Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:22:36 +0000
From: Johannes H Andersen <>
Subject: Re: SAAB SUV

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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