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Small Crossovers - Will They Replace the Mid-Sized Sedan?

MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
edited December 2014 in General
The trend over the past few years has been all about crossovers ... CR-V, CX-5, RAV4, etc. These were the smallest utes available.

Now there is a new size coming to the US - the Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, Buick Encore. Premium manufacturers are also jumping on the bandwagon - BMW X1, MB GLA, Audi Q3, Lexus NX.

Sales of mid-size sedans seem to be affected by this trend:

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/question-day-small-crossovers-stealing-midsize-sales-fuel-prices/#more-955602

Does this new segment interest you? Might your next car be a crossover rather than a sedan?

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2015 Subaru Outback 3.6R / 2014 MINI Countryman S ALL4

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Comments

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    edited December 2014
    I have both. CUV is a nice jack if all trades but sedans still offer lots of benefits. Ride/handling, better mpg, and generally cheaper. CUV is nice to sit up high.

    My wife went from 18 years of minivans to the RDX. Enjoys smaller size for sure, and used to sitting higher. But she really likes the sonata.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 1,349
    I, personally, don't get the CUV or SUV craze. I got a Ford Escape, only had it about six months and traded it for a Fusion. I guess I'm not a SUV/CUV guy.

    I also don't get the "sitting up higher" phenomenon. Sitting up higher then what and for what reason? My wife like sitting higher too, but couldn't say why.

    Like I said, I don't get it, but it seems everyone else does. B)

    2018 Legacy 3.6R, 2015 Crosstrek, 2015 Forester

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    stickguy said:

    I have both. CUV is a nice jack if all trades but sedans still offer lots of benefits. Ride/handling, better mpg, and generally cheaper. CUV is nice to sit up high.

    My wife went from 18 years of minivans to the RDX. Enjoys smaller size for sure, and used to sitting higher. But she really likes the sonata.

    My wife is the same, except she skipped the minivan phase. Tempo, Escort, then a series of SUV's - Expedition, Explorer, 2 VUEs and now the CX-7.

    She'd like something more car like next go around, but doesn't want a sedan. At the moment, the Volvo XC70 is at the top of her list.

    I've had a couple of mid-sized sedans over the years - early 90's Accord and an early 00's Saturn L300.

    I think the idea with this new crop is to marry higher MPG of a smaller size with better visibility.

    Fiat 500x, Jeep Renegade - what's next? And, who has the inside track to be successful?

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    Sitting a little higher gives a better view if the road (a very nice feature of a minivan). And fir old folks, easier to get in and out!

    Otherwise, the boxy cargo hold is very useful on occasion. One of my favorite features.

    Being car based is key to me. I have no interest in a truck based one. Don't tow or offroad. The RDX drives like a very nice but tall sedan. IOW it is a glorified TL Station wagon.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    Inside track? I think the honda. HRV is going to be a huge hit if the power is adequate.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    stickguy said:

    Inside track? I think the honda. HRV is going to be a huge hit if the power is adequate.

    HR-V is based on the Fit platform ... 1.5L engine, 130HP.

    Mazda CX-3 will have the 2.0L SkyActiv engine with 155HP.

    I guess it's all about the power to weight ratio.

    The HR-V is a cute little bugger, though.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    Really want to see it in person. Should be at the Philly auto show.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    venture said:

    I, personally, don't get the CUV or SUV craze. I got a Ford Escape, only had it about six months and traded it for a Fusion. I guess I'm not a SUV/CUV guy.

    I also don't get the "sitting up higher" phenomenon. Sitting up higher then what and for what reason? My wife like sitting higher too, but couldn't say why.

    Like I said, I don't get it, but it seems everyone else does. B)

    The higher up is a big deal as we grow older. The hip points of CUV's make it much easier to get in and out as the seat height is just about average butt height. No need to drop down into a low car seat and struggle to climb out.

  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 1,349
    robr2 said:

    venture said:

    I, personally, don't get the CUV or SUV craze. I got a Ford Escape, only had it about six months and traded it for a Fusion. I guess I'm not a SUV/CUV guy.

    I also don't get the "sitting up higher" phenomenon. Sitting up higher then what and for what reason? My wife like sitting higher too, but couldn't say why.

    Like I said, I don't get it, but it seems everyone else does. B)

    The higher up is a big deal as we grow older. The hip points of CUV's make it much easier to get in and out as the seat height is just about average butt height. No need to drop down into a low car seat and struggle to climb out.

