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There are 8 comments on POV: It’s Time to Dethrone the SUV

  1. You will never win this argument. The eyeball test simply doesn’t make sense to the average human being when it comes to safety. Plus its mostly not true. I went to the website linked above (through the NY Times) and the data comes from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. I compared overall death rate in Toyota Prius to every large SUV. The Prius scores worse than everyone (in some cases substantially worse) except the 4WD Chevy Tahoe (which is only one point worse). So some small cars may be better in the “most commonly occurring crashes” but the data shows overall, SUV’s are simply safer. Hard to tell a family they need to put their kids in more danger to save a few bucks at the gas pump. P.S. Don’t buy a Nissan Sentra, those things appear to be death traps.

    1. Passenger cars are not inherently less safe than SUVs: Tesla has proven that with the safest sedans on the road. The reality is that SUVs are inherently prone to rollover tragedies because they are so top-heavy, made worse by their approaching-round cross-section which facilitates rolling. It is also the case that people driving rational vehicles are menaced by SUV monstrosities, commonly driven wildly and irresponsibility, as is frequently observed on our roads. The size of SIVs and their commonly deeply-tinted windows impedes visibility for all drivers, making it difficult to gauge road conditions ahead, contributing to collisions.

      SUVs are an abomination, and a stark symbol of the epidemic of irrationality that now plagues our civilization.

  2. The SUV crisis can be mitigated by making diesel and hybrid models more affordable. I drive an SUV diesel and I love it. It means less trips to the gas station, and with the drop in the price of diesel gasoline where now it is on par with regular unleaded, it is worth the extra money in my opinion. SUVs are a necessity for families these days when taking trips that require coolers, beach chairs, camping gear etc. Also, some SUVs have seats for when the kids take friends along. The SUV serves a purpose, but more diesel and hybrid models are needed. Now, these big pickup trucks are another story. They allow for lugging large items around yes, that is great, but when it comes to family necessity they aren’t as practical as the SUV, and I see way too many people driving them around just for status, to be macho amongst peers. Perhaps in the near future people who purchase a pickup truck will be required to prove they need it for work and not just to be macho.

  3. There’s some truth in here. But if you’re comparing SUVs of today to those even 10-20 years ago, you’ll see that fuel economy has doubled or more on some models, with almost every model of SUV seeing economy similar to or better than sedans, coupes, etc. of 10-20 years ago.

    On top of that, what counts as an SUV today is on average much smaller than what we saw 10-20 years ago. It’s not uncommon to see the same 4-cyl engines driving XUVs, CUVs, and even some SUVs that move the same cars. The only difference is often higher and extended rooflines, larger wheels/bigger tires, and sometimes a longer wheelbase.

    While I believe in an electric/hydrogen future, I would beg to see this article provide more facts and comparisons when you bring up 1975 and 2007 as bars for SUV standards, considering weight, engines, size, and economy.

  4. I’ve often thought a good way to get these gigantic vehicles (SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks the size of a small bus) off of urban roads would be to start requiring a CDL for anyone driving them. In older cities, some of these monstrous vehicles barely fit within the available lane space. There’s just no excuse for them to be allowed into urban areas.

  5. The US has 3% of the world’s oil reserves and 5% of the world’s population and uses 25% of the world’s oil. 10% of the world’s oil supply goes into our fuel tanks.

    Randy Udall once wrote that “Eventually the politics of energy will surrender to the physics of energy.” Both factors will kill the SUV, and eventually the car itself.

    Alternatively, we could get ahead of the inevitable and plan for a future without cheap and abundant fossil fuels instead of driving blindly off a cliff. Higher fuel mileage standards would be a start, but we need to get past the concept of transportation being one person in a 4,000 pound box.

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