Why an SUV or utillity vehicle? A study

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I have been away from the United States for a number of years and when I returned I found many more utility type vehicles on the road. This includes SUV, station wagons and minivans. Sport Utility Vehicles as
the most popular of these utility vehicles. It looks to me that the SUV has become the family car of choice these days in the US. By sales numbers and the general view on the streets. I want to get some opinions on why people are choosing these as a family car, especially SUV. I am vary curious about the vastly increased market share of SUVs, in the US so please tell me something if you bought one. I am a 34 year old male and I would not be caught dead in one and would never buy one. Long ago when I was in the US and in high school during the late 1980's most of us drove older used cars. However when someone got to buy something new they often got Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds etc,..or imports like the Honda CRX , Nissan 240, or small pickup trucks. . No one would get an SUV if they had a choice in the matter. Now it seems that SUVs are fashionable even in the eyes of younger people. Considering that most families are 2 children or less in the developed world, all that is needed is a 4 door sedan. In places like Asia and Europe, a small 4 door sedan like Honda Civic is what is used for a family of 4. A soccer mom would have to pop out many more babies to need a bigger car. Even a 2 door car would work well if it has 4 seats. It is strange to see people with only 2 children driving a minivan or SUV with seating for a dozen people. My Honda civic 4 door can comfortably transport 4 full size adults and their scuba diving gear vary well. Also an SUV would not work for the farm. Lots of things and equipment need to be hauled that would damage the interior of an SUV. Farmers and ranchers need full size trucks, not SUVs. The average car can turn faster on a twisty road and can avoid accidents when compared to an SUV. You don't need a Corvette for good handling, as even my Honda Civic can handle quite well on roads that make SUVs wobble around or tip over. About efficiency, the 300+ hp v8 in a Ford Mustang can actually be put to use for acceleration instead of pulling the big jacked-up station wagon body of an SUV. This concept also applies to gas mileage. I noticed that SUVs I have driven always got low gas mileage even on the highway. Cars like Corvette will get close to 28 miles per gallon on the highway, and these have 6 liter engines with lighter overall car weight. So big engine size is not the most important factor in miles per gallon. If you want to haul cargo then you can always rent a truck or van for a few days and this would be cheaper than driving an SUV all the time. About space, a mobile DJ said to me that his cargo van holds over double the amount of equipment than the SUV he drove earlier. And finally about driving. SUVs to me are work to park in the city and no fun to drive on paved roads. They are not a pleasure to drive as I have noticed. So why do people buy them?
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~snip~
Imagine that. Another SUV lame.......
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Hairy wrote:

Very
------------------------------------ Mike Mangione http://www.carforums.net
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Well consider the fact GM & Chrysler stopped building cars that were capable of towing a 5000 pound boat or camper what does that leave you with?
A Pick up truck, van or SUV, unless you want to use a Ford Crown Victoria to tow with, and Ford probably doesn't recommend towing 5000 pounds with a car anymore.
Harryface 05 Park Avenue, 33,437 91 Bonneville LE 305,177
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OK Harry, Towing is a valid point for trucks. But that dosen't change my view on SUVs. Because in my article I put full size trucks and SUVs in seperate catagories. If I needed to tow a boat I would buy a full size Ford truck with a V8. however I would not buy an SUV. and as i mentioned in my article that farmers and ranchers need trucks. what can a SUV do that a full size truck with extended cab not due. again I laugh when I see a soccer mom in a HUGE SUV and she only has TWO kids. i would not laugh if I saw the same soccer mom in a full size truck. especially if she is a farmers wife. again i am not convinced that SUVs have any value. again there something that makes my skin crawl when I see an SUV and that does not happen when i lay eyes on a Ford F-150
i'm sorry it is just me
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So, don't buy an SUV. You're happy with your Honda - great. Why bother with the missive here about SUV's? I suppose the answer to your question is that some people buy SUV's for the same reason that other people post on usenet about their inability to see a reason for such a vehicle. Because they can. Is that really such a big problem?
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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Mike, There is no hate here. if people want SUVs that is fine with me, in fact I may buy one in the future. Why? Because I want to try domestic and the selection of cars from the big three have really changed. In fact there are not many cars sold at GM now that interest me. Like the GTO is interesting but it looks strange. I don't really like the new Malibu either.
If I get a GM product I will probably get an SUV. I am not joking. I have been out of the country for a long time and a LOT has changed here in the United States. It is quite a shock. You can only understand if you are looking into the country from the outside. It is not just the shock when shopping for cars.
Cars are not that important, but it is just the tip of the icberg. The whole culture in the US has changed. And there are a lot of strange things going on that I don't understand. So if my article sounded overly negative. then I am sorry about that its just about cars .. no big deal.. I will probably catch some flames for it. anyway the comments have been interesting and I got to say something of what I think. I was driving a Honda overseas because of the gas price was much higher over there. Well that's all I will say about this subject.
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You have not seen the end of high gasoline prices, in my opinion. Last June, the price of gasoline in Norway was $8 per US gallon. We saw $3.00+ here in the USA.
To fill up my van cost nearly a hundred bucks. Now there is a little light inside the tunnel. NOT at the end of the tunnel.
I think that you will see no relief from the $2.00+ per gallon prices, and would not be surprised, with a little more tumult in Iran and the other ME states, it could easily double.
So buy what you like, but don't bitch about gas prices.
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Regardless what people drive, as long as gas prices stay high or go even higher, when indicators say they shouldn't, people will and should bitch. If we don't bitch, the government will do nothing about gouging.
Dave
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Bitching won't make any difference. First, the US government is not interested in involving itself in control of the oil industry and certainly not price controls.
Second, the global oil supply is adequate for today, but not abundant. The best analysts predict a fairly dim future...and it isn't a distant future. Total world oil production is leveling out at about 85 million barrels per day. The consumption is already at 82 million barrels.
T. Boone Pickens has gone so far as to say that no new technology, no improved production methods, will raise the production over this level. He says there will be no more massive oil finds...ever.
One hiccup in the Middle East, and we are in deep poopoo. Add the increased consumption of emerging industrial nations like India and China, and oil may very quickly go to $100 per barrel in the short term (Read $5 per gallon gas).
Figure up to $15-$20 per gallon within 10-15 years, if current depletion rates hold constant.
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While I agree that the government isn't interested in price controls, they do seem to get interested in artificially inflated gasoline prices. When gas prices were $3.00+, they announced that they were going to investigate to see if gouging was going on and suddenly the prices dropped to $2.00 a gallon. If there had been no hue and cry, they wouldn't have bothered. Now that the heat is off, prices are starting to rise again.
Dave
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Notice you have not heard anything in the major media about what the Congressional Committee investigation, of oil company alleged gouging, discovered? Do you know why? Search the Congressional Record and you will find that gasoline price increases after Katrina were the result of supply and demand problems, nothing more. The same thing happened with crop futures after Katrina and the price of some foods went up as well.
Had there been any other revelations you can rest assured the major media would be telling us how the major oil companies, who 'only contribute to Republicans,' had been ripping off the average working man.
The fact is the price of a barrel of crude oil is set by the commodities market, not the oil companies. If speculators expect a future shortage they buy more 'oil futures,' and the demand for future oil production goes up. If they see an increase of supply they buy fewer futures, and the price per barrel goes down. With Iran coming up on the radar screen, they see a disruption of world oil supplies coming and a shortage.
Think about it if the oil companies actually could control the retail price of gasoline, would you expect the price to ever go down? The fact is gasoline is a byproduct of the refining process. Oil companies must sell off their gasoline as quickly as possible, or they will have to burn it off at the refineries, so they can continue operations to acquire all of the other products that come from crude that are far more profitable than gasoline. Do a bit of research to enlighten yourself on the subject, WBMA ;)
mike hunt
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One of the targets of that particular investigation was the stations that sold gas at $7.00 per gallon during the hurricanes.
The government piddlepissed around with some oil company CEO's in a congressional interview (I won't even call it an investigation), and then went calmly back to sleep.
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Fortunately, the threat of investigation seems to do the trick, so far at least. This last time, the price dropped from $3.00+ to under $2.00 in a week. I might consider it a coincidence, if it didn't drop every time a probe is threatened. I have no illusions that the Fed has our best interests at heart.
Dave
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Chuckle. If you think that the government (specifically federal) has any REAL interest in investigating collusion, then I think you've been had. The so called investigating is nothing more than a dog and pony show. They like to pose and appear to the public that they are concerned and are interested in stopping it if it's happening, but it is my belief that their true motives are friendly to big oil.
It's amazing how many politicians wind up with juicy salaries on the positions of various advisory boards with certain companies after they leave public office. Or how many of their children or wives earn huge compensation through some kind of loose employment affiliations.
I'll come right out and say it. I think much of our government has been bought, and that it is all a game of appearances for the voting public.

