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SUV’s – Yay or Nay

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Splunge, Jan 10, 2004.

  1. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, since I started this thread, I guess it’s about time that I added my 2 cents.

    Spellbound, please don’t be offended by this (because I'm not suggesting that these comments apply to you), but I think the Expedition pretty much epitomizes everything that those opposed to SUV’s hate – that the people who drive them don’t care about the environment, that they are more concerned about status symbols (or least what they think are status symbols), and that these vehicles are totally unnecessary given the needs (or perceived needs) of their owners. Having said that, I understand your comments about safety (although I think those concerns could be addressed by a number of other, less 'extreme' vehicles), and I’d be interested in reading comments from other SUV owners explaining their reasons for owning one.

    As for myself, I don’t own an SUV. Sure, I live in a region where the driving conditions could make it practical (snow), and sure, the added cargo capacity could occasionally come in handy, but I just have difficulty justifying the added cost and reduced fuel economy when compared to same-year cars. The cargo argument can just as easily be resolved with a station wagon or mini-van, visibility (and cargo) concerns can just as easily be addressed with a mini-van or by paying attention, driving conditions can be met by adjusting driving habits, and the luxury factor can be met by any number of vehicles. I guess what it boils down to is that I just don’t “get” North America’s fascination with SUV’s.
     
  2. Jschild Gems: 8/31
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    Fade, my 92 Coralla got about 30 miles to the gallon, show me a SUV that can get 20.
     
  3. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @ Spellbound

    Don't get your panties in a bunch. Don't be so sure I'm the one talking out of his ass.
    Look here, here, here, and here.

    If safety is THE number one reason you drive an SUV, you apparantly haven't done too much research on the subject.
    Sorry if I insulted you (which was not my intent), but the myth that SUV's are safer is just that - a myth. There's more than enough data to debunk it. And I frankly don't fault you for buying into it, too. Millions have.

    My assertion that people who drive SUV's don't care about their actions is based more on my personal experience than anything. People who drive SUV's, in my opinion, don't care about the effect it has on the environment, the safety of other drivers, etc., because they have a big cool "luxury" as you put it, car. How do I know? I've asked them. They drive what they want, period. If you don't see the correlation between flooding the country with cars that pollute the air and get 14 miles per gallon and our nation's dependance on oil, then I, in fact, feel sorry for you.
    [edit - personal comment voluntarily removed.]

    [ January 11, 2004, 22:33: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  4. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG] OK. Now we've heard it from all sides. Enough with the personal comments. Use PM if you have something to say to someone directly.
     
  5. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    The new Volvo for one. The Acura. The Blazer on the hwy. Dodge Durango 2wd. Ford Explorer 2wd. GMC Envoy. Honda CRV (29mpg hwy). Infiniti. Isuzu Road. Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jeep Liberty. Jeep Wrangler/TJ. Land Rover Freelander. Lexus. Mazda. Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2wd. Nissan Pathfinder 2wd. Toyota 4Runner 2wd/4wd. Toyota Highlander.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm

    I knew the Volvo off the top of my head because I saw one at a dealership recently while I was picking up another vehicle. I got curious and quickly browsed for others. That's just a quick glance.

    Personally, I would tax gasoline to account for externalities. Your mileage may vary.
     
  6. ArtEChoke Gems: 17/31
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    Here's my laundry list on SUVs:

    The visibility issue - I think its mostly bunk. Typically a normal car gives fine visiblity, if you're not driving into the trunk of the car in front of you.

    Typically if I find I need to be 5 feet off the ground to see, its because there's an SUV in front of me.

    In extension of that, I think a lot of SUV drivers need the added visibility, to know when the car in front of them is going to have to stop quickly, because they *are* riding up the guys bumper. I notice a disporportionately large number of SUVs (and minivans) tailgating.

    I don't know if its because they can see over the car or what.

    Safety - I don't know about this, but I have read that they tip rather easily, and I have personaly witnessed the rear crumple zone on the back of some that make you look like this: :eek: Especially the ones with the tire on the rear hatch... ugly.

