Concept 2022 Volvo Xc70 Wagon
Quick, attending at the account above. Which of these Volvos is a car, and which is the truck?
The Volvo on the larboard is the V60 Polestar, a bubbles ancestors hauler with 415 hp and 494 lb-ft coursing through its 2.0-liter turbo-four agent and e-motors. It has 5.4 inches of arena approval and gets 28/33 mpg city/highway ammunition abridgement (70/68 mpg-e on gas and electricity). The Volvo on the appropriate is a (discontinued) XC70 AWD, a aesthetic trundler breeding 235 hp and 236 lb-ft through a 3.2-liter inline-six engine. It has 8.3 inches of arena approval and ammunition abridgement of 18/25 mpg city/highway.
On antecedent inspection, they’re both wagons based on passenger-car platforms. And they abiding attending like the aforementioned blazon of vehicle, right? Wrong. The V60 Polestar is a base wagon, which agency it is classified as a car, while the XC70 is perceived as an SUV, which agency (technically) it’s a truck. At least, that acumen is fabricated according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which generally classifies new cartage in hasty means that don’t absolutely accord with perceived reality.
I don’t beggarly to aces on Volvo. All automakers do this. They can use the adjustable ambit the government provides for allocation cartage to advice them bigger fit aural regulations. If classified as a wagon (and appropriately a car) or as a SUV (and appropriately a truck), altered regulations for ammunition economy, emissions, and blast testing apply.
But instead of attractive at the basal belvedere and anatomy (a car-based unibody or truck-based body-on-frame), the EPA alone groups automobiles by autogenous volume, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration groups cars for blast testing by weight class.
If it sounds confusing, it’s because it is. And sometimes the definitions assignment adjoin both automakers and consumers.
We accept aerial hatchbacks that accept almost added arena approval than a Toyota Corolla auto and are alone offered in front-wheel-drive form—yet automakers assert they be marketed as SUVs, abacus their own circuit in this allocation fog. Yes, we’re attractive at you Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Venue, and Toyota CH-R. But dig abysmal into the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website, and you will acquisition they are (correctly) classified as cars.
But again we accept a absolute adversary to those cartage in the Kia Seltos, which in accession to its off-roadish looks has alternative all-wheel drive and a arena approval of 7.3 inches (though a bit shy of the 8.4 advised the blow point for calling article an SUV). It alike has a locking differential. That should get you to your ski lodge. Is it a SUV? Yes, according to the EPA. But it’s additionally based on the aforementioned belvedere as the front-drive Kia Soul hatchback, which is a car; that belvedere additionally underpins the front-drive-only Hyundai Venue. Hmmm.
Even weirder, in the old days, cartage could be categorized as both a car and an SUV. For instance, the EPA absitively that beneath its ambit the PT Cruiser and the aboriginal Lexus RX 300 were cars, but manufacturers could assort them as trucks for NHTSA crash-test and Corporate Average Ammunition Abridgement purposes. Talk about jerk room.
This year, we alike accept a carmaker that symbolically attempt itself in the bottom by arena with definitions. Mercedes-Benz insists on allocation its E450 All-Terrain as an SUV rather than as a wagon (thus applicable it into the “car” category). As a result, the MotorTrend 2021 Car of the Year achievement by the E-Class calendar does not accommodate the All-Terrain, artlessly because Mercedes aerial the anatomy a few inches, slapped on some blowing cladding, and hardly bigger its off-road capabilities over the accepted E450 4Matic wagon it replaces this year. Too bad. Our Golden Calipers would attending rad on its continued roof.
2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Click to expand
On the cast side, back we acquaintance automakers to abide cartage for SUV of the Year, we attention them adjoin sending front-drive alpine hatchbacks or wagons—because they’ll accordingly get ashore in the alluvium pit of the Honda Proving Center and appropriately about will be disqualified. But they do it anyway, with anticipated results. Continue the confusion.
Although we best absolutely accept added acute authoritative affairs against the EPA and NHTSA, conceivably the automakers and these authoritative bodies can appear to a accord as to what these cartage absolutely are. They’re cars, right?
2022 Volvo Xc70 Wagon
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