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Old 06-08-2008, 07:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Death knell of the SUV?

Quote:
The rise and fall of the SUV TheStar.com

The 2004 Ford Excursion, biggest SUV on the road, weighs 9,200 pounds, is 227 inches long, and gets about 10 m.p.g.

BULKING UP
  • The inaugural Jeep Wagoneer (1963), arguably the first modern sport utility vehicle (SUV), weighed in at 3,731 pounds, was 183.7" long, and got a miserable 10 miles to the gallon (fairly fuel-efficient at the time).
  • The first Ford Explorer (1991), which turned SUVs from a niche vehicle into a mainstream sector, weighed 4,900 pounds, was 184.3" long and got 15/20 m.p.g. city/highway.
  • The 2005 Chevrolet Suburban (aka Chev Subdivision), one of more ubiquitous SUVs, weighs 7,000 pounds, is 219.3" long, and gets 15/19 m.p.g.
  • The 2006 Hummer H1 Alpha weighs 8,114 pounds (less than the original H1 Hummer, at 10,300 lbs.), is 184.5" long and gets 11 to 12 m.p.g. The Hummer H2, is the H1's little brother.
  • The 2004 Ford Excursion, biggest SUV on the road, weighs 9,200 pounds, is 227" long, and gets about 10 m.p.g.
  • The Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra, production of which at Oshawa will end, according to a General Motors Corp. announcement this week, each weigh about 6,500 pounds, are 205.6" long, and get 14/18 m.p.g.
  • For purposes of comparison, the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt subcompact weighs 3,216 pounds, is 180" long and gets 24/33 m.p.g. The 2009 model Toyota Corolla weighs just 2,723 pounds and gets 27/35 m.p.g.

Long affair with guzzlers appears over
June 08, 2008
David Olive
Business Columnist

The 1963 Jeep Wagoneer was pug ugly, a rectangular box on wheels with a slanted, forlorn snout that had showroom wallflower written all over it. But it was the first modern sport utility vehicle (SUV), incorporating most of the features of today's SUVs – automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, power steering, brakes and windows, and a luxuriously appointed interior. It has been arguably the most influential 4X4 in automotive history, save for the original military Jeep MB.

The bestselling SUVs of the 1980s and 1990s, when these "houses on wheels" came to account for one in five cars on the road – the Blazers, Explorers, 4Runners, Grand Cherokees, Land Cruisers, Pathfinders, Sequoias, Sidekicks, Suburbans, Tahoes, Xterras and Yukons – all trace their lineage to a homely vehicle that was a desperate bid by a now-defunct Willys Motor Co. of Toledo, Ohio, to stay ahead of an increasingly competitive 4X4 market.

Willys' Jeep brand eventually found its current home, at Chrysler LLC, while Willys Motor passed into history. Now the same fate seems to beckon the SUV sector, a victim of:
  • The recent skyrocketing of fuel prices, which reached a crescendo Friday when oil surged $10.75, or 8.4 per cent, to a record $138.54 (U.S.) a barrel, with some predicting prices as high as $150 within a month.
  • Market saturation (practically all of the world's two-dozen or so major auto makers offer one or more SUVs);
  • An SUV backlash of long standing that predates An Inconvenient Truth (Ford Motor Co.'s 3.5-tonne, V-10-powered Excursion, the world's biggest SUV, boasting nine-passenger capacity and a paltry 10 miles per gallon fuel consumption, was promptly dubbed the "Exxon Valdez of Vehicles" by the Sierra Club).

Sales growth in SUVs and large pickup trucks has been on the wane for most of this decade as climate-change awareness grew along with traffic congestion in major North American cities. But it took the oil shock of the past two years, and especially of recent months, to push SUV and large-truck sales into negative territory.

The shift in consumer preferences has been abrupt and unprecedented. "The U.S. auto industry is going through changes probably faster than we've ever seen before," Fritz Henderson, president of General Motors Corp., said last Tuesday. That day, GM rocked the industry by announcing the closure of four SUV and large-truck assembly plants, including its Oshawa facility that turns out Chevrolet Silverados and GMC Sierras. About 2,000 jobs will be lost in Oshawa, while 6,000 GM employees there continue to turn out smaller passenger cars.

As Rick Wagoner, GM's chief executive, bemoaned Tuesday, as recently as last fall the Detroit auto maker was selling a not-great but respectable 105,000 SUVs and large trucks per month. So far this year, that number has plunged to 65,000 units. Ford Motor Co., which has done more than any auto maker to popularize SUVs, has announced its own SUV cutbacks. Both firms are focusing on the smaller, fuel-efficient cars and "crossovers" (gussied-up station wagons) the market now demands.

SUVs actually have been around for most of the industry's history. The labels "carryall" and "suburban" were applied to auto models since the early 1920s. The Chevy Suburban has been in continuous production since 1935. And the 1950s postwar move to suburbia saw a fad in "Woody Wagons" and other boxy people-and-cargo movers, many outfitted in fake wood-grain external panelling – just the thing for getting surfboards and party gear to the beach in trend-setting California.

What transformed SUVs from a niche to a dominant passenger vehicle of the 1980s and 1990s was the Ford Explorer, launched in 1990. Trim and inconspicuous by the standards of today's biggest SUVs, the affordable Explorer was sexier than a minivan (a vehicle no one aspired to, though they've sold in the millions) and sold a stunning 14 million units in its first decade. That's not far short of total North American passenger-vehicle production in a given year.

Six years later, the Explorer begat its larger stablemate, the Expedition, whose popularity, despite a $36,000 (U.S.) sticker price, was so surprisingly strong that Ford immediately stuck a fancy grille on it and called that "new" model the Lincoln Navigator. The Michigan Truck Plant in the Detroit suburb of Warren that pumped out these two vehicles was soon the most profitable auto plant in the world.

In hindsight, it's remarkable Detroit clung to SUVs even as the Prius generation of fuel-efficient hybrids presaged a massive shift away from gas-guzzling SUVs and large trucks, and a consumer move back to the smaller, fuel-sipping passenger cars of the 1970s and early 1980s – themselves a reaction to previous oil shocks, in 1973 and 1979.

But fuel prices were low in the 1990s. As recently as late that decade, crude was commanding just $9 a barrel (U.S.), a far cry from today's $135 range. And SUVs were immensely profitable. Classified as trucks, they lacked the stringent and costly fuel-efficiency, suspension and braking systems legally required of passenger cars. Like most SUVs, the monstrous Navigator, for instance, was a dressed-up truck consisting of a rectangular steel frame bolted on to the platform of Ford's entry-level F-150 pickup truck, with some chrome, leather and cupholders added. It cost about $24,000 to make and consumers were happy to lay out $45,000 to own one.

Those lofty margins drew other auto makers worldwide into the action, even such unlikely players as Porsche AG (the Cayenne). But only Detroit allowed itself to become almost completely reliant for profits on SUVs and large trucks – which explains why Motown has consistently lost money in North America for the past several years as that sector became hotly competitive and then declined.

Women have accounted for more than half the sales of SUVs. Their motive has been less about utility – carrying capacity, off-road mobility, or extra towing power (when was the last time you saw an SUV towing a mobile home or yacht along Wellington Street?) – than personal safety and self-image.

Focus groups by all makers found that women wanted to be above the traffic, related to the macho names and design of SUVs, and wanted their high road clearance in order to check for predators beneath the vehicle.

As noted in a 2004 New Yorker examination of SUV's inferior safety record compared to minivans and even sports cars, Malcolm Gladwell cited the work of SUV aficionado Keith Bradsher, author of High and Mighty, who summarized the focus groups he attended as identifying the typical SUV buyer as "insecure, vain, self-centred and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills."

That's taking matters to extremes, although it's perhaps worth noting the focus-group recollection of Toyota Motor Corp.'s top North American marketing executive earlier this decade, who remembers "the elegant woman in the group (who) said she needed the full-sized Lexus LX 470 to drive up over the curb and on to lawns to park at large parties in Beverly Hills." You could do that with an unadorned F-150 pickup, but you'd be making a different sort of fashion statement. And as Tom Wolfe long ago observed, "Ask a Californian to describe himself, and he points to his car."

Vehicles as fashion statements have lately become out of reach in the midst of a U.S. economic slowdown, a 28-year-low in U.S. consumer confidence, and a housing crisis that has seen up to 50 per cent drops in house values in selected U.S. regions, including California, Florida and the Midwest, which has put an end to the use of home-equity loans for luxury-good purchases. Suburbanites in both Canada and the U.S. have been especially hard hit, as their weekly community bills have escalated into the hundreds of dollars, and suddenly fuel-efficiency is more highly prized than the cupholder count.

Having had a place in North American motoring for almost 90 years, SUVs aren't about to disappear. We'll see far fewer of them in crowded urban areas with their dearth of parking spaces able to accommodate an Expedition. They will give way to crossovers and eventually the Smart cars and microcars soon to come from China and India as emblems of guilt-free, ecoconscious consumers.

But SUVs and large trucks will remain part of the global vehicle mix, reverting to the original role as truly rugged beasts that are a prerequisite for researchers, archaeologists and even environmentalists in the hostile terrain of the Brazilian rainforest, the Australian Outback, Northern Canada, the Scandinavian icefields and even the Western U.S. with its limited paved roads.

