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February 17, 2002
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Does this ad for an SUV make you want to buy one? I think that it says a whole lot about our society, non-withstanding one's preference for soy-based foods. I see the humor here and I can laugh at myself as readily as the next person, but this seems to embody the "Bush/Cheney" ethos at its most cavalier. Comments?
posted by Danf (84 comments total)

 
It doesn't make me want to buy a Durango, but then, I am not the target market.

I know that Dodge (or any company with a substantial advertising budget, for that matter) focus groups the hell out of every product it tries to sell to the public, so I'd say that the ad will likely appeal to the person who would consider buying an SUV like that as much as the auto manufacturer intended it to.
posted by pudders at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2002


I'm not sure where Bush or Cheney come into it... they could have run the exact same ad back in the 1980's and it would've been about macho versus yuppie.
posted by ook at 4:44 PM on February 17, 2002


It makes me want to buy one. Or rather, it makes me want to buy a big fat juicy cheeseburger. Preferably a Double-Double.

I don't see where Bush or Cheney come into it either - the boom in popularity of SUVs happened under Clinton, and is probably fairly traceable to some of his policies. Namely raising CAFE, environmental, and safety standards on cars while leaving light trucks untouched.
posted by jaek at 4:51 PM on February 17, 2002


Yeah, but it isn't that good of truck... What an insult to juicy cheeseburgers.
posted by hadashi at 5:05 PM on February 17, 2002


I don't know about any bush/cheney connection, but it does reek of recent trend in advertising to pander to the "I'm an un-pc jerk and I love it" mentality.

I think this would be much more fitting, and get the word out in a direct way, not in some pansy-ass implied way like the original linked photo:




posted by mathowie at 5:14 PM on February 17, 2002


I <3 Matt...
posted by machaus at 5:16 PM on February 17, 2002


I agree in general that these ads are kind of silly, but I'm not sure if there's such thing as a 'Bush-Cheney' ethos. I doubt most people besides those bitterly opposed to Bush and Cheney would sense that those two shrubs have an easily discernable 'ethos'.
posted by chaz at 5:18 PM on February 17, 2002


By talking about an embrace of a "Bush/Cheney" ethos, I think that Danf is simply talking about a mentality that has surfaced in a lot of recent government decisions. Yeah, the ad could have run in the eighties and signified something else, but the message now is loud and clear.
posted by xammerboy at 5:18 PM on February 17, 2002


I don't think big fat cheeseburgers have been on the menu in the Cheney household since heart attack #1. Or #2, at worst.

I'm curious to know where this particular ad is running. Is it a regional promotion, or nationwide?
posted by aaron at 5:22 PM on February 17, 2002


No. I don't like cheeseburgers. I'm tired of SUV's and mini vans. The only cars that I'd buy from Chrysler Corporation are a Prowler or a Viper. Talk about a gas guzzler!
posted by MaddCutty at 5:25 PM on February 17, 2002


I'm curious to know where this particular ad is running. Is it a regional promotion, or nationwide?

I saw this on a billboard in the bay area in the past couple weeks, so maybe it only plays in markets where steak and tofu get equal play in daily menus. It couldn't possibly be racy in Nebraska, but in San Francisco, I could see it coming off as aggressive to some.
posted by mathowie at 5:27 PM on February 17, 2002


I am a proud "un-pc jerk" and even I don't like SUV's. I cant see around them, they're usually driven by people who have no idea how to handle them, and yes they are sucking up the world's oil resuorces at an alarming rate for no good reason. I wanted to make a sticker to put on SUV's saying "I'm helping terrorists win." Think about it, if we did create fuel effecient vehicles we could tell OPEC to kiss our asses.
And with all due respect Matt, the only car worthy of being called "a big angry red penis" would be a red 1968 Pontiac GTO(my dream car) not some station wagon on steroids.
posted by jonmc at 5:29 PM on February 17, 2002


so maybe it only plays in markets where steak and tofu get equal play in daily menus.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking when I saw it. I get this mental image of some couple driving around downtown Nashville, seeing this billboard and saying to each other, "What's a tofu?"

