By on June 19, 2015

Range Rover in Albania. Picture courtesy of autowp.ru

As many of you know, I drive a Range Rover, which is a giant, gas-slurping SUV that simultaneously kills babies and harms small animals. This is a horrible vehicle, according to the majority of people I meet, and because of it, I’m always being judged for having more car than I “need.” It is, after all, overkill.

Right?

Well, I don’t really think so. When people assail me for having “too big” of a vehicle, they’re often referring to its length. So I ran the numbers, and I discovered that my Range Rover – at 194.9 inches in length – stands merely 3.5 inches longer than the current Honda Accord, which is 191.4 inches long. Think about that for a second: the big ol’, heavy, baby-killing, jungle-tackling Range Rover is actually only a USB stick longer than a Honda Accord. In other words, these people have been fooled by marketing that has them convinced the Range Rover is this gargantuan off-road beast, when actually it’s a normal ol’ suburban family hauler.

So then the discussion turns to power – but my Range Rover has only 300 horses, which is just 30 more than a Honda Accord V6. And then I get the inevitable question: well why do you NEED an SUV?

I used to get this question when I had a sports car, too. Certain people – and I’m not going to name names here, but it was my pretentious friends in college and graduate school – would see me in a sports car and ask me why I needed such an impractical, inefficient vehicle. “You could’ve spent way less money and gotten something more efficient,” they would tell me.

The worst example came when I had a Porsche 911 as a company car. Anyone who knows anything about cars knows the 911 is pretty efficient, as sports cars go. It has a small six-cylinder, and not a huge V8. It’s fairly light in weight. And it doesn’t have all that much power. At the time I had mine, the Porsche 911 fuel economy rating was 19 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

So I posted a photo of this car somewhere on Facebook, and one of my friends replied with a comment along the lines of: Ewww, why would you get such a gas guzzler?

Now, we know the 911 isn’t a gas guzzler, so the very idea of the comment made me laugh. But what was even more disturbing was the fact that the person who posted it drove a Jeep Liberty. Not a Liberty Diesel. Not one of those fuel-efficient Jeep Compasses with a 4-cylinder and a Dodge Caliber chassis and the loudest CVT known to man. No, no. Dude drove a V6-powered Jeep Liberty that probably got 11 miles per gallon in the city on the rare days when it wasn’t having transmission problems.

And yet he was attacking me for having an inefficient gas guzzler.

I suspect the reason people do this is because they’re jealous. You can’t overtly walk up to someone and say to them: I hate you because you drive a Range Rover. So what they do is, they come up with some other reason to hate you, like your vehicle’s size, or its fuel economy, or its horsepower, or whatever. “Oh,” these people say. “I didn’t know you wanted to kill endangered species.” And then they stare at you and wait for your response, so they can see just how much their comment hurt your ego.

The funny thing is, these people have nothing to be jealous about. My Range Rover cost as much as a well-equipped Honda Civic, and it breaks down all the time. This is not an especially special vehicle. But they see the badge, and they become all offended, and then they break into the “Why do you need so much car?” routine.

So today I’m curious if you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon – and if so, what you think the person’s motivations were. I’m also curious how you handle it. Do you defend the car? Apologize for it? Correct the person? Punch them in the face? I need ideas, because nobody seems to believe the whole “only three inches longer than an Accord” thing. Maybe what I need is a tape measure.

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308 Comments on “QOTD: Why Do People Shame You For Having More Car Than You “Need”?...”


  • avatar
    VoGo

    You care a lot about what others think about your car.

    • 0 avatar
      caelaorn

      But soft! What humblebrag through vanity post doth break?

      Seriously – drive flashy cars, get noticed, Pretty much end of story.

    • 0 avatar

      IT’S JEALOUSY.
      They hate us cause they ain’t us.

      The modern-day liberal socialist HATES IT when someone has something they can’t afford. Or aren’t smart enough to work for.

      They HATE seeing The Duggar’s huge family. You only NEED 2 children at the most.

      They hate seeing supercharged HEMI with seven hundred and seven horsepower – when all they can afford is a Prius.

      They hate seeing your Lamborghini or Ferrari when “there are children in Sri Lanka starving and you could have bought a Jeep Cherokee and donated the other $350,000 to charity”.

      They want to “spend your money” to achieve “their goals” but when they get money, they use it however they want.

      I WORK FOR EVERYTHING I GET and I WILL SHOW IT OFF WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT. If you don’t like it MOVE TO CALIFORNIA.

      And when your state DRIES UP – you can hate me for my Brita and my “grass” and my “sprinkler system”.

      This is what happens when you steadily become a NON-PRODUCTIVE country based on MINDLESS CONSUMERISM. Everyone can’t have everything they want, so they try to figure out ways to LIMIT others.

      They are afraid of your SUV…they want you to be in a crossover or something that doesn’t scare them.

      I REFUSE to be LIMITED.

      There are no strings on me

      • 0 avatar
        mtunofun

        I saw a prius with a nobama bumper sticker the other day. Republicans drive efficient cars too…just sayin’.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “I WORK FOR EVERYTHING I GET and I WILL SHOW IT OFF WHEN I FEEL LIKE IT. If you don’t like it MOVE TO CALIFORNIA.”

        Right, because folks in California never show off that they have money. Never, ever happens.

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          As a member of the Ferrari Club of Northern California, I can tell you there’s plenty of showing off, or at least plenty of very expensive toys that get taken out in public.

          I think bigtruck is thinking more Portlandia than the entire state of California. Once you get more than about 50 miles east of the coast, California’s culture and mix of vehicles is essentially Texas anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The jealousy card…… I’m impressed that it somehow got turned into a sociopolitical rant.

        THEY are jealous of ME.

        Isn’t that to a degree narcissism?

        “This is what happens when you steadily become a NON-PRODUCTIVE country based on MINDLESS CONSUMERISM. Everyone can’t have everything they want, so they try to figure out ways to LIMIT others”

        There is some truth to that BUT how about moving away from the mindless pursuit of happiness through material purchase or material gain?

        How about figuring out a way to bridge the gap between the haves and have nots?

        How about realistic expectations?

        The American Dream has been turned into success at any cost or more specifically material gain regardless of whom it hurts.

        Jealous?

        nope

        I’d say pity but that would imply sympathy or kindly sorrow.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        You would think I am a “liberal socialist.” (Even though those two words contradict each other.) Nothing you have written above applies to me. I only judge people’s cars when they can’t fit in parking spaces.

        Except for your cars; I think the penalty for many goofy/inane TTAC comments is that you should have to forfeit your SRTs in favor of a Sentra and a Jeep Compass.

      • 0 avatar
        Bunter1

        Certainly jealousy is a component.
        I also see some of it as just cultural.
        In my area someone shows up with $50-70k mega truck it’s totally cool-even if they really can’t afford it. It’s considered “practical”, even if it never pulls a load and the bed stays empty 362 days of the year.
        But if another guy shows up with a nice used, say, BMW 3 series that set him back $20-25k and meets his families needs for a sedan he just might be seen as putting on airs.

        People like stuff that is culturally comfortable to them and some are threatened by anything “odd”.

        Relax and enjoy what you have, it’s their problem.

        Bunter

      • 0 avatar
        Number6

        Uh huh. That’s it.

        Maybe it’s because I can’t see around that damn thing (especially with smoked rear windows). But go ahead, bring politics into it if that eases your insecurity.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      DeMuro’s next 5 QOTDs:

      Would You Rather Have A 15 Year Old Kia or A Ham Sandwich?

      What’s Better, Mustard or Ketchup?

      What Is The Kim Kardashian of Cars?

      Why A Paramount Group Marauder Is THE Perfect City Car.

      I Drove A Peel P50 Coast To Coast in 88 Hours and 31 Minutes and 21 Seconds & Loved It.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Now I want a ham sandwich with mustard.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Ham sandwich, no wait make the sandwich a Cubano, the cigar a Cubano, and the coffee Cubano.

          WTF were we talking about again?

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Not sure what we were talking about, but I’m sure we should adjourn to the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City FL to discuss it over Cuban sandwiches, coffee and cigars.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Pardon me, sir. Might you have some Grey Poupon?

          DeMuro is the master of the empty question, the humblebrag, the implied position calling out for a response, etc., but he seems to have struck a match to the powder magazine with this one.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Answer key (I tried but can’t do that upside down thing):

        1) Ham sandwich (Cubano version preferred per Dan)

        2) Mustard (stadium mustard, specifically)

        3) Cadillac Seville “bustle-butt” (circa 1977-ish)

        4) Not a QOTD technically but filler nonetheless

        5) See 4 above

        • 0 avatar
          raincoaster

          ǝʌoqɐ 4 ǝǝs (5

          ssǝןǝɥʇǝuou ɹǝןןıɟ ʇnq ʎןןɐɔıuɥɔǝʇ pʇob ɐ ʇou (4

          (ɥsı-7761 ɐɔɹıɔ) ”ʇʇnq-ǝןʇsnq“ ǝןןıʌǝs ɔɐןןıpɐɔ (3

          (ʎןןɐɔıɟıɔǝds ‘pɹɐʇsnɯ ɯnıpɐʇs) pɹɐʇsnɯ (2

          (uɐp ɹǝd pǝɹɹǝɟǝɹd uoısɹǝʌ ouɐqnɔ) ɥɔıʍpuɐs ɯɐɥ (1

          :(buıɥʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ʇɐɥʇ op ʇ’uɐɔ ʇnq pǝıɹʇ ı) ʎǝʞ ɹǝʍsuɐ

          (www.fliptext.org)

        • 0 avatar
          56BelAire

          These days I like my ham sandwiches with a quality swiss cheese or Jarlsberg, tomato, lettuce, honey mustard(homemade) on the ham side and mayo on the lettuce side on a good quality kaiser roll or rye.

          Back when I was a kid in the 50s, we would visit my German grandma in Cleveland and have ham sandwiches on white bread with butter….nothing else.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            You guys talked me into cracking open a medium size tin of Danish ham, laying down a nice layer on a couple of pieces of wheat bread, and adding both butter and honey mustard.

            Made me forget all about Range Rovers again, something I had been successfully doing for years until Doug resurrected this line of questioning.

            Really, just pose on if it makes you happy. Just don’t expect me to either join you in the ranks, or be impressed with your choice.

      • 0 avatar
        baconator

        “What is the Kim Kardashian of Cars” could make for an interesting article. I vote that the answer is the AMC Pacer, as much for its purported but actually failed attempt to “change the game” of compact cars as for its callipygous frame.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “What is the Kim Kardashian of Cars” – I don’t think there is a car that became famous for having a sex video hit YouTube.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Kim Kardashian of cars = The Pontiac Azz-Tek.

          Supercallipygalisticexpialodociosness embodied.

          NB the modified form of the long word.

          That car must have been designed by a guy who grew up reading NatGeo’s for his personal sex ed.

      • 0 avatar
        Bp3dots

        Ham Sandwich’

        Mustard. (Brown of course)

        Most csrs have more natural parts than Kim K.

        Only a muscle car could be THE perfect city car.

        Why the rush?

      • 0 avatar
        koshchei

        1. (Your location here) Mom discovers Weight Loss/Tooth Whitening Process that Dentists Hate!
        2. Secret Vaguely Anatomical Looking Thing that only Rich People Can Have.
        3. How I Make $578865467 per hour by Phoning It In on TTAC without Leaving My Home!

        Seriously though. This article is garbage.

  • avatar
    dwight

    I drive a white nissan micra with a fancy stripe along the bottom of it. You don’t know ridicule when you drive a white micra with a fancy stripe along the bottom of it.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      The Truth About Perceptions of Cars?

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        Try driving a Nissan Cube in the United States. I swear people pull out in front of me, try to cut me off just because it’s existence offends them in some way. It’s my wife’s car so I don’t drive it much but when I do I’m pretty shocked at how the Cube seems bring on the rage.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    Somehow, NEED has become the yardstick by which we measure purchases and products for sale.

    But in a free, open society, “need” has no place in discussions of what a man or woman should be allowed to have in their life.

    To speak of and stress need, to question why someone would “need” such a thing (whatever that thing is) is to imply that human beings should exist only in pure survival mode, or that it is somehow more “noble” or “pure” to live without possessions.

    For the vast majority of mankind, possessions are fun, joyful, reassuring, and a true measurement of human advancement. We must stop thinking in terms of “need,” and suspect those who speak in terms of it.

    • 0 avatar
      hglaber

      More like need has become the yardstick by which we measure other people’s purchases.

      But that’s not the amusing part to me. What is funny is when some busybody asks that “why do you need” question and the victim actually tries to provide justification. Never give reasons! It just gives them a lever to push against. The correct answer is “I don’t” followed by (if you want to be polite) a subject change or (if you want to make them uncomfortable) dead silence while looking them straight in the eyes, forcing them to respond.

      FYI this also works with people trying to sell you junk you don’t want. After your first refusal they will ask you to justify your rejection so they can counter your reasons. So don’t give them any. Why don’t you want this? Because I don’t want it (then look them in the eyes and say NOTHING).

      • 0 avatar
        Brendon from Canada

        Works well when selling as well…

        I just sold my old 2001 BMW 330Ci – the young man that showed up for the drive came with his friend (cousin?) who was a used car dealer. I had the car priced quite fairly (in the lower 1/3 of all local listings) as it required tires for safety and probably new bushings all around to get it back to good feel. The dealer friend drove the car, stated it was in much better mechanical condition then others they had looked at, and proceeded to offer me roughly 60% of my asking price.

        I stated that the listed price was already fair, which threw the “negotiating” part of the conversation into high gear.

        Since I wasn’t really interested in bartering (car had been listed for less than a day and I already had several sight unseen offers – for what it’s worth), I calmly explained that I really didn’t _need_ _any_ money for the car and was only selling it because my brother and sister didn’t want it (offered it to them for free – glad they turned me down, or I’d be on the hook for years for things, most likely!), so I had listed it for a quick sale price to get it out of my driveway.

