The topic of the SUV killing the station wagon, nee estate/sport tourer/avant or whatever each automaker decides to call them, has been beaten to death in recent years. And still, manufacturers keep rolling out one SUV after another for the simple reason that people line up to buy them.
Apparently, Carfection is so fed up with people buying SUVs that they made a video about it. Most petrolheads and motoring journos have been really hard on SUVs and crossovers, as they don’t see the point to the body style. Over-the-top tests reveals that the majority are useless at serious off-roading, hopeless on the track and not good at holding cargo. Those are things that one would assume a tall, lengthy vehicle would be good at doing.
But the outlet takes a more grown-up approach to the dilemma. They drive both vehicles and then discuss why one would choose a SUV over a wagon. Instead of butchering the SUV, the hosts try to put themselves into the seat of a regular consumer to try to see the benefits of the tall vehicle.
To see if a wagon is better than a SUV, the outlet puts a Volvo V90 Cross Country against the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Even though this is the more rugged version of the full size estate, the former is a no-brainer to petrolheads, but for most consumers it’s not that simple.
As Carfection found out, the V90 is the prettier vehicle and the more enjoyable to drive. The SUV, though, is the popular body style that everyone’s after as it’s easier to drive and more rugged.
One of the hosts described the SUV in the perfect way: SUVs, as he put it, are like divers’ watches. A lot of people have a good diver’s watch in their collection, but rarely take it diving, and a very small number (if any at all) push the watch to its limits. When you look at it like that, you finally see that a SUV is overkill for what the majority of consumers need in much the same way a 4,000-feet water-resistant Rolex is overkill when you go swimming.
Yes, at the end of the day, you don’t need a SUV and you’ll probably never use it to its full ability. That makes the estate the better choice. But that’s missing the point: you won’t go diving at the Mariana Trench either, but boy does that Sea-Dweller (or Deep-Sea) look much nicer than the Day-Date.