Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What's your opinion on SUVs?

  1. They should be banned (their a hazard to the environment and other motorists)

    9 vote(s)
  2. Automakers just need to improve them (gas mileage, rollover susceptibility etc)

    9 vote(s)
  3. They are cool just the way they are (tree-huggers need to shutup)

    4 vote(s)
  1. Jul 19, 2003 #1
    According to sources I read, the 1946 Jeep Station Wagon is considered by many to be the first SUV. It had two-wheel drive, a seven-passenger capacity and a top speed of 65 mph. I don't know about its' gas mileage or weight. Today's SUV more likely has four-wheel drive, a five to nine-passenger capacity and a top speed of 120 mph. SUVs seem to weigh anywhere from 3 - 3.5 tons and gas mileage is usually around 10-20 mpg.

    So what do you think? Do you have an SUV or do you prefer smaller cars? Do you think SUVs make the US a hostage to OPEC? What's the big fuss about SUVs[?]
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2003 #2
    SUVs SUK.

  4. Jul 19, 2003 #3

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I voted "improve" with the understanding that better gas mileage means better Hydrogen mileage.:wink:

    Convert to hydrogen and we can have muscle cars again.
    400Hp. YOW!
  5. Jul 19, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    i think it is absolute ridiculous when i see people in the city driving their huge ford expeditions here...(i live in portland oregon)...we have one of the best mass transit systems in the u.s., and they still choose to drive their huge cars (which i think is absolutely arrogant and yuppified) in a city that promotes environmentalism...

    and i drive a gas efficient 2 door vw...
  6. Jul 19, 2003 #5

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How about the $35,000 land cruisers or trucks with lift kits, splash guards, skid plates, roll bars, headlight guards, tires the size of your car, headers, oversized pistons, illegal mufflers, a full sized winch with 500 ft of cable, they get 8 mpg, and that never go off road because at that price no one can afford to break it? .
  7. Jul 20, 2003 #6
    I cant standf the tree hugging hippies but i also cant stand the people that buy a large 4x4 and never take it off road, i have been off roading with my uncle in his range rover and it is really good fun, but during the day just for running around to work and stuff he tries to use his wifes smaller car as much as possible. And having a larger car also makes it easier to run over the commoners and hippies that get in the way!
  8. Jul 20, 2003 #7
    Anymore opinions?

    It is an even vote so far with 33% for each. That's exactly what I expected because a lot of people seem to hate and love SUVs. But three votes isn't that much. Anymore opinions?

    This is an anti-SUV article I found at http://autozine.kyul.net/0_Inspiration/54/Inspiration.htm [Broken]:

    Title: No more SUV please
    By: Mark Wan

    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  9. Jul 20, 2003 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Anymore opinions?

    Some guys just got'ta make up for that hormonal imbalance...:wink:
  10. Jul 21, 2003 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I voted they should be banned, but I think more broad guidelines are needed.

    For instance, they should not be used as a single persons commuter vehicle to work and home. It makes me sick seeing a vehicle designed to carry itself twice over hauling one person 50 miles one way to work.

    Also, if you are not going to actually go offroad, why opt for 4 wheel drive, which adds to the weight, thereby decreasing effiecency. Or even worse, put some nice 44" mud knobbies on it and the only dirt it sees is when the driver swerves off the road by accident.

    For there defense though, if you had a large family, or are an active offroader, then there is good reason to have one.

    For some reason, people feel safe in SUV's cause of there size. Personally, if I ever see an SUV about to hit me, I'll do all in my power to make sure they tip a few times.
  11. Jul 22, 2003 #10
    I voted they need to be banned which was the closest option to my opinion. I don't think they should be sold to people that don't need them. If you're volunteering for some "Stop the Hunger" organization in Africa and need a heavy-duty car then I am not opposed to you buying an SUV but if you're a single man living in NY and need something to get you to work then an SUV should not be an option. I also think offroading should be banned. I just don't understand the whole "Paved roads are boring lets go run over a tree" mentality. Also, SUVs' high bumpers make the road dangerous for everyone. Crashes involving SUVs and small cars look more like monster truck derbies than crashes.
  12. Jul 22, 2003 #11
    I just bought an isuzu trooper today and i must say it will be used to go off road. I like trees just as much as the next guy and to be quite frank, i got the trooper to get me deep into the trees. The un-natural fiber backpack is for the remaining 5-10 miles where there are no roads.
  13. Jul 22, 2003 #12
    I drive a Kia Sportage 4x4. It gets fairly good milage, over 26 miles per gallon combined driving conditions. It has good power, a steel frame, better view of the road than a small car and better traction during rain or snow.

