Trucks and SUVs are a waste if they’re not used to their fullest capacity.
In that sense, most people I see here use SUVs as … Social Utility Vehicles. Keeping up with the Joneses affects a good portion of the population. [/quote]
AMEN! These mindless consumers are buying vehicles with an expensive option (4-wheel drive) that gives them a higher center of gravity and more weight. They are buying a transfer case, front differential and front drive system they do not need. That makes them accelerate more slowly and stopping distance increases. Also, thier cornering ability is decreased. Additionally, it would be interesting to know much extra has been spent on SUV tires the past decade.
To compensate for the affect on acceleration, manufacturers stick large gas guzzling engines in them. This naturally affects cornering even more, requires even larger brakes and drinks gallons of gas.
It’s amazing that the SUV manufacturers have been able to sell such a large and expensive option to the masses. Only a small portion of the population has any weather related requirement for it. The rest have happily purchases this option as, in their mind, it’s just part of owning an SUV.
As for smaller cars being unsafe, they are only unsafe in a matchup against a douchbag in an SUV.
Insurance statistics show that SUV’s are NOT safer for their occupants. The Dirvers lose control and/or roll these vehicles far more often than other vehicles.
Now for a disclaimer. If you have a large family, do a lot of towing, live in a snowy/icy region and your SUV is usually full of people, you are putting the vehicle to good use. However, if an SUV is a person’s daily commuter vehicle, you are just throwing money away.