        The dealer friend obviously believed me, turned to the guy interested in buying the car and said that there was nothing he could do to negotiate with someone that has no _need_ for what they were offering.

        I suppose it could also be that he was a lousy used car dealer, but I suspect he merely understood that to negotiate each side has to need (or really want, I suppose) something.

        • 0 avatar
          pbr

          >> … when some busybody asks that “why do you need” question …

          I suspect the “need” question gets asked because “need” is often an answer to an innocent “why did you choose that particular vehicle” type of question. A logically sound need-based answer might be: “well, we have 3 kids now so we needed something with more than 4 seats so the spouse, kids and I could all travel together.” Asking up front “why do you need” isn’t necessarily judgemental, it could be giving you the benefit of the doubt for having made some logical decisions along the way. If you hear judgement where none was intended, well, …

    • 0 avatar

      NEED vs. WANT

      I NEED whatever it is that I can “afford” based on the finances granted to me by the work I do.

      NO ONE dictates my needs, but myself.

    • 0 avatar
      Reino

      As hard-working, middle class Americans, most of us are stuck in a mundane, 9-5 job, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year. We spend 250-500 hours a year JUST commuting to our jobs. Why not be in a vehicle that makes us HAPPY? We deserve it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      OneAlpha – the “need” card tends to get played when someone else doesn’t agree with or care about one’s lifestyle choices.

      Unless you actually use a vehicle for work one can argue that a person does not “need” any vehicle.

      Since these people play the “need” card one can use Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs against them since they want to exist at the bottom of the pyramid. The goal of any person is to function at the top 2 rungs which entails the lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts and respect for other’s.

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    cars are, for all intents and purposes, explicitly designed to describe the social and financial status of the drivers. They are the original ‘humble brag’.

    I won’t judge you on your level of expenditure, but I will judge you on buying something as crappily built as a land rover ;)

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      As a Range Rover owner (one a generation older than Doug’s, with a lot more miles on it), I will say that yes indeed they are crappily built. But don’t knock it until you have tried it, some things worth the pain. The reason people put up with the POS is that they are pretty darned special in how they go about their business. 90% of what an S-class can do, combined with 90% of what a Jeep can do. Of course, dilemmas bother me a lot less on a truck I paid pocket money for. And I have 2-3 other cars.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I only think people have too big of a vehicle when they can’t handle it. Unable to keep it left of center on narrow roads and when they don’t have the skills to park it correctly or take ten minutes trying. I see it all of the time.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Agreed. Two of the most poorly driven vehicles I encounter are the various rovers and the escalade. I feel totally comfortable assuming the worst when I see those on the road, although it has more to do with driving skill as opposed to efficiency or money spent. Those who are criticizing efficiency are just annoyed by your expensive looking car as opposed to their cheap looking one.

      Bring on graduated licenses with vastly increased testing and driving standards based on vehicle weight, length and width.

      • 0 avatar
        ItsMeMartin

        Tedward, if you’re serious about that graduated license thing then you’re just out of your mind. Is it not enough for you that the society sometimes tries to shame us for the cars that we drive that you would like to have it LEGISLATED as well? Or maybe the current level of bureaucracy is too low for you and you feel threatened by those damn pesky people doing *gasp* what they want? Why do you hate choice so much?

        By the way: think of the following situation (and it’s just one of many proving the stupidity of such a law): a 16-year-old works on a family farm in rural Texas and gets a hand-me-down, extended bed, V8 F250 from his father to help him do the chores on the farm. All the nearby mechanics have in stock are F-series and Silverado parts. Do you really think he should be forced by law to trade it for a Dakota or S10? Or are they too extreme for your sensibilities too?

        The way I see it insurance rates are successful pretty much everywhere in steering poor drivers away from road mammoths. Let’s keep it that way and let people choose what they want and-more importantly-afford.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          I love your example. Mostly because my first car was a v8 f250 that I used to do chores and farm worky things. It’s one of the main reasons I think there should be a harder test for heavier, longer and wider vehicles. They are less maneuverable, require advanced planning to make maneuvers and present a higher risk to other road users based on their high bumpers and decreased maneuverability.

          The test for a truck should be far more exhaustive than that for a civic, But I never said it should be more expensive. There is a big difference there.

          • 0 avatar
            ItsMeMartin

            They sure are harder to maneuver and less sensitive to inputs, no argument there, but a much better option would be to make driving tests hard enough to make sure that whoever passes them is properly prepared to drive anything that a non-commercial license allows him to. It’s anecdotal, granted, but I heard of the way in which some states give out driving licences like candy on halloween and if it’s truly the case then I would say that substandard education rather than public preference for full-size trucks is the problem.

            If your solution was to be legislated then how would many classes of licenses would you propose? What would define the car’s class? Which of the factors would would override others in case of conflicting characteristics (for example: narrow and heavy vs wide and light)? What would be the requirements needed to apply for a less restrictive license? These are just some of the questions that would need to be addressed.
            And I bet your ass that there would be millions of exceptions and exemptions from the law. Just imagine a manufacturer being informed that their new model would belongs to a “restricted” group. Faced with the possibility of losing a portion of their customers who would not be legally allowed to drive it, the manufacturers would make damn sure that almost everything would be classified as, say, a small truck or a subcompact due to loopholes, exceptions, and – most importantly – a lot of lobbying, and the law would be as effective in steering people away from large cars and trucks as CAFE is for reducing fuel consumption.
            What is even worse is that such a law would result in the addition of another bureaucratic layer. You would need to have people who would set the standards for vehicle classes, another group which would test new cars to determine their class, and yet another one which would be responsible for determining the requirements for getting different tiers of driving licenses. All such a law would do is make bureaucracy even more bloated than it is now.
            And don’t forget that before such a law is passed you would need to defeat the automotive lobby and they would fight tooth and nail to stop that from being legislated. After all, a large portion of their profits come from large, expensive vehicles and they obviously would like as many people able to buy them as possible.
            So I would say that such an idea is not only dumb, it’s also unrealistic.

          • 0 avatar
            Reino

            If we had graduated licenses, Lexus would never sell a single SUV.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          Insurance rates do nothing to steer people away from large vehicles. Sporty vehicles, yes. SUVs or trucks, not at all.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Insurance rates tend to be lower for large vehicles.

            If I replaced my C-Max with an MKS, I would save money on insurance premiums.

          • 0 avatar
            ItsMeMartin

            @Quentin&bball
            My bad then. I must have mixed up facts. I stand corrected.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            ItsMeMartin-

            It really depends on the driver, vehicle, and garaging location. As a rule for state minimum coverages, the size of the vehicle has almost no effect on the insurance rate.

            There are some variations though. I live in the Detroit area, and I wouldn’t buy a Charger, Challenger, or 300 because of the higher insurance prices than the competition. Based on my zip code, which is 2 miles from Detroit, a Charger would cost me almost double in insurance over a Taurus or Impala.

          • 0 avatar
            matador

            Insurance depends on sporty vehicles, too. These are older cars, but:

            The transmission went out in my 1995 LeSabre. I had it replaced, but before I did that, I looked at other Buicks (Yes, I like Buicks), and fell in love with a 1996 Supercharged Riviera. I brought the VIN of the Riviera to my insurance agent- the Riviera was $3 less per month than the LeSabre. Until recently, the Supercharged Riviera was the second fastest Buick from the factory- the only faster one was the Grand National.

            I don’t know why a much faster, more powerful, sportier car was cheaper, but sometimes weird things like that just happen.

          • 0 avatar
            tedward

            Martin

            I am comfortable with the prospect of legislating a second tier of driving test for commuter cars, most states already have several as is. It wouldn’t be feasible to make existing licensees get a new category, but for new drivers I don’t see a huge hurdle. Basically if the parents own something larger than a cuv then their child needs to pass the harder test to drive that car. The end result would be nearly everyone taking the hard test and a higher level of education for the average driver. The auto industry wouldn’t be that freaked out as cuv is the growing category, full size trucks would feel the pinch but then most teens probably shouldn’t be driving those at all.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            bball40dtw – in my province rates tend to be higher across the board in higher risk areas. Vancouver has a higher insurance cost than Northern rural BC. We also have higher rates for new drivers. Size does not affect insurance but GVW does. A 1/2 ton with low cargo capacity costs less to insure than a max tow/haul 1/2 ton.
            Some vehicles that are considered higher risk i.e. more easy to steal can also cost more.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yeah. Area is important. If I moved even 4-5 miles north of where I do now, my rates would significantly drop.

            I’d bet our old pal Deadweight, who also lives in the Detroit Metro area, pays half of what I do in auto insurance because he lives 20 more miles away from Detroit than me.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            bball is correct; Detroit is “redlined.” I won’t get into the potential equities/inequities or politics of this now, though.

            Duggan is trying to set up a city-wide auto insurance exchange to counter high auto rates but it won’t succeed, in large part due to Michigan’s unique no-fault insurance statute, as an estimated 40% to 50% of drivers in the city limits of Detroit are driving around with NO auto insurance at any given time (Pontiac and Flint, too).

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Who you are and where you live are the major determining factor for insurance rates. The actual vehicle matters very little. As a middle-aged, clean licensed dude living in suburban Maine, I will pay less annually in insurance for my 320hp M235i than most on this board would pay elsewhere for a clapped out Corolla. $600/yr, to be precise, full coverage, high liability limits, very low deductibles.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This is definitely a huge thing, although at the same time, I see just as many drivers that struggle to control a shoddy old Corolla as some showy monstrosity.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s partly jealousy, but also partly a poorly expressed concern for your well being. We seem to have no problem in this country criticizing our friends and family for their lifestyle choices, as if our way of saving and spending money is the best and everyone around us is wasteful.

    My vehicles choices during my driving life have primarily been of the compact, 4 cylinder stick shift Japanese sporty car variety, but I’ve used every one of those cars for hauling my personal effects and various construction supplies. Finally circumstances presented themselves and the right decision seemed to be a full size truck. I got tons of criticisms about it and was asked repeatedly WHY I needed such a vehicle. Well I use the crap out of it, and those same people are now the ones calling me because I’m the guy with the truck.

    Ignore them.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I would have to agree with your top paragraph.

      But, I’m no angel in this respect, I p!ssed off a colleague in my industry once by ranting about his Suburban. Not remembering for a moment his four kids, their love of camping, driving elderly family members to appointments and the fact that he tows his boat or utility trailer with it.

      He defended his choice by reminding me of all of these things, and I immediately realized the error of my ways.

      Since then, I’ve adopted a “to each his own” policy about folks vehicles, as truly it’s none of my business anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      dwford – true. In “real” life I rarely get questioned for owning a full sized pickup but it is a common criticism on these boards.
      I’ve been singled out in parking lots when someone needs help with a dead car. Oh look, the guy in the pickup has a tool box in the back….

      Same can be said for when someone gets stuck in the winter. The dude in the compact SUV doesn’t get a knock on his window with a request for help but I often do.

      I gladly render aid and is part of the reason I carry “rescue” gear. The main reason though is self sufficiency. I know most people are ill prepared.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      My only gripe about owning pickup trucks is that my couple of friends who drive trucks, who seriously have ZERO reason to drive a truck other than they think they are cool, complain INCESSENTLY about the trucks! They complain about parking them. They complain about the gas mileage. They complain about the way they ride. They complain about how expensive they are. But they drive a truck anyway. My one buddy has never had anything in the bed of his truck other than the couple times I have borrowed the thing! The other guy has probably helped people move a couple times (which to me is a prime reason NOT to own a truck).

      If you need a truck, get a truck. More power to ya if it is what works for you. I find an SUV and a utility trailer a lot more useful, personally.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        krhodes1 – I agree that it makes no sense owning a vehicle that one always complains about it.
        Your example is no different than a lady wearing stiletto heels. Pain for fashion.
        Those ideals have never made sense to me.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Let it be known that as soon as I can comfortably afford it (whenever that happens), I will be scooping up a used 200 series Land Cruiser. If it were an option I’d get the diesel engine, but as it sits now 5.7L iForce V8 is the only option, and that’s not such a bad thing I suppose.

    I’ve whittled down my ideal car park to having a) efficient cheap fwd sedan for a commuter and b)capable SUV for trips, hauling, inclement weather.

    My current placeholder in the SUV category is my 4Runner, which just last month I used for the following: trailered a motorcycle from Indiana to NY, went exploring down some muddy fire roads, moved a complete bench press set (fit in the back with seats down), picked up a treadmill off craigslist, hauled a swinging porch set home from lowes (barely fit lengthwise), towed a twin axle 6×12 trailer during my move, hauled endless loads of boxes and smaller furniture during said move, carried mountain bikes on hitch rack, carried a canoe on the roof rack. Not to mention constantly taking our dogs all over the place.
    Could something like an Outback have done that? Possibly, maybe somewhat marginally (with the 6×12 trailer and possibly the offroading). But I have to say, SUVs are a beautiful thing when they have something to do.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I agree, my old Range Rover is an awfully handy thing to have around. But no way would I want such a thing as my only vehicle. As #3-4 it sure is handy.

      I don’t get the appeal of pickups though. For most of what they are actually used for, an SUV or a van would be far better. How often do you need to carry something that won’t fit in a van and doesn’t need to be protected from the elements if you are not a landscaper or farmer or some such? Baffles me. But whatever.

  • avatar
    John R

    I can’t speak to this with regards to SUV ownership as I view SUVs/CUVs as a blight.

    However, a long while ago, when my first-born age was calculated in months, I was shopping around for a second-hand Lan Evo that would fit my budget. My boss came to me and said, “What? Those aren’t very family oriented!”

    This was bizarre to me as a few weeks earlier he shared with me a tale about him and his wife feeding their first-born infant in a 300ZX.

