I can't turn around anymore without seeing SUV
s all over the road. One look at most of these vehicles would tell anyone that 99.9% of them have never seen anything but asphalt
. So why do people buy them? There are many theories, for power
or to prove that they can. I am unimpressed with people who buy SUVs just for the sake of owning one. They don't make you look rich or better than you are, they make you look like you are trying to look rich
Most new SUVs are no longer designed to go off road, they have lower ground clearance and just would not hold up well. Some are still built on truck frames but most of these are still only used to run to the store.
Most people I talk to say that their four wheel drive is needed to get around in the snow; bullshit. For years I drove a 1976 Volvo station wagon with rear wheel drive which did fine in the snow. In fact I would frequently plow past trucks and SUVs that had spun out or slid off the road. I didn't need 4WD because I am just that good behind the wheel. I don't care what you drive, if you are a shitty driver you will find yourself ass-up in a ditch.
The next reason to buy an SUV is cargo space. Want to know a secret? A full size station wagon has more usable space than most SUVs on the road. Take for example the 2001 Volvo V70 XC (Cross-Country). This is a high ground clearance station wagon (within one millimeter of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Land Rover Discovery) with all wheel drive. This station wagon has almost twice the usable cargo space of a GMC Jimmy or other "mid-sized" SUV. The Volvo XC can fit a one-person kayak inside the vehicle and still close the tail gate; this is accomplished by the front passenger seat folding flat as well as the rear seats (60-40 split). So if you want to carry a bunch of stuff buy a station wagon, if you want to carry it over dirt buy a Volvo XC or the Audi of similar design.
Finally, safety. Just because you are taller than many cars on the road does not mean you are safer. In fact you have put yourself in a very poor position. Because SUVs are so tall they have a much higher center of gravity, causing more rollovers than any other vehicle. The rollover is perhaps the most dangerous kind of crash because of the forces exerted on small portions of the safety cage, causing it to fail. If you really need ground clearance I point you again to the Volvo and the Audi "tall wagons"(the Audi has an adjustable suspension for different driving surfaces). These cars will give you everything you need in an SUV and more. They have better road manners because of their lower profile, and are very safe in accidents (especially the Volvo XC). They are less prone to roll-overs are respond better to emergency avoidance turns. They use less fuel and are less expensive to insure than SUVs and if you are a speed demon they are more stable at high speed.
Put your ego aside and get a station wagon, it shows that you are confident in yourself and have nothing to prove. Let the people who are trying to make up for some other place they are *ahem* lacking buy an SUV
Shro0m says: "The Volvo XC also has a nice "fuel effecient" 5 cylinder engine... eh that's pretty cool I think. So you could carry all your junk and get 5-10 mpg better than your suv as well. It pays for itself!"