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Old 3 Jun 2003, 13:25 (Ref:619153)   #1
Osella
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US cars are fine: SUVs suck!

I've just come back from a two week trip to NY and Chicago.
Personally, I like US cars. Some of them, the latest full-size Caddies and Chryslers look marvelous; even ordinary ones like the ubiquitous Crown Vic and Town Car are nice. Ford should sell these things (lhd and a suitably realistic price, eg LOW) here. People would buy them. The sheer quantity of these things on US roads means they must be good. Taxi drivers wouldn't choose these as working cars if they weren't up to the job. I also like that slabby Olds 98 (almost Citroeny) and the cab-forward Chryslers.

But the SUVs... well, what ugliness abounds there. I lost count of the number of models mercifully absent from the UK. I've nothing against big, practical cars or trucks being used purposefully but really...

If I lived in the US and wanted to make a statement along the lines of "I've more important things to spend my money on and don't need to invade Iraq on my way to the mall" with my choice of car, I'd drive a 1977 Honda Accord!

There is a new and potentialy dangerous craze of Hummer-tagging which I shall introduce now. Basically, the sticker says

h2O Exactly Half of the Purchase Price of this Ve-hickle has been donated to the children of Iraq, to bring them clean water

Last edited by Osella; 3 Jun 2003 at 13:26.
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Old 3 Jun 2003, 15:24 (Ref:619285)   #2
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Well, I live in the 'States and I have plenty of issues with our domestic automobile products and I've worked for two of the Big Three and have been employed with one for ten years now. But intercity driving in NY, Chicago, L.A., Houston, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and the like do not smile on European cars. The hours of relentless traffic destroys the rationale for purchasing a fine BMW.

However, there is no viable transportation method for the average US family outside of station wagons [there aren't really any] and SUVs. How would you transport your wife and three kids? Not in a medium-sized sedan you wouldn't. The vehicle would be packed tightly and would not be an ideal method of human transport.

While I feel that many SUV pilots inadvertently or purposely pose a mild risk on public roads if I were to be married with "three point blank" kids I, too, would own one. Or maybe a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna.

As it stands they are usually rolling chicanes, but in the Detroit Metro Area [where we have some of the nation's fastest moving freeway traffic] they travel far faster than their interminably oversteering chassis can accomodate - not to mention brakes that may not bleed off enough speed to avoid that small compact sedan that had to apply his brakes really hard fifty meters up the road. Just last night in my Integra Type R I'm cruising ay 85 mph when a Cadillac Escalade comes flying up behind. I put on my indicator and evacuate the left lane. He continues up the freeway at was approximately 95 mph...
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Old 3 Jun 2003, 16:13 (Ref:619364)   #3
Neil C
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I drive the same roads as Chui (welcome to the Forums, btw), and I do have a medium sized SUV (Ford Escape). My question for all of those that stereotype SUV's and their owners is: what is worse, an SUV owner that uses 500 gallons per year driving to work and carting his/her family around, or a Honda Civic owner who's car gets 30mpg but they use 1500 gallons per year cruising main street and driving around with no particular place to go, unless it's to the mall to hang out?

My point is, we all have choices, and it is irritating to see everyone caught up in the hypocritical public furor over SUV's. Do we brand SUV owners as the bad guys so we can escape our own guilt about whatever we are fretting over these days: the environment, Arab oil, Iraq? If so, stop it. If you feel guilty about something you do or are, change it! And stop trying to make others feel guilty so you can feel superior.

Now, what was this thread about?
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Old 3 Jun 2003, 16:24 (Ref:619376)   #4
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Hoorah!

Well said Neil. Let's face it, the vast majority of people on this forum are petrolheads. Otherwise they wouldn't be here. And as such, I'm willing to speculate that every single one of us would - finances allowing - choose one, two or a whole fleet of cars to suit our tastes. And mpg, environmental friendliness and restricting use for pleasure will be the three last things any of us will think of.

I like the US SUVs - we get a fair few imported to the UK, so I've seen a decent selection - and if I was in the US and needed good all purpose transport I'd certainly use one. I can afford the petrol, and it ain't SUVs that are dangerous - it's people who can't drive them.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 02:07 (Ref:619937)   #5
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The problem with calling it a "choice" is that I don't have any choice if some b*tch tropy wife in an Escalade kills me with her suburban assault vehicle!

The damn things are a severe health and safety threat to everyone _but_ their owners.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 05:49 (Ref:620046)   #6
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Actually, they can even be a threat to their occupants (as well as to those around them) as their inferior dynamics mean they are more likely to have an accident for a given set of conditions, and when they do have that accident, as well as crushing whatever poor unfortunate thing that ends up in their path, the lack of adequate crumple zones (in most of them) will mean they impose worse damage on occupants than would otherwise be the case (which is probably rough justice - live by the SUV, die by the SUV).

"b*tch trophy wife...in her suburban assaut vehicle"

hehehehehe now that generalisation is just sooo true that its funny.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 09:23 (Ref:620182)   #7
Osella
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Originally posted by Neil C
I drive the same roads as Chui (welcome to the Forums, btw), and I do have a medium sized SUV (Ford Escape). My question for all of those that stereotype SUV's and their owners is: what is worse, an SUV owner that uses 500 gallons per year driving to work and carting his/her family around, or a Honda Civic owner who's car gets 30mpg but they use 1500 gallons per year cruising main street and driving around with no particular place to go, unless it's to the mall to hang out?

My point is, we all have choices, and it is irritating to see everyone caught up in the hypocritical public furor over SUV's. Do we brand SUV owners as the bad guys so we can escape our own guilt about whatever we are fretting over these days: the environment, Arab oil, Iraq? If so, stop it. If you feel guilty about something you do or are, change it! And stop trying to make others feel guilty so you can feel superior.

Now, what was this thread about?


Interesting defence, stereotyping Honda Civic owners as listless mall-rats...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but we have work, and families, here in the UK and Yurrp, and, on my last inspection at least, most Honda Civics are capable of making that journey and carrying those people.

A Volvo wagon can carry 5 (or 7 with the rearward facing seats like the old ones had) and half a ton. What SUV do you need that significantly improves on that? And is it even on the same page, dynamically, or structurally, as a Volvo (any Volvo??)

I feel no guilt.

SUVs are for the most part overweight.

Of course we're all free etc etc but I for one feel that freedom cheapened somewhat whenever some goes on about it in a libertarian way...
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 12:06 (Ref:620402)   #8
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Lee, it's the b*tch trophy wives - (perfect phrase, can I borrow it next time some tart in a BMW X5 cuts me up in Wilmslow? ) - that are a severe health and safety threat to us, not the urban assault vehicle hubby bought for them.

They can be dynamically unstable - higher centre of gravity means they'll roll more easily. But a driver with half a brain cell knows that means don't tailgate and don't corner too fast.

However, I fully agree with Osella's point - SUVs, by and large, are completely unnecessary, cos anything your average trophy wife/mother needs in the suburban jungle is available in - at biggest - a Volvo stationwagon. They're too big, too heavy, too thirsty.

But it's about want, not need. And if I didn't live in a tiny overcrowded country with miniature roads, I'd want one.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 12:35 (Ref:620443)   #9
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I'm with GTV 27 this one,

They don't, actually they can't produce the same braking/handling dynamics as a sedan in a crisis/panic situation. they do have the benefit od shheer body mass to their defence but the engineering of their design can impede the crumple zone deformable dynamic that can minimize occupant injury.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 13:49 (Ref:620591)   #10
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i don't like SUV ..
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 14:10 (Ref:620607)   #11
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Yes, SUVs suck, but the ones that are built on car chassis rather than on truck chassis are at least a bit better than the rest...
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 15:20 (Ref:620688)   #12
Lee Janotta
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Garcon, be my guest.

Okay, one major problem with occupant safety is that Ford and GM both made the roofs of their SUVs paper-thin for several years in order to increase fuel economy. Hence all the broken necks in rollovers.

You can't always get what you want, Garcon. You can't keep a tiger tied to a tree on the lawn. You can't run red lights. You can't use your street as a runway for a surplus MiG-21 you bought off eBay.

Why? Because those actions would put other people in imminent danger. Mill proposes a limit on personal freedom at the point where a third party will be harmed. Even a majority of the American Libertarian party subscribe to this theory. The alternative to such a limit is anarchy.

Under current regs, I cannot buy a car which has not passed tests to demonstrate that it "sufficiently" protects it's occupants in a crash. Yet I _can_ buy a vehicle which has been _proven_ to be an increased threat to pedestrians and other motorists. I can even put "bull bars" on it to make _sure_ I kill any pedestrians I strike!

To me, this is the Harm Theory turned on it's head. I cannot take my own life in my hands, but I _can_ take steps to put all around me in increased danger.
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 19:52 (Ref:621019)   #13
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We recently drove a Ford Escape in Arizona. I noticed under the sun-visor a warning that the car was more liable to roll over than an ordinary car. This highlights to me the worldwide, and cross-gender, problem of driver education.
Put it like this... How many of you tried to use a new computer without referring to the instruction manuall? How many of you have read the handbook for your car? (probably most of us actually, because we're enthusiasts and that's the kind of thing we do).....
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Old 4 Jun 2003, 21:40 (Ref:621141)   #14
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You could tatoo that warning on the inside of their eyelids and it still wouldn't make a difference!
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Old 5 Jun 2003, 21:12 (Ref:622263)   #15
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Yeah, my point exactly (I think...) So, what can be done?
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