The small crossover segment in Europe has definitely hit a ceiling as sales were up just 4% in Q3 even though a slew of new models has been launched during the past few months. For the first nine months of 2017, the segment is up by just 3% to a record 1,13 million sales. As those new entrants gain traction with deliveries, the segment should continue its growth into 2018, but logically even when the absolute growth stays strong, as the segment gets bigger it will get harder to keep up those double digit figures of recent years. After a 12% loss in Q2, segment leader Renault Captur is down by just 2% in Q3 thanks to its facelift. However, the #2 Opel/Vauxhall Mokka was just 1.700 sales behind this quarter, closing in on the YTD #2 spot by just 77 sales. For now, the Peugeot 2008 still holds that second place, but it was down by 12% in the third quarter and was almost down to 4th place as it outsold the Dacia Duster by only 1.500 units. The Duster returns to the black even though its replacement has already been revealed. YTD, the top-5 is relatively stable, including the Nissan Juke, despite being one of the oldest models in the segment. [Read more…]
We’ve discussed a handful of new model introduction of this summer in part 1, and will continue with a few other newly launched cars that we think will either hit, miss or just don’t stir our senses at all. This is a series all about opinions on a site totally dedicated to facts, just to balance it off a bit. Here we’ll give our views on new cars and invite you to give yours, be it in the poll at the bottom or in the comment section below. Fortunately, every opinion is personal so even Kriss and I don’t always agree and we hope you don’t either.
BMW 6-Series Gran Turismo
I get it, the 5-Series GT, which was actually based on the platform of the 7-Series, has been more of a commercial success than it was an aesthetic success. And by renaming it 6-Series they can make the new generation more expensive, because it has a higher number. Cynicism aside, this car should’ve been called the 6-Series GT since the first generation. And I get why that appealed to the people who’ve bought one: it was more spacious and almost as luxurious and comfortable as a 7-Series for less money, all while being less ostentatious than said 7-Series. And there are plenty of shoppers in this price range who couldn’t care less about the looks of their car, as long as it did best what it’s been bought for. With the new generation they’ve actually succeeded in designing a somewhat graceful car, thanks to stretching it by almost 9cm (3 inches) and lowering it by 2cm (almost an inch), which makes it a lot less bulky than the 5-Series GT. I’m actually starting to warm to this car the more I look at it. And it’s also a great alternative for those who’d love to drive a comfortable BMW and can do without the sportiness that BMW has to put into the 5-Series sedan (and wagon) in order to keep its reputation of maker of sports sedans.
I have mixed feelings about this car. From a rational, sales-oriented perspective, BMW did exactly what it had to do to build on the moderate success of the first generation – it based it on the tour-the-tech new 5-series, made it better-looking (less ugly?), and gave it a posher name. But it remains, at its core, a fundamentally contrived and ungainly car, sort of a 5-series for people who will benefit from the extra space and the easier entry/exit that the higher driving position affords (so, basically, plus-sized and older people). And while the 6-series GT is less environmentally-unfriendly than SUVs, it makes for a much less attractive look on the roads.