually built on a truck platform which is body-on-frame while a Crossover is built on a Auto Platform - which is Unibody. SUVs usually also have Truck drivetrains which are simpler, heavier, and more rugged.

Basically the advantages of body-on-frame are useless to the average SUV driver who is looking for nothing more than space + AWD. So you have the crossover - which is really closer to a minivan than anything else.
posted by JPD at 7:34 AM on July 14


So, since Subaru has apparently bloated the Forester and Outback past their previously-optimal size, what are they selling that is that size?

Another question: it looks like those rear-view cameras are actually only for backing up, and turn off when moving forward. So they don't do anything for crossovers' apparently huge blind spots?

JPD, very few SUVs are built on truck frames any more, and haven't been for years.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:39 AM on July 14


So they don't do anything for crossovers' apparently huge blind spots?

Most feature a separate "blind-spot monitor" that lights a little icon in the side mirrors (and chirps if the directional is on).

JPD, very few SUVs are built on truck frames any more, and haven't been for years.

Yep - as SUVs settle into kind of a L/XL breakdown, only the biggest ones are body-on-frame. The Explorer, the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9 and similar are all built on modified sedan platforms.
posted by jalexei at 7:45 AM on July 14


I'll look forward to the day when I come out of a store, and my small hatchback isn't stuck in an SUV canyon, out of which I have to back up completely blind.

I'll also look forward to not having to guess what's in front of the giant moving roadblock of an SUV with opaque "privacy windows" that's in front of me on the highway. Which is usually going 70 in the left lane, because it's so hard to see to switch lanes when you're driving it. And 70 feels so fast in an SUV, therefore no one should be passing, anyway, right?
posted by Dashy at 7:46 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


JPD, very few SUVs are built on truck frames any more, and haven't been for years.

That's not true. All of the full-size SUVs are still body on frame.

A lot of things marketed as "SUVs" were always crossovers. Like all of the Euro imports (they'd have to be as those guys don't have truck platforms in their auto bizzes.)

But the fullsize offerings from GM, F, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan are all built on truck platforms.
posted by JPD at 7:48 AM on July 14


So, since Subaru has apparently bloated the Forester and Outback past their previously-optimal size, what are they selling that is that size?

The Crosstrek is their small hatchback. We looked at it to replace our Prius, but couldn't take the ~50% hit on gas mileage.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 7:48 AM on July 14


But the fullsize offerings from GM, F, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan are all built on truck platforms.

As the "S" in SUV supposedly stands for "sports", I always thought of the Tahoe/Escalade/Sequoia/Armadas of the world as just "trucks" but you're correct - I guess I see "full-size SUV" as kind of an oxymoron.
posted by jalexei at 7:55 AM on July 14


The only crossover you need.
posted by snottydick at 7:57 AM on July 14


Yep - as SUVs settle into kind of a L/XL breakdown, only the biggest ones are body-on-frame.

That's not true. For example, the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Xterra, Wrangler are all body on frame and mid sized SUVs.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:06 AM on July 14


I'm confused--are we complaining about SUVs, Crossovers, or just conflating the two in order to save a few sentences?

I just like that when I search for mileage figures for these different vehicles, Mathowie's Fuelly site is the first hit. At least Google isn't destroying everything he has put on the web.

We plan on buying something fuel efficient when we return to the U.S., and I've been looking online today, and although sedans are just boring, a Corolla gets 30 percent better mileage than a Rav4, and fit within our $10k-ish budget.
posted by mecran01 at 8:07 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


I love my minivan's rearview camera, and wish it ran all the time instead of only when I was in Reverse gear.

My ten year-old Camry will have to be replaced sometime soonish. If I can't have a minivan (and I can't: it won't fit in the garage next to my wife's) then I want a station wagon. I have no illusions about my Coolness; I just want the extra space for groceries or Boy Scout camping gear or stuff from Lowe's/Home Despot. And I want something with AWD so it's probably a Subaru for me.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:10 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


IMHO one market that most US vendors are ignoring is for an inexpensive diesel that can tow a small travel trailer. VW *almost* has it with the TDI wagon, but it has a towing capacity of exactly ZERO, even though the european spec model can tow like 3000 pounds. Like many people with small trailers, I drive a minivan because its the safest and most affordable car I can find that can safely tow long distances with acceptable fuel economy but I'd throw my money at the first reasonably priced (this means no mandatory leather seats, premium navigation or other useless features I simply don't want) diesel crossover that could do the same job.
posted by Poldo at 8:10 AM on July 14


A lot of things marketed as "SUVs" were always crossovers.

So all we're disagreeing about is a new marketing designation?

Fuck it. I'm going back to station wagon, sedan, and panel truck, and I know one when I see it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:11 AM on July 14


(Hey, that Fuelly web site is neat!)
posted by wenestvedt at 8:13 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


The Crosstrek is their small hatchback. We looked at it to replace our Prius, but couldn't take the ~50% hit on gas mileage.

Plus I think they look like sneakers.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:20 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


I'm confused--are we complaining about SUVs, Crossovers, or just conflating the two in order to save a few sentences?

Among the people I hang out with the difference between them is that an SUV has a Body on Frame construction and/or* a two speed transfer case.

Anything else is a crossover.

* It gets wacky now becuse Range Rovers and Grand Cherokees, for example, have two speed transfer cases, but have gone to unibody construction.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:20 AM on July 14


So we're borrowing a car while ours is in the shop (thanks, eighteen-wheeler who left a tire tread on the highway and thanks also to whoever flipped it into the fast lane and took out our radiator), so we ended up in a Lexus crossover for a bit yesterday. It's fine to ride in but my husband wasn't enthused about the height even though he's so big he hardly fits in most small cars. It wouldn't be on his list even with all the interior frills.

The other thing I notice from this article and comments is that crossovers are unibodies. I had a unibody Honda in the 90s and the lesson I learned was that the minute one of those is in a wreck, it's done. I was in a rear-end accident with mine and insurance totaled out my car where I'm pretty sure a frame car would have survived with a new panel and bumper. Crumple zones I get, but I don't want to have to replace my car because someone bumped it.
posted by immlass at 8:28 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


Among the people I hang out with the difference between them is that an SUV has a Body on Frame construction and/or* a two speed transfer case.

Didn't the Jeep Cherokee (the generation that went from like 1987 to the 1990s and that defined the modern SUV category) have a frame up front and a unibody in the rear? (Not to mention awd and 2wd versions...) There have been weird mix and match vehicles for a long time, and precise boundaries probably only make sense for marketing.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:34 AM on July 14


The Cherokee and Liberty were both unibody, although the Cherokee was BoF I think for a while. But the lo range transfercase was available as a trim option, so it does count - after all, you can buy a 2wd tacoma, but the Tacoma is still understood to be a 4x4 pickup.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:50 AM on July 14


That's not true. For example, the 4Runner, Land Cruiser, Xterra, Wrangler are all body on frame and mid sized SUVs.

(sorry for wandering off in the weeds here) - I know about the 4Runner (in fact Toyota markets it as "one of the few" body-on-frame mid-size SUVs available) but I confess I thought Nissan had stopped making the Xterra - I don't consider the Land Cruiser mid-size (a shortened Tundra frame is still a Tundra in my mind) but I realize it's classified as such. And the Wrangler (even in the larger 4-door guise) seems more like a true off-roader than an SUV(?) - I suppose at the end of the day it does illustrate how fluid some of the marketing brackets are (and how surprised I am at just how many body-on-frame SUVs remain, given larger trends…)
posted by jalexei at 8:57 AM on July 14


IMHO one market that most US vendors are ignoring is for an inexpensive diesel that can tow a small travel trailer.

I'm sure they would sell tens of those!
posted by Fleebnork at 9:22 AM on July 14 [5 favorites]


My wife and I call these vehicles "clown cars." As much for their looks as for the occupants.
posted by monospace at 9:54 AM on July 14


I needed all wheel drive for Minnesota winters; my previous car couldn't get up my driveway some days.

That was my situation exactly. New vehicle laughs at snow where the previous one cowered at it.
posted by gimonca at 10:05 AM on July 14 [3 favorites]


I'm sure they would sell tens of those!

For years, the Jeep and Subaru crowd have been screaming for an affordable diesel Wrangler and Outback, respectively - partly for fuel economy, also for some towing oomph. The Outback has a surprisingly high tow rating. The 2.0l diesel Outback available overseas has a little less HP than the 2.5l 4cyl gas motor, but as much torque as the much bigger, thirstier 3.6l 6cyl gas motor.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:06 AM on July 14


The 14 Grand Cherokee has a diesel option. But it adds 5k or so to the price.

I'm sort of considering that as a replacement for my wife's 4Runner, but the thing that scares me is Jeep's (well deserved) reputation for unreliability.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:22 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


but the thing that scares me is Jeep's (well deserved) reputation for unreliability

Not only is it a 5k premium, the engine is also Italian (Motorini VM, a Fiat subsidiary).

Jeep. With a Fiat motor. Tow-truck operators started expanding their fleet when it was announced.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:39 AM on July 14 [6 favorites]


I drive an Odyssey minivan and remember when I used to drive a manual GTI and make fun of people in minivans. Thing is, I love it. Forget the bland looks and the fact that it's hard to find in a suburban parking lot ... my back pain has gotten way better moving from sedan-style seating to the upright "captain's chair"-like seat. My 9-year-old can reconfigure the seats. I can have a kid in the third row on one side and put both kids' bikes on the other side. I can fit tons of music gear in there too. I seem to get low 20s for mileage and I wish it was better, but I have a short commute (5 miles) so it's not too bad.

Once I got over the supposed embarrassment of having one, I realized how silly it was that I once cared if I was driving a cool car or not. Now if we can get to a TDI version, or better yet an electric version, bring it on! But it is hands down the most useful and reliable vehicle I've had. Pretty much drives like a car too.

My wife has a RAV-4 for her job which entails driving all day, every day. Not sure what she plans to get next, but for her situation maybe a real gas saver like a Prius or Jetta TDI is a better idea.
posted by freecellwizard at 10:39 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


The thing that amazes me is that we should have hard, empirical data about reliability and mileage. I just wish there was a single database where I could input my mileage preferences and a few other simple variables and it would show me the most reliable car for $10k, or whatever my budget is.
posted by mecran01 at 10:42 AM on July 14


The closest thing to that - and it is pretty close - is Consumer Reports. All the other comprehensive information sources are funded at least partly by auto-industry money.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:51 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]


I'm so confused. It just looks like another car to me.
posted by kanewai at 11:20 AM on July 14


IMHO one market that most US vendors are ignoring is for an inexpensive diesel that can tow a small travel trailer.

Mahindra tried to import a small diesel pickup. I was interested, as I had been driving a '94 Toyota Pickup that was absolutely fantastic, except that it was 18 years old. But it looks like they couldn't meet safety or emissions standards.
posted by Ham Snadwich at 11:26 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I'm so confused. It just looks like another car to me.

That's the point. SUVs were mostly built on a light truck chassis so they had to deal with the higher center of gravity, the higher weight and the higher ground clearance. Crossovers run on a car chassis so they look and feel a lot more like a car to drive but with the extra cargo storage of a boxier SUV style frame.
posted by Talez at 11:30 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


For years, the Jeep and Subaru crowd have been screaming for an affordable diesel Wrangler and Outback, respectively - partly for fuel economy, also for some towing oomph.

