I think part of the problem is that we refer to those things as SUVs... when they aren't. Their off-road ability is not superior to AWD cars, and they weren't designed with that in mind. They may have a slightly higher ground clearance because of their 20in wheels, but when you factor in their immense weight, it does nothing because they'll just sink in deeper than say, a Subaru WRX, which will just happily drive over light mud without issue.
I just don't understand why the world is gravitating towards these... crossovers?
I completely understand the concept of wanting a large, expensive car. It's a status symbol, and that's fine. Those cars have their charm... think of the American land-yachts of the mid to late 70's. Those, to me, feel more prestigious than any of these luxo-crossovers, because they have presence. Look at a Lincoln Mark V;
That is a vehicle with presence.
The Rolls Royce Phantom is on the right track; even though I find it fairly unattractive... it still has that visual weight. It still commands respect. None of these crossovers do the same to me.
Oh, I love the Espada, and I love that Faena. I think that'll fare very well for a family road trip.
I'm running out of concepts I like o.O
Okay, since I was on the topic of presence, take a look at the Zil 4102 from 1998.
Now that's a tank... and with monocoque construction. A 2-door coupe was also planned. Engine options were to be a 4.5L V6, two versions of a 6.0L V8, and a 7.0L Diesel V8. Transmissions options were either a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic. One of the prototypes was fitted with a 315hp 7.7L V8 and a 3-speed automatic from an old Zil limo. That pushed her to 60mph in 10.5 seconds. Fuel efficiency was stated to be 13mpg (us) at 56mph, and 11mpg (us) at 75mph.