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why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Posted by bill_h (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 6, 05 at 0:22

as a person who for years drove a 4x4 3/4 ton, then a small 4x4 pickup then a 2x4 small truck which i still own. i had a need for these trucks, as i worked in the pipeline industry. winter summer , in mud and snow etc. but i could never figure out why anyone would choose to drive one of these rough riding gas sucking things. i still keep my tacoma around the house for a back up, and to haul something on occaision. but put me behind the wheel of a car anyday! i would much rather drive one of my cars, they handle better, get better mpg, and are much more user friendly. i can see it if you have a need, but its like wearing rubber boots, on the beach.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Well, speaking for myself, most (active) people either can't afford or don't want an entire fleet of vehicles of different sizes to meet the need of the day. We have what I'd call medium sized sport ute. We frequently haul stuff in it, tow a trailer from time to time, and use the 4 wheel drive a few times per year. It is the most comfortable vehicle I've ever owned, and it is not the worst gas mileage vehicle I've ever owned. The vehicle I drive to work has always been much smaller. A medium to large sport ute will do most anything anyone would want to do. All this hub bub about suv's is nonsense. I guess some have forgotten about the Nash Ambasador, the Buick Roadmaster, the Imperial, ect. Many of those CARS were larger than the suv's people typically own today. You can sell me the idea that a person buying a new $60k - $80k mercedes every couple of years is showing off. You'll have a hard time telling me that everyone who buys a suburban once every 10-15 years is doing it to keep up with the jone's like some suggest.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Well I think bill_h you kinda answered your own question...for work purposes. But like gary said not everyone can have the best of both world due to lack of funds. My own truck actually rides better than all of my friends cars, has far more leg room and to me looks alot better....and just knowing that if I want to build something huge or move I don't have to borrow someone else's truck. And like gary said alot of cars used to be far bigger than todays trucks---friend's sister had a 77 T-bird the hood/front end was at least 7 feet long and the one door was almost 6..all weighed a ton...yes these cars could take down trees but guzzled more gas than even an Excursion.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Why would anyone want to live in Florida? Or Kentucky? Or Wisconsin? Or Vermont?

It's because we have the FREEDOM to do so. And we also have the freedom to choose what vehicle we want. The main purchasers of Hummers are women. Followed by Hispanics. Macho white men come in third. But these people WANT a Hummer. And who are we to say they shouldn't have what they want? If they can afford it then it's none of anybody's business.

It's big beautiful country out there and there are those that like the dual uses that pickups or SUVs have. And it's their RIGHT to buy whatever they want.

I really believe some people have too much time on their hands because they worry too much about what other people are doing.

If you don't like what I do it's your right. But normal people buy these trucks and Explorers. Do they NEED these body styles? Probably not. But again we don't NEED a Pontiac GTO either. Or a Chrysler 300. Or a T-Bird. Or ANY Cadilliac. Or a Prius. We NEED a means to get from point A to point B. And a Trabant would do just as well. But would you send your daughter out in one of those?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Well, I think everyone pretty much summed up the needs versus wants stuff pretty well. I used to have a fleet of pickups, now I'm down to one, plus the VW. I'd "prefer" to drive the VW whenever possible; both because I find it comfortable and because, quite honestly, I'm cheap. Give me that good gas mileage and comfort level, and I'm happy.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Don't forget safety. Let's face it, driving can be hazardous to your health. We get on those roads and must be armed to face bad drivers, drunk drivers, red-light runners, etc. And some people just feel more secure driving bigger/taller vehicles.

If a big truck and a Mini Cooper get involved in a traffic accident, wanna guess who will fare off better?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Seems to be a lot of roll overs with SUV's - lots of weight up high, top heavy.
If you look at the new mini cooper and all of its safety features, it is probably much safer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maybe compare your SUV crash with a mini


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I think this debate is senseless as the real factor is if gas prices climb to $5 p/gallon who would really alter their trucks?

We do have choices and the US is the only country in the world which such a high sale of huge oversize trucks to carry one passenger. It doesn't make sense to me but if people want to keep up with the Jones, and higher than others on the road that is fine. I just hope when they speed by on the highway during a snowshower when they flip over and crash they don't block traffic for the regular FWD cars for their rescue.

I only wish SUV drivers realize 4x4 is only effective to get them out of mud or snow - not effective in preventing hydroplaning or heavy wind events. Additionally, it doesn't help their stopping power and due to the extra weight they need to hit the brakes sooner than a car. Perhaps, if they acknowledge some basic Physics rules - the Mini Cooper won't have to worry about who will fare better.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I'd put it in this order:

1) Status. Peer pressure.
2) Perceived safety factors
3) Perceived need for load carrying capacity.

Here in MA I see many more single-driver Volvos than SUVs. In Florida I see many more single-driver SUVs with 4x4 capability. Obviously, neither group of drivers actually needs those capabilities in those situations, so I'd say the Volvo owners are just as style and peer pressure concious as the 4x4 SUV owners in FL.

We have a minivan with extra gizmos. Many times we use all the space; often we do not. So I guess I too am prey to certain peer pressures and selfish desires.

Safety in an SUV? I think not!

The extremes are noticeable, like that woman who takes the Hummer2 to the mall.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

In addition to the above reasons, people here in the midwest also buy them so they can drive real fast in the snow.

Rural dwellers have driven trucks for many years, due to weather, terrain and cargo capacity. Guess what, no one was complaining!!!! What the freedom-loving SUV defending camp seems to ignore is that the sudden rise of SUV's is the problem. Sure, these trucks have some nice attributes or they wouldn't be so popular.

But our collective behavior has undesirable consequences. For example, this whole effort to be more safe ends up making the roads more dangerous. (Oh well, too bad for you, I'm going to protect my family by endangering your family) It exacerbates the energy crisis. (Oh well, I can use as much gas as I want, I'm paying for it.) People in cars cannot see the road ahead. (Oh well, I suggest that you distance yourself from me obstructing your view.) These problems seem to outweigh the benefits, because most SUV's aren't necessary to the tasks for which they're used. (Oh well, I buy what suits ME and did you notice, those problems of which you speak, they're all yours not mine--except for the energy problem, but I pay for MY gas, so that justfies everything. I even purchased a "support the troops" decal to proudly display on my vehicle.) Well alrighty then, I guess I can't argue with that.

I certainly can't pinpoint the 'correct' balance between need vs. want, but the fact is--not long ago I had a lot more freedom to SEE driving on the road and backing out of parking spaces where I wasn't menaced and boxed in by a buch of Behemoths getting 1970's gas mileage. Oh well.

If people want to be selfish I can't really judge, because I am too in my own ways. And I imagine everyone here on this forum is a really nice person in some way or another, we give free advice don't we? So we disagree on the virtues of SUV's and politics. Oh well.

But I contend that if we're equal in society then Freedoms have boundaries when one person's affects another's. We all share the roads, the air, the oil, etc. I don't think anyone can write a law to make people act like they have some sense. So the way I see it, is that if I don't like these SUV's I can either stop driving or try to persuade people against SUV's. I choose the latter. So if you don't like the complaining...I don't like being menaced every day by people in trucks and SUV's...At least you can ignore me.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

lets keep it simple, forget the freedom rants etc. that wasnt where i was coming from. your getting ready to drive 3000 miles on vacation, you have a 4x4 chevy full size pickup and cadilac cts. why would anyone choose the truck? sure trucks are great tools, but they are lousy driving machines. the trucks i have owned were great at hauling, towing, and getting me in and out of construction areas. iam just getting peoples ideas, on why they are so popular as grocery getters, work commuters. i was going to buy my wife a ranger a couple of years ago, and she says no way! no how would she drive a truck. b-4 i needed a truck, i bought one just for transportation, my dad and mom look at it, and say what are you a farmer? what do want a truck for?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

My wife picked a '98 Durango to be her daily driver (not far) and to be our familly wagon. She loves the room and the looks. She still says she wouldn't want anything else. IMO it's as comfortable as any car, though rack and pinion steering would have been nice. When I was looking at PT Cruisers, we sat in the new Chrysler 300. She really liked it but still likes her Durango better. I imagine we'll have it for another 10 years. We have a Ford Tempo that she hates, and an '87 corvette that she likes but is half afraid of. If she's going to drive, she'll pick the Durango every time no matter how far or for what purpose. For me, I prefer the Tempo for a quick trip to the store, the Corvette for a 1/2 hour or more drive like when going to work, and the Durango for everything else.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I would be afraid of a Durango.I here the wheels fall off?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

It exacerbates the energy crisis. (Oh well, I can use as much gas as I want, I'm paying for it.)
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There is no "Energy Crisis".
The price of oil has lagged behind inflation. In 1980 gas went to $1.00 a gallon and I bought a new Ford Futura for $7200.00 Today a new Ford 500 costs over $25,000 (3 times) and gas is $1.72 at my local Gulf station. (1.72 times.)

People in cars cannot see the road ahead. (Oh well, I suggest that you distance yourself from me obstructing your view.)
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Then why don't these same people complain about minivans and Econolines? I don't hear any hue and cry about not seeing around them and they're BIGGER than an Explorer.

...because most SUV's aren't necessary to the tasks for which they're used...
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Then buy a Trabant. That suits everybody's "needs".


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I've have a 99 4-Runner which my wife would never part with( just a modern day station wagon) I had a 88 Toyota pick-up for 14yrs. which I just replaced with a 02'Tundra. My son got a killer deal on a mint '95 BMW 530i. Sorry, but the Tundra has the best ride, we take it out more than any other vehicle in the driveway. As far as mpg, V-6 4-Runner
gets maybe 24 on the highway, same as the V-8 BMW, and the V-8 Tundra comes in just under.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

My son bought an Expedition, which is beautiful, but it drinks gas by the cup, insurance is more expensive, oil changes are more expensive, their payments are more expensive, I don't see any positives to this SUV, not to mention how difficult it is to park and back up. If people have money to blow, that's a different story, but they are on a very fixed income.

What happened to the good old days when a family of four fit perfectly in a nice car? We have a Toyota Avalon and had a Buick LeSabre before this. Give us a car anyday!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

"I would be afraid of a Durango.I here the wheels fall off?"

Nothing to be afraid of. There was a bad batch of upper ball joints in the 2000 - 2003 model years. Started checking our '98 years ago when people started reporting premature failures. The ones that fail go bad right away, like between 10k and 30k miles. They don't fail without warning. There evidently are a lot of people who don't pay any attention to their vehicles at all. If I heard popping noises on turns and one front tire had unusual wear, I'd be checking it out instead of waiting for things to fall appart. Mine has over 70k miles on it and the ball joints are fine. After market ones are available, not that expensive or hard to replace. If I had one that had questionable ball joints, I'd replace them and forget it. It's kind of like the Explorer/Firestone tire thing a few years ago. If you had one, the fix was easy if people would just do it. Stop in a tire store and replace the tires. Jeesh, how hard can it be? Don't understand why someone would drive in fear waiting for a factory recall when the fix is so simple. Save the reciept and get the money back later if there is a recall. Not that big of a deal.


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RE: good old days?

**What happened to the good old days when a family of four fit perfectly in a nice car?**

Depends on what the good old days were to you. My dad bought a brand new 1966 plymouth fury III for our familly car which replaced a '51? chev delux. It was about as big in length and width as a suburban today. Probably didn't get the fuel economy, poluted the air more, and was less comfortable, safe, and reliable than any sport ute today. What was your familly car in the good old days, a VW beetle?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

LOL, Gary. Our family car "in the good old days" back in the 70's was a Chevrolet Impala. Of course, gas was much cheaper back then as well as everything else.

We do have a '95 Chevy pickup that DH can't part with because he needs it to haul things in, and we don't drive this truck anywhere except to take away trash and when the kids might want to borrow it, it's here.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

There's no way I could afford to do 30,000 miles a year in a truck or s-u-v. That's why I bought a diesel estate car. It's cheap to fill up & run. When I need a car, it's a car. When I need a van, fold the seats down and it's a van.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Bill H,
Funny you said something about the farm. I drive an old 16 year truck (i bought a few months ago) just for farming operations. My family likes to think its a POS. They all have newer trucks but im the only one with a farm. Go figure..

Not to toot my own horn. But with my savings I purchased my farm at a young age not some new car or truck.
HAving a new car can cost $1200 Extra in insurance youll never see again.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Why does anyone choose anything???

Why have cars that go faster than 65 mph?
WHy buy a car vs truck vs "SUV" vs motorcycle?

Why do I own rifles, shotguns and handguns?

Because I can and want to...because I like them.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Ah yes, the good old days where you could easily fit 6 people in any CAR with enough additional capacity for 3 to 6 dead bodies in the trunk! :-)))


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RE: why would anyone choose an SUV or truck?

Why does anyone choose anything???
Why have cars that go faster than 65 mph?
Why buy a car vs truck vs "SUV" vs motorcycle?

Why do I own rifles, shotguns and handguns?

Because I can and want to...because I like them.

IMO, what Cheshiremoggy states (the use of a practical economical motor vehicle) makes a lot more sense.
Even if I were wealthy, which I am NOT, I would never buy an arsenal of weapons or any so-called SUV.

But an antique Model A or a Saab 93 are intriguing..

And it is about time the oversized 6 passenger cars were done away with.The idea of having a passenger riding in the suicide seat is ludicrous !!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Earthworm-- the thing is you just made NJRef's point, and I agree with the both of you. You wouldn't own an arsenal or an SUV, because you have the CHOICE to do so (or NOT do so in this case). That's your choice, as is the arsenal and the 4WD quad in the back of NJRef's 4 door duelly pickup. (I don't know-- exhaggeration for effect-- you get the idea, though).


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

**And it is about time the oversized 6 passenger cars were done away with.The idea of having a passenger riding in the suicide seat is ludicrous !!**

Boy earthworm, I'm glad I didn't grow up at your house. Mom barefoot in the kitchen. Never take the kids anywhere because to purchase anything but one VW caddy for the entire familly to use is a waste. After all, it does everything you want to do. I guess the familly can see the whole world from the front room on public television. No need to see or experience anything first hand. Then there's those pesky aging parents and inlaws. If they can't pry their old arthritic bones in and out of a tiny vehicle, or it scares them to death being in something so small, they don't need to go bad enough. Does that about sum it up?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Hey Mr. Vincent...you forgot the gun rack in the back window of the pick up Bawhahahaha!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Personal choice. A friend pays $600 on her F150 and her apartment is only $650. She is struggling big time but she would not give up her truck. It is big and it is a nice car so people get envious and keyed it or have someone slammed their door on hers. I, on the other hand would not want something that would keep me up at night. I am happy w/ a 4 door sedan. I cannot justify spending over $25,000 on something that I leave outside 24/7.


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You could ask the same about a car.....

