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I own & drive a SUV, so what?

Old 09-05-05, 10:02 PM
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I own & drive a SUV, so what?

I have seen a lot of dislike in these forums about SUV's & have read what people here think are good reasons to hate them. The reasons have included anything from people think they are more of a danger to cyclists then a smaller car to people here question why do people with no children need such a large vehicle to people here think they are nothing more then a status symbol.

Well I disagree. Here is what I drive: A 1998 Jeep Cherokee, NOT the Grand Cherokee. Mine has the 4.0 L Inline 6 cylindar engine. This is the only vehicle my wife & I own & need. We don't need 2 vehicles. We bought it new. We traded in our 1993 Dodge Shadow for it. The Jeep has been the most reliable vehicle we have ever owned. Oh & right now it is perfect in size, for the time being we don't need anything larger as we have nothing to tow, like a camper or boat.

Here is why we own it. Aside from the fact it is a very reliable vehicle we both are uncomfortable in a car. My wife for physical reasons has trouble sitting in one not to mention getting & out of one is difficult for her & I feel to closed in, almost claustraphobic. Plus evertime I get in a car I bang my head on the damn door frame because it is lower to the ground & the angle it takes to get in one. Another reason we own our Jeep is a truck is too expensive to maintain, especially the tires our Jeep isn't. We also own our Jeep because the cargo space is perfect for hauling things in. We camp a lot in the spring & summer & do not own a camper. So we have to haul everything in the Jeep.

Now I know some of you are thinking if you need a larger vehicle then why not buy a mini-van. Well my answer to that is not on your life. For one we do not have kids, & probably never will. So we don't need a large passenger vehicle like a mini-van. And I would not buy one then take the seats out for the cargo space. Plus we do go 4-wheeling from time to time & our Jeep is perfect for the areas we go to. We do not own ours as a status symbol. For pete's sake it is a Jeep, not a Cadillac & the thing is in the shape of a great big box, not exactly status symbol material.

If we ever buy a boat or camper & we need to trade up to a larger SUV, then guess what? We will, but for the time being our Jeep is perfect for us. For you SUV haters out there, tough titty if you don't like that.

I often wonder how valid are the reasons you think people drive SUV's for. Do you know of any statistics that prove your theory's? If you do, anti-up & show me I'd love to see them. Or are these just guesses & assumptions on your part that you have absolutley not evidence to back it up with?
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Old 09-05-05, 10:05 PM
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Most complainers ***** because they can't afford one.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:08 PM
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I don't hate SUV's, I hate people who buy a hummer that gets 8mpg for the sake of having one.

Take me, hypothetically (maybe), I never turn my monitor or computer off at work, I never turn any lights off, I always have the hot water running full blast when I'm taking a dump at work in the private bathroom, I always order 2x more food than I should during office parties and we end up throwing away a lot of it.

In theory, no one should complain about that to me just because they can't afford to throw out food or waste resources. In fact, it's convienent and I like only eating the steak out of my sandwiches and wraps and throwing out (wasting) the rest.

A lot of people have a legit use for SUV's, I'm fine with that. Believe me, there are a lot more of the other people who are not like you out there, a LOT more.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:46 PM
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SUVs:

Pollute more
Shine their headlights in my mirror
Can't see in front when following one
Are less safe for the other car in a crash
Are more likely to be in a accident
Give false sense of safety (many don't buckle up as a result)
Take more place on the road
Take more parking place

Good for you if you can justify buying one, you have the right to. I don't like them and I have the right to be vocal about it.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:25 AM
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According to the Book "High And Mighty: The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles"

SUVs are dangerous gas-guzzlers exempted from the safety and environmental rules that apply to other autos because they are classified as light trucks. Doesn't mean their aren't legitimate reasons to own one.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...002-9778431?v=
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Old 09-06-05, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L
SUVs:

Pollute more.
I wouldn't say that. I know of V8 engines that brand new cars use that pollute more then the Inline 6 in my Jeep. No to mention the V10's & V12 engines on the market these days too.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Shine their headlights in my mirror.
I never had that problem when I drove my little shadow. Don't know why you do.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Can't see in front when following one.
Why are you worried about what is in front of an SUV when you are behind one? If you're so concerned then pass the damn thing & be over with it. Otherwise be patient & don't worry about it. Besides a lot of SUV's, mine included are not that damn wide in the rear. Seems like you're in to much of a hurry.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Are less safe for the other car in a crash.
Maybe, depends on the crash. But with better safety standards, in the U.S. don't what they are in Canada nor do I care, cars have become a lot safer then they used to be in an accident.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Are more likely to be in a accident.
This is a myth. It all depends on the skill of the driver. I have seen more unskilled drivers get into accidents behind the wheel of a car then an SUV.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Give false sense of safety (many don't buckle up as a result).
Not true. An SUV can be as safe or as dangerous as a car whether you buckle up or not.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Take more place on the road.
Another myth. They do not take up anymore room then a truck, mine takes up no more space then a mini-van. And some mini-vans take up more space then my Jeep.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Take more parking place.
See my comment about SUV's taking up space and apply to this mythical comment you made.

Originally Posted by Erick L
Good for you if you can justify buying one, you have the right to. I don't like them and I have the right to be vocal about it.
Tell me, if you needed a vehicle for the things I described in the original post, what would you choose? Remember, no kids, goes camping a lot, has the need to tow things from time to time or will need to tow something in the future, like a 10' pop-up camper, which my Jeep will tow with great ease.

I did forget to mention we also have a 50 to 60 pound dog too. The back seat is perfect for her to lay on when we travel.
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Old 09-06-05, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by N_C
< I love my SUV rhetoric>
Phbbbbt Enjoy paying for the extra gas!
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Old 09-06-05, 01:09 AM
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https://www.hwysafety.org/

Look there, there's no myth in what I said.

I've gone camping countless times with a compact car, with many friends, sometimes with a canoe on top. I know people who pull small trailers with a sedan or wagon. A co-worker can get faster to his hunting camp with a sub-compact than everybody else with 4X4.

Headlights are a real problem. Sorry you never noticed. Seing through is useful for safety and reaction time in case something happens in front. There's a reason why they put brake lights up high. With a SUV in front of me, I can't even see the car in front of it at all.

As for the space they take, I don't like trucks and mini-vans either but they're use are often better justify, though I think mini-van could easily be replaced with wagons. Wagons are making a comeback, BTW.

I wish I could afford a SUV, but I wouldn't buy one with that money! LOL
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Old 09-06-05, 01:17 AM
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I used to be a tree-planter, driving on muddy roads, sometimes hauling co-workers and their stuff. I did so with a K-car. The funniest thing I saw there is a 4X4 stuck in the mud when the cars made it easily. The 4X4 was too heavy. Later in the season, we almost rolled over... I was a passenger in a 4X4. The driver had forgotten to put it back in 2WD. This wasn't even on pavement but on smooth gravel.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:33 AM
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I got rid of my SUV because I didn't need it, was paying too much to operate the thing, and when it comes to really carrying a lot of stuff even a small pickup does better. I was driving the SUV because it was there, ready to go, and it was easier. Like an alcoholic saying if a bottle's in front of them they'll drink and they lack the self-control to not discipline themselves? Yeah, I'll drink to that! I was driving and not riding the bike. If I had an SUV, Mini Cooper, anything motorized it would be tempting to use it to run my errends instead of the bike, and I know it. Many many many many reasons, beyond these, to get rid of it and I did.

Hate is a pretty strong word, owning an SUV I don't need is just something I personally choose not to do.
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Old 09-06-05, 01:58 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by N_C
They do not take up anymore room then a truck, mine takes up no more space then a mini-van. And some mini-vans take up more space then my Jeep.
Which line is longer?

