By on April 2, 2008

08expd_cover_hr.jpgThe full-size SUV, species Gigantus Utilitas Amnericanus, stands like a mighty and proud American Bison. The even-toed ungulate’s wet nose nervously sniffs the threatening winds of change that blows across the prairie and buffets its coarse brown mane. For now, the herd stands proud and strong in suburban habitats. But today the mighty beast catches the scent of three long rifle-wielding predators: Panic, Price and Patriotism. Squarely in their sights stands the Ford Expedition King Ranch Edition.

In my quest to pit the new Toyota Sequoia against its American competition, I wanted to compare apples to apples. Unfortunately, at the time of the test, my Texas Ford didn’t have any SUVs in stock that match ToMoCo’s big rig in Platinum trim. The Expedition King Ranch I tested lacked 4-wheel drive and navigation system common to the new Sequoia and “White Diamond” Chevy Tahoe LTZ.  Still, I got a gen-u-ine flavor of what The Blue Oval Boyz have to offer in the big and tall department.

Are there ANY stunning beauties in this category? I suppose not. And for people with environmental concerns at the forefront of their consciousness, the expansive special edition Expedition is especially devastatingly hideous. While the bigger-is-better crowd will find it irresistible, the mondo-SUV is, at its core, an unremarkably inoffensive big box hiding behind an F-150 mask. A handful of King Ranch logos branded on the flanks and rear end distinguished my tester from the rest of Expeditiondom.

Open any door and [optional] power-actuated running boards flip down to offer you a convenient step-up. Gorgeous Chaparral leather wraps the steering wheel and covers the seat surfaces, furnishing the cabin like a New Mexico ski lodge. Padded leather–embossed "King Ranch"– tops the wide center console separating the front seats. While this rustic look clashes with the industrial-styled dials and gauges, compared to the frenetic Sequoia dash, the Ford is a serene work of art.

08expd_kr_seats_hr.jpgThe King Ranch’s fit and finish are remarkable. The tight-fitting steel round vents, for example, feel both precise and robust. One gripe: the RPM and MPH gauges are spaced too widely-– like eyes on a cow. Otherwise, Ford’s “tough luxury” theme is a time-tested triumph.

The Ford matches Toyota’s third-row seating comfort and does it one better. Second-row Sequoia Platinum passengers are separated by a rear seat center console. The  King Ranch features second-row captain's chairs sans a center console and egress to the commodious third-row is as easy as stepping between the seats.

Sit at the helm of this suburban behemoth and a major shortcoming becomes immediately apparent.  It’s hard to see out in any direction other than forward. Ford’s high-sided gunnels and thick B, C & D-pillars make rearward navigation a job for the mission critical– but optional– reverse camera.

Even without 4WD, the Expedition King Ranch feels heavier than the Tahoe or Sequoia. In fact, I swore I could feel smaller objects (bicycles, strollers, smart cars) drawing into its orbit. In Newtonian fashion, this massive object resists acceleration. And once in motion, the mega-machine wants to stay in motion. Weak binders with overactive ABS and imaginative electronic stability control system sent the brakes anti-locking more often than in any other vehicle I’ve driven.

The 5.4-liter three-valve Triton V8 charged with motivating the Expedition drinks like John Daly in the Hooters hospitality tent at a PGA tournament. In 4×2 trim, the powerplant chugs a gallon of gasoline every 12 miles around town and 18 whilst cruising the open roads. In its defense: 9000 lbs. towing capacity.

Load-leveling rear air suspension does a surprisingly good job of keeping the big rig flat during corners.  But the electronically controlled air bladders failed to master the old world Denton County roads that are so patched and cracked that they’ve taken on the look of an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. Neither could the power steering hold this heifer to a straight line for any stretch of time at freeway speeds.

As tested, the King Ranch rings in at $47,695. Pony up for all the toys to bring the King Ranch onto par with the fancy Tahoe and Sequoia (including $4400 four-wheel drive), and the Ford’s MSRP tops $54K.  That’s nearly $4K less than the White Diamond and $6K less than ToMoCo’s Platinum. To sweeten the deal, Ford’s currently putting another $5K on the hood to help move their moribund mastodon. Toyota? Not so much.

08expd_kr_gcanyon_hr.jpgLog a few miles in the Expedition King Ranch Edition and you’ll swear it has as much interior square footage as a one-room frontier cabin from the days that herds of buffalo wildly roamed North America’s Great Plains. And it’s a much nicer place to spend time, to boot. But its insatiable appetite for unleaded and its porcine driving dynamics are — rightly– driving this bovine to extinction.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

153 Comments on “2008 Ford Expedition King Ranch Review...”


  • avatar
    holydonut

    I’m seriously baffled by all these large SUV reviews. Granted the last few reviews were done by two separate people but the underlying message is the same. The reviewer gives a 6,000 lbs body on frame V8 SUV knocks because it’s not fuel efficient. That’s like saying “I’m in the market for a Class 8 semi truck but they all suck because they only get 10mpg and have vague steering feel.”

    It actually sounds like this Ford is better than some of the alternatives; based on seating options and price. But it gets the same number of stars as the Durango because you felt the vehicle lacked the handling of an Audi, and it was hard to see out of. Last I checked visibility out of a school bus is also substandard compared to an A-Body GM product.

    Aside from driving them and criticizing their obvious surface flaws (their size and soft suspensions), you don’t really review them as they were intended. Is the load deck too high? Do they have effective dual or tri zone HVAC? Do they have standard Class IV hitches? I can think of all manner of issues that would be better served in these reviews; but instead they just poke fun at the poor mpg.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Since the vast majority of these vehicles are used for hauling nothing more than people, I think it is fair to hold them to the standards of other people movers (i.e. handling and gas mileage).

    Yes, it may be slightly better than the Sequoia or Tahoe, but that is like arguing that Type 1 Diabetes is better than Type 2. For most people, a CUV or minivan would be a better choice.

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I don’t view these cars as mere people movers… their intent is to be able to move large families along with their trailers and boats. Granted you won’t see a boat attached to them at the Piggly Wiggly. But when you do down to the lakefront properties in Utah and the Bible Belt, these vehicles hold their own. I don’t doubt that some of these large SUVs will not be used to haul anything more than a soccer mom. But by and large families that will plunk down the dollars are going to get full use of the vehicle. And you’re not testing the full use of the vehicle in these reviews.

    You can’t get Class IV hitches on CUVs or Minivans. There’s a reason for that.

    Anyway, the star rating system is confusing to me as you have applied it to large SUVs. If you already assume these large SUVs are a disease and cancer on mankind; then maybe you should avoid reviewing them. And the fact that the word “understeer” actually makes it into the Nissan Armada review is … odd.

  • avatar
    shaker

    As many of these beasts as you see flying down the Interstates of America at 15 MPH over the speed limit, versus doing any off-road duty (other than driving over curbs in the aforementioned Pig-Wig parking lot); I believe that handling and braking should receive just as much consideration as any other vehicle.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    I wish gas was still $1.50 a gallon – I’d be driving one of these.

    Instead, we are forced into driving little crackerbox cars. Who says our standard of living is not dropping?

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I’m suprised you found the ride and steering to be unsatisfactory. It is definitely a huge improvement over the U22x version. I thought the steering felt nicely damped while still providing good feedback but perhaps a little too much off center effort and lack of returnability. Also the fully independent suspension really makes this beast perform on the road. There isn’t any of the axle hop you get in the competition and it is rather nimble (for its size) and yet comfortable. I’m usually very hard on Ford, but I think this is a great truck.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Since you can’t account for how many people will be sitting in the Expedition on any particular trip, it’s unfair to judge it almost solely on its mileage. It’s not Ford’s fault if someone decides to buy one as a commuter vehicle.

    Used as intended, it is a more comfortable truck than a Tahoe/Suburban due to the independent rear suspension giving it a smother ride and better 3rd row legroom, and it is much, much cheaper than the competition making it a better value.

    Take a cross country trip with your family towing a camper, then get back to us on how you liked it then…

  • avatar
    SWA737

    What the manufacturers need to do is offer a diesel option with full B100 approval.

    A Power Stroke King Ranch or a DuraMax Tahoe sounds pretty good. Certainly far more appealing than a hybrid.

  • avatar

    I really like the interior of King Ranch equipped vehicles. The type/quality of leather they use is beautiful, and makes the interior smell awesome. :)

    And I would not mind a large SUV like this as a daily driver by any means, especially with my 45min to an hour commute. Expeditions drive pretty well and “easy” for their size. Just need the gas paid for or back at a dollar a gallon…

  • avatar
    Dayveo

    Wow, all these people ready to jump back into SUV’s if gas comes back down! I hope it keeps rising. (seriously)

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    “2008 Ford Expedition King Ranch”

    I thought it was a new salad dressing. HAHAHA

    seriously, I ocasionally drive a cadillac escalade brontosaurus- the thing is porbably as big as this – at speed its OK, feels like your driving on stilts, tho. I suppose there are those who actually need these things – one guy told me that he tows his 6000 lb boat – i asked if he does that twice a year -to the dock and back to drydock in the fall. He stammered that he actually hasn’t done that in 20 years, he keeps it on the chesapeke all year long now, so he and his wife can go to see it occasionally.

    Seriously. these are stupidly large monsters, usually driven to work and back with stops at the wall-mart (well what if i see a new swimming pool for the kids? how will i get it home?)

    Do I care? Nope. I think they are quaint reminders of times past. In 20 years we will see them in antique car shows, where we will marvel at them much as we do ’62 caddys. Ah, now THOSE were the days!

    PS anyone who would choose to drive one of these things instead of a sweet little convertable sports car probably needs therapy anyway. Self medication with oversized trucks anyone? Freud would have had a ball with that one! So to speak.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    But the electronically controlled air bladders failed to master the old world Denton County roads that are so patched and cracked that they’ve taken on the look of an unfinished jigsaw puzzle.

    Denton County has bad roads? I would say that’s putting it lightly. I’m in Grayson county, home of many, many King Ranch Ford products and roads that are, at least, on par with Denton county.

    I haven’t driven the new expedition, but we did own a Suburban for a time. It sounds like they are very similar. That Suburban was terrible going down the highway. If you hit any substantial undulation or large bump of any sort, the vertical motions were fairly well controlled but the truck felt like it was moving laterally as well. No exactly confidence inspiring.

  • avatar
    Juniper

    Is this new math? I don’t get the star rating system at all. Looking at the individual ratings how do you get an overall of 2? Just asking. Plus I agree with other posters rate it a large SUV and don’t judge it against other types of vehicles. It will do what it is intended to do. A Fit won’t do any of the things this is intended to do.

  • avatar
    trk2

    I know we are all car nuts here, but in general I have never seen a more judgmental group of people then those who rail against SUVs simply because of their lower fuel economy. What business is it to tell anyone what they should or should not be driving. That sort of arrogance and condescension just drives me crazy. Who cares if the only reason someone chooses to buy an SUV is for the image, that’s exactly the same reason for the majority of people buying the Prius. And that’s a perfectly acceptable reason.

    SUVs aren’t evil. If all of the SUVs in the world had been replaced by minivans there would be no noticeable difference in our climate ‘crisis’. Many people feel SUVs provide a good compromise of utility, space and comfort. They shouldn’t have to be treated to derision because their choice of vehicle doesn’t meet others approval.

    Btw, I don’t own an SUV, I just don’t like seeing one group of people forcing a lifestyle on another. The crusade against cigarettes also sets me off, even though I can’t stand cigarette smoke.

    This was a general comment, not a reply to any specific previous post.

  • avatar

    Bill,

    I too am a little surprised at the verdict of the ride and the 2-star rating of the Expedition. I’ll admit my bias: I borrow a 2005 Navigator as a tow/haul vehicle for my stuff and I’m quite happy with it. Of course, it does have an absolutely serene 4-corner air suspension, which takes potholed Houston roads better than almost every car out there. But other than that, its much like the new Expedition.

    The tow capacity and interior fit/finish alone makes it a three star SUV.

    Straight line performance suffers compared to the latest 6-spd/V8 combos from Toyota and GM, but none of these rigs should be too harshly discounted by their fuel economy rating.

    Last time I checked, people didn’t buy any of these rigs at gunpoint. If the Expedition goes extinct, so be it. But odds are it will do just fine in the future, taking over the limited role that the full-size Ford Bronco had back in the 1980s.

  • avatar
    hwyhobo

    I don’t get this review. While I wouldn’t buy one (no love lost between me and SUVs), but it appears to me that in its market segment, this vehicle is pretty good. Two stars? Based on what? Is the reviewer by any chance confusing a review of a vehicle with judging the market category?

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    “It’s not Ford’s fault if someone decides to buy one as a commuter vehicle.”

    Like hell it isn’t. Unfortunately, these things have become Ford’s lifeblood and each one has enormous profit potential compared to more reasonable vehicles and believe me they push them hard. And they push them to people who don’t need them under fraudulent pretexts. It is precisely because Ford (and Porsche, and Mercedes and BMW and Lexus et al) push these things on people who actually need commuter vehicles that we are in such dire straights as a country.

    You would have a hard time convincing me of the climate change theory. I don’t buy it. So my arguments against SUVs are not based on that. We had an all time hard winter here, with three concecutive days of snow over last weekend. On a daily basis, I saw SUV’s flipped upside down off the freeway, sometimes two or three in a ten mile commute. People buy them because they think they are good in snow.

    They aren’t.

    People who really use their SUV or Pickup for hauling and towing do not recieve my ire. But you can tell people who tow a lot: they leave the “stinger” in the class four hitch reciever all the time. I do in my tow vehicle and everyone else I know does. It just too much of a pain in the ass to take out and put back in every time. Not one pickup or SUV in 100 around here has the stinger in the reciever hitch.

    This is lake country and boat country. There are huge lakes with lots and lots of boats. People are boat crazy here. And yet the number of times that you actually see a pickup or SUV towing a boat in a year can be counted on one hand. People who have boats obviously leave them in the water the entire boating season, if not year around. You could rent a U-Haul truck to tow a boat twice a year.

    I walk through the Walmart parking lot and every, and I do mean EVERY, pickup bed (which are the majority of vehicles in the lot) have beds as pristine and shiny as a baby’s bottom. Commuting down the freeway, every single large SUV has one occupant.

    One.

    These things suck big time off-road (at least Ford had the courage to leave the King Ranch a two-wheel drive and put IRS on it). The recieved wisdom in the hardcore off-road community is that even the Jeep Rubicon is only marginally acceptable off-road without some serious modifications. Which then leaves the Rubicon undriveable on the road.

    There you have it: the vast overwhelming majority of SUV’s are bought as commuter vehicles on paved roads for one person, never used to tow, never taken off-road.

    We don’t need no stinking “Manhattan Project” to develop hydrogen or hybrid or electric cars.

  • avatar
    AKM

    A Fit won’t do any of the things this is intended to do.

    But the Fit will do all of the things this is used to do on a daily basis, as used by 90% of the buyers.

    If it takes gas a $3-4 for people to realize the difference between actual need and perceived desire, so be it.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    SUVs aren’t evil.

    Mass kills. The race to control as much mass as possible on the road in the normal course in the name of safety relative to the average driver creates greater danger for the average driver. To the extent evil implies outright maliciousness your point is well taken. But then again, I’m sometimes prone to doling out faint praise like candy.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    I agree that this vehicle (and the ToMoCo ) was reviewed from a standpoint of “why buy it?”. If someone who was a SUV buyer were to review the Miata and complained about it’s lack of trunk space, poor off road performance, and crash unworthiness people would say WTH is with that review?

    If TTAC is going to review these specialty vehicles they need to realistically compare them to each other, not to econo boxes, or Jeep wranglers. I like the honesty about the drive feeling, the seats and the build quality, less so for the mileage bitching, comments about how big it is ( of course it’s big) and observations on the political ramifications of owning one ( even if subtle)

    I know an owner that could care less about the downsides, she just wanted a large vehicle and is willing to pay the gas for it. Might be hard to understand for some but who are we to judge that decision

  • avatar
    i6

    I’m glad to see agreement on how the review and scoring process should be undertaken. It doesn’t make sense to compare a car to the whole range of vehicles in the market, the comparison should be relative to it’s competitors or else all sports cars / SUVs / sedans will get the pretty much the same review and score.

  • avatar
    brettc

    For anyone that’s dense enough to think gas is going back to a dollar per gallon, keep dreaming. I’m personally glad that SUVs are selling so horribly now, because as others have also said, most people don’t actually need trucks like this, they just think they do. If I had a boat or a trailer, then I’d definitely look into an SUV or a pickup. However, most people don’t haul boats or trailers regularly, yet they still felt the need to buy a truck. Some people say they need one to transport their kids, which is crap. When I was growing up, you either used a sedan, an early Chrysler minivan, or a wagon to haul your kids. My brother and I pretty much grew up with a 1981 Honda Civic wagon, and it worked fine for two adults and 2 kids. If I do have kids, there’s no way I’d buy a gas sucking SUV, or even a CUV just to cart them around. I’m just glad that fuel costs are naturally eliminating these things, it’s about time. My 2 cents…

  • avatar
    ctoan

    To the “who are we to judge?” crowd: How much of a jerk does someone have to be before you’ll start judging? With anything?

    The cigarettes analogy is a good one: if in a public place and someone’s smoking and you can’t stand it, you’re being inconvenienced and annoyed because someone is putting their own pleasure above the feelings of those around him.
    SUVs are the same thing: Obnoxiously large and unsafe to their surroundings, and just because the driver likes to sit high up.
    What definition of “jerk” does that not fit?

