Sunday, November 28, 2004

The SUV conundrum

Why do people drive SUVs when a car might suffice? Is it possibly due to the fact that affordable midsize and compact cars no longer have frames? I would think that is a distinct possibility. Frames make a vehicle a bit stronger but they also add mass to a vehicle. A vehicle with less mass gets better mileage and costs less to manufacture. SUVs are, for the most part, built or based upon truck chassis which have a higher mass, are more rugged and of course with the larger mass are inherently safer to drive. Yes they use more fuel, but what are you going to sacrifice more willingly: the safety of your family or fuel economy?

Also most of the SUVs these days are built with ride quality in mind, not off-roading capabilities. So these vehicles ride more smoothly due to the engineering and the longer wheelbase. They may be a bit more cumbersome but they are more pleasant to drive.

Yet another reason is that Americans like to spread out; simply put they like their space.

Maybe this will answer the question of the SUV.

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