We choose to drive SUV's because of the same reason you chose to drive a car. Because we like them.
We each have our own opinion about safety and whatnot but the bottom line is, why does it bother anyone else what I drive? I just don't get it.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

just asking guys not pointing fingers, myself i own 2 sedans 1 pickup a 2 seat roadster, and a 26ft go fast boat! believe me the last two are not practical, serve no purpose, but to burn fuel for pleasure. as a person in a profession that required the use of a truck for years, i just never saw what the big draw is. so thought i would ask you guys. based purely on fun the roadster is it. for being practical a front drive 4 dr sedan. the truck is great for getting some drywall but to drive everyday, it reeks!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

'i just never saw what the big draw is.'

I think the draw is for several years car designs have pretty much sucked. Decent cars cost as much or more than the popular sized suv's like the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Cherokee without the room or function. Now, you can debate which came first, the chicken or the egg. Did manufacturers emphisise improving the sport ute to satisfy customer demand? Or did making crappy expensive little cars and have the other option be a nice sport ute create the demand? That trend might be changing. Chrysler's 300, PT Cruiser, and whatever they call that station wagon looking thing, look like better choices than their new Durango or 4 door Dakota to me. The Ford Mustang looks pretty sharp to me too, but that one probably isn't good for much as far as familly use goes. What I never understood is what some peoples reaction to sport ute owners is all about. Sport ute, mini van, or Buick Roadstar, what the hec difference does it make to sport ute haters what shape the tin is stamped out in? The sport ute is the only one I hear anyone b*tching about for some reason.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Earthworm:

FYI - about 5 years ago, I met a guy from a former communist country, who visited the USA for the FIRST time in his life. He has never been anywhere else.

He told me that he really enjoyed visiting, but that he could not live here! I asked him why? He said" THERE ARE TOO MANY CHOICES HERE" and I can't handle all the decisions I would have to make! :-) LOL!!!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

the choices are great, somthing for everyone. although i wonder if there needs to be that many. you take a look at toyota, who seems to have the passenger car market here locked up, and they sell mostly bland, boring sedans. yet market share continues to rise.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Because we're Americans, and we want the excess variety. And if you try to take away our toys ... WE WILL SUE YOU!

LOL!!!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Bill I think its all about wanting a change. People who drove cars a long time now they want something different.

I know people whoi were Exnavy and they cant stand to be on any type of boat.They hate the ride quality, the motion,getting wet, how they handle etc... Well I know you like boats so Its Similar to your like of boating..


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Downsouth wrote:
My son bought an Expedition, which is beautiful, but it drinks gas by the cup, insurance is more expensive, oil changes are more expensive, their payments are more expensive, I don't see any positives to this SUV, not to mention how difficult it is to park and back up.
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My Expedition gets 19 MPG, is clean, (ULEV) and the turning radius is MUCH smaller (thus easier to park) than my '00 Dakota. If I have to go to a store I ALWAYS take the Ford because it maneuvers much easier in the parking lot. And I fail to see why it costs more to change the oil. 6 quarts costs the same for my Ford as my Dodge. And the Fram filter is sooo inexpensive.

And as far as the ball joint situation on Dodge, I didn't know about it until I got my recall notice. But the truck now has 106,000 miles on it and I'm getting new ball joints free!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Gary, your last response was strange - there are things I do not understand.
Do you advocate the use of the "suicide seat" - that makes a 5 passenger car into a 6 pass, or tries to ??..

My VW caddy was a 2 pass small truck, fine for what I used it for (hauling furniture, compost, manure - really nice for these functions - much better than the big old-fashioned oversized trucks..

When my wife and family go someplace, we use the larger Honda Accord.

What I am against is hauling around "space" as so many find it necessary to do - a motor vehicle should NOT be a status symbol..

No-one is barefoot(other that me) in the kitchen ...


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

earthworm, you just seem to have such a minimalist point of view regarding vehicles, sport utes in particular. I'm not seeing how my $25k Dodge Durango can possibly be considered a 'status symbol' by anyone. A medium equiped Honda Accord can go for just as much. I guess your accord must be a status symbol too? We had the small car small truck combination too. When my eldest son got to be about 13, daughter was 10, the small car just wasn't going to cut it anymore. A jap or german small car wouldn't have made any differnce. Many of my neighbors have either sport utes, full sized pickups, the one next door to me has a full sized van. Most of them have a boat, a travel trailer, like to ski,...all kinds of out doorsy type stuff. A honda accord or vw caddy won't cut it for those types of activities. Bigger car or medium sport ute...what's the diference? So my wife drives our Durango 3 miles to work with all that wasted space. Big deal. I see some sport utes aroung that have $4000 worth of tires and wheels and the 1" shoulder on the tires. But that's knowbody I know.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

A minimalist be I , eh ??
I'll have to study this one: I do admit to being a cheapskate, a matter of perceived survival.
The cab of the Diesel caddy was too damn small, and I am but 5' 6", but the bed was the most practical I have seen.

I detest the concept of hauling around a lot of space..

The Accord is NOT small(1988), and the newer ones are improved in this area.

Status means little to me, I think it means a lot more to many- one reason for buying such large cars and trucks. Even the Dakota is huge compared to the Diesel VW caddy, but there is little difference in bed size..


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I would much rather drive my little V6 Accord, but with two boys that are growing older by the day and multiplying friends that want to come over to play, my next vehicle will be the Honda Pilot SUV, which will accomodate 8 people...which I will probably need to do every Saturday and Sunday! Maybe I can keep the Accord AND buy the Pilot???


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Posted by: earthworm (My Page) on Sun, Jan 9, 05 at 15:23

"" Why does anyone choose anything???
Why have cars that go faster than 65 mph?
Why buy a car vs truck vs "SUV" vs motorcycle?
Why do I own rifles, shotguns and handguns?

Because I can and want to...because I like them.

IMO, what Cheshiremoggy states (the use of a practical economical motor vehicle) makes a lot more sense.
Even if I were wealthy, which I am NOT, I would never buy an arsenal of weapons or any so-called SUV.

But an antique Model A or a Saab 93 are intriguing..

And it is about time the oversized 6 passenger cars were done away with.The idea of having a passenger riding in the suicide seat is ludicrous. ""

So is the idea of you spewing more Negative rhetoric about SUVs. The FACT is that SUVs are here to stay and won't be going away any time soon. In fact, SUVs aren't anything new, can you say "Station Wagon" ? Because, in a way, those where the first ones. I know the Manufacturers didn't call them that but when you look at them, they where just little cousins to todays Suburbans,Excursions, and so forth. I suppose all those mindless fools back in the 60's and 70's where idiots also ? Hey WORM, give it a rest already !


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Many of my friends buy vehicles based on the worse case scenario but not current day or simply people justify the purchase of these huge trucks based on What-Ifs:
-I have had many friends who feel they need the room of an SUV (but it really isn't much bigger than some mid-size cars depending on model);
-many feel like the previous post they need the seat accomodations (every experience is unique) but unless it is a trip to the amusement park/mall with 5 kids, or you are the coach of the team - it is rare one can recall they had to shuttle (back & forth) somewhere because of too many passengers. And in the rare circumstance this does happen - is there no other parent who can help? (Consider two VW Passat seating 1 adult and 4 kids (obtaining 31-33 mpg) is only a couple miles worse than a Dodge Durango carrying less passengers & capacity.
- Towing capacity is justify but many with boats, skis, etc. could just as easily rent an SUV for that rare weekend (if not a monthly event).

I applaud anyone who buys an SUV simply because they like feeling taller while driving or simply like the hard look (example - NO one can justify the purchase of a Hummer H2 - unless they live in Alaska except for status symbol). A family of 6 requires a station wagon or SUV. The common person should simply say they don't wish to be outdone by their neighbors.

Finally, consider society and most of the world doesn't use SUVs and they survive without problem.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I love my LR and my F250...they're practical and useful to me.
...and I could care less what anybody ELSE thinks of them.
They're paid for, as are my other 4 vehicles.
If you want something, you've got to work hard and make sacrifices.