And heads of state, particularly in the U.S., will continue to be accompanied by a caravan of black Chevy Suburbans with blackout windows, signalling the arrival of the Secret Service.

Nothing sporty about that. But irreplaceably utilitarian? Absolutely.
What has been a hot topic it the news here in Ontario is the closing of the GM plant in Oshawa. They will no longer be making Chevy Silverados there--GM citing lower demand as a reason.

There were workers barricading the offices of GM--their way of trying to bring home their message of hard work and quality as workers. But I think it's all futile. They could have been the best damned truck on the market, but it isn't quality that's the problem, it's economics.

Do you think that this is the beginning of the end for SUVs and other trucks? If you look at the numbers, sales are faltering. SUVs have always been a big money maker because of the higher than usual markups, but demand is falling as consumers perhaps don't see the pleasure of owning one as rewarding anymore.

What about you? Are you relieved? Are you upset? Personally, I'm glad demand is shifting to more reasonable automobiles. With gas prices, pollution/smog, and such, I tend to look at the largest of SUVs with disdain. And I can't understand the rationale behind owning one. It can't be simply safety--it has to be more about status, pleasure, and thrills. This is a sign of overabundance. The average person should not be driving an SUV (i.e. SUVs should not be as common as they have been. They should be used for transporting cargo or people at nearly full loads, not as a vehicle to commute to work or casually go shopping or to the movies as one or two people).

I think this is a reasonable trend considering the circumstances and issues of practicality.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm relieved. I live in a town with older, narrower streets; these SUVs have no place here. They put everyone else at risk driving through town because they take up over half of the street. There are other places in Oregon where an SUV is appropriate, but it isn't here in the Mid-Valley.

I've noticed more and more people driving the Toyota Yaris and the Honda Fit in addition to the hybrid Prius (a very popular choice in these parts). Strictly electric vehicles are also becoming more commonplace, and a local business installed a charging station downtown (free for anyone who wants to use it). The City has plans to install others if this charging station proves popular. Generally, though, more people are avoiding cars completely and biking, walking, or taking the bus. Mopeds are also enjoying a surge in popularity.

I'm sorry, but if someone is interested in driving the latest Hummer, they just don't belong in my town.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It seems that this gasoline price situation will at least have a positive impact on our environment, forcing manufacturers to offer much more efficient vehicles, and cleaner burning as well.

I also always wondered why so many people seemed to choose behemouth, inefficient SUV's and trucks when they didn't seem to really need the space or hauling capacity. So now it seems that the soaring price of gasoline here is making them reconsider their choices, whereas concern for our environment and efficiency didn't do that.

You may have seen the article in today's NY Times about the newest Honda Pilot SUV. Surveys told Honda that the consumers wanted it to look more SUV'ish and with a stronger image, so the newest one was redesigned in that regard. So now they are concerned that considering the current mentality of auto consumers this new image will backfire and adversely impact sales...even though the new one is more efficient than the old one with its V6 that can automatically drop to operation on 4 or even 3 cylinders to improve economy.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Honestly, the SUV trend never should have been. Giant V8s pulling big heavy monstrosities really isn't reasonable on a large scale. Soon all SUVs will look like the Escape and Pilot, and they'll likely be hybrids.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i can´t wait for them to disappear from the streets here. it´s really unique and dangerous as being 1/2 way between the states and europe we get both the tiny european and the massive, bloated u.s. cars here too which is a complete mismatch. i didn´t exactly feel safe in my golf when i f250 would come up behind me and i had a rear window full of grille. i´d love to see statistics of vehicle-vehicle accidents here.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNick
It seems that this gasoline price situation will at least have a positive impact on our environment, forcing manufacturers to offer much more efficient vehicles, and cleaner burning as well.

I also always wondered why so many people seemed to choose behemouth, inefficient SUV's and trucks when they didn't seem to really need the space or hauling capacity. So now it seems that the soaring price of gasoline here is making them reconsider their choices, whereas concern for our environment and efficiency didn't do that.

You may have seen the article in today's NY Times about the newest Honda Pilot SUV. Surveys told Honda that the consumers wanted it to look more SUV'ish and with a stronger image, so the newest one was redesigned in that regard. So now they are concerned that considering the current mentality of auto consumers this new image will backfire and adversely impact sales...even though the new one is more efficient than the old one with its V6 that can automatically drop to operation on 4 or even 3 cylinders to improve economy.
People may not necessairly do so.

Quote:
Fuel economy is improved compared with the old Pilot, despite the new model’s being larger and heavier. The two-wheel drive version is rated at 17 miles a gallon in town and 23 highway. The all-wheel drive version is rated at 16/22.
I believe it is simple economics. People need the space that is provided, 2 adults, 2 kids, and the dog don't fit in a Pruis all that well. There's a similar article about minvans...

