Originally Posted by Legion5
Can anyone help me with this here?
So the point of an "SAV" like the X3 is that you take a regular 3 series and you put a bigger body on it so that you have car-like efficiency and performance, but with more storage capacity. This sacrafices sporty performance and looks. The point of the X4 then is to take an x3 and to chop the roof off and give it more sportiness at the cost of storage capacity. To me this seems like doing the equivalent of digging a hole and then filling it back up with earth again.
I will answer this question with the only "logic" that I have been able to come up with regarding this "platypus" type of vehicle.
I own a 2007 Acura MDX. Great, great vehicle. Last year it was in for service for about a week, and I had a ZDX loaner. The ZDX is akin to the BMW X6 - take the MDX and "coupe-ify" it. Only it's less successful than the X6 as rear entry, rear space and cargo space are a joke compared even to the X6, much less the MDX on which it's based. A friend of mine has an X6 and we lined them up side to side and compared. The X6 is a virtual Land Rover Discovery compared to the ZDX.
After driving it all week, I found that I really enjoyed driving the ZDX. It's handling was much sharper than the MDX. It handled with aplomb compared to any SUV / SAV, and it was generally pleasant to live with. As long as I didn't try to put my kids in it. That was a nightmare. But after a while, I think I figured out where the niche is:
Think of this car as the replacement for the old "coupes" of the past. Whereas empty nesters would have, a while ago, moved to a Caddy Eldorado, a Mercedes SEC, a BMW 6 Series, etc., the replacement for those cars (MB S Coupe, BMW 6, etc.) are much more expensive. Not only that, but they are generally low slung and hard to get into and out of, especially with those giant coupe doors.
Cars like the CLS and A7 attempt to replicate the look, but the advantage of an X6 or ZDX is that they have more cargo space, and they are easy to get into and out of
as their elevated height makes it easier for boomers to get in without falling down in or climbing up out.
That's the only reason I can think of that these things exist, to be honest.