Around here, peeps focus too much on what they drive and the size of their houses...which, incidentally, aren't 'homes' yet...they're house-poor with no window treatments, no furniture and no landscaping what-so-ever!
But by God, they've got a brand new Beemer, Hummer, Benz or Lexus in their driveway.
Plus, they're in debt up to their eyeballs.
Talk about idiotic.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I want to comment about the irrationality of the anti-SUV backlash. This is a meme which has become pervasive. SUV driving is routinely associated with social and environmentally irresponsibility. Not too mention the ridiculous assertions by the Arianna Huffington types that driving SUVs supports terrorism. I will now deconstruct this meme in four parts:

First lets address the exaggerated notion that SUVs are responsible for depleting a large share of oil resources. For starters some facts: Personal Transportation only accounts for about 34 percent of all petroleum use and about 13 percent of all energy use. The other two-thirds petroleum use is industry (plastics, fibers, heating, etc.) and commercial transportation (planes, trains, ships, etc.). All told, only 6 percent of total U.S. petroleum use can be attributed to SUV driving. Cars and other light trucks (pickups, vans) utilize 16 percent of total U.S. petroleum by comparison. Obviously, there are more cars than SUVs, but still; if you factor in the actual average mileage difference (using CAFE numbers) then even if all those SUVs were traded in for cars, the delta savings would only amount to about 1.5 percent of petroleum use (and less than 1 percent of energy use). Hardly, the death knell of our environment and democracy. Also note that similar attacks on pickup trucks, large sedans, performance cars and older cars are much rarer, even though those classes of vehicles have equivalent fuel economy numbers as SUVs. [Note: all numbers derived from this Cato institute article.]

Secondly, lets discuss usage. All things being equal, then yes, SUVs do consume more energy resources and produce more pollutants than smaller cars. However, it is unfair to single out driving SUVs as immoral when one can make similar value judgments about other activities that affect energy usage. For example: Are people who drive to the movie theater less moral than those who watch Pay Per View? In America, we are free to make consumer choices; these choices drive our economy and ultimately our quality of life. Other things are consumer choices as well. Why not vilify those who have long commutes to work? Shouldnt these people in the interest of the environment and national security be morally compelled to move? In a country where liberty is sacred, what makes one persons neighborhood choice more important than anothers vehicle choice? I could argue that a high percentage of SUVs are owned by families with young children who tend to stay home on weekend nights, while young adults in cars drive all over town bar hopping. Who is more moral by the flawed logic of the anti-SUV activists in this admittedly contrived scenario? Brown baggers vs. those who go out to lunch? Long distance (across town) couples? Vacation takers? Boaters vs. non-boaters? Poor people driving older cars? If we are going to assign blame, lets be fair and target everyone.

Thirdly, if we really wanted to limit dependence on foreign oil, then lets simply stop buying it. That would raise the price of gasoline drastically, to about the level paid in Europe and elsewhere. The result is that the market would simply respond appropriately. People would buy more fuel efficient vehicles by economic choice, not by coercion. That the beauty of free markets. Problem solved. Those who chose to afford the higher cost of operating SUVs would still buy them. Such a market would also compel auto manufacturers to invest more in developing highly fuel efficient vehicles. As long as gasoline remains relatively cheap the incentive is not as great. Getting the government to include SUVs in its car class CAFE standards would also solve much of the problem. At bottom this is a political issue, not a moral one.

Finally, the argument that buying gasoline makes one responsible for the illegal actions of someone else many, many transactions removed from that perfectly legal and necessary purchase is specious at best. I do not have the time and space to fully philosophically analyze it, but its obvious that we all purchase gasoline (even buyers of Hybrids) and use energy in countless way, so that would make us all guilty (though again, that line of reasoning is highly faulty). Lets not engage in assigning degrees of guilt we could all walk or ride bikes, so why pick on the SUV, particularly since as I have tried to demonstrate it is not fair or logical. If SUVs never existed (just cars) do you really think that terrorists would not be just as financed as they are today? They would have not one penny less. Those who share their radical ideas and finance them would simply dig a few imperceptible percentage points deeper into their family fortunes, which have been amassing for over half a century.

We all want to be conscious about our environmental footprint, one should not go out and buy a gas guzzler for the hell of it. But consumer decisions are complex and SUV bashing is a simplistic and misguided meme too readily adopted by those putting ideology ahead of sound reasoning. The good news is that Hybrid technology is finding its way into SUVs, so maybe this somewhat artificial vilification will fade.

[Disclaimer: I own a V6 Toyota 4Runner. Hey, but I frequently carpool with my wife to work and I subscribe to Netflix -- so its a wash :) ]


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Agil...good post. Let me ask you some questions. If public transportation only accounts for 34% of oil usage; what portion of that useage is by SUVs and light trucks as opposed to other vehicles? This should be a fairly easy one; and you know what I'm asking; are SUV's using a disproportionate share of that 100% of 34% in operations?

Second; what is your source for these numbers? I'm asking because these numbers do not jibe with every other set of statistics I've seen for energy consumption in this country.

Don't get me wrong; I couldn't care less if you drove a Hummer; but if you're going to base an argument on "facts and statistics", then I want to explore them.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

**Getting the government to include SUVs in its car class CAFE standards would also solve much of the problem.**

This comment is made from time to time. I'm always wondering what difference that's supposed to make. When I was a dealership mechanic, I was required to go to classes put on by GM. Mostly to show you what's coming up in the next model year. Back around 1979 or 80 I remember someone asking about CAFE standards and fines for not meeting them. The comment the GM guy made at the time was they'll sell the vehicles the public wants to buy and pay the fine.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I personally, don't want or need an SUV. I drive only 8k miles annually. So, it's not really that important to me, or moneywise to spend a lot on transportation. I inherited a 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis with 27k on it several years ago. I also own a '77 T-Bird. People ask me all the time how I can afford to drive such big cars. Well, it's really very easy. NO car payments, low insurance premiums (classic car insurance for the bird, $65.00 annually) and low annual mileage. I cannot justify spending any more on transportation.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Jason_MI,

I got the numbers from a Cato Institute article. I tried to link it, but I guess the HTML didn't work. Here is the URL: http://www.cato.org/dailys/07-03-04.html

(I also remembered similar numbers from a Car&Driver magazine article).

I also checked a goverment transportation statistics site and at least verified that about 27% of engery use is for Personal Transporation.

The government link is: http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Databases.asp?Subject_ID=7&Subject_Desc=Energy&Mode_ID2=0

and the table I found is: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/aer/txt/ptb0201a.html

But largely I'm trusting the Cato numbers.

According to Cato, Transportation accounts for 67% of oil use (but only 27% of all engery) but Personal Transportation is half that, so 34% of oil use.

Of the 34% about half or 18% of all transportation is light trucks and SUVs which extroplated back to all U.S. oil use represents about 12%. SUVs are half of light trucks, so about 6% of all oil usage (2.4% of all engergy) comes from SUVs. On average cars get 25% better gas mileage, so thats where the 1.5% oil use (.6% of all engergy) savings comes from if all SUVs are replaced by cars.

Obviously some specific cars get 100% better mileage than some specific SUVs, but my point is that SUVs as a class are targetted where as Mustang GTs, Lincoln Town Cars, Ford F150 pickups (all guzzlers) are not. Your average car (20-25 mpg) only gets 25% better mileage than the average SUV (16-18 mpg).

I don't know what percentage of all personal vehicles are light trucks and SUVs, so I don't know what their proportional usage is -- your question is valid. I'm guessing they (trucks and SUVs) burn 25% proportionally more fuel based on averages.

My overall point, is that the total engergy consumption of SUVs is not as outrageously aggregious as is commonly depicted, but I acknowledge that it is worse than cars.

The rest of my post merely wonders why SUVs are universally vilified, but other engery using activities are not. A Hummer not driven very frequently is more efficient than a car driven around all day for frivolous reasons. I know it all averages out and everything else being equal energy efficiency would improve sans SUVS. But I could say the same thing about going out to eat at lunch. Choosing not to drive or moving closer to work would save 100% of fuel for every mile, not the 25% saved by switching to a car. Its all relative. I just think the SUV backlash has taken on mythic proportions that are exaggerated. There is merit to the anti-SUV argument, but it has become a bit of a witch hunt that people latch onto without fully considering all angles.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Average new car or suv looses 60% of it value in four years now isn't that a great investment. The people driving new vehicles are getting their due punishment regardless of whether it is a suv/truck or car. Once the gas prices get up above 3 or 4 bucks a gallon the market will adjust itself and the suv fad will be over, untill then drive on brother, don't worry be happy. You know we put all those real smart politicians in office to make all the decisions for us why should we worry about anything other than who got voted off the island or who the new american idol is?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I remember my two aunts laughing at my grandfather for driving a ten year old Chevy Impala. It was around 1971 and his was a blue and white 1961 model. That car in mint condition today, well.....


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

agil, actually, I wasn't so much thinking of the transportation numbers, but the other ones....so when you said Cato, I also kind of questioned that, since they started as a Libertarian-leaning think tank that became, when popular, a shill for big business (who now provides most of their funding). But that's neither here nor there; I agree that SUV energy usage is not that aggregious; truly, my studies of energy useage show the VAST majority of energy useage is in buildings, rather than transportaion. I was under the impression that something like 60% or more of all energy was used by buildings (industrial, commercial, governmental, and private homes), which I think most people would accept.

Just for fun, I wonder how numbers (both environmental ones such as emissions), and oil usage would be effected if every SUV were suddenly turned into, oh, say a small diesel car or one of the hybrids?

And I completely agree with DNT; I'm hilariously amused by what people pay for such an instantaneously depreciated item. It's like getting a gold bar and as soon as you walk out of the store, whacking off 20% of it and throwing it in the sewer.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Yes, the Cato institute is a libertarian think tank and prone to be anti-govermental regulation and pro free markets, thats why I tried to verify with the other sites mentioned.

And yes, replacing every SUV with a hybrid would make a bigger dent, but still probably not earth shattering. For instance a full 6% savings in oil usage (replacing SUVs with nothing at all, i.e. walking/biking) would mean (if I'm thinking right) that a 100 year oil supply would then last 106 years -- significant but not likely to matter much if we don't figure out how to harness a replacement fuel/power source.

Better than replacing every SUV would be to replace every car made before 1980 (particularly for the emmissions numbers) -- again to my point that its not just SUVs.

Eventually I imagine every new vechicle will be a hybrid and that will be good for all of us.

Finally, I also totally agree with DNT about new vechicles. I've never bought a new car in my life and I never will. Why? When I can buy a three year old vehicle for half the price that it was new. And I always find one well maintained such that no one will know the difference. (But I don't see what that has to do with SUVs. I bought our Toyota 4Runner used. My other vehicle is a 4 door sedan, 1 SUV serves our purposes well enough).

Thanks for the good posts.

P.S - I'm starting my own blog. Would you mind if I cut and paste your comments on my blog if I post my original post. I could post as anon if you would like. Or is that cheating in the blogsphere world?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Parking lots should be regulated/law;
If I had a retail business, I would have some signs made and designate SUV/Van parking only area. Keep those big arse wind & vision blockers parked away from normal sized cars.

One nice thing about SUV's is the advanced in braking being developed to lessen roll overs. They're learning a lot quickly.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Not all cars depreciate as quickly as others. Lease payments are calculated on residual value and they vary drastically. ..we bought a leftover '04 passat w/a manual tranny in Mass. for what they were selling a two year old "certified" for in Maine. You couldn't get a 4motion stick anywhere in Maine. They were all gone. Supply and demand....We could get very close to what we paid for ours if we sold it. I remember my cousin's year-old Civic getting totalled and her getting an insurance check for more than she paid for it (but I think that's probably a rare occurance)


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I can't speak to how prevalent the practice of auto manufacturers choosing to pay CAFE fines as opposed meeting the standards was in 1980 or is now, but one somewhat obvious remedy to that situation would be to increase the fines until they hurt sufficiently enough to stop the practice.

As for CAFE standards in general, there are some who argue that they aren't needed and have unintended and deleterious consequences. This Heritage Foundation article recommends removing them altogether: http://www.heritage.org/Research/EnergyandEnvironment/BG825.cfm

Among their arguments is that making cars lighter ( a chief method of meeting the CAFE standards) has contributed to increased accident fatalities (up to 4000 a year), including accidents not involving other vehicles, such as guard rails and trees. Such single vehicle accidents make up 50% of all fatalities. (So you can't say that lighter cars only contribute to higher fatalities when they are hit by SUVs.)

They also argue that manufacturing the lighter materials, plastics, alloys and composites, merely shift energy usage from fuel efficiency to the energy cost that it takes to create these lighter materials in the first place.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative group and may well be biased in the presentation of their data.

While I generally believe that free market economies have created the best quality of living for the highest percentage of people than other economies tried to date, I am very skeptical of removing all regulation as history has shown that corporations have not been great at regulating themselves (and consumers often are not able to find out about dangerous products or practices until it is too late).

Just food for thought. As in most public policy debates, I suspect that both sides are not being totally honest and bias data towards their own agendas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fools to the Left, Fools to the Right...


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

"but one somewhat obvious remedy to that situation would be to increase the fines until they hurt sufficiently enough to stop the practice."

What's obvious is whatever fine is imposed will simply be added to the cost of all the products the company sells across the line to cover it. Might as well just save the nonsense and write the governement a check yourself for the hec of it when you buy any car. The result is the same. The obvious solution for the suv hating socialist types is to just flat out make them illegal to be built, owned or operated in this country. Make the company pay. Yeah right. Where does the company get money? From you, the consumer. The options are you pay more, or take away the right to choose. Pick one. Just remember those of you who'd pick option '2'. Tomorrow it will be something you use, want, like to do, ect. that will deemed evil for some half phony reason. Then you'll be the one that has to just deal with it because some group of clowns somewhere decided they don't like what you do.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

One correction: Hummers ride great. Especially on the washboards.

I'd rather ride in a LeSabre on a trip, but the car-based cosmetic SUV's ride well too.

The popularity is about style. Nobody remembers when mini-vans were the newest style; they were "cool" and station wagons went out of style. Now SUV's are considered "cool" but I believe SUV's are becoming passe, fashion-wise, and so station wagons are coming back - but the term station wagon isn't used.

By the way, all the SUV-bashing that takes place seems based on the premise that all SUV's are big truck-based gas hogs, which is nonsense of course. Look at Chevy Equinox for example. It's a front-wheel drive car with truck sheet metal. Should make everybody happy, off-roader wannabbee and environmentalist alike. Trouble is that, no offense intended, but the modern liberal is reminiscent of the old Puritan. If something is enjoyable then it must be evil. Broad brush, I know, but you understand what I mean.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

i like some of the car based suv/wagon things reminds me of the old amc eagle wagon i had for a company car back in the early 80s, that was a really good vehicle. not too big,car based, nice ride, and for the yr good mpg. and was really good at getting back into construction sites.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I believe most SUV bashing is based on the ignorance and stupidity of a minority of SUV drivers.

