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What are all these semi-SUV sedans?

nicad 10/05/2022 237

Did anyone else notice that we suddenly fell into a four-door SUV? What's going on with all those quasi-SUV sedans? It seems to have started in 2008 based on the X6 SUV. BMW used the perfect X5 to make it less useful. Que sont toutes ces berlines semi-SUV ?

It had its roof cut off at the rear and lost some of its beauty due to this strange new shape. The X6 has a much smaller rear seat and storage space, has fewer US options (no diesel), and costs more. I guess you really have to buy on looks alone to want one. Que sont toutes ces berlines semi-SUV ?

Next come the Hondas. The Accord Crosstour (which I already mentioned was a guilty pleasure for me) and the Acura ZDX debuted in 2009. The Crosstour added a bit more utility to the regular Accord line and availability all-wheel drive. It makes sense to me. Que sont toutes ces berlines semi-SUV ?

The Acura, on the other hand, took the already awesome MDX crossover and gave it the X6 treatment. It's been hacked and folded over to look like a big guy in a compression suit. One big thing that pissed me off about the ZDX is that fancy treatment that slashes the towing capacity by 3,500 lbs. 3500!!! So I'm paying more for a stupid hatchback-SUV thing and it can only tow 1500 pounds? What piece! Que sont toutes ces berlines semi-SUV ?

Continuing the trend, BMW is back on the plate. They seem to have sold enough X6s to make other weird and clunky cars. This time the Bavarian gang is based on the 3 and 5 series. This is an additional trim level (compared to the brand new model above) called Gran Turismo. It means Grand Touring in Italian, not in Japanese racing video game. I guess BMW thought their customers wanted something with more utility than the sedan without the dork factor of the wagon. I sincerely believe that it failed. GT series cars are about as silly as they come. They offer a good amount of utility compared to the sedan but are compromised next to the wagons.

We only get the 3 series wagon at the moment but BMW was already making a 5 series wagon!! I realize that Americans don't buy cars, and that's sad. That doesn't mean we're going to buy this weird pseudo-wagon. Initial sales figures in the United States confirm this. However, the GTs are still for sale and I can't find any sales figures for the last few years. Maybe there are people who are willing to pay extra for this odd shape?

The next generation of these strange crossovers is about to launch the BMW X4 and the Mercedes GLE Coupe. These are based on their similarly sized SUV stablemates, and can provide similar utilitarian compromises for vanity as their predecessors. I suspect it's like wearing Spanx for a lot of people. You like the way they look, but you really have to put your all into it.

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