    …the hell?…

    I don’t know if it’s envy, but I think people have a world view or an understanding of people that they will try to project onto others. I feel like you do or own something that’s incongruous to that conniptions result.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      I don’t get much if any family man flack about my FR-S despite having a nearly 3 year old child. Most people think it is pretty neat that my wife and I both have our fun little 2 door cars for when we don’t have the whole family along and have a reasonable compact CUV for full family duty. Maybe it would be different if I was driving a Cayman and my wife was driving a Z4 with the family car being an X5M. A Scion, a MINI, and a Toyota in the garage don’t draw much ire.

      I get a lot more crap about the fact that we’re not having any more kids. Everyone wants to know when the next one is coming and are shocked when we say we don’t plan for any more. Then we get all the crap about how our daughter will want a sibling and on and on. I figure I have another 5 years of that sort of interrogation.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “I get a lot more crap about the fact that we’re not having any more kids”

        People never shut up about that crap. We’re going to have another one, but not on other people’s schedules. Even when you say you are having another one eventually, they want to tell you when you should do it.

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          I’ve had quite a few people push further saying that I’ll change my mind. I might change my mind, but I won’t go through getting the plumbing hooked up again. We’ll adopt if we absolutely have to have another child. My DNA isn’t that special.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Oddly true and those same people will deride a couple with enough kids to form their own baseball team.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          SO glad I am past the age of “so when are you going to settle down, get married, and have a kid”. Uh, likely never. Luckily my Mom got her one and only grandson out of my brother at a VERY early age, so she has left me well alone.

          Just doing my part for reducing CO2 output…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Yep. We have one, with no immediate plans for another partly because of some medical issues my wife has had that make taking care of just one more challenging. We get So. Many. Questions. about when the next one is coming. They are enraging.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          So when you havin’ another kid dal?

          (ducks)

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Next year, just like you should be doing. (j/k, of course)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I wanted 3 kids for some unexplainable reason. My wife vetoed the idea. Hard to argue since my part of the process is the easiest and dare I say quickest?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @lou, as is said about a breakfast of eggs and bacon – the pig was committed, the chicken was merely involved.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            PrincipalDan – I’d pass on that metaphor to my wife but depending on the time of month she’d think I was referring to her as “the pig”.

            That would not end well ;)

  • avatar
    Joss

    No longer a Leyland beauty but still needs Supercover & Leycare.

    Luxury cars a double wammy financing depreciation.

    I think Range Rover is THE cliche of upper middle mediocracy.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Nah, it just indicates that your some overblown footballer who’s married to some fading beauty who’s a fugitive from a third-rate pop group,

      or

      You’ve got some kind of ties to the British royal family, fortunately far enough down the line of succession that the country never has to worry about you taking the throme.

  • avatar
    mdensch

    The one that gets me is the sour grapes “must be nice” attitude you get from some underachievers if you drive something nice. It might be exactly the kind of car they would buy if they had the money but for some reason they resent the fact that you can afford it and they can’t.

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      I had a work colleague tell me right after I bought my Volvo S60 “must be nice to have so much money”. I bought the car a year old (thus getting a nice discount from new); it’s a Volvo S60 fer cryin’ out loud, not exactly a Bentley, you know; and this came from a guy who bragged about always having the very latest computer system, spending thousands on a video-game-playing system, and had four ex-wives and four or five ex-kids with the associated child support payments. I told him something like, “well, you know, we all make choices about what we prioritize in our lives…”

  • avatar
    chainyanker

    Short answer?
    All people are judgmental, hypocritical assholes.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      That really is the answer. People are horrible. My wife wonders why I drink so much…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Correct. People say things like this because they like to feel superior. They like to think that driving an expensive car means you’re a dupe who wastes money. Until they get an expensive car themselves; then there’s always a good reason.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    That’s a lot of analysis for what should be obvious.

    The Range Range is the official car of the Royal family, your favorite media baron and australian, Rupert Murdoch, Russian oligarchs and various Hollywood and sporting elites.

    I remember my time working for various alcohol and tobacco multinationals and signed off requisition forms for Range Rovers for their CEOs and board members.

    The car has an image, one that helps sell the car and makes people who dont have them want them and jealous.

    No one cares what the peasants think.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Got a chance to drive one of those this weekend. I loved it. I own a CX 9 now and after nearly 8 years and 150k it has given me only one issue. I dont know what it is about that vehicle but I have always loved them. The one I drove was a 2011 with 34k miles on it for 32k dollars..geezz….The only thing that would keep me away is that I dont like making loan and repair payments at the same time.

  • avatar
    TW5

    If you saw someone hammering a nail with a wrench, you’d probably say something or at least inquire. Imagine the person responded with “muh human rights”.

    Okay. I’m not sure this is a human rights issue, but if that’s the angle you want to play to get less done with more money, I’ll get my popcorn and see what happens.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      TW5 – if it isn’t my wrench then why should one care?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Because we have to interact with other human beings. Whether or not we care to admit it, we notice when people don’t seem capable or trustworthy to perform relatively mundane tasks.

        Ultimately, these people undermine the social contract and US economic development, which begets terrible policy like CAFE 2025. We can all stop caring, but it won’t undo CAFE 2025 or the economic strife that led to its adoption.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          TW5 – I agree that we do notice when people don’t seem capable or trustworthy to perform relatively mundane tasks but I didn’t know that letting a guy use a wrench as a hammer was a metaphor for sociopolitical strife.

          I thought your metaphor related to what cars we buy and how we chose to use them or not use them…………

          silly me.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    “I posted a photo of this car somewhere on Facebook”

    Apparently you were looking for some compliments or being liked for your car. People didn’t play along and you were disappointed.

    Of course people are jealous because they can’t afford the Porsche or whatever picture you need to waive in front of their faces. But they are not gonna tell you how cool you are, but will make up all the accusations (killing planet etc.)

    And I’m not sure if showing off with a Range Rover is that great either and what type of reaction you expect. I think you need a better car, one that doesn’t break all the time.

    Sorry, but showing off with a great car (or not so great car in case of the Rover) doesn’t make you a great guy in people’s mind. I don’t care what car people drive, when I judge to like or not like them.

    People buy fancy cars to impress people. People may be secretly impressed and jealous, but never will admit it and will try ridicule your fancy car.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Anybody whose last two vehicles were a 911 and a Range Rover is not trying to fly under the radar, especially if they post pictures of them on social media. People put stuff on social media to invite attention and can’t be surprised that things that look like conspicuous consumption are going to invite some derision.

      Noting that the 911 is a “company car” will invite even more scorn; virtually NOBODY has a Porsche as a company vehicle unless they own a strip club or their indulgent parents own the company.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    What gets my goat on here is people will prattle all day about how folks don’t NEED anything a CUV offers, but in the same breath will beat their meat and pray at the altar of grossly excessive horsepower and performance. A CRV is the devil, despite the fact that it’s highly practical, highly fuel efficient, easier to get into/out of/load kids into/see out of than any comparable wagon, and cheaper than an Accord with the same passenger interior dimensions…. but cars like Z06s, Ferraris, etc that can’t be held at WOT for more than 4-5 seconds on public roads without committing a jailable crime, while guzzling tons of gas, being disgustingly overpriced (profit margins on cars like Porsches/Ferraris range from 18 to well over 50%), completely impractical and depending on your lean grossly displaying of excess are OK, because…………………………………

    The double standards with regards to stuff like this pretty bad, but it’s especially egregious within the car enthusiast community because we are supposed to know better. We thumb our noses at others on the basis of willful ignorance. It’s really disappointing.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you. The holier-than-thou attitude surrounding SUVs and crossovers is irritating. They are no more wasteful than many of the high-powered performance vehicles we worship.

      And a manual, diesel brown wagon is just silly for the majority of people. There, I said it.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      First what I am writing is not about you guys at all, it’s more my family and a few friends. So this is really me semi-privately venting.

      The flip side of the coin are family and friends saying “You have a child now, you really should get the CR-V/RAV-4/Highlander/Minivan/whatever, your cars are too small”. Yes, I know the CR-V makes more sense on paper and probably does in real life. I don’t care. I don’t want to drive a damn CR-V. My parents have one. It’s nice, but it’s not something I want to drive. It sits too high off the ground for my tastes and I don’t like how it handles. My wife is happy in her Honda Fit, I am happy in my Acura RSX-S. Neither of us like driving giant cars, so we are going to happily continue driving our little cars.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        To be fair, people you know will give you all kinds of unsolicited advice once you have kids. So much unsolicited advice. Use this formula, you should really be breastfeeding until 12 months, why didn’t you buy your 2 1/2 year old an iPad, get this car, one of you should stay home, wen are you having another one, etc. Some advice is good. Most of it doesn’t pertain to your life.

        Just buy lots of books because books are awesome. There, more unsolicited advice.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Here’s some more, keep young children away from radiation emitting electronic devices and give them a classical education.

          http://www.welltrainedmind.com/classical-education/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If classical education = public school education, we’re good.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s a negatory good buddy.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “If classical education = public school education, we’re good.”

            Public School + Involved parent is in my humble opinion one of the most underrated educations in the world.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well, classical education isn’t happening then. Luckily we have an excellent elementary school a block from our house. The middle school and high school also have IB programs.

        • 0 avatar
          DevilsRotary86

          Ha! thanks. It was a good chance to vent a little and also give a little counter balance to the griping about the unsolicited and annoying advice of “why don’t you buy a smaller car?”. For people like my wife and I who like small cars “why don’t you buy bigger?” is equally annoying.

          It’s a shame that smaller cars aren’t a little more popular here. I wouldn’t mind getting something nicer than my RSX-S. Unfortunately the selection of “small but luxury” is limited to the MINI Cooper JCW, the BMW 2 series, and the Lexus CT. It’s not a bad selection but the last two are a shave on the large side. The existence of those choices at all is testament to the over saturated nature of our car market where every possible niche is filled. But I wish there were one or two more options.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I like small cars and drive a C-Max. It’s probably too big and not sporty enough for you. What you really need is for Ford to make a B-Max ST.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            Nah, the B-max at 63 inches high is too tall for me. It’s almost as tall as the 65″ high CR-V.

            For “cars available elsewhere but not here” that would fit the bill, think more Audi A1 quattro.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Oooooo, the real forbidden fruit. Would you get the 3-door or 5-door?

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            Oh, certainly the 3-door.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            How small are you talking? Civic n Corolla are growing top sellers, while Camry and Accord are losing sales.

            “Small luxury” segment is actually pretty well covered too. If the 2 series is OK, then so is the A3, the Verano, CLA, and of course the GTI and Mazda 3.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “How small are you talking? Civic n Corolla are growing top sellers, while Camry and Accord are losing sales.

            “Small luxury” segment is actually pretty well covered too. If the 2 series is OK, then so is the A3, the Verano, CLA, and of course the GTI and Mazda 3.”

            Ideally, I would want to go no larger than my RSX-S at 172″ long, 101″ wheelbase, 55″ tall, and 2,800 lbs. I am willing to call the BMW 2 series at 174″ long and just under 56″ tall a “rounding error”. The CLA at 182″ long and over 56″ tall is a little too big for my tastes. Similar story for the Verano. Just a little too long and tall. The Mazda 3 pushes the envelope of size a little but the GTI is closer to right even if it is a little tall at 57″.

            If the hand of God were to come down and smash my RSX-S this afternoon, I would probably find myself in a MINI dealer this weekend. A Cooper JCW or Cooper S has all the luxury niceties in a package that I can live with. I would prefer a trunk over a hatch, but I am willing to wiggle a little.

            Yeah, I am picky. But I have learned that a car is a very large purchase that I will have to live with driving to work each and every day. Being picky is a good idea.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I used to be a size pedant- living in NYC and parallel parking on the street, every inch literally counted. Now a few years and cars later, I still like driving a car smaller than I need, but I’m a little more flexible. I drive an 09 Civic sedan, which comes in around 177×56.5×69, and it’s pretty much perfect for me. I can sit behind myself, the trunk is huge, but the car still feels light and agile. My wife’s Rabbit is much shorter and a little lower, but with 400 more lbs, slower steering and a sloppy suspension it feels ponderous by comparison. The car I had before the Civic was a 350Z, and it was as short as the Golf, but felt heavy and massive because of its heavy controls and terrible visibility.

            Point being, doesn’t really make sense to rule out a car based on an inch or w/e if you aren’t paying taxes on size. Pays to actually drive a car and see how it feels before writing it off over something so trivial.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “I used to be a size pedant- living in NYC and parallel parking on the street, every inch literally counted….”

            When I am spending 10’s of thousands of dollars you can bet that I refuse to be flexible. I will get the exact car that I want. The upshot here is that I don’t really quibble anymore on price. Paying MSRP is perfectly acceptable if I get exactly what I want. So yes, I am a difficult car shopper, but I have no interest in squeezing pennies till they bleed. As I said, it’s a purchase in the 10’s of thousands of dollars and I will be using it on a daily basis. Getting it right is more important than getting it cheap. The car that I own now is as big as I am willing to go and that’s that.

            And why do I care if I can sit behind myself? I am never going to have to do that.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            @bball40dtw Doesn’t Ford make a B-Max in Europe? I am disappointed that things like that don’t happen here, as well as the fact that two of four pickup sizes are X’d out of the US market.

            I don’t see why it would disrupt the distribution channel to put these “missing links” into the mix. In particular, I would like to see the return of a Ranger sized pickup.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            VolandoBajo-

            They do, and it’s cool. It is a super useful package without a B-pillar. I dig it and wish the US C-Max had the same door combo. I would have paid the price differential.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          DevilsRotary86 – everyone seems to be an expert on children until they have a few of their own.
          My wife had a Ford Escort 4 dr and I had a reg cab pickup when we got married. The Escort would of been okay but we also got a large dog. Black lab and kid in car seat okay until we (okay wife) got pregnant again. We didn’t like the space in small SUV’s and most cars and ended up with a minivan.