>------<
<------>

The fact of the matter is that SUVs come in all shapes and sizes. The Jeep XJ (Cherokee for the Jeep-challenged) takes up less room than many compact cars. My ZJ (1998 Grand Cherokee) takes up less footprint than a Honda Accord of the same year.

Also, can we try and be objective about this?

The notion that an SUV can carry more than say a van or wagon or sit people better than a sedan is often false. A lot of room is sacrificed in an SUV for increased offroad capability (tucked in/beefier components, articulation space for the wheels, 4WD subsystems, etc.) For comparison, my Jeep Grand Cherokee has a pretty close overall footprint to the Nissan Sentra. Here's some figures. Note that my Jeep has a 3" lift for more offroad clearance.

===================================
Jeep ZJ
===================================

Dimensions/Capacities
==================
Wheelbase: 105.9 (2,690)

Track
Front: 58.5 (1,486)
Rear: 58.8 (1,494)

Overall Length: 177.1 (4,498)
Overall Width: 70.7 (1,796)
Current Overall Height (w/o roof rack): 67.4 (1,712)
Stock Overall Height (w/o roof rack): 64.9 (1,633)

Current Ground Clearance (a)
Front Axle: 9.8 (284)
Rear Axle: 8.8 (259)
Running: 8.8 (259)
Approach Angle: 42.2°
Ramp Breakover Angle: 28.4°
Departure Angle: 36.1°

Stock Ground Clearance (a)
Front Axle: 8.7 (221)
Rear Axle: 7.7 (196)
Running: 7.7 (196)
Approach Angle: 36.5°
Ramp Breakover Angle: 22.3°
Departure Angle: 29.3°

Cargo Volume
===========
Rear Seat Up: 40.9 (1,039)
Rear Seat Folded: 79.3 (2,014)
Curb Weight -- est.: 4,261 (1,933)
Weight Distribution, F/R: 57/43
Payload: 1,150 (522)
Frontal Area: 25.9 sq. ft. (2.4 sq. m)
Drag Coefficient: 0.45
Fuel Tank Capacity: 23 gal. (87.1)

Accommodations
==============
Front
Head Room: 39.1 (993)
Leg Room: 40.9 (1038)
Shoulder Room: 59.2 (1504)
Hip Room: 56.7 (1440)
Seat Travel: 7.4 (188)
Recliner Range: 40°

Rear
Head Room: 39.5 (1003)
Leg Room - min.: 35.3 (897)
Knee Room: 1.8 (46)
Shoulder Room: 57.6 (1463)
Hip Room: 49.3 (1251)


===================================
Nissan Sentra
===================================

Exterior
======
Wheelbase: 99.8
Overall length: 177.5
Overall width: 67.3
Overall height: 55.5

Interior
======
Head room (front/rear): 39.9/37.0
Leg room (front/rear): 41.6/33.7
Hip room (front/rear): 52.1/52.3
Shoulder room (front/rear): 52.5/52.6

Capacities
=========
Interior passenger volume (cu. ft.): 88.5
Cargo capacity (cu. ft.): 11.6
Fuel tank (gals.): 13.2


Notice that while the exterior dimensions of both vehicles are similar (except in the vertical), the Honda actually offers more seating room. With the rear seats folded down, the ZJ has a little over 79ft^3 of space but this eliminates the rear passenger area. The Sentra has 88.5ft^3 of passenger space plus 11.6ft^3 of cargo. If you add up the dimensions of the front seats and subtract it from the overall volume of 100.1ft^3, you'll probably find that it's a wash with the Sentra probably coming out on top in terms of capacity.

The one thing that the ZJ will be able to do much better in this case is carrying a heavier load since it has a more powerful engine, better load distribution capacity on the road due to larger tyres and beefier suspension and chassis. Trucks are even better for that.

