Crossover | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

Keeping a '92 Volvo 240 Wagon on the Road & Other Automotive & DIY Musings

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Monster trucks at the Mall

Now I understand why people need SUVs to go to the mall. It’s so they can easily pull back and leave after they plow over the cars in the parking lot, like this skilled driver.

That’s cost you $500.


Another Cross-Turd from Honda

acura_zdxIt looks like the Honda Acura Crosstour isn’t the only crossover beast from the east this fall. In April Acura announced the ZDX, a “four door sport coupe”. Huh? From the round rear end I assume they’re referencing the Porsche 928 of yore, but it’s so bulky it doesn’t really add up. Searching for “four-door-coupe” on Wikipedia pulls up the sleek Mercedes CLS, a sedan with a small rear seat and a graceful roofline. But the ZDX looks more like the bulky Infinity FX.

The BS really flies when you hear what the designers think of their achievement.


Fun with Facebook: Honda Accord Edition


Honda is developing the Accord “Crosstour” pictured above, and decided to post some teaser images onto Facebook. Mistake. The page got mobbed by station wagon lovers, and others who are tired of rounded-rear “Cross” badged vehicles. Comments were scathing, and many posted images of what they wished it had been, like the 80’s wagon above, or what they thought it was trying to be, like the Pontiac Aztek.  It was enough to make Honda defend itself for not offering a real wagon:

It’s not the European wagon: We’ve seen a lot of comments about the desire for a wagon, but this is neither a wagon nor designed for wagon buyers. We think the Euro wagon is a cool vehicle, too, and we appreciate the feedback… but a version of that wasn’t our intention here. That’s another segment worthy of our consideration, but the Accord Crosstour, built on the larger, Accord platform, is meant to give you the best of two worlds – the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car.

With a sloped rear like that, you’ll have a hard time calling it versatile. Can I fit all my families bikes in there without folding down the rear seat?

After the jump, a collection of choice words from FB users.



NYT asks: What’s Become of the Wagon?

audi-q5Lawrence Ulrich, the self described “pro-wagon” auto critic for the NY Times, spends almost a third of his Audi Q5 review today analyzing the state of the American station wagon:

There’s no longer any debate or any doubt: Americans hate station wagons. Deep down, they still love and want their S.U.V.’s, even if most of these are now marketed as crossovers, a politically soothing yet increasingly pointless distinction.

Car companies foreign and domestic have learned that the best way to stumble in this market is to design and market a station wagon, no matter how practical, sporty or affordable. (Make an exception for Subaru and its wagon fanatics.) The best way to succeed is to offer a decadent, overweight would-be S.U.V. that looks bulky and capable but is mostly used for mall reconnaissance; even a weekend trip with two parents and two children can overwhelm the cargo-carrying ability of the typical downsized, do-little luxury crossover.

He pulls out the sales figures for European wagons to prove it:

Audi sold nearly 21,000 of its big Q7 crossover in 2007, compared with barely 2,800 of its sprightly A4 Avant wagon and just 758 of the larger A6 wagon.

…the BMW X3 crossover outsold the hotter-performing, higher-mileage 3 Series wagon by better than 10 to 1.

…Even Volvo’s wagon sales were halved when it introduced its XC90 crossover.

In stating that “The Dodge Magnum and Mazda 6 wagon are two recent examples of conventional wagons that critics loved and consumers rejected,” he highlights an American phenomenon I find difficult to understand.