Crossover America

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Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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37 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    They aren’t cooler than my Mini!Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      As a 6’5″ man, I humbly dissent.

      I actually like small cars, and fold nicely into them. The Mini is a bridge too far for me, though.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Minis are very cool. I’ll definitely consider one for next time (unless there isn’t a next time because my Accord outlives me.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        I’m beginning to think that my Fit has a reasonable chance of outliving me. Six years on, the only non-routine maintenance has been a recall because Honda thought the power lock switch in the drivers door wasn’t waterproof enough. The mechanic who replaced it told me that if I could get the original wet enough to short out, I had other much bigger problems to deal with — like I was sitting in a hurricane with the door open, or submerged in an irrigation ditch.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I have my eye on a Mini; a 2003. Local mechanic says his is pushing 160,000 miles, no major problems.

      The only thing I don’t like about it is the huge sun roof, which makes the car top heavy, increases mileage, and can be a migraine trigger.

      Interested to hear what you think of yours.Report

  2. Avatar Kim says:

    I use a zipcar when I need a car. They cover insurance too, as part of the price. Also cover gasoline.Report

  3. Avatar Damon says:

    All I can say is thank god I don’t drive people and don’t have kids, because there is not much in a crossover, suv, or anything near that, that I find appealing in a vehicle, or to drive. And all of them on automatics. Hell, I can rarely find a coupe I like. All the cars are sedans.

    One positive development: Turbo diesels. God I love them now. Got a nice TDI VX and I got 40 MPG.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Subaru still offers manual!Report

    • Avatar Stillwater says:

      One positive development: Turbo diesels.

      I’ve been waiting for small diesels to even arrive in the US. Toyota, GM, Ford, Nissan, etc all make small diesel engines for cars and light trucks, in particular pickups and SUVs. Do you know why they aren’t offering those options in the US? Bums me out that we can’t get em. Heck, even VW makes tiny diesels for cars that get 80 mpg, but they’re not for sale here.Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar says:

        My understanding is that diesels struggle with emissions requirements, particularly NOX.

        The big diesel in my truck has an emissions system that uses something called DEF (for Diesel Exhaust Fluid) to neutralize the NOX. I guess it works ok but it adds cost and complexity, and it’s a (minor) hassle having a second consumption fluid. I see that some larger pickups are using the same system now so maybe that will trickle down to the auto market too.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        @stillwater @road-scholar

        Well, as I said, I’ve got a TDI now and it’s got the urea adder. Seems to do fine. Nice torque and enjoyable to drive.

        @Will Truman
        I took my previous manual car once to a dealer..they couldn’t find anyone who could drive it out of the shop. They had to get some CS rep to come out and do it. Manuals are a dying breed, just like cars free of all the crap electronics like lane departure and “sonar” to warn you of stuff around you.Report

      • Avatar Glyph says:

        @damon – it just occurred to me this AM that one of my cars (an ’03) doesn’t bing at you until you put on your seatbelt…and it’s really nice. I don’t always like how much my other car nags me.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        @glyph
        Wait until the car starts displaying the speed limit on the dash board and when you exceed it, an audible alarm goes off…just like a constant seat belt warning.

        That’s when I start cutting wires.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        My understanding is that diesels struggle with emissions requirements, particularly NOX.

        That, and the catalysts in the NOx converters are poisoned by sulfur. It’s only recently that the feds mandated sulfur levels in diesel fuel low enough to guarantee the converters survive.Report

  4. Avatar Francis says:

    Even though I’m over 50, I still reliably act like a teenager from time to time. So yes, I drive a V-8 Mustang Convertible around Southern California.

    But when it dies, I’m seriously contemplating adding solar panels to the roof of the house and going electric for one car.Report

  5. Avatar James Hanley says:

    I got my Forester in ’99, so, ahem, I was crossover before crossover was cool.

    (Well, except for the fact that this was in Oregon, where most parking lots had a striking similarity to Subaru dealerships.)Report

  6. Avatar greginak says:

    The Wife has had a Forester for years and likes it. Good car. I recently got a good Legacy sedan because we don’t need two Foresters. However i’m not really sure what a crossover vehicle is. They are good old fashioned station wagons it seems to me. Maybe style wise they look a bit like SUV’s but i don’t really see much of a difference between cars and crossovers.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      The station wagon is dead! Long live the crossover! Essentially, crossovers filled the void left when station wagons fell out of favor, and had station wagons never fallen out of favor, they’d probably look nearly identical to crossovers.

      Anyway, the crossovers have truck-like bodies on car frames. That what differentiates them from SUVs (truck-like bodies on truck-like frames) and cars. Granted, the difference between a non-compact hatchback car (like say a Toyota Matrix) and a crossover (the RAV4) is hard to discern at times, but there are definitely interior storage differences.Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        So like i said crossovers are basically station wagons albeit with more storage compartments inside. But every vehicle has a million storage places inside now.

        engage old person mode: i remember when i had to buy a plastic cup holder to stick on my door just to have a place to hold a soda. Now every car has cup holders and a place for my sunglasses and ipod connections. What’s next!? driverless cars or some such insanity. end old person mode.

