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SUVs : The Death of the Dinosaurs (Vanity)
grey_whiskers | 7-17-2005 | grey_whiskers

Posted on 07/17/2005 1:25:15 PM PDT by grey_whiskers

Let me be the first to predict the imminent death of the SUV's as a preferred form of transportation. This is not because the drivers are Starbucks-sipping yuppie scum, nor because they are chain-smoking over-the-hill-trophy wives, nor because they are preoccupied with their cell phones (though these are all true).

It is because the SUV's, despite their name, are not SPORT utility vehicles, but specialty UTILITY vehicles, good for ferrying half of a boy scout troop, or hauling home several months' salary worth of goods from Best Buy or from Home Depot in a single trip. In other words, they are large, lumbering, and specialized. Just like the dinosaurs. And like the dinosaurs, when the environment to which they have laboriously adapted changes--when their ecosystem changes—they will go extinct.

Just what is it that will spell the end of these suburban monsters? I used to think it was a spike in gas prices: surely no one can continue driving an 8- or 12- mpg beast in the face of $2.00+ per gallon charges at the pump. But I was wrong. These vehicles are status symbols. They are not Babe Mobiles, like a BMW roadster; these are what you buy after you have landed the babe and she has domesticated you, when you want to impress other couples. I have heard a yuppie explain this very point, when asked why he didn't abandon his new Durango, even though he was burning two gallons of gas a day, just commuting to work. "That's not the statement I'm trying to make." The automakers (even with 0% financing) must need supercomputers just to count their lease payments. And the “now all customers can have the employee discount” sales aren’t helping either.

Well, if it isn't gas, what will spell the end of the SUV? I think the answer is, when they outlive their natural utility (no pun intended). What are the SUV's used for, really? Certainly not (except maybe the Xterra or Hummer) for serious off-road work. They cost too much to buy, and you don't want to damage a leased vehicle! As noted earlier, SUV's excel at hauling around small people, buying stuff at Home Depot, and impressing the neighbors. When will these functions die off?

Let us remember that ever since the 60's, the vanguard of every cultural movement has been the baby boomers--from rock 'n roll, through Doonesbury, to career women, and SUV's. Boomers have delayed parenthood until late in their lives; now they have children at the same time as they have money. Boomers like a large house, they want a large vehicle to carry the furniture and hardware; they use the SUV for soccer practice, piano practice, singing lessons, birthdays, you name it.

But children grow older; they want their own cars. (How many people really let a 16-year old drive a $40,000 vehicle that they don't even own? And how much is the insurance?) Finally, the children move out. Now there is no need at all for ferrying the children; and the large house out in the 'burbs begins to feel 'empty'…”Honey, maybe we should look into a condominium, or a townhouse?” And as the large house is downsized, there too goes the need for a wheeled dinosaur to haul lumber, furniture, plumbing. The day of the dinosaurs is done. And (by the way) the automakers will have to turn to another guaranteed profit center. Caveat emptor.

(Full disclosure: SUV's are also good for mashing subcompacts under their tires like a dinosaur stomping a frightened rabbit. The author drives a Nissan Sentra. This fact has nothing whatsoever to do with the contents of this article.)


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: attackofthedinsaurs; babyboomers; dinsaur; dinsaurs; energy; gasoline; humor; suv; whiskersvanity
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Cheers!
1 posted on 07/17/2005 1:25:16 PM PDT by grey_whiskers
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To: grey_whiskers

What is a dinsaur?


2 posted on 07/17/2005 1:27:23 PM PDT by Black Tooth
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To: grey_whiskers

I thought all of the SUVs were in prison for wreckless driving and manslaughter...


3 posted on 07/17/2005 1:28:43 PM PDT by TADSLOS (Right Wing Infidel since 1954)
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To: grey_whiskers

Get hit by a drunk:
IN a Sentra, you are history.
In an Expedition or a Suburban.. you will walk aawy.


4 posted on 07/17/2005 1:29:33 PM PDT by radar101
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To: Black Tooth
What is a dinsaur? Could be a lounge lizard.
5 posted on 07/17/2005 1:29:56 PM PDT by Dark Skies (All Muslims aren't evil...just the real ones.)
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To: grey_whiskers

I'm down with it.

The issue for me is not safety. I choose to drive a small car and accept the risks.

The issue is that SUV drivers can't drive the damn things.

If you SUV drivers would STAY INSIDE THE FREAKIN' LINES, I would have no problem with you.

The constant demonstration that your vehicle is too big for lanes, and parking spaces, is why I wish said vehicle to disappear from the earth.


