I was really puzzled and taken aback when I first saw the Nissan Murano CrossCab in pictures online, as I’m sure many other people were. I have been giving it some thought since then, and it may actually make some sense.
I am going to start by saying that this is very far from my personal taste in cars. However, die hard enthusiasts like myself are not the target market here at all. If look at the CrossCab from a more neutral perspective then I can certainly see the supposed hole in the market Nissan is targeting. There aren’t any luxury SUVs that can drop their top out there, maybe for good reason, but Nissan has decided to take that bold first step.
After giving the car some thought my attitude towards it became “I don’t like it, but I can see this thing being pretty successful and probably opening up a new market segment”. The target market for the CrossCab is clearly upper-middle class women who just want something stylish to drive around in. The same type of women who would buy a Lexus RX350 or a Mercedes GLK. The CrossCab is extremely feminine in design and to me seems dedicated purely to women, or men who like this sort of thing, in an effort to steal sales from the more normal high-end SUVs. There is a large market in this demographic range, one that does tend to have 45-60k to spend on a car, so it definitely won’t surprise me if the CrossCab is highly successful.
Overall, I think just by looking at the thing, you can probably tell it will have the sporting characteristics of Stephen Hawking, and is most definitely just a car to drive around and be seen in. A beach cruiser for sure, I imagine the CrossCab will sell well in California and Florida, where it can be used year-round. The real question I have is if people will primarily buy it as a primary or secondary car? Its loss of space and rear doors does seem like it would compromise on SUV practicality quite a bit, so it definitely seems like more of a secondary car to use as a fashion accessory rather than a primary driver.
So, I don’t like the Nissan Murano CrossCab much from my own automotive perspective, however I do think it could be a fantastic marketing idea. If things go well, I fully expect the CrossCab to open up a new segment in the market for SUV drop tops that will consist of vehicles dedicated purely to vanity above all else. We’ll see what happens with it, but given the already idiotic trend of SUV purchases in our country, I think the CrossCab may be a home run.