-They are higher and feel they can cut off a car without regard.
*** Have you ever seen a slow slow performing SUV cut in front of highway traffic causing a near collision?
-They think 4x4 prevents hydroplaning or they can brake quicker in bad weather.
*** Have you ever seen the SUV pass you in a snowstorm on the highway at 75 and 2 miles later you see them flipped over.
-They can't see around them (Napolean complex) so they change lanes poorly, park poorly and most can't take a parallel parking space if they had a bet on it.
*** Ever watch a Hummer H2 or Cadillac try to park in an urban area.

And finally, waiting behind an SUV at a gas station as it sucks up xx gallons of fuel which can barely get it 300 miles doesn't help its cause either.

One can only hope gas prices hit $5 p/gallon in this nation and this craze will evaporate.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I agree with you, Roosevelt.
What gripes me is our out-of-touch government allowing the high bumper heights of the oversized SUV.
This can turn a $1 scratch into a $1,000 or more collision.
This is no excuse for such a stupid situation.
I feel that ALL passenger vehicles must abide by a reasonable CAFE fuel economy standard - something like 25 mpg - maybe more.

A Diesel Suburban or Hummer could get close to this - better engineering and a more reasonable size would help..

A $5,000 luxury tax is a good idea - the wealthy are cut too many tax breaks as it is..


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Gas mileage doesn't have to be a killer. My Prius keeps company with a 4WD Tacoma. Winter mileage is 23mpg; summer 27mpg. I am not in a hurry. It's my money and God's resources. I don't see me carrying manure or other garden necessities in my Prius so the truck has a home for a very long time.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

A Hummer on the washboards? What the heck is a washboard?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

**A Hummer on the washboards? What the heck is a washboard?**

A washboard refers to a very rough road, usually gravel or dirt. A car or probably more often something larger like a log truck hits a soft spot creating a bump. The tire hop makes another bump for a total of two. Next truck comes and it's three. Over time it can be hundreds. Rain gets channeled between the high spots and makes it even worse. The road surface resembles a wash board like your grandma or great grandma might have used to clean clothes, hence the name. Beats the crap out of little cars and their drivers. Doesn't hurt large cars and sport utes that much. There were many such roads around where I grew up. More and more have gotten paved over time but there's still a lot of them.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

a washboard refers to a normal michigan road, thats why you havent heard of it jason.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Not to take this too far off topic, but earthworm's allegation "A $5,000 luxury tax is a good idea - the wealthy are cut too many tax breaks as it is.." needs a rebuttal. Consider the following:

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner.
The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men - the poorest - would pay nothing;
The fifth would pay $1:
The sixth would pay $3;
The seventh, earthworm, pays $7;
The eighth $12;
The ninth $18.
The tenth man - the richest - would pay $59.

That's what they decided to do. The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement-until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20."

So now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.

So the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six-the paying customers?

How could they divvy up the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his "fair share?"

The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would end up being *paid* to eat their meal.

So the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
And so the fifth man paid nothing, the sixth pitched in $2, earthworm paid $5, the eighth paid $9, the ninth paid $12, leaving the tenth man with a bill of $52 instead of his earlier $59.

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man.

He pointed to the tenth. "But he got $7!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got seven times more than me!"

"That's true!" shouted earthworm. "Why should he get $7 back when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night he didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They were $52 short!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college instructors, is how the tax system works.

The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction.

Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up at the table anymore.

Unfortunately, Liberals and earthworm cannot grasp this straight-forward logic! But, everyone is entitled to his opinion no matter how silly it is. That's the beauty of our country!

Now let the fireworks really begin!!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

"..waiting behind an SUV at a gas station as it sucks up xx gallons of fuel which can barely get it 300 miles doesn't help its cause either."

RooseveltL, if you're waiting in line at the Dairy Queen behind a family with six kids, which inevitably takes forever to order their treats, do you whine about that too? Is your time really that much more valuable than anyone else's?? Wow! I'm impressed!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

**Unfortunately, Liberals and earthworm cannot grasp this straight-forward logic! But, everyone is entitled to his opinion no matter how silly it is. That's the beauty of our country!**

I don't think earthworm is proposing taking money from party 'a' for the purpose of giving it to party 'b'. He's proposing the tax as a method of social engineering to steer people away from a product he deems undesirable. Earthworm likes diesel vehicles. A lot of people don't like diesels because of the noise and the smell. Say he gets his wish and taxes the suv owners out of existence. Great. Next vehicle someone vilifies is the diesel. Would he then think a $5000 noise and stink tax on diesel vehicles is a great idea because a few unemployeed hippy bicycle riders in the city don't like them? I doubt it. He'd argue that they are no longer noisy and the exhaust smells like a rose garden. The anti diesel group wouldn't care even if true because they don't want to use it, and therefore nobody else needs to either. Got to watch what you wish for because what goes around comes around.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I know this is an ancient post, but I've just gotta put my 2 cents in...

As a kid way back when, while all the other guys dreamed about getting a Mustang or Corvette (as soon as I get a license!!) all I ever wanted was a Jeep. They were different. They were cheap. They could go anywhere. They were wide open without the top. When the time came to buy a real vehicle to replace my "first car" clunker, I looked at a CJ, a Scout, and a Blazer. Chevy got the nod due to more room and a V8(!). The longer I drove it, the more I enjoyed it--especially because I could see further down the road. It was traded for a CJ eight years later because the CJ owner wanted my Blazer badly enough I came out smelling like a rose on the deal. Drove the CJ for 10 years until the family outgrew it. I loved it, and wish I still had it. I was replaced by an extended cab Dakota (because I was tired of borrowing/renting a pickup when I needed tohaul stuff for the house/yard) which is now 15 years old. Having said all that, here's why I still drive a pickup

1. I like having a full frame underneath me instead of a couple layers of tin cans.
2. I still use it haul stuff for the house and garden.
3. I still prefer to be able to see further down the road.
4. My wife has MS, and she can get into/out of the pickup easily.
5. It's paid for!
6. I can feel the road in it, instead of being isolated from what is going on.
7. It's old enough that it allows ME to do the driving and thinking. No iDrive/traction control/anti-think brakes/automatic nothin'!
8. It's old enough that it is still American instead of Mexican/Canadian/Japanese/Chinese.
9. The doors go THUNK! when you close them instead of TING!
10. I am not convinced that all the "safety" doodads are that great. I've always felt that if you killed yourself because you couldn't control your vehicle, then the gene pool is improved.

When it's time to replace it (after our two girls have learned how to THINK and DRIVE in it--why do we put new drivers in something that does everything for them? When are they going to actually learn to be a thinking, responsible driver??), I'll probably get another pickup. I would be happy with a smaller one if it had any heft to it, or maybe even an old '52 era Chevy (that way I'm "recycling"--keep the greenies happy!) and have an even safer vehicle under me.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I grew up in the country and getting a truck was what everyone wanted.
I always wanted car and drove a car as ad aily driver since. I drive a truck for work and like it also but they are not efficient as cars. I think they are wastful as daily drivers for people who dont use them.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

One of my friend loves truck and wants one too..

He says that he likes the view of looking down smaller cars,
and he likes being on big vehicle(makes him feel biggger?)

As for me, I want a nice smaller muscle car.. which sucks as much gas as trucks.. so I won't point out the gas :)


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I urge all of you to read a book about Global Warming..... Boiling Point by Ross Gelbspan, or The End of Nature by Bill McKibben (any of his books are excellent). You will see that the earth's atmosphere is very small - only a few miles up. That is our ONLY atmosphere, and it is filled with the exhaust from our vehicles and that is what is causing the earth's climate change. The exhaust stays in that small space for 100 years, with only some of it absorbed by the ocean and forests. There are so many potential disasters headed our way (and I mean everyone, not just the U.S.) if governments and industries don't pay attention and clean up their acts.

