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Sport Utility Vehicles

SUVs are big and dangerous we hear everywhere today. They waste gas too. Are they? Do they? Let us take a different view.

SUVs are no more bigger than cars than cars are bigger than motorcycles. Many commercial trucks are larger than SUVs. So the point is? Size usually determines who comes out of an accident with less injury and damage. Since the vehicles involved in an accident are randomly chosen, who's to say my SUV won't be hit by a semi. I know the number of SUVs is huge, but what about vans and  pickup trucks? While I do admit a certain macho goes with large vehicle ownership, so does convenience and economy. Depending on individual needs, a SUV meets the needs better than a car.

Let's take a family of 4 and a compact car. It is vacation time. Pack the car for 2 adults and 2 children under 5, a week long trip, and the drive is 6 hours. Where do you safely pack it all? Anything stuffed between the child car seats in the back? Most things will store behind the rear seats in a SUV. While flying objects in the passenger compartment can occur in both vehicles, the SUV has them packed further from the passengers and behind the seats for better protection. Realistically, can you get all you need for this family in a compact car? What do you leave behind and have to buy there?

Then there is the gas. I owned a 3000 pound 1987 Ford Bronco II with 2.9L V6. I now own a 4000 pound 1997 Ford Explorer with 4.0L V6. Both get the same gas mileage (21 highway). Not good enough? A lot of improvement in 10 years I think. Let's see now. I cannot justify a V8 unless there is serious work to be done, and there are a lot of V8s out there. But many are V6s like mine. I go to the local building material store, furniture store, etc. How do I get my purchases home? In many cases, my SUV is adequate. If not, I hire a delivery truck with its poor gas mileage. How many times would that scenario be repeated every day around the country? How many kids can I take places instead of 3 cars? Seems the SUV detractors do not want to think of efficiency of size.

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