SUV Phobia

[This post has been moved to Thinking-Critically.com]

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About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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8 Responses to SUV Phobia

  1. Jersey says:

    If SUVs should be banned, than should be muscle cars, sport cars, antique cars, mega huge sedans, limousines, etc. Are they not heavier, less fuel efficient, gas guzzlers, and smog producers? 😛

  2. Rodibidably says:

    I think you missed the point of this article. The point is that SUVs should NOT be banned. And not only that, that sometimes modern normal cars are even worse than SUVs.

    “my 2004 Audi S4, a 4 door sedan, gets 15 miles per gallon, which is worse than the 16 miles per gallon of my wife’s 2006 Toyota 4Runner with the largest V8 engine”

  3. effulgent7 says:

    FINALLY someone is acknowledging that SUV’s are not as “evil” as environmentalists make them out to be. Not to mention, for me a hybrid will not be worth it until they can get 75+ mpg- my crummy little Saturn coupe used to get 36mpg regularly…how is 40-50 miles per gallon worth all the hybrid nonsense?

  4. Rodibidably says:

    I think that hybrids are going to help in the long run. But I don’t think the technology matches up to the hype yet.

    That said, if everything else was equal (cost, options, horsepower, etc) and I had a choice between a hybrid and a “regular” car or SUV of the same make and model, I’d take the hybrid, since it would get at least slightly better gas mileage. But for now, all those other things are not equal, and a hybrid does not make financial, or ecological sense, yet.

  5. Josh Elder says:

    I have to strongly disagree with the statement about the difference in gas would not make up for the difference in price.

    I don’t even drive a Hybrid, an ’05 Corolla, and my friends who drive SUV’s spend $65+ to fill up their tank and they maybe get 280 miles on a tank.

    I spend $30-35 to fill up my tank and can drive ~350 miles. I don’t drive very much but I have to fill up my tank at least once a week or every week and a half. So ~3-4 times a month; $140/mth on gas where my friends with SUV’s spend $280/mth. In 1 year, they will have spent $3,360 on gas (approx) where I would have spent $1,680 and that’s on a car that’s not even a Hyrbid. If you’re mainly a city driver, the Hybrid would save you tons on gas because it would mostly use the electric (the prius anyway) engine.

    My Corolla gets ~32mpg, Prius gets, I believe, 45+. So I’m fairly certain it would pay for itself within the first 2.5-3 years.

    I don’t believe SUV’s should be banned. I think they’re hideous and it’s hilarious to see people driving an SUV or giant gas-guzzling truck with ‘Support our Troops’ or bumper stickers about the environment on them because we all know how OPEC really supports our troops. Lol

    I will agree people make Hybrids out to be ‘saviors’ when they still cause environmental problems…just less than standard cars.

  6. Rodibidably says:

    If you look at larger amounts of data comparing all hybrids with all non hybrids the gaps is not nearly as large as your example. In addition to factoring in the additional cost of the car, you must then factor in the interest earned on that money by you instead of paying it to the car dealership, and when you do this across all vehicles, the time it takes to “pay off” the initial investment is longer than MOST American’s keep a car before trading it in.

  7. sophismata says:

    “If you look at larger amounts of data comparing […]”

    Well, if you are going to use the “larger amount of data” argument, then you can’t compare a specifically bad sedan (Audi S4) with a specifically good SUV (Toyota 4Runner) and achieve a general conclusion (that SUVs shouldnt be banned because they are not that bad after all).

    “The vast majority of so-called SUV’s are mechanically identical to conventional cars. […] Their weight, economy, and performance are generally similar to the cars on which they are based.”

    Again, if you use the “larger amount of data” argument then this statement is false. All your examples were foreign SUVs. But the SUV market is dominated by Ford and GM whose SUV performances are far from being similar to cars. In fact, the harmonic mean of the mpg for the US SUV fleet (considering Toyotas and GMs, Acuras and Fords) is 21mpg, as opposed to 27.5 for the car fleet. Hardly “similar performance”.

  8. Rodibidably says:

    The statement “If you look at larger amounts of data comparing was specifically in reference to: I have to strongly disagree with the statement about the difference in gas would not make up for the difference in price.
    That commenter was not looking at all of the costs associated with his example. I was trying to point out that he had left out a number of costs from his calculation.

    As for the example of the Audi vs the 4Runner, you’re correct that it’s not enough data to compare those two and say “well SUVs are good”. However it is enough to say that people should take a second look, since the conventional wisdom in society today is that sedans are better than SUVs, and that is not always the case.

    I agree that overall sedans are better than SUVs, but there are many SUVs, especially now with the Hybrid SUVs coming out, that get as good or better gas mileage than many sedans.

    As for your final comment about “Hardly “similar performance””. The comment was comparing those SUVs to the cars on which their body, frame, and chassis were based, not comparing all SUVs to all sedans.

    I agree that overall sedans are more fuel efficient than SUVs. However, when you look further, you’ll find many SUVs that are as efficient (or more efficient) than the “average” sedan. And to make the claim, as many do, that SUVs are inherently bad is a gross overstatement.

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