Published on September 3rd, 2018 | by Subhash Nair0
A New Gap in the Market: The C-Segment 4-Door-Coupe-Crossover
A new vehicle segment is opening up for mass market brands – the C-Segment Coupe-Crossover.
Right now, there’s nothing that fits perfectly. Since Honda’s the no.1 non-national car brand in Malaysia, I’ll use their vehicles to paint you a picture of what I’m talking about.
The C-Segment 4-door-Coupe-Crossover (not its official name) is what the Renault Arkana will eventually become upon production.
Mazda’s China-only CX-4 is a good example of this too.
The Honda HR-V has the styling and practicality but the wrong rear suspension setup and perhaps sits on the wrong platform. The Honda CR-V is a tad too expensive, large and even today sports a relatively conventional SUV shape.
What I’m talking about it a Civic on stilts.
C-segment sedans like the Civic used to be the bread and butter for car companies. Now, a myriad of B-segment crossovers and almost D-segment SUVs are taking up the slack. But riding on the C-segment platform is next to nothing.
On top of the Honda options above, here’s a list of existing cars that can be modified to suit this segment:
Subaru XV – design is close to spot on but needs a bit more coupe-ness, suspension is spot on, cargo space could be a little bigger, and more conventional driveline would work better for more owners, price is spot on
Subaru Forester – design is too conventional, suspension is spot on, more conventional driveline would work better for more owners, price and size might be too large
Toyota C-HR – design is spot on (perhaps a little restraint would be better), suspension is spot on, price before CKD is a little high, cargo and passenger space needs to be just a tad larger.
Toyota RAV4 (international markets) – design could be a little less conservative, suspension, size a tad big.
Nissan Qashqai – design could be a little less conservative, suspension, size all ok.
Mazda CX-3 – think of the CX-3 as the B-segment version of what we’re talking about, but with better rear suspension.
Mazda CX-5 – this almost qualifies, but because it’s targetted at taking up CR-V sales, the low spec models with the right price seem a little incomplete. Less equipment, with CX-3-esque styling is what we’re aiming for. Hey, we’re talking about the China-only CX-4, aren’t we?
There’s also the Proton Boyue. It’s nearly there in almost all terms, though styling could afford to be a little more coupe-inspired.