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Anti-SUV Sentiment

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
[sarcasm] Another brilliant move by the Environmental Liberation Front (ELF). Maybe if we keep destroying SUVs, they will stop making them and people will stop driving those evil machines. Oh yeah I understand that when you start a vehicle on fire that the burining fuels, chemicals, rubber, and plastic damage the environment, but that is a small price to pay to ensure that personal choice and freedom is stopped, because we know better than everyone else. We also destroy large homes in sprawling subdivisions because they are evil too. Nevermind that they will get rebuilt and more trees will be cut down to replace the materials we damaged in the fire, because people should live where ELF tells them to, not where they want to.[/sarcasm]
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
14,165
Points
58
Very nice Repo Man!

I feel bascially the way you do about this. I personally don't think most SUVs have any purpose or real utility in most situations.
 

Bangorian

Member
Messages
198
Points
7
the north omaha star said:
Why doesn't anyone say anything about minivans and large luxury cars. They're just as 'anti-environment' as SUVs.

minivans and large luxury cars aren't built on full-size truck frames, SUV's are, and as such, get roughly half the gas mileage of the worst performing minivans and cars.

Being built on a full-size truck frame also means when t-bones you, you're many times more likely to die than if you're hit by a passneger car, minivan, or even small truck (which is the function SUVs serve). Their much-touted vertical clearance tends to result in the decapitation of drivers of smaller cars in accidents. Now that's something the whole family can love!

OH! and my tiny hatchback (VW Golf) has more passenger and cargo room than a lot of SUVs, and who's gonig to take their 50k luxury machine out on a two-track. Not a soccer mom, that's for sure!

That's why station wagons, minivans, and large luxury cars aren't given the same kind of heat that SUVs are...
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
MaineMan said:
OH! and my tiny hatchback (VW Golf) has more passenger and cargo room than a lot of SUVs, and who's gonig to take their 50k luxury machine out on a two-track. Not a soccer mom, that's for sure!

That's why station wagons, minivans, and large luxury cars aren't given the same kind of heat that SUVs are...

the local news was out at gas stations in the area and were showing people filling up their (SUVs mostly) cars and were asking people what they thought of $1.79 for gas. Not a one of them said "i'm going to have to start taking the train" or "i'm going to have to drive less" or even "we need better transit". They all said "it's ridiculous" or "we shouldn't have to pay that much" or "they need to lower the taxes" or they blamed it on OPEC or the oil companies or something like that.

meanwhile Shell is getting a second look from the justice department for the way they revised their oil forecasts, everyone else is reporting supplies are down, Saudi Arabia is saying they're at full capacity, and the futures are trading at record highs.

SUVs are a terrible fad and I think people have every right to direct their anger towards people who are wasting a precious resource to show off their wealth or to be trendy.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
You sure this isn't the work of jordanb;).

Eventually gas prices will be to high to operate these beasts efficently, or we'll be out of oil. I've seen some estimates of oil resources being exhausted by the year 2020.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Rumpy Tunanator said:
You sure this isn't the work of jordanb;).

Eventually gas prices will be to high to operate these beasts efficently, or we'll be out of oil. I've seen some estimates of oil resources being exhausted by the year 2020.

I don't think we'll ever actually run out of the stuff but like i always say -
once the demand curve and the supply curve cross paths we're in a lot of trouble.
Some people are saying we're at that point right now. I don't know, maybe we are, but when the cost of moving your vehicle one mile (even if you're driving a toyota hybrid) passes a certain price point i think the market for gas will show just how inelastic it is.

SUV's are just bringing us closer to that day.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
jresta said:
SUVs are a terrible fad and I think people have every right to direct their anger towards people who are wasting a precious resource to show off their wealth or to be trendy.

Then I have the right to direct my anger at people who think that the only reason people buy SUVs is to show off their wealth or to be trendy. Considering that SUVs have been getting more and more popular, it is hardly a fad. These people are not buying SUVs with the thinking "Hey lets see how much fuel I can gobble up!" They buy them because they fit their tastes and lifestyle. My parents have 2 SUVs, one small Kia and one Ford Explorer. They are not wealthy nor are the trendy, they bought SUVs because they are the vehicles that suit their needs.

