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Crossovers and the Growing Demand for Ugly Cars

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I write for and own a car review site and this is my first piece on Blogcritics, so I thought I’d go for something that will hopefully get opinions flowing. We all know what a handsome car looks like, right? I hope that, by writing this article, I can steer people away from making a huge mistake: buying any of the most woeful, sorry excuses for cars that are going to be released over the course of the next year or two. In this article, I will be talking about that ever growing category of car (that I despise), the crossover – a vehicle that combines features of an SUV with those of a passenger vehicle.

Has anybody heard of that really cute, popular and attractive car, the Fiat 500? It has been a hit all over Europe and promises to continue to make Fiat endless amounts of money. This is what they’re going to do to it:

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, another reputable brand name soiled by a dysmorphic crossover that looks like somebody left a rat in a radiation chamber: the Fiat 500X. Like Nissan and their Juke, Fiat seem to have rather spoilt the broth with this latest attempt to impress, or not. But it doesn’t just stop at Nissan and Fiat. Everyone is getting in on the game – even Audi, who already have three SUVs on the forecourt, are insisting on producing a smaller and uglier one entitled the Q2. What is the sense in this thing?

Sadly, there are some vulnerable people out there with a little more money than sense who will buy these…things. It’s usually the case that a crossover costs more than a normal, bigger, better car. So why on Earth would you purchase one, knowing full well that you’re getting less and paying more? Yes, admittedly there is a certain shock value that comes with these cars, but if I’m going to walk down the road and be disgusted by the vehicles that go by, I might as well just go and sit in a Skoda dealership.

Anyway, my rant has ended. The valuable advice here: Do not buy one.

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About Dan Barnes

  • http://www.lunch.com/JSMaresca-Reviews-1-1.html Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

    A consumer decision is going to be influenced by gas mileage, as well as operating the vehicle- not just appearances.

    This car may become popular due to its small size like the Volks-bug coupled with good gas mileage. People also like a car that is easy to park.

  • http://0to60reviews.com Dan Barnes

    So, you would actually buy either of these cars?

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.

    Obviously if you were raised in the United States and have become conditioned to regard the embodiment of beauty in automobiles as something that looks like a city block on wheels, that requires experience in being the helmsman of an aircraft carrier in order to drive and with an engine that sounds like a herd of dyspeptic water buffalo, you’re going to regard any vehicle smaller than the state of Kansas as ugly.

    Whereas in the real world, both designs pictured are somewhat pleasing to the eye, if not outright elegant.

  • http://0to60reviews.com Dan Barnes

    On the contrary sir, I am British.

    I still fail to see the elegance that you mention, merely opportunities to waste money.

    As for the gas mileage argument, I draw your attention to the relatively new Range Rover Evoque SI4 Automatic with a 2.0 litre Petrol engine. This car, a crossover, struggles to achieve more than 20 mpg in an urban scenario, whereas its bigger brother, the Land Rover Freelander 2, can achieve nearly twice that value with a lower level of carbon dioxide emissions as well.

    Adding to this, visibility is not often good with crossover cars due to the size of the rear window being compromised.

    In future, do not ridicule my views unless you are factually prepared.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Since facts are entirely absent from your article (which you openly advertise as a “rant”), and were only introduced (such as they are) in your last comment, I fail to see how I should have been prepared for them.

    I too am British, and in the part of that sceptred isle I come from, we call tactics such as your no. 4 “shifting the goalposts”.

  • http://0to60reviews.com Dan Barnes

    In reference to your fact related comment (no.5), I allude not to your awareness of vehicle specification, but that of my nationality, around which your no.3 seems to revolve.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/IanMayfield Dr Dreadful

    Neither your article nor your author bio makes any mention of your nationality. The only geographical hint comes with “the Fiat 500 [which] has been a hit all over Europe”. Yes, you have an Anglo-Saxon name, but for all I knew you could be Irish, Gibraltarian, an American with a knowledge of the European car industry or an Aussie expat living in Krakow.

    An edition of the Fiat 500, the Abarth, is currently the subject of a massive advertising campaign here in the US and is becoming an increasingly common sight on the streets. Couple that with the fact that the overwhelming majority of Blogcritics contributors are American. And throw in the observation that I never said I thought you were American. (The “you” in my no. 3 is the impersonal version – a simile for “one”.) Such may explain my thought process.

  • S. Burke

    I can find no connection between the nationality of the writer and the opinions expressed in the article. I think some people ought to treat the writer’s views as those from an individual who knows what they’re talking about (as seems clear from looking at his associated car review website). They can express their own opinions in this section – but surely without such unnecessary and ever more incorrect assumptions about the writer and article.

  • Igor

    Small cars have the potential of becoming cute if they are jaunty. Thus the Fiat Topolino, bugeye Sprite, Morris Mini, etc.

  • Igor

    …and the Crosley Hotshot, Fiat Abarth Zagato, VW bug.

  • http://0to60reviews.com Dan Barnes

    However, none of those are crossovers. Admittedly, some of them are iconic though.