The crossover phenomenon (including 6 passenger crossover vehicles) is an exciting one for the automobile industry.
After many years of success with the typical SUV and the minivan as staples of their lineups, the large automakers found a refreshing new twist on their full line automobile offerings by adding the crossover, which combines the need for a large, sizeable vehicle with styling that isn’t so traditional.
The need for crossover vehicles was something that was overlooked until the widely popular release of the Chrysler PT Cruiser, which was a smashing success for the company when it was debuted at the Detroit Auto show in 1999.
Presently, every large auto manufacturer has some type of crossover vehicle in their model line, even some brands that one wouldn’t equate with a large truck or minivan.
The most popular crossover vehicle in terms of sales has been the Lexus RX, which outsells most of the Lexus sedans yearly. The majority of crossover vehicles are slightly elevated station wagon style bodies with an interior similar to the layout of a sedan: two single seats in the front with a larger, three person style bench seat in the back.
There are also a number of 6 passenger crossover vehicles, that are truly more amenable to the demographic that want the space of a minivan without the stigma of driving a “soccer mom” vehicle. These 6 passenger crossover automobiles are more geared towards being people movers, but there are many options that still transport passengers in luxury.
Mercedes Benz R Class
The largest, and probably most upscale offering by any large automaker is the Mercedes Benz Rl Class. It is widely considered one of the most unique Mercedes’ to ever be on the market, and with good reason; the body is shaped like a typical Benz station wagon that has had the roof stretched taller. It is an odd silhoutte for the luxury brand, but the vehicle is one of the nicest ways to move six people.
It is offered in two engine arrangements, one being the 3.5 liter V6, which produces 268 horsepower, and the other being the Bluetec Diesel engine, which produces just 210 horsepower, but with a powerful 400 pound-feet of torque.
The Mercedes RL is an adequate family hauler, and for all purposes is sufficient, albeit probably not as child friendly as a true minivan would be, for the fact that it is slightly smaller. The sticker price, which starts at slightly under $50,000, makes it the higher end of the spectrum in terms of price, but for that drivers are paying for Mercedes Benz quality and luxury.
Another widely popular and very capable 6 passenger crossover is the Mazda CX-9. Starting at around $29.000, its almost half the price of a RL350 and with comparable styling and features. What appeals to drivers about the CX-9 is that it is almost unanimously reviewed as the most fun to drive crossover.
The crossover class, while trying to have of a sporty theme in terms of design, has not been a very fun to drive segment for auto reviewers, but Mazda shines through the pack with their CX-9. The CX-9 boasts a 273 horsepower V6 engine, and also features a 6 speed automatic transmission with manumatic shifting.
It is easy to see why Mazda is considered a drivers car: they have made the market segment that is dedicated to fun people haulers become a very driver oriented experience.
The 6 passenger crossover segment is an interesting market niche, and the demographic that buys these vehicles is vast. There are a number of larger crossover vehicles, some as big as the largest of SUV offerings, and they much to say about each ones own personal merits.
The truth is, crossovers are unique, and every carmaker has a unique twist on their particular crossover. The reconciliation of the need for space and the need to appeal to the atypical buyer has led the crossover market to be intriguing to the car shopper, but with the right research and a thorough understanding of your particular needs, you can find one that perfectly matches your needs.