When BMW first debuted the X6, the world’s first Sports Activity Coupe (SAC), back in 2009, automotive journalists collectively pointed and laughed. They mocked as BMW brought a vehicle of pure excess to a market crippled by a recession. Yet the Bavarians were the ones with the last laugh, as the X6 spread like wildfire across the US. Customers loved it. And this SAC trend has picked up so much that not only has BMW launched another (the BMW X4) and is going to launch yet another (the BMW X2), but Mercedes-Benz has jumped on ship, as well, with the GLC and GLE-Class Coupes. All of this proves that buyers are still irrational, despite the logical information we provide.
To be completely fair, I was personally one of the people mocking the X6 and X4. Their gargantuan size, lack of cargo space, compared to the X5 and X3, and lack of dynamic capability, compared to a traditional coupe, made it good for nothing. However, I was missing the point entirely.
Sure, neither the BMW X6 or X4 are really great at anything practical. What they’re great at is something completely impractical and entirely intangible. They’re great at being desirable.
And the same goes for the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe, which was recently reviewed by Bloomberg. In their review, they note how the Mercedes GLC Coupe turned more heads and received more questions than certain high-performance sports cars and supercars they review. People love the idea of having this aggressive and squat-looking SUV. In the review, it was likened to something from Mad Max and there’s a bit of truth to that. So customers love these things.
I used to bemoan such cars and mock customers who bought them. But now I’m looking at them through a new lens and I’m starting to really like them. These are vehicles entirely based on superfluity, cars that are bought out of desire and not logic. Modern day automobiles are getting so far from desirably and become more and more logical that it’s starting to become upsetting.
Connectivity, technology and autonomy rule the day. These are features the mind wants. But what about features the heart wants? Who would have thought that the cars customers would now be buying with their hearts, the cars that speak to them on the showroom floor, would be beheaded SUVs? It’s a strange world but one I’m starting to come around on. So thank you, BMW X4 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Coupe.