The Times Australia

The Times

Magazine

6 Reasons Why West Aussies Love Crossovers



We went from loving the Holden commodore wagon (bless its heart) to a fierce obsession with sedans, but now all anyone can talk about is crossovers.

Yep, you can’t shuffle through a car park without gawking at these cars trying to nuzzle their way into an average size parking space. We’ve gone from loving average-sized cars to indulging in bigger, badder and bolshier ones.

Before long we’re all going to end up in an American supercar show where every man and his dog are driving trucks to work.

That’s a bad joke. But the trend is clear. Small cars are out and crossovers are in.

Here are 5 reasons why we’re loving these cars so damn much.

1. These ‘small’ cars are acting like big ones

It’s true, they are.

Crossovers aren’t technically much bigger than your average wagon. In fact, you’ll find the old Holden commodore wagon has more than double the boot space than most recent crossovers.

But that’s not the point.

Crossovers are acting like SUVs in every way other than their size. Take the Subaru XV, a very capable car - it’s basically ready to take on the toughest roads that you can find in the state (alright maybe not forging a river in the Kimberley, but you get what we mean). It’s got the standard all-wheel drive, the special ‘X-Mode’ to engage when things get rough and plenty of clearance to do all the things that your standard SUV would do.

So what we end up with is a car that’s practically just as small as a sedan or wagon - doing things that are usually reserved for real SUVs.

2. Crossovers take you on holiday and to work

With all that capability stuffed into one very reasonably sized car, it’s easy to imagine these things fitting into anyone’s life. You can drive it around town like they’re a WV Golf, and then come the weekend you’re cruising along the beach like it’s a Toyota Landcruiser. Taking the example of the Subaru XV, this car will happily deliver you to work - even allow you to dabble in hybrid technology while reserving its more gutsy qualities to be unleashed when your tyres hit the mud. It just makes so much sense!

3. Crossovers are being marketed more

Say what?

Yeah, surprise surprise, these cars are being marketed like crazy. With higher profit margins for manufacturers, small SUVs are raking in more money than smaller hatchbacks and sedans.

But it’s not like we’re being brainwashed to like crossovers. The fact that they’re genuinely great cars makes the whole thing a win-win.

4. Crossovers are perfect for families

Young families are loving crossovers. With enough space to take everything you need and want on holiday, crossovers are the perfect middle ground between a pricey full-size SUV and an achingly small hatchback that you know won’t be fun to drive with an overflowing boot.

But there are other reasons too. Crossovers traditionally sit higher off the ground, meaning parents have an easier job strapping young ones in, rather than leaning over and developing back issues every time you go on a school run. As families grow, the well-proportioned crossover will welcome new family members without ever feeling too cramped.

5. Crossovers are fuel-efficient

With fuel prices on the rise, and climate change being all too real, it’s no doubt people will be scrutinising the crossover’s fuel efficiency record.

Crossovers might look like guzzlers, but these days modern technology has elevated their fuel economy status to a demi-god (that’s if the real gods are EVs). You see, nowadays small SUVs and crossovers are almost comparable to your average hot hatch when it comes to filling up the tank. That’s great news for drivers who are concerned about the environment and their wallets.

6. Crossovers are extremely safe

As crossovers burst onto the market, they didn’t do so alone. Along with them came a whole new plethora of safety technology - like Subaru’s EyeSight system, which can be found across its most popular crossover range and is changing the way we drive.

For young families doing the school run - having extra safety backups, there isn’t just a helpful side benefit - it’s the definition of peace of mind. Higher ride height compared with average sedans also is a selling point that many west Aussies are loving. It gives you that commanding view from behind the wheel.

So should you consider getting a crossover?

If you connect with any of the above, it’s worth a shot. Crossovers aren’t exactly a cutting edge trend - rather a great solution carmakers are capitalising on as families and individuals demand more from their vehicles.

Still not convinced? Test drive a Subaru XV crossover and see for yourself. You may just fall in love.


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