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Reuters Company News<BR>Ford mulls pulling plug on massive Excursion SUV<P>DETROIT, July 31 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co.'s (NYSE:F - News) massive Excursion sport utility vehicle, known as the largest and most gas-thirsty SUV on the market, may soon be heading for extinction. <BR>ADVERTISEMENT<BR> <BR> <P>Company spokesmen declined to comment on Wednesday on reports that the world's No. 2 automaker was pulling the plug on the Excursion, which won the immediate scorn of environmental groups when it made its debut in 1999. <P>But a source with knowledge of the situation said Ford was likely to stop producing the mammoth vehicle, which is nearly 19-feet (5.8 metres) long and seats nine, after the 2004 model year. <P>The Excursion was originally built to compete with General Motor Corp.'s (NYSE:GM - News) Chevrolet Suburban full-size SUV and Ford had high hopes for the vehicle, which yielded one of its highest profit margins. <P>Excursion sales in the United States, the main market for the vehicle, were down about 16 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period a year earlier, however. <P>And a company source said on Wednesday that Ford sees the full-size SUV segment, which accounted for about 5 percent of all U.S. car and truck sales last year, shrinking going forward. <P>"The demographics are moving away from the segment," said the source, who noted that aging baby-boomers are now moving in growing numbers toward retirement or the "empty-nest" stage of their lives. <P>Perhaps more importantly, the Excursion, which can weigh in at nearly 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) depending on the model, only gets about 10 miles (16 km) per gallon. <P>Eliminating it would help enormously if Ford is to make good on the pledge it made two years ago, when it first promised to raise the average fuel economy of its hot-selling SUVs in the United States by 25 percent by 2005. <P>Ford Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Clay Ford Jr., an avid environmentalist and great-grandson of automotive pioneer Henry Ford, has made improving the company's environmental record a top priority. <P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Carl Sims:<BR><B>I hope Ford learned their lesson on this and won't repeat it. The Excursion was just over the top huge and unnecessary.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>I hope so too. But why blame only Ford and not direct some to GM, a company that is not really known for its envirnomental record. What about the other gas hog, the Suburban? I really laugh when I see people driving Excursions, Expeditions, Suburbans, Denalis, Escalades, etc. and they have American flags flying all over the place. Where is their "patriotism" when they contribute to our dependency on foreign oil?<P>I guess Pirandello's comment (made back in the 1600s) is true when he said "well, if it seems it is, then it is"...<P>Yannis<BR><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> <BR>I hope so too. But why blame only Ford and not direct some to GM, a company that is not really known for its envirnomental record. What about the other gas hog, the Suburban? I really laugh when I see people driving Excursions, Expeditions, Suburbans, Denalis, Escalades, etc. and they have American flags flying all over the place. Where is their "patriotism" when they contribute to our dependency on foreign oil?<BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>My sentiments exactly Greek Boy!!!!!
 

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It's about time they got rid of that pig. Hopefully the suburban is next, and then the rest of the gas hogs. I talked to a guy a while back with a lifted Excursion 4x4 all he had on it was 35" tires (not too big compared..) and he said his mpg was under 10! <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/eek.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You know, it's not so much that they should can them, because there might be people out there who might actually need one. However, I think they ought to impose crazy taxes on cars that get less than 15mpg (like a luxury tax, but an efficiency tax instead) and throw all the money at hybrid, fuel cell and diesel technology developement.<P>George
 

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Or at the very least, they should hold them to the same emissions and gas milage rules that cars have to meet. This would make it more expensive for automakers to produce wasteful vehicles like this.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by [email protected]:<BR><B>You know, it's not so much that they should can them, because there might be people out there who might actually need one. </B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>George,<P>seriously now...WHO the heck needs such an envirnonmental and aesthetic nightmare? The rest of the world does just fine without them as Americans did just fine without them before they were created. It's like money...you can never have enough if you just cater to what you <B><I>think</I></B> you need.<P>Yannis<P>
 

