Here’s a scene from the Los Angeles Auto Show. This is at the BMW display, and you have the BMW X7 parked next to the BMW 8 Series. Both of these are brand-new models, recently revealed and both are coming out shortly: the 8 Series right now, and the X7 should be out within the next few months. And the number of people excitedly checking out the two cars is a great representation of the current state of cars and SUVs.
On the left, you have the 8 Series, BMW’s hot new coupe, which — years ago — would’ve sparked a huge collective gasp of excitement on the floor of the LA Auto Show. No longer. On the right, you have the X7, and you can see where the interest is: there are five people visibly poring over every detail of the X7, whereas nobody is even looking at the 8 Series.
Admittedly, this was just a few minutes of observation, and it could’ve been a complete anomaly, but I don’t think it was. I walked back to the X7 several times to check it out, and I was disappointed each time that it was absolutely full of journalists: in the front seats, in the back seats, in the cargo area. It wasn’t really possible to get a closer look, so I’ll have to do that another time.
The 8 Series, meanwhile, was the opposite: nobody really gathered around, and not much general interest on the show floor. Admittedly, the X7 is a bit newer, and it was revealed more recently — and that’s surely a reason why the SUV was getting more attention than the car. But there’s also a general point to be made here: the journalists covering the LA Auto Show know the X7 is going to be one of the hottest new cars their readers and viewers will want to check out, so they’re eschewing the once-hot sporty car for a 3-row family hauler. Indeed, we’re now living in the age of the SUV.
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