13 votes

The case against American truck bloat

34 comments

  1. [13]
    arp242
    Link
    There is a long and inglorious history of victim-blaming non-drivers. This is particularly strong in the US – where they managed to criminalize crossing the road as "jaywalking" – but it's present...

    There is a long and inglorious history of victim-blaming non-drivers. This is particularly strong in the US – where they managed to criminalize crossing the road as "jaywalking" – but it's present in Europe and other places as well.

    Public infrastructure exists for the public. There seems to be this unspoken assumption that cars have an inalienable right to dominate public infrastructure and obliterate anything that doesn't confirm to that. Got in to an accident with a car? Should have been more careful! No matter that you need to look in 6 different directions at once and be at hyper-sharp vigilance all the time.

    The entire culture of personal car ownership is harmful to our entire society. Aside from the accidents, repository problems due to exhaust, global warming, decrease of exercise, and relentless noise pollution, our entire cities have been converted to car zones with some occasional spaces for other use. Some cities are worse than others than this, but there are very few cities where this is not the case.

    And for what? So you can be stuck in traffic for 30 minutes instead of just cycling for 30 minutes? There are certainly many cases where other transport (such as a car) is useful, but there are (and have been) many different ways to organize this.

    I mostly just feel like an old man shouting in the corner about this, as starting any sort of public conversation – never mind political action – on this is a complete non-starter, but it's one of those things where I strongly feel our society got it completely wrong.

    22 votes
    1. jzimbel
      Link Parent
      Absolutely. On top of everything you already mentioned, it’s wild that many cities designate huge amounts of precious publicly-owned space for people to just leave their private property sitting...

      Absolutely. On top of everything you already mentioned, it’s wild that many cities designate huge amounts of precious publicly-owned space for people to just leave their private property sitting in.

      But cars are so ingrained in our society and city planning at this point that most people don’t consider the negative impact they have on the fabric of a neighborhood, or that it’s even possible to survive without one.

      Street parking is theft.

      10 votes
    2. [10]
      babypuncher
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Jaywalking is a safety hazard. Yes, drivers should be paying attention to the road, but sometimes people run out in the middle of the road with out looking and you have to slam your breaks to...

      There is a long and inglorious history of victim-blaming non-drivers. This is particularly strong in the US – where they managed to criminalize crossing the road as "jaywalking" – but it's present in Europe and other places as well.

      Public infrastructure exists for the public. There seems to be this unspoken assumption that cars have an inalienable right to dominate public infrastructure and obliterate anything that doesn't confirm to that. Got in to an accident with a car? Should have been more careful!

      Jaywalking is a safety hazard. Yes, drivers should be paying attention to the road, but sometimes people run out in the middle of the road with out looking and you have to slam your breaks to avoid killing someone. Roads in busy areas would be unusable for vehicles if we didn't make people use crosswalks. Pedestrians still have right of way regardless, and the driver is the person who gets in trouble when they hit someone jaywalking. So I really don't understand how these laws are "victim blaming" pedestrians.

      No matter that you need to look in 6 different directions at once and be at hyper-sharp vigilance all the time.

      What kind of roads are you crossing?

      And for what? So you can be stuck in traffic for 30 minutes instead of just cycling for 30 minutes? There are certainly many cases where other transport (such as a car) is useful, but there are (and have been) many different ways to organize this.

      My 15 minute commute by freeway would be a 90 minute bike ride.

      7 votes
      1. [2]
        jzimbel
        Link Parent
        I think the problem here is that Americans, and citizens of many other countries, have become so accustomed to a car-based way of life that certain solutions simply don’t enter their minds. For...

        I think the problem here is that Americans, and citizens of many other countries, have become so accustomed to a car-based way of life that certain solutions simply don’t enter their minds.