If the gov't would impose tougher fuel standards, SUVs would become more fuel efficient but there is no incentive for car companies to spend the money to improve the fuel economy.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Repo Man said:
Then I have the right to direct my anger at people who think that the only reason people buy SUVs is to show off their wealth or to be trendy. Considering that SUVs have been getting more and more popular, it is hardly a fad. These people are not buying SUVs with the thinking "Hey lets see how much fuel I can gobble up!" They buy them because they fit their tastes and lifestyle. My parents have 2 SUVs, one small Kia and one Ford Explorer. They are not wealthy nor are the trendy, they bought SUVs because they are the vehicles that suit their needs.

If the gov't would impose tougher fuel standards, SUVs would become more fuel efficient but there is no incentive for car companies to spend the money to improve the fuel economy.

Amen. Blame the government for not imposing tougher standards, not the people who buy the cars. I mean, I might think a guy is stupid for buying a gas guzzling Yukon but I'm not going to burn it on him. There is also a difference among SUV's more and more of them are car-based and don't gobble as much gas as the monsters. The Toyota Highlander is going to be a hybrid next year. There really isn't any difference between the more sensible SUV's and a minivan.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Actually, in inflation-adjusted terms, isn't the price of gas in the United States the third or fourth lowest price ever? Someone, somewhere did a chart. I thought it was....jordanb? that showed how little gas costs.

A person driving a Kia is not "showing off," but the Kia is probably not the most "rational" choice, either. Its probaly not as safe as a regular sedan, probably has less usable indoor room, and probably still suffers from the instability problem associated with a high center of gravity vehicle.

Then again, my inefficient Subaru is hardly rational, either. My sister, who drives a diesel Golf, can get away with SUV-bashing a little better than I can. Still, I have to admit to a feeling of irritation when I get behind a gigantic Toyota Land Bruiser or one of those utterly ridiculous Hummer H2s.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I only get 13mpg but it isn't an SUV. Light trucks, which includes full size, aren't any better for fuel economy. I am thinking about getting a MINI for a daily driver and keeping the truck for hauling loads and towing.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
I think good fuel economy is a worthy subject for government regulation. Safety (e.g. putting bumpers at the right height) is also a reasonable regulation.

That being said, I would support the auto industry in making as big or small a vehicle as they can - with a corporate average fuel economy increasing 3-5 mpg a year until it hits 45-50 mpg - and bumpers designed to give VW's a chance in a collision. Clever engineers may be able to deliver 40 mpg behemoths, so we can carry the same loads as current SUVs and impress our neighbors with the sheer bulk of our personal transport. If so, more power to them, their profitability, and the gullibility of the consuming public. If not, they will certainly change their advertising approach to convince us that smaller cars are the status symbols that SUVs have become.

It is prudent to set high mileage standards so that our children and grandchildren will have an abundant life. This is an unfortunate time when the American society is living pretty high and passing the bills on to future generations. As we fight for the right to drive an 11 mpg vehicle, we should remember that each mile driven at that pitiful efficiency is diminishing the resources that will be available to our own children.

Planning is looking to the future. For many of us, the "future" is life as it was in 1990, not what we should be planning for in 2020.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,452
Points
34
I'm not worried about running out of oil. As oil gets more scarce and more expensive, renewable fuels like ethanol and soy diesel will become affordable. Ethanol plants are springing up like weeds out here in the corn belt. My car will run on E85, as most of the new ones do. We have an unlimited supply of fuel, it is just more expensive than oil. Yes I have heard the ethanol/energy arguement. The studies I have seen ignore the useful by-products of the ethanol production.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
I'm not worried about running out of oil either. Pricing will take care of that. After the last oil crisis, the average gas mileage of cars doubled. At first the cars were small and unexciting. Now, there are 25 mpg cars that are amazing - goodly sized, lots of amenities, and good performance. Oil is the basic energy source for the world economy. It is a finite resource. We can conserve and it will last longer. We can waste it in Hummers, and we will have that resource a lot shorter period. My point is that we can have good cars, not puny, and exceedingly good mileage - if we say that's what industry must produce. We won't get them if we don't tell industry to produce them.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,452
Points
34
Wulf9 said:
My point is that we can have good cars, not puny, and exceedingly good mileage - if we say that's what industry must produce. We won't get them if we don't tell industry to produce them.

