Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Compact Crossover Market is Getting Bigger

What are the new vehicles for the new model year?  Do you notice a trend, especially in the SUV market?  The trend seems to be to get smaller.  As the world decided years ago it no longer loved wagons as much as it had for so many generations the crossover SUVs that are coming out in the new car market resemble wagons in size more than you would have ever expected.  Why are these SUVs getting smaller and looking much more like wagons than ever before?  What has taken us down this road to become a world where an SUV drives more like a car?

Let’s think back many, many years to what SUVs used to be.  The first and quite honestly the second iteration of SUVs involved little more than taking the box off the truck frame and putting a new body on top that was capable of having room for more passengers than the truck offered.  This made SUVs of the time rough riding box on frame models that were harsh but roomy.  We still see some examples of these large box on frame models in the larger market, but more SUVs are sold in the smaller sizes than ever before.

The movement toward a unibody design brought us SUVs that are now more controlled, drive better and feel nearly like driving a car.  Because these vehicles were more drivable they have nearly replaced minivans when it comes to the right choice for the family hauler.  In fact, more often than not, SUVs that are sold today don’t need to have off road capabilities because they will never see a trail or go off road at any time and are meant to handle the errands and challenges that are presented by a family needs rather than be the vehicle to take out for a weekend of fun camping or at the lake.

With this in mind, the crossover SUV has gotten smaller, not by number of models, but in the size of the vehicles, and now we have a market that is called the compact crossover SUV market.  Toyota is the latest to enter the compact crossover market as they launch a new vehicle that is expected to closely resemble the same style of the C-HR concept vehicle that made its debut in Paris last year.  This design and style should allow it to stand out in this ever growing crowd with the sporty good looks and stylish design.

There is still no word as to exactly how this model will be marketed or what parts of the world will be able to enjoy the ability to drive this SUV.  The size of it puts it right between the RAV4 and the Highlander in order to fit right in.  Rumors abound, which is normal when a concept is still early in its process, state this vehicle might take on the name of the Auris Cross or be labeled on its own as its own name may be even better, but the name really won’t matter once it’s ready for production.

This style of vehicle is what we are seeing more of in the SUV market as manufacturers start to move toward the sport of the SUV name and away from the utility part.  These vehicles give us more size than a sedan and certainly offer a more distinctive shape in many ways.  If this Toyota crossover makes it to production it will be the sportiest of the three in the lineup and look a lot like some of the models coming out of brands such as Porsche and the future Lamborghini model which are both sleek and highly stylish.

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