  • avatar
    Strippo

    If someone who was a SUV buyer were to review the Miata and complained about it’s lack of trunk space, poor off road performance, and crash unworthiness people would say WTH is with that review?

    Except for going off road, I can’t recall a Miata review that didn’t talk about such things. Noting the drawbacks of any vehicle that deviates from bread and butter expectations is fair game. Would you rather that the reviewer repress those observations? If he or she did, wouldn’t it be that much harder to detect an honest bias that you don’t share? Why complain about honesty? You’re being told up front that from your perspective this review can be taken with a grain of salt. Isn’t that a good thing?

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    While I tend to agree that TTAC reviews on these super-utes do not focus on what they were designed for, most people are not buying them for what they were designed for. Giving this beast a positive review because it can tow a small village would be like giving the Hummer H1 5 out of 5 stars because its the best at what its supposed to do, go off road. But most people who buy that beast never even come close to testing its off-road abilities. The same goes for this road monstrosaty. More often than not, it drives mom or dad to work and picks up the kids after soccer. My mom had 4 kids and we were carted around just fine in her Acadian.

    I’ll be honest. I hate SUVs/trucks in the city. Not because of Al Gore or anything. Its because they are dangerous to other people on the road and near it. In a time when spatial awareness is on the decline the last thing people need is one of these things. My brother-in-law owns a King Ranch F150 and even he agrees. To quote him on driving it in urban areas “Everytime I take a right turn at an intersection, I have to hope there is not a pedestrian within 4 feet of my truck because I won’t see them trying to cross as I make the turn, my truck is too tall”

  • avatar
    Strippo

    I’m glad to see agreement on how the review and scoring process should be undertaken. It doesn’t make sense to compare a car to the whole range of vehicles in the market, the comparison should be relative to it’s competitors or else all sports cars / SUVs / sedans will get the pretty much the same review and score.

    I think the solution may be for the reviewer to refrain from “scoring” a vehicle if he or she simply can’t relate to the driver of that class of vehicles and admits it. I think that is the case here. The perspective of the review is legitimate, but “scoring” from that perspective probably isn’t.

  • avatar
    NickR

    The defense being mounted for this vehicle makes for pretty thin gruel.

    The only reason to own one is for towing. That in itself is a pretty small subset of the people who own these, at least in these parts. Subtract from that people who could tow their boat or trailer with something smaller. Then subtract from the reminder the people whose trailers or boats are left in situ all all summer and get moved twice a year (usually by the marina) and you are left with a very small group indeed.

    And for once I’d love to see someone who doesn’t believe in global warming off a cogent argument, not just ‘I don’t buy it’.

  • avatar
    N85523

    Ford has its thinking backwards here. A live axle belongs under this truck and the Mustang could use IRS.

  • avatar
    geeber

    NickR: And for once I’d love to see someone who doesn’t believe in global warming off a cogent argument, not just ‘I don’t buy it’.

    Go to Edmunds.com; there is an entire thread on global warming, and the skeptics have their share of ammunition to back up their arguments. Another good site with global warming discussions is The Volokh Conspiracy, a legal blog.

  • avatar
    dean

    Just for giggles it would be fun to hook this baby up to a 9000lb trailer and see what kind of mileage it got. 8-9mpg highway?

    I wouldn’t have a problem with SUVs if it hadn’t been for the “light truck” exemptions to CAFE and safety standards that they were designed to exploit. Had that exemption never been in place you would see only a fraction of the SUVs currently on the road, and they would typically be owned mostly by people that made use of their functionality.

  • avatar

    ctoan: To the “who are we to judge?” crowd: How much of a jerk does someone have to be before you’ll start judging? With anything?

    My high school Political Science teacher said it best: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.”

    Don’t like it? Don’t buy it, and the market has made this very clear. The Expedition is well on its way to very low-volume production.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The problem with full size SUVs is that they try to be everything to everyone – big towing capacity for road trips, generous seating in case you take friends along, rugged in case you want to go off-road, comfortable for daily commuting and, of course, fast enough not to get embarrassed at the lights. But all this is mostly excess capacity as they usually end up getting used as mini-vans with only very occasional use of the other capabilities. Problem is, this excess capacity comes at the price of insane energy consumption.

    SUV lovers don’t take offense – most buyers of sports cars are the same way. They buy a car that can get round the ‘ring in less than 8 minutes but the closest they ever come to racing is taking on a Camry at the lights or exiting the shopping mall parking lot at an unsafe speed.

    This is all about our love affair with automotive transportation and, lets face it, the energy prices are taking our toys away. It’s no fun but it is reality – what used to be needs have turned out to be wants. We can only hope that technology will keep up with rising energy costs so can all continue to have fun.

  • avatar
    N85523

    NickR,

    OK, I’ll bite.

    I don’t buy the AGW theory because I do not think that we know enough about the climate to accurately predict its future. I challenge you to think of a system on earth with more variables, more inputs and outputs, than our climate and weather patterns.

    I don’t buy the AGW theory because anthropogenic carbon dioxide is such a small element of the carbon cycle. The biomass in the ocean is almost entirely made of calcium carbonate. The ocean is a massive sink which carbon flows into and out of. Carbon (in the form of CO2 and other gasses) freely moves between atmosphere and ocean as these organisms die and decompose and as they reproduce and grow. Carbon dioxide is a natural gas vital to all life on earth. It is not a pollutant, nor do I believe it should be regulated as such. If we are to limit the amount of CO2 we release, we should also put a birth-rate cap on corals as the Chinese do.

    I do not believe that glacial retreat is a sign of AGW. Glaciers in our current ice-age (yes, we are living in an ice-age) are small and are very sensitive to change, so perhaps they are good barometers. The world has been in a period of general glacial retreat for over 200 years. There were no King Ranch Expeditions then nor coal-fired power plants. The industrial revolution was just getting underway, coincidentally, I believe. Glaciers have been retreating for a long time, and drastic changes in landscape have been noted, but this does not prove one way or the other that humans are warming the planet, merely that the glacial summer ablation rate in many areas is greater than the winter accumulation rate. Not all glaciers are retreating, either. Some are advancing, though these are generally seeing a decrease in their advancement rate. As a side note, I hate AGW PR shots showing a glacier dramatically calving into the sea. This is the sign of a very healthy happy glacier that has made it from a mountain top all the way to the ocean and has reached its maximum length. Large ice sheet are supposed to break off of Antarctica. This means that the floating sheet has become too large to remain attached to the continental ice.

    Finally, though we have evidence that the earth is warming, this in itself is no cause for alarm. The earth is a fickle system and has trouble maintaining anything for very long. It warms and cools, sealevel rises and falls and has for the entire history of our planet. The rock record shows us that sealevel is notoriously variable. Because humans cannot comprehend geologic history, we think that the sky is falling whenever the earth is simply undergoing a slight change.

    A note to any readers who may have been persuaded in some way or another: I am an educated geologist who has had training in the areas mentioned above. I do however work for an energy company and receive compensation for my efforts, so therefore any idea, thought, or expressions I may offer on any environmental issue must be regarded as pure fiction and are intended for entertainment value only.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Sajeev Mehta:My high school Political Science teacher said it best: “Your freedom ends where my nose begins.”

    And I say your freedom ends when it starts obstructing my view of traffic lights.

    Or, to reiterate: a public nuisance is when you create unsavory effects (noise, smells, etc.) that extend beyond the bounds of your property. Why shouldn’t this apply to vehicles?

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    Count me among those confused by the overall rating. The review sounded fairly positive. The subcategory ratings are mostly threes and fours, with one five and one two. If you do a normal unweighted average based on those scores, you get 3.375. But instead it gets 2 stars overall? Come again?

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Whether the Iraq war was necessary is not the point: right or wrong, high oil prices buy the bullets being shot at my cousins’ three kids over there. I think anybody, pro war or anti, should be horrified by that equation.

    RE: GW. When I was in New Zealand this summer, vitited both the Fox Glacier and the Franz Joseph glacier. Each one has access roads a couple of miles long off the West Coast highway. They have the access roads marked with the spot where the glaciers’ terminal morraines were in the 1600’s, 1700’s and 1800’s (presumably before folks started driving SUVS). Ya drive quite a long discouraging ways before you get to the 1900’s and particularly the 1960’s. THe glaciers have actually receeded a tiny amount since the environmental hysteria started sweeping the world and the car craze and its attendant pollution took hold in ernest.

    So I can believe GW’s proponents theory that the cause of GW is the internal combustion engine, or I can believe my own lying eyes.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    N85523 :

    So, the current cycle of global warming “coincidentally” began at the same time as the Industrial Revolution.

    And you get your income from an energy company (though I do give you credit for disclosing that; many wouldn’t).

    I consider myself duly bitten.

  • avatar
    beagles

    To me, this review would be more appropriate as an editorial. Trying to convince people they don’t need these things is not best served in a review.

    As an example, look at he recent review of the 2009 MB SL63. This was a good review of the car based on what it was intended to do. However, no mention of the MPG. (the 2007 SL55 earns a combined 14MPG rating, we have to assume the SL63 won’t be any better). Nor any editorializing that no one really needs such a car.

    At least the large SUVs have a chance of increasing their effective MPG when they are filled with people and gear. No chance of that in most hi performance sports cars like the SL.

  • avatar
    N85523

    tonycd,

    In response to your first statement, you’re right, I do find it a coincidence, no quotation marks needed.

    From what I have gathered on the subject, I believe that there has been significant glacial retreat (especially in mountain glaciers) since the beginning of the industrial revolution. I do believe this is a coincidence and that the factors causing this retreat began before the IR started. Also, when the IR came about, the amounts of CO2 entering the atmosphere via humans was hundreds of times less than it is now, so I do not see a correlation between industrialization and glacial retreat.

    Also, I find it an ironic that those of us with geologic backgrounds find it so hard to get work in a field that is not the target of global warming war-cries. The folks who go to school to learn about the history of earth naturally go to work in fields where that historical knowledge can be turned into a paycheck. I feel that too many peoples’ credibility is unnecisarily damaged by public perception, but I most certainly would be biased in that area.

  • avatar
    davey49

    +1 to what holydonut said. The vast majority of these vehicles are used to their fullest potential occasionally. Just because you see one in the mall parking lot with a solo driver does not mean it doesn’t hall the family on it’s vacation.
    I appreciate the reviewer pointing out the superior build quality of the Expedition compared to the Sequoia.
    If you are going to buy one of these, get the long wheelbase model. It will have better resale if you care about those things and will be a lot more useful as you own it.
    Does this mean we’re getting a Tahoe/Suburban review next?

  • avatar
    thalter

    To those who think this is an editorial and not a review, the two are really one and the same. What is a car review but one person’s opinion (i.e. editorial) on a single vehicle? Similarly, the star rating merely reflects the reviewers opinion, and does not have scientific basis that some are trying to ascribe to it. Don’t try to read more into it than what it is.

    This topic has come up many times before on this site: The whole point of an auto review is that it expresses the author’s opinion; no more or no less. You are free to agree or disagree, no different from a movie or restaurant review.

    I, like most readers of this site, enjoy reading the articles for the opinions expressed, even though I don’t always agree with them. Regular readers of this site will know that the contributors often don’t even agree with each other, which is good.

    If you remove the authors’ personal opinions from the reviews, you will be left with little more than a press release or spec sheet. For that, you can just read Car and Driver.

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    We had an all time hard winter here, with three concecutive days of snow over last weekend. On a daily basis, I saw SUV’s flipped upside down off the freeway, sometimes two or three in a ten mile commute. People buy them because they think they are good in snow.

    They aren’t.

    Actually, they are, but they can’t make up for complete idiots. Having owned a 4WD Suburban, I can say that they are very good in slick conditions – if you aren’t a moron.

    But you can tell people who tow a lot: they leave the “stinger” in the class four hitch reciever all the time. I do in my tow vehicle and everyone else I know does. It just too much of a pain in the ass to take out and put back in every time. Not one pickup or SUV in 100 around here has the stinger in the reciever hitch.

    I take my hitch out when I am not using it so I don’t hit my shins. That doesn’t mean I don’t have one.

    This is lake country and boat country. There are huge lakes with lots and lots of boats. People are boat crazy here. And yet the number of times that you actually see a pickup or SUV towing a boat in a year can be counted on one hand. People who have boats obviously leave them in the water the entire boating season, if not year around. You could rent a U-Haul truck to tow a boat twice a year.

    I live near a very large, popular lake north of Dallas. I see boats every day and tons on the weekends. I don’t know how many people leave their boats in the water year round, but I doubt it is even a majority of them. Many do, but not all of them.

    I walk through the Walmart parking lot and every, and I do mean EVERY, pickup bed (which are the majority of vehicles in the lot) have beds as pristine and shiny as a baby’s bottom. Commuting down the freeway, every single large SUV has one occupant.

    That’s amazing. You have never seen a scratched bed or a large SUV with more than one passenger? That sounds a bit of an exaggeration.

    These things suck big time off-road (at least Ford had the courage to leave the King Ranch a two-wheel drive and put IRS on it). The recieved wisdom in the hardcore off-road community is that even the Jeep Rubicon is only marginally acceptable off-road without some serious modifications. Which then leaves the Rubicon undriveable on the road.

    All of the new Expeditions have IRS-even the four wheel drive models. Also, the King Ranch is available as a four wheel drive. I don’t know who you have talked to about the Rubicon, but from talking to people, reading forums and magazines, and watching some video, I don’t know of very many people who classify it as “marginally acceptable off-road”. I also don’t know of many who have claimed it to be “undriveable on the road”.

    There you have it: the vast overwhelming majority of SUV’s are bought as commuter vehicles on paved roads for one person, never used to tow, never taken off-road.

    You are right about the off-road use and maybe the towing in most cases, but I don’t know anyone who buys them “for one person”. It may be that only one person is in the vehicle some, if not most, of the time, but I would guess a great deal of them are bought for “family use”, even if they aren’t really necessary for that.

  • avatar

    ctoan : or, to reiterate: a public nuisance is when you create unsavory effects (noise, smells, etc.) that extend beyond the bounds of your property. Why shouldn’t this apply to vehicles?

    I see your point, but I’m not buying it. Expeditions are just as quiet and smelly as a regular car. The sound of a Harley with aftermarket exhaust is a nuisance IMO, but I still let the guy on the Hog have his fun.

    If there’s a need (or want, in this case) for a big-ass truck that restricts other people’s view and burns more gas than the average vehicle, so be it. Once you regulate SUVs out of existance, its just a matter of time before private use trucks get the axe. Bad precedent.

    Let the market, gas prices and public outcry “tell” buyers what to buy.

  • avatar
    jbyrne

    The anti-truck crowd is so offended by a truck that isn’t used for hard corp work all the time. Are they equally offended by sports cars that aren’t raced regularly. Why don’t they rally against cars that have over 100 bhp? How do you pick this one product to focus your derision?

    Why not start dictating how big a house someone can build on their own property? Why not rally against other products we don’t need. Do you really need a computer, cell phone, or a light bulb in every room? Heck, your oven wastes all kinds of power just to cook. Maybe we should get used to cold food to save energy.

    Sometimes rational people buy things they don’t need just because they desire them. Maybe it’s the “evil” corporations planting these ideas or maybe they just like trucks.

  • avatar
    davey49

    8-9 mpg is probably about right when towing a 6-8000 lb RV. You might get 10 if you’re towing a boat (more aerodynamic)
    A diesel pickup would likely average 12-14 mpg for the same weight so you’d have to decide for yourself if the extra cost for a diesel and the different body style is worth it.
    8000lbs is about a 28-30 foot RV trailer.
    Only the smallest lite standard trailers (17-19 foot) could be towed by a crossover.
    Beats staying at a hotel either way.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Consumer Reports said the brakes were weak also.

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    To those who think this is an editorial and not a review, the two are really one and the same. What is a car review but one person’s opinion (i.e. editorial) on a single vehicle? Similarly, the star rating merely reflects the reviewers opinion, and does not have scientific basis that some are trying to ascribe to it. Don’t try to read more into it than what it is.

    This topic has come up many times before on this site: The whole point of an auto review is that it expresses the author’s opinion; no more or no less. You are free to agree or disagree, no different from a movie or restaurant review.

    I, like most readers of this site, enjoy reading the articles for the opinions expressed, even though I don’t always agree with them. Regular readers of this site will know that the contributors often don’t even agree with each other, which is good.

    If you remove the authors’ personal opinions from the reviews, you will be left with little more than a press release or spec sheet. For that, you can just read Car and Driver.

    If that’s the case, then what’s the point of having a star system, and what’s the point of declaring this site to be a better alternaive to Car & Driver, Road & Track, Motor Trend, and others? People stopped reading those magazines because they felt the editorial staff was too heavily influenced by the manufacturers who got in the way of product reviews.

    It’s the same problem here, except the manufacturers aren’t the ones getting in the way, it’s the reviwer’s own personal distaste for SUV’s. I can just imagine somebody like my father who hates sports cars trying to review the Evolution. Huge, ugly wing. Stiff, jarring ride. Peaky engine with nothing down low. Horrible droning exhaust noise. Below average fuel economy. A dimestore interior, save for the Recaro seats. Add that up and it probably would’ve recieved just as low reviews.

    We’re not dummies, if a car sucks, then it sucks. But if it performs adequately against its class (despite whatitmay be purchased for), then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be judged otherwise.