How the hell did you find matching fonts that fast, anyway?
posted by aaron at 5:33 PM on February 17, 2002


jaek: It makes me want to buy one.

good luck trying to get financing while my student loans are still outstanding!
posted by pudders at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2002


How the hell did you find matching fonts that fast, anyway?

...because he's God.

The only SUV I would accept is a Land Rover. I also have a friend that has a Honda CRV, the smallish quasi SUV, which is cute.

Another friend has a Nissan Pathfinder, which is very nice too, and not too ostentatious. The Durango is just too bloat-y for my tastes.

I would like to run over hippies, however. But I don't drive, so it's just as well.
posted by evanizer at 5:44 PM on February 17, 2002


How the hell did you find matching fonts that fast, anyway?

I know my fonts. That was obviously a weight of Frutiger, given the soft capital J curl. I fired up photoshop, typed out the ad copy and checked the weights. It's 30pt Frutiger 77 Black Condensed for the photoshoppers in the house, at about 120% height, though I left the font at the 100% height. I used the magic stamp to copy some background over the old ad copy.
posted by mathowie at 5:47 PM on February 17, 2002


Evanizer: my brother has a Rover, very sweet machine. And the ad made me want to jump in the Expedition (yup, I'm one of 'em) and go get a cheeseburger.

And Matt's advertising parodies just validate his status as Fearless Leader.

(moose und squirrel must die, you know)
posted by ebarker at 5:57 PM on February 17, 2002


I'm curious to know where this particular ad is running. Is it a regional promotion, or nationwide?

I see this billboard everyday on my walk to work in Seattle, at it happens to be in the middle of our International District. I guess they just assume everyone who knows what tofu is must know it's a food for pansies.


posted by mockerybird at 6:07 PM on February 17, 2002


Those kids growing up in the 70s were so embarassed to be seen driving their moms station wagon, thus the marketing genius of the minivan; The next generations embarassment/rejection led to the SUV...unless you are up in the brush beating the hell out of your 'suv', you are driving a frigging station wagon, just like mom and grandma. If you really need the room, buy a station wagon and quit pretending.
posted by Mack Twain at 6:10 PM on February 17, 2002


I never thought the fuel efficiency argument made too much sense. Lets take a look at my neighborhood, there's more than a handful of newer SUVs and lots of older four-door behemoths. Considering I'm in the middle of the city, we're all driving a block and stopping at the red. My car (a 2 door) gets 13 mpg in the city at best, 12 at worst with its V6. Not bad, but not good. A new Buick Rendezous SUV V6 or even the V8 probably gets around the same mileage.

Now look at the caprices and other fashionable "luxury" cars that were promoted in the 70s. 80s, and 90s that have still survived. They're just as heavy as most SUVs and in some cases their aging push-rod V8 engines are causing more pollution than 20 newer SUVs. Even the 24 or 32 valve models get a smidgen better mileage than your typical family friendly SUV.

If gas is your only concern then the SUV isn't that bad of a car, especially when you consider that the alternative for this demographic is another big ass four door luxury car with power everything.

Here is where the SUV craze fails miserably: highway mileage blows, they take up too much space on the street and in parking lots, they're too large for some drivers to handle, and driving behind them causes a blind "billboard" effect. A station wagon or a four door doesn't suffer from most of these problems.

As for anti-PC marketing, well in a society that measures how socially acceptable something is by how this will affect our children, family, etc above all else maybe the backlash is inevitable and needed.