6 posted on 07/17/2005 1:31:16 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: Black Tooth

I dnt' knw what a dinsaur is. A typgraphical errr prbably.


7 posted on 07/17/2005 1:31:47 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: radar101

>>>"Get hit by a drunk:
IN a Sentra, you are history.
In an Expedition or a Suburban.. you will walk aawy"<<<

Get hit by a Drunk in a Bar and you can Hit him Back!


8 posted on 07/17/2005 1:32:28 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: grey_whiskers

If they're not "sport" vehicles, how come so many SUV owners drive them like they're Ferraris?


9 posted on 07/17/2005 1:32:36 PM PDT by Fresh Wind (It is Watergate yet? Is it Watergate yet?)
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To: grey_whiskers
I gave my son our 6 y/o Suburban. Why? I didn't want my grandsons riding around in a sardine can.
10 posted on 07/17/2005 1:33:47 PM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: grey_whiskers

I drive my SUV because it seats three in the middle. A minivan only seats two there so if I take out the back to haul the dogs, I cannot seat my whole family. When a minivan will seat three in the middle, I'll buy it.

We show dogs so we need the back. Can't put them in the trunk, you know! Lots of dog folks, even without kids, have SUVS, though often the small ones.

Then again, I'm Starbucks sipping Yuppie scum, so what do I know!


11 posted on 07/17/2005 1:33:56 PM PDT by pa mom
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To: grey_whiskers

Still have that Yugo, huh?


12 posted on 07/17/2005 1:34:09 PM PDT by canalabamian (Durka durka...Muhammad FUBAR!)
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To: grey_whiskers

Excellent analysis regarding the boomers.

I do like riding high and I like AWD for snow.


13 posted on 07/17/2005 1:34:54 PM PDT by staytrue
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To: grey_whiskers
I've my eye out on the Hummer H3. The death of the SUV is overrated.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
14 posted on 07/17/2005 1:35:02 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: radar101
Get hit by a drunk:

IN a Sentra, you are history.

In an Expedition or a Suburban.. you will walk aawy.

Or, put another way...

Get drunk and hit someone in your Sentra, they walk away.

Get drunk and hit someone in your SUV, they are history.

15 posted on 07/17/2005 1:35:35 PM PDT by Dark Skies (All Muslims aren't evil...just the real ones.)
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To: TADSLOS
I thought all of the SUVs were in prison for wreckless driving and manslaughter...

Heh...heh...heh...

You monitor way too much MSM reporting my FRiend!

16 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:09 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: grey_whiskers
So the idea is that, since SUVs are pretty much uesless for older people, the SUV as such is doomed to extinction.

No. People will always have children. They will always have home improvement projects and groceries and rugrats. Until, that is, they grow older.

And then? Well, their children will buy the SUVs.

17 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:12 PM PDT by Reactionary
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To: grey_whiskers
My theory is that over the next few years, gasoline prices will either stay the same (currently $2.39/gal where I live) or continue to rise. Probably rise.

The reason this gas crunch is different than gas crunches of the past, such as 73-74, and will have legs, is because of China and India. China and India are huge and successful growing economies, and are net buyers of oil on the world market. They produce little of their own oil. That is what is driving up the worldwide price of oil.

Americans always adapt and change, and this situation will be no exception. The mix of vehicles you see on the roads will change significantly, almost drastically over the next few years. Many much smaller cars with smaller engines, less SUV's, less pickup trucks (at least punk trucks).

There may be more hybrids, but not for the reason of better mileage, mostly for performance. The economic value of hybrids remains to be seen. The extra cost of the vehicle versus the increased mileage makes it hardly worth it.

18 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:32 PM PDT by Babu
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To: grey_whiskers

Seeing hw readable yur reply is, why d we even have 's anyway?


19 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:34 PM PDT by Erasmus ("The best-laid men gang oft a-gley." --Robt. Burns)
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To: grey_whiskers
I have a small dinsaur, Toyota 4x4 4-Runner, with V-6. Runs fantastic and gets pretty good gas mileage. Best small SUV I have ever owned.

Other vehicle is a Ford F-150. The best vehicle I ever owned, and *many* times for practical than any big SUV. Can seat 6 if necessary, and is not bad on gas.

20 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:34 PM PDT by Black Tooth
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To: pa mom
Yes, that was in fact the point of my article. When you no longer have the need to haul so many people around...

An interesting speculation would then be, will the large families coming up from Mexico move up enough in the world to buy the SUV's as the boomers start setting them aside?

Cheers!

21 posted on 07/17/2005 1:36:37 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

I've never seen the "utility" in SUV's. You can't haul a load of trash to the dump when the bed or your "truck" is carpeted and has seats.

