Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wishful Thought: Bring Back Three Door SUVs

The BMW X6, an idea that still baffles on paper but every time you see one on the road it has enough design presence to make it work. BMW has sold over 250,000 all over the world since its introduction, enough to warrant a second generation in the near future, an X4 sibling and a few competitors. The ZDX was an almost immediate response from Acura that never caught on, but Mercedes has the MLC almost ready and the rumors always persist about Audi following suite. With automakers willing to take some risks in the SUV category it seems more reasonable than ever to bring back the 1990s trend of three door SUVs. Back in the day it seemed like you can order your favorite SUV in a three door version starting with the "short bus" RAV4 all the way to the full size Tahoe. The three door SUV was the 1990s equivalent of the five door coupe of today. Take your best selling product and sacrifice some practicality and reason for some extra style. The Range Rover Evoque is currently the best example of how dropping a door per side can add to an SUV's design. Judging by purely anecdotal evidence the three door Evoque has single digit take rate, but with more and more automakers implementing modular platforms it should be more cost effective than ever to produce a unique three door SUV. Not saying it's a trend that is bound to happen but I wouldn't mind if it did.

The Range Rover Evoque offers a three door option
Even full size SUVs had the three door option

Everyone's favorite Audi Steppenwolf Concept

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