SUV's Love em or hate em

[quote=“Fox”]Actually the weight of a Honda CRV and the Accord are almost identical. They have the same size engines and the CRV isn’t necessarily more spacious especially boot size. The point being with these smaller SUV’s it’s more a style choice than anything else. What could be wrong with that?[/quote]The fact that they handle like crap and get worse mileage? The way they block your view of the road ahead unless you’re taller than they are? The way that they’re about as useful off-road as the Accord they borrowed all those parts from?
I love it when I’m in the mountains and come across a CRV etc on a gravel road. They look so tough until I hand them their ass with my Impreza wagon.

I did just notice another use for an SUV. The extra ground clearance and larger diameter wheels make it possible to climb curbs and park on the sidewalk. The sidewalk around the school next door, the one the neighborhood uses for a jogging track, is now a parking lot. :raspberry:

i learned to drive on a ford deisel van back in the okanagan hills on hunting trips with pa. oh yeah, dad had the thing 4x4’d, and raised, and it went pretty much everywhere. fold down bed in back, and a fridge - better than some hotels i’ve stayed in.
since then, financially constrained, i’ve had various smaller cars, civics and the like, and presently a ford focus that i believe even michael j was the proud owner of previously :laughing:

while the smaller cars had their own pros (and cons), i still like driving the explorer that the parents have now, whenever i can make a run home. it’s a different feeling to be able to see the roads and what’s going on around you (for the most part). and the size does mean less getting cut off and other headaches here as well, even in a CRV (horrible mileage). also, admittedly, most people aren’t goin to take their SUV off the road any further than the sidewalk, because even if it was set up for off-roading, most people don’t know how to drive off-road.

basically, i feel more in control with a little more vehicle wrapped around me, and being a little higher up to see more of what’s going on around me . still, escape doesn’t quite cut it b/c not long enuf to sleep in, and explorer is too long to park and manoever here. as well as being bloody expensive. but not everyone is just jumping on a bandwagon with these things.

I read somewhere that internal industry market research concludes that SUVs tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills.

I think the most worrying aspect of this SUV culture is its poor perception of risk. The feeling of safety for most drivers is tied up with the idea that they aren’t really in control. There are unexpected and unavoidable dramas that can occur at any second and make them crash. Sudden loss of traction, a semi cutting them off, an object falling into the road ahead of them. People feel that the very elements of the world out of their control are the things that are going to cause them accidents.

This kind learned helplessness is endemic these days. We believe that the risks posed to our lives by forces outside our control are dwarfing those we can control. Fixation with helplessness severly restricts our ability to perform objective risk management by skewing our perception of real risks. Most people are very poor at judging both the chances of an accident happening to them and the consequences. Anyone can tell you that you’re thousands of time more likely to die in a car crash than win the lottery, yet most people waste their money on lottery tickets and drive like idiots.

Minis are safe cars because they make their drivers feel they are at risk. SUVs are unsafe because they make their drivers feel safe. The feeling of safety isn’t the solution at all, it’s the problem.

When you feel safe, you can be passive. Safe means you can take a nap, give up control, relax. You can take off your shoes, listen to music. Why not? Accidents are caused by factors beyond your control anyway… For years, I’ve made fun of the way it seems the most clueless drivers out there are in the safest cars (think Volvo for example). The guy who buys an SUV for his wife is saying that he thinks the demands of the road to be too overwhelming for her and he wants to place her into the safe area behind the crumple zones and let the rest of the world deal with her mistakes.

Thing that amuses me most, is all those Ford Escape’s. If you look closely 90% don’t have a rear diff… The entry level model is only 2WD :smiley:

I wonder if the owners actually know :loco:

[quote=“Connel”]Thing that amuses me most, is all those Ford Escape’s. If you look closely 90% don’t have a rear diff… The entry level model is only 2WD :smiley:

I wonder if the owners actually know :loco:[/quote]I predict that within 6 months there will be a plastic fake diff cover kit on the market to fill that ugly hole. It will probably come with ‘3.0V6’ and ‘4WD’ decals.

I’ve had to tow a couple that didn’t… :wink:

Surprisingly, the full time 4-wheel drive version of the Toyota Surf, despite skinny tires and a wheezy 2.4 liter engine, will run circles around either the CRV or the Escape off-road. It’s cavernous rear will either haul loads of goodies or a third seat.

However, so much depends on the driver that having a superior drivetrain can sometimes be rendered moot. Last year, while camping in my Kenting hideaway, a little Suzuki passed our campsite on the way to the dunes with a full suspension/body lift and 33 inch tires. Made my Rodeo look like a lowrider by comparison. About 40 minutes later, the driver stumbled into our campsite saying he was stuck. We found his vehicle buried up to the axles. I went ahead and strapped him out, and drove away. Not 30 seconds later, he was seen waving us back. He hadn’t gone 10 feet before doing it again. This time, he wanted me to tow him all the way back to the main road, some 500 yards away. Keep in mind that towing through sand is very hard on the drivetrain, and after shelling out 60,000NT for transmission work the year before, I didn’t want to risk it.

I took his keys and got inside the vehicle. The Zuk was in first gear in 4 wheel low. This gave him a top speed of about 2 miles an hour, and also meant he was going to sink like a stone everytime he let out the clutch. Also, the crappy auto hubs provided by the factory were shot, which meant the poor bastard was trying to crawl out of sand in 2-wheel low. We aired down his tires to 15psi, tried to explain to him the basic concepts of wheeling in the sand, and freed his vehicle within 30 seconds. The guy was understandably embarrassed, and drove off without so much as a thank you. The fact that this happened in front of the guys wife and kids didn’t help…

There seems to be two camps here…One that has no idea whatsoever of what an properly driven (4-wheel drive) SUV can do, and the other thinking that they’re invincible. The few that reside in the middle ground usually belong to a local off-roading club, where instruction is provided…

The only useful purpose I could see for either the Escape or CRV might be in snow/icy conditions, but unless you spend your winters on Yushan, I don’t see the logic of buying one here.

Come the revolution, I’m gettin’ myself one of these: