In the past, I would always use my pick-up truck for anything and
everything construction related. Even for going to the store and buying say
a 5 gallon can of something.
Yesterday I needed to go to the store and buy a bunch of construction
I thought about it... I would not be buying anything long... hummm, maybe I
could fit it all in my 38 MPG hatchback car?
And I'll be darned if everything fit. Just barely made it, but I crammed it
all in there. So then I filled up with gas on way back (tank half full)...
$9.00, not bad!
I think I'll use the car whenever possible from now on....
I have a 94 Ford Aspire that I am driving more and more. Besdes the
obvious fuel savings over the extended cab 3/4 ton Silverado, it is so
much easier to just zip right into parking spots rather than drive
around the parking lots trying to find a space the truck will fit. What
I can't figure out is not just the size of vehicles people are driving,
but the WAY they drive. I have a friend with a Lincoln Town Car, and I
am terrified to ride with him. He takes off from a light or stop sign
just short of burning rubber, goes one block to the next stop, and just
as you think he is not going to stop, slams on the brakes and stops in
about one car length. Besides the gas, he gets about 15K to a set of
brake pads. This isn't some dumb kid either. This guy is 66 y/o. His 30+
y/o son is even worse. I absolutely refuse to ride with him period. I
would bet that on average, people could get 3 more mpg if they tried. I
get about 13 on the Dodge van at work-- most of the others are getting
about 9-10. It has 70K on the original Michelins. Replaced the original
brake pads at 48K, back brakes original. The other's tires and brakes
are going just over half those mileages. Larry
I think there will be a lot more thinking like that from now on. The
days of cheap gas are gone forever. The prices may go down some but not
much. It's time for all of us to start thinking sensibly.
Of course, the first thing that needs to happen is that the auto-makers
need to start making fuel efficient cars instead of pumping out the
monster SUVs, and double cab pickups. Time to go back to the early 80's
when small cars were "cool".
It is not just the manufacturers who are at fault. It is the
Testosterone based buying habits of the American public. The car
companies are making what we want to buy. Or Did want to buy. I hope
the car companies are ready to change. Last month was the first drop
in SUV sales figures in years, but it was only by 1%.
As you alluded to, the car companies are willing to make/sell whatever
you're willing to buy. However, if gas prices stay where they are today,
the mark-up on fuel efficient cars will be like it was in the '70's, and
they will be giving away SUV's. Until recently, they were giving away the
efficient stuff and charging out the wazzoo for SUV's. I'd hate to be the
owner of a 3 month old Mega SUV. Resale has gone in the toilet for now, and
fuel expenses are 50% or more higher than expected.
Here in the Atlanta area, I've been amazed at the lack of traffic this
weekend. High gas prices and the lingering fear of shortages (yes, there
are stations without gas, but I suspect that's because of last week's run on
gas) are keeping people from making unnecessary trips. I love it, because
it is amazing how much better traffic flows when volume is down 25% or
I noticed the same thing. Also seemed to see a larger proportion of smaller
vehicles and an absence of monster SUV's, RV's, etc.
I heard that a Chevy Suburban is now costing around $150 for a fill-up, so
I can see why...
I'm not usually for government interference but I think now might be a
good time to offer some kind of incentive to auto-makers and buyers to
help sell the efficient cars... of course, I guess you could consider
the current administration's work in getting the current gas prices to
record highs an incentive.
Giving away the efficient stuff? Have you ever priced the
fuel-efficient cars? They have always been sold at a
premium over regular cars. My high-efficiency Honda cost
$1000 over the price of the same car with a regular engine.
That was 13 years ago - still runs well and now I'm really
saving at the pump compared to others.
Check the VW TDI compared to thother VW models or the Prius
compared to the comparably equipped Toyotas. Fuel efficiency
has always come at a premium.
SUVs on the other hand were just sold as expensive. I never
understood why someone would pay a $5000+ premium over a
similarly equipped van.
Well, back when the SUV craze began, actually several years later I saw
a report (don't recall where) in a car mag stating that it was about
$10,000. To see just what the premium is, check the price of an SUV vs
a similarly equipped pick-up built on the same chassis. Even that is
not accurate as 4x pickups have their own excessive markup.
Guess what - vans come with 4WD too. I did say a similarly
Irrelevant for the majority of SUV drivers. They are only commuting
to work or going to the mall after all.
??? I've driven both types both on and off road. They both handle
poorly. Light ass-end and top heavy. what's your point?
Again - irrelevant for the majority of drivers.
Never actually priced the vehicles, did you? Some models of SUV
were upwards of $15,000 over the vans the same company sold.
Detroit was making about $10,000 profit per SUV on average and
losing money on almost every car they sold. That's why they
loved selling them and why every manufacturer in the world
came out with one - even Porche, FCS.
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