        For example, why do major roads exist in residential areas with high pedestrian activity? This is a failure of the city/state to properly plan out its transportation network and separate high-speed traffic from areas where people live. You (and many other people, I’m not trying to single you out) perceive cars as this kind of unavoidable danger present on every street that pedestrians just have to deal with, but with a little bit of extra forethought and planning, high-speed traffic can be routed away from neighborhoods and residential streets can be treated with traffic calming measures to ensure cars travel at safe speeds relative to the level of pedestrian activity.

        For an example of a country that got it right (IMHO), check out the Netherlands’ meticulous road classification system, traffic-calming-by-default approach and the resulting low death rate.

        12 votes
        1. arp242
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          The Netherlands is certainly a lot better than some other places, but it's still a very car-dominated infrastructure. Personally I'd like to see more of a complete paradigm shift where personal...

          The Netherlands is certainly a lot better than some other places, but it's still a very car-dominated infrastructure. Personally I'd like to see more of a complete paradigm shift where personal car ownership is essentially non-existent. I don't think it takes a whole lot of imagination to see how this would be an achievable goal: improve public transport (which will now be much more efficient too, since there won't be so many cars) and when people want a car for the day/weekend/week they just rent one.

          The technology has been here for a very long time (you really don't need self-driving cars or whatnot). Many European cities dismantled their tram infrastructure in favour of cars during the 30s and 40s without putting much thought in to it. In hindsight, this was just not a good idea.

          I appreciate the appeal of personal freedom that a car gives you, but the cost of this is very high IMHO and I don't think it's a good trade-off at all.

          4 votes
      2. tildez
        Link Parent
        If you keep a keen eye on driver+pedestrian/cyclist crash reports in your area you will quickly see how victim blaming is not only common, it's the default for both law enforcement and the media....

        If you keep a keen eye on driver+pedestrian/cyclist crash reports in your area you will quickly see how victim blaming is not only common, it's the default for both law enforcement and the media.

        Here's a good summary: https://www.cjr.org/analysis/when-covering-car-crashes-be-careful-not-to-blame-the-victim.php

        4 votes
      3. [6]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        "Running out in the middle of the road" isn't smart, but that doesn't mean any and all attempts to cross the road are a safety hazard. It's not even that jaywalking causes most pedestrian deaths....

        "Running out in the middle of the road" isn't smart, but that doesn't mean any and all attempts to cross the road are a safety hazard. It's not even that jaywalking causes most pedestrian deaths. The entire concept of "jaywalking" started as a campaign from the car industry to redefine who had the right to "own" the road and has essentially been a victim-blaming campaign from the start.

        Car safety has improved dramatically over the years ... for drivers. It seems that the responsibility to provide a safe as possible vehicle not just for yourself but also for others is not important. As mentioned in this story, this design fad is significantly more dangerous for pedestrians, but people don't care, and companies certainly don't care – after all, pedestrians and cyclists don't buy the cars, right? Why cater to them? The entire concept of manufacturing and driving cars that you know are more dangerous to others is completely unethical and just wrong. But few people care. Let's blame the jaywalkers instead and ignore personal responsibility.

        A lot of traffic isn't work-related traffic; just people picking up the kids at school, going to the gym, getting groceries, etc. You already don't need a car for most of that. And if we would invest in vaguely decent public infrastructure people would actually use it to go to work or whatnot.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          poopfeast6969
          Link Parent
          Pedestrian safety regulations for cars have tightened a lot recently. Cars are tested for damage to pedestrians, with bonnet shape and angle being factors. The new MX5 even has these little...

          Pedestrian safety regulations for cars have tightened a lot recently. Cars are tested for damage to pedestrians, with bonnet shape and angle being factors.
          The new MX5 even has these little explosively releasing bonnet hinges that help the cushion the pedestrians impact.

          5 votes
          1. [2]
            tildez
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Do you have any information on that, specifically for trucks and SUVs (by faaar the most common vehicle types)? Doesn't seem to jive with how standard-sized trucks are now 5 foot tall pedestrian...