My feeling is you should drive whatever you want but don't try and justify it by grasping at straws. Also bear in mind that there are alternatives out there and some may be better at doing the job than what you've chosen.

I have two vehicles in my family. One is my Jeep ZJ and the other is a Saturn SC2 which belongs to my wife. We have no kids although that may change. I typically haul around a lot of stuff but I don't always need the Jeep to do that with. The Saturn can fit quite a bit of stuff too. Typically when I go on a roadtrip, I'll try and get in some offroad time so I'll usually take my Jeep on vacations. For around the town with just my wife and I, we'll typically use her Saturn. If I could only have one vehicle it would be the Jeep since it satisfies all my intended activities. My wife doesn't drive offroad. If she could have only one vehicle, it would be her Saturn because it's rather sporty without being over-the-top and is pretty efficient. Both vehicles will get us from point A to B depending on the terrain in between. We just have to chose what makes sense at the time. Like many things in life that prevoke contraversy, there is no cut-and-dry/black-and-white. Each situation's different.

Although we try and coordinate our driving, it's not always possible to carpool with my wife. Do I feel a bit shameful for doing daily drives around town with my Jeep? A little. I know I could be using a more efficient vehicle for that activity... like my bike. Do I expect to beat myself up or have others beat me up for doing it? No.
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Old 09-06-05, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by khuon
Which line is longer?


===================================
Jeep ZJ
===================================


===================================
Nissan Sentra
===================================

the Honda
Honda?

What Honda?
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Old 09-06-05, 02:25 AM
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Hey it's Khuon, and this pic is all over the page! (I love that guy's Cash Call radio commercial BTW!)
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Old 09-06-05, 02:25 AM
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I consider myself an environmentalist, and I have been car-free for going on five years now. HOWEVER, I consider some of the dogmatism of environmentalists and cycling advocates a little rabid and/or silly sometimes, and SUVs are a good example. If you live in, say, Chicago or Berkeley, whizzing around on a bicycle is a great choice to get around. Great, more power to you. However, the original poster lives in a place where, to get anywhere, one must usually traverse a pretty great distance, more often than not on gravel roads, and it SNOWS, A LOT! I used to live in Des Moines, near the OP, and there are many 4X4 SUVs up there, out of necessity.
Many of you who have learned to automatically hate any automobile bigger than a Chevette have forgotten what exactly this type of vehicle is for. Yeah, I get kind of PO'd when I see Mr. Suit-and-Tie alone in his Hummer on the commute to work, but lest we forget, these vehicles do have a real-world application. I work construction, where many people need a vehicle that can haul tons of stuff over gravel and mud roads. A Bianchi Pista? No. A Rivendell Atlantis? No.A Moped? No. A Chevy Suburban? Yes, I hate to bust anyone's bubble. Let's not go overboard, because this ain't a religion, folks. As soon as it starts to get to that point, we're no longer doing anybody, including ourselves, any good.
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Old 09-06-05, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by krispistoferson
However, the original poster lives in a place where, to get anywhere, one must usually traverse a pretty great distance, more often than not on gravel roads, and it SNOWS, A LOT! I used to live in Des Moines, near the OP, and there are many 4X4 SUVs up there, out of necessity.
My parents live in a small town in NE Minnesota. They've owned mid-sized front wheel drive cars for the last 20 years each of them has gotten 30+ mpg and each of them has carried them through 99% of what mother nature has to offer *
So all this talk of you "needing" a SUV to drive in snow is hogwash





*We stayed home during the 1991 Halloween Blizzard It snowed an inch an hour for three days straight. Most of the early stuff melted as it had been a typical fall day with no snow on the ground at all until that afternoon.
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Old 09-06-05, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
My parents live in a small town in NE Minnesota. They've owned mid-sized front wheel drive cars for the last 20 years each of them has gotten 30+ mpg and each of them has carried them through 99% of what mother nature has to offer *
So all this talk of you "needing" a SUV to drive in snow is hogwash





*We stayed home during the 1991 Halloween Blizzard It snowed an inch an hour for three days straight. Most of the early stuff melted as it had been a typical fall day with no snow on the ground at all until that afternoon.
.
You can take a road bike with 700X25 tires on a mountain bike trail if you want to, but a mountain bike is set up to handle it better. But I'd hate to argue with somebody from Florida about what vehicle handles better in the snow.
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Old 09-06-05, 03:06 AM
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Sorry, I forgot cars stopped functionning in snowy conditions.

