QOTD: Soft Roader or No Go?


Today’s minor Ford Bronco Sport news got me thinking — where do you stand on the concept of the soft-roader?

I’m not talking about the crossover that is clearly not meant to leave the pavement or the ones that have real off-road chops (like the Bronco Sport Badlands). I am talking about the ‘tweeners. The ones that, when Chris or I review them, the review has a sentence that reads like this: “This vehicle won’t do serious boulder bashing, but it can get you to the campground just fine.” You also see this when we do a first drive and there is a fairly easy off-road course that’s mostly just a dirt trail setup.

I’m not trying to blast the OEMs here, even if we do sometimes roll our eyes at the use of “off-road.” People really do use crossovers for light off-roading that isn’t super challenging and doesn’t require skid plates. What I am doing is asking you, the B and B, if it matters when you’re buying a crossover.

I can’t imagine that crossover shopping breaks down to a simple binary between crossovers that are meant for the street and true off-roaders like a Bronco Sport Badlands. There’s obviously an in-between. What I wonder is does that ability matter?

I suspect it does. People who don’t haul or tow buy pickups because they might need to do those things every so often. So maybe the Kia Sportage buyer gets the X-Line trim because it has a bit more ground clearance and this person thinks they’ll camp every so often. Maybe the Bronco Sport buyer gets one over an Escape because Ford markets it as an adventure crossover.

What do you think?

[Image: Ford]

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