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Another long but good "anti-suv" article. Now called 'FUv's(3 posts)

Another long but good "anti-suv" article. Now called 'FUv's128
Jan 13, 2003 1:17 PM
Just fyi if you care. No bait here.

In the spirit of summing up articles intead of just linking: A new and (supposedly)researched book is out regarding the fuv 'problem'. I'm not as hopped up on the efficiency issue of the things (that could be easily resolved, plenty of as powerful motors get 30+ mpg compared to their 12)as I am the safety issue for those of us driving around them: lights to high and powerful, visibility dangerously reduced and the politics their evolution, in a regulatory/social sense.
Don't worry, the research criticizes Democrats, immigrants, males, women, and poor people too.

My opinion fwiw: unless you got a well worn tow-ball on it or a pile of 4x8 plywood and dirt under your nails, you're probably an irresposible sociopath if you drive an FUv. (well, not really but I'd like to think so...)

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030120&s=easterbrook012003&c=1
to be fairDougSloan
Jan 13, 2003 2:17 PM
I read the article. Several problems.

1. SUV's are not defined. Are we talking about anything with AWD/4WD, or only the 3 ton Suburban types? A Mercedes S class is closer to a Suburban in many respects than a Toyota Highlander is. There is a huge variety now, and it doesn't even make sense to lump them in all together.

2. Which evil are we really talking about: size, weight, fuel mileage, bumper height, cost, emissions, or driver aggressiveness? Again, it doesn't make sense unless we are talking about the same things. Huge variety in each category, again.

3. Many ordinary passenger cars get real world gas mileage worse than many so-called SUV's. Pick up a copy of the Consumer Reports summary book. It has real life tested over-all fuel mileages listed. You'll be surprised at how high or low some vehicles are. A Chrysler Intrepid gets worse mileage than many mid-size SUV's.

4. Some SUV's do comply with passenger car safely standards, even if they are not required to. So, it's unfair to ascribe lack of safely to all of them on the sole basis that the law grants an exception; you must look at reality.

5. There are many statements made in the article that are simply false or at least unsubstantiated -- "Can it be a coincidence that road rage gets worse annually, pretty much in sync with the annual rise in the percentage of vehicles that are SUVs or pickups?". That's nothing more than inflammatory yellow journalism. What if bicycle sales went up during the same time period -- is road rage attributable to bicycles, then?

Unless someone realistically and objectively starts discussing these issues, the opponents of SUV's are appearing to be just a bunch of ranting trolls (not you, just in general). The SUV moniker has become a convenient slur for any vehicle disliked by some groups, and these groups conveniently toss in any angle of attack that seems to help them as they go. I've not seen even one discussion anywhere that objectively addresses the issues.

Doug
Good points all, but not the issue really, as I read it128
Jan 14, 2003 5:55 AM
1. True. Answer: SUV=a lie fabricated to promote a sales concept. Put them on a continum and there are degrees of offensiveness. For the sake of argument I'll put an Escalade (slice it any way you want: 'tis neither sporting nor utiilitarian.)and say a smaller one (Jeep something) that provides no more seating room or utility space than my Golf. In fact, the rear seat of that Jeep folds but in such a way as I can't lay my skis in it (utility indeed). On the other end I'll put a Ford 150 extended cab: seats four, good for work, enough engine for most utilizations, and arguably no longer in the SUV category, but often lumped in.

2. All listed, each as it offends in it's particular application. Primarily the saftey concerns and the one you left out: the regulation history.

3. Another reality: There is no reason these motors should be running less than 25mpg. The question is why do they not.

4. Agreed. And those are not at issue. And a nod to those resonsible for making that fact so.

5. I found a number of those as well (including the one you cited, was a stupid correlation), which I thought cheapened the argument....

While I agree with your observations, it is what the book may get right that I find more interesting: The history of the regulatory body's sop to industry pressure; the uneccessary inefficiency of certain SUV's (lies fabricated to sell, remember) and the class/youth observations. As for the "anti-suv" crowd: they miss the point by being overbroad in their condemnation. Some lies should be corrected for the utility, safety, and order of the greater good. Personally, my issue is not so much with those who choose to drive them (there is a need in some cases and they are the right tool for the job-but it's gotten out of hand in some important respects), they are under the great spell of desire and can't be blamed, I take issue with those who create and peddle them and the blatant falsehoods (acceptable 'puffery' aside)they promote as truths. I don't like that; it offends my sense of morality, safety, efficiency and order. Imagine your sunday ride all of a sudden had seven Shaquilee O'neals on loud fat tired high wheels, with cool road ready laser beam pointed at your eyes, a billboard
stapped across their backs, and let's just throw in that they're on cell phones, and flossing his teeth. Anywway, it's the psychology of the thing; are we as consumers and they as manufactures really in the mind set that concludes: yes, this complies with common sense.

ps: to answer your long ago question; I used to listen to Limbaugh a lot, but (and I don't mean this as a slight b/c you have a personal connection, I believe he serves a purpose- he gets people thinking-And he's just another cracked vessal lie the rest of us) I outgrew his ideas, or methods. He's kind of 'intellectual-lite' and way too ideological/codes language/partisan for me. And for the record, while the above FUv persepctive may belie it, I am very pro-market, I am just bent on fairness, access, and redress into and from our institutions to the extent possible.

(and now back to our regularly scheduled program)