Hooniverse Asks: How do you feel about "performance" SUVs and CUVs?

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So far I’m not feeling this one…

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Currently, I hold the keys to the new Ford Edge ST. The seating position is too high. The throttle is far more touchy than expected. The exhaust does its impression of a performance exhaust, which means it drones. And the price tag, as tested, is $52,000. I have yet to push the Edge ST hard yet to see if there’s a sporty edge to be found, yet I already feel this vehicle will continue to leave me scratching my head.
There are other SUVs and CUVs that pack in actual, honest-to-goodness performance in the way they drive. The Trackhawk rips. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadriphonicatastic hauls groceries and ass. A Range Rover Sport SVR is a face melting luxury bus.
Do you accept the notion that automakers can truly build an enjoyable, engaging sport utility vehicle or crossover? 

22 Comments

  1. I’ve had a Typhoon or a Syclone for more than 20 years now. I suppose I am an early adopter to performance SUVs and my answer would reflect my hopes that automakers continue this “new” trend.

  2. I drive up and down a windy 2000′ road from my house to town. Lots of SUVs are on me on the straights. But they slow down for every turn and cross over the line often, and I’m just driving a Acura Sportwagon maintaining the 35 mph speed limit. I can push it but the chance of splilling groceries or hitting deer and turkey keeps me from being stupid. So I don’t want a SUV, no matter how much hp they have.

  3. If you want to increase performance, what do you want? Lower, lighter, more power. It seems that the SUV formula stands in opposition to two of those things.

  4. Yup = moar performance EVERYTHING!
    SUVs, CUVs, ATVs, UTVs, sewing machines, string trimmers, spinning reels, …

  5. I want one. Life is about compromises. The wife likes SUVs, I like performance cars. We can only afford one nice car at a time. I regret that we bought our Trailblazer a year before the SS came out. I would love to find a cheap Saab 9-7x. Or I’m really hoping that I can find a certified pre-owned Stelvio for under $25k with a great warranty in a couple of years. Or maybe GM will drop the ATS-V twin turbo V-6 in the new Blazer or even the Acadia for a new Typhoon. Might have to check out the Edge ST, might want something a touch bigger. I wouldn’t mind a Tahoe with a Z06 motor either.

    1. It could be a pre-release misdirection, but there is a next-gen Explorer mule out and about with ST badges on it. The new Lincoln Aviator has a 400+ combined HP hybrid option on the same platform, so there’s that too…

  6. Instapot ≠ yer granny’s amazing Sunday dinners
    Keurig ≠ drinkable coffee
    $$$$$ ST SUV ≠ a nice station wagon and Miata combo
    /I really need a lawn to shoo people away from

  7. On some level, I like the idea – anything can be improved with more performance and handling. Also, we had an X3…something (M40I? turbo six is the important bit) at work for a week recently, and it’s actually pretty great to drive.
    That said, it’s irritating that we have to dress up SUVs just to get to the point where a regular wagon might be (using that X3 as an example, I don’t know how much better it’d drive than a 328i wagon, that BMW’s decided we won’t be getting for the next generation).

  8. It wouldn’t be a lie to say that I bought my 9-7x Aero for its towing capability. It would be a lie to say that I bought my 9-7x Aero exclusively for its towing capability. The 5.3i has the same tow rating, and considerably better EPA ratings. What it doesn’t have is 395hp.

  9. Given that it’s the ubiquitous vehicle of our times, it only makes sense. Where there were once performance sedans, there should now be performance SUVs/CUVs. My problem isn’t with the “performance” trims that are becoming popular– it’s with the category itself. If you need more space, why not a station wagon? There’s a place for true SUVs, but for me, it’s only for space+towing.

  10. Better a performance SUV than a gutless one, that can’t get out of its own way. But they’re all stupid platforms to begin with.

  11. It’s all at matter of price, I suppose. This strikes me as more of a 2/3rds Macan for 2/3rds the price than 5/6ths, but the rebates will come, most likely. Shame that the interesting performance SUV’s mentioned are all FCA or LR products. In any case, we’ve already taken two steps back in terms of having platforms that people will buy that do not appeal to enthusiasts, might as well take one step forward and add power.
    Interested to see the rumored new Explorer ST, though expecting sports car from either of these is a stretch. Hauling your family, dog and groceries along with ass is alot to ask of a vehicle.
    An updated Dodge Magnum Scat Pack would be nice, but a performance wagon isn’t walking through that door.

  12. It’s got 4WD and three-row seating, because you MIGHT encounter a howling blizzard and have to rescue seven orphans from a ski chalet. Don’t worry, there’ll still be room enough for Lassie to show you the way.
    It’s got high ground clearance, because you MIGHT have to ford the Zambezi.
    And now! It’s got 1g skidpad numbers and 3 second 0-to-60, because you MIGHT have to drag race Sabine Schmitz through the Black Forest.
    This, when such a rig will spend 99.5% of its service life on pavement, under the speed limit and hauling around 1.3 passengers, one of whom can be relied upon to tell you that it’s too cold, or to slow down.
    Behold, the SUV/CUV. You can make payments on the dream, even if you can’t really live there.

  13. Cars once were rather tall with high H-points (SAE J1100).
    Then they got lower, decreasing the H-point height.
    Then they got sport packages.
    Then they got tall again with higher H-points (masquerading as CUVs.)
    A tall car with high H-point and a sport package is not terribly surprising at this point.

  14. My feelings regarding performance SUV’s is exactly the same as ordinary SUV’s: Don’t like them. Will never own one.

  15. I love them and think they make total sense. Of course, I also drive a Sonata Sport. Because nothing makes a better base for a sports car than a Sonata.

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