] I am geek and I hate the whole anti-SUV thing. I own an SUV.
] I love my SUV. It gets better fuel milage then my previous
] car. It served my old office car pool very well. It also
] serves my friends interests very well, as I'm always moving
] stuff for them that they can't fit in their cars.
] I wish people would at least get specific with their bitching,
SUV's have been estimated to kill 30 people for every life they save due to their tendency to rollover in accidents and cause extra damage in "T-bone" crashes. Not only are they killing other's on the road at a higher rate, they're also killing their own drivers at a good clip.
Automobile manufacturers have known about the rollover danger of SUV's, which is caused by a higher center of gravity, since at least '96, and yet have continued to market them as safer vehicles. They have also blocked any atempts at regulating bumper heights which would give small vehicle drivers a fighting chance in end-to-end collisions.
In the time that the Firestone tire problem killed approximately 200 people, I've read that the SUV rollover issue killed over 8,000.
Furthermore, 20 MPG is crappy gas efficiency. My 1971 VW bus got 23 MPG 32 years ago. Automobile manufacturers, many believe, should be doing more to offer consumers more efficient choices. Consumers however seem happy with their SUVs.
Additionally, many get upset that SUV's have replaced the perennially nerdy Minivans. Minivans have the same large carrying capacity of SUV's but much better safety records. The difference is they're not macho. Of course, over 90% of SUV's are never driven off-road, but that doesn't make their drivers feel any less tough.
So basically, driving an SUV the trade off is you get to feel cool while increasing your chance of killing other people, killing yourself, destroying the environment, and contributing to Americas entangling relations with nations like Iraq.
Many view this as a typical expression of vain American consumerism, and a representative of everything that's wrong with what we do. Sure, driving an SUV may be selfish and illogical but screw you, I love my SUV. ie I'm willing to damage you for my own comfort and convenience.
SUV's have been credited with the singlehanded revitalization of the American car industry. 12 out of the largest 15 American companies by annual revenue are in the oil or automobile business. Driving up their revenues is seen as good for America. Buy bigger more expensive cars, and use more oil. To some this seems patriotic and good business, but to others it's unethical, shortsighted, and profoundly sick.
But lastly, most people who drive shitty old cars do so because they're broke and can't afford SUVs. There's definitely a class issue going on here between the have's and have-not's which is contrary to logic. People hate SUV's and still desire one at the same time. It's just good old fashioned jealosy at work.
It would be great to see some real innovation and competition in the person and stuff transportation business. In the time that we've seen computer and communications costs fall drastically, costs for transportation have stayed flat. This sucks. We should be able to do better than this. Where's my carbon-fiber hydrogen powered bubble car? I need somewhere to stick my "SUV's Suck" sticker.
RE: WSJ.com - The Scarlet SUV