The industry will produce what the consumer demands, and right now most consumers are not demanding better mileage. It goes back to someones post that gas isn't that expensive in real dollars yet. When it does, or like in the late 70's supplies get very short, we will see movement away from the guzzlers. I don't think regulation is the answer.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
giff57 said:
The industry will produce what the consumer demands, and right now most consumers are not demanding better mileage. It goes back to someones post that gas isn't that expensive in real dollars yet. When it does, or like in the late 70's supplies get very short, we will see movement away from the guzzlers. I don't think regulation is the answer.

Actually, our current (twice 1970's) mileage is the result of regulations - Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation passed after the 70's gas crises. I like it as a model because it sets a performance standard, then lets the market control after that (The fleet of cars must get 24 mpg, rather than every car must get 24 mpg).

Considering that the supply of oil comes from other countries and is essential to our economy and transportation network, it is a proper subject of regulation for national security and economy.

Also remember that oil is used for things other than cars. It's a lot harder to retrofit a house for heating and air conditioning or to change an electric plant from gas to oil than it is to raise the mileage bar for automobiles.
 

freewaytincan

Cyburbian
Messages
125
Points
6
mendelman said:
I feel bascially the way you do about this. I personally don't think most SUVs have any purpose or real utility in most situations.



But there are some. The fact is, the majority of truck/van/SUV drivers do not need that kind of vehicle (if any), as in most cases, a coupe or sedan would be more than adequate. The main problem with these people is that a) they have egos to satisfy, and b) they are told by advertising, our culture, and just about everything else that they "have to have one". Of course, this is not the case for a very small minority of SUV owners. I am sympathetic to their plight, as I personally believe that trucks and SUV's are very useful in certain situations.

Take my brother, for instance. He lives on a few acres just outside the city limits of Huntsville, Texas, in a great house of which the original part is over a hundred years old. He does not have a very good driveway, because it's mostly rocks, has lots of holes, and when it rains - as it often does in Southeast Texas - there is a ton of mud. To make matters worse, when people come to visit him when it's wet, on occasion, their car will get stuck, but no worries! That SUV ('98 Pathfinder...practically new) does just what it was meant to do. Furthermore, he does do quite a bit of social things with the people in Huntsville, specifically Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, and if you know the SHSU campus, you know that parking space is already scarce, and at least a halfway decent space is practically impossible to get, because if you get it, you don't want to leave it. Most importantly, my brother has a band ( http://www.twinkieenigma.com ), and his vehicle is the only one that is the best for the job of hauling the massive amount of equipment necessary (out of a pickup, a tiny jeep, and a massive van that hardly runs...it is amusing, though) safely and securely.

I guess the thing that bothers me the most about the SUV craze that has been on for over ten years now is that in the advertisements for the vehicles, it is always shown performing some task that it was first designed for, and is still built for (with the exception of the bastardized "Hummer" H2. Don't even get me started on how GM has pussified that formerly fine military machine), yet most people are not construction workers, industrial employees, carpenters, or farmers, nor do they live way out there (like my brother).

I am asking all of you to recognize the importance of heavy duty vehicles like SUV's, trucks, and vans. Please understand that I am not defending the huge numbers of them on the road for the wrong reasons, but on the same token, I am even more against the fools that claim they are "doing what's best in the interests of our planet". Both these groups are wrong in what they do, and unfortunately, a great vehicle has taken all the hits for it.



Incidentally, now that my car is confirmed as totaled, I will start hitting the local dealerships, and looking into the Honda Civic Hybrid (and if I don't like that, I'll probably get a Nissan Sentra). Granted, the main reason I'm getting it is because I'm cheap (hey, if I'm going to spend that much on gas, at least I should have fun with it, like setting ant piles aflame and whatnot!), but I also don't want another medium-large vehicle like the sedan I wrecked last weekend. It's just unecessary. Isn't it good to know that there is a seventeen-year-old (soon to be former-) "suburbanite" that is this responsible?
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
Prolly sound like a broken record. CAFE (even if raised to 35-50 mpg) allows for big vehicles for those who need them. It's a modified market based requirement, so the market can provide big vehicles. With dedicated engineering, it might also provide for big vehicles at 35-50 mpg. That's what happened when CAFE was introduced. Large, high performance cars went from 10 to 25 mpg.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
I think CAFE standards, and other U.S. regulations for automobiles are a joke in their current form.

I would first close the tax loophole that allows for giant deductions when buying heavy vehicles for "business". This had been meant for commerical vehicles - e.g., contractors, farmers, etc., but also applies to a pediatrician's office buying a Hummer H2.

Second, the gas-guzzler tax does not currently apply to passenger vehicles over a certain weight. It certainly ought to.

Third, the vehicle classification scheme is currently designed to help the industry meet CAFE standards, and does not reflect the true function or specification of many passenger vehicles. "Light Trucks" include everything from the obvious Ford F-150, to car-based, front wheel drive "crossover" SUV's like the Toyota Highlander, to the small Chrysler PT Cruiser. Personally, I think all personal-use vehicles that are designed to carry passengers should be subject to uniform standards for pollution control and fuel economy - every vehicle from the smallest Hyundai Accent to the behemoth Cadillac Escalade EXT.

Fourth, given that all passenger vehicles may one day no longer fall under two separate categories (passenger cars and light trucks), there ought to be graduated tax incentives for purchasing fuel efficient vehicles, as well as disincentives for gas-guzzlers, at the time of purchase. Currently, someone buying a Hummer H2 will pay no gas-guzzler tax, which is not an insignificant amount of money, while someone buying a Mercedes-Benz S55 AMG, which is equally ostentatious yet less polluting and safer, will pay thousands of dollars.

We must realize that the increased price of gasoline, which is expected to average at over $2.00/gallon this summer, is not an artificially high price to pay, since the true cost of driving is not reflected in the price of gasoline. No wonder so few Americans consider fuel economy when purchasing a vehicle.
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
At least people arent blaming high performance cars anymore. My friend has a 2000 Z28 with 330 horsepower and can get 30 mpg.

My V6 Firbird with 200 hp can only get 28 mpg!

Personally, Im just afraid of SUVs. It seems like the only people that drive them are idiots on cell phones not paying attention to what they are doing. Get run off the road by them a few times and most people can relate. Maybe its just my fault for driving such a small car B-)

Oh BTW, Im all for having an annual or semi annual driving test no matter what your age is.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
ChevyChaseDC said:
I think CAFE standards, and other U.S. regulations for automobiles are a joke in their current form.

CAFE needs to be fixed (requires political backbone). But CAFE is the reason the overall fleet nearly doubled mileage in the past 30 years.

The good thing about CAFE is that it allows high performance cars, big cars, SUVs and the like. Part of that comes from engineering. Part of that comes from allowing some guzzlers as long as the whole fleet has acceptable mileage.
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Wulf9 said:
CAFE needs to be fixed (requires political backbone). But CAFE is the reason the overall fleet nearly doubled mileage in the past 30 years.

The good thing about CAFE is that it allows high performance cars, big cars, SUVs and the like. Part of that comes from engineering. Part of that comes from allowing some guzzlers as long as the whole fleet has acceptable mileage.


Engineering has indeed come quite a long way. It's amazing that the current Acura TL, which has a 3.2L V6 with 270 hp and blazing acceleration can acheive 30 mpg on the highway.

I would argue that the fierce competition from better-engineered, more fuel-efficient Japanese cars has a lot more to do with the improvment in passenger car fuel economy than CAFE. Incidentally less than half of all new vehicles sold in the U.S. are manufactured by GM, Ford, or DaimlerChrysler. Toyota already outsells DaimlerChrysler and is poised to overtake Ford as the #2 U.S. brand.