  • avatar
    pdub

    How does it only get two stars? The breakdown shows only one category at two stars and the rest are 3, 4, or 5. It should need at least 1-2 1 stars in the breakdown to drag the average down to two stars.

    This is a much better vehicle than the others that have been given 2 stars on this site.

    Were you driving on ice? I’ve never experienced anything like what you describe with the ABS during normal driving conditions.

    I’m no fan of big SUVs, but this is one of the better ones. Your overall rating doesn’t match the review or the subcategory ratings.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I don’t like trucks but this truck’s interior is pretty nice. I don’t usually see a lot of light brown leather interior.

    The review is totally TTAC which means GREAT.

    JBYRNE it is called materialism. Those consumer that bought 3,000 pair of shoes and only a handful are worn.

    I am not talking about Imelda Marcos but the American consumer.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Sales of these types of vehicles has gone down considerably but they still sell more Expeditions than;
    Saturn Aura
    Ford Taurus
    Ford Taurus X
    Hyundai Veracruz
    All Subarus
    All Buicks
    All Cadillacs
    The Mazda CX-7 and CX-9

  • avatar

    The article also doesn’t give the Expedition enough credit for being the most rational choice within this class of dumbass gargantuan monstrosities. It’s pretty much the only vehicle on sale that can tow a crapload AND seat seven adults in comfort. Meaning it at least has a justification for its size and an excuse for existing. Sort of.

    Stuff like the DOHC engine, independent rear, and dropped price (compared to pre-2007) don’t hurt its case either.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Tonight when I leave work I will see the “Captians of Wall St” getting in to their chauffered vehicles. Some will get into $100,000+ MB S-Class sedans, Audi A8s, Lexus LS600s, BMW 760lis, etc. Many more seem to prefer to make use of full sized doemstic SUVs which top out at about $60,000.

    In all honesty the guys getting into 5000lb S-Class sedans that only seat 4 people are the bigger wasters of resources. Both vehicles are getting less than 20 MPG. The irony is that the big SUV is about 5x more practical and comfortable. It can also be used for other purposes. If the exec wants to take a few friends home they can simply “hop right in” and enjoy the ride.

    While I am not the biggest fan of SUVs they do serve a purpose and are quite useful and handy if you need it.
    As mentioned before why jump all over SUVs if you are unconcerned about how wasteful, impractical, and useless the average sportscar is.
    IMO any 2 passanger car that weighs more than 3000 lbs is in reality a big waste of resources and fuel. Better yet I guess we should all hate on every soccer mom (and dad) seen driving a 4000lb+ Maxi-Mini-Van with no other passangers aboard. Exactly how efficent is a Odessey or Sienna that being driven to work by mom or dad that is getting less than 20mpg on the street.

    Hell for that matter why not ban any single person with no family from owning anything heavier than a Motorcycle. If they live in the city limit them to a moped, they can always rent a car if they need to transport a actually person other than themselves.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    jbyrne:

    “The anti-truck crowd is so offended by a truck that isn’t used for hard corp work all the time. Are they equally offended by sports cars that aren’t raced regularly. Why don’t they rally against cars that have over 100 bhp? How do you pick this one product to focus your derision?”

    Completely agree that people don’t race their sports cars. But they do accelerate like mad and are alot more fun to drive, even in normal driving situations. Thats the main reason people buy sports cars. They are fun, even if you are not racing them.

    Besides that, there is huge difference between buying a sports car because you like it and buying a large SUV/Truck because you like it…sports cars are not more dangerous to other people on the road like SUVs/Trucks are. A sports car can stop 60-0 in 100 feet, an expedition takes an additional 40 feet, often 25-30 ft more than a normal car. Sports cars are around 2000 to 3000 lb on avg, an expedition is around 5570. Which would you rather t-bone you given the choice? One could argue that people who buy sport cars are doing everyone else on the road a favor because they have great accident avoidance ability and are less likely to turn you into a pancake if they hit you. And you can see people standing beside you when you are in one.

    The fact is, there are many maneuvers to avoid accidents that sports cars, and normal cars for that matter, can perform that SUVs/Trucks simply cannot due the laws of physics. They restrict visibility of other drives, are more likely to kill other drivers in a collision and limit the ability to avoid an accident…or even stop in time before causing one.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Besides that, there is huge difference between buying a sports car because you like it and buying a large SUV/Truck because you like it…sports cars are not more dangerous to other people on the road like SUVs/Trucks are.

    If this was wikipedia this statement begs for a “Citation Needed”. Sports cars are more dangerous to other people on the road because as you say, “they do accelerate like mad and are alot more fun to drive, even in normal driving situations.” Which means of course that sports cars encourage the drivers to drive/accelerate/corner faster then they would do so otherwise in a conservative Taurus. Both types of vehicles are perfectly safe in the hands of responsible drivers who understand the limitations of their vehicles. Likewise both vehicles are unsafe in the hands of irresponsible drivers. Sports cars may have great accident avoidance ability, but they also encourage the drivers to drive much more aggressively. I think you will have a hard time arguing that sports car drivers are making the roads safer for the rest of the population.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    frizzlefry :

    The safety of Sportscars………….

    Please tell this tale to my friend’s family. His mother was killed when a 1985 300zx (a sportscar) basically cut her Taurus in half back in 1991. She she was T-boned!

    Many sportscars are made with extremely rigid bodies and are densely packed full of Engine and other equipment. These things can do just as much damage as an SUV. Look if you car gets T-boned by a Semi or hit in the side by a cruise missle it anit gonna be pretty.

  • avatar
    jbyrne

    Wow, I didn’t realize how safe sports cars are. Let me give you a physics lesson. Kinetic energy is mass times velocity squared. That square term really adds up as the speed increases.

    A couple months ago a WRX was torn in half, laterally, after smashing into a pole going 100 down a residential street not far from here. It doesn’t seem like the brakes and quick steering got them out of that pickle. Three 20-something year olds died.

    I have an SUV and I just cruise. I know the limits of my vehicle and I don’t exceed them.

    Why not get rid of panel trucks like those used to deliver furniture? Their center of gravity is probably feet above my SUV. Somehow they are not causing an epidemic.

  • avatar
    ScottGSO

    The other thing about this whole “SUV’s are more dangerous b/c they are bigger” debate misses the fact that most automotive fatalities are the result of single car collisions. In these, bigger is better and safer, always. Run into a tree at 50 mph in a Yaris or an Expedition, the Expedition driver will survive much more often.

    As for sports cars, look at insurance premiums. They are far higher for sports cars than SUV’s.
    For your viewing pleasure, deathrates by vehicle class, per 100K vehicles, 2004:

    Compact Cars 17.76
    Compact Pickups 16.87
    Subcompact Cars 16.85
    Midsize SUVs 16.16
    Standard Pickups 13.87
    Full-size SUVs 12.34
    Full-size Cars 12.16
    Midsize Cars 11.49
    Minivans 11.09
    Large Vans2 9.34

  • avatar
    jackc10

    Count me as another who usually removes the hitch ball from the trailer receiver. It does a number on shins.

    For you good posters who think full grown SUV’s are immoral, get a sick feeling seeing a lady driving one to the store and have nightmares about getting crushed in their Jetta by a steroidal SUV, better not visit Terxas or the southeast US anytime soon.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    All,

    Let me remind you that my comments are based on back-to-back-to-back tests of the Toyota Sequoia and Chevy Tahoe. I don’t expect a 6,000 lbs vehicle to get gas mileage like a Prius or handle like a Porsche. In this context my criticism of the Expedition’s gas mileage and handling are because it gets the worst gas mileage of the three and handles the poorest.

    Of these big boys, the Expedition is the piggiest. The steering was vague. It handled like I was pulling a load of lead bricks. And it didn’t have the best ride.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    I completely agree that, if you are in an SUV, you are safer. No doubt. And I have no doubt that some people who do buy sports cars drive beyond their skill level and die. And Im sure some people who drive SUVs drive beyond the SUVs limits and crash into pole and live because of the sheer mass of the vehicle (you have to be pretty skilled to push an WRX to its limits, its pretty dang easy to drive beyond an SUVs limits…just crank the steering going 40 and try to recover control of the vehicle) . If you drive a WRX and wrap it around a pole and kill yourself, thats a stupid decision that affected only yourself.

    I’m referring to SUVs being more dangerous for OTHER people. Not the people who drive them. And if someone buys a mega-ute because they want to be safer, its at the expense of those around them who may get into an accident with said mega-ute while driving a car. Then many people who normally would drive cars buy bigger SUVs to be safer than their neighbor who bought an SUV and so on and so on. Vicious cycle goes on. Thank god for high gas prices.

    And as far as panel trucks or buses for that matter, you need to get a special class of license and to do that you need to learn how to drive those large trucks/vehicles and pass a test.

    Some moron who can’t even parallel park a mini can buy a Expedition or other mega-ute as long as they have the cash…and the idea that guy is driving around in a 6000lb vehicle with blind spots around 70% of the vehicle scares me.

  • avatar
    sumitomotype65

    I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of these, “look at my SUV, even though I have no need for it, it’s bigger than your SUV”, P’OS. IMO. I always resisted buying whatever SUV my lovely, but auto clueless wife liked. I wouln’t buy any new vehicle with a V8 unless it was a car. Proud owner of a 2008 Chrysler 300C AWD. 5.7L Hemi. 15/23 mpg. with MDS. Like an old vacume gauge, it determines light load conditions and cuts off 4 of 8 cylinders. In normal driving it seems like it’s in “Fuel Saver Mode” 85% of the time. It really is undetectable. Among the 120+ read-outs available in the driver’s info center in the middle of the gauges is a 0-60 timer. 5.69 seconds. Drive whatever you like. Just don’t piss & moan about gas prices. While we’re at it don’t piss & moan because your ARM went up and you didn’t realize that it could happen.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    jbyrne: “Why not start dictating how big a house someone can build on their own property?”In fact, the unbridled construction of huge McMansions (which could concievably be considered the housing equivalent of the full-size SUV) are causing some areas to do exactly that due to the inordinate and unnecessary strain on an area’s electrical power grid and infrastructure.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Thats the big problem sumitomo, the auto clueless are often times the people who buy those mega-utes. There is some dumb blond in my neighborhood who drives that Toyota tonka wheels truck (FJ Cruiser) who has almost hit ME twice as I have been entering a crosswalk as she has been turning. I even saw her knock the coffee out of some guys hand once.

    There are alot of farm types where I live (Calgary) and I have no worries about those guys in their trucks. Not only do they use them for what they were intended, they grew up in trucks. Learned to drive in trucks and are perfectly capable of driving those trucks safely. Problem is, those guys are not spending the 70 grand on mega-utes. The guys who learned to drive in dad’s BMW and are finally making what dad did are buying Escalades and don’t realize that they need 40 more feet in emergency braking situations to stop. A friend of mine had to slam the brakes on her volvo about year ago. The suit in a turbo cummins truck behind her had to slam on his brakes. He was not tailgating…but her volvo had to eat that extra 40 feet he needed to stop. The dodge logo was a foot from the back of her head when he finally stopped. And her Volvo had been pushed another 10 feet, into the car in front of her. She broke her arm and 2 ribs. 8 months of rehab. Thankfully, his investment paid off…he was fine. My friend went away in an ambulance.

    Im sure some people are very skilled and know the limits of their SUVs and always give themselves 40 feet more between the car in front of them. But there are also people like in the clip below that buy SUVs too….
    http://jalopnik.com/373900/italian-parallel-parking-for-beginners

  • avatar
    jbyrne

    Rudiger,

    Yeah, I know. I actually live in one of those places, Boulder CO!

    Ostensibly these practices are about the environment but I think other motives are at play. I would hardly call the McMansion trend unbridled. We are not talking about 20,000 sq foot Mansions here. The proposed limits are more like 5,000 sq feet. A big house no doubt but a mansion? With a gang of kids it may not even feel that big.

    It seems like people always want the limits set just outside of their situation. I actually heard a woman in one breath talking about these dreaded McMansions and in the next tell me about her new condo she just bought in the mountains. Why don’t we just add up the total square feet you own no matter how many houses?

    The problem with all these limits is who decides?

    If you want to do something good for the environment then put a non-lead bullet in your head. Like it or not, we all consume. Judging someone for consuming a little more or a little less is really pretty silly. I’m not so ready to trade liberty and property rights for “the greater good”.

  • avatar

    In these, bigger is better and safer, always. Run into a tree at 50 mph in a Yaris or an Expedition, the Expedition driver will survive much more often.

    Not always. Body-on-frame vehicles often have a very difficult time with this. As just one example, the Ford F-150 Heritage tested by IIHS at 40 mph recieved a “poor” rating.

    F-150

    The Tundra and Silverado got the same basic scores, with a few very small discrepancies. Meanwhile, the Ford Ranger and my (much smaller) Mercury Mystique/Ford Contour got “Acceptable” ratings at the same speeds. (Edit: Sorry, I was wrong, they also got “poor” ratings, didn’t remember this correctly).

    It’s all about the strength of the chassis versus build quality and engineering. You can build an incredibly safe compact that can perform really well at 40 mph, because it will be light enough to bounce back. Meanwhile, the Expedition will receive the brunt force of the hit and will be too heavy to recover.

    As just one example, the Toyota Scion xB, while not being so good in side-impact, is very safe in frontal crash tests:

    here That’s also at 40 mph.

    Edit: One other thing:

    Yes, the IIHS site says you can’t judge cars across classes, and yes, the larger vehicle will often offer more protection. That said, in an accident I’d rather be in a midsize car like the Fusion that gets a Good rating than a fullsize like the F-150 that gets a “Poor”, regardless of “more protection”. At 40 mph, that F-150 accident is horrific, and the Fusion is still crashed at the same speed.

    Also: I remember a British car magazine doing a test between a subcompact versus a massive Volvo car. The subcompact won, because of its being newer and better designed. There are all kinds of variables in judging crash worthiness.

  • avatar
    Phil Ressler

    I don’t drive an SUV and the closest thing I’ve ever owned to one was a Jeep CJ and a Ford F150. Further, I am unlikely to ever buy anything akin to an Expedition. But the points of criticism seem unfair for the vehicle type.

    First, regarding the general attack on fuel efficiency levelled at SUVs and trucks in these pages: What’s the difference between a 14mpg truck and a 14mpg performance car? Forget about the EPA figures. You can actually get 14mpg from a 4×2 Expedition in the city, and 20mpg on the highway. I know, I’ve rented them, plus I got that consistently out of a 5.4L F150 quad cab that I once owned. But what about a Mazda RX8 that delivers 15mpg average to its owner? You can get 29mpg highway out of a 6.2L Corvette, but what’s the mileage when it’s driven like a sports car? You can easily drive a turbo’d Subie or Audi RS into the low teens in mpg. A Porsche around town is no miser. And a BMW 7 series or M5, Maserati Quattroporte, Mercedes S class or any AMG, Aston, Bentley, Ferrari all may as well be body-on-frame SUVs for the fuel economy they deliver. This criticism reflects a double standard.

    Next, as mentioned, build quality is high on an Expedition. They tend to be quite reliable — more so that many of the vaunted performance cars that cost more and do no better on real-world fuel economy.

    Do SUVs block my forward view? Yup. Just like the explosion of vans and customs did in the 1970s. View obstruction comes and goes with the surges of interest in upright vehicles. CUVs aren’t much better.

    I think people have to realize that an attack on any specific vehicle type is an attack on the private automobile in general. Let radical greens torch or vandalize SUVs, and your favorite vehicle category may be next. Let politicians set allowable vehicle configurations, and start thinking how you’re going to like buses, light rail, and other people’s schedules. The demonization of vehicle types will undermine beloved sports cars, too.

    By the way, allegedly weak brakes are a cinch to upgrade. Got a bleeder, socket set, pads and discs?

    As big enclosed trucks go, this Expedition KR is comfortable, reasonably brawny and fairly refined. As a multi-purpose vehicle, it is intentionally a compromise over any specialized alternative. I agree: the perspective of a reviewer who has the knowledge and willingness to evaluate the Expedition by SUV criteria would yield a more legitimate assessment.

    Phil

  • avatar

    Sorry, reposted edits in my first post.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    But its insatiable appetite for unleaded and its porcine driving dynamics are — rightly– driving this bovine to extinction.

    I’m inclined to believe that the same sort of crowd that used to buy big floaty sedans and wagons back in the old days flocked to these supersized SUV’s when they did. Not everyone chooses cars for the handling.

    As happened back during the last fuel crunch, this thing will die with a whimper, because it’s too ravenous for most people to keep filled with fuel. I don’t see the controversy in pointing this out, this is just market reality.

    But as for the porcine aspects, I don’t agree. Some Americans actually prefer cars that don’t handle well, oddly enough. They want the brawn, and nimbleness and brute force don’t compliment each other.

    But at $3.50/ gallon, they’ll buy CUV’s and learn to deal with the rightsizing. They won’t be buying this.

  • avatar
    trk2

    Yes, the IIHS site says you can’t judge cars across classes, and yes, the larger vehicle will often offer more protection. That said, in an accident I’d rather be in a midsize car like the Fusion that gets a Good rating than a fullsize like the F-150 that gets a “Poor”, regardless of “more protection”. At 40 mph, that F-150 accident is horrific, and the Fusion is still crashed at the same speed.

    I’d rather be in a 2005 or later F-150 that gets a good rating across the board rather then the previous generation from your link.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    “The solution to our traffic problems is busses. Get’em off the road!” -Arj Barker

    “I think people have to realize that an attack on any specific vehicle type is an attack on the private automobile in general.” -Phil Ressler

    Sorry Phil, I’m with Arj on this one. I can be against assault weapons and in favor of shotguns, against defamation and in favor of parody, and against 15 mpg SUV’s and in favor of 15 mpg sports cars. Marvelous how the human mind is capable of subtle distinctions, isn’t it?

    Giant SUV’s block my view and my way. Their supposed safety comes at the expense of mine. A country without them would be a better country. In fact, I just came back from such a country and it was better (automotively speaking). Small fast efficient cars. Well trained and disciplined drivers. Highways without speed limits.

    Strange how returning to the truck infested roads of the Land of the Free feels all cramped and hemmed in.

  • avatar

    I’d rather be in a 2005 or later F-150 that gets a good rating across the board rather then the previous generation from your link.

    Agreed, although I wouldn’t want to be hit by one.

  • avatar
    crazybob

    “The other thing about this whole “SUV’s are more dangerous b/c they are bigger” debate misses the fact that most automotive fatalities are the result of single car collisions. In these, bigger is better and safer, always. Run into a tree at 50 mph in a Yaris or an Expedition, the Expedition driver will survive much more often.”

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO!

    I don’t mind people driving SUV’s. Their reasons are their own, and although I dislike them I also realize that is nothing more than my opinion, and other people are entitled to their own, different opinions.

    No, what bothers me about SUVs and trucks is the sentiment I quoted above. It’s true that in a crash between a Yaris and a King Ranch, the big truck will be safer; due to its greater mass the deceleration will be significantly less and the occupants won’t be injured as badly. And in your crash with a tree, the argument is still valid if the tree is sufficiently strong to stop the Yaris in its tracks but barely slows the SUV at all, for the same reason.

    However, that’s where it ends. In an evenly matched crash (SUV vs SUV, Yaris vs Yaris) or a crash into an solid stationary object (large tree, bridge support, brick wall), I would pick the Yaris every time. In fact, I’d rather crash a Smart ForTwo into a brick wall at any speed than try the same thing in an SUV.

    It’s got nothing to do with mass and size – you’re going to come to a sudden, complete stop in any vehicle. And in truth, the SUV may be more intact than the Yaris – after all, it is more solidly built. But this isn’t the good thing people seem to take it for. Ignore the vehicle altogether, because that’s not what matters. Think about the people. In the truck, the solid frame and sturdy build means the vehicle doesn’t have any give, and the passengers have the honor of decelerating with the full force of the impact. In a compact car, with carefully designed crumple zones and passenger protection (yes, even super-stiff sports cars have to meet these standards, yet SUVs do not), the car absorbs a significant portion of the crash energy, destroying itself in the process. As a result of this, the passengers’ bodies have a much gentler time.

    Please, everybody, remember that. In a crash between a small car and a big truck, the truck wins. But in any evenly-matched crash, the small car is a much safer place to be.

  • avatar
    casper00

    Forget the Expedition, I want to see how big the new Ford Excursion will be…….

  • avatar
    p00ch

    One poster mentioned single-vehicle crashes as the most common type of collision, and stated that the truck/SUV driver is better off in those cases. I have no statistical data to back this up but don’t rollovers make up a large percentage of single-vehicle crashes? And since SUVs are more prone to rollovers, wouldn’t that offset the “benefits” of hitting a tree or other stationary objects? I’d much rather lose control in a Yaris at 60 than in a truck. Plus, drivers of larger vehicles often drive faster because they don’t have the same sensation of speed as they would in a smaller car.

    If driven within its limits, an SUV is not necessarily a danger to its surroundings. The problem is, there are thousands of them out there and statistically, a great deal of them are driven by unskilled or clueless drivers. Perhaps by people who barely passed their driving tests on their third try in a Civic. With driver skill and driver education being what it is in North America, I wouldn’t mind seeing additional training and testing being mandatory for vehicles above a certain size/weight. As long as is doesn’t become just another gov’t sponsored cash grab…

  • avatar
    N85523

    casper00,

    The Excursion was discontinued in 2005. The long-wheelbase Expedition EL replaced the Excursion. That left Ford without a 3/4 ton SUV and no rear solid-axle SUV’s. Most individual consumers won’t moan the loss of the Excursion, but the truck found a following in several industries such as emergency services, personnel transport, and the oil patch.

  • avatar
    xantia10000

    you guys are so serious about the star system and how it’s totally unfair to the specialized vehicles like large SUVs.

    what i don’t get is why anybody actually takes these types of vehicles seriously. think about it – aren’t we all car lovers? don’t we enjoy DRIVING vehicles? why in the world would we take such an ill-handling mess of a vehicle seriously, even for “what it is?”

    at the end of the day a gas-guzzling S-class or 7-series is a triumph of engineering. a miata is tons of fun. a large SUV is just a crude pick-up with a leather interior. am i supposed to be impressed that they can tow lots of mass?

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    There was an incident at one of my companies offices last month. Some pipeline engineer backed his Ford Explorer out of his parking spot and almost hit someone walking the parking lot. Since then, the safety manager has made it an office rule that everyone must back into their spots for safety reasons, so they can drive out forward so the SUV drives can actually see if someone is walking in the lot.

    Since the rule was implemented there have been 6 reported parking collisions. Each one involving an SUV or truck damaging neighbouring vehicles as the drivers were trying to back their beasts in. Heh.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    There was an incident at one of my companies offices last month. Some pipeline engineer backed his Ford Explorer out of his parking spot and almost hit someone walking the parking lot. Since then, the safety manager has made it an office rule that everyone must back into their spots for safety reasons, so they can drive out forward so the SUV drives can actually see if someone is walking in the lot.

    I wish those poor saps could try the same maneuver in a Subaru Forester just once. A toddler would have to be less than maybe five feet from the rear bumper not to be seen. You start to take the visibility like that for granted, to the point that you have a hard time tolerating blind spots. I couldn’t stand to drive a traditional SUV these days without a backup camera. I can’t just put ‘er in reverse and hope for the best day after day. My world is too full of people unaware of my status as the center of the universe. It gets downright annoying sometimes.

  • avatar

    The Luigiian : Not always. Body-on-frame vehicles often have a very difficult time with this. As just one example, the Ford F-150 Heritage tested by IIHS at 40 mph recieved a “poor” rating…I’d rather be in a midsize car like the Fusion that gets a Good rating than a fullsize like the F-150 that gets a “Poor”, regardless of “more protection”. At 40 mph, that F-150 accident is horrific, and the Fusion is still crashed at the same speed.

    Which is fine, if you live in the dream world of the IIHS. How often do people hit immovable objects like brick walls, relative to other things on the road. (like Camrys, sign posts, trucks, etc)

    ——————–
    crazybob : In an evenly matched crash (SUV vs SUV, Yaris vs Yaris) or a crash into an solid stationary object (large tree, bridge support, brick wall), I would pick the Yaris every time. In fact, I’d rather crash a Smart ForTwo into a brick wall at any speed than try the same thing in an SUV.

    There are almost no crumple zones in a Smart ForTwo, just look at the crash test that Fifth Gear did: the human inside took a large portion of the crash force.

    ——————–
    crazybob : It’s got nothing to do with mass and size – you’re going to come to a sudden, complete stop in any vehicle.

    Depends on what you hit. Again, the IIHS is good about skewing facts with their brick wall.

    ——————–
    crazybob :And in truth, the SUV may be more intact than the Yaris – after all, it is more solidly built….In the truck, the solid frame and sturdy build means the vehicle doesn’t have any give, and the passengers have the honor of decelerating with the full force of the impact.

    Any give? Please tell me you are kidding.

    Everything from Crown Vics to full-size trucks have crumple zones just like a unibody car. (they just crumple less when hitting a Yaris) Look at crash tests of everything from a Hummer H2 to a Ford F-150, everything has crumple zones.

    The late model SUVs I see in body shops have front clips and core supports that crumple if you look at them funny.

    I mean, body-on-frame cars had crumple zones in the 1970s!

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    RE: Star rating

    As noted, the 2-star rating for this vehicle didn’t make sense. It was also not the rating I submitted with the review. I brought this error to the attention of the editors last evening and they corrected the rating to 3 stars. Yesterday I attended the Dallas Auto Show and didn’t get to see the published result until late afternoon. As RF and FW will attest, I normally watch these things like a hawk and get any needed corrections in early.

    Stay tuned for my review of the Tahoe LTZ White Diamond edition (submitted) that should complete the context for some of the remarks I have made regarding the Sequoia and Expedition.

  • avatar
    86er

    I’m inclined to believe that the same sort of crowd that used to buy big floaty sedans and wagons back in the old days flocked to these supersized SUV’s when they did. Not everyone chooses cars for the handling.

    Quoted here for accuracy.

    I completely agree. It was no small coincidence that the Arlington plant stopped building the B/D body cars in 1995 and went to the Tahoe/Yukon.

    Let me state for the record that I have no concern whatsoever if vehicles like the Expedition are reduced to a specialty vehicle niche. As long as it is still available on the market.

  • avatar
    NickR

    It must be murder now if you are one of the people who drives one of these. Here in Toronto, gas spiked 3.4 cents/litre overnight, up to 111.9 cents/litre ($4.25/US gallon). That would make for a truly frightening stop at the pumps.

  • avatar
    crazybob

    Sajeev Mehta: There are almost no crumple zones in a Smart ForTwo, just look at the crash test that Fifth Gear did: the human inside took a large portion of the crash force.
    ..
    There are almost no crumple zones in a Smart ForTwo, just look at the crash test that Fifth Gear did: the human inside took a large portion of the crash force.

    The crumple zones on any body-on-frame vehicle are more of an afterthought, and often the engine ends up in the driver’s lap and the steering wheel punches them in the chest. Yes, there’s give in the car, but it’s not where you’d want it to be. In contrast, a modern unibody car directs crash energy around the occupants and leaves the passenger area mostly intact.

    And I don’t think you must have watched the full version of the Smart ForTwo test Fifth Gear did. Here’s a link: http://youtube.com/watch?v=cOn7OTd_iDk

    It really doesn’t seem to do too badly – when crashed into concrete at 70 miles per hour. Before that test, they showed it being crashed into other small cars and even something as big as a Merc S-Class, and the Smart did brilliantly. It only got borderline at ridiculous speeds – I’ve never seen an SUV tested at 70, but I suspect the results would have been horrific.

  • avatar

    crazybob: though you now concede that SUVs have “give”, why exactly do you think their crumple zones are afterthoughts? This doesn’t hold water with me because I have seen SUVs mechanically crumple just like a unibody car.

    Afterthought or not, this flies in the face of the strengths of body/frame vehicles and their proven safety advantages (laws of physics) over lighter unibody vehicles.

    I can’t watch YouTube at work, but I do remember them saying the ForTwo did its best to channel energy away from the occupant, but the occupant still takes more trauma because of its lack of passenger car-like crumple zones.

  • avatar
    zenith

    Vehicles such as the Expedition and the late Excursion have always been around as specialty vehicles built by custom builders.

    Long before there was a “Ford Suburban” or a “Ford Tahoe” available at all Ford dealers,there were conversions sold by individual dealers.

    A former wife of mine was a “horse person” who subscribed to Horse People magazines. Despite the fact that I think that I’d shoot myself if forced to rely on those nasty beasts instead of motorized transport, I will read anything if I’m sufficiently bored.

    These rags were full of ads in the back for Ford and Dodge truck-wagon conversions way back in the late ’70s/early ’80s.

    The ones I remember seeing in-the-metal were practical vehicles with sensible seats and hose-‘em-out rubber-matted floors, unlike the factory-built Silly Useless Vehicles of today.

    As recently as the mid-to late ’80s, Ford and Dodge farmed out crew cabs to outside makers because they were too low-volume to justify doing in-house back in the age when only those who really needed one bought one.

    People who really need oversize transport have always managed to get that need filled. If the mass-produced stuff disappeared, I’m sure that motorhome, hearse, and van conversion people would get back into the market.

  • avatar
    geeber

    NoSubstitute: Sorry Phil, I’m with Arj on this one. I can be against assault weapons and in favor of shotguns, against defamation and in favor of parody, and against 15 mpg SUV’s and in favor of 15 mpg sports cars. Marvelous how the human mind is capable of subtle distinctions, isn’t it?

    Actually, you are proving Phil’s point, because the campaign against assault weapons is a front for a total gun ban, and when the assault weapons ban expired, even its proponents admitted it had made no difference. It was all for show (and an attempt to create a “wedge” issue to promote gun control that was based on emotion, not fact).

    Being against “assault weapons” because you are concerned about “safety” or “preventing crime” makes about as much sense as being against SUVs because you are concerned about highway safety.

    If you are really concerned about either issue, you should be able to distinguish between effective measures that will really combat the problem, as opposed to meaningless measures that are largely symbolic and strive to demonize all guns and cars.

    NoSubstitute: Giant SUV’s block my view and my way.

    Old people in Buicks, Town Cars and Avalons block my way, too…perhaps we should launch a campaign against them as well.

    NoSubstitute: Their supposed safety comes at the expense of mine.

    They come at the expense of your safety in your imagination.

    We have more SUVs on the roads than ever before, and the roads are safer than ever before. Check out the latest figures (for calendar year 2006, I believe) on the number of fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

    NoSubstitute: Highways without speed limits.

    Except that, on the national scene, many of the people who go into hysterics at the thought of anyone driving at 80+ mph on a limited access highway are some of the most vocal SUV critics. So getting rid of SUVs isn’t necessarily going to pave the way for higher speed limits (and these people were squawking the “speed kills” mantra long before SUVs became popular).

  • avatar
    davey49

    It’s unfair to use the 2004 F-150 heritage as an example of how poor a new SUV or Pickup will be in a crash. The 2004 up F150 scores a good in the IIHS tests. The Expedition gets 5 stars from NCAP.

  • avatar
    crazybob

    Sajeev Mehta: though you now concede that SUVs have “give”, why exactly do you think their crumple zones are afterthoughts? This doesn’t hold water with me because I have seen SUVs mechanically crumple just like a unibody car.

    Yes, they crumple. I chose my words poorly or didn’t fully think out my statement to the contrary in my first post. The problem is where they crumple.

    A compact car is carefully designed to crumple ahead of or behind the passenger compartment, leaving nothing unusual sticking into the passengers and leaving the doorframes intact so after the crash the occupants can simply unbuckle and open the door.

    A body-on-frame truck is also built with crumple zones, to the extent possible. Unfortunately, they are asked to meet less stringent safety standards and are difficult to crumple cleanly by virtue of the very frame that makes them so durable and capable. After a crash, the pedals and steering wheel are often where part of the driver’s body is supposed to be. The roof and doorframe are so buckled that even if the occupants are still conscious, they need to wait for outside assistance to open or cut open the door.

    Overall, the deceleration is about the same. The forces the passengers endure are similar. But in the compact car, they ride out the crash in a sturdy cocoon, and when it’s all over they can open the door and stumble away with only the injuries caused by deceleration. The SUV/truck passenger will have these injuries, but will also have broken legs from where the pedals shot up to seat height, and collapsed lungs from where the steering wheel hit them. And if the car ended up in a dangerous place, that’ll be too bad as well, because they won’t be able to open the door and leave the vehicle.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    geeber: “the campaign against assault weapons is a front for a total gun ban”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) September 13, 2004 –
    “President Bush supports the renewal of the 10-year-old ban on the sale of certain assault weapons. So does Sen. John F. Kerry, Bush’s Democratic presidential opponent.

    Most police organizations support it, too, as do major medical groups and religious organizations. Most polls consistently show a majority of Americans, including those who own guns, also want Congress to renew the ban on the sale of 19 kinds of military-style semiautomatic assault rifles.”

    Wow, that’s some front.

    geeber : “when the assault weapons ban expired, even its proponents admitted it had made no difference.”

    Maybe that’s what the “proponents” quoted in your NRA propaganda ,er, monthly newsletter say (while leaving out their argument that the law needed to be regularly amended to include new types of assault weapons as they were introduced.) But most proponents point to a 2004 report examining the effects of the ban, in which it was shown that out of 1.4 million guns involved in crime, assault weapons made up only 1.61%, a drop off 66% from the pre-ban rate; this translated into 60,000 prevented assault weapon crimes over the 10 year ban period.

    geeber: “Old people in Buicks, Town Cars and Avalons block my way, too…perhaps we should launch a campaign against them as well.”

    You need to get a faster car, or learn to pass. Since Buicks, Town Cars and Avalons don’t block my view, they don’t block my way.

    geeber: “[Giant SUV\'s]come at the expense of your safety in your imagination.”

    I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time an inattentive Suburban driver on his/her cell phone comes hurtling toward my 911. Here’s a little high school physics since I obviously wan’t clear enough the first time:

    “The masses of the vehicles involved in a collision have significant influence on injury occurence. Suppose a large car of 2000kg and a small car of 1000kg hit head-on when both are travelling at 60km/h. The mass ratio of the cars is 2:1. On collision, if the law of conservation of momentum is applied, the larger car will slow to 20km/h and the smaller car will be instantly propelled backwards at 20km/h. The larger car has a total velocity change of 40km/h while the smaller car has one of 80km/h. It is therefor not suprising that passengers in smaller cars have more severe crash injuries”

    geeber: “Except that, on the national scene, many of the people who go into hysterics at the thought of anyone driving at 80+ mph on a limited access highway are some of the most vocal SUV critics.”