Quote:
View: Minivan sales could hit 22-year low as gas prices, image problems take their toll
Source: Startribune
posted with the TFP thread generator

Minivan sales could hit 22-year low as gas prices, image problems take their toll
Minivan sales could hit 22-year low as gas prices, image problems take their toll
By DEE-ANN DURBIN , Associated Press

June 6, 2008

DETROIT - Asked recently how the U.S. minivan market has been faring, Nissan's Dominique Thormann had a concise answer.

"It collapsed," said Thormann, a senior vice president of Nissan North America.

While the rapid decline in pickup and sport utility sales has been grabbing the headlines, minivan sales have also taken a tumble, falling 20 percent in the first five months of this year.

And unlike trucks, which could rebound once the construction industry picks up, it's unclear if minivans have a future in the U.S. market or if they're being killed off by crossovers and the stodgy taint of the soccer mom image.

"The future of the segment is up in the air," said Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for the Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power and Associates. Libby said the advantages of minivans — the sliding doors and height — has been eroded by the negative image of minivans and consumer preference for SUV-like styling.

The slump reflects what's going on in the wider U.S. market. Overall auto sales were down 8 percent through May, and big vehicles like minivans took the brunt of it because of high gas prices. Large pickup truck sales fell 21 percent, while large SUVs were down 32 percent.

It doesn't help that families — minivans' target audience — have been particularly impacted by rising gas and food prices, falling home values and more difficulty in borrowing money, said Rebecca Lindland, an auto analyst for the Waltham, Mass.-based consulting company Global Insight.

"Everything that a family needs is more expensive right now, and so the last thing they're looking at is do they need to replace their Honda Odyssey," she said.

But even before the economy took its toll, families were migrating away from minivans. U.S. minivan sales peaked at 1.37 million in 2000, 17 years after Chrysler introduced them. They've been falling at a steady rate since then, to 793,335 last year. This year, sales are expected to fall below 650,000 for the first time since 1986.

One reason is the rise of crossovers, which offer similar space but more car-like handling. In March through May of 2004, 12 percent of minivan owners trading in their vehicles bought a crossover. That rose to 26 percent in the same period this year, according to the Power Information Network. Crossovers accounted for just 4 percent of the U.S. market in 2000; they now account for 19 percent.

Another reason for minivans' decline is that some players have left the market. General Motors Corp. will stop making minivans by the end of this year, while Ford Motor Co. quit producing the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey in 2006.

Thormann said Nissan has no plans to exit the market for now, despite a 34 percent drop in sales of the Nissan Quest so far this year. Thormann said that first, Nissan needs to figure out where large SUV buyers are going and whether they will choose to downsize to minivans.

"The fact is that the minivan hit a particular need. Then, that same need was satisfied — because fuel was cheap, because affordability was high — with an SUV," he said. "But once you're stuck up there and you're thinking, 'Oh, wait a minute, do I need to be a little bit more rational and do I need to come down a notch without sacrificing much utility?' Does the minivan become an alternative to that or is it the crossover?"

Perhaps the biggest gamble in the shrinking market was made by Chrysler LLC, which spent $1.4 billion on the redesign of its two industry-leading minivans, the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Despite the investment and new features such as swiveling seats, Caravan sales fell 35 percent through May. Town & Country sales were down 13 percent.

Chrysler remains bullish on minivans and says sales have dropped for several reasons. First, the company discontinued the cheaper, short wheelbase version of the Caravan because it couldn't accommodate the new features, a decision that priced some buyers out of the market. The 2007 Dodge Caravan had a suggested retail price of $19,055; the 2008 Grand Caravan starts at $21,930.

Chrysler also says it significantly cut the low-profit sales it used to make to rental, corporate and other fleets. Non-fleet sales were up 23 percent this spring, the company says, and many buyers are choosing options like backseat televisions that improve Chrysler's margins.

"What is left is good quality consumer business and we are right-sized for the market," Chrysler spokesman Stuart Schorr said.

But Chrysler needs to watch its back, as rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are gaining on it. Chrysler continues to control 30 percent of the minivan market, but that's down from 32 percent in the first five months of 2007, and both the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna have made larger market share gains than Chrysler's minivans this year.

Lindland said it turned out to be an awkward time to discontinue the lower-priced option, but Chrysler couldn't have predicted the rapid run-up in gas prices. The Dodge Grand Caravan gets an average of 18 miles per gallon, according to government statistics. The 2009 Dodge Journey crossover, which is meant to replace the short wheelbase minivan, gets 21 miles per gallon.