    I don't feel that the manuverability of an SUV is as good as an ordinary sized car.

    The gas mileage I could give or take, if you can afford to drive one, more power to you. But I can't believe the number of these things I see in the city. The gas mileage of ordinary cars gets pretty bad, I can't imagine what these things must chalk up.

    The city brings me to one more point, I hate trying to park around these damn things in the city. Parallel parked, they're still practically in the middle of the road... grrr.
     
  7. Alavin

    Alavin If I wanted your view, I'd read your entrails Veteran

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    I have a friend who's taking his driving test in a Land Rover - he's quite an enthusiast. Thing is though, he's already been driving it for a couple of years previous, as off-roading is legal at a lower age if there's an adult in the car.

    From what I've seen, Land Rover drivers have formed their own small community. My friend says that, while driving around on-road, he is often honked at (in a greeting manner) by many other Land Rover drivers, and they let him through at junctions, and some of the other niceties that make life a little more pleasant.

    There are two types of Land Rover - the off-road (the 90) and the on-road (the Defender). I think I have those the right way round...

    Off-road Land Rovers are great. I had the privilege of being in the back seat while he was doing a Land Rover Trial (driving through gates in the mud). Although I admit it doesn't sound very impressive to the telling, but doing a perfect stop - getting one wheel only through a gate - following a 180 degree spin is a very exciting and enjoyable feat. Having endured that, I can't be against them off-road.

    On-road, the off-road Land Rovers are terrible. Their turning isn't great, and their tyres just aren't made for the surface. The Defender however is completely different, and I see no problem with them. While driving to school, I've seen many a Land Rover, and they tend to be better drivers than others, as in general they do require more skill to drive than a regular car, as they are, of course, bigger. They are also more friendly drivers. I've found that their politeness is not reserved only for other Land Rover drivers. When waiting at a junction and a Land Rover passes, 3/5 of them will let me through. Makes my morning.

    Although long and anecdotal, that is my general view of Land Rovers. Their drivers are better and more polite, and so cause me no hassle.
     
  8. Jschild Gems: 8/31
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    Thanks for the link about the SUV's. Now go back and look them up by SUVs that get over 20MPG. Then look at the engines. The vast majority of them are the ones with a 4 cylinder engine and there are a few with 6 cylinders. There is not a single V-8 in the bunch. Now I know about a dozen people with SUVs. You know how many have a 4 cylinder in them? None. V-6? One. They almost all got the engine that is sold in the majority of all the models. The V8. Its like the old Camaro's that could either have a v6 or the V8. Why get the V6? People who need the cargo will go with the smaller engine but again, all but 2 of the people i know do not need the space at all. They like the status and the power... the same reason people used to buy european luxuery cars. Of course, those had craptacular gas milage too.
     
  9. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    @Jschild

    I'm not going through all the v8's. There may not be any that get 20, but that isn't what you initially asked. You changed the challenge. I did check just one - the v8 4Runner with 4wd is at 19 on the hwy. So, 1 off. My guess is there is a v8 out there that gets 20 but it's just a guess.

    As far as the old luxury vehicles, I didn't know they got bad mileage. So, I checked two real quick and both the 1996 Mercedes E class and BMW ...something or another, both got right at 30 miles per gallon. Did you mean older still?

    I recently bought a new vehicle. Well, a used new vehicle. My fiancee was sideswiped and run off the interstate by a guy who said he must of hit a patch of ice (but who I suspect just didn't bother looking over). This incident concerned me so I did some research before purchasing a new vehicle (the other was totaled - I picked my new vehicle with safety as one of the primary concerns).

    Here are two sites I'd look at:

    http://www.hwysafety.org/vehicle_ratings/ratings.htm

    http://autos.msn.com/home/used_research.aspx?src=MSN

    Between the two you can cross reference and find a lot of good info. As far as safety, saying SUV's are or are not safe is entirely too broad. Saying a particular make and model is either safe or unsafe is too broad - you need to narrow it down to the year.

    For example, the Ford Explorer is, in my opinion, an unsafe vehicle if it was bought prior to 2002. The 2002 versions up until the present are safe vehicles. It is entirely too varied to make a blanket statement in my opinion - you won't find many vehicles as safe as the Volvo XC90 for example.

    As far as visibility, I have wished I was up higher on occasion. It isn't to see ahead for me, it is to see to the side. If I'm wanting to make a left for example at a stop sign and there is a car to the right of me I can have trouble seeing oncoming traffic from the right... and I'm 6'1. I can see how shorter women might find the additional height beneficial.

    All in all, there are too many SUV's from too many years and used for too many purposes to say the entire class is "good" or "bad"; whatever the criteria may be.
     
  10. Jschild Gems: 8/31
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    Laches, about the European cars I didn't mean the current crop. I meant when they were all the rage in the 80's. They have greatly improved the gas miliage for them today, but they are not even close to the status symbol they once were.
     
  11. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I think it's pretty safe to say that a car will get better gas mileage (and better performance) with a given engine than an SUV, due simply to the weight factor. Now obviously some smaller SUV's weigh less than some larger cars, but I don't think a vehicle buyer would be choosing between, say, a Honda CRV and a Mercedes S500.

    As far as SUV drivers being less "courteous" than car drivers, that may be true, but I will admit that, since I dislike SUV's, I tend to (unfairly) project that dislike onto their drivers (not including the one's I know personally), so I may just be looking for driving behaviors that reinforce my dislike. I'm the first to acknowledge that there are a lot of bad car drivers out there as well.

    On a complete side note, isn't it great that we can get mad at each other over something that has nothing to do with you-know-what? :D
     
  12. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    I used Laches' link to see how many SUVs would get 15mpg city or less and stopped counting at 50. My feeling is that like most other things SUVs come in all shapes and sizes. But it would be valid to say that a lot of them get lousy gas millage. 15mpg is not very good these days.
     
  13. Jschild Gems: 8/31
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    Splunge, no one is saying that they will get less gas milage due to the greater weight with the same engine. The problem is that they do not have the same gas milage requirements as cars at all due to out of date laws from the time which trucks were work vehicles. The vast majority of trucks and SUVs are not used for work or offroad or hauling purposes today. I don't expect a 4000lb SUV to average 30mpg. I'd be happy with them all averageing 20mpg which they don't. Don't you think its sad that the average mpg of all vehicles on the road has dropped for the first time since the very early 80s? They could have easily improved gas milage if they wanted to. They did it for cars in the 70's. Average gas milage skyrocketed after the gas shortages. Unfort americans could care less (on the average) aobut stuff like that until it affects thier lives. Until then, it could destroy the enviroment, use up valable oil reserves and they won't care until they have to pay 3.00 for gas and have lines like they have in Iraq. Then i guarntee that they will have ore fuel efficent SUVs in a few years.
     
  14. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
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    I think the crux of the matter has been largely ignored in this thread. When a person drives an SUV, they are encroaching on the freedoms of *other people* on the road.

    Cars and SUVs are simply not compatible. In car-SUV collisions 80% of fatalities are car side. That "safety" experienced by SUV drivers is simply counterbalanced by increased dangers to other drivers. The car full of people who have more respect for their fellow man and the environment are *punished*.

    Furthermore, that increased "visibility" comes at a cost as well. OTHER people who drive normal sized cars have their visibility DECREASED. Again, the person who should be rewarded is being punished.

    I cannot believe that some people in this thread have denied the correlation between oil consumption and terrorist funding. Where do you think Mid Eastern wealth comes from? Their booming medical industry? Or their cutting-edge computer technology?

    Their wealth is derived almost entirely from oil. And many of the groups profiting from oil sales, such as the Saudi Royal Family, are known sponsors of terrorists. I don't see how the connection could be made more clear.

    I could give you a whole spiel about how gas guzzlers rape the environment and pollute the air we breath, etc and why that constitues bad karma. But, I think I've made a relevant point.

    [ January 12, 2004, 01:58: Message edited by: InquisitorX ]
     
  15. Manus Gems: 13/31
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    I agree with Inquisitor X and Jschild here, Splunge, ArtEchoke, Chandros, and Death Rabbit as well. (Sorry if I missed anyone, a lot of people responded ;) )

    I'm not sure I care about supporting terrorism, but all the other issues here are enough with me to agree with that bad car-ma problem.

    SUV's on average have a high consumption of fuel and raw materials, higher than normal cars which is bad enough allready. They also have too much power to haul one person around, it is unecesssary, and therefore wasteful, whcihc is to the detriment of us all. We run out of raw materials, well, good for me, but I'm sure many people would find themselves at a disadvatage, not to mention the damage caused to the earth, and the plants and animals that once lived there.

    Also, while car-drivers do not get too much sympathy from me in the first place, I think it is immoral to use something which gives you added visibility, percieved benefit of safety, or any other such boon (like luxury) while putting your fellow members of humanity at a serious disadvantage, That's an 'I'm more important than you attitude'. Sure, you can say they could all buy SUV's as well, but people specifically don't buy them for very valid -I feel- reasons, reasons that should not be compromised just to overcome such a disadvatage.

    Now again, it is certainly not applying to all drivers, but in my own experience the majority of these vehicle owners do drive in a more unsafe manner than the general populace of a similar situation to them. Sure some 17 y/o punk is going to speed and generally act like a hooligan (on average) more than anyone -except truck drivers ;) - but these guys drive in an un-safe manner, like the tail-gaiting and pushy behaviour allready mentioned, as well as the way corners are taken, etc. Now, Spellbound, I am sure you are a very courteous driver, I'm not talking about you or any of your peers prsonally. Only that in my experience on average this is true. It could just be that it is percieved as more dangerous because of the larger size (of both vehicle and engine) involved, but it is true that someone driving in an SUV in the same manner one would handle a car, is going to be more unsafe due to the chunky size, momentum, and other related considerations.

    Considerations. That word sums up my argument nicely I think.

    [ January 12, 2004, 05:58: Message edited by: Manus ]
     
  16. fade Gems: 13/31
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    SUV drivers are not any worse than any other driver, you just tend to notice them more.

    Personally, I tend to be a very self-centered person. I am much more concerned with me, my family and my friends than someone a don't know. So if an SUV improves my visabilty or my chance of survival in a crash, especially if it is the OTHER persons fault, then I will drive a SUV.

    If the person wants to use one as a status symbol, then more power to them. I personally would rather use the money to buy a vette, but oh well. Yea. . .ran outta ideas, cept everyone needs to lighten up a bit. :D
     
  17. Spellbound

    Spellbound Fleur de Mystique Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    Encroaching on freedoms? What you fail to mention is that we all have the freedom to drive whatever we choose -- it just so happens that you choose not to drive an SUV -- don't blame SUV drivers for that. The fact that I choose to buy a large vehicle in no way encroaches on your choices.

    Not trying to be unfeeling here -- but, as a realist, it's MY safety that I'm concerned about. Accidents are bad -- we all know that. Hopefully it never comes down to me or him -- but IF IT DID I can tell you where my vote would be. Or are you thinking that if both drivers were to drive smaller cars that there would be NO fatalities? I doubt that -- both cars would probably crumple up like sardines. Point is.... no one wants ANY fatalities -- and in the end -- I vote for survival for ALL, but for myself #1.

    And what about full size trucks? Do you think we should eliminate those as well? If in your world everyone is driving small sized cars -- the truckers wouldn't exist, SUVs wouldn't exist and pick-up trucks wouldn't exist. Now that's reality. It is YOUR CHOICE to drive a small car -- if you feel punished -- no one is punishing you but yourself.

    Pollute the air we breathe? All of the SUV's that I've seen around here, including my own, have no exhaust polluting the environment -- in fact, all models in the last few years have pollution control equipment on board and, in this state, have to pass bi-annual emissions tests to even get registered. I've seen more belching exhaust come out of small diesel cars than anything else around here.

    You know, I used to diss SUV's too -- but not because I felt "punished" or somehow affronted at the gall of those drivers. I just couldn't afford them -- plain and simple. And now when I drive mine, there are days when I curse it for being so big and the dollars I spend in gas -- but for MY safety -- I'd still rather be driving an SUV than anything else (except maybe a Volvo, which I can't afford ;) )
     
  18. Manus Gems: 13/31
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    Ahh-Hmm.


    For your information, I WOULD like to see the end of all automobiles, be they SUV's, trucks, or small sized cars. They all must go. That is reality.

    How about you consider others here. You may be self-indulgent, but we are not all like that. It might be easier for me to use a car, but I don't. Because I think of the consequences of my actions, and respect, nay, value, the rest of the life that we share this planet with.

    Yes, it is a choice. Yes, SUV drivers are not the only ones at fault here. This does not meant their actions are excuseable, or moral.

    Now I've said it before. If you were so concerened with your safetey above all other considerations, you would not drive at all, period.
     
  19. InquisitorX Gems: 4/31
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    Wrong. You are NOT free to do that. You are free to drive what society deems acceptable and what you're able to afford.

    But, personally, I couldn't care less about the legality of your choice - I'm refering to the morality of your choice, or the lack thereof. You place yourself above the safety and well being of your fellow human being.

    Faulty logic. I don't blame SUV drivers for me not driving an SUV. I blame them for endangering the well being of my family and friends for no other reason than following a trend.

    How do you expect someone to respond to that? I'm not exaggarating when I say that is quite possibly the most reprehensible and disgusting statement I've ever read.

    Normally, it does not help your argument to change the subject, especially when you wildly mischaracterize the arguments of others. I never said we should eliminate SUVs. The point I was making is that for the vast majority of the people who drive SUVs *don't need one.*

    What does this mean? Are you trying to write-off the anti-SUV argument as a cry of jealousy? That is the only reason I can think of that would explain why you typed that statement. Just because you "dissed" SUV drivers for reasons of jealousy, as you admit above, does not mean that you typify a person with an anti-SUV stance. And, as such, that statement was quite irrelevant with respect to making any meaningful points.

    EDIT: I found a choice article on SUV drivers, that some of you might enjoy. (Spellbound you'll probably not want to read this).

    Come to your own conclusions on whether or not you think this is a valid interpretation.

    http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14839

    Some highlights:

    "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.""

    "In their attempt to appear youthful and hip, SUV owners have filled the American highways with vehicles that exact a distinctly human cost, frequently killing innocent drivers who would have survived a collision with a lesser vehicle ."

    "Ask a typical SUV driver why he drives such a formidable vehicle, and he'll invariably insist that it's for safety reasons – the kids, you know – not because he's too vain to get behind the wheel of a sissy Ford Windstar. Automakers themselves know otherwise – their own market research tells them so."

    "The occupant death rate in SUVs is 6 percent higher than it is for cars – 8 percent higher in the largest SUVs. The main reason is that SUVs carry a high risk of rollover; 62 percent of SUV deaths in 2000 occurred in rollover accidents."

    [ January 12, 2004, 10:24: Message edited by: InquisitorX ]
     
  20. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    InquisitorX, while you make some valid points in your posts, the majority of them in this topic are so overflowing with a holier-than-thou attitude that they're quite painful to read. Simply because, if nothing else, your valid points are completely overshadowed by your moral lectures. They way you're carrying on here, someone might think SUVs are not only illegal to drive, but banned as weapons of mass destruction. Last I checked, however, they were perfectly legal to own and drive in the US.

    So here you can really only go as far as stating your opinion. Practically labelling everyone who drives an SUV as a criminal is heading into the realm of personal attacks, forbidden by the AoDA rules.

    And quoting articles beginning with "Have you ever wondered why sport utility vehicle drivers seem like such as*holes?" doesn't really help your credibility. Their "research", which also covers how often SUV drivers go to church or do volunteer work, provided a few laughs for me, though. ;) Next time when you're trying to make a point, it'll go a lot further if you actually find a source which is not so obviously partial.

    And btw, I drive a regular old European car (non-SUV), just in case you were wondering.
     
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