Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

21 - 40 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Years ago I walked into a Tesla showroom in a shopping mall in Bristol. They had the new Model 3 which I looked around. I was very positive about it until I realised it's a saloon, not a hatchback. Since I've driven estate cars for decades, I couldn't switch to a saloon, because of the limited size of the access to the luggage space. I've always considered an estate car much more practical for most people than an SUV. Those who need an SUV probably need a four wheel drive one. Farmers and suchlike. I suspect most SUVs go offroad no more frequently than most saloons, estates, hatchbacks. National Trust overflow car parks, anyone?

The range of SUVs or Crossovers on the market now is huge, from Range Rovers to Suzukis. But they are typically higher off the ground, blunter at the front (less aerodynamic, probably more harmful to impacted pedestrians) and therefore less fuel efficient than their estate equivalents. And you'd think they would offer much more interior space, but that turns out generally not to be true. So their popularity is down to style. People apparently want the high, commanding stance on the road and the ruggedized styling. Is it to do with being able to look down on 'lesser' road users, or am I just being an old cynic?
I drove around 20,000 miles in a Tesla model 3 as a company pool car over the space of a few months and the small boot opening is a problem if you want to get a lot of stuff in and out of the back several times a day. The load area is fine with the seats folded down it is the low height of the opening that I found to be a nuisance. No good for us anyway as we needed a car about the same size as the Tesla model 3 but a hatchback as we need space for the dogs in the back. I did have a look at the model Y and drove one for a day but I was not very impressed by it to be honest and anyway it is not going to be available here for some time yet.

Every car we have owned in the past 30 years has been a hatchback or estate car first because I needed a car like that for work and over the past few years because of the dogs. I get the feelings that a fair few cars that would have been called estate cars years ago are now given the pointless name of being SUVs just because it is fashionable. There are probably tossers that would buy a car if it is called an SUV but would not buy the same car if it was called an estate just because they somehow think the name is more important than what the thing actually does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
The idea that people 'look down' on lesser road users is about as realistic as saying that Tesla drivers look, down on lesser evs..
They may not look down on us metaphorically, but they do literally, which means that people in normal small cars feel the need to get an SUV or crossover next time so that they feel more confident on a road full of trucks. Thus the taller and bigger arms race continues.

I get the point about hip height and ease of access, particularly for older people. That said, we own a Fiat Panda which has a tall seating position, loads of practicality and weighs little more than a third as much as an etron. It’s also a hoot to drive, which is a lot more than can be said for most SUVs, whether EV or ICE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
I took my daughter to her netball camp this morning in my elderly (hopefully soon to be electrified) MX-5. In the carpark the ratio of SUVs to “normal” cars was about 3 to 1, which is typical of the middle class school run ratio round here. My little car, which I concede is not the easiest thing to get in and out of for a 6’4” bloke in his late forties, doesn’t even come up to the window line of any of them. I’m not saying we should all be driving silly little sports cars, but it illustrates how things have changed over the last few years - despite neither us, car parking spaces nor the road network getting any bigger. The graphic from the BBC website this morning makes the point pretty well:
143101
76E94CA0-D34A-4228-8A71-AC2936274DE7.png
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,259 Posts
Try crashing an old mini and a new one...

I know which i'd rather be inside.

Some people simply need (or want) larger cars. We have a LEAF. Its too small. The children barely fit in the back, the middle seat is unusable, and the boot is tiny.

Bending into a low slung vehicle trying to strap children in is not a nice experience either. Much more pleasurable strapping the 2 year old into the Range Rover than the LEAF.

The crossover seems a reasonable compromise. You get the height and practicality of an SUV, while much better efficiency than you'd get from an actual SUV. Yes, its not quite as good as you'd get from a smaller car, but its still far better than it could be!

I find the whole thing somewhat patronising. No-one complains about someone driving around in a Citreon Picasso, or VW Touran. Instead they target "SUV"'s because of how they're styled? Its dumb as fk.

I also dont buy the "SUV's make people buy larger cars because they're scared of big cars" nonsense. Trucks have always existed, including when people were buying Austin Minis in 1962... The higher driving position affords better visibility regardless of what other vehicles are around you, its a nice to have regardless of how big other vehicles are.
 

·
Zoe Devotee
Joined
·
8,927 Posts
And people now carry far more stuff around with them than they ever used to years ago.
Perhaps, or folk nowadays rather everything is in the boot alone, I recall going to the beach as a kid in a classic mini most of the kit was piled on top of the kids in the back seat. :ROFLMAO:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
Cars have got bigger because people have got bigger.
People have got a bit wider, but not a lot taller.

Try crashing an old mini and a new one...

I know which i'd rather be inside.

The crossover seems a reasonable compromise. You get the height and practicality of an SUV, while much better efficiency than you'd get from an actual SUV. Yes, its not quite as good as you'd get from a smaller car, but its still far better than it could be!

I find the whole thing somewhat patronising. No-one complains about someone driving around in a Citreon Picasso, or VW Touran. Instead they target "SUV"'s because of how they're styled? Its dumb as fk.
Yep, take your point about safety in an old car. But modern smaller cars can be safe too - although people may reasonably still be concerned about being hit by a Range Rover in one.

The thing about a Picasso or a Touran is that they are actual utility cars. They weigh less, are more economical and more spacious than an SUV. They also look a lot less aggressive, but they don’t have the premium, achiever vibe that people find so alluring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
Try crashing an old mini and a new one...

I know which i'd rather be inside.

Some people simply need (or want) larger cars. We have a LEAF. Its too small. The children barely fit in the back, the middle seat is unusable, and the boot is tiny.
Guinness World record for the number of people in an original mini is 27 surely 30 should be possible in a Leaf ;-).