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On 1/18/06 8:15 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@nntp.charter.net,

The cost of gasoline, diesel, and home heating oil is probably by far the most important issue to the largest number of Americans. Everybody drives, everybody eats the food that comes in on a truck from somewhere, and most have to heat their home at least a couple months a year.
At the moment, most Americans can afford the costs. If the price went to what it peaked at last year and stayed there, most Americans would still be able to afford it. Minimum wage went up, over the next few years people a step or two up the ladder will get their due raise, and so on. I'm no economist, but it seems that inflation is the cure-all the government relies on to solve this problem. The committees, investigations, research, etc are just something to put on CNN to make people feel better about it.
In the long run, the oil we rely on for so much will be depleted to the point that you will need some sort of authorization to get it. The average joe will not be able to buy a gallon of gas anymore. When that point comes, what will we be using for power? Electricity, natural gas, coal heating systems, maybe nuclear power are all possibilities. Until we get to the point where the average American can no longer afford the cost of petroleum based fuels, nothing will change significantly.
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In the 60s it was estimated that petroleum supplies would be used up within 30 years. Wow. Guess it didn't happen. Oh, and by the way, usage rates INCREASED over time after the prediction and didn't decrease even with gains in technology. Why should we believe these so called reports? Does anyone ever stop to REALLY question the science (if any) and the motives of where these predictions come from? Is it true, is it misguided falsehood, or is it deliberate propaganda? Such predictions are loved by the tree huggers because it helps validate their position that we should move away from petroleum energy sources. At the same time, it helps oil companies justify higher prices due to the public perception of supply limitations. I'm not supplying answers here, I'm trying to raise awareness that we all need to be more wary and skeptical about the information that is fed to us.

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The demise of oil has been predicted for a lot longer than that. And exactly as you say, it hasn't happened yet. Lots of BS in the propaganda.
We won't be out of oil for a long long time, but I really believe that 'cheap' oil may be gone forever.
It is a very complicated relationship. The oil futures market is one thing, but the contracts that the company has with oil producers may be quite another.
Even $2.00 is higher than I would like to be paying. I would not buy a SUV in any case at all, since I find them unattractive, potentially unstable to some rollover conditions, and over priced. Some are gas guzzlers, at 15-17 mpg, while others do a lot better.
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snipped-for-privacy@ihatespam.net (SgtSilicon) wrote:

Increased oil prices have increased the recoverable reserves. Recently the worlds deepest successful commercial well was drilled in the Gulf of Mexico using Canadian deep well technology. As the reserves get strained gas prices will increase.
Gasoline is actually very low cost. Just compare it to bottled water.
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I agree that gas prices have reached a new level where they will stay. The higher price level is needed to encourage exploration and development of more oil fields. This will increase the much needed reserves.
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