Re: [DMCForum] FW: Hummer H2 vs. Tahoe
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Re: [DMCForum] FW: Hummer H2 vs. Tahoe



Chris,

On 11/29/05, Chris Almy <chris.almy@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I wanted to stay out of this, but I just can't resist! This will be my only
> message as I've already discussed this in the past and I realize I'm not
> going to change people's opinions and they won't change mine. This is just
> to explain why some of us are upset at SUVs and large trucks.

Don't stay out of this. We're having a friendly discussion, and I love
hearing and debating other points of view. Even if we never agree, at
least we gained an appreciation for the other side.

> Those vehicles serve an actual purpose and are doing a job that usually
> can't be done any other way. Yes they pose a bit of a risk to everybody
> else, but they usually have well trained drivers behind the wheel. Most

SUVs often do a job that can't be done any other way, just not at the
same time. Their strength is that they do multiple jobs. Today, it
transports a guy to work. Tomorrow, it hauls his boat, his dog and his
buddies to the lake. Next week, it hauls five kids, a wife and a load
of groceries home from the store. During the winter it gets him over a
snowy mountain pass to go skiing.

Is there another vehicle that can do all of these things?

The point about the trained drivers is a good one, however.

> SUVs  (I'm not a fan of any large truck based vehicle) are spending 100% of
> their time on "standard car duty". I realize there are plenty of people
> that use them properly (I'm not trying to outlaw them after all). It's just
> that in most city centers and suburbs (not mountainous areas or farms),
> they aren't necessary for most people. All of my friends and co-workers
> that used to have an SUV gave them up because they realized it was a
> pointless vehicle for them. And the ones I know that still have them, still
> use them as cars and nothing more.

The problem as I see it is nobody really knows what "most" people use
their SUVs for. Their immediate friends, sure, but nobody should draw
their conclusions of what "most" people do based on what a few of
their friends do.

For example, my SUV is used primarily by my wife, hauling two children
around town. Most would find that "typical", "yuppie", "soccer mom",
etc. Yet, over Thanksgiving we filled it with luggage and a dog and
took it "over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house"
in Idaho. The 4 wheel drive was nice in the snow. The room for our dog
kennel in the back kept the neurotic pooch from running around the
vehicle and driving us crazy.

A car won't do that. A minivan would suffice, but until they make a
4x4 minivan with decent ground clearance so I can climb out of a ditch
should a snowy road help me into one, I'm not interested. When is the
last time I had to do that? Well, never, but I might. And I like the
comfort that brings me.

> Again, I'm not saying all SUVs are evil and should be banned. It's just
> that I hate it when somebody puts me at greater risk without reason other
> then to drive something bigger or make a statement. Keep in mind SUVs

See, that's my beef. There are a lot of reasons people drive SUVs, but
I don't think "making a statement" or simply being "bigger" than
everyone else are very high up there. I see more popular reasons as:

1. Towing or hauling things. I realize many SUV owners do this only
occasionally, but that's fine. Many people don't like to rent
vehicles; it's a hassle. It's very convenient to be able to pick up
something big or heavy, or to tow something, on a whim. No dealing
with nasty, poorly maintained rentals, returning them, filling out
paperwork, etc.

2. "What if" 4x4 situations. People like the idea of ground clearance
and 4 wheel drive. I like that I can pull someone out of a ditch on a
cold winter day, or have a chance at getting myself out of one should
I need to. I like that I can drive up a mountain road without a
problem. Do I do this all of the time? No, but I do occasionally.

3. Just having extra interior room is nice. I can throw several
friends and their gear in and go do something. The wife, the kids, the
dog, and a big load of all of the things everyone "has to have" with
them on a road trip.

It's not always logical nor financially conservative, but people do
have their reasons. Mostly I think having the ability to do certain
things gives people comfort, even if they don't actually do it. It's
security and insurance for some possible future event. Hitting a nasty
storm over a mountain pass can almost be fun in an SUV or big truck.
It's a nightmare in anything else. I once hit one in a Fiero - I'd
have given just about anything for my SUV.

Gun owners understand this. I will gladly waste money on a gun I'll
probably never use (apart from training, testing & maintenance),
because if I do have to use it on some crackhead who has broken into
my house at 3 am, every expense and risk leading up to that point will
have been worth it millions of times over. Likewise for my SUV and
(bad weather, rough roads, large or heavy objects, large amounts of
people and gear needing transportation, pick one).

> they are in such great numbers. I find it hard to believe the average
> American family has changed that much in 15+ years to needing a SUV.

I don't think anybody _needs_ an SUV. They just happen to cram a lot
of wants and "what-ifs" into a single vehicle that works for them.

--
- Ryan
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