Originally Posted by zeldabee
Again, it is a generalization. There are many people who have that attitude. I know there are, because I hear that all the time.
You know, I have a problem with SUVs in general--a powerful truck engine with a heavy truck chassis being used to carry around kids and groceries. The trend itself is really disturbing, and they're inherently wasteful when they're used that way. There are situations where they're legitimately needed, like when that powerful engine is needed to haul a heavy trailer or something, but for the vast majority of SUV owners, they're overkill.
Sure, they're convenient. I have no doubt that having all that cargo space comes in handy...you could move something big and not think about it twice. When I want to haul something big, I have to find a solution, rent something, borrow, whatever.
As I said before, most of this will become academic anyway. You simply won't have the option of driving it around any more. It will become too impractical.
What I'm hearing here, (and I admit, I could just be a little defensive b/c we own a SUV) is that b/c YOU don't have a use for them, and because you have not come in contact with many uses for them, you think they're wasteful. It's like Erin's argument about biking. Because she lives in a place where cycling was the norm or widely accepted, she assumed that was the case all over. But have you walked a mile in other's shoes??
Is it true that my family could be using a minivan right now to accommodate our 2 LARGE carseats and regular carseat? Yes, we could. But we were able to get our SUV at a great price AND know the car's history from the original owner. There is not 1 car that could accommodate the 3 carseats I have, trust me, I've asked CPSTs and many others. When my DH hauls the trash and recycling, I don't need to take the difficult to install carseats out of the backseat to make room b/c we have the cargo area. We can haul wood for our woodstove, we can haul lots of oversized and heavy items, and tow when needed (which we have had to do in the past).
Like I said, we live in farm country, and although we ourselves don't own a farm, the resources around us tend to be larger. Larger straw bales, bulk buying, larger sacks and bags in general. I think it's safe to say that the cost of the SUV, and it's "wastefulness" have redeemed themselves saving us money from having to rent a truck or other vehicle for hauling. Even my mom's Odyssey can't haul as much as we can, unless she puts the back seat down, which would be impractical for us b/c we would have carseats installed.
And now that we have baby #4 on the way, I'm NOT ashamed to say that we're looking at Suburbans and Excursions and Yukons, etc b/c we're not done having kids, and we're not done with our need for hauling, and we're of the mindset that you buy used, take good care of it, and drive it into the ground.
So I ask you, which is better, a family who buys their SUV used, uses it for many years, drives conservatively and infrequently, or someone who buys a new hybrid every few years??
Because honestly, hybrids are the new "cool" thing, but people's consumerist mentality hasn't changed. So the buying new and replacing every few years attitude IS going to carry over into the new "green" vehicles.