    Good point, but I refuse to give up. :)

    2018 Legacy 3.6R, 2015 Crosstrek, 2015 Forester

  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    We're a 2-vehicle household. Initially it was 1 compact sedan + 1 midsize sedan; 5 years ago it became 1 compact sedan + 1 CUV/SUV.

    The higher sitting position and ease of ingress/egress is definitely a selling point. For quite a while before he passed my father-in-law could get into my CUV with much greater ease than my wife's sedan.

    You also generally get a higher roofline so headroom isn't compromised regardless of seating position or moonroof existence.

    Beyond that, though, the utility of a crossover or SUV is a major selling point. During Black Friday I bought a 22' telescoping ladder that's about 6' long when fully collapsed (also a couple of feet wide and maybe 10" thick). I flipped one 2nd row seat forward and laid it down in the cargo area; no problem & no funky maneuvering to make it fit. And I could still seat 3 full-size adults. I then stacked a fully assembled hand truck on top of it and more stuff on top of that. No sedan, regardless of trunk passthrough, would have been able to hold both pieces let along the other stuff.

    CUVs have the right blend of the above + ground clearance (8.5" minimum), available AWD (w/torque vectoring), decent power/performance (V6), decent handling (aluminum roof for a lower center of gravity), and other features that make them more appealing to me (stuff in parentheses are features of my CUV). I also have a 3000 pound tow rating, load-leveling headlights, seating for 7 in a pinch, etc.

    Minivans offer or exceed most of what a CUV brings to the table, but they never get everything I want together in a single package and they cost a lot more.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    Hmmm ... how to revive interest in this discussion?

    What is a CUV? to me, a car based wagon on tip-toes with available AWD.

    Multiple sizes:

    Small - Subaru Crosstek XV ... Buick Encore (and the new Chevy Trax) ... Mazda CX-3 ... Honda HR-V

    Medium - Honda CR-V ... Chevrolet Equinox ... Toyota RAV4 ... Mazda CX-5

    Large - Ford Explorer/Edge/Flex ... Toyota Highlander ... Honda Pilot

    SUV's, by contrast, are truck based - Expedition, Armada, Sequoia, Tahoe

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    I agree about your definition. Car based, FWD bias, glorified station wagons! Though the real small ones are really just hatchbacks.

    don't forget the hottest part of the market. Premium/luxury compact/mid size ones like the X3, Q5, RDX.

    actually, I think the real big ones (like the Explorer) are more SUV, just because of sheer size. Same with the Traverse triplets. I think of CUVs as mid size or below, and only 2 rows. Just don't ask me why.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    stickguy said:

    I agree about your definition. Car based, FWD bias, glorified station wagons! Though the real small ones are really just hatchbacks.

    don't forget the hottest part of the market. Premium/luxury compact/mid size ones like the X3, Q5, RDX.

    actually, I think the real big ones (like the Explorer) are more SUV, just because of sheer size. Same with the Traverse triplets. I think of CUVs as mid size or below, and only 2 rows. Just don't ask me why.

    I think of SUV as body-on-frame, and CUV as unified structures. For example, the Nissan Xterra is an SUV to me, but the Murano, which is about the same size, is a CUV.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    yeah, that is the basic definition. Just a quirk of my mind I guess. I just want a separate category for the uni-body behemoths!

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    stickguy said:

    yeah, that is the basic definition. Just a quirk of my mind I guess. I just want a separate category for the uni-body behemoths!

    Like what? Land Rover?

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    I will just go with BargeWagon.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    Oh, goodness .. it's been quite a while since there's been a post here.

    Well, the latest entries in this soon to be competitive field are coming. The Honda HR-V will be in dealers in just a few weeks. Here is Edmunds take on it:

    http://www.edmunds.com/honda/hr-v/2016/road-test.html

    Under $20K for a base FWD LX, going up to about $25K for a loaded EX-L AWD.

    The Mazda CX-3 is due out later this summer with about the same pricing. Less functional but more sporty, in keeping with the Mazda tradition.