In all seriousness, the NCAP tests are one of the main reasons cars are getting wider.

It is much easier to pass the frontal test which involves only one half of the front of the car being crashed into a concrete block if you design an extra inch or two into the frontal area
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
Cars have got bigger because people have got bigger.
I've always thought Audi Q7's were built around large Americans, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,278 Posts
I suspect that the main argument against the real SUVs is that they are petrol or more likely diesel and never get warmed up on the school run, so are dreadfully inefficient and polluting. None of that would apply to an EV variant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #35
I took my daughter to her netball camp this morning in my elderly (hopefully soon to be electrified) MX-5. In the carpark the ratio of SUVs to “normal” cars was about 3 to 1, which is typical of the middle class school run ratio round here. My little car, which I concede is not the easiest thing to get in and out of for a 6’4” bloke in his late forties, doesn’t even come up to the window line of any of them.
MX-5s are lovely. Unfortunately I am too long to drive them - darn! I had a series of very low cars for a while. I love driving sports cars and still think that everyone should learn to drive in one. Something small and light with a great chassis; you learn so much about the dynamics of driving and how to drive more safely. In one, I could tell if I had slightly low pressure in one of the tyres by the way it handled. In the same car I could also feel the tyre temperatures in winter even though it had pretty ordinary skinny tyres. With another of them I had to take my jumper off to fit in it. One day, with that car, I tried and succeeded in driving underneath an articulated lorry trailer. I can also say that most people get spooked when they are sat that low though. It is more aerodynamic but for many, also just frightening.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter #36
I suspect that the main argument against the real SUVs is that they are petrol or more likely diesel and never get warmed up on the school run, so are dreadfully inefficient and polluting. None of that would apply to an EV variant.
I think the origin of the arguments against SUVs are:
o An ICE 4-wheel drive drivetrain is inefficient. You have stuff like more differentials and, because of a rule about breaking characteristics and the rear wheels having to lock first, there has to be a transfer box that tended to be a bit lossy.
o All that extra drive-shaftery weighs more.
o Originally, because they were based on off-road vehicles, they had a chassis which made them even heavier
o Again, originally, they were designed as on-road cars that could go off-road so they had significant articulation in their suspension - the wheels could go right up and down to get across extreme terrain adding more weight.
o Chassis-based vehicles have a larger frontal area, the articulation meant tall wings, which would again increase the frontal area, and so they were simply designed as tall vehicles anyway
o All that off-road tech took space and meant that they were inefficiently packed meaning that for a given internal size, they were a lot bigger and heavier than the equivalent purely on-road car

I used to work in the mountains and they were pretty essential there. In towns and cities though it was all those compromises that allowed them to work in the mountains that were ridiculous on city streets. Hence the bad reputation. Then, for some reason, people started labelling any car that was a hatchback with a few pieces of plastic stuck on to look rugged as an SUV. Probably marketing as people have said here. Even those that do not have the technology or drawbacks of the original definition of SUVs and so, as people have mentioned, are no inherently worse than a people carrier or large estate car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
Manufacturers make them because that’s what the fashion-led, aspirationally-focused market wants and where the profit margin is. It doesn’t make them any less offensive (to me at least).

Hopefully as environmental responsibility becomes more mainstream fashion will change, these things will become less appealing, and we can get back to the small, light, (possibly hatchback) cars we need.
Agree, while some people buy them for practicality I think the aspirational aspect plays a major part, originally they started as working vehicles for people living out in the country doing practical things, then they gradually shifted up market and toward the luxury end, becoming high-end vehicles being used in urban areas, then the mass market manufacturers starting running with the idea and now they're everywhere.

While I'd like to think environmental responsibility will change the fashion I doubt it, I think it will change because fashion has to be continually moving and so SUVs and MPVs will themselves become seen as being the old and outdated. Fashion also focuses on the young, so if large numbers of middle aged and elderly are all driving around in their SUVs and mini-SUVs because the seating position is good for their back or helps with their tricky hip, you can bet the fashion will be low vehicles only the young can jump into.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,602 Posts
We all know that EVs have their batteries under the floor and that makes them slightly taller than a directly equivalent ICE vehicle. The popular style for all cars at the moment is the hatchback. Versatile enough for families with buggies, doing the trip to the local waste disposal site, carrying your sports gear and so on, they are the Swiss army knife of car body styles. EVs have evolves to largely become slightly tall hatchbacks, with the notable exception of Tesla saloons. Then within that category, the rugged hatchback with details such as rubbing strips and plastic wheel-arch surrounds has become the most popular sub-category of all, for the obvious reason of additional practicality.

Yet influencers so often refer to a Kia Niro, VW ID.4 and many others as an SUV even while they have neither the ground clearance or, for the most part, the four-wheel drive requisite to the definition. Why do commentators who spend their time thinking about the topic and studying the detail, who are not uneducated, not unaware of what they are saying, do this? They could say that 'this is a hatchback with the styling of a mini SUV' but no, to them it is simply an SUV. Why do they conflate what clearly are the modern descendents of the iconic Golf or Panda with the Range Rover or Cherokee?
Who cares. It's just a lazy slang categorisation in any case. Maybe S is for silly rather than soft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,516 Posts
So buy a sensibly sized & shaped EV hatchback that's aerodynamic. I can only think of two; Ioniq, and Tesla Y.
ID.3 isn't aerodynamic in comparison, excellent though it is in many respects. Corsas etc just don't cut it for me. YMMV.
 
21 - 40 of 52 Posts
Top