Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 11:08:22 -0600
From: "Walt Kienzle" <>
Subject: Re: SAAB SUV

I agree with you completely. The models you mention are not the ones we typically see here, and are usually owned by someone wants to flaunt their wealth. The BMW and Mercedes have been in the US for awhile, but I believe the Porsche model was just recently introduced here. I don't believe I have seen any on the road yet. But then again, I might not have noticed, since all those big hulking things look alike to me. Of the advantages I mentioned, the only one these models offer is 4 wheel drive, at the expense of handling and fun (IMHO). Exactly as you say: a status symbol. I also think my 9000 is the perfect car, but with mine being 12 years old and with 140K miles on it, I am in a quandary as to what a comparable replacement would be from the list of new car offerings. My choices are limited as I am excluding any cars that offer only automatic transmission, cannot comfortably seat 4 people, or has less than about 200hp. Oops, I think I just excluded every US model currently being offered. The requirement for manual transmission eliminated about 90% of the US models, the remaining models being cheap, small, and underpowered deathtraps, or the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Corvette (another example of excess). The Mustang isn't exactly comfortable for 4 people, and I believe that my Saab gets better fuel economy. Happy New Year to you also. Walt Kienzle "Johannes H Andersen" <> wrote in message > > > Walt Kienzle wrote: > > > > One of the typical answers from SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) owners is that > > they can't get the car seats (required by law) for their 3 (or more) > > children into anything smaller. In the US, an SUV is considered to be a > > truck, which allows it to have more relaxed fuel economy laws. These fuel > > economy laws (and the taxes imposed on cars that violate the law) are the > > primary reason that there is little availability in (what we consider to be) > > large cars. The only thing left that meets some people's needs is a truck - > > which in most cases is overkill. More vehicle choices are now again being > > made available by the manufacturers, but years without much choice have > > gotten people into the bad habit of buying the same thing they bought > > before. They also enjoy a vehicle that lets them be higher than they would > > be in a car (and block the view for the rest of us). > > > > Other reasons why people buy SUV's: > > 1) 4 wheel drive. Not available in many cars (no US made cars that I can > > think of) and people think they need it, not realizing that ABS is probably > > more valuable than 4 wheel drive. > > 2) Towing capacity. Many cars are not rated for towing. The ones that can > > are only rated for the lightest duty - typically 1/2 ton. If you want to > > tow your boat or trailer, you need a truck. > > > > I'm not saying that they are good reasons, but they are reasons just the > > same. Just my opinion. > > > > As a side note on the fuel economy taxes, GM's Pontiac division will be > > importing a Holden as their new GTO model. The fuel economy from this > > Australian car is so bad, that the automatic transmission model has a > > disclaimer stating that there will be a $1,000 "Gas Guzzler" tax on it. The > > tax is deserved because it gets poorer fuel economy than all but the most > > gigantic SUV's. > > > > Walt Kienzle > > 1991 9000T > > I see quite a few high value SUVs around here; BWM X5, Mercs, Porche cayennes. > These cars don't really offer much space, say a 9-5 estate would be just as > good. But it may have something to do with image and status. Suppose that you > want to show off that you're in the 40-50k+ car status set. Then if you buy a > merc or other prestige limo, you have to worry a lot about keeping it nice and > clean and free of sundry scratches, whereas such are more tolerable on a SUV > as it's seen as more rugged. Hence easier ownership. Petrol (gas) consumption > is heavy, but probably less important in this category for people with this > kind of income. But I find the waste of energy disturbing, even if I could > afford it. My 9000 CSE with 2.0 LPT is beutifully efficient for such a large > car. > > Happy New Year. > Johannes

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