Last Call: I don’t know how to feel about all these modern luxury SUVs

The Aston Martin DBX is the newest luxury SUV to come to the market with Ferrari likely to be next. In the past few years, we’ve seen other SUVs from Maserati, Lamborghini, Rolls, and Bentley but it boggles my mind how quickly that all happened. We went from oh these companies make only X type of car to hey they made an SUV so shouldn’t we? To be fair a lot of them came out great. But what I don’t know is if they made it because they want it or because the people wanted it.

I personally believe that cars that are made because the company wants it, come out way better than those that they make for the people. Take the new Mach-E Mustang for example. Nobody wanted the Mustang to go from a V8 muscle car which it’s been loved for since day one, to an electric crossover SUV.

Again, I think that these models look fine, the DBX included. But are they going to feel special? That being said, I am excited to see what Ferrari brings to the table. They’ve had quite a bit of time to scope out the competition so it better be good.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, but it’s also encouraged.

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10 responses to “Last Call: I don’t know how to feel about all these modern luxury SUVs”

  1. William Byrd Avatar

    To me, the Cayenne was the tipping point. “Purist sports car maker builds SUV”. Then they sold a crapton of them and, if the stories are true, it financed the production of a crapton of special edition 911s, the Carrera GT (ish, they started around the same time), the 918, etc. If these other lux/sports-focused companies can stay in business with SUVs, I’m good with it. Especially in the current fiscal climate, they’ll need all the help they can get.

    And “built for the people” is relative these days, the majority of drivers are more interested in a commuting appliance or a status symbol than anything truly special. Sad, but true.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Agreed, but what’s “special”? Low production? Uncompromised performance? Appreciated by the internet commentariat? A wagon shape with a manual and a paint job mother earth can ctrust?

      Aston Martin, at least, has a history of branching out with the Lagonda brand they acquired. The same can be said of Fiat/Ferrari with Maserati. The only people’s Porsche is the Beetle though…

      To my mind, it is all a watering down of brand value. I drove past a local Porsche dealer two days ago and two things struck me: Once, egalitarian, half-socialist Norway wouldn’t even have had a Porsche dealer in its second city, now we have two. And the lot was all SUVs with a few “halo” two doors inside.

      They don’t pique my interest, as Porsche has never really done, but if they keep the population interested in cars, thus defending the right to drive yourself around, I’m fine with it. It’s awesome there is so much choice. And I also love that there’s a Jaguar on every street corner now…

      1. William Byrd Avatar

        Good questions. The biggest issue is that “special” doesn’t sell in any quantity for some of the parameters you outlined. I wrote an article about why “good design” costs so much. Like, why can’t something like a Toyota 86 look like a Ferrari 599? The real answer is complicated I guess, I had lots of people commenting that the molds and production are expensive, which I don’t totally believe.

        Anyway, diverting from the topic a bit. Automakers will build and sell what people will buy. Whether the SUV is a “phase” is TBD, if it is, it’s a long one. More like an “era” at this point. haha

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Yeah, that was my next point that collecting these is not really a thing (yet?) – so even if it is the era of the SUV, I don’t see enthusiasts and collectors taking much care of these yet. They are vehicles to be used up, and in 20 years time I am sure we will all moan how that was a shame.

          Special design…you can’t mass produce true attention to detail at competitive prices. That’s what I think it boils down to. Nothing illustrates that better than a TaGAZ Aquila. They started with a good idea, but…yeah.

          1. Wojciech Avatar

            Could you link me you article? It sounds quite interesting. I think it boils down to design language – the specialty cars can’t be too far off from the pedestrian models so they serve as halos. And people buying pedestrian cars want pedestrian design, sadly.

          2. Sjalabais Avatar

            Oh, I am sorry, there is no other article.

  2. Maymar Avatar

    That so many luxury SUV’s are succeeding where sedans, wagons, or fastbacks didn’t (or were never even tried) is justification enough to Eat The Rich.

  3. roguetoaster Avatar

    It’s a phase, but it’ll be difficult for companies to come down from their SUV/luxo-truck profit towers to produce the likely smaller and more efficient vehicles that should dominate production in the near future as we transition away from primary combustion power. Here’s hoping those companies utilize those profits intelligently.

    In any case, a change in tax structure/safety testing, financing policies, and/or long term increases in fuel/energy prices will solve the problem.

    OTOH, a larger vehicle is a great transitional step to increase total non-combustion powered range until electric tech can be reduced in size/weight sufficiently.

  4. Zentropy Avatar

    My wife’s Audi is “nicer” than my Kia in almost every objective way measurable, but it’s not special. Not at all. If a car is appreciated and attainable by the masses, it’s just not special. It’s like Syndrome said in the first Incredibles movie: “… when everyone’s super, no one will be.”

  5. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I think it is important to make the distinction between luxury and exotic. There’s nothing wrong with a luxury SUV. Jeep proved this in the ’80s with the Grand Cherokee. Navigator and Escalade made it mainstream. Range Rover and Gelandewagen were semi-exotic in the US, but that was really only due to rarity.

    Exotic is that extra level of refinement, performance, and sex appeal. There’s just not as much room for this in an SUV. Drive a new Aviator and tell me there’s much room for improvement in refinement or performance. Then factor in the limitations of the size and ride height compared to any number of mainstream performance cars.

    That leaves sex appeal. Sure the styling can be impressive but that wears smooth after a while. The badge helps, but can backfire for egalitarian minded millennials.

    I guess I get why they’re doing it though. There’s nothing to lose. The days of the true exotic are probably numbered no matter what so why not one last big cash in?

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