Oh, I know. But the auto makers do the math on what they're most likely to sell. Honda was also briefly toying with the idea of offering a diesel engine in the US, but they dropped their plans.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:11 PM on July 14


(Back in 2007,) our family had many of the same wants/needs described by others ended up going a completely different direction... we bought a new 2006 DaimlerChrysler 'Sprinter' passenger van. These are overwhelmingly (like ~99%+) used as industrial/fleet vehicles, but a passenger configuration does exist--with seating for 8, windows, etc.

The immediate visual impression is of a dumpster; most people say "wow, that thing is huge". However, the actual footprint is no bigger than a midsize vehicle... it just goes straight up, and up. My wife is 5'2" and can stand up inside; I'm 5'9" and have to stoop slightly.

We've now had it for seven years, with zero regrets. What's awesome about it:
- Mercedes commercial turbo-diesel: bomb-proof, expected lifespan of 500K+ miles (we're approaching 100K and have had to do literally nothing to fix it)
- efficient for a big vehicle: it gets 22-23MPG around town, high-20s on extended road trips.
- biodiesel: we run it whenever we can get it, but no issues switching back-and-forth with dino
- tons of room: 8 full-sized seats inside, plus large storage area in the back (our two 100+ pound dogs can ride comfortably together back there, or 6-8 ice hockey bags)
- comfortable enough, without 'luxury' trappings: seats are durable cloth, floor is plasticky rubber... you can get it wet/dirty inside, then clean it out with a mop and/or leaf blower
- handles really well: it has a ridiculous turning radius, like a bumper boat. You can pull a U-turn in an average-width street, no 3-point turns necessary.
- towing capacity, if you're into that sort of thing

Not meaning to Pepsi Blue this, I just hear a lot of the same wishes we had (diesel? utility? efficiency? reliability?) and while it may not be for everyone, we've been very happy with ours. The only occasional downsides have been the height (being too tall for many parking garages... ours needs 8' of clearance) and sketchy ice/snow performance (it's a big, empty rear-wheel-drive box... was terrible with stock tires, but we've been able to get up to the mountain and back after adding real winter tires).
posted by rodeoclown at 12:18 PM on July 14 [5 favorites]


A diesel Sprinter is definitely high on my list of things to acquire if society collapses.
posted by wotsac at 12:29 PM on July 14


> Not only is it a 5k premium, the engine is also Italian (Motorini VM, a Fiat subsidiary).

Jeep. With a Fiat motor. Tow-truck operators started expanding their fleet when it was announced.


The 1980s called, they want their stereotype back.

For the past 15-20 years the electronically controlled Common Rail Diesel engine has been king of the automotive diesel engine market - and it was developed by, you guessed it, Fiat.

I owned a fantastic Alfa Romeo 156 JTDm whose engine knocked several shades of shit out of the contemporary VW Group PD engines in terms of power, torque and fuel economy. It's about bloody time you can finally start buying decent diesel engines out here in the states, and Italian motors are (or at least should be) at the top of that list.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 1:11 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


Not only is it a 5k premium, the engine is also Italian (Motorini VM, a Fiat subsidiary).

Jeep. With a Fiat motor. Tow-truck operators started expanding their fleet when it was announced.


With a German 8 speed transmission!
posted by iamabot at 1:58 PM on July 14


Maybe it's just the fact that I only buy used cars, so I only care about vehicles which are at least ten or fifteen years old, but I had no idea these things they are calling "crossovers" were considered to be a new category of vehicle. What's the difference? They just look like wussy, blobby SUVs, which makes total sense given that SUVs were always blatantly overbuilt for practically everyone who bought them, and automakers have been steadily toning them down every year.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:26 PM on July 14


all those bent-over, eggy, swirly, flame-surfaced nonsense designs do the same idiotic thing sedans do, which is to lop off a huge notch of free cargo space for…what, again?

