Hybrid cars have had one of the biggest impacts on the automotive paradigm since front wheel-drive became popular. Sadly, not everyone can accept change gracefully. Exhibit one: Hawaii-based auto-journo Bill Maloney. In last months autowriters.com newsletter, Maloney's "The Hmmm About Hybrids," purports to show (in one non-stop "sic") that "market researchers and their soothsayers have been busy blowing holes in the rationale (and high pricing) for (sic) many popular hybrid cars… they even provide stats." And with claims like that, they probably should, right? "Would you believe a big Chevy Tahoe SUV has a lower energy cost-per-mile than a small import hybrid ," wonders Maloney. Yes, it's the infamous CNW Research "Dust to Dust" study, thoroughly debunked here and here and elsewhere. Never mind. Maloney doesn't want to analyze hybrids– he wants to demonize their buyers. "A car is no longer a car when it's a hybrid. It's a statement. There are high visibility dudes who like to drive statements. Cameron Diaz, Ed Begley, Jar (sic? It's so hard to tell), and the two guys who own Google, who (sic) the CNW study says quote 'don't know "dick" about the environment.' These are people of the conspicuous consumption class who are into whole foods, wild oats/sprouts and keep Trader Joes extremely profitable. They don't drink Jim Beam and prefer Grey Goose and of course their home away from home is Starbucks and its designer coffee. Researchers say these folks are willing to pay to display their moral superiority and virtue." As opposed to Maloney, who needs only one deeply-flawed study, a few hundred words (and by the looks of things, a few tumblers of Jim Beam) to display his own self-satisfied derision for anyone who buys a Prius. Well played, sir.
Pch101 on Jun 16, 2008yet you refuse to point to one thing they did to change their product. You're being disingenuous. The changes in styling from workabout truck to carnivorous road devourer are kind of obvious. Compare a 70's-era Suburban to a Navigator or a Hummer or a Dodge full-size truck, and you can't make such a claim with a straight face. SUV’s are not the only heavy vehicles. Yet no one wants to ban heavy vehicles or regulate weight. Well, some people would like to ban them, I'm sure. But in any case, the issue isn't just one of mass, but also of design (body-on-frame construction) and bumper height. The accident makes it very clear that mass in not the only contributing factor. I will be happy to argue about any single thing you think justifies SUV-hate. I think that you're overusing the term here. What kind of hate are we talking about here. Are you seeing a trend of Honda Fits tailgating Escalades or something?
Landcrusher on Jun 16, 2008
I am not at all being disingenuous. The Navigator isn't aggressive looking in the least. The Hummer is supposed to look like a civilian version of the Hummer. So what. The Jeep has military roots and it's been the same for about, forever. If all you can do is point to the Hummer, just quit. Body on frame was used in cars for decades, especially the largest luxury vehicles, the ones everyone was taught to hate in the seventies. Now they were replaced with the SUV. Do you want to go back? Maybe you want to keep up the hate, and see if you like the results better next time? Besides that, not all SUV's ARE body on frame anymore. Does the hate not transfer to the BMW X5 and Cayenne? Hell no, they catch it double. Thanks for bringing up yet another item before admitting bumper height ain't getting you anywhere. We were having this discussion about SUV-hate vs. Prius hate and all being happy about it being wrong on both accounts until someone tried to slyly stick in an argument about how at least SUV-hate is justified. Sort of reminds me of some racism justifications, really. The hate I am talking about is a bit baser, but generally along the lines of your schtick about SUV drivers. It's the slights that folks like to stick on these threads as if they were a given. They range from whines about how SUV drivers don't care if they kill anyone, to no one needs one, to they waste fuel, to they are all driven by pricks. In the end, some dumb ass legislator will try to ride this hate to some easy votes and pass some lame legislation without ever there being a rational public dialogue. Kinda like CAFE got passed in the first place.
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