Hammer Time: Suburban Expeditions

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang

Why do so many folks hate SUVs? Is it angst driven? Environmental? Ideological? Or maybe a fear of domestication? I honestly don’t know and rarely did I give two flips about it until late August 2005. Once Katrina hit, the car market in the United States forever changed and so did yours truly’s viewpoint on the All-American SUV.

I like them now because everyone hates them. But not in the same way. I like the fact that everyone seems to be dumping them. Now parts are as plentiful as whores for hire at a political fundraiser. No really. I’m dead serious. I can now easily buy a vehicle loaded with leather and all the options for less than 2 grand wholesale.

Of course I have no real need for it. But hey. I didn’t need to buy old Lincolns back in the day either, and I bought two. Speaking of which, the Suburban now has the unique honor of being the most repossessed vehicle at my sales. With the Ford Taurus and Dodge Ram taking second and third. Anyone want to start a family? A mobile mechanic business?

Steven Lang
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  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on Oct 20, 2009

    Generally, you raise your hand up at the dealer auction and if the number is less than 2k... you're there. Another option is to buy it directly from the dealers. Then you have banks that repossess vehicles and hold their own sales. Retail wise a well kept Suburban/Expedition from the late 90's will be anywhere from $3k to $5k given options, mileage, and condition. However well kept Explorers and Blazeresque vehicles of the same vintage can be had for $2k to $2500 retail. There are so many in the market right now that it's hard to get rid of them. I just bought a garage kept Explorer for $900 yesterday.

  • Rusted Source Rusted Source on Oct 21, 2009

    This post has been stewing in my mind for a few days. I’m not interesting in joining MASUV (Mothers Against SUVs) but I do agree that they are exorbitant in some cases. What I don’t agree with is this whole meme about “just buy a wagon instead” and “I hate cute-utes”. I bought a used CR-V in 2006 and for the most part I think of it more as a car than an SUV. During that time, there weren’t many choices in the realm of “station wagons” to choose from. Now I see more interesting wagons on the market but I’m not in the mood to ditch my vehicle just because. Hatchbacks were not as useful as they are becoming (e.g. Honda Fit). Here’s the thing though, I find my CR-V extremely useful and it puts the "U" firmly where it belongs in SUV. It’s basically a block on wheels with a pointing section at the front where the engine goes, so the interior shape is conducive to loading up a ton of stuff (I even fit a full sized shopping cart and 4 people in there one time and a motorized Laz-E-Boy recliner another time). It has a shorter overall length than my old Integra so it’s easy to park and the 4-cylinder engine gets okay gas mileage. I like that extra ground clearance so that I can hop the curb and back it into my front yard to load up when we go camping. That same ground clearance helps me from plowing deep snow after a blizzard and I like the variable 4WD that kicks in with the heaps of snow and ice we get each year. It’s too bad that cute-utes have gone soft since, with style over substance being the raison d'etre. I saw a VW Tiguan parked the other day and it looked like you might be able to fit a roll of toiler paper behind the back seat in the cargo area if you’re lucky (or 4 if you stack them on top of each other).

  • StatisticalDolphin StatisticalDolphin on Oct 25, 2009

    There is no substitute for being at the top of the automotive food chain.

  • Carlson Fan Carlson Fan on Oct 26, 2009

    I used to have fun with people at work when they wanted to show me their new SUV in the parking lot that they had just bought. My first question was always, "What are you towing with it?", knowing dam well not a thing. Needless to say I got a lots of dumbfounded looks. Currently I need a vehicle that can carry 2 adults, 3 kids in car seats, 2 dogs and lots of gear. It also needs to be able to pull one of my 3 boats during the summer, one which tips the scales at just under 4 tons. As well as a loaded snowmobile trailer safely on snowy icey roads in the winter. Not many cars, vans or pick-ups that will do that. Eventually ours will be parked and be used soley as a tow vehicle. As gas goes back up I think you'll see a lot of people that truly need these types of vehicles doing the same thing. The days of doing 30 mile or longer daily commutes in full size SUV's are coming to an end.