Mrs. randog and I were driving to church this morning and were looking at the new Dodge Durango SUV. Right next to it was a Dodge Caravan. I pointed out that the Durango was just a Caravan set on top of a 4WD chassis.


22 posted on 07/17/2005 1:37:17 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Erasmus

ps.. frgt t edit the tag line....


23 posted on 07/17/2005 1:37:37 PM PDT by Erasmus ("The best-laid men gang ft a-gley." --Rbt. Burns)
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To: TADSLOS

Wreckless driving, as in driving without having any wrecks, is a good thing.

Perhaps you mean "reckless."


24 posted on 07/17/2005 1:37:57 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: Dark Skies
Get drunk and hit someone in your SUV, they are history.

And your vehicle is impounded for a life sentence.

25 posted on 07/17/2005 1:38:19 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: grey_whiskers

But the dog folks don't have kids and still drive them. But I guess they count as kids . . . ! :)

Lets hope the Mexicans move up in the world so they can become Republicans!


26 posted on 07/17/2005 1:38:22 PM PDT by pa mom
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To: Erasmus

Um, your tagline is missing some words.


27 posted on 07/17/2005 1:38:37 PM PDT by Xenalyte (Anything is possible when you don't understand how anything happens.)
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To: grey_whiskers
The current crop of SUVs are the modern day equivalent to the old station wagon – “…good for ferrying half of a boy scout troop, or hauling home several months' salary worth of goods from Best Buy or from Home Depot in a single trip.”
“…several months' salary worth of goods from Best Buy or from Home Depot” ????? – isn’t that just a tad bit too much hyperbole?
Try hauling the family to the grocery, or department store for a normal shopping trip in a PC Genuine Imitation mini car.
28 posted on 07/17/2005 1:38:52 PM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: randog
I've never seen the "utility" in SUV's. You can't haul a load of trash to the dump when the bed or your "truck" is carpeted and has seats.

Exactly.

PU trucks are probably the most practical vehicle made. Mine seats 6 if necessary, and I have used it a thousand times to haul all kinds of things.

29 posted on 07/17/2005 1:39:07 PM PDT by Black Tooth
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To: grey_whiskers

You talking to me?

30 posted on 07/17/2005 1:40:31 PM PDT by Cagey
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To: Dark Skies

Always looking on the bright side of things, eh.

I'm used to "Optimists" being envious of my Vehicle (and my Manhood) ;^>

TT


31 posted on 07/17/2005 1:40:33 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: Black Tooth

"What is a dinsaur?"

I think they came from jurssc park.


32 posted on 07/17/2005 1:41:07 PM PDT by flashbunny
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To: Black Tooth
PU trucks are probably the most practical vehicle made.

Amen. I've never owned anything else. I have the PU, Mrs. randog drives the car. We choose the appropriate vehicle for the task at hand.

33 posted on 07/17/2005 1:41:34 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Xenalyte

What yu say!


34 posted on 07/17/2005 1:41:37 PM PDT by Erasmus ("The best-laid men gang ft a-gley." --Rbt. Burns)
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To: grey_whiskers

I have seven kids. Tell me what else I should drive. I'll sit back and take notes from a sage such as yourself.


35 posted on 07/17/2005 1:41:52 PM PDT by RightOnline
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To: grey_whiskers

The author seems to think people are going to quit having children. I think its a bit premature to announce the death of the SUV.


36 posted on 07/17/2005 1:42:16 PM PDT by Nachoman
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To: grey_whiskers

You won't get me to give up my 4 wheel drive full sized pickup because my .50 cal M82 Barrett won't fit behind the seat of anything smaller. (BTW-I got rear-ended when I owned and drove a '91 Sentra. Loved the car, but after seeing how it folded up in a low-speed rear end collision, I went back to a truck)


37 posted on 07/17/2005 1:42:40 PM PDT by 230FMJ (...from my cold, dead, fingers.)
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To: RightOnline
I have seven kids. Tell me what else I should drive.

A school bus....;^)

38 posted on 07/17/2005 1:43:09 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: 230FMJ

LOL!!


39 posted on 07/17/2005 1:43:45 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: grey_whiskers
Of course no one can say you are wrong in your assumption because yours is as good as anyones. But much of what you say makes no sense. Not only families with children own SUV's. I cannot tell you how many young people 20-45 and older are buying these things. They are not needed to haul children, etc anyway because a choice of a van has been another option all along. Gas actually does make a difference but with the coming intro of hybrids (Toyota will introduce a 35 mpg full size SUV within a year)that won't matter nor will the price. People, when it comes to their vehicles seldom use common sense. Having been in the business some 30 years I can attest to this.