I grew up in Quebec City, also known as the Snow Capital. We have our share of snow, yet the province has less SUVs than anywhere else in North America.
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Old 09-06-05, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Erick L
Sorry, I forgot cars stopped functionning in snowy conditions.
Never said that, but y'all are being obtuse to what I AM saying. Why is that?
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Old 09-06-05, 03:47 AM
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Of course you didn't say that. What I'm saying is SUVs are not a necessity for driving in the snow. I've taken my little compact all over the province, in too many snowstorms, at night when it hasn't been plowed. Once I opened the road for 100km, the bottom of my car floating in the powder.

For the record, I also drove a Suburban for two years while working in James Bay. I still prefer driving a small front wheel drive in the snow. It's not a truck you need in the snow, it's snow tires.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:04 AM
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Yep those small FWD vehicles with snow tires work great in the snow, while vehicles you'd expect to do well, won't.
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Old 09-06-05, 04:23 AM
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I drive a 98 Ford Explorer in with 2WD. Before that I drove a FWD '97 Chevy Cavalier. The difference in gas mileage is around 5 mpg on average. The Explorer was given to me by a family member that can no longer drive so the price was right. The main draw for me was that my wife and I have a 75 pound dog that we take a lot of places, the dog park, hiking, 100 miles away to visit family being the most common. Could I do this in the Cavalier? Yes, but not if I wanted to have anyone else ride along. On trips like that which has better gas mileage, my Explorer with four people, two dogs, and gear, or two compact cars? Sure there are times that I drive it by myself, but what should I do own another car? That doesn't help the environment.

To be honest, I would rather have a station wagon but very few manufacturers make a small station wagon with any room in the back. Most are glorified hatchbacks.

Sure it hurts to fill it up with gas, but it hurts to fill my wife's 4 cylinder Saturn up too. Until we get a decent mass transit system in this country, and by that I mean nation wide, most of us don't have the option to not own a car and some people need more car than others. The local mass transit here is awful. By awful I mean inconsistant and only running to certain areas. If I worked downtown I could catch an express bus, but if I want to go North of where I live the options are very few. I voted yes for the light rail system in our last elections but unfortunately the majority voted no. Democracy works like that.

I am amazed at the "holier than thou" attitude that so many people take on this forum. If this is indicative of most cyclists, then it is no wonder that so many people hate cyclists. Stop judging other people, do what you think is right, and be happy you live somewhere that people have choices.
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Old 09-06-05, 07:31 AM
  #22  
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I have a problem with anybody that abuses things. Whether its a bicycling lane, an suv or stupidity
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Old 09-06-05, 07:35 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Alloy Addict
I am amazed at the "holier than thou" attitude that so many people take on this forum. If this is indicative of most cyclists, then it is no wonder that so many people hate cyclists. Stop judging other people, do what you think is right, and be happy you live somewhere that people have choices.
So true . It's one of the reasons why I nod at everybody that is getting ready to pull out of an intersection or parking lot when I'm cycling. We're not all that bad, though from my experience I would say that the percentage of bad behaving cyclists is larger then the percentage of bad drivers. And by bad cyclists and drivers, I mean those that blow through intersections without pausing at 4-ways or stopping at red lights and those people that pull in front of other people or cut in front to turn off.
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Old 09-06-05, 07:42 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Alloy Addict
I drive a 98 Ford Explorer in with 2WD. Before that I drove a FWD '97 Chevy Cavalier. The difference in gas mileage is around 5 mpg on average. The Explorer was given to me by a family member that can no longer drive so the price was right. The main draw for me was that my wife and I have a 75 pound dog that we take a lot of places, the dog park, hiking, 100 miles away to visit family being the most common. Could I do this in the Cavalier? Yes, but not if I wanted to have anyone else ride along. On trips like that which has better gas mileage, my Explorer with four people, two dogs, and gear, or two compact cars? Sure there are times that I drive it by myself, but what should I do own another car? That doesn't help the environment.

