7th May 2011, 13:14
10:50, your theory on the price of gas being related to the popularity of large SUVs is very flawed. Remember in the late '90's and early part of this decade when a gallon of gas cost about $1. Well, ironically that was also at the peak of SUV popularity. The price of oil has risen at a ridiculous rate because of speculators and the unrest in the Middle East.
And as far as your idea about Americans all driving around in compact efficient cars, well I think that we should be able to drive a car as large as we want, and the last time I checked we still can. That may all change if our current president remains in office however.
Anyway, I have always loved large cars, and will drive a large vehicle for as long as I can. I try not to make a lot of unnecessary trips and I only live 3 miles from work. A tank of gas in my large Buick lasts about 3 weeks. The people you really have to thank for the current price of gas are your politicians, who have learned nothing from our numerous fuel crisis' over the last 40 years, and who give in to special interest groups who are more concerned about saving a plant that an endangered species eats than the economic state of our country. If we had real leaders in this country who cared about our well being, we could have our independent oil supply and pay $2 per gallon. Instead we pay $4+ to terrorists.
7th May 2011, 17:54
Best to get a body on frame car like a Caprice or Crown Vic. You still get the heavy duty frame and suspension, with the added benefit of being closer to the ground.
8th May 2011, 07:52
I had a new 2006 black Trailblazer loaded, and it was great. I had OnStar with diagnostic reports.
I now have a new Ford Edge loaded, only because I liked it a lot. I am not locked into one brand as the car companies do not buy the cars for me.
I had no issues with my Trailblazer, but I rarely keep a car import or domestic ever over 50,000 miles before problems mount. More so with imports. We have 2-3 new cars at a given time.
8th May 2011, 10:31
We have to take responsibility for ourselves at some point, and stop just blaming everyone else for our gas price woes. Driving gas guzzlers around uses more gas period, plain and simple! If nothing else, it is worse for the environment. So yes, you are "entitled" (like every American seems to think they are) to drive whatever you like, and waste as much gas as you'd like, but should you really be wasting more gas than you need to get around? Since you have so little time to drive your short commute, why does it make such a big difference to you? Drive a Civic, or better yet a Prius, and fill up every other month.
I am tired of hearing how we deserve... and it is our right, etc. etc. Start trying to conserve and maybe things will get better. If the usage is cut in half, the price has no where to go but down. Even speculation can't fight that fact. To justify driving large vehicles by short commutes and such is a lame attempt at best to proving any valid point as to why big vehicles are better than small ones.
Sorry, but our self destructive love affair with the automobile that we have enjoyed for decades now needs to die. We need to use more common sense, and look at vehicles as a point A to point B solution. We can't sit around and wait decades for the government to regulate MPG figures and adopt new technologies. We are dying out there now paying $75 to fill up. It will be over $100 by the time summer is over this year, as gas will probably reach close to $6 per gallon. I am a car nut too, so I don't say this lightly! At some point you just have to change and evolve though, and think for the future and not for your own enjoyment today.
Also, the price surely did affect the SUV craze in 2008. Did you forget the whole car manufacturer meltdown? Much of GM, Ford and Chrysler's problems stemmed from their overabundance of full framed SUV's and other gas guzzling vehicles that they couldn't give away when gas hit $4 per gallon. They were way behind in any real advances as far as fuel efficient vehicles are concerned, and therefore they almost tanked completely... well actually they DID tank completely, but the government rescued them. Ford barely escaped on its own. We will see if this occurs yet again for GM, as they are still selling the exact same vehicles they were then outside of the Trailblazer series. They learned very little overall, and still offer very little in fuel efficient vehicles compared to their rivals.
8th May 2011, 16:50
I agree with your comment all the way, seeing how I own a 96 Town Car with over 145k and it is in like new condition in and out and just keeps going and going. I get around 18 MPG in the city and it does not bother me.
What does bother me is other people's comments who criticize people for driving large cars, and try to tell us what is right and what is wrong. I could really care less about what they drive, so why should it bother them what we drive? Leave it alone already!
9th May 2011, 02:44
I live in a large city known for very bad drivers.
My business takes me all around the city, and I spend a lot of time on the road.
For personal safety and peace of mind, I much prefer a larger full frame, rear drive domestic's from the 80's when they still had steel bumpers.
It's the only way to get a bit of respect on the road, and would rather not leave my life in the hands of an airbag like in the newer tin cans with plastic bumpers.
This is from my personal experience. I'm still alive to this day, because I was driving a full size Chevy when I was T-boned by a Subaru Impreza.
9th May 2011, 09:46
T-boned is one thing, but if you hit something hard head on, your steering wheel will be right into your chest and the engine will be right behind it. Old cars are big and heavy, but that doesn't make them efficient and safe, accident wise. Very big misconception!
9th May 2011, 17:04
"Actually, smaller vehicles are still far safer than truck-based SUVs."
Not according to the laws of physics and recent research. Have you missed the huge number of articles in newspapers and magazines in recent years showing clearly that large body-on-frame vehicles are far safer than small cars? No way can a small vehicle provide the safety of a larger one. It is simply a physical impossibility. As for roll-overs, most SUV's have stability control, and even if one rolls, your chances of surviving a roll-over are far, far greater than surviving being crushed to death in a smaller car.
Now, with regard to any argument that cars not equipped with air bags are safe, I beg to differ. In 2006 a distracted driver ran a stop sign in his Toyota in front of my Dodge Dakota. Nothing recognizable was left of the Toyota, which had to be hauled away on a large flatbed truck. Even though my Dakota was still driveable, I feel certain that without my airbags and seat belts, I would have been killed. The impact was strong enough to propel my golf umbrella through the windshield like a bullet. Without the airbags and seatbelts, I myself would have been propelled through the windshield. As it was, I was sore for a few days, but suffered nothing beyond that. Larger vehicles ARE much safer, but air bags and seat belts are a necessity.