A coupe SUV is a type of sport utility vehicle with a sloping rear roofline similar to those of fastbacks or Kammbacks. The sloping roofline is adopted to offer a styling advantage compared to its standard SUV counterpart, which helps increase profit margins as manufacturers are able to raise the price by marketing it as a more premium model. Since all coupe SUVs ever produced are of the crossover variety, coupe SUVs may also be called "coupe crossovers" or "coupe crossover SUVs".
Although the term "coupe" itself is supposed to refer to a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roofline and two (or three) doors, every coupe SUV (except for the Range Rover Evoque Coupé) is equipped with five doors. The body style notably gained criticism as some see it as less attractive and less practical than normal crossovers, since the low roofline reduces cargo space and rear passenger headroom.
The BMW X6 is generally considered the first coupe SUV. It was based on the BMW X5 and has been marketed as a "Sports Activity Coupé" (SAC), as opposed to standard BMW crossovers, which are called "Sports Activity Vehicles" (SAVs). Introduced in 2008, the vehicle's styling generated some controversy upon its introduction, as it had less cargo space and a higher price. However, the second-generation Lexus RX and the 2003 Infiniti FX had introduced similar sloping roof design elements without being marketed as coupe SUVs.
The AMC Eagle SX/4, which was introduced in 1981, has also been argued to be the first coupe SUV, since it is a lifted two-door liftback with a permanent all-wheel drive system and was marketed as a car that is capable of light-duty off-roading.
Due to its roots from the BMW X6, the segment in its early days mostly consisted of vehicles in the luxury segment. Audi released the coupe version of their crossover with the "Sportback" moniker, while Mercedes-Benz uses the "Coupé" designation, both in line with their two-door and four-door coupes or fastbacks. Several manufacturers began offering coupe crossovers from non-luxury segments, for example the Renault Arkana, and some China-only models such as the Mazda CX-4, Volkswagen Tiguan X and Škoda Kodiaq GT.
According to Strategic Vision, an automotive research and consulting company, buyers of coupe SUVs—particularly those from Mercedes-Benz—are four to five years younger than the usual buyers of typical SUVs. This decreases a car brand's average age, which in turn increases the brand's desirability. They also noted that buyers of SUV coupes are less price-sensitive, which means brands can increase the price tag on these vehicles without affecting sales. For example, the BMW X6 is more expensive by around US$5,000 in the US compared to the BMW X5, which greatly helped increase revenue for BMW despite being the less popular model.
Coupe SUVs have attracted criticism, since they offer poorer performance than their coupe or sedan counterparts due to additional weight and ride height, while also being more expensive than traditional SUVs and having less storage capacity due to their lower rear roofs. Kristen Lee from Jalopnik argued that coupe SUVs "aren’t are [sic] particularly good at any one thing," Other criticisms rise from the fact that coupes should only have two doors.
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