    I guess that means those “many people” are wrong about speed limits and right about SUV’s. If you’re suggesting that one’s political allies need to be in agreement on everything, you’re providing a recipe for gridlock. And gridlock is no way to speed up our highways.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Nosubstitute: out of 1.4 million guns involved in crime, assault weapons made up only 1.61%, a drop off 66% from the pre-ban rate; this translated into 60,000 prevented assault weapon crimes over the 10 year ban period.

    Nothing quite like good ole straw man statistics to back up an illogical position… It DOESN’T MATTER what TYPE of gun was used in the crime, the point IS the assualt ban had NO EFFECT on the number of crimes committed. Let’s try not to throw up b.s. statistics in an attempt to obfuscate the issue.

    And as for the crumple zone argument… watch a few weeks of NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday, then please come back and tell us again how solid frames and beefed up bodies are more dangerous than popcans on wheels.

    Why is it that the complete lack of any observational evidence doesn’t deter people from irrational beliefs?

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    Wolven: “Why is it that the complete lack of any observational evidence doesn’t deter people from irrational beliefs?”

    Good question. And yet numerous studies confirm that deeply held beliefs trump objective evidence. So, I don’t expect to deter you. Nonetheless…

    Wolven: “the point IS the assualt ban had NO EFFECT on the number of crimes committed.”

    While it is undisputed that both the crime and gun violence rates declined during the period of the ban, the question is causation. The studies that were conducted on its effectiveness are inconclusive, but trend favorable:

    “Evidence suggests that the ban
    may have contributed to a reduction
    in the gun murder rate and
    murders of police officers by criminals
    armed with assault weapons.”-U.S. Dept. of Justice

    In 2001, Koper and Roth of the Jerry Lee Center of Criminology, University of Pennsylvania, published a peer-reviewed paper called The Impact (sic) of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban on Gun Violence Outcomes: An Assessment of Multiple Outcome Measures and Some Lessons for Policy Evaluation. They found that:

    “The ban may have contributed to a reduction in gun homicides, but a statistical power analysis of our model indicated that any likely effects from the ban will be very difficult to detect statistically for several more years.”

    What is certain is that the statement that the ban “had NO EFFECT on the number of crimes committed” is not based on “observational evidence.”

    Likewise, the police will politely dispute your argument that “it DOESN’T MATTER what TYPE of gun was used in the crime,” which perhaps explains their strong support for the ban. See e.g.:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/24/MNTRVP505.DTL&hw=high+power+guns&sn=003&sc=357

    Finally (I promise), all of this ignores the point that the assault ban bill that was enacted was less than ideal. The fact that current laws aren’t completely effective doesn’t mean that all law should be abandoned. To argue the contrary would be to argue that all criminal laws should be repealed since crime continues to occur.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Wolven: And as for the crumple zone argument… watch a few weeks of NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday, then please come back and tell us again how solid frames and beefed up bodies are more dangerous than popcans on wheels.

    I don’t know what you’ve been watching, but a quick survey of crash videos on youtube shows the entire car disintegrating save for the obscenely strong safety cell. That sounds like crumple zones to me.

    Besides, no one drives a truck with a racing seat, neck restraint, and 6-point harness.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    Full size trucks/SUVs like the Expedition or Yukon are technologically primitive: 1970s engineering with sparkle slapped on. That makes them less safe in front-impact/rollover crashes than modern (usually smaller) SUVs/CUVs, and probably many cars.

    I heard an interesting analogy once. Take two walnuts, one large and one small. Try to break them open and see, which one is easier to crack.

  • avatar

    Full size trucks/SUVs like the Expedition or Yukon are technologically primitive: 1970s engineering with sparkle slapped on.

    No they aren’t, as one poster said, just compare the 90s F150s safety tests to the 2004 and later models. There’s a huge difference. Engines and interiors have improved, so has safety and quality.

    Full size trucks and SUVs are good vehicles that are generally modern, safe and well-equipped, it’s just that they suffer from terrible fuel economy. They also deter others on the road from buying smaller cars because of the momentum/mass problems involved (again, would you want a Smart ForTwo in a road crammed with Suburbans?), which is a shame. There’s something very sad about a society where a person essentially feels the need to buy far more than they really need just to be safe because if they don’t somebody else will buy something bigger that will potentially kill them in an accident. My biggest problem with big SUVs is that they’re the equivalent of a shotgun or a bazooka: They may make you safer and make you feel safer, but they’re dangerous to anybody else with the misfortune of catching you in an “accident”.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Actually Wolven, the extreme stiffness of NASCAR stockers often is a liability in a crash. Yes, the stiff cage around the driver is intended to protect him should a high speed crash occur. But the stiff structure around the front and rear of the car were designed to keep the car together so that it could survive impacts and stay on the track. Consistent completion of races is critical, so cars were designed with very stiff structures to protect the mechanicals. This meant that the drivers had to take more g’s from the impact than they would if the front and rear structures’ were designed to crumple. The so called “Car of Tomorrow[now car of today]” was
    created, in part, to address this issue. So, that is how solid frames can work against you.
    One other factor to consider regarding safety ratings/crash tests and real world data: Real world crashes take into account actions of drivers and interaction of vehicle design. Test crashes eliminate the variable of driver behavior.

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    If you hate SUVs so much and are so scared to be on the road with them you should move to Europe. Then
    you can be on the road with the smart cars and little fiats and stuff. Sounds like you’ll be so much happier.

    frizzlefry Yeah thank GOD for the high gas prices. I am sure you love paying more for milk, groceries, shipping packages etc. High energy prices affect you also.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Besides, no one drives a truck with a racing seat, neck restraint, and 6-point harness.

    True. But then, no one drives a truck at 200 mph on the street either.

    My main point was, after watching a few weeks of vehicles hitting each other and concrete walls, (yes usually the safer barrier, but often enough just good old rock solid concrete) flip, roll and tumble at anywhere from 150 to 200 mph… and then the driver gets out and walks away, HOPEFULLY a person would begin to realize that 50,000 people a year getting killed in auto accidents at 60 mph or less, just doesn’t make any sense. Obviously, the human body can withstand FAR greater forces than those that occur in most auto accidents. Hell, even a headon with both vehicles doing 60 is only a 120 mph impact. At normal highway speeds, we don’t need racing seats, head restraints, or six point harnesses. A 3 point harness (dual shoulder belts), and a vehicle that wasn’t designed to kill the occupants would be sufficient.

    The argument that the little toylet cars are in ANY sense of the word “safe”, is nothing but pure B.S…

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Wolven:

    You still haven’t said how there’s any similarity between a stock car and a truck. When a car goes pinwheeling off at 200 MPH, the only thing left is the roll cage. When a truck goes pinwheeling off, the roof caves in and the passengers lose their head.

    An 120 MPH impact is extremely violent. Even a 60 MPH impact can send heavy vehicles flying into the air. A 2 ton vehicle at 60 MPH carries a literally explosive amount of energy.

  • avatar
    WildBill

    I have a 2000 Expe Eddie Bauer and got it for a basic reason: towing a livestock trailer with a load of tack and one or two friends and their animals and tack. It’s also great to have a nice big vehicle when we need to haul friends and kids on an outing. Despite what someone claimed in this thread it does great in the snow, our recent blizzard didn’t stop it when trucks and other small SUVs were in the ditches. Out in my rural area we don’t get the stink-eye we might get in the city from the self righteous busy bodies that have nothing better to do that worry about what others are doing. Mind your own business!

  • avatar

    crazybob : The problem is where they crumple…A body-on-frame truck is also built with crumple zones, to the extent possible. Unfortunately, they are asked to meet less stringent safety standards…

    Not true. Well that was true back in the mid-late 1990s. We have all seen crash tests of modern trucks, and their passenger compartments stay intact, just like a car. Footwells, A-pillars, steering columns, etc. The front clips deform rather quickly, in a most car like fashion. SUVs lose radiators in frontal accidents nearly as quickly as cars. The latter I have seen in person.

    Overall, the deceleration is about the same. The forces the passengers endure are similar.

    You are completely ignoring the inertia of a moving vehicle in an accident. SUVs are safer because they carry more inertia than unibody vehicles.

    The SUV/truck passenger will have these injuries, but will also have broken legs from where the pedals shot up to seat height, and collapsed lungs from where the steering wheel hit them.

    Bob, that is absolutely wrong! Look at the IIHS’s own findings on footwell intrusions. Newer trucks do NOT have this problem. For example, the new F-150s footwell intrusion is now 7mm. That is on par with large luxury vehicles, beating the likes of the Lexus GS and Infiniti M.

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/datatables.aspx?class=70&type=f

  • avatar
    WildBill

    The “global warming” fraud is finally exposed. See the following URL and read it all. We can finally bury Algore, his adherents and the other man-made climate change hysteria mongers. Get on board enviro-nuts, Global Cooling is your next fad. An Expedition for everyone! CO2 emissions be damned.

    http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2008/04/brrrr-bbc-admits-global-warming-dipped.html

  • avatar
    geeber

    NoSubstitute: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania) September 13, 2004 –
    “President Bush supports the renewal of the 10-year-old ban on the sale of certain assault weapons. So does Sen. John F. Kerry, Bush’s Democratic presidential opponent.

    And that proves exactly what? That two politicians of different parties can be wrong on the same subject matter. And nothing more.

    And, for the record, if you think I’m necessarily a Bush fan, you are wrong. And I’m not a Kerry fan, either.

    NoSubstitute: Most police organizations support it, too, as do major medical groups and religious organizations. Most polls consistently show a majority of Americans, including those who own guns, also want Congress to renew the ban on the sale of 19 kinds of military-style semiautomatic assault rifles.”

    And most major police organizations, medical groups (and even some religious groups, as I recall) and a majority of the public (at one time) supported the 55 mph speed limit, too, saying that “speed kills.” And they were wrong. Of course, they couldn’t possibly be wrong again, now could they?

    The simple fact is that, the “media,” “medical groups,” “religious leaders” and virtually all politicians are woefully ignorant of what an assault rifle is (not to mention woefully ignorant of guns in general), and have no clue as to how to define an assault rifle.

    The law was so poorly and broadly drafted that, to use an automotive analogy, it was though we passed a law banning SUVs, and a Ford Fusion with AWD and slightly bigger-than-stock tires could fall under the defintion of “SUV.”

    But that is what happens when you get a law passed based on emotion as opposed to actual knowledge of the subject matter at hand.

    NoSubstitute: Maybe that’s what the “proponents” quoted in your NRA propaganda ,er, monthly newsletter say (while leaving out their argument that the law needed to be regularly amended to include new types of assault weapons as they were introduced.) But most proponents point to a 2004 report examining the effects of the ban, in which it was shown that out of 1.4 million guns involved in crime, assault weapons made up only 1.61%, a drop off 66% from the pre-ban rate; this translated into 60,000 prevented assault weapon crimes over the 10 year ban period.

    Here is a quote straight from a representative of the pro-gun control group, the Violence Policy Center, which even National Public Radio (hardly a right-wing organization) described as “one of the more aggressive gun control groups”:

    “If the existing assault-weapons ban expires, I personally do not believe it will make one whit of difference one way or another in terms of our objective, which is reducing death and injury and getting a particularly lethal class of firearms off the streets. So if it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t pass.”

    Maybe he was possessed by the spirit of Wayne LaPierre when they interviewed him?

    And here is what the Urban Land Institute said of the law’s effectiveness in a study the Institute conducted:

    “At best, the assault weapons ban can only have a limited effect on total gun murders, because the banned weapons and magazines were never involved in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.” (emphasis added)

    Neither that study nor two follow-up studies by the same authors found the law to have any effect on attacks against police officers. The original study, incidentally, was mandated by the original bill.

    I didn’t realize that the Violence Policy Center and the Urban Land Institute were secret arms of the NRA.

    Funny, I’m accused of relying on propoganda, but you seem blissfully unaware of what the organizations on your side of the issue said about this particular law.

    NoSubstitute: You need to get a faster car, or learn to pass. Since Buicks, Town Cars and Avalons don’t block my view, they don’t block my way.

    Apparently, where you drive, all of the roads are limited access, multiple-lane highways, and no one ever gets caught behind a very slow moving vehicle, and can’t pass for several miles. Please tell me where you live. It must be driving heaven.

    Unfortunately, most of us drive in the real world, on two-lane roads with no-passing zones, so your advice is worthless.

    NoSubstitute: I’ll try to keep that in mind the next time an inattentive Suburban driver on his/her cell phone comes hurtling toward my 911. Here’s a little high school physics since I obviously wan’t clear enough the first time:

    “The masses of the vehicles involved in a collision have significant influence on injury occurence. Suppose a large car of 2000kg and a small car of 1000kg hit head-on when both are travelling at 60km/h. The mass ratio of the cars is 2:1. On collision, if the law of conservation of momentum is applied, the larger car will slow to 20km/h and the smaller car will be instantly propelled backwards at 20km/h. The larger car has a total velocity change of 40km/h while the smaller car has one of 80km/h. It is therefor not suprising that passengers in smaller cars have more severe crash injuries”

    What you need to keep in mind is what happens in the real world.

    I’m sure that you can whip up a nice physics equation showing that automobiles and their drivers come out worse for the wear when airplanes crash into them. Except, of course, that this rarely happens.

    Here’s what you need to remember: the death rate per 100 million miles driven is at its lowest point EVER, while the number of light trucks on the road is at its highest point ever (and they also claim a record percentage of the total vehicle fleet). I noted this in my previous post, and your example does nothing to refute that.

    If these distracted Suburban and Sequoia drivers were crashing into hapless Civic and Focus drivers on a regular basis, the death rate would not be as low as it is today. So, it apparently isn’t happening – at least not enough to increase the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles driven (the most accurate way to measure highway safety.)

    It would have overwhelmed safety advances in cars.

    NoSubstitute: I guess that means those “many people” are wrong about speed limits and right about SUV’s. If you’re suggesting that one’s political allies need to be in agreement on everything, you’re providing a recipe for gridlock. And gridlock is no way to speed up our highways.

    No, it shows that, when a group is wrong about two different items involving the same general subject, it’s best to ignore them.

    NoSubstitute: Likewise, the police will politely dispute your argument that “it DOESN’T MATTER what TYPE of gun was used in the crime,” which perhaps explains their strong support for the ban. See e.g.:

    You apparently didn’t read the article. The opening paragraphs describe a mother who was being chased by police, and tried to hold them off by holding a pistol to HER head.

    She then pointed the gun (a pistol, remember, not a rifle or assault weapon) at the officers, and, using their assault rifles, proceeded to shoot her eight times. Yep, they really needed those assault rifles.

    And then we get this quote:

    Last year, Miami Police Chief John Timoney authorized his patrol officers to carry AR-15s because of an increase in assault rifle use by criminals.

    “This is a national problem. Police agencies all over the U.S. are going to bigger weapons,” said Timoney, whose agency now has about 50 AR-15s and expects to get 150 more. He blames the 2004 expiration of the federal ban on assault weapons for the escalation of heavily armed violence.

    In 2007, according to preliminary numbers compiled by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 69 officers were shot to death, up from 52 in 2006 and the most in five years. Last year included six shootings where two or more officers were killed in the same event, fund spokesman Kevin Morison said.

    Except that there is no proof that the increase was caused by the expiration of the ban, or that these officers were killed by a person with an assault weapon.

    NoSubstitute: Finally (I promise), all of this ignores the point that the assault ban bill that was enacted was less than ideal. The fact that current laws aren’t completely effective doesn’t mean that all law should be abandoned. To argue the contrary would be to argue that all criminal laws should be repealed since crime continues to occur.

    Wrong. The law had a specific purpose, even its proponents admitted that it failed at that purpose, and it was therefore repealed. It can’t be corrected, because its basic premise was flawed at the outset.

    It would be like trying to reduce the murder rate by banning reruns of Murder, She Wrote or Law & Order because those shows might inspire someone to commit murder, or give him or her ideas on how to outsmart the police and the district attorney.

    So, you may now want to think twice before you accuse me (or anyone else) of relying on propoganda, or not being concerned about safety, or not being able to make distinctions in various matters, or not being concerned about the children (I’m still waiting for that one to be dredged up).

  • avatar
    ctoan

    WildBill: Did you even read the cited article? The blogger in question was clearly being deceptive in his quoting, as the BBC article clearly states that despite weather patterns, the decade in question is still the warmest ever. Warmer than, say, the medieval warm period.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    WildBill
    … Out in my rural area we don’t get the stink-eye we might get in the city from the self righteous busy bodies that have nothing better to do that worry about what others are doing. Mind your own business!

    When an SUV-driving soccer mom nearly ran me over while backing up because she couldn’t see me, it was my business. When an SUV rear-ended me at the lights because the driver couldn’t stop in time, effectively destroying my car, it was once again my business.

    I respect the fact that you’re using your truck for its intended purposes. My rant is directed only at people who buy these vehicles and yet are unable to pilot them safely.

  • avatar
    geeber

    p00ch: When an SUV-driving soccer mom nearly ran me over while backing up because she couldn’t see me, it was my business. When an SUV rear-ended me at the lights because the driver couldn’t stop in time, effectively destroying my car, it was once again my business.

    Sounds like your real beef is with inattentive drivers, not SUVs.

    And I’m not swayed by the “the-damage-was-more-severe-because-it-was-an-SUV” argument. I’d rather not be involved in the accident in the first place, whether the offender was driving a Prius or an Expedition.