          Ultimately one needs to get what they think works best for them.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            I am old fashioned. If we wind up with more than 2 children, I would look for a big sedan that can legitimately seat 3 kids across. But that doesn’t appear to be in the cards. 2 kids or less, I am perfectly happy in a sub-compact or what some now call “Supermini”. And a dog isn’t happening. Just how I am personally, I am not a fan of pets.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m impressed. I had a Fiat 500 for 4 days with just one kid. It would never work for me. I found it easiest to put my daughter, who was 11 months at the time, into her rear facing car seat through the hatch opening.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            DevilsRotary86 – a dog is a man’s best friend. As the kids age they seem less likely to listen to you, the dog listens better.

            The dog is always happy to see you, even at 3 AM.

            Can’t say the same for the wife.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My favorite kind of dog is someone else’s.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I feel much the same about dogs and children. Fun to play with for 30 minutes or so, provided they are well trained. Then you give them back to their owners.

            I am much more a cat person. I can really appreciate a lazy predator.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            krhodes1 – “lazy predator”? Isn’t that by definition a Republican?

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        When we were expecting our child, people around me were expecting me to get rid of my Porsche Cayman (my wife, however, was very insistent on keeping the one big hobby that made me happy, finances permitting). It was irritating, as is most of the unsolicited advice about parenting that continues to flow in from people whose living situations can be very different from ours.

        I did sell the Cayman a two months before our kid was born.

        6 months later, I bought its replacement, pictured in my avatar. Suddenly all the “You need an SUV” stopped.

        I can almost tolerate the rest of the unsolicited advice now.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I just see the wheel in your avatar. Did you buy another Cayman?

          • 0 avatar
            Chan

            Negatron. F355.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Even better. I didn’t know if the badge in the wheel was a prancing horse or the Porsche logo. I need to pay closer attention to the Ferrari red…

            Having a third car seems like the way to go. I gotta figure out how to make room for a third car. Right now, my plan is to daily drive a Mustang GT350 in Michigan, even in the winter.

          • 0 avatar
            Chan

            How about buying a sacrificial beater and parking it outside?

            I know someone who, as some of us say, “has his priorities right.” He has a 4-post lift in his 2-car garage, 4 Fezzas and a Porker. At any point in time two of the Fs are parked outside, on the street. Covered, of course.

            I’d ask him why he doesn’t get a house with a bigger garage, but then I would be featured on this article. In a bad way.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    FYI Doug there’s a popular Russian youtube car reviewer “AcademeG” that’s doing a very similar sort of project with a L322 body Range Rover like yours. With a budget of 500k rubles (around $10k at current exchange rates) he bought a very used up truck and is now documenting the ownership experience, but without the safety net of a CarMax warranty. He’s DIYing stuff when he can and otherwise takes it to a friend’s shop where they explain what exactly went wrong and how much it all costs to fix. His has the BMW 4.4L V8, so far in the DIY realm he’s changed the plugs, and that didn’t look all that bad.

    The overarching experience seems to mirror yours: when it’s not tormenting him with Check engine lights and no start conditions, it’s an absolute dream to drive and he can’t stop raving about it. But then not a day passes before the next new surprise pops up.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      Thanks for the youtube channel. Always looking for some russian car channels to watch. Good for language practice.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Check out his review of a perfectly preserved all original 1977 Izh Moskvitch 412 sedan, almost made me tear up reminiscing on all of the great times I’ve had in those old cars owned by relatives back home.

        • 0 avatar
          Onus

          That was the first video i watched. I’ve never seen a car so nice here. Perfect. Love the orange color as well. On top of that the host picked a picture perfect setting to showcase it. This country is beautiful outside the city in the summer time. Love it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I agree, the setting is what makes it, and makes it that much more nostalgic. I spent my summers bouncing along dirt roads just like that, in the back of either my grandpa’s sky-blue ’87 Izh-2125 Kombi (the sloping roof hatchback variant), or my great uncle’s orange ’87 412 Sedan (like this one but an uglier modernized black steel grill). I also took an awesome trip to the Altai mountains with relatives from Moscow, our group took a pair of these Moskvitches, both borrowed from various grandparents and relatives. My uncle drove my grandpa’s 2125, and my second uncle drove a pea green ’76 Moskvitch 412. Both cars miraculously pulled up some seriously steep mountain grades, with only moderate overheating. I remember riding home from that trip in the back seat, a draft through the rusted rocker panel freezing my wet feet.

            Times are a changing, everyone who could afford it switched to RHD Japanese cars, but the deeper into rural Russia you go, the more of these old Soviet steeds you see still being used on a daily basis to haul hay and potatoes and to get to market.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Here ya go, a true survivor for chump change ($500) for sale in Biysk, Altai Krai. Too bad they switched to body color bumpers and painted grills, decontenting at its finest.

            http://biysk.drom.ru/moskvitch/moskvitch/18684821.html

            One of the final run cars made in 1996, can you believe they made these until 1997? General rule of thumb with Russian cars is that the Soviet era ones had better QC and materials, stuff made in the “wild 90s” is generally to be avoided, early 2000s is also nothing to write home about.

          • 0 avatar
            Onus

            Fantastic story.

            I spend most of my time in the Northwest, specifically Vologda Oblast. With my wife’s family. Anyway we get out every weekend to a small town of 10,000. I love taking the 250km car ride. Great place right on a huge lake and lots of home made food. 90% of the roads are dirt in town. Also a perfect 25 degrees right now fantastic.

            Anyway I ran across a 70 moscovitch here for sale. Didn’t look to much into it. It wasn’t expensive from what I remember.

            Not much old stuff kicking around here it seems. Tons of Russian domestics from the 90s and 2000. My guess is stuff rots out. Though in the country and town there are tons of old uaz, kamaz trucks, zils. All are earning there keep mostly hauling cut logs.

            As for newer cars I haven’t seen any used Japanese cars out here. Mostly European cars, and a few American ones.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I blame the popularization of German marks for this conflict. Eons ago you would see someone driving a BMW and assume he was just someone who enjoyed paying a premium for a small, great driving vehicle. Today you see a BMW and assume its being driven by a badge-worshipping douchebag. Unfortunately, your assumptions are most often correct.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      Or, you can assume that person thought, “Wow that’s a great lease deal; for the cost of the typical teenager’s cell phone bill, I can drive a freaking BMW.” For the record: I don’t like BMWs.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The “freaking BMW” part is totally gone for me. In any big city those great lease deals have turned the 328i into the yuppie Corolla.

        • 0 avatar
          jcain

          For sure. LA has an ocean of non-metallic-paint, no-visible-option 320s and 328s. $329/month prestige.

          That said, all those high-profit sales (and follow-up service) do allow the BMW dealers to keep the lights on and make thin margins on $500-1000 over invoice Euro Delivery pricing. As long as BMW offers something for their enthusiast customers I’m not complaining about the mass-market cars they have to sell to continue doing that. I do wish my M235i had hydraulic steering, though.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Personally I feel that most people do not need an SUV, folks got along great without them for decades. I always try to talk people out of getting SUVs when they talk about it, but I realize that it’s their money and they can do what they want with it.

    The problem is when people start making stupid decisions with their SUV buying direction. When someone tells me they are buying an SUV I roll my eyes. But when they tell me they are looking at Range Rovers, Touaregs, Cayennes, etc. I respond with a stern warning. My sister who presently drives a Pilot told me recently that she wants to get a Touareg. When asked why, it came down to looks and perception. You can’t drop your kid off at school in a crappy old SUV! (This was my interpretation, she didn’t actually say this) I am still attempting to get her to realize that reliability trumps looks with SUVs. Fortunately her husband’s CC recently had left-on-the-side-of-the-road breakdowns so I think I might get her out of Germany.

    So yes, I will judge you for owning a RR, but simply because it is a reliability and maintenance nightmare. Not because it’s supposed to be fancy or a gas guzzler.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      But if someone came to you and said “I want a sports car” I’m sure you’d shake their hand, despite them being even more image driven and useless than SUVs supposedly are. Just because someone doesn’t subscribe to your same avenues of superficiality doesn’t mean they warrant the wrath of your judgment.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        As I mentioned, it’s their money and they can do what they want. If someone buys and drives an H2, sorry, they are going to have to somehow learn to survive under the wrath of my judgement. But even if they buy a sports car, put oversized wheels on it, and paint stripes all over it, they too will have tough going knowing that I am judging them harshly.

        In short, buy what you want. But if you don’t want a negative reaction to what you run by me, don’t run anything by me. I’m not just going to give you thumbs up. I have an opinion, yours may differ, you are free to continue living if that is the case… this time!

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Wow! Where can I sign up for a self-improvement course to learn how to live under your harsh judgment, so that I will be prepared to exercise my free choices?

          And I wonder why I never noticed before the tremendous burden I must bear every day, living under your harsh judgment.

          And all this time, I thought I was in the same boat as the Marine with this bumpersticker.

          “Marines fear God and no one else.”

          I never knew the wrath of LandArk was both imminent and immanent (might make sense — you could look it up, as Casey Stengel once said.)

          Thanks for the warning…I will have my guard up to protect myself from the wrath of your judgment.

          For some reason I have a picture in my mind of Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, but it doesn’t fit you.

          Hope I notice this terrible judgmental wrath before it lands on my doorstep.

          Sheesh, the people who are legends in their own minds…

          Though I was an avid reader of the first generation of Marvel Comics, perhaps it is the 2nd generation that leads to such delusions of grandeur. Maybe comic books do rot peoples’ minds.

          BTW, be sure to send the correct format of your judgmental wrath. I drive a “gas-guzzling” V8 Panther platform land battleship, all 20+ feet of it. I’d hate to get the wrong type of judgmental wrath from you, and have refuse delivery.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Whenever someone says, “we got along great without X for decades,” I roll my eyes. That doesn’t mean there isn’t something better or something people like more. I used to ride in the back of a Renault Alliance with no car seat when I was a kid. Instead of repeating that, my wife totes our child around in a 5000 pound, Volvo based, 18 foot long, 5 star crash test rated, Lincoln wagon with AWD and 360 HP. Life is too short to drive econoboxes when you have the choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      ” I am still attempting to get her to realize that reliability trumps looks with SUVs”

      If all your sister cared about was reliability she would all be driving a Civic while wearing a Mao jacket. Cars are a fashion statement for many, if not most buyers and ignoring that simple fact is crazy.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        He never said that reliability was the only thing she cared about. And maybe she was wearing her dashiki or Nehru jacket because her Mao jacket was at the Chinese laundry.

        But thank you for warning us that if we don’t recognize the fact that cars are a fashion statement for many, we will be crazy.

        I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for that fact, and I’ll try to warn others, too, lest they become crazy.

        “Siri, file that one under Obvious, please.”

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “folks got along great without them for decades”

      – Central heating, electricity, indoor plumbing, motorvehicles…..

      do I need to add more?

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Luxury! We used to have to get out of the lake at six o’clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of ‘ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Well, I think a Land Rover is silly unless you are one of the vanishingly few that actually require it’s off-road capabilities.

    If you don’t take it off-road, you get a whole pile of weight, bulk, poor handling (not to mention the awful reliability) in return for off-road capability that goes unused.

    But would I “shame” somebody for it? No, that’s just dickish.

    I guess for a “luxury” brand, they are cheap on the used market, so there is that…

  • avatar

    Here in Oklahoma, every third person and his mother drives:

    -A Yukon Denali XL or Suburban LTZ
    -A Ford F-150 Platinum/King Ranch/Limited 4WD on monster-truck tires
    -Some other giant BOF vehicle that is absolutely unnecessary for a one-person commute

    Trust, me, your Range Rover is hardly the definition of wretched excess as far as size goes. In fact, it may actually be using less than its fair share of the road since it’s in the shop (and therefore off of the road) so frequently.

    • 0 avatar
      shipping96

      LOL. Hilarious (because it’s true) about the shop time.

      Land Rovers and VW’s.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Less road use, for sure, but think of all those shop rags consumed. On the other hand, they sure do help create jobs in the shop rag industry.

      But if they are cheap used, what does that say about the financial acumen of the new RR buyer? And what off-road capabilities? Nothing a less expensive Jeep or Land Cruiser can’t do better. And when was the last time you saw a RR with mud on it, freshly back from an off-road adventure?

      But maybe we could sell them fake off-road mud body wrap kits, for that casual outdoor pose.

  • avatar
    319583076

    “…because the money’s just a yardstick isn’t it. It’s the only common reference people have for making other people take them as seriously as they take themselves, I mean that’s all they’re really asking for isn’t it?”

    Wm Gaddis

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s one thing that struck me when I listened to a Jack Welch speech recently.

      He had a lot of good things to say, but I had one deep disagreement with him.

      He thinks of work as a sport.

      I’ve recently achieved a level of prosperity where I can seriously entertain the notion of work as sport, but I was poor recently enough to remember that work and money are survival tools for *most* people.

      Anyone who thinks of money as just a way to keep score is both naieve and out of touch with the 99%.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Those that judge you for “driving more than you need” just think their preferences are better than yours.

    In the context of private, personal transportation, nearly every car on sale today offers more than anyone ever technically really needs.

    In order to get yourself from point A to point B on a daily basis, no car needs:

    paint
    alloy wheels
    stereo system
    sound insulation
    more than 1 seat (unless for a family)
    any kind of interior or exterior styling
    power windows
    etc.

    And yet, the market demands all of these things.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Without paint, it rusts out and can no longer get you from point A to B. Thus, paint is necessary.
      Alloy wheels reduce the cost to get from A to B, and hence add value. But there is a difference between bling alloy wheels and non-bling alloy wheels.
      I think enough people have a need to transport more than one person that >1 seat is a real requirement.

      But you are right on the other items. In fact, I would add anything “soft touch” to the list as one who appreciates niceness & a bit of luxury, a soft touch dash is just plain stupid to me, especially when the material has higher friction (like a rubber) and is thus harder to clean.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        “Alloy wheels reduce the cost.” Highly dubious. The fuel economy difference is infinitesimal and would not add up to much over the lifetime of the car. The wheels themselves cost a few hundred dollars, even wholesale.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          The mpg difference is measurable if the weight is reduced significantly. Is it enough to offset $400 in fuel? Probably not in the US with our cheap fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      “Those that judge you for ‘driving more than you need’ just think their preferences are better than yours.”

      Absolutely. And I can explain exactly *why* my choices are better, too.

      I try not to be a dick about it, though.

      But it’s not like you make your choice in isolation. If you live in any kind of city, your choices affect those around you, at least a little – and the people around you will have an opinion about it. That’s just how humanity works. If you don’t like that, rural life beckons.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      No paint means rust. Hence not a DD for long.

      Alloy wheels being lighter, mean less fuel.

      Stereo? Why should time spent behind the wheel be otherwise dead time?

      Sound insulation? Does that mean we can take down that sound wall between the highway and your development?

      More than 1 seat? But if you are traveling, you should try to take others with you wherever it will reduce overall travel, so the Half-Smart car will not be inented on our watch.

      Styling? If you don’t buy the aged whale penis leather seats, how on earth can you call most of what passes for styling as styling, and not just wind tunnel experimentation — attempts at creating deliberate turbulence to reduce cavitation and drag? Ninety percent of all new sedans look alike. Where is this thing you call styling?

      Power windows? I’ll bet you heat food n your home by rubbing two sticks together, don’t you? Anything else uses unnecessary energy and/or materials. But I want to see proof, just to be sure.

      And if you want to be consistent, unless points A and B are more than ten miles apart, you don’t even need a car. Get a bike or run, you wasteful slacker.

      Now get out from behind your keyboard and stop wasting electricity, if we are going to use need as our sole criterion. Otherwise, stop posing and stop pretending that need alone is a valid criterion.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Another angle of SUVs of a reasonable-ish size such as Doug’s Range Rover is that they are very relaxing vehicles to drive in big cities such as New York. It’s just much less stressful to be higher up and well insulated in your cocoon, not scared of potholes, and with a bit of visual mass to give you some authority in dog-eat-dog traffic. Traffic just tends to flow around you less offensively as you float down the Hudson Parkway at your own pace. I’m sure this will have people riled up but hey don’t knock it til you try it.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      This sounds similar to why I like the longest wheelbase car I can afford. You get a nice, long car with the wheels out further, it floats more over the bumps, it’s a more serene driving experience.

      I don’t have plans to buy one, but I appreciate the big BOF SUV, and there is nothing more comfortable to get as a taxi than a brand new one of those.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I was in a GMT900 Tahoe for the first time last year, and aside from some very real complaints that would keep me from actually wanting to buy one (poor interior packaging, poor rear seat comfort) this thing rode like an absolute dream, and had a nice sounding, smooth, small block V8 that simply cannot be replicated by any other engine layout/displacement. I could waft along for hours in one of these and not get tired (assuming I was in the front seats, which were better than the 2nd row captains chairs). I imagine this truly is the modern day incarnation of the old full size BOF sedans of America’s past.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          The dream-like ride is one of the huge factors that keeps me in gigantic BOF vehicles. I take frequent road trips and a Tahoe is a far more comfortable vehicle for this purpose than a Focus Hatch or a 3-series or what ever else people would buy me with my money.

          Check out a K2XX variant. Every complaint you listed has been thoroughly addressed.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “Every complaint you listed has been thoroughly addressed”

            Not so sure on the packaging front, in fact they’ve gotten worse. The most blatant example of which is the raised rear cargo floor (eating up several cubic feet of already precious space) in order to get a flat floor with the third row lowered. Absolutely lazy engineering IMO, a guy at Honda would have gotten laughed out of the room for suggesting a solution like that. The HUGE center console that flows into the protruding dash is also particularly offensive in my mind. The whole point of these trucks is supposed to be acres of room to stretch out.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The new GM and Ford BoF SUVs are excellent vehicles. The Fords may have older bones, but the refresh did wonders for the Expigator. The GM SUVs have continued to get even better as well.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I don’t understand this contention that K2XX SUVs have a good ride. Yes, it’s isolated, but the body control is very poor. You get a lot of wallowing and you can feel jiggling from the rear axle bouncing around.

          Want a good ride in a SUV? Go ride in a Range Rover. Hopefully you’ll get to your destination before it breaks.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          gtemnykh – same can be said for my supercrew F150. It rides very nice on the highway. Even my wife prefers it over our minivan. My back seats are more comfortable than that of a Tahoe.

          Sure parking lots can be a pain but I can guarantee that a dude in a short SUV would not be happy trying to keep up with me on a gravel road.

        • 0 avatar
          baconator

          The Yukon Denali really is the equivalent of the Sedan DeVille of the 70s, and the buyer demographics are basically the same.

    • 0 avatar
      iMatt

      I can see where you’re coming from but I have to disagree. Piloting large trucks in downtown urban areas actually makes me more nervous.

      As an example, driving my parents’ Tundra while living in downtown Toronto was anything but relaxing. It’s too wide with a wheelbase that’s too long. You can’t even see the road directly in front of you!

      Give me a small hatchback any day in a city and I can get around all day long without a breeze.

      An abundance of pedestrians btw just increases my anxiety factor when driving down any congested street in a vehicle such as that Tundra.

      • 0 avatar
        iMatt

        To add, as a pedestrian in large urban centers, I feel much more comfortable being surrounded by small cars versus large garish trucks. And it’s not for the reasons you think….

        Trying to share road space with someone who’s got something to prove usually sucks – think the Rob Ford “roads are for cars” type.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          This. When I nearly get run over in a downtown crosswalk (something that happens multiple times a week), it’s almost always by one of two types of vehicles:

          1) Expensive luxury cars driven by someone who is on the phone and feels he or she is too important to have to obey traffic laws.

          2) Big pickups with noisy exhausts and a clear mission of relieving the owner’s manhood insecurities and expressing his manly anger at anything less manly, like pedestrians.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Like I said, the key is ‘reasonably sized.’ My old Mazda MPV 4wd (three row unibody solid rear axle SUV-ish thing with part/full time 4wd and locking center diff) was literally shorter than a Camry, but ticked all the boxes for urban SUV driving comfort. My current 4Runner is the same way, at 178.7 inches long, it is actually almost a foot shorter than a Camry, and narrower. All of its bulk is vertical. Good visibility is another bonus with a traditional SUV with a lot of glass area.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      “Another angle of SUVs of a reasonable-ish size such as Doug’s Range Rover is that they are very relaxing vehicles to drive in big cities such as New York. It’s just much less stressful to be higher up and well insulated in your cocoon, not scared of potholes, and with a bit of visual mass to give you some authority in dog-eat-dog traffic”

      I admit that a fair bit of my preference for tiny low-riding cars is influenced by me living in North Dallas where the roads are paved nearly racetrack smooth and pot holes are taken care of promptly. Around here the worst that I deal with are somewhat aggressive expansion joints (needed for the heat).

      I freely admit that my tune may change if I lived somewhere with more poorly kept up roads.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Telling someone else how to live his life lets you avoid the realization of how little control you have over your own. It’s America’s favorite past time, and all our politics is for either major party.

  • avatar
    mitchw

    Driving a luxury brand is a provocation in itself. It’s like if you walked down the street dressed up as Elvis or as Selena Gomez in a bikini; with an aspirational brand vehicle you’re making a statement and asking for attention as the street character, “Rich Young Man.” Go drive a dark grey Chevy Equinox rather than the Rover and you’ll be fitting in with the majority of people for whom cars are appliances. You will become invisible.

    When I was considering an old, used, and cheap to purchase Boxster, one thing that kept coming up was do I want people to look at me ‘that way?’ Nope, no I do not.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I agree 100%. I buy sports sedans rather than true sports cars because I don’t want that kind of attention. Only gearheads look twice at my G8. I’d get a very different reaction if I were in a C6 Corvette with the same engine.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Posting a picture of your company car to Facebook is the car guy equivalent of the gym people that take selfies while they flex in a mirror.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      Doug probably wouldn’t have posted a picture of his company car on Facebook if it had been a white Nissan Micra with a fancy stripe along the bottom of it.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Or pseudo-selfies without the face showing, so you are supposed to think buff dude, but it really isn’t the dude himself, just something related to him by employment, in this case.

      “Wow! He drives a Range Rover! He must be financially sharp, as he will be able to write off huge depreciation in the first years, if he can tie the car into his work. And he must be a shrewd, analytical mind, carefully comparing his car to other alternatives, and ending up with the one that stands out from all the rest. I wonder if I send him a friend request if he’ll reply?”

      Picture the Martin Short skit on SNL where he thinks he will be befriended by his idol, Pat Sajak, and his life will be enriched thereby.

      Oh Lord won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz! None of my friends have Porsches, and I want some new friends who all drive Range Rovers. That will enrich my life for sure.

      It is not the fact that a RR is more car than you need, it is the fact that the RR is less car than you think you have, and don’t even realize it.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    For the most part is simply a matter of non-enthusiasts not getting it. Nothing more, nothing less. These are people who buy Camrys, Accords, and now Subarus. They usually mean well, but they don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Onus

    Having a 1990s 3/4 ton truck and a camry covers 100% of the things i need. Truck for truck stuff and car for the daily grind.

    Sure i could have a smaller car and truck.

    But, i have maxed out the payload on my regular cab long box f250. It has a heavy payload package with 5 leafs, and overloads. Normal trucks have 4 leafs and no overloads. Still managed to get it to sit on the overload springs a few times. Comes in quite handy. It’s also setup to tow a trailer though i haven’t towed anything as of yet.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    The answer is simple really:
    1) Waste uses resources that we,re all going no need use day. It’s not like world is making more oil, and the long term thinkers among us realize that EU unless something changes waste today means less prosperity tomorrow for you AND for me. I happen to belive that alternative energy technologies will be before we run out of hydrocarbons, but still, whatever happened to waste not want not?

    2) If I perceive that the vehicle is a “look at me”, I’m free to not give you the adulation you thought you were buying. It’s not my job to fawn over your toys.

    3) I’m an engineer with an MBA, so I compulsively estimate random metrics like dollers per pound ton-mile, person-miles per gallon, asset utilization, opportunity cost compared to the next best vehicle, fitness for purpose, payload ratings, horsepower/torque and so on. I can’t help it. When you see the world this way, luxury vehicles often make their owners look like people who make poor decisions. I try to keep this one to myself, but you did ask.

    In case you’re wondering, the Range Rover looks like a pretty lousy vehicle through this view of the world. I’m sure it has its charms, but its not the answer to any resource maximization problem — and you could buy a Prius and a Wrangler for the same money and gain reliability, fuel efficiency, capability, and redundancy for your household fleet, and also have two interesting and very different vehicles to drive. These two cars would also likely have a much lower 10 year TCO than any piece of bespoke low volume engineering. Also, when you pull up to a fancy restaurant in a Prius or an unmodified Wrangler, you look like someone who wants a quality meal, rather than a spendthrift party boy.

    Oh, and the perception of class comes from how you treat the restaurant staff and your companions. My observation has been that expensive cars are completely orthogonal to classy behavior.

    And, yes, I could easily own an entry-level luxury car now, and I could probably balance tho household books while paying the lease on a Range Rover some time next year — if I thought it would help me in my life goals. But these vehicles just aren’t better than my 2004 Toyota Sienna when it comes to the things I care about.

    Anyway, I usually keep my thoughts on this matter to myself, because I am being judgemental, and because other people are free to live their lives their way. But, you did ask.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      Well thought out response. Bonus points for using “orthogonal” in a sentence; that resulted in my first Google search today.

    • 0 avatar
      MeJ

      You make some good points. Number one is the most interesting because it’s not something people think about: We are on a planet of limited resources and we should all care how it gets used. I think about that all the time.
      However, as a car guy, your last point about your 04 Sienna being good enough and not important to what you care about, I have to say that my car is important to me. I love cars (and planes, and boats, and mechanical watches…)so I bought the car I really wanted, because it’s something I truly appreciate.
      Some people may actually buy a Porsche (or BMW, or Corvette) for more emotional reasons than logical, and that is Ok with me.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I prefer to have my crazy sports cars AND treat the waiters courteously when I am out for a quality meal. Or a non-quality meal. Either way, courtesy is something you can never have or give too much of.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Your response was a refreshing breeze, blowing away the hot air and chronic halitosis of the blowhards. ;-)

      I’m hardly the best decision-maker myself, but your example made me laugh: my engineer friend and his wife have two cars, a Prius and a Jeep. (Of course, he did have a Mustang Cobra before that.)

  • avatar
    Fred

    1 Timothy 6:9 – But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

    Burn in hell my fellow sinners.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “I suspect the reason people do this is because they’re jealous.”

    This is the sort of thing that annoying people often tell themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Ha, hit dogs holler and you just yelped.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Have you ever wondered why sport utility vehicle drivers seem like such a**holes? Surely it’s no coincidence that Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tours Washington in one of the biggest SUVs on the market, the Cadillac Escalade, or that Jesse Ventura loves the Lincoln Navigator. Well, according to New York Times reporter Keith Bradsher’s new book “High and Mighty”, the connection between the two isn’t a coincidence. Unlike any other vehicle before it, the SUV is the car of choice for the nation’s most self-centered people; and the bigger the SUV, the more of a jerk its driver is likely to be.

        According to market research conducted by the country’s leading automakers, Bradsher reports, SUV buyers tend to be “insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors and communities. They are more restless, more sybaritic, and less social than most Americans are. They tend to like fine restaurants a lot more than off-road driving, seldom go to church and have limited interest in doing volunteer work to help others.”

