Performance crossovers and SUVs aren’t necessarily a new thing at all. Luxury brands have for some time dropped more potent engines under the hoods of crossovers, gussied up the exterior and found oodles of buyers looking for a little more grunt without compromising usability.
That’s precisely why Ford introduced the 2019 Edge ST. It replaces the Edge Sport model and makes 335 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque from its 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 engine. It’s not a new concept. In fact, it follows the formula laid out above, but it does mark one of the only more mass-market CUVs to go the performance route, especially with the use of the “ST” badge.
In today’s poll, we think it’s time to reassess whether General Motors should jump aboard the performance crossover bandwagon. We’ve already laid out an argument for Cadillac’s “V” or “V-Sport” badge to grace the XT5, but perhaps it’s time Chevrolet or GMC chart a similar course.
On paper, it makes sense, and Chevrolet is kind of, sort of doing it with the 2018 Traverse RS. However, the Traverse RS actually makes less power than the standard 3.6-liter V6, but it’s up on torque. Here’s the problem we see with a mass-market performance crossover from GM: does it actually fit any of its current offerings?
Chevrolet has moved away from the SS badge in recent years to embrace a more family-friendly image, and GMC is all aboard the premium truck and SUV train. We suppose an Equinox SS could work, or maybe a GMC Acadia performance variant, but it seems like a hard sell after each nameplate has worked so hard to replace what the mid-size sedan was for decades. That is, the go-to option as a family hauler. Perhaps it’s a side effect of CUVs’ growing popularity.
We’re not saying GM shouldn’t do it, but it may be a tougher sell than imagined. We think GM’s best bet is a performance-oriented 2019 Silverado. Or, if GM answers our wishes, a performance body-on-frame SUV.