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Straight To The Crusher: Convertible SUVs Are The Inbreds Of The Car World

More lifted and weighed down convertible than versatile new body style.

The love of being close to nature is a driving force for many people. It brings excited parents, and children bored from lack of cell service, to national parks. It encapsulates everything including camping, snowboarding, rock climbing, and bird watching, and arguably was the main motivation behind the construction of the SUV. Before people became concerned with stamping out experiences with nature in favor of computer screens and concrete jungles, the outdoors was where most of life took place.

So why is it that when Land Rover decided to debut the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, the citizens of the world collectively cocked their heads to the side like a confused dog? The convertible embodied the best way to get exposure to nature, including the ability to go anywhere with Land Rover's legendary off-road capabilities and the privilege of having the world be your roof and the horizon your walls. The same went for the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. It’s a small wonder then that the very mention of the two cars causes scorn and cynical cruelty, but here’s why: they’re fakes. The evolution of the SUV has been a bit like that of the dog. It started out as an immensely capable predator that could also survive Siberian winters.

Then humans came in and domesticated them. What resulted is that the traditional rules of natural selection no longer apply. Instead, hundreds of dog breeds exist and plenty of them are so poorly adapted to fending for themselves in nature that they would die without a reliable human companion. Right now we are at the same point in SUV evolution that dogs were during human domestication. People like the idea of an SUV, but they don’t want a snarling fuel-hungry beast that is a pain to park, makes traffic even more of a chore, and drives on pavement the same way a drunk can walk a straight line. The result of heavy domestication has been the rise of the CUV and cars like the Mercedes CLA and Mazda CX-3.

These are your average poodles and terriers that are more show than go. Then come the pugs and bulldogs, animals that are so out of touch with nature’s ways that they would drop dead if left alone for a few days. In car form they would be the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet and the Range Rover Evoque convertible. They seem innocent enough on paper but in reality are so impractical that they are nothing but a sign of excess, just like many modern dog breeds. Both have only two doors, almost no trunk space, and lose much of the reinforcing that comes with a closed roof. To make matters worse, these two SUVs weigh more than normal those with four doors and a roof because of the extra chassis reinforcements.

As a result, these cars are relegated to traversing little more than the Starbucks parking lot. With absolutely no room to store anything of use for a long trip, cramped interiors, and the impracticality of two doors, the Range Rover Evoque convertible and the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet are just standard convertibles that are raised and weighed down with extra metal. Nissan and Land Rover tried to capitalize on the popularity of the SUV here. Bold attempts at new and revolutionary cars are important but it must be acknowledged when they fail. We commend Nissan and Land Rover for trying, but for making useless cars that sell poorly, the Evoque convertible and the Murano CrossCabriolet need to go straight to the crusher.

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