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  • Anthony Fongaro
    Anthony Fongaro

    Son of a Niche! SUV Coupes

      Style over substance and I’m not buying it.

    In my previous article, I praised four-door coupes. I love how they look in exchange for lost practicality while making up for the latter with charm and class. This is fine because they’re usually based on regular coupes or sedans. Great. Unfortunately, BMW had to mess things up. They had the excellent X5 and thought to themselves with a German accent: “We need to appeal to even fewer people. What if… we make the X5 ugly and harder to see out of?” Hence, the BMW X6 was born. Excellent, thank you, BMW. It sold well and now Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Acura at one point, and even Lamborghini have SUVs with raked rooflines. There must be a reason why I like sedan to coupe to four-door coupes compared to these SUV-coupes, right?


    When BMW first introduced the X6, Top Gear had Jeremy Clarkson review it on their show. He said the same things I was thinking. The X6 is a worse version of the X5 that isn’t good off-road. Now, I know that they set up some things to make the review of the X6 more scathing, but two points hit home. It’s an uglier version of the X5 that isn’t as good and has worse visibility. You would think that a power-house journalist like Clarkson, combined with that review, would have BMW scared that their new vehicle would go down in history as one of those “one-hit wonders.” Nope. That didn’t happen.


    Instead, BMW sold enough to “justify” a few different events. Mercedes-Benz got onto the bandwagon. They created the GLE coupe as well as the GLC coupe. It was the same concept as the X6: Make the SUVs uglier, less space, and “look like a coupe.” Out of all the Japanese manufacturers, Acura went in with the ZDX, one of the ugliest SUVs to walk the earth. It was based on the MDX and was given a body that no one wanted. If you’ve seen more than two ZDXs in the flesh, leave a comment below. BMW then created a smaller of the X6, dubbed the X4, to go against Mercedes’s GLC coupe. Audi jumped in the fray with their Q8 SUV. The Germans really like making niches that no one asked for. Now, Porsche has created the Cayenne coupe. Excellent. 


    At this point, I usually try to give some good points to balance the article. I’ll try my best to get a few in here. Since these are all SUVs, most have standard or optional all-wheel drive to help in the Midwest or states that get a good amount of snow. They also have high ground clearance and tall driving positions like a regular SUV so you can see over cars. You must remember that these are close to or the same as their regular SUV counterparts. The X6 gets a fire-breathing X6M version with over 500 HP from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8. Unnecessary but fantastic. I understand that style is in the eye of the beholder, which is why people go after these vehicles.

        
    If you can’t tell, I am not a fan of these, which BMW labels “Sports-Activity Coupes.” Do you want a SAC in your life? I know I don’t. The regular SUVs they are based on are usually more handsome, have more space, and cost a good amount less. There are powerful versions and hybrid versions, so people have a choice. Why were these created? Because why not. Would I recommend an X6 over an X5? No. Never. Will people still buy? Sure. These help companies like Porsche continue to make sports cars. Regular SUVs do the same. Wait… should you get a regular SUV over the limited hatchbacks and wagons we have available in the United States? I think… you should read my next article to find out.


    What are your thoughts? Do you own or like SUV coupes? Are you like me and think they’re pointless? Leave a comment below and like/interact with Cheers and Gears on social media! 
     



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    I think they ugly, not practical (which croosovers supposed to be) and just stupid IMO.  However, my wife when she saw one that it looks "cool".  I seriously considered divorce at that point...

    However,  I guess they do appeal to some people.

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    I kind of like them...they are distinctive, and they are usually 2 row (I don't need a 3rd row).   I like fastback hatchback rooflines..

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    I think they are mostly stupid but they are probably the fastest growing segment right now.  Even traditional 3 row SUVs like the VW Atlas’s have a coupe version now.  

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    31 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I think they are mostly stupid but they are probably the fastest growing segment right now.  Even traditional 3 row SUVs like the VW Atlas’s have a coupe version now.  

    The Atlass Cross Sport is sharp...gets rid of the 3rd row also.  I prefer 2 row SUVs, and a sleek 2 row is a neat variation. 