Have you ever seen the glaciers in Glacier National Park? Or up in Canada in the Rockies? Well, if you haven't, you'd better hurry up and go....they are disappearing! And they won't return.

Most of us have children and grandchildren we love. Do you want them to suffer from nasty insect-borne diseases which will become more prevalent in the coming years? How about skin cancers and lung cancers from pollution and the disappearing ozone? Let's leave this beautiful earth in better shape than we found it. Don't buy an SUV (every gallon of gas you use puts about a 20 pound bag of charcoal into the atmosphere! and there are alternatives!!), Turn off your A/C & your floodlights, build smaller homes,use flourescent bulbs, start paying attention to your energy use. We can make a change!!!!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

'Have you ever seen the glaciers in Glacier National Park? Or up in Canada in the Rockies? Well, if you haven't, you'd better hurry up and go....they are disappearing! And they won't return.'

Who says and who's pretending to know? Over time the earth has been both warmer all around than it is today, and colder than it is today. 10k years ago there were glaciers extending well into the continent. Who's fault was it that they retreated? Those damned american natives got better at building camp fires I suppose. Or what made the glaciers form over what had been for the most part a tropical planet before that? People no doubt have some impact on the environment today, but a lot of these temperature changes about has to be part of some kind of cycle don't you think? The time that the issue has been studied doesn't amount to jack. My gosh, we track weather for 100 years give or take and some want to make wild assumptions about the impact of the GM Suburban on the environment while totally ignoring what appears to have happened with the climate over the last billion years! Save the chicken little routine. I'm not ready to panic yet myself.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

MotherofEarth in the late 70's early 80's they said we were returning to the ice age.We were having bad winters here in the midwest at that time.So whats the point?They change there mind as the weather pattern changes.If are vehicals are destroying our atmosphere.Then why are we sending up space shuttles to pollute the Ozone and knocking holes in it?Why do so many Tree Huggers earn Frequent Flyer miles?They should be against jet fuel.They also should not be reading all these Planet Earth Books.Because books are made of paper.Paper is made from trees.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Keeping Mine...Comfy as heck,nice lookin,will trade in on another next time.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Have you ever seen the glaciers in Glacier National Park? Or up in Canada in the Rockies? Well, if you haven't, you'd better hurry up and go....they are disappearing! And they won't return.

Sure they will!
But Motherof Earth, I have a question for you and all the "experts" you read:
The earth has gone through THREE ice ages. The earth COOLED and glaciers came. Just 10,000 years ago my home here in Vermont was under a sheet of ice a MILE THICK!! What caused the MASSIVE GLOBAL WARMING that caused the ice sheet to melt? The mountains here in Vermont were taller than the Rockies! The moving and melting ice sheared off the peaks and left rounded mountains, not to mention Lake Champlain! Did the evil Flintstone Flyers cause such massive pollution that all the ice melted? Let alone THREE TIMES????
So what caused the earth to cool AND warm those three times? I'll give you a clue. It wasn't my Expedition SUV!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

There will always be people who don't care about humanity - there are a thousand excuses why people "need" their gas guzzlers. And, of course, being an American, it's your "right" to drive whatever you want. It's a free country...don't tell an American what to drive, blah blah blah......

I'll repeat - read a government report or a well-written book about the coming climate crisis. Don't just rely on BillOReilly or Rush Limbaugh to tell you how to think. It's just too easy to say "hey, I've got mine - too bad for everyone else! Start thinking about the earth as One Living Thing - what happens in India or Africa will indeed have an effect on the U.S. The avian flu won't start in the U.S., but its effects will certainly have a huge impact on our population. Coastal flooding in Central America may seem very far away, but the impact it will have on mankind and all living species will be felt around the world.

Educate yourselves about the world around you - just think what this great country could do if we collectively worked on this important issue. I believe we could reduce CO2 emissions, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase manufacturing (i.e. alternative energy, alternative transportation, alternative farming, etc.) increase business and stay prosperous while improving the living conditions of all citizens.

Christopher, your Expediton is a symbol of disgusting excess. Yes, it is a cause of global warming and Vermont is going to suffer terribly with Much Less than normal maple syrup production and many fewer tourists to see your less than colorful Fall Foliage. It's a fact!! Your skiing season which is so important to Vt's economy will be in danger of shortening. C'mon.....living in Vermont is like living next to God - you should be paying much more attention to Mother Nature and her wrath.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.stopglobalwarming.org/march/glacier


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

MotherofEarth, We're still waiting for your explaination of Global warming that occured 10k years ago...and global cooling before that...and global warming again before that...and how you or anyone else can make any reliable predictions based on the very very limited amount of time the earths temperature has been measured at all. A hypothesis assuming that burning gasoline in a sport ute in America is bad and then point to a fraction of a degree global increase in temp over 100 years while it fails to explain the changes that occured over thousands of years before hardly constitutes scientific proof of cause and effect to me. That's ok. I'll enjoy life as best I can. You can waste yours worrying for the rest of us.


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RE: ..why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

BTW, I don't care for Rush Limbaugh at all. IMO he's a complete fool, nothing more than a cheerleader. O'Reilly is more entertaining. But don't think for a minute that the average person doesn't see through his shtick..."I'm an independent, I don't have a dog in the fight, I could vote either way, no spin ect", while proceeding to carry water for GW for the next 3 hours practically every day. I give Rush about the same consideration in his opinions as I do in yours. Is that independent enough for you MotherofEarth?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Far from a wealthy man am I, if I were, never would I drive a truck nor a SUV - unless I was paid to.
Plaidthumb, I must agree with you in part- although I consider the so-called full-sized truck to be oversized and wasteful.. - particularly here in the East - maybe they fit in the West..

IronCity, I take it you are one of the conservatives - a wild guess.
I am surely NOT a conservative nor a liberal......
And that ridiculous tax story - ha! I suppose what the conservatives want is for every man to pay a flat 10% in taxes - regardless if his income is $$$$$$$$ per year or $$$$ per year. But would it not be more fair for every to pay an equal amount say $10,000 per year this would force the lazy bums to go out and work and work hard !
A system very similar to this is now in use for the collection of school taxes !


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Mother of Earth, you still didn't answer any of my questions. What caused the massive global warming that destroyed all those lovely glaicers that covered the continent? I help you here. The answer is "NOBODY KNOWS"!

And as far as the maple syrup goes, those trees didn't appear until about 100 years ago because up until 1900 the state was covered with evergreens. The evil LOGGERS came and cut down all those majestic pines for the lumber and the nasty farmers did the same. The sunlight and the absence of trees enabled the maple trees to proliferate. And the colors that now bring the tourists are a result of MAN doing what you would consider criminal today! And the ski resorts have only been around since the 50s. They will come, and they will go.

But I have other questions for you. What's wrong with the earth heating up? What's wrong with a longer growing season in Siberia? Do you have something against feeding people? In the 9th century Greenland as well as Iceland were crop growing regions. But that's wrong in your book. Why?
The climatologists that I read say the polar ice cap is indeed melting. And it has many times before. That water at the north pole has happened numerous times so it's no big deal. And that's according to people without an agenda.

But try this experimant will you? Take a glass of water and fill it with ice cubes. Then fill the rest of the glass with water to the brim. Let the glass stand and the ice melt. You'll notice the glass never overflows as the ice melts. That ice represents the northern ice cap. If it melts you can see how much the oceans will rise. They won't! But if the southern cap melts the ocean will indeed rise. So what? It's been warm there before because the scientists have found evidence of plant life in Antartica. So at one time it WAS warm! Again, so what?

