Crossovers aren’t really a new thing are they? Well, no because many people have called estate cars crossovers. They are a mixture of hatchbacks and saloons so technically they could be deemed as crossovers. However these cars were given a whole new category; as mentioned they are now estates. So maybe we’ll need a new name for the kinds of crossovers we are seeing now. We’re talking about the hatchback and 4×4 mixture which is getting us a new breed of SUV. These SUVs come looking like they can off-road, but a very small handful of them can while all the others fail quite badly. Fortunately, they have stuck around because of a few main reasons which seem like they are being adopted by the best manufacturers. Hence why almost every major brand has released their own versions. Let’s see why crossover SUVs are still going strong 5 years on from their shaky birth.
The new family car
For large families, hatchbacks aren’t enough. The passengers and the driver are all cramped into a small space. The middle class has grown, so we have more stuff we bring with us. We need room for a tablet, we need phone chargers, we need cup holders for everybody, we want air conditioning fans in the seats which makes them bulkier, we also want more cushioning in the seats themselves. The list goes on and on while hatchbacks fail to keep up with more than one at a time. Thus, to solve the issue of not having enough space and luxury, the crossover SUV was created. Now not only do you have room and quality, but the size isn’t that much larger overall. The wheelbase for crossovers means that the handling is generally the same bar the added weight. The pricing is also very competitive with the hatchback market. The choice of engine is also very similar and even the miles per gallon is almost identical.
Comfort is of course a top concern for car manufacturers that are making SUVs, but practicality is also high up on that list. Look at the Jaguar F-Pace on Newtons of Ashley. It has 5-doors, a 3.0-litre petrol V6 engine and yet it produces a combined average of 31.7 miles per gallon. Jaguar engine and hybrid technology is one of if not the most refined in all of the crossover market. This model also has torque vectoring brakes which allow the car to remain stable even under harsh braking and body roll. With 375bhp, it’s not difficult to comprehend why it achieves a 5.5 second to 60mph time. It has 332lb-ft and a top speed of 155mph. You wouldn’t mistake these figures for a very hot hatch like a Honda Civic Type R. As you would expect from a premium brand like Jaguar, the interior is splendid with high-grade materials being used all around.
Crossovers are not going anywhere. SUVs are here to stay, and they’ll only get better. In fact one wonders, with the performance stats matching any hot hatch, will hatchbacks be around any longer?
Main Photograph courtesy of Motor Verso