To be honest, I would rather have a station wagon but very few manufacturers make a small station wagon with any room in the back. Most are glorified hatchbacks.

Sure it hurts to fill it up with gas, but it hurts to fill my wife's 4 cylinder Saturn up too. Until we get a decent mass transit system in this country, and by that I mean nation wide, most of us don't have the option to not own a car and some people need more car than others. The local mass transit here is awful. By awful I mean inconsistant and only running to certain areas. If I worked downtown I could catch an express bus, but if I want to go North of where I live the options are very few. I voted yes for the light rail system in our last elections but unfortunately the majority voted no. Democracy works like that.

I am amazed at the "holier than thou" attitude that so many people take on this forum. If this is indicative of most cyclists, then it is no wonder that so many people hate cyclists. Stop judging other people, do what you think is right, and be happy you live somewhere that people have choices.
Couldn't agree more with the last sentiment, some of you people have made this the equivalent of a holy war - they are cars.

If some schmoe wants to put $200 a week into the gas tank let 'em; instead of *****ing about it go and buy some oil stocks, eventually they will get the message.

To echo Eric's comments, give me a small car with FWD and you can go anywhere in the snow. Only time I ever got stuck in the snow was when my car high-centered on the snow, didn't realize how deep the new snowfall was.

I now drive what is described as an SUV, a MAzda Tribute. Lovely little car, mine has front wheel drive, had to special order to get one without four wheel drive. Two extra drive wheels to get you to the ditch faster.

When I went shopping I wanted a station wagon, any that had any room in them were Volvo's, BMW's and Audi's. I will not pay that much for a car. Since then many other wagons have hit the market and they would be equally capable of carrying lumber from the lumberyard, or my two bassett hounds. However, they will not get better gas mileage so what's the point?

When I bought this car it cost $32 to fill the tank, it now costs over $60 to fill the tank. I just park it more, I take the bus more, I ride more and we as a family car-pool more to save gas and money.

When I need the room in my car, it is there.

Why don't you all take a Prozac and chill down, not you spending the $$ on gas for a behemoth.
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Old 09-06-05, 08:07 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by N_C
I often wonder how valid are the reasons you think people drive SUV's for. Do you know of any statistics that prove your theory's? If you do, anti-up & show me I'd love to see them. Or are these just guesses & assumptions on your part that you have absolutley not evidence to back it up with?
It's nice to see an SUV driver be defensive. We need more defensive drivers out there!
Let's see if your reasons are valid:

It's reliable. Nope...most cars are very reliable.
Wife has difficulty sitting in or getting into car. OK
Claustrophobic in a car. Nope. Get over it.
Bang your head getting in a car. Nope. That's just from lack of practise, or carelessness.
It's cheaper than a truck. Nope...car would be cheaper, a bike still cheaper.
Cargo space. No. Get a roof carrier for your car.
Don't need a minivan. Nope. Irrelevant.
Like to go four-wheeling. Nope. Damages the landscape, threatens wildlife habitat, adds noise and pollution to wilderness areas. Hundreds of times more damaging than mountain biking, for example.
It's shaped like a box, so not a status symbol. Nope. Irrelevant
Tough titty if you don't like that Well, why did you bother with the whole long post then?

Hmmm...so totalling it up..one valid reason (wife's difficulty in a smaller car)...and a whole bunch of rationalizations.

Robert
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