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Thread: I Joined The Coupe SUV Craze

  1. #1
    News Dispatcher AutoVerdict's Avatar
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    I Joined The Coupe SUV Craze

    Source: AutoVerdict
    January 12, 2020
    by Nick Saporito


    One obvious trend in automotive during the last decade was the rise of coupe SUV models. Driven predominately by the German automakers, the 2010's yielded a host of niche SUV models filling in every conceivable market white space between traditional SUV models within their portfolios.*

    Most of us in the automotive industry have largely rolled our eyes at the trend; "oh, another SUV" sums up the attitude of most, myself included. Despite that, it's hard to argue that the slew of SUV models have paid off for the German automakers as American consumers' love affair with the SUV seems to know no bounds. Those bounds apparently include yours truly.*

    For the last three years I've piloted a 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 coupe. I chose a coupe because, after all, that's what any self-proclaimed car guy would drive. Then I lived with a coupe for three years.*

    When I bought the C43 I lived in the middle of nowhere, meaning Costco was something I'd heard tale of, but had never actually shopped at one. Then I moved to the city and became a card-carrying Costco member. Eagerly, I drive my C43 to the nearest Costco and load up on a host of bulk items that I probably didn't need, including paper towels.*

    Well, the suburb-sized paper towel bundle would not even fit in my C43. I ended up having to unbundle them and shove rolls in between all of my other bulk items in order to get them home. This one trip began to crack the walls of support I have for coupe models. Having to rent an SUV to go home for the holidays last year added an additional crack.*

    Moving to the city (downtown, no less) also presented another new challenge for me: parking in tight parking garages all the time. Every single time I parked the C43 in a downtown garage I was reminded that the doors on that thing are just shy of the length of a Lincoln Town Car. Every day I was shimmying my way out of the car--often with my work backpack--trying not to door ding the **** out of the car next to me or scratch my own with my bag.*

    And while the city life has presented mass-transit and ride share options abound, the few occasions I have attempted to chauffeur friends or colleagues, it only ends up with people struggling to get in the backseat, which was actually fairly generous by coupe standards.*

    So the time came to trade up. For months I flirted back and fourth between everything from a Mercedes-Benz GLE to an Audi S7 and never really settled on what to get.*

    Then I walked into a Mercedes showroom.*

    With little intentions of actually purchasing anything, I went to one of the nearby Mercedes dealerships to start distilling down my list of contenders. There it was: a 2020 GLE63 Coupe, resting in the AMG section of the showroom.*

    I go look at it, compete with my healthy dose of skepticism toward coupe SUV models. In fact, I immediately shut it down as a contender; looking at it only because it was the first 2020 AMG GLC I had seen. Ultimately my mind is creating a pro/con list and I start to scare myself in that I'm actually considering a coupe SUV.*

    Long story short, I ended up driving it home. It doesn't look like a traditional SUV, but it has most of the functional benefits of one. It's also stupid fast, sounds ridiculous and is unique in the sea of SUVs found in large metro area.*

    So yeah, I'm now part of the coupe SUV craze.*

    Read full article at AutoVerdict

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Tone's Avatar
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    I've had a similar revelation, albeit at a much lower price bracket. I totally didn't get the CUV thing. Back in 2014, my folks traded a nice, mint Mazda3 for a Ford Escape -- FWD with the 2.0 turbo. My Dad is where my car enthusiasm come from and, growing up we had some cool cars -- a couple of RX7s, a Thunderbird Turbo Coupe and a manual Maxima SE, back when it was a competitor for the Taurus SHO as an attainable sports sedan.

    So, why trade a nice driving hatch for the Escape? I didn't get it.

    Fast forward to this summer. The Escape has 50,000 kms on it (~35,000 miles). My folks realize they don't really need two cars and offer to give me the Escape. My family hauler -- a stick shift Mazda5 -- was getting a little long in the tooth, so a mint, free car seemed perfect, even if it was something I don't really get excited about.

    Here's the deal: it drives surprisingly well. It's essentially a lifted, softened, 240 HP hot hatch (ok, warm hatch). It manages its hight really well and its circa 2014 stability control isn't shy about using a bit of rear brake to negate understeer. Below the absolute limits, it's surprisingly nimble and balanced. It's got a nice, firm easy to modulate brake pedal. And, the motor is strong and smooth, though thirsty if you are on it.

    And -- it packs a decent amount of space in a relatively compact footprint. It does kid and hobby duty. With winter tires, it's capable and secure in the slippery stuff.

    The shock (to me) is I actually enjoy driving it.

    I get it -- the evolution of the tech that makes my Escape decent to drive makes the new Focus ST (which we won't get) brilliant. But, even with hot hatches, we are getting into the realm of performance you can't really fully exploit on the road. Giving up a smidgen of 10/10th performance for a more comfortable chair-like seating position, decent, flexible cargo room and enough ground clearance to ensure I won't get hung up in deep snow (which has value in Canada) seems like a reasonable trade off.

    The long term trend in performance cars has been offering performance to more livable cars. The lightweight roadsters gave way to pony-cars and small sedans like the BMW 2002; the 80s brought near sports car performance to cars like the BMW M5 and, for regular folks, the Taurus SHO. Making taller, easy to live with vehicles perform well is just the next evolution of the performance car.

    I'd still like a small, light flingable hot hatch or roadster and might shift to something like that one day. But, I've discovered I'm more of a driving enthusiast than a car enthusiast -- I can have fun in a whole range of cars. As long as I enjoy the drive, I don't really care what people think. And, I'm enjoying what might be one of the most common CUVs there is.

    Enjoy your new ride!
    Last edited by Tone; 01-13-2020 at 08:45 AM.

  3. #3
    Member tripowergto's Avatar
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    Ummmnnnn... OK, a coupe = 2 doors. If my eyes serve me correctly this CUV has 4 doors. Who are we kidding and why?

    It does look sporting. CONGRATS on your new ride.
    Last edited by tripowergto; 01-14-2020 at 08:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member adk024's Avatar
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    Such a fantastic purchase. I am a huge fan of the SUV Coupe craze, and find myself wondering if and when GM will ever get around to it.

    Please do tell us of the driving dynamics, have you driven the standard SUV version and can compare the two?
    Last edited by adk024; 01-17-2020 at 05:28 AM.

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