Daring. Thinking outside the box, as it were (a three box, naturally). Putting forth a car which is a bit risky and against the grain of the accepted beige sedan CUV. Increasingly, automakers are unwilling or unable to play in this space. Regulations, fuel economy and stiff competition force each manufacturer in line with the others. A midsize vehicle that’sÂ almost identical to theÂ offering at the dealer across the street is not out of the question.
But there has to be an answer to my Question of the Day, which is thus: Which modern auto manufacturer is the most daring?
It’s a bit harder to narrow it down in 2017 than it would have been in, say, 1995. Fewer brands exist today, and more homogenized offerings clog up all the showrooms. Today I’m going to apply three very simple rules, as my crystal ball says you’ll need them.
- DaringÂ means product offerings which have major features that go against the norm. A trim level, appearance package, or a nice paint color is not daring. We’re looking for something of significance here.
- Modern automakers which are in business in 2017, and have made at least one model you consider daringÂ in the past five model years.Â Despite your opinion, the 1990 Celica All-Trac is not a modern and daring product offering.
- Your selected brand is just that â€” a singular brand. Selecting Toyota means there shouldn’t be any Lexus models in your argument.
I’m not going to give a singular answer today, just a couple examples of daring food for thought.
Example number one: the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. It doesn’t matter if you like this vehicle, or if you’re a regular person and absolutely hate it â€” it was daring. For 2011 through 2014, Nissan offered a midsize, two-door convertible CUV. Nobody else has done this, ever (and there’s a reason for that). But Nissan dared to offer it, and it isn’t as though the engineering of that rear deck and removing two doors was simple. I applaud the chance they took.
Secondly, the Volvo V90. This brand new model is certainly daring in the context of the North American market. It’s large, expensive, and a wagon. It’s stunning to behold, and has styling lacking the flim-flam present on most car designs today. And with front-wheel or all-wheel drive and 250 to 316 horsepower, it won’t be a slouch. The best part is how you can order this V90, and Volvo isn’tÂ forcingÂ the cladded Cross Country AWD model on youÂ like other automakers would. See what I mean? Daring.
So off to you, BB. What’s your pick for the most daring automaker?Â And don’t forget the rules.[Image: timbphotography/Bigstock.com]