Crossover Fatigue: Where Will It All End?

Crossover fatigue: a chronic tiredness and malaise brought on by prolonged exposure to hatchbacks masquerading as off-roaders.

This week we got a first look at Renault’s new C-segment crossover, the oddly named Kadjar.

It was inevitable that Renault would enter this segment. A symbiotic relationship between Nissan and Renault means that the new Kadjar shares a platform with the mother of all crossovers, the Qashqai.

The omens are good for the new Kadjar. The world just cannot get enough of crossovers. Yet when I saw the first pictures of the Kadjar I couldn’t help but feel a slight melancholy.  Take the Renault lozenge off the grille and what’s left is all very Qashqai. Could there not be a little bit more individuality?

renault kadjar crossover
Crossovers like the new Renault Kadjar sell us a dream – but how long can it last?

Now you don’t buy a crossover looking for individuality. But I just thought how sad – it’s all a bit samey. And like the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, Kia Sportage et al, there’s not much to distinguish any of them.

With everyone jumping on the crossover bandwagon since the Qashqai was launched in 2007, I was wondering, where, or rather when, will it all end? Does the crossover have a sell by date? What will be the next big thing?

You see most things that reach a frenzy of popularity in a short space of time do pass. Just like a reality TV show contestant or a social media platform. And a wiser person than me once said that if the crowd all go in one direction, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction (or something to that effect).

Opel Tigra

Ford Puma
Where are they now?: Small coupés like the Opel Tigra (top) and Ford Puma (bottom) were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s.

When I was growing up, small coupés based on superminis were really popular. There was the Opel Tigra, followed by the Ford Puma, and then some small cabriolet/coupé type things like the Peugeot 206CC and the Nissan Micra C+C that used a similar formula, but just took it to a new level with a folding metal roof.

These were popular for a time in the mid- to late-1990s and early 2000s. But there is something quaint and old school about them when you see one on the road now. Their time has passed. Everyone looking for a trendy small car moved on and started buying MINIs or Fiat 500s.

So if, like me, you are showing symptoms of crossover fatigue and you think you can’t take another crossover reveal, just remember – this too shall pass.

Caroline Kidd

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