    I haven't made a final decision, but at the moment I'm pretty sure my next car will be something from this category - small, practical, AWD. Could also be a Subaru Impreza, but when the time comes I'll test drive them all and see what works best.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    I really want to see the Mazda up close. The one at the Philly auto show was up on a platform with doors closed. Good blend of size, utility, efficiency, and still able to drive "sporty"

    a loaded up one of those could make a nice alternative for an entry level sports/premium sedan too, if done right.

    also nice to sit up a little higher. the older one gets, the harder it is to get in and out of a low slung car.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    stickguy said:
    I really want to see the Mazda up close. The one at the Philly auto show was up on a platform with doors closed. Good blend of size, utility, efficiency, and still able to drive "sporty" a loaded up one of those could make a nice alternative for an entry level sports/premium sedan too, if done right. also nice to sit up a little higher. the older one gets, the harder it is to get in and out of a low slung car.
    Which is why I think this segment is primed to take off. The baby boomers are looking for vehicles that have better entry and exit. 

    Darn it there wasn't a CX-3 at the Denver auto show. Guess I'll have to wait until it's released before I can see it. 

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  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    The big questions for the new crop is how quiet will they be, and how nicely appointed are they? I assume they will all be similar size and cargo capacity, so it will be the smaller touches that make a difference, just like their compact cars counterparts.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    What I've read so far is that the HR-V is quite versatile compared to the CX-3 but the Mazda will be a bit more sporty in nature. The Encore has a good reputation of luxury while the Trax will be the budget version. Jeep Renegade will be the one that appeals to the off road crowd. And the 500X will be the "alternative" choice. 

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,744
    For me, as small as I want to go is Civic, Corolla, Focus, sized. My wife and I each have Escapes.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    Spouse and I are sorta re-thinking the compact car thing, because after the Encore, the Accord seems so . . . Big.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 33,344
    I think that every time I drive my Sonata. Nice car, but seems really large. especially when I squeeze it into the garage. The Volvo fit much better!

    I am sure that my next car is going to be a size class smaller. Probably.

    2019 Acura TLX A-spec 4 cyl. (mine), and 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674

    For me, as small as I want to go is Civic, Corolla, Focus, sized. My wife and I each have Escapes.

    Which is the CUV equivalent, in my mind.

    Fit = HR-V
    Sonic = Trax/Encore
    Mazda2 = CX-3

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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674
    suydam said:

    Spouse and I are sorta re-thinking the compact car thing, because after the Encore, the Accord seems so . . . Big.

    My folks have an '03 Hyundai Sonata they bought new ... and now has 30K or so on the clock.

    I think one of these new small CUV's would be perfect for them, as getting in/out would be so much easier.

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  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,744
    I take my 85 year old mom to the grocery store every Sunday. I always take the Escape. It's much easier for her to get in and out of than my Fusion.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 4,110
    I think the point is they aren't just for 85 year olds. Some of those folks prefer larger vehicles. But some of us boomers grew up driving small cars so in a way this is a return to them after our families have grown.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • Sandman6472Sandman6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,884
    Love the new HR-V and have sat in a few, Honda will sell all they can build I dare say. Think if I hadn't gotten rid of the '14 Tucson, I'd be getting one fairly soon. I did love everything about the Tucson except the size and mpg's..was comfortable and had ample power when needed. But fell in love with the wife's new Audi A3 which is based on the new Golf. Spending a bit less made the logical choice the Golf and depending on how things go reliability wise the next 3 to 4 years will tell my next move since the plan is too keep it until at least I hit 100k. By then, the refresh should be done on the HR-V and will then see what to do. Glad it has the 1.8 engine from the Civic which will give it more grunt than the smaller Fit engine. Would love to get an EX-L as I like the nicer things it comes with and paying a bit more upfront to get what one really wants is so worth it!
    Honda has a grand slam here and hoping the Mazda 2 will do the same.

    The Sandman :) B)

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2019 Chevrolet Cruze Premier RS (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 121,674

    Love the new HR-V and have sat in a few, Honda will sell all they can build I dare say. Think if I hadn't gotten rid of the '14 Tucson, I'd be getting one fairly soon. I did love everything about the Tucson except the size and mpg's..was comfortable and had ample power when needed. But fell in love with the wife's new Audi A3 which is based on the new Golf. Spending a bit less made the logical choice the Golf and depending on how things go reliability wise the next 3 to 4 years will tell my next move since the plan is too keep it until at least I hit 100k. By then, the refresh should be done on the HR-V and will then see what to do. Glad it has the 1.8 engine from the Civic which will give it more grunt than the smaller Fit engine. Would love to get an EX-L as I like the nicer things it comes with and paying a bit more upfront to get what one really wants is so worth it!
    Honda has a grand slam here and hoping the Mazda 2 will do the same.

    The Sandman :) B)

    Don't you mean the Mazda CX-3? It is based off the new Mazda 2, but that car won't be released in the US.

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