Still, Lindland is also bullish about minivans. Global Insight predicts U.S. minivan sales will settle in at around 650,000 through 2012, when they could jump back up to 700,000 as the market improves. She said demographics are working in the vehicles' favor, as Generation Y starts having families and Baby Boomers circle back to minivans to transport their grandchildren.

"I don't think the segment is going away entirely. It's reorganizing itself," she said.
Yesterday we took a cab back from JFK to NYC. It was a Ford Escape Hybrid. The engine sounded like it was overworking as we were driving over the normal rolling hills and overpasses. I don't think that the premium for hybrid vehicles outweighs the amount of fuel that can be purchased in the lifetime of the vehicle.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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2 adults 2 kids and a dog would fit perfectly in a Prius, actually.

I can understand that some families are larger, but there are vehicles that can accommodate larger families without having to get 9 mpg. The Dodge Caravan (6 adults) gets like 23 combined MPG. The Honda Odyssey (6 adults, + 1 kid) gets 20 mpg combined.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel
2 adults 2 kids and a dog would fit perfectly in a Prius, actually.

I can understand that some families are larger, but there are vehicles that can accommodate larger families without having to get 9 mpg. The Dodge Caravan (6 adults) gets like 23 combined MPG. The Honda Odyssey (6 adults, + 1 kid) gets 20 mpg combined.
Maybe you are talking about a paris hilton type dog, lhasa apsos, pomeranians, and other small dogs. Large dogs like labradors, German shepards, weimaraner, and other large animals will not.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've always been baffled at SUV haters. Some people get so angry at the fuel efficiency of the cars of other people. The people whom are willing to pay for the pleasure of it.

If you make the economic decision to buy cheap whiskey, and I make the decision to buy Crown or Walker, then the enjoyment of said device means more to me than the difference in price. If gas factors more for you than space or power, then that is your decision and you'll be happy with a Prius. If I want a car with some power and space for pulling a boat and a full family in one car more than gas, then that is my decision.

As for economics, no it's not the end. Crossovers are already becoming more popular, and with higher technology improving mileage it will be with equal power of the old giants.

In addition, the average ownership of a car new is only 2-5 years. It takes something like 80k miles to just break even on gas between hybrids and their non-hybrid equivilant. Very few people drive that much.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
Maybe you are talking about a paris hilton type dog, lhasa apsos, pomeranians, and other small dogs. Large dogs like labradors, German shepards, weimaraner, and other large animals will not.
We have a Mazda3 Sport. It fits 4 adults a Labrador retriever and a medium-sized mixed breed. The dogs sit comfortably in the hatchback. It's usually just the Labrador, which would be even more comfortable, but you get the idea.

EDIT: City 34 mpg, Hwy 46 mpg

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
If gas factors more for you than space or power, then that is your decision and you'll be happy with a Prius. If I want a car with some power and space for pulling a boat and a full family in one car more than gas, then that is my decision.
But the issue is whether the owner drives that to and from work everyday. Out of the total mileage, what proportion of it is spent towing a boat while toting the whole family along?
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 06-08-2008 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
I've always been baffled at SUV haters. Some people get so angry at the fuel efficiency of the cars of other people. The people whom are willing to pay for the pleasure of it.

If you make the economic decision to buy cheap whiskey, and I make the decision to buy Crown or Walker, then the enjoyment of said device means more to me than the difference in price. If gas factors more for you than space or power, then that is your decision and you'll be happy with a Prius. If I want a car with some power and space for pulling a boat and a full family in one car more than gas, then that is my decision.

As for economics, no it's not the end. Crossovers are already becoming more popular, and with higher technology improving mileage it will be with equal power of the old giants.

In addition, the average ownership of a car new is only 2-5 years. It takes something like 80k miles to just break even on gas between hybrids and their non-hybrid equivilant. Very few people drive that much.
I agree with this very much so. I'm pretty pissed off that CA decided that incandecent bulbs will be outlawed so that people will be forced to use CF bulbs. I hate the look of CF and prefer the warmth of incandescent. People are allowed to waste gas, why can't I be allowed to waste electricity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
We have a Mazda3 Sport. It fits 4 adults a Labrador retriever and a medium-sized mixed breed. The dogs sit comfortably in the hatchback. It's usually just the Labrador, which would be even more comfortable, but you get the idea.
Yes, the Mazda3 has a great deal amount more space, the hatchback space in the Prius has zero headroom due to the sloping areodynamic hatch.

Of course, by the same tokens my sister's family could fit in the Integra they have, and the inconvenience of putting kids in the car seat would be better for the environment.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
I've always been baffled at SUV haters. Some people get so angry at the fuel efficiency of the cars of other people. The people whom are willing to pay for the pleasure of it.

If you make the economic decision to buy cheap whiskey, and I make the decision to buy Crown or Walker, then the enjoyment of said device means more to me than the difference in price. If gas factors more for you than space or power, then that is your decision and you'll be happy with a Prius. If I want a car with some power and space for pulling a boat and a full family in one car more than gas, then that is my decision.

As for economics, no it's not the end. Crossovers are already becoming more popular, and with higher technology improving mileage it will be with equal power of the old giants.

In addition, the average ownership of a car new is only 2-5 years. It takes something like 80k miles to just break even on gas between hybrids and their non-hybrid equivilant. Very few people drive that much.

thank you for accusing me of buying "cheap whiskey." rather unwarranted.

let me explain. i have no need for a vehicle that intimidates other road users. i need to get from A to B. need a car with pulling power? there are plenty of sedans with decent motors in them. need space? there are plenty of wagons on the market.

when i´m driving my "cheap whiskey" golf or volvo on the road and some drunk tool with a "crown or walker" suv veers into my lane that really sounds like fair game to me. good riddance i say. next time try to be less condescending please
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cynthetiq
Maybe you are talking about a paris hilton type dog, lhasa apsos, pomeranians, and other small dogs. Large dogs like labradors, German shepards, weimaraner, and other large animals will not.

It wouldn't fit a great dane, but it'd have no trouble with a lab or german shep.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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While there is a place for some SUV's/trucks (hauling a trailer, for example), I'd be more than glad to see them as a rarity instead of the norm.
NJ is known for its traffic; riding in the left lane with an SUV in front of you, doing 10mph UNDER the speed limit because it costs $100 to fill it makes my blood boil. And you can't get around it because the SUV in the middle lane is keeping the same crawling pace. Note to SUV users: You are never going to get 25mpg in that monster. Step on the fucking gas and deal with it! Or get the hell out of my way. /end rant
If they are needed at all, they should come with a premium high-fuel usage charge.
A recent report on NewsRadio88 here was saying that people are parking their monstrosities in the garage and finding alternate ways to get around, even just buying another car. Dealers won't give much in trade-in and no one wants them if you tried to sell privately.
/me giggles wickedly as my little PT passes everyone.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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+1 to will. we´ve had several dogs and they love to curl up and compact themselves in cars and take up much less space them their size would suggest.
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physics of a bicycle, isn't it remarkable?
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:06 AM   #16 (permalink)
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+1 to will. we´ve had several dogs and they love to curl up and compact themselves in cars and take up much less space them their size would suggest.
Yes, it's called denning. My lab does it especially when there's a thunderstorm--she gets right up in under my computer desk. I think it's the smallest cubby in the apartment. Dogs look to these small spaces for safety. It's instinctual.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:06 AM   #17 (permalink)
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funny, my SUV gets 25mpg highway and 22 city
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:08 AM   #18 (permalink)
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funny, my SUV gets 25mpg highway and 22 city
I'm guessing it's Japanese.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:08 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
Yes, it's called denning. My lab does it especially when there's a thunderstorm--she gets right up in under my computer desk. I think it's the smallest cubby in the apartment. Dogs look to these small spaces for safety. It's instinctual.
I do the same thing every 28 days or so. I den when there's trouble in the house by existing in the garage.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
I've always been baffled at SUV haters. Some people get so angry at the fuel efficiency of the cars of other people. The people whom are willing to pay for the pleasure of it.

If you make the economic decision to buy cheap whiskey, and I make the decision to buy Crown or Walker, then the enjoyment of said device means more to me than the difference in price. If gas factors more for you than space or power, then that is your decision and you'll be happy with a Prius. If I want a car with some power and space for pulling a boat and a full family in one car more than gas, then that is my decision.

As for economics, no it's not the end. Crossovers are already becoming more popular, and with higher technology improving mileage it will be with equal power of the old giants.

In addition, the average ownership of a car new is only 2-5 years. It takes something like 80k miles to just break even on gas between hybrids and their non-hybrid equivilant. Very few people drive that much.
Did you really just compare suv owners to people who drink crown or walker, and people who buy small hybrids to people who drink cheap whiskey?

That's quite a strange analogy.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:15 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
Yes, it's called denning. My lab does it especially when there's a thunderstorm--she gets right up in under my computer desk. I think it's the smallest cubby in the apartment. Dogs look to these small spaces for safety. It's instinctual.
My family has long had a Volvo station wagon (I drive it now) and when you stick the family dog in the way back, he refuses to stay there. We got a gate that blocked the space between the roof and the back of the rear seat, but Jack would figure out any way he could to worm around it, knock it over, or whine constantly if he couldn't. We soon realized it was pointless to try and keep him there; he prefers to either sit between the two people in the back seat or lay on the floor. My parents have since replaced the wagon with a sedan ('96 Volvo 960) and we can comfortably fit four adults and Jack in the car. Jack is a lab-greyhound mix, by the way, so he's not a small dog.