        On a different note, i drove a Hyundai Sonata hybrid over the weekend while i was in Oregon. Great car. There is almost no difference in driving feel between it and a regular car. Its very quiet and of course gets great gas mileage. Amazing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Will,

        One quibble: Very few SUVs have a truck body anymore. Most are considered ‘unibody’ vehicles.

        http://www.trucktrend.com/features/consumer/163_1302_2013_body_on_frame_suvs/

        The reason for the switch was better mileage and a smother ride. My 2012 Honda CRV drives just as smooth as my wife sedan. I just wish the back seats came out and it had about 2 more inches of clearance.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        Greginak,

        My father-in-law bought a Ford Fusion a few months ago. He says it’s the best car he has ever owned and he’s had some high-end vehicles over the last 20 years. Dang thing doesn’t make a sound when he pulls out of the driveway. Creepy…Report

      • Avatar ian351c says:

        +1 to @mike-dwyer above

        The way most car guys/gals differentiate between an SUV and a Crossover (or CUV) these days is that an SUV will be “body on frame” and a Crossover is “unibody”. The last mass produced (in any significant numbers anyways) car with body on frame construction was the Ford Crown Victoria. These days it’s pretty much only trucks (and their SUV cousins) that are body on frame construction.Report

  7. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist says:

    I’m on my third Outback & my second Tribeca. I’m kinda sad they discontinued the Tribeca, but the CrossTrek looks nice enough.

    Next time I buy, I hope to be able to get a Subie hybrid, or one with the CVT, and maybe by then they’ll have a diesel too!Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:

    Speaking of crossovers and SUVs…

    New vehicles now don’t have spare tires or donuts. Nope, some crappy ass compressor and a bottle of glue. And “run flat tires”. Gee, back when I had a full size spare, I could swap out a tire in 20 minutes and be back on the road, getting the tire patched or replaced at my convenience….because SOME of the tires we’re commonly available and had to be ordered. Now, I’m constrained to < 100 miles and 50 MPH. Thanks CAFE standards! Hell, you cant even get an OPTION of a full sized spare now days in many vehicles.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

      I agree on the full-size spare. It sucks. I keep a full-size in the cargo ara when I am hunting in remote places but normally I just have the get-home spare. My previous SUV (a Toyota Rav4) had a full-size exterior spare. That in itself was awesome but the added cargo room was fantastic. I could keep all of my survival gear, plus a tow strap, tire iron, etc there. With my CRV the emergency spare is in the cabin and I lose all that space for storage.Report

      • Avatar zic says:

        I think the wild spirits that actually take their cars off road are a diminishing breed. Yesterday, we’d started down this road in the White Mountain National Forest that we’ve been down dozens of times before, and my Sweetie suddenly said, “I think we should turn around, we don’t have a spare, and there’s no cell phone coverage here.”Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

        I agree 100% Zic. We were once on a backpacking trip in Big South Fork, TN and the guy driving kept doing slideouts on the gravel road going down the mountain because he thought it was funny. Eventually he got a flat. We were cussing him until we looked in the trunk of his station wagon and there was a full-size spare. All was forgiven and we continued on with our adventure. Hard to do that anymore.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        @zic ,
        This has nothing to do with off road. My 2004 coupe had a full size spare. Within six months of getting the car, i’d changed a flat twice, using the full size spare. My more recent 2012 has a doughnut. Looking a new cars with a friend last week, NO vehicle had a doughnut or spare. Compressor and can of glue only and 4 run flat tires. No option for even a doughnut. No option for a full size spare.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      2014 Forester has a spare tire, I believe.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:

        @will-truman

        I looked up the 2014 Model and d/l the PDF Brochure. Under tire there was listed:
        “temporary use t145/80d17 tire”

        Tirerack.com has a description: “The Convenience Spare is Goodyear’s Temporary/Compact Spare tire developed for Original Equipment applications that allow vehicle manufacturers to increase available trunk space and reduce overall vehicle weight compared to using full-size spare tires and wheels. Convenience Spare tires can help drivers temporarily regain mobility in the event of a flat tire due to a puncture, cut, road hazard, accident or blowout.

        Like all Temporary/Compact Spare tires, the Convenience Spare tire is designed for temporary use only. It features a smaller physical size, narrower tread, shallower tread depth and lighter-weight construction than the tires with which the vehicle is normally equipped.

        The smaller physical size requires Convenience Spare tires be maintained with 60 psi cold tire inflation pressures and driving speeds restricted to 50 mph.

        Temporary/Compact Spare tires do not include a wheel.”Report

  9. Avatar ktward says:

    What seems like a thousand years ago but, when I do the math, is closer to 25, I loved loved loved my ole Jeep Grand Wagoneer. (Notice how these still show up in movies?)

    Gawd I loved that car. SUV. Whatever the hell it was. It was the perfect marriage of form and function, imo. That said, maybe it’s no surprise that I eventually went Subaru. I remain a Subie loyalist, because I’ve never found an overarching reason not to be one.Report