Would you like that car Super-Sized, sir?

Haggis McBagpipe
Why are super-sized SUVs so popular? What happened to make people stop caring about the obvious (and many) downsides of such gas-sucking monstrosities?

On any busy road, 3/4 or more of the vehicles are over-priced over-sized road pigs driven by inept and aggressive drivers.

As little as twenty years ago, Canadians didn't buy into the American notion of a car as representative of status. Somewhere along the way, though, we slipped into that mode.

Any thoughts on how we came to be Just Like Americans in our obsession with the Mighty Super-Sizer SUV?
They sell the image. Sex and money! Sex and money always sells. Sophiscated looking, sleak.

SUV's sure are nice looking nowadays...but yes in fact they are just like those damn ford broncos, that are gas guzzlers.

Mistubishi has nice cars....and they are more selling to the young guys out there, with that street racing crap in now!

But I hope to have a bigger family some day, so of course, I will be shopping around for a van or SUV. So I am going to be looking for something with safety, conveince, storage, and lots of doors and durablity. PRICE!!!

*takes a deep breath*
God I hate humantiy, lol
Haggis McBagpipe
If you thought it really did make a difference to the environment, would you forego some features and choose something smaller?

What would make you say 'No!' to an supersized SUV (other than purchase price)?

Would you choose a Hummer for maximum safely, convenience, storage, et al, if money was not a concern?
Reverend Blair
Lets put it this way, Haggis...I have a big green truck I bought while I was doing contracting work. I needed a 3/4 ton and I needed room for tools and lumber. I bought a 1980 GMC crew cab...prince of the gas guzzlers (it'd be king, but I didn't want or need a 4X4). When I quit doing the contracting thing the truck began to sit in the driveway more and more.

I still need a truck that size sometimes so I've hung on to it, but it doesn't move too much at all. Right now it has a rod knock, but I'm not in any rush to put an engine into it.

The SUV craze is largely about status though, not utility. Most never leave the pavement. Very few ever have their storage/hauling capacity used. I've driven them on occassion, and they are nice to drive. Not as nice as a mid-sized or small car though.

My suggestion would be to put a tax on all vehicles over a certain weight and/or size that do not acheive a certain mileage rating. People who needed such vehicles for work would be exempted. All money for the tax would go to fund alternative energy programs.

Something else I'd like to see is blanket insurance/licensing of vehicles. A lot of people need an SUV or truck sometimes, but would happily drive a fuel efficient vehicle the rest of the time if they could. Since I buy older vehicles this doesn't effect me much, but insurance costs do discourage people from owning a variety of vehicles. Whay can't we buy insurance for the most expensive vehicle and have it apply, possibly with a small charge, to one or two other vehicles?
Well I would go for a Dodge mini-van prehaps over an SUV. I need something with LOTS of storage room. I want another 2 kids in my life! I have a 4 year old right now.

She is going to be starting school soon, and soccer practice. Then if I have another, I am going to need room for the items of a 4 year old. Room for an infant car seat, and not feel crowded.

Right now I have a 1996 Ford Escort. Two door, hatchback. And right now, it's not what I need! So thinking of a trade in, or a lease on a mini-van or SUV. Trucks are out of the picture, and cars not enough room.

Thats my car there...and its sooo small!
I personally can't stand SUVs. There are a number of reasons. Yes, they are nice to drive in, and yes, they can be quite comfortable - especially the LINCOLN NAVIGATOR!!! woo. Sorry.

Here's why I don't like SUVs.

- Why would someone who lives in Toronto require a large SUV? It's originally designed as an offroad vehicle, and it's a killer on gas! Terrible for your wallet, and even worse in the longrun for our environment.. Come on, Toronto's smog is bad enough.

- Why have an SUV for a small family or just a bachelor? Yes, they exist all over the place. Someone with a new baby DOESNT need an SUV which can seat 7!!

- They are totally uneconomical. Along with the price on the environment -- who wants to pay more for gas with skyrocketing fuel prices??!!

- They're too big... Ok, finding a parking spot anywhere in Toronto is bad enough (not as bad in Montreal, I found)... So you finally find a free spot, and you can't fit into it! WTF! To hell with that. Parking is impossible.

- Feature packed. I'm sure it's great to own a television. But on earth would you want several in your vehicle? It's beyond me.

If you've got a family and you live in suburban or rural areas, a minivan is perfect. But why even bother with those large vehicles if you live in one of Canada's large cities (1/3 of us do!)
Well, I plan on having a large family, with a dog or 2.

Canadas winters aren't very nice.

I am not in Toronto ;p

I like how spacious they are.

No I dont want a tv in one, maybe when i have 5 kids, the TV will save me.

I like the style moer so over a mini van, but I may still consider a mini van.

Anything you get now a days costs a pretty penny for gas

So find mea sleak looking mini van for my age, and what i need it for, and its sold! lol
Diamond Sun
Quote: Originally Posted by Andem

- Feature packed. I'm sure it's great to own a television. But on earth would you want several in your vehicle? It's beyond me.

Most of my points have been made for me, but I did want to address the one Andem made about the television in the vehicle.

My husband and I were recently watching TV (which we are only doing now because of the election coverage) and saw a commercial for an SUV. The family was playing a very sad game of I Spy. The whole family looked dejected. Then they show the same family in an SUV with a TV, and ta da. Happiness ensues. I'm disgusted that these companies are portraying a family that doen't want to talk to each other, or sing songs, or play games.