No doubt there is much idiocy involved in automotive design, but aerodynamics is a big deal these days. If the rear surface is "squared off", it will have aerodynamic characteristics resembling those of a brick, which is less than optimal for fuel economy. Some of the design constraints can that result in stupid-looking swoopy designs come from a wind tunnel and are among the methods by which cars have become more efficient even as they get larger and heavier. The energy needed to push air out of the way at a given speed varies linearly with coefficient of drag, so a Cd of 0.30 means you burn fairly near to 25% less fuel on the highway at constant speed than if it were 0.40, as it might be for an old station wagon. Not that manufacturers care about that so much; they just want good fuel economy ratings from the government which is not quite the same thing as fuel efficiency in real life. In the US for instance, I'm pretty sure the EPA "highway" driving test still doesn't involve speeds any faster than 60 mph, or any sustained cruising anywhere near that fast. I believe it's modelled on a scenario involving horrific traffic on suburban Los Angeles freeways, or something. Still, car makers are chasing after every little gain they can get without making cars smaller (which in the US is discouraged by the new CAFE as well as consumer preference) or lighter (which is expensive and made difficult by regulations intended to improve safety).

The "high ride height" that people apparently prefer, and which seems to be the sole defining attribute of a "crossover", does bad things to aerodynamics of course, and basically makes a car worse in every way unless you're driving it on rough off-road trails. The NHTSA is already talking about making rear-view cameras mandatory, so maybe in the future we'll have cars with all front- and side-views also provided by camera. The camera will be mounted on a ten-foot pole sticking up from the roof, for unprecedented feelings of superior high-ness.
posted by sfenders at 4:00 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]


The 1980s called, they want their stereotype back.

Sorry, still need it for a bit.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:25 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]


I'd argue that a squared-off tail isn't remotely brick-like, and in fact is more aerodynamic than the sort of drooping molten hump that seems to be in vogue, after the work of Wunibald Kamm.

The third-generation Volvo V70 had a squared-off tail and a 0.30 Cd. The current VW Golf, in keeping with the history of the model, has a nearly vertical hatch and a 0.27 Cd. The flopping messes of rear windows that look like skylights are a fashion fad, not an aerodynamic conceit.
posted by sonascope at 4:28 PM on July 14


I suppose it depends on just how square you want squared-off to be. I was picturing a particular 1970's station wagon. 0.27 is way better than I would've guessed for the Golf, impressive. It doesn't look much like the classic Kammback though; it has the non-vertical rear window and the spoiler (and possibly some underbody diffuser-like design?) to achieve something similar. To take advantage of Kamm's most famous effect you would need more roof slope I think.
posted by sfenders at 4:46 PM on July 14


Give me the maximum utility in the lowest possible vehicle, make it proper AWD, and give me a 6-speed and I'll be happy. It's extremely difficult to find manual sport wagons on the US used market, though. I do like the pre-05 Foz and know a couple folks that have swapped in STI drivetrain and suspension.
posted by a halcyon day at 5:16 PM on July 14


> Sorry, still need it for a bit.

Uh... that would be the 500 that doesn't come with a diesel engine in the US? Not sure that really disproves my point.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 5:40 PM on July 14


I like my wagons nice and square (or otherwise cleverly capacious or gently raked), which are the factors that made the Volvo 240 wagon so usefully voluminous despite being exactly the same length as the sedan.

Where that's an aerodynamic issue, automakers could do a hell of a lot of compensation by taking pages out of Saab's book (the Old Saab Testament, before the Opel heresies) and streamline the underbody, where virtually every modern car ends up looking like an Imperial Star Destroyer on the lift.

For now, the makers are working hard to make the CUV a pyrrhic victory over the SUV, by building them with stylish automotive microencephaly and gun-slit windows.

It's all fashion, though, and practicality is not sexy just yet (sigh), but I think times are a'changin'. If all we do is kill off body-on-frame and coal cart springs, we'll still be ahead.
posted by sonascope at 6:58 PM on July 14 [3 favorites]


Not sure that really disproves my point.