    Edited by Robert Hall

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    26 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I think they are mostly stupid but they are probably the fastest growing segment right now.  Even traditional 3 row SUVs like the VW Atlas’s have a coupe version now.  

    How can you say this is the fastest growing segment when they do not sell that many compared to regular real SUV/CUV?

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    1 minute ago, dfelt said:

    How can you say this is the fastest growing segment when they do not sell that many compared to regular real SUV/CUV?

    Sales growth is about percentage increases, not numbers.    I don't know if they are the fastest growing or not without looking att the year over year numbers...

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    41 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I think they are mostly stupid but they are probably the fastest growing segment right now.  Even traditional 3 row SUVs like the VW Atlas’s have a coupe version now.  

    Fastest growing segment in number of models offered, but not necessarily in sales. 

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    It may not be a lot of volume, but almost every other new vehicle that comes out is a coupe like SUV.   Even stuff like the Audi Q3 and Ford Edge look sort of coupe like, some traditional SUVs are going that way.  Then you have Q8, Atlas, GLC, GLE, X2, X4, X6, there is an X8 coming, etc etc.

    And there is margin on these things too.  If Chevy made a Traverse coupe with 2 rows and a fastback roofline, it would basically be the same size as a Blazer, but would sell for $10k more because it is a "coupe".   That is why the sales/marketing people love these things.

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    23 hours ago, Anthony Fongaro said:

    ...they’re usually based on regular coupes...

    They've never been based on a regular coupe.

    Edited by balthazar
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    14 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Even stuff like the ... Ford Edge look sort of coupe

    Um... no...

     

    Edge.jpg

    Edge2.jpg

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    12 minutes ago, frogger said:

    Just waiting for a Subaru Outback Wagon Crossover Coupe.

    Concept was shown

    See the source image

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    It's too bad Cadillac painted them self into a corner w/ their naming..they could have used XT-odd number for regular CUVs, and XT-even number for coupe CUVs.   An XT5 based CCUV w/ a sleek fastback roofline like the CTS coupe would be cool..

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    OEMs need to massively pull back from naming every teeny different vehicle with a different name. Especially as the industry continues to congeal into ‘every 4x4 must have an ‘X’ in the name’ nonsense.

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    2 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    It's too bad Cadillac painted them self into a corner w/ their naming..they could have used XT-odd number for regular CUVs, and XT-even number for coupe CUVs.   An XT5 based CCUV w/ a sleek fastback roofline like the CTS coupe would be cool..

    Coupe CUVs are still the worst auto trend in the last 50 years.  Period.  Get rid of them NOW.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Coupe CUVs are still the worst auto trend in the last 50 years.  Period.  Get rid of them NOW.

    I'm going to disagree with this.
    Not because I think overabundant choice is good or these are cool looking, but because saying a fastback CUV is "bad" is the same as saying a short bed pickup is bad or a sub compact car is bad. All 3 give the buyer noticably diminished capacity compared to others.... but some folk never use their capacity or don't care.

    It's like the common narrative that full-size trucks are 'bad' because the owners seldom use the beds.
    Yet no one ever questions how many sedan owners use their trunks (Well; I have ;) ).

    I think too many models per brands separated by 6 inches in length is worse, and alphanumerics are worse. I can live with these CCUVs [Compromised Crossover Utility Vehicle]....  a CUV (unlike a truck, or -say- a Jeep Wrangulator) isn't really meant for cargo capacity. If they were, things like a -say- BMW X1/X2/X3 would never exist.

    Now... the Wrangulator.... 😬

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    I like them..something different visually amidst a sea of similarly shaped CUVs and SUVs.  And the cargo capacity isn't an issue to me, only been a few times that I have used the vertical space behind the back seat of my Jeep....most of the time, it's empty space, same with the back seat.    

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    2 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    I like them..something different visually amidst a sea of similarly shaped CUVs and SUVs.  And the cargo capacity isn't an issue to me, only been a few times that I have used the vertical space behind the back seat of my Jeep....most of the time, it's empty space, same with the back seat.    

    We just need to find someone special to enter your life and utilize that space with you! ;) 

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