I drive a little Kia Hatchback, costs me $34 to fill and I get 600 km to tank. I can fit $87 worth of empties in the car. Or two Dogs. Or camping gear for 10 days. And I paid less than $17,000 for it.
Haggis McBagpipe
Many excellent points in this thread. Diamond Sun, you have perfectly pointed out that a small car does just fine. You could add at least one kid to that formula and still easily have the ten-day camping trip with dogs. Crowded but fun... make that crowded and more fun as a result.

I am quite sure that in some of those supersized television-equipped SUVs, kids are disappearing altogether, hopelessly lost in miles of upholstered excess and parental indifference. "Where's Johnny?" "Dunno, he's in there somewhere." In ten year's time they'll emerge as sullen teens, having barely survived on television pap and large quantities of junk food scraps fallen through the cracks.

We, too, drive a small car - a Citroen 2CV. It has 2 cylinders, gets 50 mpg. It has lots of room, keeps up on the highway, especially if the wind is at our back and the hills aren't too steep, and is shockingly cute. We made a choice to sell the sports car and (small) SUV and make do with just one car that is a little environmental gem. Sometimes it is inconvenient, but it works. North Americans have, as a rule, lost the ability to tolerate ANY degree of inconvenience.
American Voice
SUVs are a classic example of conscpicuous consumption. Drive along Chase St., in the old section of Worthington, and practically every vehicle parked along the street is an SUV.

One afternoon recently, as I was waiting for the light in front of one of our elementary schools, I watched a procession of children crossing the street. Easily 7 out of 10 of them were substantially overweight, and some were actually--I would say--obese.

Is that why Americans need bigger cars?

I was driving another day, out shopping, when I passed the aftermath of a collision. It was along a commercial road lined both sides with stores and restaurants. Do you have those center lanes, designated for left turns, both ways? Two motorists had simultaneously entered the turn lane, and they collided head on. Fortunately, they would both have been decelerating--reducing the likelihood of sometimes fatal airbag deployment--but the combined speed at the time of the crash must have been 35 to 40 MPH, anyway. The front of the SUV was dented. The other vehicle, something about the size of LuShes' Focus, was all smashed in, and it had rebounded from the impact and rotated--evidence that it had gone airborne--about, I'd say, 45 degrees. Four ball off the ten, corner pocket.

I sat in an SUV, an Expedition, at the dealer last year. I thought to myself, there is no reason for having a vehicle this big, unless you are pulling a trailer. I traded my Focus stationwagon for a Taurus sedan. The Focus was a joy to drive, and the cargo space was a real plus, but on the road with so many much larger and heavier vehicles, it was a potential death-trap. (By the way, no one is talking about the huge number of pick-up trucks on the road. You do have those in Canada, right?) The Taurus is rated, I believe, the most crash survivable car made in America--well for the American market. My car was made up in Ontario, actually. Thanks guys! It only gets 20 miles to the gallon, but the safety is worth it. I feel more at ease.

I have given serious thought, however, to trading it in on a secondhand Bradley fighting vehicle. I'll take it up on Bethel Rd., and tailgate SUVs. HAHAHAHAHA!!!
Haggis McBagpipe
I'll be right there with ya, in a Unimog.

I like (love) the enterprising young men in Seattle who had bumper stickers made up for the supersized SUVs: 'Ask me how I'm changing the environment!'. Instructions on how to remove the sticker were included on the sticker, it involved going to a website that first lectured the SUV driver on certain facts about SUVs and the environment, then took him/her to a page with removal instructions. Too funny.

Anyway, you're right about the pick-up trucks, the things are massive now. Our Citroen 2CV is very tiny, squeezed amongst the giants on the road. Although the last thing you can say about a 2CV is that it is safe, it is very distinct and therefore people are inclined to notice it. That, and extremely defensive driving, is the ticket to having a small car. Oh, and a whole lotta luck.
Reverend Blair
What has most increased the size of pick-ups is how common 4 wheel drive has become. It's kind of odd, but I grew up around trucks and we never had 4x4's. When I was nineteen I bought one and ended up upside down in a creek...just had to test the capabilites.

The point is that nobody needs 4 wheel drive to drive on roads, even gravel roads. They need to learn judgement and how to drive. I've driven two wheel drive trucks through fields in the winter time, I've done the same in the wet of spring. Sometimes you get stuck, so what?

I presently own two trucks...the big green one I mentioned earlier, and a 1982 Dodge with a tiny six cylinder (good on gas) that I drive almost daily (I often need a light truck at work).

Trucks are really impractical for most people most of the time though. They ride like buckets when they don't have a load in, are hard to park, suck gas, are hard to handle on ice, lack passenger space, do not afford you a place to lock things up, etc.

When we are going someplace that does not require a truck, we take a car.
Haggis McBagpipe
You've got it, Reverend. I can recall when it was a bit of a joke to see people with pick-ups who had absolutely no reason to own one. Now, if it was still a joke, I'd be laughing all the time, never have a chance to catch my breath.
Used to be that a pickup truck was a work vehicle; now GM has all that plastic crap all over the outside, and even a Cadillac pickup????

Hey, LuShes, if you want utility for multiple kids, an SUV is no better than a wagon. Me personally, when we got child no 1, I wanted room for her and the dog, so I got a Subaru Legacy wagon. Great car. We have two children now, 6 and 3, and the Subie is fine for hockey/soccer/lacrosse/vacation; although I sometimes think I'd consider a minivan for the ability to bring their friends. An SUV really isn't of any more use than the Subaru; most have no more useful room, and certainly no more seating, unless you get up into those monsters. But, who needs a $50,000 monster gas guzzler that doesn't do anything that a $25,000 vehicle will do?
Haggis McBagpipe
Subarus are damn fine cars. I'd buy one in a heartbeat if I needed another car.

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