Now, if only there were some other vehicle, made by Jeep, that used a Fiat diesel, that we could compare to other vehicles.

Not quite the second coming of the Benz OM602.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:10 PM on July 14


OK, now I really am confused which way you're arguing.

"We'd take the 2.8L VM Motori turbodiesel in the Jeep Liberty over the 3.7L gasoline V-6 any day! We'll even go so far as to say the new common-rail diesel (CRD) engine is good enough to make people consider buying a Liberty that would never even have given this Jeep a second look before."
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:25 PM on July 14


That motor has a terrible reputation online but the people I know who own one all love it and refuse to sell at any price until there is a new version to replace it with. YMMV, literally in this case.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:37 PM on July 14


Give me the maximum utility in the lowest possible vehicle, make it proper AWD, and give me a 6-speed and I'll be happy [...] I do like the pre-05 Foz and know a couple folks that have swapped in STI drivetrain and suspension.

???

You know they made STis in wagon form, right? 6 speed, AWD, definitely low, lighter than the pig of a Forester, may actually be fun to drive.
posted by indubitable at 7:38 PM on July 14


If by "station wagon" you mean an estate car, Volvo still sell 'em. I currently drive a 2006 V70 I acquired 18 months ago.

All we get over here in the U.S. now is the V60, which is the same "stretched hatchback" style as the other ones on the market.
posted by madajb at 7:41 PM on July 14


VW *almost* has it with the TDI wagon, but it has a towing capacity of exactly ZERO, even though the european spec model can tow like 3000 pounds.

FYI: The US spec TDI has the exact same towing capacity as the Euro version.
But for reasons really only understood by VWoA, they reduced the towing capacity listed in the owners manual to a flat 1000lbs for the early versions and eliminated it entirely in later years.

The biggest hassle is finding a suitable hitch. A lot of folks import a Euro version, but then you run into slight differences in ball size and, of course, they aren't DOT approved.
Plenty of people tow plenty of things with US TDI wagons, some folks have even gone as far as using braked trailers, for 3000+ lb loads.
posted by madajb at 8:02 PM on July 14


OK, now I really am confused which way you're arguing.

There are two links. The second is to a firm that keeps track of overall car quality. The first link is fanboy nonsense.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:12 PM on July 14


Where that's an aerodynamic issue, automakers could do a hell of a lot of compensation by taking pages out of Saab's book (the Old Saab Testament, before the Opel heresies) and streamline the underbody, where virtually every modern car ends up looking like an Imperial Star Destroyer on the lift.

Many recent cars have varying degrees of air management on the underbody, but not as much as they could. Owners tend to get upset about "those dang $500 pieces of plastic" especially when you have to remove them to access the oil filter and drain plug, though.

You know they made STis in wagon form, right? 6 speed, AWD, definitely low, lighter than the pig of a Forester, may actually be fun to drive.

Yeah, but have you tried to actually use a WRX hatch? I think my mk3 GTI had more useful space inside.
posted by a halcyon day at 10:13 PM on July 14


... lighter than the pig of a Forester, may actually be fun to drive.

I get the sense that you don't like Foresters because they're not sports cars. Compared to all these "crossovers," though (unless you spend $40K+ on BMW or Lexus, or the like), Foresters practically are sports cars.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:56 AM on July 15


> There are two links.

Yes, I saw.

The second is to a firm that keeps track of overall car quality.

Yes. And the page you linked does not break down gas vs diesel versions of the Liberty. Since the diesel version only sold approx 6% of total 2006 Liberty sales, I'd say the ratings on that page are hardly a slam-dunk proof that it's reasonable to write them off based purely on the nationality of the producer (in fact, at the time it was a 50/50 Italy/US venture), wouldn't you?

The first link is fanboy nonsense.

What, the glowing review of the diesel equipped version, you mean? In that case, why did you post it?
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:17 AM on July 15


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