Forgive me if I bring up two brands that - one or two feature models aside - don't usually make large blobs on the PH radar: Peugeot and Kia.
These days they're two ostensibly similar car companies, in that they sell cars in the mainstream, to people in the mainstream, and that they're both working on being perceived as a bit more exciting than that. It's a place they've come to from rather different ends.
Back in the day, when a five-model line up of saloons and hatchbacks and the odd coupe or convertible was the norm, a Peugeot, even a cooking version, was really entertaining to drive. It was desirable.
But Peugeot left that situation behind as it pursued fleet sales in shrinking market segments, and that's why an old 508 is worth less than 30% of its new value after about three years.
So trying to make you want one is a place Peugeot would like to find itself again, hence the introduction of SUVs and the promise, with the new 508, that not only is it good to drive, but that it won't be flogged out at massive discounts to lease companies. We'll see. But that's not why I mention it.
Kia, meanwhile, would like to get to the 'desirable' place for the first time. You'll remember used to be a budget brand: retail buyers, buying cheap, and getting a pretty dull shed with a long warranty. Well. Not only that any more. It has put the hard yards in making cars that are agreeable to drive, making really good decisions, and with cars like the Stinger, and the i30N from its sister company, Hyundai, it is continuing its upwards shift.
But here's why I mention the two companies together. Kia is going to continue to make crossovers, obviously, because it'd be daft not to. But it is also potentially eyeing up a really sleek wagon, alongside a more conventional, blockier estate car. It's a coupe-slash-fastback-slash-shooting-brake (or break, whatevs) or whatever you want to call it, and the concept, at least, looks very cool.
Kia is being quite discreet about it, but I'd like to think that they might actually build it. They sense a time, and it's likely one when emissions regulations get really tough to hit, when an SUV just has too much frontal area to easily hit stringent targets.
Peugeot hasn't quite got the product to show yet, but it certainly has the intent: it wants a sleek-backed variant of the 508, for example. "In the coming five years you'll see business fleets who have ten SUVs available," said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato this week, who perceives that, at such a time, the idea of picking a really classy fastback estate car will be quite the fashionable alternative. "We are trying to invent the after-SUV," he said. He knows it won't be today, or tomorrow, but "maybe five years' time".
Which matters why? It matters because compact SUVs and crossovers are generally grim, and because sleek estates look great, have a lower mass, lower centre of gravity, can have more power for the same emissions and is, therefore, generally more fun to drive. Praise be. That's why Kia and Peugeot aren't the only ones looking forward to a post-SUV time.