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How about a ranch owner with six kids and a big horse trailer? <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"><P>Or maybe a yacht owner with a 7 man crew and a big boat trailer.<p>[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 08-06-2002).]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by [email protected]:<BR><B>How about a ranch owner with six kids and a big horse trailer? <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/wink.gif"><P>Or maybe a yacht owner with a 7 man crew and a big boat trailer.<P>[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 08-06-2002).]</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Well, I do not think that owning a boat and having friends or owning a ranch an having more than the national average, in kids, is something novel. What I am trying to point out is that we should set limits in our quest to simplify our lives. We can try to simplify but not by polluting unneccessarily. Excess is not always the best policy.<P><BR>Yannis<P>
 

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Wow. The liberal arm of Swedespeed. Hope it isn't indicative of all Volvo owners!<P>Why I'm sure you lot will be lining up for your Honda Hybrids complete with 'Save The Planet' bumper stickers. No? Why not? <P>Why do you care about what other people drive? Do you really look at Excursion drivers and think "Oooh smelly polluting non-environmentalist ruining the planet for our grand-children". Give me a f&*%ing break. If you do, you have some issues.<P>What about pick up trucks? Mine does 11mpg on a good day and shock horror, it is LONGER than an Excursion. How can that be? How can anyone feel good about themselves and the environment driving a 6 litre V8 Dodge Truck with big tires and noisy dual exhaust. Wait a minute... Mmm...trucks represent the common man, the blue collar dude - can't go after him - why it's a good voting base. Yup we'll go after the rich in their SUVs. After all nobody should be allowed to spend $50K on a behemoth like the Excursion. It's just not American!<P><BR><Insert serious note><BR>In the last 10 years, CARB (to their credit) has reduced emmissions in CA 95%. Now they are trying to get rid of that 5% with stupid legislative action in the CA State House taxing SUVs. Todays Excursion puts out 10 times less toxic emmisions than a 1990 Mustang. Hey, my 760 does 16mpg and since it is 15 years old probably puts out more than an Excursion. Are you gonna legislate me?<P>And if it botheres you that we are dependant on foreign oil then let us ease the burden just a bit and drill in Alaska. Ooops, no can't do that. 2 million acres but may kill a tree amoeba if we earmark 2000 acres for drilling. And what about the poor caribou? Mmm, don't they huddle up to the existing pipelines cus they are warm??? Nope, can't have warm caribou. No drilling!! Buy all your oil from Saddam.<P>I think I'll fire up my no-cats, no-emmision, no-pollution control oily smelly 7mpg chevy out today and drive it around with my middle finger in the air.<P>For at least a couple of tanks full.<BR>Try stopping me!<P>
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually, my main problem is diesel technology, hybrid technology and truck rules according to NHTSA.<P>On the SUV thing, it's not just the blue collar thing. It's also that an Excursion's "Utility" is less than an F350 with equivalent engine because of it's fixed covered bed. There's less room for hauling and or towing, which is the main function a truck of that size fulfills.<P>On the diesel thing, our diesel is not up to par with Euro diesel, making engines such as the D5 and VW Group TDI not viable for the US either for their technology or for its emissions "dirtiness" thanks to our high sulphur levels. It's the trucker lobby that is hurting that. There are plenty of cool cars that could be sold here if this market were more diesel friendly including the Volvo D5, and also cars such as the Dodge Caravan Diesel and Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel.<P>VW plans to use the diesel V10 that they've developed in the new Touareg SUV. That monster of a motor should do pretty well on consumption and the torque it puts out will give Ford and your Dodge a run for its money. Too bad they don't make a full size truck with that motor. It's a beauty.<P>As for hybrid and fuel cell technology, they could easily be applied to SUVs and trucks once the technology is there. The trouble with loose rules by NHTSA on trucks is that this enables manufacturers to sell a lot of car for a lower money and make more profit on them. Thus the emphasis on them in the market. Don't believe the automakers choose what happens in the market? Look at the Germans with the two seater roadster and you'll see what I mean.<P>So heck yeah I thin there should be a tax for some guy driving his V10 Ram around the city for the hell of it. I drive a Golf (over 30mpg) and a 240 (high 20s) because they are efficient and I live in Washington DC which is currently about to lose highway funding because of our dirty air. So Joe Schmoe driving his Ram around town for the hell of it is contributing a lot more than I am and our highways will suffer because of that. DC's transportation system needs investment, so I'm all for taxation, even if it's on gas in general. I drive 30K miles a year, and I'm still willing to do it. Why? Because it needs done and I use the system so I might as well help pay for it.<P>BTW, I do think it's funny that a Dodge Ram doing 10mpg with 2 people in it is allowed in the HOV lane and my 30mpg Golf driving alone is not. Even with two people they're still using more gas per person than I am.<P>Oh well, politics are politics. No offense here and I hope you weren't offended.<p>[This message has been edited by [email protected] (edited 08-07-2002).]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vetteguy:<BR><B>Wow. The liberal arm of Swedespeed. Hope it isn't indicative of all Volvo owners!<P>Why I'm sure you lot will be lining up for your Honda Hybrids complete with 'Save The Planet' bumper stickers. No? Why not? <P>Why do you care about what other people drive? Do you really look at Excursion drivers and think "Oooh smelly polluting non-environmentalist ruining the planet for our grand-children". Give me a f&*%ing break. If you do, you have some issues.<P>What about pick up trucks? Mine does 11mpg on a good day and shock horror, it is LONGER than an Excursion. How can that be? How can anyone feel good about themselves and the environment driving a 6 litre V8 Dodge Truck with big tires and noisy dual exhaust. Wait a minute... Mmm...trucks represent the common man, the blue collar dude - can't go after him - why it's a good voting base. Yup we'll go after the rich in their SUVs. After all nobody should be allowed to spend $50K on a behemoth like the Excursion. It's just not American!<P><BR><Insert serious note><BR>In the last 10 years, CARB (to their credit) has reduced emmissions in CA 95%. Now they are trying to get rid of that 5% with stupid legislative action in the CA State House taxing SUVs. Todays Excursion puts out 10 times less toxic emmisions than a 1990 Mustang. Hey, my 760 does 16mpg and since it is 15 years old probably puts out more than an Excursion. Are you gonna legislate me?<P>And if it botheres you that we are dependant on foreign oil then let us ease the burden just a bit and drill in Alaska. Ooops, no can't do that. 2 million acres but may kill a tree amoeba if we earmark 2000 acres for drilling. And what about the poor caribou? Mmm, don't they huddle up to the existing pipelines cus they are warm??? Nope, can't have warm caribou. No drilling!! Buy all your oil from Saddam.<P>I think I'll fire up my no-cats, no-emmision, no-pollution control oily smelly 7mpg chevy out today and drive it around with my middle finger in the air.<P>For at least a couple of tanks full.<BR>Try stopping me!<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Well, I will try to respond to your TYPICAL post who reflects the TYPICAL American unilateral thinking that has gotten us where we are now: the rest of the world thinking that we, ugly and arrogant Americans, don't give a flying f..k about anything else.<P>You label me a liberal and throw me in the same bag with the environmental loonies (I live my life by doing everything I can in being <B>environmentally conscious</B>, not an <B>environmental extremist</B>). You label me a liberal by being presumptious without bothering to find out where I come from, etc. That's OK because I do not consider myself as a liberal but I am definitely not a conservative (shivering with the thought). Of course you will laugh and think..."you are not a liberal and also claim that you are not a conservative...what the hell?" Well, my friend, the world is not as bipolar (politically and ideologically) as you (or the average American) may think it is.<P>Wanna drill in Alaska? What the heck? Whatever government wants to do it...do it! If it is going to help, sure! But I guarantee you, even if they were able to (SAFELY, which I doubt) drill ten gazillion barrels a day from Alaska, we would still be dependent on foreign oil since that would only help us increase our materialism and/or expand our Strategic Reserves.<P>I never thought being "environmentally responsible" was a liberal notion...Wow. <P>When I look at an Excursion no, I do not have that exact thought (smelly or whatever). But I feel sad that such a useless behemoth is being used by (usually) one or two people) and it has a...V10 G-A-S-O-L-I-N-E engine...To me, it is a disgrace. I just shake my head when I see one especially when it has the Old Glory flying on either side...what an oxymoron on wheels!<P>One can drive whatever he/she pleases and can spend whatever he/she wants to spend. What bothers me and makes me sad is that the overwhelming majority of people who choose to drive these trucks (any truck, actually) with the big V8s and V10s burning gasoline, are representing a big chunk of the population of our country who base their life on either materialism and/or the laissez-faire attitude (or I don't give a crap as long as I get what I want or think that I need) that has been installed over the years.<P>Anyway, this topic is a long discussion and can be never-ending.<P>Yannis<P><BR>
 

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You ever DRIVEN one of those behemoths?? <P>I had one as a rental car when I needed something that would seat 9 people (and Hertz was inconveniently out of mini/maxivans). I could stare down through the MOONROOFS of Pathfinders, Rodeos, etc. The average MPG meter--a stupid thing to put in a vehicle such as this--never reported more than 9.5mpg, even with me driving it fairly carefully (it was V-10 equipped). It was just damn scary to drive in crosswinds and in rain--I kept thinking, what if I can't stop this in time? What would happen to the people I'd hit? It was terribly inefficient in terms of interior space, too. I ended up having to shoehorn 4 people in each rear seat, as it lacked sufficient seating for our group--something a lighter and smaller full-size van would have easily accomodated.<P>If they do cease production, kudos to Ford for admitting what a huge mistake they made in attempting to one-up Chevy, and therein answering a question no one had asked: "what if someone made a truck BIGGER than the already-massive Suburban?"
 

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Isn't it also interesting that when gas prices rise, these people are the ones complaining. They fail to realize that because of these guzzling bohemoths, they are the ones driving up the price to begin with.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GrecianVolvo:<BR><B> Well, I will try to respond to your TYPICAL post who reflects the TYPICAL American unilateral thinking that has gotten us where we are now: the rest of the world thinking that we, ugly and arrogant Americans, don't give a flying f..k about anything else.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Mmm...strange response since I am British.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><BR>Wanna drill in Alaska? What the heck? Whatever government wants to do it...do it! If it is going to help, sure! But I guarantee you, even if they were able to (SAFELY, which I doubt) drill ten gazillion barrels a day from Alaska, we would still be dependent on foreign oil since that would only help us increase our materialism and/or expand our Strategic Reserves.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Baloney or should I say bologna. Go drill, get oil. Very simple. No there is not enough to make us totally undependant on foreign oil but what is the problem with drilling there? What is 'unsafe' about drilling in Alaska? Someone tell me please.<BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><BR>When I look at an Excursion no, I do not have that exact thought (smelly or whatever). But I feel sad that such a useless behemoth is being used by (usually) one or two people) and it has a...V10 G-A-S-O-L-I-N-E engine...To me, it is a disgrace. I just shake my head when I see one especially when it has the Old Glory flying on either side...what an oxymoron on wheels!</B>
<BR>Get yourself out of NJ for once and see how the rest of America are using these vehicles! I am currently in the Outer Banks of NC. Every other car is a Suburban with kayaks on the roof or dragging trailers. One of the four families I am with dragged three kids and three Harley Davidsons down here (oops, another smelly non-emmisioned vehicle - start your friggin campaign!). You gonna do that with your RAV4.. No. Get real. And, again, where is the out-cry from you guys about Pick up Trucks. Never addressed that did you matey???<P>
<B><BR>One can drive whatever he/she pleases and can spend whatever he/she wants to spend. What bothers me and makes me sad is that the overwhelming majority of people who choose to drive these trucks (any truck, actually) with the big V8s and V10s burning gasoline, are representing a big chunk of the population of our country who base their life on either materialism and/or the laissez-faire attitude (or I don't give a crap as long as I get what I want or think that I need) that has been installed over the years.<BR><HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B><P>No you're not a liberal. You will be happy when we are all driving what YOU and your ilk wnat us to drive. <P>VW is coming out with a W16 in the Bugatti. let's see you get pissed about that!<P>I'm done!<BR><P>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Vetteguy:<BR><B> No there is not enough to make us totally undependant on foreign oil but what is the problem with drilling there? What is 'unsafe' about drilling in Alaska? Someone tell me please.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>NOt enough but enough to ease the dependency. Unsafe? As unsafe and ripe for potential ecological disaster as any other oil drill site in the world. But don't worru about Alaska. Our "democratically driven" government is ready to go to war with Iraq, anyway. Naturally, they are telling us that Saddam is the menace of the world, etc., etc. but I guarantee you that if Iraq did not have vast oil reserves, we would treat him like any other pariah...<BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><BR>Get yourself out of NJ for once</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I live in PA...sorry to disappoint you.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Every other car is a Suburban with kayaks on the roof or dragging trailers.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>So? Does it have to be that way?<P><BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>three Harley Davidsons down here (oops, another smelly non-emmisioned vehicle - start your friggin campaign!).</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Nothing wrong with H D, actually a "smelly" motorcycle is not going to have the same effect as the "pigs on four wheels" do. But, do you really need (as a family) THREE motorcycles to enjoy vacation? WHat is this? One for every other night you are there?<BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>You gonna do that with your RAV4..</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Man, either you have it all wrong or in your quest to disagree with me you are becoming disillusioned. Sorry to burst your bubble but I am letting you know once again: <I>I DO NOT LIVE IN NEW JERSEY AND I DO NOT DRIVE A P.O.S. RAV4</I><P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B> Get real. And, again, where is the out-cry from you guys about Pick up Trucks. Never addressed that did you matey???</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>I am for real, more than you would ever believe. Sure, I am going here and will address every single pig on wheels. P/U trucks are (mostly) on the same category as the big pig SUVs. WHat do you think those SUVs are? Pick up trucks with a cabin.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B><BR> You will be happy when we are all driving what YOU and your ilk wnat us to drive.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>See? You think I would do what YOU would want the rest of the people to do. Go ahead and drive whatever you want. I guess the concept of "living your life responsibly" does not appeal to you. As far as my "ilk" (sic), you could only wish you descended from the same "ilk" as myself... <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/tongue.gif"> <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>VW is coming out with a W16 in the Bugatti. let's see you get pissed about that!</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>Let them come with a W32...who gives a flying ***k? I know that even if I had the money to afford such a monstrosity I would not!<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>I'm done!<P><BR></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><BR>Too darn bad! And I was just getting warmed up here. <IMG SRC="http://www.stopstart.btinternet.co.uk/sm/mcqueen.gif"> <P><BR>Yannis<P>
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Bugatti, by its very nature, will neither be sold in large numbers nor driven long miles.<P>The very marketing nature of SUVs, with the exception of maybe the cost of poor gas mileage, means they'll sell in large numbers and be driven many many miles.<P>I'm for SUVs where needed. I just don't think that the owners of the super large suburbans and excursions etc. are in need of such a vehicle in 99% of the cases.<P>Further, many times it's a husband buying it for his wife and kids, thinking they'll be safe in a semi. "It'll get the better end of a collision.". To me, that's failed logic. I'd rather put bestow my family with real driving skills and put them in an agile vehicle that can avoid an accident, rather than a behometh that'll rocket like a freight train through a collision.<P>JMHO.
 

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I'll have to agree w/Yannis and George on the not-quite-a-semi-UV mentality.<P>Living in a state that for now and into the forseeable future is being sustained on oil exploration and production, I really don't mind these heavy, unmanuverable trucks (that's what they are) swilling down black gold like it were Schlitz at a frat party. Environmentally, I'm fine w/them... they create jobs for 90% of the people living in my state, directly and indirectly.<P>However, why on earth do 90% of these vehicles need to be created? There are 19 houses on my street. There are 16 large SUVs in driveways every night. Only one person on the street owns large boat, one owns a travel trailer that would warrant the towing needs of these rigs. Only one family on the street has more than three children, negating the need for 8-9 passenger seating on anything remotely resembling a continuing basis. But these vehicles aren't purchased on need; the owners merely use the 'need' as an excuse.<P>My sister's husband purchased a 1998 Suburban for her last year. 3/4 ton 4x4 in Boise, Idaho. She has one child, and the only thing they have or plan to have to tow is a jetski. Husband says they bought it b/c he wants his wife and kid to be safe. 6,000lbs of steel is safe, uh-huh. I tried to explain to him that it's irresponsible and selfish to think this way, b/c he may end up killing someone driving a Camry if he can't get his Suburban stopped one time. The rig takes 4 car lengths more to stop than your typical sedan, from 60mph. Safe, right.<P>My wife's brother's wife (a real gem, she is...) just 'had' to have a Suburban. Nice big 3/4 ton 4x4 with whatever is the biggest gas engine available for it. Aside from the fact that after 40k miles it rattles like a can of nails, all she complains about now is that it costs $500/mth to drive... more than their truck payment. So, they're moving back into town so that she doesn't have to drive as far to get to the mall w/her one kid. Easier to sell your home and buy another one than just dumping the SUV and buying something that may be better suited to their needs, right? I tried to convince them to buy a wagon or a (gasp) minivan if they really needed hauling space. They had intended on buying "the biggest trailer the thing could tow" but can't afford it b/c of the fuel tab. <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/smile.gif"><P>The real problem w/these things is that people are in danger if NOT buying these things. An Excursion weighs up to 7,000lbs. More than twice the mass of my relatively safe 850 sedan. Fully twice as much as my wife's Mazda MPV van, which holds almost as much stuff as a full-size SUV, gets better gas mileage, and is by far more manuverable than any truck-based vehicle.<P>But, living in a free country, everyone has their choice of what to do w/their cash. It's about freedom, but I think that the manufacturers should be more responsible in what they build.<P>
 
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