Collaborative Post¦ Picture a normal family sedan. It’s 5-doors, not as long as a saloon but not as short as a hatchback. Now picture a 4×4 offroad car and mush them together. What you get is a car that’s known as a crossover. It’s not quite a hatchback although the shortened wheelbase is similar. It’s not a saloon or sedan but does have plenty of boot space. This new crossover type of car is also known as a hybrid because of this merger. It’s by far becoming the new family car because you have the best of both worlds. That begs the question what will happen to the hatchback and the standard non-luxury sedans? Well, if the crossover can continue to evolve it will force those two types to become more and more unique. They no longer fulfil the family duties as well as the crossover type, so now all eyes are on the types of cars that can. Let’s consider what a family needs in a vehicle.
The much-needed space
For the family there’s one thing more important than perhaps anything else; space. When young families are looking to grow, they don’t want to have to buy then sell and buy again. Therefore they need a car that’s going to last them maybe even a decade as their children grow taller and taller. Hatchbacks were not very good at this but they were cars designed for small families with one or maybe two children. Sedans do have the space when it comes to leg room but don’t have head room or wide aisles like an SUV does. This is where a crossover concept comes in and provides all three while still keeping the overall length of the vehicle down. Take a look at the Volvo XC40. It’s got reasonably high clearance from the ground, with 5 doors and has a spacious boot. Yet, you can see that it’s easily drivable for someone who is on the shorter side as the nose of the vehicle isn’t long at all. It has a cargo capacity of 432 litres.
Large and small
The great thing about the crossover concept is that it’s inherently versatile. As you can see it’s got space yet it’s not too long. However various manufacturers know that crossovers can be even more versatile and flexible. Now there are crossovers that come in small and large size. For example the Honda HR-V is in the small cars category. It’s a subcompact crossover, which sells from around $29,990. It’s a two-wheel drive instead of four, offers fully foldable seats that can be configured 18 different ways. This is another plus for crossovers whether they’re small or large in that the seats are able to be flatly packed into the seating so you can transport large items. While they have all this space and flexibility, they still have engines that can be used in both sedans and hatchbacks. These could be anywhere from 1.4 hybrid turbo engines to full fire breathing 5.0 supercharged V8s.
Great for economy and city
If you have a hybrid engine you’re already going to find it easy to drive in the city. First of all there’s no need to gear shift, and there’s instant acceleration. Secondly, you can use your electric motor all you want in the city and not get charged a penny in most capital cities. Some crossovers like the KIA Niro FE can achieve around 50 miles per gallon while the average for most models is around 39. That is a remarkable jump up from the usual low 30s and or high 20s that many previous generation of cars used to produce. Crossovers are also receiving some of the latest technology including gearboxes with over 6 gears. With automatic dual and single clutches, the effective short changes at low speed make even the petrol engines viable for a bit of city or traffic jam driving. Consequently, any family that’s looking to save on fuel, which is practically every family, can choose a crossover. Despite the size of the crossovers the average weight is no more than that of the previous hatchbacks at around 1,200-1500kg.
Inherently, crossovers are very versatile. They give you the smaller size than that of a sedan but larger than a hatchback. They have full foldable seats making it a utility vehicle if you need it to be while also transporting the family groceries without any problems. There are plenty of engine options that give great mileage and both large and small crossover styles. For a family that wants a vehicle that’s just as flexible as they need to be, crossovers are the best choice right now.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.