  • avatar

    geeber: Sounds like your real beef is with inattentive drivers, not SUVs.

    These days, the majority of automotive problems stem from operator error. Or maybe we do need self parking cars…

  • avatar
    quasimondo

    Or maybe we do need self parking cars…
    …or better driver’s education.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    geeber

    I fully agree that not crashing is the best option. However, an inattentive driver in an SUV is far more dangerous to others than an inattentive driver in a Yaris. If a car gets t-boned by a red light runner, the damage to the car (and occupants) is worse if the offender is in a truck/SUV.

    To make matter worse, there are now plenty of cheap SUVs in the used car market, many being purchased by 16-17 year olds with no driving experience.

  • avatar
    geeber

    p00ch: To make matter worse, there are now plenty of cheap SUVs in the used car market, many being purchased by 16-17 year olds with no driving experience.

    With gas racing towards $4 a gallon, I don’t think that many teenagers will be able to both purchase an SUV AND pay for the gas to run it.

  • avatar

    geeber : its not too hard to afford when the SUV is a hand-me-down from Mom and Dad. That’s happening quite often these days.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The “global warming” fraud is finally exposed. See the following URL and read it all. We can finally bury Algore, his adherents and the other man-made climate change hysteria mongers. Get on board enviro-nuts…

    Well, unless your a 60 years old, we will be around to see if you are right. The majority of the scientific community does NOT agree with you, even if you include those who make money on spewing CO2. I hope you are right, but I doubt it. Thirty years as a kid I was responsible for leaf clean up around our house. By Halloween the trees were all but bare. Fast forward to the present: Our trees take until late November to be bare. Three week change in 30 years. Hardly the pace of “natural cycles”. Not that this matters to those who spew ignorance for a living but I hope I live long enough to see Rush Limbaugh choke on his words, if he doesn’t choke on his painkillers first.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Sajeev: Even if mom and dad hand over the family SUV to junior or missy, someone still has to fill it up with gasoline. With unleaded expected to hit $4 a gallon this summer (I was talking to a local AAA rep this week – it is going to happen), I doubt that teenagers will be able to go much of anywhere if they are driving an SUV. Especially when the parents still have to fill up their car with more expensive gasoline and stock the refrigerator with more expensive food.

    golden2husky: By Halloween the trees were all but bare. Fast forward to the present: Our trees take until late November to be bare. Three week change in 30 years. Hardly the pace of “natural cycles”.

    The earth has gone through several warming and cooling cycles throughout history. The question is whether this one is being spurred on by manmade factors, and the evidence is not as solidly in favor of that conclusion as you portray it.

    I have the feeling that the talk of global warming will greatly decrease if we elect a Democratic administration this fall, and said administration is faced with implementing drastic measures (the only kind that will really cut carbon emissions dramatically) that will force serious hardship on people, particularly the lower-middle and middle classes. That tends to happen with many “crises” the only mysteriously erupt during Republican administrations…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    “The earth has gone through several warming and cooling cycles throughout history. The question is whether this one is being spurred on by manmade factors, and the evidence is not as solidly in favor of that conclusion as you portray it.”

    This scientific opinion is firmly based on…

    “I have the feeling that the talk of global warming will greatly decrease if we elect a Democratic administration this fall, and said administration is faced with implementing drastic measures (the only kind that will really cut carbon emissions dramatically) that will force serious hardship on people, particularly the lower-middle and middle classes. That tends to happen with many “crises” the only mysteriously erupt during Republican administrations…”

    This political opinion… which is firmly based on…

    “”

    The facts between the quotes.

    Here’s a few other quick facts to consider

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/12/1206_041206_global_warming.html

    Here’s a recent scientific study on the effects manmade carbon dioxide has on climate change, and the need to possibly reconsider the current models.

    http://brneurosci.org/co2.html

    Finally, if you just want to whitewash it all and say that it’s a political issue, feel free to look at the following link which shows that even so-called extremists from both parties believe in global warming.

    http://www.raisingkaine.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=13621

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    “Sounds like your real beef is with inattentive drivers, not SUVs.

    And I’m not swayed by the “the-damage-was-more-severe-because-it-was-an-SUV” argument. I’d rather not be involved in the accident in the first place, whether the offender was driving a Prius or an Expedition.”

    Yep, this viewpoint would have really helped my wife’s best friend whose now deceased.

    Nothing like having thousands of pounds of steel hit glass instead of steel.

  • avatar
    kevinb120

    Why does the Audi R8 review not have it tested with 6 passengers and a 5800lb fishing boat on the rear on a gravel road? Why are these tests so incomplete?

    And why are people arguing about mythical ‘climate change’ on this thread anyway? The argument is as simple as anything else, follow the money. It’s the newest get-rich quick scam. Al Gore went from being worth 3mil to 105mil in only 7 years riding the wave of fear and the man one of the biggest hypocrites of them all in the ‘movement’. Once you take out all the scientific inaccuracies in his film, there is only 40 minutes of him flying in jets(and demonstrating his inability to type) and driving around in SUV’s, the only ‘truths’ in the movie. If government regulations change because of his effort, he looks to become a billionaire on his business investments. You can’t exactly start a new oil company, but you surely can invest in ‘renewable energy’ companies and wait for the government regulations to kick in(or do everything you can to force them and demonize any politician who doesn’t support it).

    Our politicians are so image-conscious and shallow, they are easy to turn in to puppets to get on any bandwagon that doesn’t sound good to NOT be on…

    Duh, climate change ‘studies’ win government grant money by the millions, and a lot of the public has resigned themselves to willful ignorance feeding the cash cow. We were supposed to be destroyed already when all this alarmism started in the 70’s, apparently the billions of dollars spent changing everything from catalytic converters to CFC propellants has done ABSOLUTELY ZERO so far, so lets all throw some more money at it….If the free money that allows promoting hysteria and ignorance suddenly dries up, so would the issue. Its so funny to listen to a self-proclaimed ‘green’ person(who often does absolutely nothing other then talk about it) and how little research they have done into looking at actual facts, its a zombie zoo of media conformists.

    go to junkscience.com its not just a matter of the science there, but they group all environmental news(regardless of viewpoint) together daily. When you see how much of a monster this has become, its quite Orwellian in this massive movement of deception. The amazing part is the ‘green’ idiots use distorted or unfounded information as evidence and simply refute ANY dispute or hard science, its like trying to reason with a 9/11 conspiracy nut. There sure a lot of unnamed ‘scientists’ in just about every article too. Its a cancerous propaganda machine.

    When one of my ‘environmentalist’ friends actually goes to China to protest new power plants, I’ll give ‘em an ounce of credit. Right now every one of them I know spends the absolute minimal amount of time and effort(i.e. reading a ‘news story’ every couple months and complaining about an SUV they see) as their total investment to their cause…

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Kevinb120: I’m sure your “follow the money” approach is real well-received in scientific journals.

    You also managed to confuse pollution issues with carbon issues.
    The skies have, to some extent, cleared. Clearly emissions controls have had an effect.

    Emissions controls can’t do anything with carbon, because burning hydrocarbons will always result in either carbon dioxide or lesser hydrocarbons. There’s no way around that.

    Fact: The earth is getting warmer
    Fact: The greenhouse effect explains this
    Fact: Humanity has had a measurable effect on greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere
    Fact: The only competing theory is solar global warming, which is heavily disputed.

    And that’s that. Either the earth is retaining more energy, or it’s getting more energy. A competing theory has to either prove that natural sources of greenhouse gas overwhelm anthropogenic sources, or that the earth is receiving more energy than normal.

    There’s no “natural cycle” other than that that can warm the earth. An open system that is gaining energy is either receiving more or retaining more.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Steven Lang: This scientific opinion is firmly based on…

    That’s not what I said.

    It is a fact that the earth has gone through several warming and cooling cycles, long before the first internal-combustion engine was made.

    I didn’t say that this fact is supported by the second part of my post that you quoted.

    You’ll have more credibility if you don’t take things out of context.

    As someone who watches the political scene quite closely – it’s my job – I can tell you that talk of various “crises” tend to die out or flourish depending on which administration is in charge. They are used as much as a club or talking point as anything else.

    Incidentally, if you think that the Clinton or Obama administration is going to risk damaging the economy or lowering living standards to enforce carbon emission limits strict enough to really make a difference, then you did just fall off the turnip truck.

    The difference is that many of those saying that this is a problem will somehow be struck dumb, or not notice, or go along with the fiction that largely meaningless or symbolic measures are really going to stop global warming.

    Much like the homeless miraculously disappeared – or at least were greatly reduced in number – the moment that President Clinton was inaugurated.

    Sure, there will still be the hardcore believers – just as there were with the issue of homelessness – but just watch how much emphasis this issue receives if we have a Democratic administration come January 20, 2009.

    Of course, there will be those dumb enough to fall for symbolism – we still have people who believe that the assault rifle ban was an effective way to reduce gun violence and crime, for crying out loud – but that doesn’t mean it really will work.

    Steven Lang: Finally, if you just want to whitewash it all and say that it’s a political issue, feel free to look at the following link which shows that even so-called extremists from both parties believe in global warming.

    National Geographic is certainly interesting – we subscribe to it, too – but I prefer more in-depth discussions. You may want to go to Edmunds.com – there is a long-running thread on global warming right now – with both sides doing a very good job of supporting their arguments.

    You should also log on to the Volkokh Conspiracy, a legal blog, that has had several discussions on this very topic.

    Amazingly, the topic isn’t quite as cut-and-dried as you make it out to be.

    Steven Lang: Yep, this viewpoint would have really helped my wife’s best friend whose now deceased.

    Nothing like having thousands of pounds of steel hit glass instead of steel.

    Generally, when discussing a topic such as this, it’s helpful to understand the diffference between what constitutes an anecdote, and what constitutes data.

    I’m sorry that your wife’s best friend is dead as the result of a collision with an SUV. A co-worker of mine is dead because a tractor trailer didn’t stop in time when traffic was backed up for construction. He might be alive if his vehicle had been hit by a Chevy Aveo. Perhaps then, we should ban tractor trailers.

    Or, he might still be alive if he were in a Chevrolet Suburban instead of a Buick Riviera.

    So, perhaps everyone should have a Suburban, since we aren’t likely to ban tractor trailers anytime soon.

    See, two can play the “anecdote” game.

    The simple fact is that we have seen no increase in deaths per 100 million miles driven even as the number of SUVs has greatly increased.

    I can recall individual accidents, too, to prove virtually any point I want regarding traffic safety.

    Which is why, as I said above, it’s best to learn the difference between anecdotes and data. (Incidentally, the plural of “anecdote” is NOT “data.”)

  • avatar
    Wolven

    Fact: The earth is getting warmer
    Fact: The greenhouse effect explains this
    Fact: Humanity has had a measurable effect on greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere
    Fact: The only competing theory is solar global warming, which is heavily disputed.
    And that’s that.

    There’s some real open minded, objective, rational reasoning for ya…

    Fact: A fluctuation of .6 degrees over the last 100 years is pure guesstimation, and B.S. Please, show me the recorded temperature data from every square mile or kilometer of the earth for the last 100 years.

    Fact: The greenhouse effect can only be demonstrated by a model that eliminates virtualy ALL of the other factors that effect the weather (and temperature) in the real world.

    Fact: Americans have had a scientifically verifiable large drop in average I.Q. over the last 40 years… I would suggest that that is the driving factor of “global warming”.

    Fact: Solar global warming is supported by the very few years of actual space based solar measurements we have. It is “heavily disputed” by whom, exactly? Oh yeah, the humanity hating, society hating, luddite global warmers…

    Either the earth is retaining more energy, or it’s getting more energy. A competing theory has to either prove that natural sources of greenhouse gas overwhelm anthropogenic sources, or that the earth is receiving more energy than normal.

    There’s no “natural cycle” other than that that can warm the earth. An open system that is gaining energy is either receiving more or retaining more.

    The only thing required to disprove anthropogenic global warming is an open minded look at the undeniable historical facts. No “competing theory” is needed. Of course, for many, that would require losing their religion. A completely unacceptable requirement…

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    This is getting absolutely ROTFLMAO silly…

    “Fact: A fluctuation of .6 degrees over the last 100 years is pure guesstimation, and B.S. Please, show me the recorded temperature data from every square mile or kilometer of the earth for the last 100 years.”

    So you’re saying that if there isn’t a “recorded temperature data from every square mile or kilometer of the earth for the last 100 years.” then we can’t verify that global warming actually exists? Alrighty then!

    This is like saying that if you can’t verify the ownership experience of every single Kia and Toyota owner, then you can’t conclude that Toyotas have been more reliable than Kias. Sorry but that’s not how the scientific world (or auto enthusiasts) views what is a persuasive and very extensive set of facts.

    …………..

    geeber, you may recall that the concerns about global warming actually began during the Reagan administration. OK, he may have been a Democrat what back in the 1960’s and that may justify some demented conspiracy theory out there but.. guess what? The publication of this theory to explain the dramatic temperature changes had absolutely jack squat to do with how Reagan was running things.

    The level of ozone in the atmosphere at that point had indeed experienced a substantial decline over the last several decades and this fact, along with an escalation in the world’s average temperature, lead to a very long list of bipartisan legislation being passed including the banning of certain CFC’s and the establishment of Clean Air Acts. The first of which was passed by a Republican president.

    Second, global warming is a scientific theory as are evolution, gravity, and relativity. The foundation for all these theories are primarily based on data that’s collected and analyzed by researchers and academics throughout the world. Not just a bunch of Washington think-tank’s who arbitrarily give different values whenever it pleases them (300k Hummers vs. 100k Priuses), but scientific scholars who have the benefit of genuine academic freedom. Most of these folks know as much about the Republican party as you probably do about Kim-chi. Out of all the theories that have been espoused over the last 25 years, there isn’t a single one that has been more thoroughly studied, critiqued, and overwhelmingly supported by the world scientific community than global warming. Certain political and corporate forces may wish this otherwise, but as of 2008 the ‘global warming’ theory is probably the most popularly espoused and well supported scientific theory of our time.

    The question is, “What do we do about it?” Politics aside, I find it hard to believe that all these scientists throughout the world are part of a ‘new world order’ that’s designed to lower economic productivity. If this were a liberal political tool then I seriously doubt you would be seeing prominent Republicans from the past and present actually affirming it. It would also obviously not have been extensively studied within the US at a time when a Republican administration and the corporate world are the supreme forces in pushing legislation through Congress. We’ve pursued it because this particular theory explains a lot of the nasty things that are taking place throughout the world.

    Unlike the current myopic minds in the White House, this theory isn’t espoused and supported by pseudo-intellectuals who get $33 degrees from Liberty University and find themselves in the Attorney General’s office. It’s based on the collective research of thousands of scholars from around the world who study the Earth with instrumentation that is far more precise and objective than Dick Cheney, Dick Morris, the late ‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon or any other political Dick that has a B.S. in B.S.

    Your ‘political’ world consists of so-called think tanks that are created to espouse whatever proverbial B.S. is coming through the Beltway Pipeline courtesy of the latest Dick. When I worked with the Canadian Consulate I dealt with them on one side of the ‘political’ aisle. Later on when I had the chance to opportunity work with an American conservative thinktank, I saw the artificiality of the other side of the fence. Both sides may be full of it to varying extents but that doesn’t change the facts that overwhelmingly support global warming. It’s happening and it has some nasty consequences for humanity and the environment.

    Whether the dissenters appreciate it, global warming is now based on millions of sets of data that have been studied by thousands of people who don’t need to align with a political party in order to survive. Contrary to your ‘political world’, the folks that are espousing this theory today are not relegated by the scientific ignorance of a few political figures (or special interest groups). They have the freedom, the wisdom, and the tools to make objective conclusions and they have done so regardless of the men in the Oval Offica.

    The question really is whether we’re willing to change the way we live. I believe the answer to that is an emphatic ‘yes’. The legislation passed in supporting reduction in greenhouse gases will require us to change how we produce, consume, and re-use our resources. Although politics may be where much of the fight lies, the core problems will remain there. To put it bluntly, we’re the ones who are creating virtually all of this mess.

    I think the stimuli to make that happen will come from several sources. The scientific world though will be the one leading it since the political world is too full of… well… you know.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    geeber:

    The simple fact is that we have seen no increase in deaths per 100 million miles driven even as the number of SUVs has greatly increased.

    Not to be a stick in the mud but what timeframe are we talking about? 5 years? 10 years? So, with all the advancements in vehicle design and safety features we should theoretically see a drop in deaths, right? Then why is the good news limited to “… no increase in deaths per 100 million miles driven“? I’m not saying SUVs are the culprit but deaths-per-miles statistics don’t paint a full picture.

    On the topic of tractor trailers, a couple of points need to be mentioned:

    1. on an average day, most of us will encounter a lot more SUVs/pickups than tractor trailers. Unless you’re on the highway every day, your chances of getting hit by a Kenworth are pretty slim;

    2. tractor trailer drivers are trained professionals who undergo mandatory testing before they are let loose in a multi-tonne vehicle. Not so with SUV/pickup drivers.

  • avatar
    trk2

    2. tractor trailer drivers are trained professionals who undergo mandatory testing before they are let loose in a multi-tonne vehicle. Not so with SUV/pickup drivers.

    My God! The drivers of SUVs are untrained and untested? Now I understand why SUVs are so dangerous! This is clearly an epidemic. How did they get their license with no training or testing!

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    This is getting absolutely ROTFLMAO silly…

    Steven: Well said. You saved me from a lot of typing. Bottom line: One must keep an open mind on ANY topic. Things that are taken as fact sometimes are disproved as we become more knowledgeable. Other times the facts become more concrete. I would be thrilled to admit that I was wrong about global warming if the scientific community said the theory could soundly be disproved. It’s just that right now more and more evidence seems to back the theory. And not just the Sierra Club. I know enough to look for biases. Which is why I don’t bother with sources like the Heartland Institute, either.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    trk2: SUV drivers aren’t tested on their ability to drive an SUV. You could take the test in a Metro and go home and get in a Tahoe.

    CDL tests are done in the vehicle the person intends to drive, and are of course much harder.

  • avatar
    trk2


    trk2: SUV drivers aren’t tested on their ability to drive an SUV. You could take the test in a Metro and go home and get in a Tahoe.

    CDL tests are done in the vehicle the person intends to drive, and are of course much harder.

    You could also take your drivers license test in a Metro and go home and get a Ferrari, Mustang, RV, Mercedes 600 (6724lb) and any 1970’s wagon. Or you could take the test in an automatic Explorer and go home to a non-synchromesh Model A, or heck, just a normal stick Civic.

    This is a ridiculous issue. The problem (if someone really thinks there is a problem) is not with SUVs then but operator training. There’s no logic to single out SUVs for increased need for operator training when every single vehicle that exists is potentially deadly. The only rational way to ‘solve’ this problem is to require testing whenever someone changes class of vehicles (compact->full size car->minivan->CUV->compact truck->SUV->full size truck). I, personally, could do with less government involvement in my life; not more of it.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    trk2

    That’s exactly what I was trying to say: I’m not against SUVs, I just wish drivers were better trained to handle certain types of vehicle. That applies to sports cars as well. There are plenty of Schumi-wannnabes who buy a 911 or 430 and promptly wrap it around a pole because they have no idea how to drive a high performance car. I don’t like government intervention either but I wouldn’t mind seeing incentives to improve driver training. Regardless of what vehicle you drive, additional training is always a good investment as it could save your life. Point being, if someone wants to upgrade from a Metro to a Yukon XL or to a Viper, they should be encouraged to upgrade their skills to match what they are driving.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    So you’re saying that if there isn’t a “recorded temperature data from every square mile or kilometer of the earth for the last 100 years.” then we can’t verify that global warming actually exists? Alrighty then!

    I’m simply asking for the actual data to back up the .6 degrees in 100 years global warming claim. And in typical global warmer fashion, you don’t and can’t provide any.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Wolven: Data.

    Of course, you can’t actually see the data without paying them, but a good library membership should yield access to similar articles, and besides, the abstract is quite clear that the temperatures are going up.

    But honestly, since when did “skeptic” mean “sits on his ass demanding proof and expects people to walk him through it”? Where I come from it means “does his own research”. If the scientific community says something and you’re saying you disagree, you’re kind of expected to actually take a look at what you’re disagreeing with. This isn’t scientific debate. This is analogous to coming to a seminar on quantum physics and demanding proof of the Uncertainty Principle.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Since it was the unintended side effect of government regulations that created the SUV boom (exempting them from CAFE and safety regs), then the government can also fix it quickly by mandating that SUV’s actually be off-road capable.

    CAFE regs prohibit the car companies from building cars people want so people buy cars they don’t need.

    Trust me: in a matter of days, SUVS would virtually disappear from the face of the earth. Other than the tiniest sliver of buyers who actually go off-road, the average buyer would run in terror from such monstrosities.

    It never ceases to amaze me just how awful the overwhelming majority of these things are on terrain that only facetiously can be called “off-road.”

    And yet people think the government can solve global warming.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    True science isn’t established by debate, or consensus. It’s based on observation, experimentation, and facts… verifiable facts. Asking for the data upon which your “theory” is based is hardly “sitting on my ass demanding proof”…

    In real science, the data, the calculations, and the method(s) of analysis used are always provided to back up a theory. But unfortunately, global warmers can’t provide the most basic data needed to support their dogma.

    Instead they have to resort to meaningless statements like… the abstract is quite clear that the temperatures are going up.

    The only thing clear is the abstract part…

  • avatar
    ctoan

    Wolven: The abstract says the temperatures measured in the study have been consistently rising. If you don’t feel like taking their word on that, you’re perfectly welcome to pay them $9 to look at the data yourself. What more do you want?

    Now, we’re not establishing scientific fact here. That’s already been done by actual scientists. We’re in a debate, and you can’t make an argument out of not adequately doing your homework.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Steven Lang: geeber, you may recall that the concerns about global warming actually began during the Reagan administration. OK, he may have been a Democrat what back in the 1960’s and that may justify some demented conspiracy theory out there but. guess what? The publication of this theory to explain the dramatic temperature changes had absolutely jack squat to do with how Reagan was running things.

    They were talking about global cooling, too, in the 1970s.

    No one denies that global warming is happening. As I said, it has happened throughout history. The earth and warmed and cooled several times, all before the first internal-combustion engine. The question is whether the warming trend is driven by manmade factors.

    When I raised this point the first time, you attempted to dismiss it by saying that I supported it with the paragraph that spoke about how the political process works. Nice try, but no.

    Steven Lang: The level of ozone in the atmosphere at that point had indeed experienced a substantial decline over the last several decades and this fact, along with an escalation in the world’s average temperature, lead to a very long list of bipartisan legislation being passed including the banning of certain CFC’s and the establishment of Clean Air Acts. The first of which was passed by a Republican president.

    Your knowledge of the history of various pieces of environmental legislaition, and what motivated their enactment, could charitably be described as limited.

    CFCs were banned was because their increasing concentrations were hurting the upper ozone layer. Their ban had nothing to do with global warming.

    The original Clean Air Act was passed long before there was any talk of global warming, and the amendments adopted in the 1960s that called for drastic reductions in emissions from vehicular and stationary sources were designed to improve ambient air quality by reducing levels of the specificed pollutants.

    They were not adopted to combat global warming.

    Note that carbon dioxide emissions are NOT explicitly regulated in the Clean Air Act. Nor were carbon dioxide emissions curbed in the 1990 amendments signed into law by the first President George Bush.

    Steven Lang: Second, global warming is a scientific theory as are evolution, gravity, and relativity. The foundation for all these theories are primarily based on data that’s collected and analyzed by researchers and academics throughout the world.

    Gravity and evolution and the theory of relativity have all been proven, while there is still debate on whether this spell of global warming is being driven by manmade factors.

    Steven Lang: Out of all the theories that have been espoused over the last 25 years, there isn’t a single one that has been more thoroughly studied, critiqued, and overwhelmingly supported by the world scientific community than global warming.

    As I said, there is no question that the earth has warmed and cooled over the centuries. The question is whether this spell of warming is driven by manmade factors, and there is still debate on that question.

    At least, for those of us who have done more research than reading articles in National Geographic.

    Steven Lang: It would also obviously not have been extensively studied within the US at a time when a Republican administration and the corporate world are the supreme forces in pushing legislation through Congress. We’ve pursued it because this particular theory explains a lot of the nasty things that are taking place throughout the world.

    A little (more) education here – the Democrats controlled Congress until January 1995, and the White House was occupied by a Democrat from January 20, 1993 until January 20, 2001. Then the Democrats captured control of Congress in the fall 2006 elections.

    Al Gore, the force behind An Inconvenient Truth, was vice president from 1993-2001.

    Yet, during the 1990s, we heard comparatively little about global warming, and neither President Clinton, nor Vice President Al Gore, pushed for ratification of the the Kyoto Treaty by the Senate, because all 50 senators were against it.

    Note that if all 50 senators were against it, then both Democrats and Republicans were in opposition.

    One would think that if global warming were that dire, both President Clinton and Vice President Gore, would be out stumping for approval of the treaty as much as possible. And environmental advocacy groups and Hollywood activists would be holding their feet to the fire until it was passed.

    Yet, remarkably, we heard comparatively little in the mainstream media or even from the usual advocacy groups. I largely heard the sound of…crickets chirping.

    I realize that blaming everthing on corporations is a popular tactic, especially when there is either a distinct disinterest in seeing the entire issue, or a lack of understanding of what goes into making a law, and why certain laws aren’t passed.

    The reality is that the reasons are considerably more complex, and neither Democrats or Republicans are going to vote for legislation that forces people make drastic adjustments in their lifestyle, or brings about a dramatic reduction in standards of living for the lower-middle and middle classes (the upper classes can better absorb these costs).

    Steven Lang: Unlike the current myopic minds in the White House, this theory isn’t espoused and supported by pseudo-intellectuals who get $33 degrees from Liberty University and find themselves in the Attorney General’s office.

    You’ll have more credibility if you don’t hurl gratitious insults. You’ll also have more credibility if you show knowledge of the subject matter being discussed.

    First, the White House has said that it believes in the manmade theory of global warming.

    Second, it pushed an increase in the CAFE requirements, which is what enviromentalists have been advocating for years. Those tougher requirements were recently enacted.

    I think that someone isn’t reading the daily newspaper…

    Incidentally, given your mistakes regarding why various pieces of legislation were passed and which party has been in control over which branch of the U.S. government since 1990, as well as the inability to distinguish between anecdotes and data (when discussing SUV safety), you need to refrain from hurling stones at the intellectual acumen of Liberty University graduates or anyone else.

    Steven Lang: Your ‘political’ world consists of so-called think tanks that are created to espouse whatever proverbial B.S. is coming through the Beltway Pipeline courtesy of the latest Dick.

    Any response to the global warming will have to be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The drafting and passing of any legislation is DEFINITELY part of the political process, and if you think that scientists and environmentalists aren’t going to be heavily involved in the passage of said legislation, and will not slant and distort facts to make their case, you are kidding yourself.

    Like many who believe in an issue, you are upset because some people have the gall to oppose you. Hence, the attempt to link them to corporations, or allege that any failure to act is George W. Bush’s fault (see above), or casting aspersions on their intellectual capabilities.

    Steven Lang: When I worked with the Canadian Consulate I dealt with them on one side of the ‘political’ aisle. Later on when I had the chance to opportunity work with an American conservative thinktank, I saw the artificiality of the other side of the fence.

    And if you don’t think that liberal and environmental advocacy groups don’t engage in “artificiality” to push their agenda…

    Steven Lang: Contrary to your ‘political world’, the folks that are espousing this theory today are not relegated by the scientific ignorance of a few political figures (or special interest groups). They have the freedom, the wisdom, and the tools to make objective conclusions and they have done so regardless of the men in the Oval Offica.

    Oh boy…

    Steven Lang: The question really is whether we’re willing to change the way we live. I believe the answer to that is an emphatic ‘yes’.”

    If everybody is willing and able to make those changes, then why the need for legislation mandating that said changes be made?

    Legislation ultimately involves coercion to achieve its goal (something must be banned or limited, and violaters must be punished). Otherwise, it has no teeth. If people are really for doing sometthing, they don’t need coerced into doing it (or bribed, with incentives or handouts).

  • avatar
    geeber

    p00ch: Not to be a stick in the mud but what timeframe are we talking about? 5 years? 10 years?

    Since 1978, the death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled has been more than halved. Meanwhile, light trucks’ percentage of total vehicles on the road has doubled.

    p00ch: So, with all the advancements in vehicle design and safety features we should theoretically see a drop in deaths, right?

    If SUVs were even half as dangerous to other vehicles (not to metion their own drivers and passengers) as people claim that they are, they would overwhelm any effect from improved safety features.

    p00ch: Then why is the good news limited to “… no increase in deaths per 100 million miles driven“? I’m not saying SUVs are the culprit but deaths-per-miles statistics don’t paint a full picture.

    Deaths per 100 million miles driven is recognized as the most accurate way to measure highway safety. It accounts for more vehicles and the increasing amount of miles those vehicles are driven. That is why it is superior to raw numbers when measuring the true state of highway safety.

    For example, there are countries that have fewer automotive fatalities in raw numbers than the United States (or Western European countries).

    Yet, there are also far fewer vehicles in those countries, and they are driven less than they are in the U.S. or Western Europe. A raw number of fatalities will not compensate for that difference.

    If we measure fatalities per 100 million miles driven, we get a true picture of the state of highway safety.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    While I agree that much of the issue of safety with SUVs has to do with driver skill, the fact remains that an SUV does not and cannot handle as well as a small car. It cannot avoid accidents as well as a car can and they do not stop as well as cars can. No matter the skill level of the driver. They have larger blind spots which is a negative to safety. When they crash into other vehicles, they hit the windows. It does not take a physics degree to know that in a collision an SUV is more likely to kill the other driver.

    You could compare a bad driver driving an SUV instead of a car to a toddler wielding a metal baseball bat as opposed to a plastic bat. The kid learned how to play ball with a nurf baseball set and got pretty good at controlling the plastic bat. Then he got a full size metal baseball bat. Its bigger, heavier, he has a harder time controlling it compared to the plastic bat he learned with and it does more damage to whatever it hits. And you cannot just take it away from him because its his right to have it.

    I’m all for driver education and improving it but there are no requirements for SUV drivers to take an SUV training course to learn how to drive these vehicles that handle very differently compared to the car they took their drivers test in. And I don’t see the government doing that anytime soon. And for that reason I am very glad that it is becoming increasingly more expensive to own SUVs.

  • avatar
    geeber

    frizzlefry: It does not take a physics degree to know that in a collision an SUV is more likely to kill the other driver.

    Despite all of the hysteria, there is no proof that our roads are less safe because of the increasing number of SUVs. Physics problems may be fun, but I’m more concerned about what is happening in the real world, and reputable statistics show that our roads are safer than ever.

    And, for the record, I don’t own an SUV, and have no intention of buying one. But I don’t waste my time fretting about largely non-existant threats, or worrying about what my neighbors are driving.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    geeber,

    SUV rollovers have caused 10,000 deaths per year, even though they account for 3% of all accidents.

    From 2001 – 2003, 7475 children were involved in backup accidents (being hit by a vehicle reversing). Of those accidents, the large majority involved SUVs.

    And…from a University of Michigan Study:

    “We study the dependence of risk on vehicle type and especially on vehicle model. Here, risk is measured by the number of driver fatalities per year per million vehicles registered. We analyze both the risk to the drivers of each vehicle model and the risk the vehicle model imposes on drivers of other vehicles with which it crashes. The “combined risk” associated with each vehicle model is simply the sum of the risk-to-drivers in all kinds of crashes and the risk-to-drivers-of-other-vehicles in two-vehicle crashes. We find that most car models are as safe to their drivers as most sport utility vehicles (SUVs); the increased risk of a rollover in a SUV roughly balances the higher risk for cars that collide with SUVs and pickup trucks. We find that SUVs and to a greater extent pickup trucks, impose much greater risks than cars on drivers of other vehicles; and these risks increase with increasing pickup size. The higher aggressivity of SUVs and pickups makes their combined risk higher than that of almost all cars.”

  • avatar
    geeber

    frizzlefry: SUV rollovers have caused 10,000 deaths per year, even though they account for 3% of all accidents.

    The figure is incorrect. There were not 10,000 people killed annually in SUV rollover crashes.

    There were 10,657 passenger vehicles involved in fatal rollover crashes. (emphasis added)

    Note that the reference is to PASSENGER VEHICLES, which encompasses cars, pickups, minivans, SUVs, etc.

    Clicking on this figure in the article I read, incidentally, takes the reader to a law firm that handles…SUV rollover cases. Hardly an impartial source of data.

    The law firm’s webpage goes on to say this:

    Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than half of all single-vehicle crash deaths. (NHTSA)

    Note that the firm is again talking about ALL passenger vehicles, not just SUVs. But the firm’s webpage makes sure that the distinction is blurred.

    Here is what I found from an April 2005 article on the state of highway safety:

    While fewer people were killed in cars and pickups, the number of SUV deaths rose from 4,446 to 4,666.

    If the number of SUV deaths in ALL crashes was 4,666 for 2004, then there cannot have been 10,000 SUV rollover deaths during that year. And I seriously doubt that the number of fatalities from SUV rollovers has doubled since 2004.

    frizzlefry: From 2001 – 2003, 7475 children were involved in backup accidents (being hit by a vehicle reversing). Of those accidents, the large majority involved SUVs.

    When I grew up in the 1970s, there were children being hit by reversing vehicles, too. Back then, the majority involved passenger cars. Does that prove that passenger cars are more inherently more dangerous than SUVs?

    No, it just proves that most families with children were more likely to a. drive a passenger car, and b. suffer this type of accident.

    In fact, if we could get the breakdown by vehicle type, I’d bet that station wagons were more likely to be involved in this type of tragedy than other vehicles.

    Now we have more SUVs, and parents with children (particularly small children, from what I’ve seen) are more likely to drive SUVs than, say Buick Lucernes, Ford Mustangs or Mitsubishi EVOs.

    As for the University of Michigan study, I note that it never refutes that today’s roads are safer than ever before, even with the larger number of SUVs.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Geeber,

    Here is a quote regarding the 10,000 rollover death figure:

    “Rollover crashes are among the most violent events on America’s highways, and although they constitute a relatively small number of overall crashes, they account for a disproportionate number of deaths—approximately 10,000 a year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters.

    Thats from an NHTSA press release, Jan. 24th 2008.

    Also, the NHTSA did a report on SUV vs Car accidents. The report shows that:
    In a car vs car side impact collision, the person being hit is 8 times more likely to die. If the car is T-Boned by an SUV, the occupant of the car is 22 times more likely to die. The report also shows that in a head to head collision, the car occupant is 4 times more likely to die if hit by an SUV as opposed to car. The report determined that the overall fatality ratio is 340 percent higher if a car is hit by an SUV.
    Here is the link to the report:

    http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHTSA/Vehicle%20Safety/Studies%20&%20Reports/Associated%20Files/http___www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.pdf

    The reports conclusion is “Recent sales and
    registrations of LTVs have steadily increased as a percentage of the passenger vehicle fleet, with
    LTVs representing 50 percent of new vehicle sales in 2001 and 37 percent of vehicle registrations. Consequently, this has led to an increased number of fatalities to car occupants who are struck by LTVs. This increase in passenger car fatalities has occurred even while the overall
    fatalities for the U.S. fleet has stabilized or decreased over the past several years.”

    If you look at figure 2 in that doc, you will see that car vs car fatalities have gone way down since 1992. Likey due to safety improvements. SUV vs car fatalities have gone way up since 1992. So if it were not for SUVs, traffic fatalities WOULD have gone down due to all the safety improvements. Looks like p00ch was right.

    It was kinda hard to find. I guess the NHTSA is the only group that thought to research and record stats for something that is so PAINFULLY OBVIOUS.

    I hope its now very obvious that SUVs negatively the safety of others on the road. And that, Geeber, is why I worry about what my neighbor is driving because I am more than 4 times more likely to die if he hits me with his super-ute. So its very much my business.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Frizzlefry: Here is a quote regarding the 10,000 rollover death figure:

    “Rollover crashes are among the most violent events on America’s highways, and although they constitute a relatively small number of overall crashes, they account for a disproportionate number of deaths—approximately 10,000 a year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters.

    There may be 10,000 vehicular rollover fatalities, but that is different from 10,000 SUV rollover fatalities. SUVs aren’t the only vehicles that roll over in an accident.

    Sorry but that quote does not prove that there are 10,000 SUV rollover fatalities.

    I’ve already shown that SUV fatalities in ALL types of crashes for 2004 numbered 4,666.

    How, then, can SUV rollover fatalities account for MORE fatalities than the total number of SUV fatalities in all types of accidents?

    The total number of vehicular-related fatalities per year has hovered around 40,000 annually. That includes, incidentally, pedestrian and motorcyle fatalities.

    What you are saying is that one-quarter of ALL fatalities are in SUV rollover accidents.

    Sorry, but the facts do not support that, as I’ve shown.

    frizzlefry: SUV vs car fatalities have gone way up since 1992.

    Well, yes, because there are a lot more of them on the highway since 1992. If you have more of a vehicle, you will get more of that vehicle being involved in accidents, including fatal ones. That is PAINFULLY OBVIOUS.

    frizzlefry: I hope its now very obvious that SUVs negatively the safety of others on the road.

    When it negatively impacts the fatalities per 100 million vehicles miles driven, then it will be obvious.

    frizzlefry: And that, Geeber, is why I worry about what my neighbor is driving because I am more than 4 times more likely to die if he hits me with his super-ute. So its very much my business.

    I live near a major airport, and I’m sure that I am very likely to die if an airplane crashes into our house or lands in the yard while I’m doing yardwork. Except that, it never happens…but we should still ban commercial jets!

    Before you make your neighbor’s choice of vehicle your business (let alone my choice – I don’t listen to people who don’t know as much as I do about the subject matter at hand), you need to make a much stronger case, and taking accident statistics out of context and quoting ones that are completely incorrect aren’t exactly helping it.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Whats obvious from that chart is that SUVs account for only 37% of vehicle registrations but caused 2000 more deaths than cars in collisions in the year 2000. So even though SUVs count for 37% of vehicles on the road, they resulted in more than 50% of the fatalities in the year 2000. For comparison, drunk driving caused 40% of the fatalities.

    Obviously, SUVs are a safety issue to other cars on the road. Hence the NHTSA report stating that a person in a car is 340 percent more likely to die if hit by an SUV as opposed to a car. I did not make that up. Thats right in the NHTSA’s report! That whole report is about vehicle compatibility and how they can reduce fatalities caused by SUVs. There are pages and pages of facts and numbers that they use to state that LTVs/SUVs are a safety concern.

    But what do they know, they are only the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I’m sure you are the expert, not them.

    And I admit, I read the wrong thing into the rollover number of 10,000. You are right that cars roll to. But, rollovers are not my concern. Unless they are rolling over me, the only people they are killing are themselves. What happens to me because some guy had to buy a Super-Ute is my concern.

  • avatar
    geeber

    frizzlefry: Whats obvious from that chart is that SUVs account for only 37% of vehicle registrations but caused 2000 more deaths than cars in collisions in the year 2000. So even though SUVs count for 37% of vehicles on the road, they resulted in more than 50% of the fatalities in the year 2000.

    And how much more are SUVs driven in relation to other cars, given that they are family vehicles more likely to be used as the primary vehicle? Do you think that families load up the Focus or Civic with the kids and assorted gear to travel across country when they have a 4Runner or Explorer?

    frizzlefry: But what do they know, they are only the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. I’m sure you are the expert, not them.

    Every year the experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration release figures that show steadily declining fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles driven, despite the dramatic increase – in both raw numbers and the percentage of the vehicular fleet – of SUVs during the last 18 years.

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    Im sure that given the choice a family will drive the 4runner to the cabin instead of the civic. But how many people have both? Your point might have some validity in addressing the pure death numbers if every person who had an SUV had a car too. And if they hardly ever drove it. If a family has two vehicles, its likely because they use both of them during the day. I’m sure the cross country camping trip is not a big contributer to accidents. The daily driving to work etc is. Besides, in examining the collisions themselves, the NHTSA determined that the death rate was 340% more in SUV vs Car accidents, overall fatality numbers aside. That finding supports the the overall fatality numbers much better than the families don’t take the civic camping argument.

    Yes the NHTSA change numbers all the time. For overall deaths, number of vehicles etc. But the situations in the crashes they studied do not change. They are what they are. So the 340% greater chance of death when hit by an SUV is a valid number.

    And yes the NHTSA release figures that show declining numbers. But as they say at the end of the report, “This increase in passenger car (vs SUV) fatalities has occurred even while the overall fatalities for the U.S. fleet has stabilized or decreased over the past several years” I can understand your argument against that (SUV sales went up) but still, there should not be 2000 more SUV related fatalities than car related fatalities when there are significantly more cars than SUVs on the road.

    Again, the most telling thing is what they determined when viewing the accidents themselves. In T-Bone crashes, the ratio is 1:22 risk of car driver fatality if hit by an SUV, if hit by a car its 1:8.

    I understand that people are skeptical of numbers and facts and that people bend them to suit their own argument etc etc. But the NHTSA determined vehicle incompatibility to be a concern. Enough of a concern to research it, and ask for government funds to try and fix it. If the NHTSA does not hav a sound opinion on the SUV safety issue I don’t who could.

  • avatar
    Wolven

    frizzlefry : Whats obvious from that chart is that SUVs account for only 37% of vehicle registrations but caused 2000 more deaths than cars in collisions in the year 2000. So even though SUVs count for 37% of vehicles on the road, they resulted in more than 50% of the fatalities in the year 2000. For comparison, drunk driving caused 40% of the fatalities.

    You’re having a hard time with these statistics… Just because SUV’s accounted for 37% of the registrations for that year, does NOT necessarily mean that they account for only 37% of the vehicles on the road. What are they calling “registrations”? New vehicle registrations? I doubt that’s an accurate reflection of ALL vehicles on the road. Furthermore, IF, according to the report, people in cars are FAR more likely to die in an accident, AND SUV’s account for only 37% of the vehicles on the road, HOW can SUV’s account for more deaths than cars?

    Are we blaming the SUV’s for the people killed in cars? Let’s think about that logic for a moment… A person bought a pop can on wheels, (apparently because they were too ignorant to realize it’s a coffin in auto drag) and then when it crushes them in an accident… it’s the fault of the person that DIDN’T buy a pop can on wheels? Now how does that work? It’s the intelligent persons fault that the ignorant person killed themselves by their choice of vehicle? I haven’t heard of anyone forcing anyone to buy pop cans on wheels. Last I knew, what vehicle a person buys is that persons FREE CHOICE.

    frizzlefry : Obviously, SUVs are a safety issue to other cars on the road. Hence the NHTSA report stating that a person in a car is 340 percent more likely to die if hit by an SUV as opposed to a car. I did not make that up. Thats right in the NHTSA’s report! That whole report is about vehicle compatibility and how they can reduce fatalities caused by SUVs. There are pages and pages of facts and numbers that they use to state that LTVs/SUVs are a safety concern.

    Safety concern? It seems to me that the NHTSA is doing their level best to let you know you are 340 percent SAFER in an SUV! Obviously you’ve read the report, What part of this are you just not getting? IF YOU CHOOSE to drive a pop can on wheels, your odds of dying in an accident are SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER than if you CHOOSE to drive an SUV. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!!! I’d suggest you choose wisely, but, it’s up to you…

  • avatar
    frizzlefry

    How can SUVs account for more deaths than cars when only account for 37% of the vehicles on the road? Because car drivers are 3.4 times more likely to die when hit by one? Not saying that SUVs cause more accidents than cars….they are just 3.4x more likely to kill people when they have one.

    Pop can? The report was not based on SUV vs Smart car. It covered SUV vs cars. From the Malibu to Volvo to Audi to BMW. Including some of the most safe vehicles made. So it not that people are choosing to by Smart cars and whine about how unsafe they are. Personally, no way would I buy a Smart car. And those are not the types of vehicles the NHTSA was looking at.

    If someone chose to buy an A4 and you T-Bone them because you could not stop your 6000 pound beast in time (because you need 20 feet more than a car to stop) and they die….its THEIR fault? Because they did not get a super-ute too? Why even bother arguing the NHTSA findings if thats how you feel?

    Why not just be honest and say that “yes, I am more likely to kill someone in an accident due to the laws of physics and as reported by the NHTSA. Also, my vehicle has less agility to avoid that accident in an emergency situation. But I simply don’t care because my want is more important than the safety of my fellow citizens. And if push comes to shove, I will hide behind my freedom to do what I want when there are no more logical arguments for me owning my SUV”.

    But no one would say that. That would expose them as self-absorbed, inconsiderate and reckless. Its much easier for that person to try and dismiss traffic safety reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

  • avatar
    p00ch

  • avatar
    geeber

    frizzlefry: Why not just be honest and say that “yes, I am more likely to kill someone in an accident due to the laws of physics and as reported by the NHTSA. Also, my vehicle has less agility to avoid that accident in an emergency situation. But I simply don’t care because my want is more important than the safety of my fellow citizens. And if push comes to shove, I will hide behind my freedom to do what I want when there are no more logical arguments for me owning my SUV”.

    The honest thing to say is that today’s roads are safer than ever, the supposed threat from SUVs to their occupants and other drivers is not supported by reliable traffic safety stastistics, and therefore, while people can exercise their right of free speech to criticize them, better-informed drivers with a more sophisticated understanding of the issue are under no obligation to listen to them.

    frizzlefry: But no one would say that. That would expose them as self-absorbed, inconsiderate and reckless. Its much easier for that person to try and dismiss traffic safety reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    Frizzlefry, last time I checked you were claiming that SUVs rollovers were killing 10,000 people annually. When you (finally) admitted that you were wrong – after several attempts to explain this to you – you then tried to dismiss it by saying that you don’t care about rollovers. Nice try, but no…

    Sorry, but you’ll have to show a much stronger grasp of traffic safety issues, not to mention trends in automotive safety and buying patterns over the past 30 years, to have the better-informed posters take you seriously.

    Incidentally, name-calling and the hurling of accusations get old fast, and are often an attempt to deflect a lack of understanding of the issue at hand.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    Saying this as nothing more than a personal opinion, for some people it comes down to a perceived threat, which may or may not really exist.

    There’s no denying that if my car was hit by an SUV, my odds would be worse than if I was hit by another car. Combined with the increased number of SUVs on the road, my perception of safety is therefore affected. Similar to living in a neighbourhood where there is a gun in every home except yours.

    The unfortunate consequence is, some people end up buying huge SUVs not because they need or want them, but because they feel threatened by all the other Tahoes and Navigators.

  • avatar
    geeber

    p00ch: Saying this as nothing more than a personal opinion, for some people it comes down to a perceived threat, which may or may not really exist.

    People are free to have their opinions and express them. The problem comes in when they begin to advocate policies or regulations designed to limit others’ choices.

    p00ch: Similar to living in a neighbourhood where there is a gun in every home except yours.

    There has never been any proof that gun ownership by law-abiding citizens (or even the liberal issuance of concealed-carry permits) has caused crime to increase, or made a neighborhood less safe.

    p00ch: The unfortunate consequence is, some people end up buying huge SUVs not because they need or want them, but because they feel threatened by all the other Tahoes and Navigators.

    Do these people really exist anywhere outside of message boards? Some people may buy them for the perceived safety, but that is because they are concerned about tractor trailers and other heavy trucks, not other big SUVs. Those tractor trailers aren’t going to go away (unlike SUVs, whose sales are already dropping fast) even if the cost of fuel continues its steady climb.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    There are ways of implementing regulations and policies without limiting people’s choices. A good example are recently introduced requirements for cars to offer greater protection to pedestrians in a collision. I have no desire to see SUVs regulated out of existence but I wouldn’t mind seeing further improvements in SUV design, offering greater protection to smaller vehicles in a collision.

    Regarding gun ownership, as a non-owner I would feel uneasy being in an area with a high concentration of guns in private (non-professional) hands. This has nothing to do with statistics, I was simply illustrating how this personal uneasiness may also be applied to vehicles. I know two families who bought SUVs simply because they were afraid of SUVs/pickups hitting their cars. And this had nothing to do with 18-wheelers; 90% of their driving is done in the city.

    All I’m advocating is improved driver training, improved safety through design, and greater driver awareness. For ALL vehicles.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    The real problem here is the disparity in weights and ride heights. 2o years ago 4000lbs was the big “safe” vehicle. Today that is outclassed by the big SUV’s. Unfortunately the weight spiral continues to go up, meaning that what once was coveted by the bigger is better crowd would now be rejected as less safe. Is it really less safe? No, it just means that the threats have become greater as overall weight has risen. This of course has resulted in a dramatic drop in efficiency. Hopefully the weight spiral will reverse and once again the 4000 pounder will be the top of the heap.

  • avatar
    folkdancer

    Based on my highly scientific observations here in the Southwest I have been telling would be SUV buyers for several years that in order to buy a Ford Excursion, Expedition, King Ranch, or Eddie Baur the potential driver it is being purchased for most be a very beautiful young 5’2″ blond (no worn out soccer moms – these are kept women) and she must promise to be on her cell phone at all times while driving. Escalades are driven by fat men who can get it (what ever it is you want) for you wholesale.

  • avatar
    smittyjohnd

    I own a 2005 King Ranch Expedition and I love it. Yes it is large but that is waht I need. I have a St. Bernard that takes up the whole back when the seats are folded down and other than that it me my wife and son in there. The gas mileage sucks but what do you expect for a big heavy truck. I use it to go to and from work, to the store, and to haul my atv’s. This vehicle handles like a dream I think. I had a 2004 F-150 and nothing could make me want to get rid of it till it was stolen and this thing has surpassed the truck by far. The only bad thing about it is the leather is a pain to upkeep. I do not suggest this leather if you have your dog ride on the seats, you will have scratches you won’t get rid of, that happed to my brother-in-laws F-350. Sorry if I offend you that I NEED a big vehicle but thats how the world is, you cant make everyone happy at the same time. I fought for this country and I think I have every right to drive a big vehicle, if it makes anyone happy my wife drives a Mini Cooper.

  • avatar
    SDC11

    I’m not going to lie, every gripe about large SUVs is absolutely true. Being from a family that has owned large vehicles like the Expedition for my whole life, I agree the fuel economy is horrific, the visibility is pretty poor, etc.. I am not disagreeing with anyone on that.

    But even though these are true, I will take a large truck over a smaller, more efficient vehicle 100% of the time because of the safety to myself and the occupants. No I am not going by ratings either. My friends mom drove a Honda Civic on her long commute to work everyday to save money on gas and she was t-boned by a Toyota Tundra on her way home one night. She was killed from the impact. My parents had a drunk driver hit their Suburban in pretty much the same way and they walked away without a scratch. There was extensive damage to both vehicles, but nobody was hurt.

    Also, the whole thing about SUVs not being good in snow is not true either. Throw enough snow and ice on the roads and even an M1 Abrams tank would have trouble. I would usually drive my dads Suburban to school while he was away and one day last year I hit black ice and the truck lost control and the back end slid over the shoulder and almost into the ditch on the side. It had been snowing all day and the road was horrible and in 4WD, it got out no problem.

    But in the end, the price of gas and the fuel economy will unfortunately be the death of these vehicles in the future unless things improve drastically. But people need to learn not to force their points of view on these subjects. I now drive the Suburban since my dad bought an F150 and I don’t care about the cost of fuel because I like what I drive. I’m six foot four and have no trouble fitting in these vehicles. I drove a Toyota Yaris as my drivers training car and it was terrible being confined to that matchbox of a car.

    So that’s my two cents on the matter. I’m not a tree hugger who’s gunning for the downfall of these vehicles, but I’m also not a hardcore truck fanboy. Call me Switzerland on the matter.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States