Vellum Venom Vignette: Pointless Bumpers, Sacrificial Body Parts

Dan writes:

Hey Sajeev,

Perhaps you or doppleganger Sanjeev have an answer for this. Why are a lot of SUV/Crossovers these days ending up with cut lines along the lower third of their liftgates?

This is showing up on the Ford Escape, 2012-2016 Honda CR-V, Hyundai/Kia crossovers, and maybe some others I can’t remember. Is there a removable panel here, or what? I’ve noticed that this has disappeared in the 2017 CR-V’s redesign, but there’s still plenty of brand new CUVs that have this design feature.

Sajeev answers:

Son, let me tell you something: that Sanjeev’s overhyped like a pumpkin spice latte, with an even worse flavor profile!

To your query: for years we’ve known SUVs are faux tough, and that rear CUV bumpers do the insurance industry no favors. Today’s crop of flat-faced intermediaries are a joke, compared to Thursday’s Vellum Venom design analysis of some monumental bumpers. Proof of such inadequacy lies (so to speak) in the flat posterior below.I reckon that, as the modern minivan’s biggest sales threat, most (all?) CUV tailgates went downtown for extra practicality. Thus their bumpers — in an unorthodox gentrification metaphor — took the hint, moving to less valuable real estate. Sacrificial body parts entered the scene, offering some protection after the land grab: behold Ford Escape part number CJ5Z78423A42APTM.

It’s sad, but logical and expected. No automaker wants to cram another minivan down our collective SUV-loving throats, and their CUVs must meet the public safety  collision repair concerns of the insurance companies.

Regarding the 2017 CR-V’s one-piece tailgate, this eBay auction suggests Honda told the insurance industry to go pound sand. Photos of the damage suggest the eBay tailgate coulda been saved had a sacrificial body part been implemented. Better have full coverage on one of them! 

[Image: Honda/OP, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)]


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