I don't like SUVs, but I'm not going to react stupidly to some guy's V6 powered truck while ignoring all the big aging V8 beaters out there that are filling the sky with toxins or pretend that if so-and-so didn't buy an SUV then she was going to buy a teeny-tiny honda four banger instead.
posted by skallas at 6:16 PM on February 17, 2002


My first thought: go to the dealer which is the land of BULL (shit)...I have no objection to the ad. If one is sold on such stuff, so be it...if govt wants to do something about oil problem, then let it set standards for gas mileage. They haven't done much at all so they are supporting this industry.
posted by Postroad at 6:20 PM on February 17, 2002


tonight's simpsons episode (episode 1311) had a nice crack at suv's in general with mcbaine's monstrous hummer that gets 1 highway, 0 city miles per gallon.
posted by sixtwenty3dc at 6:43 PM on February 17, 2002


i thought i knew my fonts. that was until i came home only to find Verdana in bed with my best friend, Georgia. the horror!

yeah, matt's right.. bad jokes are a lot easier to write than actual commentary that adds to the conversation.. but i couldn't help but chime in when i heard angry red penis.
posted by lotsofno at 6:54 PM on February 17, 2002


It makes me want to buy one. Or rather, it makes me want to buy a big fat juicy cheeseburger. Preferably a Double-Double.

this scared the shit out of me, because after looking at the ad i was going to post the exact same thing, only i'm a little hungrier, so i could really go for a 3x3, animal style. Too bad i'm stuck at school in central Pennsylvania.

Oh, and SUVs suck. I drove one all through high school, and it really was just a glorified station wagon, handed down to me from my parents.
posted by rorycberger at 6:55 PM on February 17, 2002


pudders: good luck trying to get financing while my student loans are still outstanding!

Pfft. Banks will lend to anyone these days.
posted by jaek at 7:11 PM on February 17, 2002


I think the ad's pretty effective. Goes against the image of school marmish lecture-lecture in the "tofu-eatin' beret-wearin' hippies" culture. Whether that image is true or not is another thing (I think there's at least a grain there).
posted by owillis at 7:19 PM on February 17, 2002


So who wants to snap up the angryredpenis.com domain?
posted by webmutant at 7:32 PM on February 17, 2002


After driving a Sentra for years, I had decided I was going to buy a Toyota hybrid for my next vehicle. After being in a pretty bad wreck, I ended up buying a Honda CRV. Yes, fear for my life influenced my purchase more than my green conscience. But a Durango, never.
posted by redhead at 7:32 PM on February 17, 2002


Wagons are the true angry penis. My '95 Ford Escort wagon can haul seven people to the IMAX (without all those nasty seatbelts getting in the way), a pile of backpacks for a week north of Ely, X-Treme sleds, a northern lights projector, sundry laundry, a corpse, furniture and two 12 oz. cans of soft drink.

Note: Wagon cannot carry all things at same time. Corpse may need to be lashed to roof rack with a ball of Finley's Fine Twine.

But really, what more do you need? The Green Dragon Wagon can do all this and still get 30 mpg. Sure, she doesn't have the balls of a Ford Tempo (shameless self link w/o nav frame), but what does?
posted by Dane at 7:45 PM on February 17, 2002


The problem with SUVs is not that they're bad per se, it's that they are being sold to people in heavily urbanized areas who will most likely never ever use them for their intended purpose, namely traveling in harsh, offroad conditions.

I bought a Nissan Pathfinder back in 1990 when I lived in Colorado. My house was at 8500 feet up in the Front Range at the end of a steep dirt road. I used that vehicle to drive up and down the Ute pass into Colorado Springs in some of the worst weather imaginable and also used it to navigate logging roads and jeep trails in the Rockies. It was an absolutely perfect vehicle for that type of terrain and it took me everywhere that I needed to go and never got stuck, which is a damn good thing when you're up at 12000 feet in the middle of a sudden blizzard and trying to make it back home with all your fingers and toes.

I live in Wisconsin now, and I still drive the Pathfinder. It gets reasonable mileage for a SUV and it handles the roads during the long, snowy winters here pretty well. I still drive it offroad occasionally while camping or fishing. Eventually, I plan to retire it and buy an all-wheel drive vehicle like a Subaru since I don't require the high clearance anymore.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:45 PM on February 17, 2002


mathowie: Props for the fake ads. Thankfully, Dodge wouldn't have the stones to run anything so provocative.
posted by sacre_bleu at 7:54 PM on February 17, 2002


Yes: excellent ads.

Regarding SUVs: they are exempt from CAFE overall fleet efficiency standards to which normal automobiles are subject. On average, fatalities occur at the same rate in SUV-auto collisions as they do in auto-auto collisions -- only all the fatalities are shifted into the automobile. SUVs are frequently MORE dangerous in icy conditions on roadways, not least, IMO, because drivers tend to be more aggressive in them. And -- as a sibling is fond of pointing out -- sooner or later your neighbor's aging SUV will follow the path taken by all used vehicles: into the hands of your neighbor's 16-year-old.

But I would be OK with ALL of these things, if I could just see around them on the freaking highway.
posted by coelecanth at 8:00 PM on February 17, 2002


The problem with SUVs is not that they're bad per se, it's that they are being sold to people in heavily urbanized areas who will most likely never ever use them for their intended purpose, namely traveling in harsh, offroad conditions.

A friend of mine regularly spends weeks at a time in rural parts of Egypt and he fell in love with the Land Rover Defender after trying to navigate rough terrain in "lesser" vehicles. Defenders don't generally meet U.S. emissions standards, so they're rare in the States. My friend considered modified versions of the Land Rover Discovery the only accessible, albeit much tamer, equivalents and was utterly dismayed to come home from a trek through the Sinai to find them being marketed to soccer moms. "Blasphemy! Sacrilege!"
posted by lizs at 9:07 PM on February 17, 2002


I live in Los Angeles (very strict emissions controls) and I see Defender90's all over the place. Not sure if they have to be modified?
posted by chaz at 9:08 PM on February 17, 2002


I live in Los Angeles (very strict emissions controls) and I see Defender90's all over the place. Not sure if they have to be modified?

they've gotten to be a sort of status symbol in the last couple of years so they're more available than they used to be (dealers are willing to pay to have them modified), but not nearly as ubiquitous as Discoverys or Range Rovers.
posted by lizs at 9:16 PM on February 17, 2002


Hey on a slight tangent, I'm trying to track down the parody ad for Fords new monstrosity SUV, the one thats so big that it comes with an Explorer on top for making short side trips. Ya know which one I'm talking about? My best efforts on Google yielded nothing but a hint that the Onion originally did it, but I couldn't find it on their site or on web.archive.org. But maybe I'm going the wrong direction? Can you hook me up?
posted by mutagen at 10:17 PM on February 17, 2002


Mutagen, it was on BBSpot:
Ford Exorbitant
posted by adamv at 10:36 PM on February 17, 2002


The wife wants a station wagon. Of course, the one she wants is a Subaru Impreza WRX Sport Wagon(and not the slushbox in that link, but the do it yourself version).

Of course, she wants to keep her SVT Contour also. *sigh*
posted by dglynn at 10:46 PM on February 17, 2002


Good grief, it's yet another MeFi thread in which to loathe SUVs and their owners. Get a life already, tofu-eaters, will you please? About.com has a whole list of churches you may attend, especially the poseur's 4x4 page, which is highlighted by Sport Brutes and especially the Kenworth Pilgrimage, all of which are done by real SUV people who are actually, contrary to opinion above, able to make fun of themselves.
posted by dhartung at 11:24 PM on February 17, 2002


Amen, dhartung.

And please, feel free to pass my huge red Durango (just like the one in the ad) when you're stuck behind me. I like being passed by overaggressive SUV haters. It gives me the momentary thrill of imagining running them and their rollerskate cars over with my big angry red penis of a car.
posted by Dreama at 12:01 AM on February 18, 2002


I think the ad's pretty effective. Goes against the image of school marmish lecture-lecture in the "tofu-eatin' beret-wearin' hippies" culture.

But only if you're willing to turn "tofu eater" into that string of cliches you just pulled out of your own bag of stereotypes.
posted by muckster at 12:14 AM on February 18, 2002


I wonder what Duran Duran's Simon LeBon drives.
posted by anildash at 12:38 AM on February 18, 2002


Anildash, I can report that Mr. LeBon's personal vehicle is a Ducati motorcycle. I'm not sure what his family tends to ride in. (He's also very much an environmentalist, recently using duranduran.com as a platform to publish something about global warming.)

Hey, Anil asked.
posted by Dreama at 1:56 AM on February 18, 2002


muckster: see that part where I said "image"? Yeah, cool.
posted by owillis at 2:44 AM on February 18, 2002


you know, i love the "I am anti-PC, give me a steak you tofu eatin' faggots" stuff. It makes it easier to laugh at people when they die of colon cancer
posted by das_2099 at 6:17 AM on February 18, 2002


I bought a Chevy Suburban this fall after Sept. 11. We were looking for another van, but car dealers were offering such ridiculously good deals we couldn't resist.

I enjoyed the initial boost to my penis self-esteem, but now that I've gotten used to the vehicle, the real benefit is the knowledge that when some dumbass runs into us, we've got a much better shot of escaping harm. I used to drive a Toyota Tercel, and the joy of driving that modified go kart was always tempered with the knowledge I'd be road pizza in any serious crash.
posted by rcade at 6:19 AM on February 18, 2002


das_2099 - The last research I saw on meat consumption and cancer rates found a corrolation only with highly processed meats (yer basic salami, hot dogs, etc.). So steak (as mentioned in the ad) wouldn't play into your scenario very well.
posted by NortonDC at 7:24 AM on February 18, 2002


Matt, that was excellent. (Reminds me of the ad parodies in Crazy People, only better.)
Screw the Durangos, Expeditions, Tahoes, Navigators and all other stationwagons-on-steroids, especially that Mercedes-Benz Panzerwagen or whatever they're calling it this time around. Totally pathetic (almost as pitiable as the PT Cruiser).
Here's the ultimate adslogan for the real SUV: "Give me a Hummer--and get the hell out of my way!"
posted by StOne at 7:26 AM on February 18, 2002


This ad was seen in Eugene, Oregon. . .a place where one can actually purchase a tofu burrito (my wife ate one on Saturday). AND we have our share of rednecks out in the burbs, plus even a few trophy wives driving Lincoln Navigators.

This was a very interesting thread to me. . .thank you all for posting. What I meant by the "Bush/Cheney ethos "* is the fuck-it attitude towards even lip-service to energy and resource conservation. Granted, the previous administration was similar except in the lipservice department.

(Note to self. . ..stay the hell out of Dreama's way on the highway)

*copyright 2002 danf
posted by Danf at 7:27 AM on February 18, 2002


For my mid-life crisis, I went out and bought myself a big ol' V-8 powered pickup truck. You get all the size and power of an SUV, but about 90% less recrimination.

Who needs a penis when you have 330 foot-lbs of torque?
posted by groundhog at 7:32 AM on February 18, 2002


I enjoyed the initial boost to my penis self-esteem, but now that I've gotten used to the vehicle, the real benefit is the knowledge that when some dumbass runs into us, we've got a much better shot of escaping harm.

Few weeks ago I drove the Evil Capitalist SUV over to Mom's office to pick her up for lunch. Driving down the street, I hit a pothole.

Mom goes, "Was that a pothole?"

My pithy reply, "I think it was a Hyundai."

Made my normally reserved British mother laugh, even.

Just thought I'd share.
posted by ebarker at 7:56 AM on February 18, 2002


Driving my wife's Explorer makes me happy...and I can't wait to trade my Taurus in for something similar to hers. The new Saturn VUE is catchy, on initial looks. And re: the ad -- brilliant. I love when marketers tell the truth and say what we're all thinking.
posted by davidmsc at 8:13 AM on February 18, 2002


I drive a Honda Civic. I enjoy passing SUVs driven by trophy wives and men with small penises (I lump them in the same demographic -- same habits, ego, etc.) because I know that when they overreact to my tiny bug of a car launching its fourbanger past them at around 90mph, they'll most likely end up in the ditch.

And they never can accelerate fast enough to catch me anyway.
posted by SpecialK at 8:44 AM on February 18, 2002


Oh, and Davidmsc, you want to stay away from that Saturn. It's actually powered by a Honda V-6. You wouldn't want one of those rice-burning engines in your oversized penis, now, would you?
posted by SpecialK at 8:48 AM on February 18, 2002


Oops... forgot to close my sarcasm tag. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 8:48 AM on February 18, 2002


Leave us not forget the Canyonero [q.v. "The Last Temptation of Krusty," The Simpsons].
posted by bradlands at 8:51 AM on February 18, 2002


I nominate "Big/Expensive Car == Small Penis" as the Most Tired Argument since "You're Letting The Terrorists Win". From what sort of insecurity issues must you whiny anti-SUVites be suffering, to inspire the use of third-grade playground insults like "You have a small penis!" La-ame.

I don't even own a frigging car, but when shopping for one in the next few months, I certainly won't be looking for a Toyota Echo or a Ford Focus. Sorry, but your cutesy little "environmentally conscious" cars aren't built for someone over six feet tall.
posted by Danelope at 9:06 AM on February 18, 2002


From what sort of insecurity issues must you whiny anti-SUVites be suffering, to inspire the use of third-grade playground insults like "You have a small penis!"

Yeah well, geeze, it's just a joke, a figure of speech.

Look at how many people choose their make and model because it reflects their personality (real or imagined), or how it makes them feel. A man in a big SUV just feels, well, more masculine. A woman in a big SUV feels empowered. If it's anyone with insecurity, its the fella who buys a big-ass, fume-belching vehicle that doesn't really need it. If you're over six feet and need the leg room, hey, nothing wrong with that, go for it.
posted by MJoachim at 9:55 AM on February 18, 2002


"... that doesn't really need it."

And that, my friends, speaks volumes to me, and is an integral part of this thread.

It is human nature (Yours Truly included) that when someone or something bumps up against your personal boundary of "X doesn't need Y" that comments such as the "little penis/insecurity/etc." thing comes out (so to, um, speak).

This is not an attack on anybody, just an observation that struck me whilst reading.
posted by ebarker at 10:19 AM on February 18, 2002


:: whips out a guitar and begins to yodel... ::

"Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro, I ran over my neighbors
Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro, now it's in all the papers
My folks bought me a Bitchin' Camaro with no insurance to match;
So if you happen to run me down, please don't leave a scratch..." -- Dead Milkmen

Couldn't resist the quote. :) We have some semi-big cars in my family -- my husband drives a battered Amigo (aka DeathTrap 2000). He's 6'5" and genuinely does need the leg room -- the one time he drove my (late, lamented) Geo Prizm I thought he was driving a clown car -- his knees were practically up around his ears.

We're hopefully getting a new car soon, and it'll be either an SUV or a minivan -- something with enough room for him and his long legs, me, our "stuff," and maybe some little ones down the road... ;) Probably a minivan -- I think an SUV would be too big for me to drive.
posted by metrocake at 10:19 AM on February 18, 2002


What always amuses me about SUVs is that your typical dumbass suburbanite doesn't realize that he's paying five to fifteen thousand dollars extra for a crappy old Detroit pickup truck with an enclosed bed and an extra bench seat.

Suckers!
posted by mark13 at 11:02 AM on February 18, 2002


For those who feel a big truck just isn't enough of an indicator of your penis size, how about some glow-in-the-dark "Bull Balls" to dangle from your tailpipe.
posted by briank at 11:11 AM on February 18, 2002


... doesn't realize that he's paying five to fifteen thousand dollars extra for a crappy old Detroit pickup truck with an enclosed bed and an extra bench seat.

Hey! I also got a spiffy binder to put my owner's manual in.

And a gas cap.

And some really cool mats.

And a blowjob from the sales rep...

wait.

Strike that last part.
posted by ebarker at 11:37 AM on February 18, 2002


The ad got its message through: now I know that if it comes down to it and there's simply nothing else available, I can go to the Dodge dealer and get an overpriced Durango to hold me over for an hour or two while I find a real car.

They've got a couple of these billboards here in Seattle and I always feel faintly sick when I look at them. Kudos to the ad agency for turning the Durango's embarassing fuel efficiency into a sort of selling point.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:12 PM on February 18, 2002


And cupholders. Lots and lots of cupholders.

I think it's the new Suburban that seats nine, and yet has twelve cupholders. For the two-fisted drinkers?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:21 PM on February 18, 2002


This isn't as bad as the "when did your car last ask you to take the garbage out or ask you if it looked fat" ad, which apparently isn't effective because I can't remember what motor oil company it's for.

I see their angle, but if I was looking for a manly vehicle, it'd be a working pickup (not a poser pickup) or an old muscle car.

Then again, what do I know? I don't drive. I guess I'm just a big pussy.

Btw, there's a nice SUV ad on the radio stations in the delightfully un-PC Grand Theft Auto 3.
posted by SiW at 12:43 PM on February 18, 2002


This reminds me of a Tim Allen routine, except his was about the new Corvette he bought. "That car is just an extension of your penis," said his mother-in-law. "Well, yeah," admitted Allen. "What man doesn't want a two-ton dick?"
posted by kindall at 1:15 PM on February 18, 2002


*nothing*, not even driving three labrador retrievers to the vet in an integra, makes me want to buy an SUV.

of course, nothing, not even standing on an el platform in 2 degree weather, makes me want to drive *any* sort of automobile.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:44 PM on February 18, 2002


Skallas said, way upthread, "My car (a 2 door) gets 13 mpg in the city at best, 12 at worst with its V6. Not bad, but not good. A new Buick Rendezous SUV V6 or even the V8 probably gets around the same mileage."

Since 1973, cars in the United States have become nearly 50% more fuel-efficient — rising from an average of 13 miles per gallon to 21 miles per gallon in 2000.

(Washington Post)

The increased popularity of large sport-utility vehicles has kept U.S. fuel efficiency from increasing above the 21 miles per gallon level since 1991.

(Washington Post)

In 2001, five of the top ten selling cars in the United States are SUVs or light trucks. On average, the top-selling SUVs and light trucks yield only 18.4 miles per gallon.

(Autonews.com)


As of 2001 — using only existing technologies and without harming safety or performance — the fuel economy of U.S. cars could be raised by 17% to 36% and by 27% to 47% for light trucks.

(National Research Council)

The ten most fuel-efficient cars, as rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, account for only 0.57% of the U.S. auto market.

(J.D. Power & Associates)

I got these quotes here.
posted by acridrabbit at 2:02 PM on February 18, 2002


The ten most fuel-efficient cars, as rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, account for only 0.57% of the U.S. auto market.

(J.D. Power & Associates)


Cool quotes.

When I bought my SUV, the most important things to me were, in order of descending importance:

1. My safety on the road.
2. Comfort.
3. Convenience (as in extra space to carry stuff).

Fuel efficiency was not in the top three. And from these statistics, it looks like market forces are at work here, which I see as a Good Thing. And I'm ready to pay five bucks a gallon for gas if it ever comes to that.
posted by ebarker at 2:46 PM on February 18, 2002


Sheesh...isn't it remotely possible for the anti-SUV posters to accept the fact that my wife & I simply *like* the Explorer? It looks pretty, it handles fine, we can transport "things" easily (drove our new washing machine home in it, no $50 delivery charge), we can truck many children to the skating rink, it has nice features (CD changer, A/C in front & back, etc), and so on. Has nothing to do with "ego" or "masculinity." If fuel-efficiency and gas prices were my primary concern, we wouldn't have bought it...but those are NOT my primary concerns.

Whoa -- after hitting "Preview" I saw ebarker's comment -- well said. Ditto on the $5/gallon remark.
posted by davidmsc at 2:52 PM on February 18, 2002


OK for the record. . .

I would not buy an SUV (I have a new Saturn wagon, which I'm ambivalent enough about, but I just wanted to live for a few years, out of my entire adult life span, without the constant fear of breaking down god-knows-where with a child along - done that and it's not pleasant) but both my siblings have them and many friends have them and so far I have not held this purchase against anyone.

The original posting was more an observation of the attitude portrayed in the advertisement, which Matt succinctly put in both his words and his pictures.
posted by Danf at 3:14 PM on February 18, 2002


A woman in a big SUV feels empowered.

Stick to the facts, not your supposition. This woman, in her SUV, feels transported. As in, you know, I get from point A to point B.
posted by Dreama at 5:55 PM on February 18, 2002


Skallas said, way upthread, "My car (a 2 door) gets 13 mpg in the city at best, 12 at worst with its V6. Not bad, but not good. A new Buick Rendezous SUV V6 or even the V8 probably gets around the same mileage."

Before you go off on the statistical route, my mileage is from two months of nothing but city driving figured out by my on-board computer. There's a big difference between real world driving and the government regulated city and highway mileage track tests.
posted by skallas at 8:25 PM on February 18, 2002


As of 2001 — using only existing technologies and without harming safety or performance — the fuel economy of U.S. cars could be raised by 17% to 36% and by 27% to 47% for light trucks.

(National Research Council)


I think you'll find very few engineers in the auto industry (such as myself) who believe the above statement from a practical standpoint. If money were no object then I suppose it would be possible because you could build the vehicle out of all sorts of more "exotic" materials to take out weight but your Explorer would end up costing $100k and would still have a disadvantage when in an accident with a regular "heavy" SUV.
posted by ArkIlloid at 8:54 PM on February 18, 2002


If fuel-efficiency and gas prices were my primary concern, we wouldn't have bought it...but those are NOT my primary concerns.

Why you, you ... you American!
posted by kindall at 12:15 AM on February 19, 2002


This woman, in her SUV, feels transported.

Well, my comment earlier was from the point of view of a marketer, as the thread topic was about a billboard, originally. Just broad generalizations, nothin' personal.

SUV's do have a purpose and use, no one should go around vandalizing them with "Climate" bumperstickers or judging the owners. My earlier comment about "need," well, that term is up to the owner also, no democracy can dictate that to anyone. It just happens to be a product that does have environmental consequences. Compared to heavy-industry polluters or countries with no envrionmental laws, driving an SUV has a relatively small effect, but it still has one. That's all I was tryin' to get at.
posted by MJoachim at 8:12 AM on February 19, 2002


BTW, I can't remember nor find this anywhere, but I swear that Congress passed a bill a few years ago that takes effect next year that moves SUVs out of the light truck class and into their own class of vehicles... with their own safety requirements, not the industrial specs for light trucks.

In other words, new SUVs are about to get a lot more expensive, and old SUVs may be a lot more expensive to insure, because one of the new specs is that another, much smaller vehicle has to survive an impact with a SUV.

I wish I could find that...

(Holy run-on sentances, batman...)
posted by SpecialK at 8:29 AM on February 19, 2002


I like being passed by overaggressive SUV haters

Overagressive? Maybe these people just know how to drive correctly. I was always taught that when passing semi trucks etc to do so quickly in order to get out of their way. I do the same thing with SUVs. Mostly to make sure I get out of their way before the phone in their tank rings and they pay even less attention to the world around them.
posted by terrapin at 11:28 AM on February 19, 2002


To be quite honest about the only thing that makes low efficiency vehicles affordable is the fact that transportation costs are heavily subsidized out of other taxes. Paying the full price for the privilege of driving an automobile at the pump would make sport utility vehicles prohibitively expensive (although that would be offset by reduced property taxes.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:52 AM on February 19, 2002


transportation costs are heavily subsidized out of other taxes

Well, if they're doing that, why don't they just subsidize the gasoline taxes out of existence too? I mean, it makes no sense for the government to artifically reduce the price of gasoline, then turn around and artifically inflate them back up again.
posted by kindall at 1:18 PM on February 19, 2002


O.K. who's got the 10 1/2 ?
posted by pekar wood at 5:29 PM on February 19, 2002


Why you, you ... you American!

Damn right! And thank you, skallas, for the compliment!
posted by davidmsc at 6:07 PM on February 19, 2002


Sorry...it was kindall, not skallas. forgive.
posted by davidmsc at 6:07 PM on February 19, 2002


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