The environmentalists say the Amazon rain forest is the "lungs of the Earth". But now Brazil is burning the forest at such a rate that country is now a major worldwide polluter. And we're still breathing! Why?

And as far as my Expedition goes, it's classified as ULEV by the Feds so it's NOT the big polluter you think. And it hauls my 5,000 pound craft trailer all over the northeast so I'm happy with it. And when I'm just driving without the trailer it gets 20 MPG. And by the way Howierd Dean AND his wife also own SUVs. And every time Algore gets out of that black Suburban he's getting out of an SUV. Again, so what?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I blame it on the Spaceshuttle missions.Who cares about outerspace unless we could send up space shuttle garbage haulers and let are garbadge float around up there instead of having land fills.Besides we know there is no oil on the moon we can use.Who cares if theres life up there.Were better off not to know.Because if we found out there was.We would have to fight there wars and send them money.If we were so concerned about finding alternative energy sources.We surley could have with the amount of money thrown away on that nonsence.What good is it and if they can not figure out how to keep those tiles on before those things burn up returning.Then what makes anyone think there is anyone smart enough to use any of there Outer space findings for any true worth while purpose?

We could have had electric cars or ones that run on air or lemon juice or hog manure or BS who knows.Its a fact they can be made to run on Alchol from are corn.But why is it not?Simple then there would not be all the money to be made off the fuel tax and EPA requirements etc etc etc.They could build a car that could run off human waste if they really wanted to.The fuel just from the tree huggers alone would be ample fuel supply?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

OR....You could walk accross the street tomorrow and get creamed....SUVs are damn nice vehicles.Love mine.Dont like your omni ,cavalier,doesnt matter Im CONCERNED with mine only ,I buy It,I pay for Fuel,I take care of it.ITS MINE!!!!!!Never give it up...only for a new one...FUEL>>>With all the problems on this earth with nut cases,litering,wasting water,polluting water ,air,etc.Just to name a few.Suv is like a piss ant on Mount St Helens...


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I dont like your Escallade or other SUV.Doesnt matter I like my Cavalier.Damn nice vehical I bought it and park it at the back of the parking lot and walk up.Im the guy parked out there next to the curb very close so im further way from the yellow parking line to prevent door dings.From the ones that are only concerned about theres.That could careless about mine.

I could care less about fuel.I only care about money in my pocket disapearing at the gas station.I could also careless about your water.I polute it every day with herbicides and incectisides and fertiliser.To put food in your mouth.While you hug a tree and haul the kids to soccer practice that is not even a real sport.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."

Ahh, the old someone ate bean dip and let a fart in south america and by the time it got to florida it was a hurricane philosophy.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

There is NO avalance, NO hurricane, the sky falls NOT.
The fart ,I can smell(ugh), the snowflake, oh so beautiful, I can see; the sky stays in the same place and is worthy of its own thread.
I drive the vehicle that I like, always have, do not care about the opinion of idiots or sheeple.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

When there's an option that makes sense at all, everyone will be doing it. In the mean time everyone should chill.

My predition is even when someone invents a vehicle that will tow a 30' trailer, haul 10 yards of material, seats 14, folds up and fits into a 4' parking space, improves the atomosphere, plants old growth trees, uses no fuel of any kind, is biodegradable, saves the native salmon and brings back the wooly mammoth, the same bunch b*tching about suvs now will still be b*tching then.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Yeah, but it's easier to be an alarmist. These are people that read books by "Environmentalists" instead of "Climatologists".

Now I did read a report that there was a symposium by climatologists and they determined that the polar caps are indeed melting. And at the current rate of melting they will disappear in......... 7,000 years! They acknowledge man is helping things along so they might disappear in ..... 6,500 years if we don't act NOW!

The air is also much cleaner than before. And the "environmentalists" now claim that since the air is cleaner, more sunlight is reaching the planet and global warming will increase!

AAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

I'm just curious how many of you who are bashing the SUV's ,because of their gas usage , actually car-pool to work each day (or car-pool the neighborhood kids to school)?

And what about no federal taxes~you pay tax on what you spend?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

In case you haven't figured it out yet...the reason we are sending shuttles into space is to find new places for earthlings to inhabit after Earth can no longer sustain its billions of inhabitants. Po'folks like me and most of you will not be able to afford the trip of course, so our future relatives will be sentenced to languishing on a poisoned planet. The ultra wealthy will be able to shuttle to a new planet capable of sustaining life.
And no I'm not a tree hugger, democrat, hippie, or Moonie. Just explaining why we spend billions to find a new home.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Hey I want a seat on the first shuttle! Do you suppose they'll have a bidding contest on ebay? LOL!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Janengland~I see that you are converting a bus into a motorhome. How is that on gas consumption?

Everybody contributes to the environment, in one way or another. It's just to different degrees.I mean, who here walks to work each day or rides the bus?

To answer the original question "why a truck or SUV?"~~ That's like asking why do you have a 4 bedroom house instead of one bedroom? Why do you have an inground pool instead of an above ground one? Why do you have 4 children instead of one? It all depends upon your lifestyle, needs and wants. That's life and life is meant to be enjoyed.

I agree with Gary~everybody needs to chill and enjoy life as best they can. In the meantime, I will continue to drive (and enjoy) my BMW Z3 and my new Lexus RX330 when I get it.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

****In case you haven't figured it out yet...the reason we are sending shuttles into space is to find new places for earthlings to inhabit after Earth can no longer sustain its billions of inhabitants.*****

It's remarkable. The USA has 280 million people. The state of Texas has 265 million acres. You can put 100 percent of the population of the USA inside the borders of Texas and the population density (624 people per square mile) would be less than that of Rhode Island! That includes areas for roads, industry, shopping centers, etc. And the rest of the country would be completely vacant! Lots of area to grow food. We are not overcrowded.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Well as long as they send the Treehuggers,Yuppies,and California to the new planet I guess its OK then to find this new planet.But I do not understand how there can be more people?Grandma had 13 kids but mom had 4 and daughter had 2?Grandmas 13 are dead or soon will be and moms 4 are still going strong.But daughters 2 are drugies and will be dead before moms?


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Clarification- I didn't say we were overcrowded,ChristopherH. I know there's plenty of land left.The variable there is HABITABLE land. And...it's what we DO with the available resources. And consider this- it may not even be a NEW planet- just one that we can mold to fit our needs...or perhaps a space station capable of supporting thousands of people. Yaah, I know it sounds weird, but think about it. It's a comin'.
GardenGraphicGal- the mileage on an RTS bus/ motorhome is about 10 mph diesel. Not the best, but it's also our home when we travel. Certainly no worse than the Hummer that SoccerMom uses to get Mojo Chicken at the local Publix for dinner.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

Jane~ The fact that it is your "home when you travel" does really matter much. It's the amount of miles that pollute, so the few miles to the local Publix in a Hummer can no way compare to traveling hundreds of miles on a trip in a motorhome. Everything is relavent!


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Clarification

Jane~Don't get me wrong, I'm just as quilty of polluting the environment as the next driver :)


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

GGG no offense taken.I don't feel guilty when we do take trips- it's not as often as we'd like (gas is 2.65 unleaded as I write this, which is incredible in Florida, a 'cheap' state to live in). I drive a 1992 Tercel w/ 170,000 + miles and great mileage, so I am trying to do my share.


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

love my red SUV!!!!!!!!!!!


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RE: why would anyone choose an suv or truck?

In Fact Im ready for a new one...Another red and yes another caddy..


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