4th Jan 2007, 05:22

*** steven@carsurvey.org ***

Can people just calm down a little please. There's no need for some of the name calling that's been going on (the worst of which I've removed).

I'm sure everyone posting here is a decent human being with a sincerely held opinion. Please reflect that in the content of your comments.

4th Jan 2007, 09:22

Hefty taxes on gasoline? Oh, you mean that, what is it now, 8% tax? Ever been to Europe?

Hummers scam the American taxpayer in many ways:

- The cause more accidents than other cars yet don't pay higher insurance

- They avoid the gas guzzler tax due to a loophole

- They get tax write offs other business owners driving CARS do not get

- They pollute significantly more than other vehicles, creating more pollution.

Yet they do NOT pay any more to compensate for these damages.

This is what is called communism, where the people (in this case the Hummer) mooch off the government for everything.

Yeah, you can drive your Hummer. Just pay your fair share for once, you know, the way AMERICANS do.

4th Jan 2007, 09:24

<<I would rather work for a company that still manufacturers in this country then to see all my fellow co workers become unemployed and have the work be lost overseas.>>

I see, so just ignore all those "domestic SUVs" lined up at Wal-Mart to buy communist goods.

Sorry, your idea went out in the 1980's.

And pollution is pollution, no matter what type of smiley face you put on it.

REAL Americans care about this country, do not try to exploit it.

4th Jan 2007, 09:57

I see, so money = consumption?

HMMMMMMM, then I guess you'll have to explain why the cofounders of Google (worth over $14 BILLION each) both drive Priuses. Why the first year of the Tesla (all electric car selling at $100K) is sold out, and why the cover of Road and Track has a new Lexus concept on its cover which is a HYBRID sports car and is directed at 40 somethings who make a lot of money.

Sorry, but SUVs and their owners are now dinosaurs, and Gen X and the other generations don't buy into this consume consume consume culture.

Hope all those senior centers have lots of clearly-marked compact parking spaces for SUVs to cram into.

4th Jan 2007, 12:47

To 09:22

1. I would ask why there is even a 'gas guzzler' tax to begin with. So just because liberals in government don't approve of the car you drive gives them an excuse to tax you for it? Please.

2. I have not heard that Hummers cause more accidents. Do you have proof of that? (aka a web site)?

3. The reason people get tax write offs for using SUV's instead of cars is because SUV's carry a lot more, that's why businesses use them.

4. Yes they pollute, So? Every car, truck, minivan, bus, tractor, lawnmower etc. pollutes! By your reasoning, we should tax everybody according to how much their vehicle pollutes! That's the only fair solution, not targeting one group of people!

5. 'All' the domestic SUV's lined up at Wal Mart. I like how you convenienntly sidestepped the other argument. It's not only people who drive SUV's who shop at Wal Mart! There are plenty of Prius, Subaru and Volvo drivers who shop there too! I suppose we should also tax THEIR cars?

6. And there you go again with the 'if you drive an SUV, you don't care about America'! That reasoning makes no sense! Especially when you sit there and promote the purchase of foreign products like Priuses and the Honda Fit! You can't have it both ways!

4th Jan 2007, 12:50

Pass a senior center and see Cutlasses, Buick Century sedans. I do not know any elderly seniors driving SUV's. However at work there are many 30-40's driving them everyday. 30-40 years old are not dinosaurs maybe yuppies though.

4th Jan 2007, 13:19

I heartily AGREE that large, gas guzzling vehicles like the Hummer and most V-8 SUV's that get less than 12 mpg should have hefty taxes levied on them that should go toward developement of alternative energy sources. On the other hand, I'd much prefer to see my neighbor driving a Hummer or Suburban than a vehicle made by a foreign country. (I DON'T shop Wal-Mart, incidentally!!).

Also, there are a lot of trucks and SUV's made in this country that get good mpg (better than smaller, flimsier Japanese SUV's). My best friend's full size V-8 supercab GMC truck gets 20mpg highway. That's better than the Highlander V-6. My wife's large, truck based SUV with 275 horsepower gets 24 mpg highway. That's only 3 mpg worse than my 4-cylinder compact car gets. I don't regard that as wasteful at all considering how much safer it is for her to drive.

I hear a lot about SUV's (such as Hummers) causing accidents, but I have never heard of that actually happening. Every single accident I've ever seen or heard of involving an SUV was usually caused by someone (usually kids) in a small compact hitting them. Most Hummer and SUV drivers are quite mature and not given to reckless driving. I've never heard of anyone in an SUV who was wearing their seat belt ever being injured in a crash. They are the safest vehicles on the road. You can't argue against the laws of physics.

4th Jan 2007, 15:47

As for myself, I'm very excited about the hybrids and I hope to see more. I liked the Prius and would consider buying one if I had a long commute. I also like the hybrid Ford Escape. I'd be pleased to consider either one when the economics become realistic, but right now the gas prices and costs of those vehicles do not make it a sound economic decision for the low miles that I drive. That means that for me, buying a hybrid would simply be an expensive social statement. On the other hand, I have a short commute and spend a lot of time in rural recreation areas, and for those pursuits, a small sedan simply does not fit my needs.

I have owned a full sized 4x4 for over 10 years, which I needed for driving on logging roads and mining roads in rugged conditions, which is also a need not met by a small commuter sedan or even a crossover like the Highlander. Also, I live in an area that has snow, and the narrow, hilly roads are left unplowed for days, and this condition is also unsuitable for a small commuter sedan with low clearance.

Now that my old 4x4 has worn out, I've bought a used Ford Explorer, which gets much better mileage, pollutes less, and is safer than my old 4x4 truck. My 2002 Explorer gets 20 mpg in mixed driving, weighted toward short trips, and 25 on the highway so it is hardly a gas guzzler. With 4-wheel, anti-lock disc brakes and air bags, it can hardly be considered unsafe, and I drive it (as well as my old 4x4) with the recognition that it is a truck, not a sportscar.

Probably someone will be angry that I am not driving what they want me to, but it is curious that other people might think they can decide what vehicle is best for me without understanding my situation. You can't assume that everyone commutes 40 miles to a tech job, and that therefore nobody has any justification to own a 4x4.