    If you want to ban something, ban people that drive while using cell phones, old people that get confused and press the gas pedal when they meant to press the brake, middle aged people who are bored with driving and get careless, and young people that drive like they are invincible.
  14. Jul 22, 2003 #13
    SUVs are dangerous to other cars, and to their own occupants. SUV drivers, in general, are lousy human beings. They are marketed for 1)insecure types who are compensating, and 2) self-centered people who don't car4e if they kill people, so long as they aren't hurt.
  15. Jul 22, 2003 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    wow zero, you sound pretty bitter...i don't think that attitude you describe of SUV drivers is just limited to them...matter of fact, just yesterday a young gal in her GEO metro (license plate read: I am the princess, who the hell are you?) was zigzagging in and out of traffic while on a cell phone...it doesn't matter what car you drive, just how you drive it, and this gal seriously needed a reckless driving ticket to knock out her arrogant driving...

    my mom had a dodge durango (nice rig) but was totaled by a little 4 door honda civic...my mom escaped with a broken leg only because she was not wearing her seat belt...the gal in the honda was completely unharmed as far as i understand...

    years ago i had a 4 x 4 toyota truck that i loved driving because i could actually see the road...i never used it for offroading, it cost me twice the money in gas to commute, and repairs, tires, batteries etc are twice as much as a regular car...i think SUV's have their place, but most of the city folks have them for a status symbol over the real intended use, and that is not to commute...
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2003
  16. Jul 22, 2003 #15
    Bitter? Nah, I actually recall reading an article last year, claiming that Ford and Chevy actually market SUVs to creeps.
  17. Jul 22, 2003 #16
    There are very few people who need SUVs...they combine the worst parts of trucks and vans, with no added benefit, besides looking cool and killing people.
  18. Jul 22, 2003 #17


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The main problem/gripe about SUVs pertains to the fact that they're so popular. They have become a scapegoat (a symbol for a greater problem).

    Many other vehicles get equally poor mileage (pickups, vans, minivans, sports cars, limos, etc.). There are many other large vehicles which are safer for the drivers than for other people during an accident. Bad drivers own all kinds of cars, not just SUVs.

    SUVs have become an easy target for people to complain about even though the reality is much more complex than that. Or perhaps someone can post some statistics that actually show that SUVs are head and shoulders above the rest in any particular concern. Roll overs might be the only thing that stands out (although I'm curious to see the rollover stats on pickups and vans).

    Sure, many SUV drivers don't need a vehicle that big. Others do. Shall we also complain about the commuters who like to drive big pickup trucks? Or the single senior citizen in the huge caddy?

    Are you going to disallow someone to purchase a SUV if they actually need something like that? Is the government going to decide who gets one and who doesn't?

    What about different types of SUVs (large/small, etc.)?

    If they are to be banned, there had better be clear evidence that they are a clear and present danger compared to other vehicles. Otherwise, the proper way to pursue this issue is through education (teach people about fuel economy) and offering better alternatives. Or just wait out the fad.
  19. Jul 22, 2003 #18


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No one needs a car at all (walking, cycling, mass transport, taxis, etc. are all options). Need alone cannot be a reason to ban SUVs. (perhaps need combined with fuel economy and safety...but I'm still waiting to see the stats on that)

    Explain? Why the worst parts of trucks/vans instead of the best parts?

    This needs to be backed up. That's quite the accusation.
  20. Jul 22, 2003 #19
    I love SUVs. My family owns a Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SLT Plus, and they are amazing cars. Great for off-road and on-road driving. I will hope my father gets me a Jeep Liberty Renegade when I start driving.

    The big fuss about SUV are that they are:
    1. Big
    2. Safe
    3. Comfortable
    4. Versatile
    5. Ready
    6. Sporty
    7. Luxurious
    8. A bunch of cool gadgets inside

    What is there not to like about SUVs? If you can pay for the gas, I don't see any problem.

    Note that I am talking about real truck-based SUVs here like Jeeps, Land Rover, Dodge and GMC.