I've also fit two adults, a dog, and two car seats in a Honda Civic comfortably.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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So what if I want to burn gas like crazy in a f-ing monstrosity? Last time I checked, gas prices weren't high because of scarcity....

By the way, I drive a Yaris hatchback, I think yo call them Echos up north.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:26 AM   #23 (permalink)
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The SUV will never die off completely. While its numbers may be reduced, they will always be around. People always need a towing vehicle. I can see the SUV becoming more like the hummer (h1 and h2, not the retarded gay h3, although the H2 is still pretty lame), more of a vehicle for the rich.

And trucks will never die. Industry will keep that one alive.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:28 AM   #24 (permalink)
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On a tangent, what about RV's? A friend and I were discussing this exact topic and he was telling me that RV dealers were turning down trade in's.

If the SUV market is feeling a pinch from high gas prices, then the RV market has to feel water boarded. If you are looking for an addition for your house, take a look at some of these large vehicles a little farther down the road; a "Hummer room" might be had for a song.

Personally, I drive a Honda Fit. When I did the math on comparing cars, my crazy high gas price for one of my models was $4 a gallon US. I never realized that it would get here so quickly.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:38 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ironman
So what if I want to burn gas like crazy in a f-ing monstrosity? Last time I checked, gas prices weren't high because of scarcity....
It's not scarcity in terms of total supply; we aren't running out...yet. It's more about scarcity in terms of supply growth. We're not finding enough new oil to keep up with increasing demand, and the sweet light crude is running out. This will cause prices to go up eventually; some are predicting $200/barrel by the end of the decade. These same people were predicting $100/barrel when others thought the idea was ludicrous.

This is why SUVs everywhere can be a bad idea. The cost of gas will go up to keep up with that demand. You can literally cut your gasoline use in half by switching vehicles. This is quite doable if you're mainly a city commuter who simply likes SUVs because they're pretty.

Quote:
By the way, I drive a Yaris hatchback, I think yo call them Echos up north.
They're now called Yaris in Canada. Nice cars.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 06-08-2008 at 09:52 AM..
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:47 AM   #26 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaver
In addition, the average ownership of a car new is only 2-5 years. It takes something like 80k miles to just break even on gas between hybrids and their non-hybrid equivilant. Very few people drive that much.
Where did you get this statistic from? Every person I know who has ever bought a new car, is still driving that same car, 8-10 years later. The only reason I sold my car (bought new in 1999, sold last year) is because we were moving across the ocean and it would have been impractical to bring it with us.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:48 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abaya
Where did you get this statistic from? Every person I know who has ever bought a new car, is still driving that same car, 8-10 years later. The only reason I sold my car (bought new in 1999, sold last year) is because we were moving across the ocean and it would have been impractical to bring it with us.
I don't know where he got them from but lease turnovers, which drove a good portion of the market in the 90s and today, are that term.

Only people I know who outright purchased their car has kept them for longer durations.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:08 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Good ridence to SUV's.

My beef with them is more to do with the fact that they are such monsters on the road as opposed to the gas mileage they get.

In the area of the City that I live (Bloor West Village) parking is a premium, and the streets are narrow. The houses are built on 20 foot wide lots with mutual driveways (2 houses share 1 driveway), so there is a driveway ramp at every second house which you can not park in front of. This means that there is a strip of approximately 35 feet of curb where you can park. This is just enough room for 2 cars to park, or 1 SUV.

SUV's in essence hog the road, hog the parking spots, and use more gas. They also tend to be driven by chubby soccer moms talking on cell phones whilst hauling 2 little pigglets with chocolat smeared all over their faces which can make for dangerous driving.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:13 AM   #29 (permalink)
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also love the habit of taking up 2 spaces to give themselves more door swinging room and making sure the car next to them doesn´t scratch the paint. i know not only suv drivers do this but they seem to be the clear majority. i love parking my car hard up against the driver´s door when this situation arises
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mother nature made the aeroplane, and the submarine sandwich, with the steady hands and dead eye of a remarkable sculptor.
she shed her mountain turning training wheels, for the convenience of the moving sidewalk, that delivers the magnetic monkey children through the mouth of impossible calendar clock, into the devil's manhole cauldron.
physics of a bicycle, isn't it remarkable?
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:15 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lotsofmagnets
i love parking my car hard up against the driver´s door when this situation arises
Good on you. These people have broken the social contract in regards to parking and commerce and deserve such a response.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:49 AM   #31 (permalink)
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I wouldn't mind seeing the big SUVs fade into extinction but these new CUVs are kickass. I recently drove a Mazda CX9 and Saturn Outlook and well, the Mazda drives like a midsize sports sedan. If I lived in the middle of a big city I would look for something smaller, but since I don't I'm looking fo something roomy and can tow. Most new cars these days without a 4 cylinder engine don't get much more than 20 mpg, and since Im not a treehugger Im not getting a Prius or Yaris, it sup to the car companies to build cars with better fuel economy.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:11 AM   #32 (permalink)
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The chevy silverado and gmc sierra are trucks not SUV's, there will always be a demand for trucks so long as people need to move things.

I'm actually glad to see SUV's decline not because they are big and don't have the fuel efficiency of a compact car but because the owners would go on a power trip with them and when asked why they bought it they would reply "To carry cargo and passengers" stating that they NEEDED the room whilst I would see them everyday driving back and forth rarely ever having more cargo than what would fit in a compact car nor there even having ONE, let alone more, passenger in the vehicle. Just a waste all around, waste of money, gas, and intellect giving an obviously false reason for having it just to cover up your power trippin ego.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:18 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by catback
The chevy silverado and gmc sierra are trucks not SUV's..
Wrong. A truck is a vehicle designed to carry cargo. An SUV is designed to carry people and tow cargo.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:26 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel
Wrong. A truck is a vehicle designed to carry cargo. An SUV is designed to carry people and tow cargo.
No, Will, you're wrong - the Sierra is a "truck" as in a pick up truck. The primary purpose of it is to carry and tow cargo. It is built on a truck base distinct from the base on which cars are made. An SUV is a "sports utility vehicle", the primary purpose of which is to make soccer moms feel safer driving to the grocery store. Some SUVs are built on truck bases, but most are built on car bases meaning they are not as strong nor as capable of towing.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:28 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Willravel
Wrong. A truck is a vehicle designed to carry cargo. An SUV is designed to carry people and tow cargo.
The Silverado and Sierra are pickup trucks. Mind you, there are people who own these for pleasure rather than work. It would be difficult to work in certain trades without the use of a pickup truck or van.

SUVs were designed to help people tote their recreational equipment into the wilderness.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:29 AM   #36 (permalink)
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The SUV will not die a quick death. It's all in the numbers:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayof...ref=newssearch

Quotable:
Quote:
"Do I pay $5,000 a year in car payments, or do I put $5,000 of gas in the Suburban?" he asked. "Right now it's cheaper for me to just put gas in the Suburban."
The hatred of SUV drivers is well, astonishing. I never thought I'd see the day where they're relegated to the same moral dungeon as the cigarette smoker.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:36 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
The Silverado and Sierra are pickup trucks. Mind you, there are people who own these for pleasure rather than work. It would be difficult to work in certain trades without the use of a pickup truck or van.

SUVs were designed to help people tote their recreational equipment into the wilderness.
I had better brush up on my SUVs and trucks.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willravel
I had better brush up on my SUVs and trucks.
Never you mind. Keep specializing in Priusology.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #39 (permalink)
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I think it's funny. Lots of contractors are going to have a lot of choice in shiny newish full size pickup trucks really soon, if they don't already.

Apparently the full size hybrid SUVs that the DNC is going to be using this August only get 18mpg. I saw them all lined up as we were carpeting the abandoned car rental shop out at DIA that will be used to issue them. Pretty but damn... you have to combine electric power to get that monster up to the same MPG as my 1990 Jeep Cherokee? Weird.

The problem with buying a car is that you need one that does 100% of your requirements. It used to be impractical to have your truck/suv to tow your boat/camper/utility trailer and then a separate car for day to day commuting. That era may be over soon. I wonder where the tipping point is re: gasoline for the truck/insurance for the second car.

As far as our situation, when we bought a car for my wife last winter we had two specific requirements:

1- 4WD or AWD
2- Enough mass to compete with SUVs during a rousing match of highway pinball.

We looked at a lot of SUVs, a couple smaller AWD cars like the Subaru Outback and Forester but we finally settled on a Ford 500. I couldn't be happier. Decent power, fairly well appointed, AWD, massive enough to compete and best of all we get 22.5 mpg both indicated and calculated. It doesn't seem to care if we're cruising around town or climbing the hills to Central City on her commute. I haven't tried it out in the flats yet, haven't had a reason to take a road trip anywhere. I would expect at least 26 mpg. I am impressed that a true full size town car gets this sort of mileage.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:06 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru
I'm guessing it's Japanese.
ding ding ding ding

i've owned one american car. it was the biggest piece of shit ever. never again
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