jray3
Posts: 1354
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Spent the day driving a monster SUV

Tue May 09, 2017 11:02 am

So it's been a long time since I owned an SUV; my very first daily driver was an '84 Dodge Ramcharger- right at the beginning of the big box craze. Yesterday found me chauffeuring a gaggle of coworkers down the highway in an ice-white 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe. Great; an opportunity for insight into why these beasts are so popular with the rest of 'Merica.

Sadly, all of my biases were confirmed. This big 15 mpg pig squeezed in 6 adults with more difficult access and egress, lower visibility and less cargo room than my Odyssey minivan. It was much slower off the line, much less efficient, and the steering must've been connected via bungee cord. My laptop bag literally had to be stood upright in order to squeeze behind the third row of seats. Not enough dedicated cargo room for a quick grocery trip.
Comparative data confirms that it is slower, less efficient, much more expensive to buy, has less cargo capacity, a higher likelihood of rollover, and is less safe in non-rollover collisions.

Besides the acres of leather and new car smell, the only inner appeal comes from when that massive growly V8 finally revs up and the iceberg impossibly lurches forward.

I rest my case secure in the knowledge that the answer to one of life's persistent questions isn't that I've been missing somethin'....... :roll:
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 76,000 miles
i-ES traded at 21,648 miles
2000 Honda Odyssey
1987 F250 Diesel
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh
1965 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet

PV1
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Re: Spent the day driving a monster SUV

Tue May 09, 2017 1:14 pm

That about sums up my experiences, too. Rode with a higher-up in the company to a lunch meeting in his Ford Expedition the other day. My i-MiEV has more legroom and headroom than the Expedition. My sister's Tahoe rides so bad I'm afraid of getting whiplash.

A few years ago, I was driving the company's Ford Escape back from a jobsite. A truck in front of me lost a tarp strap. I watched it cartwheel down the road and work its way into my lane, and steering to avoid it was like trying to steer an elephant. You could feel the wheels trying to drive out from underneath the car as it slowly responded to the steering. I can't believe how top-heavy an Escape is, and that was just to move over about half a lane at 40 MPH. I can't imagine what would've happened with some of the maneuvers I've done in the i-MiEV to avoid collisions. Don't even get me started on the throttle, either. No matter what I did, I could not get the Escape to accelerate smoothly, and forget trying to stop.

On the news when they report on bad driving conditions, I see more rolled-over SUVs and pickup trucks than I see cars stuck. I've yet to have any issues on snowy roads in any car, but was in an SUV when a bump in the road nearly caused it to rollover (broke the back end loose and caused a skid).

I don't understand the SUV craze, and I don't care about the crash ratings. Crash avoidance capabilities and stability interest me much more :mrgreen: .
"Bear" - 2012 Diamond White Pearl ES with QC - 2/21/2013
Solar-powered since 10/10/2013

"Koorz" - 2012 Cool Silver Metallic ES with QC - 1/5/2015

2017 Bolt EV LT in Orange with QC - 7/31/2017

Driving electric since 2-21-2013.

wmcbrine
Posts: 307
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:26 am
Location: Laurel, MD
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Re: Spent the day driving a monster SUV

Tue May 09, 2017 3:23 pm

jray3 wrote:This big 15 mpg pig squeezed in 6 adults with more difficult access and egress, lower visibility and less cargo room than my Odyssey minivan. It was much slower off the line, much less efficient, and the steering must've been connected via bungee cord.

Yeah, but the SUV is more "manly".

No, really, that's why people buy SUVs. <sigh>

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