On the flip side, in Europe, where fuel is heavily taxed and can cost $5.00/gallon, over half of all new cars sold are diesels, which get from 50-100% better fuel economy than gasoline. Cleaner diesel fuel in Europe, as well as vastly improved engineering and pollution control technology, have made new diesel cars as clean and quiet as gasoline, with matching if not surpassed performance. Unforunately, diesel has had a hard time catching on in the U.S. due to dirtier fuel used here, as well as a negative stigma stemming from the soot and fumes from dirty buses, tractor-trailers, and the stinky Mercedes-Benz circa 1979 that clatter through college towns across the U.S. Cleaner diesel fuel will be available in the U.S. before the end of the decade when new standards take effect. It will be interesting to see whether it catches on if fuel prices continue to increase.
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
ChevyChaseDC said:
Engineering has indeed come quite a long way. It's amazing that the current Acura TL, which has a 3.2L V6 with 270 hp and blazing acceleration can acheive 30 mpg on the highway.

Did you see my post about the Z28? Same gas mileage and alot faster than a TL....plus its RWD which is 5000 times better than FWD ;)
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
I got burned out on the SUV discussion some months back. Remember our discussions on Bush's business tax breaks for SUV fleet enhancement. I got my Segway and haven't looked back. My personal habits regarding SUV's are clearly defined by the following website, previously posted by a fellow cyburbianite.

www.fuh2.com

Hope the link still works.
 

freewaytincan

Cyburbian
Messages
125
Points
6
Budgie said:
I got burned out on the SUV discussion some months back. Remember our discussions on Bush's business tax breaks for SUV fleet enhancement. I got my Segway and haven't looked back. My personal habits regarding SUV's are clearly defined by the following website, previously posted by a fellow cyburbianite.

www.fuh2.com

Hope the link still works.

You mean that you get around with only a Segway? Where do you live? Can I move there?
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
I've given thought to getting a Cushman type vehicle like a surplus metermaid cart. I wonder how many of them it would take to equal the weight of an H2.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
freewaytincan said:
You mean that you get around with only a Segway? Where do you live? Can I move there?

The only reason I use a car (once a week) is to visit or pick up my kids. I walk and Segway the rest of the time and can travel from one end of the town to the other. If you have trains (Chicago, Boston, Dallas, etc....) you can easily use multi-mode travel and have a really good range. Just plug in the Segway when you're at your office, in a meeting or at lunch. My car is parked at least 5 full days a week. The car will be paid off in two months. So my transportation costs will be minimized since my children are currently 2 hours away.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
AubieTurtle said:
I've given thought to getting a Cushman type vehicle like a surplus metermaid cart. I wonder how many of them it would take to equal the weight of an H2.

Aubie, if you're in downtown Atlanta, have you seen Segways downtown. I know the city owns a few.
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Wulf9 said:
CAFE needs to be fixed (requires political backbone). But CAFE is the reason the overall fleet nearly doubled mileage in the past 30 years.

The good thing about CAFE is that it allows high performance cars, big cars, SUVs and the like. Part of that comes from engineering. Part of that comes from allowing some guzzlers as long as the whole fleet has acceptable mileage.

except in the last 10 years the average fuel economy has been getting worse - not better.

The standards for cars and light trucks are different - by 7 mpg and since SUV sales have reached parity with car sales the overall average has come down

. . . not to mention the fact that the big 3 have been routinely flouting the light truck standard anyway - and succesfully lobbying congress for one year freezes.
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Budgie said:
Aubie, if you're in downtown Atlanta, have you seen Segways downtown. I know the city owns a few.

Yeah, I see them all the time. The business improvement district has a bunch of them for the Ambassidor Force to use. Normally you only see one at a time, but when they get in a new crop of recruits it is funny to see a whole gang of them rolling down the sidewalk, learning how to ride the Segway (even more so because part of the uniform is a pith helmet).

The strangest things I've seen about the Segway is when it is standing still. I was at a falafel stand the other day waiting in line when an ambassidor came over and got off his Segway but the thing kept making little nudges forwards and backwards to keep it perfectly upright with no one on it. It looked like a ghost was in control. Quite funky.

I'd think about getting one but they're expensive and I want something that can keep me out of the weather on the way to and from the grocery store.

Sadly, I might soon be back on the road with all the SUVs and Atlanta traffic since my project downtown is coming to an end and who knows where my next project will be. I should get a rocket launcher for my car to even out the odds on the road.
 

freewaytincan

Cyburbian
Messages
125
Points
6
AubieTurtle said:
Sadly, I might soon be back on the road with all the SUVs and Atlanta traffic since my project downtown is coming to an end and who knows where my next project will be. I should get a rocket launcher for my car to even out the odds on the road.