SUV's may indeed lose their position as the number one seller but that will only be because something else has caught the eye of the fickle public.
40 posted on 07/17/2005 1:44:42 PM PDT by Eagles Talon IV
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To: grey_whiskers; Eaker; Flyer
This is not because the drivers are Starbucks-sipping yuppie scum, nor because they are chain-smoking over-the-hill-trophy wives, nor because they are preoccupied with their cell phones (though these are all true).

Bite me.
I drive an SUV, I also have a 16 year old Chevy 4x4 hunting truck.
I have never been to a Starbucks and I leave my cellphone on my dresser.
I dislike small cars because you can be easily killed or maimed in them.

Been there, done that.. 1988 Camaro and one reattached leg.

I prefer to maintain a bit of authority on the road, and I suppose
that your Cooper-mini, while getting phenominal mileage might also provide
outstanding traction surface beneath my tires.

41 posted on 07/17/2005 1:45:06 PM PDT by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: Dark Skies
Get hit by a drunk: IN a Sentra, you are history. In an Expedition or a Suburban.. you will walk aawy.

Or, put another way...

Get drunk and hit someone in your Sentra, they walk away.

Get drunk and hit someone in your SUV, they are history.

The LE in my county recently nailed a "John Deere lawn tractor" driver for DUI while trying to evade them.

I wonder how he would have been labeled if he were to tangle with a Sentra or the like.

42 posted on 07/17/2005 1:45:13 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: Nachoman

Big Caddies must use the same amount of gas as an SUV right? 8 Cyl burn it up, put the AC on and your MPG are gone.


43 posted on 07/17/2005 1:45:19 PM PDT by Cougar66
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To: grey_whiskers

Interesting demographic take on the phenomenon. I don't mind vanity posts - they can be interesting. I know others disagree.

If someone has the money for one (and for the gas), more power to them. I get a little tired of having to look over or around the massive SUVs while I'm driving, but to each his own. If they cause more than their share of damage to smaller cars in auto accidents I'm sure the insurance companies have figured that into the rates.

I used to love my little sports car, but got tired of never being able to purchase anything larger than three day's worth of groceries. I now have a four-door with a big trunk. :)


44 posted on 07/17/2005 1:45:36 PM PDT by cvq3842
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To: grey_whiskers

1. I've NEVER had even one ounce of "Starbucks" coffee, I am not a yuppie scum, I have never smoked and I am a first wife of 40 years, and I never drive while using the cell phone.

2. My SUV gets about 19 MPG, and was not bought to impress anyone. It was for creature comfort...driving the long distances we here in Texas have to go.

3. Don't you have better things to do with your time than write vanity posts that whine and complain about what someone else is driving? Unless you're paying for MY gasoline and other vehicle expenses, why should you care what I drive?


45 posted on 07/17/2005 1:45:44 PM PDT by Maria S
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To: grey_whiskers

I'm not following you. An SUV is a UTILITY vehicle. "Utility" implies that it serves a useful function.

So nobody wants to haul around a boy scout troop because gas goes up 2 cents a mile? What are you supposed to do with the boy scouts? Line em up against the wall and shoot them?

If you are cramming 7 people into your SUV, and it gets 18 miles per gallon, you're getting 126 passenger miles per gallon of gas. Plus there's the added bonus that if some weenie dog hybrid death trap slams into you, yours won't be the vehicle described in the newspaper as being "squashed like a bug".


46 posted on 07/17/2005 1:46:24 PM PDT by Question Liberal Authority ("There is no terrorist threat! There is no terrorist threat!" - Michael Moore)
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To: goldstategop

I am interested in the H3. I've done a bit of research, and it seems the average gas mileage of it with the special GM 5 cylinder engine is about 20 MPG.

Another freeper tells me the H3 is merely a trailblazer with a different body bolted on the frame.


47 posted on 07/17/2005 1:46:56 PM PDT by Armedanddangerous (Zombies man.....they creep me out..)
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To: grey_whiskers

Amen !


48 posted on 07/17/2005 1:47:33 PM PDT by traumer
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To: grey_whiskers

Sold my trailblazer today!


49 posted on 07/17/2005 1:48:46 PM PDT by trillabodilla (Pray for President Bush!)
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To: randog

Well you could get one of those fancy 7 passenger vans but frankly I wouldn't be caught dead in one. Not cool at all.


50 posted on 07/17/2005 1:48:46 PM PDT by Eagles Talon IV
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