    Not those Toyota Rav4s or Honda Elements...
  21. Jul 22, 2003 #20
    SUVs may be safer for the driver...but they almost guarantee the death of anyone in a regular car that they hit. Cars are designed to withstand impact with other cars. SUVs hit so high on a car, they bypass whatever reinforcement the car has.

    By the worst elements of vans and trucks, I mean that they have less ability to haul than a pickup, less interior space than a van, horrible fuel efficiency, crappy visibility of other drivers, etc.

    Oh, and Phobos: some people absolutely DO need cars. There is no public transportation where I live, and no places to work within reasonable walking or cycling distance...unless you suggest I walk or cycle 2o miles at night on country roads?
  22. Jul 22, 2003 #21
    What a load of cr@p.

    I had a 54 mile commute for 14 years and in that time I never had an accident. I drove various small cars one that got over 50 mpg. So I do not consider myself an unsafe driver, nor am I affraid to drive small cars.

    An SUV affords better views of the road and better traction in poor weather than most other cars.

    As for what kind of human being I am, I will match my contributions to society against anyone elses' any day of the week.

    I chose my Sportage because I thought it was cute, I could put my dog's crate in the back to take her on vacations with us, the cargo space is enclosed (unlike a pickup), and it was one of the least expensive 4 wheel drive vehicles on the market.

    Finally, the only person I know who admittedly drives a large vehicle just to be safer than anyone else around her, drives a huge pickup truck not an SUV and the reason she drives a pickup is because she believes that SUVs are not as safe as pickups. So, all of your selfish, kill-rather-than-be-killed drivers don't drive SUVs some drive enourmous pickup trucks. Probably equally prone to rollover and far more prone to fishtailing.
  23. Jul 22, 2003 #22


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Uhm, if that was the mentality, then I'd agree with you. However, people do not go offroad to hit trees. In many places, the government has setup state parks for this purpose. Here is one near me.

    http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/recreation/uwharrie/index.htm [Broken]

    What do you suggest? We all stop doing things that are fun, pick up a nice lazy man sport like golf, eat cheese burgers until we become the fattest nation on earth (if we're not already)? No thanks.

    I mean, lets eliminate every single thing that could possibly considered fun, and then ask why crime rates and teen pregnancys are up so much.

    Sorry to hijack the thread, but the attitude portrayed in quotes is one bread of pure ignorance.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  24. Jul 22, 2003 #23
    I agree with Megashawn, Offroading is really good fun, but nobody i know that goes off roading would ever run over a tree, purely because its too expensive to have the vehicle repaired if anything where to get broken underneath. In the UK there are small country lanes called "green lanes" that can be used by any vehicle but these lanes are so old that the only vehicles that can get down them are big 4x4's i dont see what all the fuss is about, i do agree with some of the comments against them though because they are dangerous to other road users, but then again in the UK most of the 4x4 drivers are much safer cos they no their limitations, the only bad drivers are the 4x4 drivers that never go offroad dont ask me why it just is, also i have noted that these tend to be women aswell.
  25. Jul 22, 2003 #24
    I consider it none of my business what any of you choose to drive. If your vehicle costs more money than I consider worth it, well, that is my problem. If your pollution-mobile gets 5 MPG less than my pollution-mobile, I still can’t get too excited about it.
    The stuff about SUV’s causing damage to passenger cars seems lopsided to me. What is to stop the motorcyclists from joining hands next, complaining that passenger cars are not only gas guzzlers, but are too dangerous when they slam into a motorcycle?

    I guess I’m just not into managing and engineering society as perhaps this post demonstrates. :wink:
  26. Jul 22, 2003 #25

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is hardly fair to ask people to be energy conscious and then to risk their lives on the roads because others choose to ignore such concerns. If we are going to tax cigarettes and booze, then one who chooses to put my life in jeopardy should at least pay a 100-200% tax on the purchase of their vehicle...just like a cigarette smoker does for his smokes. This could go towards the increased damage to the environment, the greater number of casualties per accident...in the other vehicle of course, and for compensation for the extra wear on the roads. I think large vehicle owners fail to recognize the threat they pose to others. If they do, they understandably act to protect themselves. This is hardly fair…without a price at least. The logic behind lifestyle and public safety legislation can hardly avoid this issue. I have to wear a helmet while riding my motorcycle, or to wear a seatbelt in my Toyota, but you can drive a car that can run over mine like a speed bump? How does this equate?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook