Land Rover and Mazda Bring More Luxury to Midsize SUVs

Let me guess: You drive a midsize SUV.

I’m playing the odds on that one, because the midsize SUV just might be the most popular segment of vehicle on the market today. Family sedans, and their cargo-limiting trunk space, are quickly falling in popularity at the hands of the capacity, ride height, and AWD capability of midsize SUVs.

In recent years, the opulent features and sleek design of luxury midsize SUVs have conquered the hearts, and bank accounts, of America.

The segment includes entries from BMW, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, and more. Another, from Land Rover, is due very soon in this increasingly crowded market.

Which ride will be king?

Part of the success of midsize crossover SUVs is the continuation of low gas prices. In fact, prices of U.S. light crude fell to below $50 per barrel yesterday as supply continues to outpace demand.

That doesn’t make OPEC very happy, but U.S. drivers are thrilled and seem to be celebrating by taking money saved at the pump and using it to buy more luxurious vehicles.

The Jaguar F-PACE, Porsche Macan, and BMW X4 are a few of the beneficiaries of this latest round of American discretionary spending. Land Rover, with its upcoming Velar midsize SUV, hopes to cash in, too. But there’s a small catch.

Autoweek says,

While Land Rover is renowned for off-road capabilities, the Velar will aim to appeal to a wide range of buyers. “This is the most road-oriented Range Rover we have ever designed,” said JLR’s exterior design director Massimo Frascella.

This Land Rover, rather than being built with all-terrain capabilities in mind, uses the same architecture as the new XE sedan and F-PACE SUV. Indeed, this is a Land Rover built to roam over land, as long as the land is somewhat near to something paved.

While this Rover doesn’t come with the same off-road chops as its brethren, it really doesn’t need to in order to compete with BMW and Porsche. Upscale suburban families want performance, luxury, comfort, and prestige, which the new Land Rover will surely deliver.

Detailed specs and engine choices for the U.S. will be revealed later.

If British luxury isn’t your cup of tea, the Mazda CX-5 is making a case for itself as a reasonably priced midsize crossover with luxurious features. A few reviews are even comparing the new Mazda with German luxury at a much more affordable price.

There’s a midsize SUV for everyone, from nearly every automaker at every price. If you don’t have one now, I’m willing to bet you will very soon.

Will your next new car be a Land Rover Velar?

-tgriffith

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