Monday, July 6, 2009

SUVs, Hummers, and Raised Pickups

Not only am I missing that special chromosome that makes men interested in sports, but I'm also missing the one that makes us interested in cars. Basically, I'm fine with my Chevy Prizm (which is really a Toyota Corolla) as it gets me from point A to point B. Even if I had a lot more money, I couldn't see myself going out and buying a really expensive car. I suppose that I would have to have insane amount of money to get something really fancy.

That said, if I did have the money for a more expensive vehicle, I'd probably drive something snazzy and sporty like a Porsche. Yeah, there's nothing practical about them, but they're snazzy and cool. Even though it's not my priority, I can see the appeal.

What I don't see the appeal in is all of those tank-sized monstrosities that litter the road. For starters, let me tackle what's probably the least offensive - the SUV. I don't necessarily have a problem with these, but some sort of meme has infected the populous that made these things more popular than they ever should have been in the first place.

Before I go on, please don't give me the, "Hey! I have an SUV! It's my right to drive one! Why can't I do what I like?" If you have one, then Odin bless you, it's your right to have one. Go have fun with it. Still, if you have one, it should be because you either genuinely need it or genuinely want it - I'm not entirely convinced that so many people fit one or both of those categories though.

First of all, what drives me crazy about SUVs is that so many people think you NEED one. I know somebody who as soon as she had a kid, people started asking her about when she was going to get an SUV. Not only that, but I've had somebody comment on my wife's Scion that it was fine since we don't have any kids yet. That's the thing, there's this notion that you simply can't survive if you have kids and don't have an SUV. Well, guess what? There are plenty of folks who don't have SUVs and have kids and manage to function just fine. Not only that, but people got along with them for generations.

"Oh, but Lance! You need space to carry around all that stuff that comes with having a kid!" Well, I realize that I don't have a kid yet, but I'm starting to think that maybe kids don't really NEED that much stuff. And again, I'm sure somebody will point the finger at me and say that I'll change my tune when I have kids. To that, I'll once again point out that there are people who survive just fine without one.

The other thing that bugs me is that I've actually heard people talk about how they're "safer". Where are they getting this from? They're obviously not reading the same stuff that I am - most likely, they're not reading at all. (In all fairness, I have read that some manufacturers have been making them safer.)

Basically, the only advantage I see is that you have more room with one, but I'm not convinced that you even need all that room. I suppose that if I had a large family, I'd probably get a van or something along those lines. (Do they still make station wagons?) So, why would I want to spend a lot of money on something I don't need that isn't safer and gets crappy gas mileage?

Anyway, next up is The Hummer. What can I say about this vehicle other than the fact that it's a total douchemobile? It's big, barely fits into a parking spot, and from what I understand, doesn't even have all that much room. There's absolutely no practical reason (unless you're in a war zone, I suppose) to own one of them. Of course, that's true for a Porsche, but Hummers are ugly looking behemoths. I hate to go with the whole "you must be compensating for something" argument, but the shoe seems to fit on that one.

Lastly, there's the raised pickup. I hate these people - especially at night, as they completely blind me. Supposedly, some people use them to go off-roading, which in all honesty, is something in which I see little appeal, but to each his own. Most of these though, they're far too nice looking to have seen a lot of off-roading action from what I can tell. From what I can tell, these folks must say to themselves, "I want a vehicle that's not only impractical, but completely annoying to other motorists."

There's recurring joke in the movie Robocop about a popular car called the 6000 SUX. The joke is that it's big and gets really lousy gas mileage, but that's what people want in this dystopian future. Watching the movie now, the joke doesn't resonate as much because it doesn't go nearly far enough. After all, it's just a car. If they remake the movie, they'll have to replace it with something the size of a tank.

1 comment:

Kirsti said...

I love my car, but the trunk space is one small downfall. I'm hoping that it will be big enough to just fit a stroller in it when we have a kid. Other than that, I'm super happy with my car!