I was thinking about buying a tank...
 

AubieTurtle

Cyburbian
Messages
894
Points
21
Perhaps I can get reactive armour installed at the height on my car where SUV bumper would crash. In a normal fender bender with another car, nothing would happen, but if an SUV hit me, the reactive armour would flip the sucker over.

Yeah, joke about getting a tank but a month or so ago I saw an armoured personel carrier in the Phillips Arena parking lot.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
My sister has an irrational dislike of SUVs, and she told me an interesting little story yesterday.

She was driving to work, and this huge SUV was jerking back and forth and driving very eratically. It turns out the "Mother" was jerking the wheel back and forth to amuse her children.

My sister quickly scrawled a little sign while waiting at a stoplight: "Should I call 911?" and held it up in the window.

The "Mother" drove much more calmly after that point.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
The brother of a friend of mine drives a Hummer. He told me his monthly payments are higher than his mortgage payment!!! Is that insane?
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Me and my family just got a new hummer which gets 8 miles to the gallon. Sweet.



I am so sick of people dissing us SUV drivers. How else am I suppose to get to my house on the sub-division which use to be protected wetlands. ;)
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,452
Points
34
RichmondJake said:
The brother of a friend of mine drives a Hummer. He told me his monthly payments are higher than his mortgage payment!!! Is that insane?


My car payment is more than my mortgage, of course my house only cost $5000 more than my car. :)
 

ChevyChaseDC

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
FueledByRamen said:
Did you see my post about the Z28? Same gas mileage and alot faster than a TL....plus its RWD which is 5000 times better than FWD ;)

For handling RWD is better, but only with a fully independent suspension! Think BMW 325i. A Camaro has a live rear axle, like an old Caprice, or a pickup truck. The TL, as well most performance-inspired FWD cars with fully independent suspension, absolutely out-handle any Camaro or Mustang with a live rear axle. Even some FWD cars with a twist-beam rear suspension outhandle Camaros, including the 1996 Nissan Maxima SE I used to drive, though it had monster torque-steer on acceleration...
 

FueledByRamen

Cyburbian
Messages
449
Points
13
ChevyChaseDC said:
For handling RWD is better, but only with a fully independent suspension! Think BMW 325i. A Camaro has a live rear axle, like an old Caprice, or a pickup truck. The TL, as well most performance-inspired FWD cars with fully independent suspension, absolutely out-handle any Camaro or Mustang with a live rear axle. Even some FWD cars with a twist-beam rear suspension outhandle Camaros, including the 1996 Nissan Maxima SE I used to drive, though it had monster torque-steer on acceleration...

Yeah I know it has a live rear axle (I'm a shadetree mechanic). The reason is; its cheaper and better for all out acceleration. Every dragster...even those that run a 4.5 second 1/4mile have live rear axles. Also, the handling thing is sort of a misconception. If you take two identical cars, the one with IRS will outhandle the other, but that doesnt mean any IRS car will outhandle every car with a live axle. Because of its weight distribution and low center of gravity, the F-body (industry term for Firebirds and Camaros) inherently handles well. The V6 actually handles better than the V8 because the engine's COG is farther back in the car. My car has almost 50/50 weight distribution and outhandles a Honda Civic which is thought by many to be a good handling car. In addition, about $750 to $1000 worth of suspension upgrades puts the car on par with a Corvette for handling. (It is a much rougher ride, of course). Ive never driven a Nissan Maxima...but my roommate's Ford Focus doesnt handle to well. It is plagued by FWD oversteer and it slides too easily in corners because it does not grip the pavement well enough.

That being said, yeah I would much rather have a car with IRS...but live axles always get a bad rap :)

Oh and about the snow and Ice thing...what MaineMan said is true, unless you factor in the traction and stability control that almost all cars are being made with now. This makes RWD cars safer because the car's weight is more evenly spread out and the traction controll prevents slippage of the rear whells.

wait...am I still on the planning boards??? :-D
 
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