        He says, too, that SUV drivers generally don’t care about anyone else’s kids but their own, are very concerned with how other people see them rather than with what’s practical, and they tend to want to control or have control over the people around them. David Bostwick, Chrysler’s market research director, tells Bradsher, “If you have a sport utility, you can have the smoked windows, put the children in the back and pretend you’re still single.”

        Armed with such research, automakers have, over the past decade, ramped up their SUV designs to appeal even more to the “reptilian” instincts of the many Americans who are attracted to SUVs not because of their perceived safety, but for their obvious aggressiveness. Automakers have intentionally designed the latest models to resemble ferocious animals. The Dodge Durango, for instance, was built to resemble a savage jungle cat, with vertical bars across the grille to represent teeth and big jaw-like fenders. Bradsher quotes a former Ford market researcher who says the SUV craze is “about not letting anything get in your way, and at the extreme, about intimidating others to get out of your way.”

        http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0212.mencimer.html
        ________

        Yeah, who wouldn’t be jealous of **that**?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Pch101 – that it pretty damning research. Anecdotally when I look at my kid’s school some of the more wealthy do own big SUV’s and are very self-centered. That research fits better to some of the aggressive social climbing name dropping suck-asses that send their kids there.
          One of our friends do own a big SUV but they have 5 kids and are down to earth people.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Bradsher oversimplifies things a bit — the book is a polemic of sorts — but he’s also not wrong.

            Marketers divide the society into various psychographic groups, and automakers attempt to design individual vehicles in order to appeal to at least a few different groups.

            Not everyone who buys an SUV is an a**hole, and a**holes certainly do buy vehicles that aren’t SUVs. But it is fairly clear that SUVs have been designed in part to specifically appeal to those who wish to intimidate and to those who feel intimidated. The stereotypes against SUV owners are sweeping but have some basis in reality.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I’m not jealous.

      I just have better things to do with my money and time than waste it on cars that cost too much for what they are (mechanically speaking).

      I’m a grownup these days, so I try to keep my opinions to myself. But I also won’t be fawning over vehicles resulting from people’s poor choices, either. I usually just walk by and don’t engage.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Insecurity manifests itself in different ways. Be it someone buying a fancy car so others can tell them how nice it is, or someone else silently judging them with contempt instead of shrugging their shoulders and continuing about their day.

        Now we have 2 wounded dogs.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      It is the kind of thing clueless people tell themselves as an antidote to their suspicion that people are laughing up their sleeves at their expensive and futile attempts to clothe themselves in respectability and desirability.

      And advertising this kind of thought is both a case of shameless self-promotion and a feeble humblebrag.

  • avatar

    I don’t know if Range Rovers are better now, but 10 years ago I wondered why people paid so much a truck that looked like a 1990 Ford Explorer and had the reliability of a Jaguar. I was never jealous.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Unless Jaguars of the last couple of decades have gone way down in reliability, even the Lucas-plagued Jaguars of the sixties still had a reliability that the Range Rovers could never achieve.

      But I would surely be jealous of a guy who was an independent foreign car mechanic in a town full of Rovers.

      Back in the last century, in central VA, “that guy” was a Beemer mechanic who worked four days a week, and supported his family quite nicely. Talk about zeroing in on a good fishing hole…

      But I suspect someone targeting a RR rich community could do even better.

      They make Fiats look like studies in reliability engineering, in the good sense. Not to mention moder-day VW’s. And yes, we former serial VW-owners bash them, because we were all burned when we stayed too long at the fair. For me, it was an 82 Diesel Rabbit, fairly tight but with two expensive and stupid flaws that did it for me. That, and seeing it happen to other VW owners as well.

  • avatar
    ccode81

    When people asking so, your lifestyle not well matching with the car perhaps.
    Dressed well and going to high class shop or dinner, no one will asks so, but once wearing a shorts and T-shirt, going to discount store or a fast food shop, people don’t get you. Maybe thinking spending too much portion of income on the car.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      @ccode1 As a student of a second language myself, I think I can recognize that you are the same.

      But your points are quite good, and are expressed clearly enough to be able to make a couple of good points.

      Good luck in your continued study. You have already come a long way.

      Just for grins, I will try to help you. I am not knocking your English. Instead, I am trying to help you the way others have helped me with Spanish.

      “When people ask you [a question like that] it could be because your lifestyle does not match up well with the [image] the car [projects].

      [When you are] dressed well, and are going to a high class shop or [restaurant OR to dinner], no one will [think to ask that]. But [if you are] wearing shorts [no article a here] and [a, it goes here, can’t give a good reason to you] t-shirt, and [you] are going to a discount store or fast food [restaurant], people won’t [understand]. [They might be] thinking that you are spending too [large a] portion of [your] income on the car.”

      I hope this helps you. And I am sorry I am not capable of giving you good reasons why this sounds more normal to a native English speaker.

      But this is the type of thing that people have done for me with Spanish, and it has helped. I hope this will help you.

  • avatar
    CadiDrvr

    Short story long…
    Learned to drive in my mother’s ”84 Fleetwood Brougham. Since then have alway had a big Cadillac as my daily driver. Switched to Escalades with the debut of the GMT900. Currently driving a ’15 Escalade. While I do get at least one type of comment referenced above, the worst was many years ago.

    It was ’99 or ”00 as I was driving a ’98 DeVille at the time. Young, hippy type co-Ed parks next to me at Kroger and proceeds to castigate me for driving such a vehicle. Wished many unrepeatable tortures upon my person. Summation was wishing that gas was $5/gallon so I couldn’t afford to drive that $;&:), :;45′, thing. When I politely informed her that my car would pollute less in its lifetime than hers did on the drive to Kroger, I honestly thought she would physically assault me, not to mention the languagae that spewed from her mouth. I should mention she was driving an early ’80s VW Rabbit Diesel festooned with the requisite environmental stickers. Although many were difficult to read as most of the rear of the vehicle was black from all the soot spewing from the exhaust.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    QOTD part 2: Why should I give a f*ck?

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    Haven’t paid close attention to cars in that category in a couple of decades, but I did give them, including the RR, close scrutiny a couple of decades ago.

    I’d say that some of it is just the general “what do you need an SUV for when you could have a perferctly good Subaru?” line of reasoning.

    But I think there is a specific thing going on with the RR also. When last I took out my microscope, the RR cost more, while offering less performance, worse mileage, less towing capacity, less interior space, and just about everything else, compared to other more or less similar vehicles, such as a Grand Cherokee.

    Yet the few people I knew in an “old Southern” town who bought them were the kind of people who couldn’t afford the $50K initiation fee and the $10K-$20K annual membership fee for the “old money” country club, which was clearly older and more exclusive than 99% of the country clubs in this country. But they wanted you to think that they travelled in those circles, and could afford that lifestyle.

    Sort of an attitude of “I don’t really need a better car for less…this car looks like a posh SUV.” with the emphasis on poshness.

    Most of the other people I knew considered such an affectation not to be posh, but rather douché, as in rhymes with touché.

    I don’t mean this as a personal attack, but the RR seems like a massive $1200 handbag, or an overpriced sweater or dress fresh off the cover of Vanity Fair, or GQ.

    You know the type, “X’s topcoat is from [Italian name], and is $1800. The sunglasses are from [another prestige name brand], $450 at Bergdorf-Goodman.”

    That sort of priciness in total excess of what is necessary even for top of the line fine clothes. That’s the image RR has for most people, in my experience.

    That’s what a lot of people automatically map RR’s to, in my experience.

  • avatar
    mic

    What I can’t understand for the life of me is why anyone would want to drive a full size truck with no reason to drive a full size truck. I worked in the office next to a woman that drove this crew cab dually long bed diesel to work in downtown Atlanta everyday. Washed and waxed to a T. She could barely see out the thing and was a danger to herself and everyone else on the road, hauling nothing but air… Yes, trucks are great when you have purposes but commuting just ain’t a good purpose. Just sayin’

    • 0 avatar
      Master Baiter

      You can’t lump a Honda CRV in with a diesel dually.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      How do you figure she is a danger to self and others? Is there some facts or just opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        its pure opinion. People who dont like trucks enjoy hating people who do, and make up reasons why their opinion is correct and yours isnt. If they want a Land Cruiser or a Hellcat, fine, its only a problem to drive something inefficient if THEY dont like it. Its all 100% bs. I say drive what you want and damn those who get offended by your freedom of choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Nor is a Challenger R/T a particularly useful car, with horrible sight lines and a huge thirsty V8. See where this is going?

      I suppose it isn’t as much of a visual obstacle as a dually with a lift kit. I concede in that regard lifted trucks can impede visibility in traffic.

  • avatar
    Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

    I’ve had a couple of strangers come up me while I’m about to enter my LS430. The first time someone noticed my bumper gash and said “Boy, they must be expensive to fix.” I sort of stared at him, wondering what a stupid thing to say.mthe second time when someone in his Audi A3 said my car looked like a Mercedes knockoff. I mentally wanted to tell him that I couldn’t afford to drive disposable German metal like he could, but I decided not to engage in verbal sparring.

    I was in my mid-30’s when I bought my car, and I was fully aware of the old-man reputation of this model. But my wife usually tells me others ogle me when I’m driving, particularly seniors in their Echos and Cavaliers. It’s like I reached a milestone they never achieved in their lifetime. I find that very satisfying.

  • avatar
    redav

    I do not think it is jealousy, nor do I think it is only (mostly?) a single reason. I’m also not sure if “shaming” really captures the right intent of such interactions.

    For myself, I feel bothered when I am inconvenienced by others. For example, when someone drives a duelly in the city and takes up a host of parking spots, or when they have to park with their back end hanging over the entire sidewalk. Similarly, when people can’t navigate their land barge in normal lanes of traffic, having to swing into multiple lanes when making turns.

    A point of shaming not mentioned, but should be IMO, is against people who have a lot of cars. I think those people get shamed, too.

    I genuinely believe in not being a dick to the environment. That doesn’t mean I think everyone has to drive a Prius (but I do think all automakers should make their cars as fuel economic as reasonable possible). I have no sympathy for rolling coalers getting hate. I don’t think I shame people–or treat them badly in another way–who buy vehicles much larger, more powerful, more expensive than they need, but I do feel confusion and I guess disappointment when people make poor financial decisions, i.e., spending too much to get something that doesn’t do what they wanted.

    I guess I do judge people when they make bad decisions or what they want is dumb. You want to put 26″ wagon wheels on that Impala? Yeah, you’re getting judged on that, double if I know how much you spend to make your car worse.

    I see Lambos & Bentleys from time to time. I think I usually just see them as cool and think it would be nice to be able to afford them. It doesn’t bother me that people have them or that they aren’t efficient or that they cost so much. If anything, I do wonder why anyone would buy a truck for $60k+ that isn’t a commercial truck, i.e., an investment to make money, or frankly why they’d spend $40k on a truck that they don’t use as a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      mic

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      redav nails it. Really nice comment.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      So a 12 MPG Lambo is OK, but a 20 MPG Impala on 26s isn’t? Lol.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Of course it isnt, because he doesnt like it. if someone wants to spend $2500 on wheels/tires for their $1000 Oldsmobile, thats fine with me. They obviously like it, so more power to them.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        As long as those 26s don’t fall off or even wobble, I’m cool with it. Even other people’s poor financial decisions don’t bother me, such as barely making payments on the car and then spending $3k on chrome donks. Not smart, but not my business.

        Only intentionally harmful choices bother me, such as modding a truck to be able to roll coal, or even something as basic as operating a car on bald tires, wobbly wheels, screaming timing belts…

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Well… the whole thread is about judging. redav essentially admitted “I judge based on my own judgment.” Yours may be different.

        I like functionality. 26s don’t add any functionality. The poor fuel economy of a Lambo does, even if it’s not functionality you can use safely on public roads.

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          How about the outlandish styling of the Lambo? It adds no utility, and a Prius has far better aerodynamic properties.

          Its sole purpose is to be a feast for the eyes–the ultimate subjective quality. I could tell you the styling makes me want to hurl (I would be lying), and that a $70k Tesla Model S can match it on a drag strip without consuming any gas. Doesn’t change the fact that you (and I) still prefer the Gallardo for purely subjective, impractical reasons.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            A Tesla Model S doesn’t consume any gas AT the strip, but it consumes a lot of gas by virtue of the amount of energy required to generate the electricity needed to push it down the strip that fast.

            Plus think of all the energy expended by people who must work to pay taxes so that the sale of that expensive car can be subsidized for its fairly well-to-do owners.

            PS After Jack’s review in R&T, my mind is made up that I would take a Huracán over any other car, if money were not an object, and joy of driving was my primary concern. And that car would even inspire me to take performance driving lessons so that I could more fully enjoy its capabilities. Helluva car, helluva review.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> Plus think of all the energy expended by people who must work to pay taxes so that the sale of that expensive car can be subsidized for its fairly well-to-do owners.

            What about all of the energy/money expended as subsidies to the gas and oil industry? What about the money spent on bailing out failed auto companies? By the way, you might want to take a look at tax statistics to see who pays the most.

      • 0 avatar
        carlisimo

        In the context of this conversation, I think the point is that it’s not jealousy but genuine dislike.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    As a 46 year old heterosexual, white, protestant, male who is a registered nurse and drives a Toyota Sienna, I am no stranger to being shamed or made to feel guilty for something. Need a thick skin to get through this life. My next car will be a Dodge Challenger 392. Not that I need it, because I want it and can afford it. I’m sure it will offend someone. F*ck em. When they help me pay for my car purchases I will start considering their opinions and input.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    The best revenge is to live well. Enjoy your Range Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      The best revenge is to give the appearance of living well. Enjoy showing off in your…errr…enjoy showing off your Range Rover.

      The metrics comparisons someone else on here mentioned doing almost routinely on various vehicles, are particularly harsh on the product that is the Evoque.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So I’m 36 years old (2 years ago) and I acquire the family heirloom 1967 Mustang convertible. I decide to drive it to school one bright August day and the first words out of my Instructional Coaches mouth is “Midlife crisis car?”

    It took every ounce of my professionalism not to say: “No marrying the woman 7 years my junior was the midlife crisis.”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Win!

    • 0 avatar
      2drsedanman

      A doctor once told me that your wife should be graduating Kindergarten when you graduate med school.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Wow, I thought the half your age plus 7 rules was misogynistic.

        • 0 avatar
          Waftable Torque aka Daniel Ho

          You mean the trophy wife formula wasn’t supposed to be a how-to guide? Oops. (My wife was half my age plus 7 when we married btw)

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          Didn’t plan to use the half plus seven rule, but the one relationship in my life that stuck through thick and thin, began when I was 44 and she was 29, a perfect data point for that rule.

          And it was not misogynistic, it was deep and long-lasting. We love each other still, a quarter of a century on.

          We also both like garlic, which makes dining at Italian restaurants a piece of cake, also.

          Though it obviously runs much deeper, to have lasted for so long.

          But the med school “rule” isn’t as harsh as it sounds…a man graduates med school at 26, and his future wife is 5. Twenty one years later, she is 26 and he is 47; not a bad point after four to six more years of internship and residency, followed by a few more years of specialization.

          Now he is in his mid to late thirties. He finally gets to date without a lot of other worries, and ten years later, when his practice is established, he meets and marries a woman in her mid-twenties, and they hit it off. She is still able to build a family for another fifteen years or more.

          A cold hard world perhaps, but not an illogical one.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I was being a bit tongue in cheek, I honestly try not to judge having been judged far too much in my life by those who have no business in my business. I always think the most important thing in a relationship is for both parties to go in eyes wide open regarding motivations for why they’re doing what they’re dong.

            I’m also a libertarian politically at heart and I feel that consenting adults ought to have much more freedom with each other and their bodies and their lives then currently exists.

            I was 32 and my wife was 25 when we met, yes I was married at the time (and that was it’s own minor scandal) but it was amazing the number of people who lost their minds simply over the age difference. Although that might have been compounded by her Native American & Japanese DNA making her look at least 10 years younger than me.

  • avatar
    mic

    The car companies are just making a bundle of money off our vanity. It’s like a friend of mine that worked in a jeans factory when he was young. They made Levi’s and JCPenney Plain Pockets on the same machines with the same cloth and the same thread. And Levis sold their jeans for 2.5 times what the Plain Pockets sold for. This reminds me of Toyota/ Lexus, GM/ Caddillac etc. I guess if a person has money to burn it doesn’t matter to them what they pay or what anyone else says about their car but if your car cost more than your house and you are looking for change under your Escalade seats for milk for the kids, you may want reevaluate your priorities.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      mic – health, wealth, youth, and beauty are what people are told they need to have to be happy. If you are deficient in any of the four then you are “instructed” to buy what gives the appearance of having them.

      Like the old saying, ” you can sell a young man’s car to an old man but not an old man’s car to a young man”.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Cars are like clothing and hairstyles. They’re an extension of your personality and they tell the world something about the kind of person you are. Current political trends not withstanding, America is supposed to be about individual freedom. I can’t imagine a world more depressing than one where every car on the road is a Prius or Leaf. Heck, why don’t we all just walk around in silver jump suits since that’s all the clothing you “need.”

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    For the most part, I’m all about people driving whatever they want as long as they pay for it themselves instead of making less affluent people subsidize their failure to comprehend how markets efficiently allocate resources. The exception is Range Rover drivers. As a cyclist, Range Rover drivers are the worst. They’re so scared of the center line that I’ve been hit twice by them while riding in clearly marked bike lanes. Based on the drivers’ inabilities to place their vehicles in the center of their lanes, you’d think that all Range Rovers were right hand drive, but they’re not. Two people I know have the latest and greatest Range Rovers, at least one an Autobiography. It makes me like them less.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “For the most part, I’m all about people driving whatever they want as long as they pay for it themselves instead of making less affluent people subsidize their failure to comprehend how markets efficiently allocate resources.”

      If the market was “efficient” in this way, it’d have taken far longer for all the technologies you are using to write this – personal computers and the Internet – to emerge.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Wow, we get pretty judgemental on this site and wonder why the average Joe Jill public does the same…

    Go back and read the threads on the post about the wrangler being the last cheap convertable. Lots of writing abour how much they suck and the people that own them are posers who never go off road blah blah blah.

    In fact the term poser gets thrown around here a lot about what people own, as mentioned above the cat with the full size truck gets lambasted often. As auto enthusiasts, here on this site, we are typically only enthusiastic about what we individually find neat, enter the Miata is the greatest car ever thread, and find others tastes to be abhorrent.

    I had a full size dodge diesel for 7 years. Drove it to work, at an office, with a programmer and yup, every now and again Rolled some coal. You know what….it was awesome. I regret almost daily selling that rig.

    So I will go with the Doug you are a poser. You should drive a Ford Escape with a Miata on the side and write about those weekly. Never mind that some of us find the articles amusing about the Ferarri ownership experience, or the 911, or if the RR experience is what the perception really is. Nah, let’s get a weekly update on your Escapes mpg and the awesome conversations you had with people at the Kroger parking lot regaling each other with the that one time it snowed two inches and you really needed the AWD.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Everyone’s all about proselytizing lately it seems about everything. I wonder if it was ever this bad. I never had Debate in school. Do they ever teach you at the beginning: “Nobody cares about what you believe, at least, not really.”

    The worst for me is when people see whatever hell project I’m working on, they say “Oh wow, you must have a lot of time on your hands.” Translation: “I am shaming you for spending so much time on this, instead of watching sports, or (insert here), which is more aligned with my interests.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      >I never had Debate in school. Do they ever teach you at the beginning: “Nobody cares about what you believe, at least, not really.”

      I was taught, “People don’t care what you think, they care about how what you think affects them.”

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      “Everyone’s all about proselytizing lately it seems about everything.”

      There are more people around now than there used to be AND we’re all exposed to many more of them than we used to be, by choice.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      If I were to make that “time on your hands” comment, it would be out of wishing I had any time to wrench, not remotely out of judgment. I have a job that doesn’t allow me much spare time, and what little I had got completely eaten when I had a child.

  • avatar
    Reino

    Ahhhhhh, Facebook: where you’re ‘friends’ instantly become passive-aggressive, judgemental, jealous, rude assholes. What a great invention.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Drive what you want, but there are consequences to waste and inefficiency.

    When it comes to things like energy policy, the consequences will be things like having to build a zillion dollar sea wall so New York isn’t submerged, or accepting that West Virginia’s mountains look like the surface of the moon, or that there are unknown chemicals in our drinking water.

    Or, if you prefer not to look at this from an environmental standpoint, you can ask how many dollars from your last fillup ended up in the bank account of ISIS.

    All of us have to make a choice to either acknowledge that, and make different choices, or deal with the consequences.

    And no one says you have to drive a Prius to be mindful of the world we live in. There are plenty of flashy, expensive success-mobiles that are far more efficient than a Range Rover.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      FreedMike

      I see it from the point of view that once the ice caps melt I’m be much closer to ocean front property than I currently am ;)

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “And no one says you have to drive a Prius to be mindful of the world we live in.”

      Where do you draw a line though that isn’t just arbitrary? I’d personally rather just keep the V8 and drive less.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    I caught myself making this judgement the other day. I happened to see a woman I graduated high school with, quite attractive, load up her kids into a brand new Range Rover in our decidedly middle class grade school parking lot. My immediate thought was “she’s a trophy wife with poor taste”. Now that I think about it, had she gotten into, say, a Lexus LX my thought would’ve probably been, “she’s a trophy wife, but at least she’s sensible.” Ha ha..

    I think it says more about the Range Rover in particular, than anything else.

    Just for the record, I really don’t care what people drive or how they spend their money, as long as they stay out of my business.

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    I got into a similar discussion on the subaruoutback.org forum a few years ago. It was the height of the SUV craze and many of the Outback owners were looking down their collective noses at those buying Tahoes and Sequoias and such. Never mind that the 3rd generation Outback(the current model at the time) got 20mpg in city, and that was the 2.5L 4cyl! Also many of the board members had opted for the 3.0L 6cyl and the 250hp turbo XT was extremely popular as well. Both of these models got the same MPG as a Tahoe or other large SUV. Of course none of that mattered, these folks had staked out a position that SUV here evil, horrible machines that would bring about the extinction of every living thing save cockroaches and Donald Trump’s hair. No matter how many times their arguments were countered with reason and facts they would find some other fact of the SUV to rail about.
    Sometimes I don’t feel I’ve learned a lot in my 4 1/2 decades on this planet, but I have figured out one thing. There are some people that latch on to a narrative and will hold on to it the way Kate Winslet grasped onto that headboard at the end of Titanic.

    Ah crap I used a chick flick reference. Great now I’ll be banished to the jalopnik forum.

  • avatar
    nitroxide

    I’m going to do something potentially very hazardous to my health and well-being. I’m going to suggest that this is actually a excellent question that Doug raises, and it gets to the heart of what we think about cars in society. This is about how cars transcend our need for transportation, and gives us insights into ourselves and how we relate to the world around us.

    I are with several commenters that some of it is jealousy but a lot of it also had to do with what image a car is demonstrating to the rest of the world.

  • avatar
    la3541

    The RSS news feed shows that this article was written by Mark Stevenson.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Could it be, dare we think, “Doug DeMuro” might be a sock puppet for Mark Stevenson?

      A more plausible explanation might be that Doug mailed it in to Mark, and Mark actually posted it. Then the software that it was posted with and to ascribed authorship to Mark.

      But I like the sock puppet theory. Though if the RR ownership part is true, he must have signed a mega contract with VS.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Doug bought the Range Rover from CarMax with one of their gold-plated extended warranties, primarily for the purpose of writing about the experience of owning an “unreliable” car with a gold-plated CarMax warranty. He has written a number of articles on this theme over at Jalopnik.

  • avatar
    djoelt1

    Did you miss the Pope’s encyclical yesterday and are just trolling us, Doug? Even if you are not Catholic, which I am not, it’s pretty clear we are sucking up resources with little thought as to what comes next. It is incumbent upon every person to use irreplaceable resources carefully and prudently until we know what will replace them. The selfishness expressed here as captured in comments to the effect of “in a capitalist system the question of need is not a valid one” is insane. And the notion that liberals think people should drive small cars because they are jealous that they can’t afford big cars themselves is absurd. Almost every single person I know lives in a house worth in excess of $1 million and the most commonly owned car is a Prius. People at our income level would normally spend 80-100K on a car; we own a Prius C as our primary means of transport because it’s prudent and not wasteful and serves e95% of our actual, real, demonstrated functional needs. That extra 5% of “needs” uses about 2/3 of the fuel consumed in private vehicles in the US. 2/3!!

    Men felt manly and in control and tough before there were bullets to fire and V8 engine accelerators to press. Don’t worry, you will be able to find substitutes whereby you will still be able to feel manly without causing so much havoc and harm.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      djoelt1 – you live in a million dollar house and see any vehicle other than a Prius as wasteful and mention needs ………. the irony oh the irony.

      I’ve seen the light, my F150 causes havoc and harm.

      • 0 avatar
        djoelt1

        At $800+ per square foot, the houses are pretty small. The point was that it is possible to control one’s appetites, even when one can afford more.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          And apparently you are the one that gets to decide the appropriate “appetite” level?

          Owning a $1.2M 1200 sq ft house in San Fransisco (or where ever) and a PriusC is fine obviously because you do it.

          If I live in 800 sq ft and don’t go on vacations can I have a Maxima? Is there a flowchart somewhere I can look at?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          djoelt1 – my 1280 sq. ft. house cost 130k. It also came with a 624 sq.ft. shop and a huge yard.
          I see your point but in my part of the world a pickup is much more useful than a Prius. I could buy a small truck but purchase price isn’t much different and neither is mpg.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Why don’t you then move to a 400 square foot studio apartment with no air conditioning, or build some sort of mud hut and live ‘sustainably’ in that? Do you realize how many resources heating/cooling your house and the water inside of it takes up? No more hot showers for you mister, or even daily showers for that matter! No more front load washers and dryers either, they are incredibly wasteful. Scrub your dirty undies in a bucket of soapy water and hang them out to dry!

      Oh and I love that little gun control tid bit you couldn’t help but sneak in there.

      Sorry to kick you off your high horse.

      • 0 avatar
        djoelt1

        Single family homes can be built using existing technology at a small price premium that uses 25% as much energy as current practice. Don’t assume what we are doing today is the best of all possible worlds. It’s the most profitable of all possible worlds. We just don’t account for damage to the future.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Okay… what’s your point? Until you’re living off of a cup of rice a day, not showering more than once a week, and basically denying yourself all modern conveniences that use any more resources than tribal life in sub-Saharan Africa, I won’t be satisfied.

          You’re the embodiment of what people find so detestable in your particular strain of limousine liberals: the holier than thou, preachy attitude. As if everyone around you is some sort of child and only you have seen the light and will guide them forward to a bright future.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I assume this is satire.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      It sounds like you own a Prius C because your belief system requires you to wear the automotive equivalent of a hairshirt.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      So, do you want a pat on the back for saving Mother Earth? How about a swift kick in the ass for being a pretentious idiot projecting youre judegment on all those “beneath” you? Sorry, all I have in stock is the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Seems more likely that you have to drive a Prius due to the expense of living in a $1M+ house. A house that is either modest and wildly expensive due to location (sucks to be you in that case), or just as wildly extravagant to my mind due to cost if it is not. How much house do you *need*? I have a 1200sq/ft house and don’t even use a good 25% of it. The previous owners raised 6 kids in it. My 1/2 acre could have an apartment building on it and house many families, so even this is “wasteful”.

      Personally, I have a house I paid $127K for (I could afford a MUCH more expensive house, but what would be the point?), and have about $125K of cars in the 2700sq/ft detached heated and a/c’d garage/shop. Which seems about right for someone who truly loves cars and driving, works hard for a living, and can afford to drive pretty much whatever he darned well pleases within reason – no, I can’t afford a new Ferrari or McLaren (at least and still retire someday). But I buy them for me, not for the neighbors.

      A bicycle with saddlebags would meet probably 90% of my daily transportation “needs”, but I plan to enjoy the heck out of my overly extravagant BMW M235i anyway. And my BMW wagon, and my old pollution spewing British convertible, and my Range Rover. My caring of what happens to the planet stops in about 50 years best case. As George Carlin put it, Earth can shake us off like a dog with a bad case of fleas.

  • avatar
    Dan

    Your car says a lot about you. To us fellow car nuts, it says what kind of car it is, what it does well, what you likely paid for it.

    But to the other 99% of the world, it says absolutely none of that. It says the branding. Your Porsche and Rover say exactly what Porsche and Rover spend billions of marketing dollars to make them say, which is “look at me, I’m rich, f-ck you!”

    And even as a car nut who knows what your car is and does underneath its brightwork, I also know that the odds are awfully good that the guy driving it doesn’t.

    Nobody likes a show off. F-ck you right back.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    “I suspect the reason people do this is because they’re jealous.”

    Where did this notion come from? I’ve never understood it – there are vehicle types that people genuinely dislike, and that’s what their problem is, not that they secretly like it and wish they could have one. If I think someone else’s money was ill-spent, it’s because I would have spent it differently.

    I suspect the accusation of jealousy is just a way to feel better about one’s self.

    Also, I wish people would be more honest about their wants vs. needs. If you want a Range Rover, great! If you tell me you reluctantly bought it because you might hypothetically need its capabilities one day, I’m going to think you’re insecure and indecisive.

    *edit* Third point: waste should never be glorified.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I disagree. People who ask these usually carry a condescending tone and are jealous/unhappy. They feel a need to blame someone or something.

      Most people are actually not like this. When we are down, we work hard to improve our situation. We don’t idle around wondering who is doing better than us. Someone is ALWAYS doing better than us, whatever “better” means.

      Productive people make the best of what they have. And when they can, they might get a Range Rover. Or a Ferrari 360. Or something even more momentous: their very first car.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I mock and judge Range Rover Evoques mercilessly. They are to cars as mentally challenged Shih Tzus are to dogs. You can be assured I’m not jealous of their owners.

      If I were given one free it would take a lot of self-discipline to sell it and collect the money rather than to set it on fire.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        You and I agree on the utter crap that is the Evoque.

        It’s not just a bad vehicle, but a cynical one, having horrid interior space utilization, a wheezy powertrain, horrid ride quality (low and normal speeds), and what is proving to be HORRENDOUS lack of reliability/durability.

        I’d much rather have a classic LR/RR, warts and all, known well in advance, than the Evoque, because at least the classic ones aren’t poser vehicles devoid of any true LR/RR merit and heritage.

        • 0 avatar
          Chan

          Are Evoques that bad mechanically? I would have thought that a Ford EcoBoost engine would at least be more reliable than an English V8.

          But I agree on your main point–like the X6, these cars are selling an appearance at the sacrifice of utility. It’s like throwing a sports car body onto a Corolla, except for some reason fewer people want those (Scion tC).

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The Ford engine is the least of the Evoque’s problems. Remember when a previous iteration of Rover managed to make an unreliable car out of the Honda-at-its-indestructible-best first-generation Acura Legend?

            But the fact is that my hate of the Evoque would apply even if it were Corolla reliable. The styling exceeds a threshold of twee preciousness beyond which my brain just goes berzerk.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        dal20402 – isn’t money to burn a prerequisite for ownership? the rest just want to look like they have money to burn ( or vehicles to burn) LOL

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Isn’t money to burn a prerequisite for ownership?”

          Not really; quite a few people can actually afford a $429/month lease, and even more can keep up with the payments.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            dal20402 – the latter part of my comment sort of covered your lease/payment comment.

            Isn’t there an old saying about luxury cars, “If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it” ?

  • avatar
    phippsj

    I drive a 2005 Toyota Land Cruiser w/ 170k miles. Paid for. Gets 13 mpg. It will go thru or over anything in its way.

    Hate me.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Tell me more! is that 13 mpg on a stuck truck? What kind of tires? I’f strongly consider a 100 series cruiser if I could find a clean early-year truck without the factory navigation, and the rear locking diff. The low mpg numbers are a bit unsettling though. The 105 Series available overseas was the real gem: solid front axle, available front and rear locking differentials, available manual transmission and diesel engines. I really wish the Land cruiser had a roll down rear window like the 4Runner and Sequoias, priceless feature IMO.

  • avatar

    I got a bunch of crap when I had my 2004 Mercury Marauder which drank fuel with lower gears and a huge right foot. I didn’t care because it was my symbol of success and status and although it left the garage 1/6 of the time my Taurus did, I still got crap for taking road trips in a 12MPG, 4200lb car. Alone.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      And I ran all over the East Coast in my 3800 lb. 16mpg V8 Thunderbird, post divorce, for a variety of reasons, including to commute 90 miles one way back and forth from work to grad school for the better part of year.

      And to ultimately meet the love of my life.

      And the crap rolled off my back like water off a goose’s back, because the car helped turn what could have been a midlife crisis into a midcourse correction, and a highly successful one at that, by any standard that would matter to me.

      Even had a grad school Decision Sciences prof who when he saw what I paid and what I got for Bird, realized he had shortchanged himself with a beefed up Fiero, which he couldn’t even fit his golf clubs into.

      No crap from him…I think he even decided to start shopping around for a trade.

      Finally let the car go at close to 300K miles in seven years, to better provide for our new son, and so my formerly single mom wife, who was and is quite bright, could go back to college to finish.

      Only regret I have is that I wish I had tried a bit harder to do all that AND hang on to the Bird. In my mind, one of the underrated Fords of all time, a classic like the the 32 Deuce coupe, the 40 Ford coupe, the 57 Police Interceptor, the Boss Mustang, the GT, etc.

      And minimal problems throughout the life of the car, even though it went through three wrecks that nearly totalled it. Still looked good the day I sold it.

      So ask me if I care what people thought I should have driven, or what I thought people were thinking about me for driving it.

      (Though I loved the day the troopers were giving everyone speeding free passes on the interstates, to get off the road before a large fogstorm rolled in, and I got to drive it at or close to top end for four hours plus and five hundred plus miles, including spanking a 944 Porsche. One of the best driving days of my whole life.)

  • avatar
    Chan

    One word:

    Jelly.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I made the comment yesterday about someone I know who bought a Traverse simply because it had a third row, and I felt she wouldve been better off with an Escape or Terrain.

    However, I should clarify that if she simply wanted the larger vehicle, thats fine. Its telling people that you NEED a 3rd row when you really dont that I had an issue with.

    You want to drive a Range Rover? Hellcat? Shelby Super Snake? Go for it. Unless youre driving a kei car or are walking everywhere, you have no right to judge others for buying “more than they need”. You bought a V-6 Accord sedan to drive yourself alone to work? Thats way more than you really need. Buy a CRX with a million miles on it, and find someone to sit in that empty seat next to you, then tell me about buying only what you “need”.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      How come you have the right to drive what you like, but I don’t have the right to judge you for it?

      Is the US a free country only for people who make poor decisions, but not for those who seek to have opinions?

      Odd logic.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “Need? NEED?

    Go perform an anatomically impossible act, Kommissar.”

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I like this article Doug.

    My thoughts are as follows:

    An alternate to this scenario is the person who is reasonably well off and drives a beater. They can easily afford a car up to $60k but prefer to drive a 1997 Toyota Echo. You know what; power to them.

    It comes down to what we value and the trade-offs we make to acquire those things we value.

    I already know what my next car is going to be. I know it will be met with horror, surprise, concern, confusion, etc.

    Those who don’t know much about cars will think I spent a fortune.
    Those who “know” cars will think I bought a POS that doesnt have the pedigree of finer metal.

    So lets use it as an example: I am going to buy a 1998-2000 Dodge Viper RT/10 or GTS.

    Why?
    -I love it. I love how it looks. It makes my knees week in a way that even the current crop of supercars don’t.
    – I know the used car game very well and I think if planned right, it can be bought, driven sparingly, and sold for minimal loss. Potentially gain depending on the CDN/USD exchange rate disparities.
    – It is a bucket list thing for me

    What will others think?
    – Who gives a F&*k. Really. Couldnt care. Its about me, not them or their “views”

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      The point is:

      I buy cars that connect with ME emotionally.

      What others perceive to be the economics of that decision is speculation. They don’t know my cash flow situation, they dont know what I paid, they dont know if I am a financial moron or a financial whiz.

      Drive what brings you joy. Period.
      ***just be a little smart and you can drive a lot of cool toys for cheap. Rinse, repeat.

      Now about that Viper… can’t wait.

      Its funny, I dont even car about its performance. At all.

      It is just the perfect street rod. Just cruise and enjoy.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        “***just be a little smart and you can drive a lot of cool toys for cheap. Rinse, repeat.”

        It takes some cash-money-money to play this game. Ain’t no Main Street Bank gonna loan me $40k over 5 years for a 15 year old supercar. You (and I) are privileged to have the means for this.

        Buy a depreciated car, maintain it well, restore it to showroom condition, sell it on the appreciation upswing or at minimal loss. I’ve just gotten into this game with my first exotic (old Fezza). What a fun (albeit sometimes frustrating) experience.

        Analogy: The age-old paradox, “It takes money to make money.”

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      90s exotics are where it’s at! Watch out for the general market sentiment on the forums. Some cars like older M3s and Ferraris are being snapped up by speculative buyers and dealers.

      If there’s any hint of upcoming demand for Vipers, buy sooner than later.

      Best of luck with your hunt when the time comes! Vipers are always a treat to see on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Wanting a Viper is a perfectly good reason to get one. If you start telling everyone that you bought it to save money, you’ll come across as desperate for other people’s approval.

  • avatar

    In the USA, we have the Bill of Rights. It’s NOT the bill of needs. Drive away, you’ll get no complaint from me.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    It’s all a grey area. Nobody I know is minimizing their personal consumption to the furthest degree possible.

    The important thing isn’t the physical size of the vehicle, but the weight. Driving a heavy vehicle, you have the potential to do a lot more harm to others than someone in a subcompact if you’re not driving safely. But avoid plowing into others and all is good. Enjoy your Range Rover.

  • avatar
    Ogre Backwash

    It’s this… people are just no damn good. They channel their primative reptilian instincts for violence by manipulating you to squirm and crawl before them as you try to justify your very existance to them. It’s to establish the pecking order but without the part where they tear you apart and devour you. It’s only a matter of time

    You need new and better friends.+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  • avatar
    vaportrail

    I’m always late to these parties. When I see a RR, I do judge. Other SUV’s are better in every tangible way, and much more reliable to boot. Why would anyone buy a inferior product?

    Maybe there is some rich guy cache in telling the world that they can afford to constantly send their car to the shop.

    That said, I own a 911 Turbo so I’m sure people have their own opinions about that. At least my car is reliable and performs well.

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    It is not that people shame you.

    You feel ashamed down inside because you suspect (correctly) that people feel that you think that you have a better vehicle than they do, when in most cases they can objectively support the claim that you are in fact driving a lesser and more expensive vehicle, one that does not proclaim trendsetter, it proclaims trend chaser.

    One whe missed the last turn, however.

    You drive a car with only one thing going for it: other peoples’ willingness to ascribe prestige to your purchase. But anyone who can read vehicle comparisons and long range reliability reports knows that you have been left in the dust.

    Sorry, Doug, that shame is coming from inside your own head. Try to face it honestly. It can be the first step on the road to recovery for you.

    Paying attention to research before you buy your next car could be your second step.

    But if you find that too daunting, just switch to a Denali or an Escalade. Or an Explorer or Expedition. Any of them are better SUV type DD’s. Or just let Sajeev take you shopping for a nice TownCar, or some other Panther.

    And though this is a horrible pun to drop on you, and the B&B, Tata for now. That’s all.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Ultimately, you drive a Range Rover (or at least I do) because it drives better than most of those alternatives. And it is nicer inside. And really, as usual I think Doug is making crap up for clicks, because I have almost never gotten any sort of negative comment on my Rover (and it is older and scruffier than his by a long shot). I did hear one crunchy guy going off on SUVs in general at a party last weekend. Women absolutely go gaga over the things! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a random female walk by and tell her companion “that is the car I wish I drove”. If you want to get some tail, get an old Rover. My little red sports car only attracts old dudes and kids!

      None of which was even on my radar when I bought it. I had a perfectly serviceable ’02 Grand Cherokee that was cheap to buy, reasonably reliable and pretty cheap to fix. But it SUCKED to drive. I drove a bunch of alternatives. The two I liked the best were the P38 Range Rover and the ToyotaLexus Land Cruiser (whatever Lexus version is called). For the difference in price between the two, I could buy 2-3 more Range Rovers. So for 50% more upfront than the JGC cost at similar age/mileage, I got something that drives 500% better, is more capable, and not really much less reliable or that much more expensive to fix. It does more weird and oddball random things, but not things that keep me from getting where I am going. The extra cost is well worth it.

      Ultimately, Doug bought a much newer and more expensive Range Rover from CarMax with a CarMax gold-plated warranty so that he would have something to write a WHOLE BUNCH of blog postings about. Which lets him write-off a great deal of the expense involved, since he is employed as a blog writer. It’s all about the clicks, and more power to him.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Better question, why do you drive a British car?

  • avatar
    gibbleth

    I drive an expedition el, the largest commonly available suv. I drive it 55 miles each way. Trust me, I get plenty of ‘why do you do that?’ and it’s simply because it is very comfortable. I traded a corolla to get it and have never been happier.

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