The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

Chartwells Higher Education chosen as new Bucknell Dining provider
Public Safety holds debrief following swatting incident
Baseball wins series against Lehigh 2-1
Track and Field has strong showing at Bison Outdoor Classic

Track and Field has strong showing at Bison Outdoor Classic

April 19, 2024

Meta’s Political Content Filter and the impact on civic discourse

Meta’s Political Content Filter and the impact on civic discourse

April 19, 2024

How well can Bucknell spell?: Theatre & Dance Spring Musical

How well can Bucknell spell?: Theatre & Dance Spring Musical

April 19, 2024

View All

The crossover that shouldn’t exist

For some context, I am a Mechanical Engineering major who has a very deep passion for cars. This is what inspired me to choose this major. Each time I work on my car (a 2008 BMW 3 series), you will hear me yell from underneath the middle of the car “Who is the stupid engineer that designed this!?!”, knowing very well that I will be the engineer making these decisions one day.

However, the engineers only have so much say in how things get done–a lot of the issues are compromises for efficiency in manufacturing and ultimately what companies believe will sell. A prime example of this is the rise of crossover SUVs, a weird hybrid between a wagon and a full-size SUV. In the 1980’s, the full size SUV took off in popularity with cars like the original Jeep Cherokee and Ford Bronco. While these fit in the order of cars, their younger crossover sibling that was recently formed does not. So, why is this the case?

Ideally, the organization of cars should be coupe, sedan, hatchback, wagon, minivan, full-size SUV and finally a truck.

A coupe is a 2-door car, with seating for 2 (sometimes 4, albeit not comfortable) and a smaller trunk. These types of cars are known for being more performance-oriented. Take, for example, cars like a BMW M2 and Ford Mustang

Story continues below advertisement

Next, a sedan is a longer version of a coupe, sprouting an extra door and row of seats for five people, following a 3-box layout. Cars like the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta come to mind when thinking of this layout.

Hatchbacks are sedans or coupes that are raised to have a taller roofline, allowing it to have the largest trunk space out of all the cars mentioned so far, while still maintaining similar levels of performance as their smaller counterparts. Cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Toyota Prius are among the most common types of vehicles in the US. 

Next are wagons, longer and bigger versions of hatchbacks. Volvo V60 Cross Country is one of the few wagons still sold in the US today, because for whatever reason we don’t like wagons.

Then you have full size SUVs, such as the Ford Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee. These cars are bigger than wagons, usually having a third row that can be folded up and they can tackle more treacherous terrain. Finally, you have trucks. Pickup trucks fall in this category, but the largest SUVs like the Chevrolet Suburban also fit in here. 

So now that the primary styles are discussed, one can clearly see that a crossover SUV simply does not fit in. They are the size of a bulky SUV but have the same storage space as a hatchback. To top it off, they’re less fuel efficient than hatchbacks too. Why drive a bigger car while not receiving any of the benefits? They’re not even fun to drive. Cars like the BMW X6M come to mind when thinking of crossover SUVs.

If you search for a picture of it, it resembles a sedan made by BMW that appears as though it was startled like a cartoon character, stretched out and frozen in that position. It boasts the height of a larger SUV, but it’s truck area slopes down so much that it sacrifices all the practicality associated with larger SUVs. Moreover, this particular car doesn’t come cheap, starting at $74k for the base model. Yet, it’s slower than a fully optioned $72k Volvo V60 Recharge, offers the same cargo space and is significantly less fuel efficient. BMW isn’t the only manufacturer guilty of this design; there are numerous cars out there that fit this bill, yet they still sell by the tens of thousands.

In my opinion, the concept of crossover SUVs appears highly redundant. While the elevated stance might offer advantages in traffic, are these benefits truly worth the trade-offs elsewhere? I don’t believe so. Personally, I’d find much more satisfaction in a wagon, sedan, or full-sized SUV compared to a crossover.

(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The editorial board of The Bucknellian reserves the right to review all comments before they are posted on the website and remove any if deemed offensive, illegal or in bad taste. Comments left on our web pages are not necessarily in-line with the views expressed by the writer.
All The Bucknellian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *