Moms: I want my SUV!

"I bought an SUV and haven't looked back."


Letters to the Editor
May 31, 2000 11:44PM (UTC)

Road Sows
BY BETH GALLAGHER (05/24/00)

SUV drivers mention that they enjoy the space for the family as well as being "higher up" and "safer."

Why have they not discovered the joy of driving a semi?

The space is unparalleled and infinitely customizable. And how many horrifying car vs. semi accidents have you heard of that end, "and the trucker walked away"?

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Safety. Space. Personalized luxury! Come on, SUV drivers -- get on the trailer!

-- Amy Caron

Had Beth Gallagher ever been involved in a serious accident while packed like a sardine into her low-slung but oh-so-cool VW Beetle, she would have a clearer understanding as to why some of us drive SUVs. After being nearly beheaded by a minivan twice the size and weight of my Ford Escort 10 years ago, I bought an SUV and haven't looked back.

Now that yuppie/boomer road-raging soccer moms have given my vehicle of choice a bad name, I find myself having to defend that choice. My SUV is no larger than a full-size pickup truck, gets better mileage than a Cadillac and does one hell of a job getting me to off-the-beaten-path trout streams where I can get as far away from whiners like Gallagher as I possibly can.

-- Randy Hannan

I'm personally getting tired of being lumped in with all the yuppie, bobo idiots who bought their SUVs as a status symbol or because everyone else in their tony neighborhoods had one.

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I'm a chick and I drive an SUV, albeit a small, two-door 1989 GMC Jimmy. I got it long before the current muscle-mobiles. I didn't buy it because it made me feel more powerful, or because I wanted to dominate the road, or because I wanted all my college-age friends to be mad with envy. I got it because it was the best vehicle to suit my needs.

The Jimmy allows me to go off-road when I visit my family's farm or when I'm trekking through rural, remote areas. It also gives me enough cargo room to haul sculptures and recording equipment, and I can tow a trailer behind it anytime I move from place to place. When I'm driving through city traffic, my short self gets a better view so I can determine which lane to switch to and which vehicles to avoid. And, with the flip of a lever, I can fit a couple more people in the back for company.

My Jimmy gets about 25 mpg, which is significantly more efficient than my former car (a '78 Oldsmobile). But it's a basic vehicle. No power windows. No butt-gripping, self-warming seats. Hardly what you think of now as an SUV.

There's another important difference, too: I drive my Jimmy mindful of its weight and its dimensions. I follow cars more than 7 seconds behind, and I take extra precautions on curves and in bad weather.

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This is something that seems to escape the new SUV and big pick-up drivers. Male or female, I think we'd all benefit from having to get a different classification of driver's license in order to operate our vehicles. They are not cars and they do not handle like cars.

-- Melissa Gray


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