            Do you have any information on that, specifically for trucks and SUVs (by faaar the most common vehicle types)? Doesn't seem to jive with how standard-sized trucks are now 5 foot tall pedestrian killing machines.

            https://www.outsideonline.com/2411345/suvs-trucks-deadly-cyclist-crashes

            According to a 2018 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the rate of pedestrian involvement in crashes rose 13 percent from 2009 to 2016, accounting for population change. But the percentage of pedestrians killed rose at more than twice that rate.

            Light trucks make up an ever larger share of vehicles on our roads. But their deadliness is attributable to more than their increasing numbers. The problem, researchers say, is also rooted in their size and shape, and how that changes the dynamics of crashes in vital ways.

            I can't seem to find anything other than how the US has NOT adopted any new pedestrian-safety regulations.

            https://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/12/07/while-other-countries-mandate-safer-car-designs-for-pedestrians-america-does-nothing/

            1. poopfeast6969
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              All I know is that for ANCAP safety ratings pedestrian safety factors into the rating. I know that's not the answer you're looking for, the post literally has the word American in it but I was...

              All I know is that for ANCAP safety ratings pedestrian safety factors into the rating.
              I know that's not the answer you're looking for, the post literally has the word American in it but I was coming at it from an international angle. But luckily the amount of car platforms only sold in the US is quite small. I think you guys have some classes of SUV and trucks that are one step bigger than anything sold in dealerships here in Australia. But any platform sold in other countries will have been through their stricter tests.
              For example the active bonnet from the MX5 is still in US models (I can't find it on any countries brochure so I'm assuming), because economies of scale mean it's cheaper to keep in. Even though it's a system that would actually be fairly straightforward to remove.

              A lot of your platforms are shared with Canada too so if they take action that would help.

              1 vote
        2. [2]
          babypuncher
          Link Parent
          What exactly can be done to make a 3 ton hunk of steel moving at 35 miles per hour safer for the pedestrian getting hit by it? It's not that black and white. People are saying the jaywalking label...

          What exactly can be done to make a 3 ton hunk of steel moving at 35 miles per hour safer for the pedestrian getting hit by it?

          Let's blame the jaywalkers instead and ignore personal responsibility.

          It's not that black and white. People are saying the jaywalking label is pure victim blaming, while ignoring the fact that the laws everywhere still punish the driver when an accident happens, because our laws always give pedestrians right of way even when they themselves are breaking the law. Jaywalking isn't about assigning blame, it's about safety, just like helmet and seatbelt laws.

          2 votes
          1. arp242
            Link Parent
            Eh ... have you read this article? Or anything I've linked?

            What exactly can be done to make a 3 ton hunk of steel moving at 35 miles per hour safer for the pedestrian getting hit by it?

            Eh ... have you read this article? Or anything I've linked?

            2 votes
    3. Odysseus
      Link Parent
      I don't own a car anymore. In fact, for the way I live, a car would be more burdensome than not. It is absolutely liberating not having to rely on an automobile. Right now, I live in a major city...

      I don't own a car anymore. In fact, for the way I live, a car would be more burdensome than not. It is absolutely liberating not having to rely on an automobile. Right now, I live in a major city in Japan. Public transportation is great, but even if it weren't, it would be no issue as the city is insanely walkable.

      I don't even own a bicycle because it's not worth the hassle.

      But that's not the case where I grew up. I grew up in a semi-rural part of the United States. Unlike in Japan and most of Europe, entire cities are designed around the automobile. It's not just a matter of upgrading infrastructure and public transport. Things are spaced far apart. Parking lots alone are 3x the size of any I've seen in Japan. My hometown didn't even have a "city center" because much of it was made AFTER the automobile. It's VERY drivable and everywhere you go, there's lots of parking, but if you don't own a car, you best have your entire day planned out around the bus schedule.

      In the United States, or at least in the kind of town I grew up in, I can't imagine a post-car world without redesigning the entire city from scratch. Not without an extensive network of shuttles and buses.

      5 votes
  2. [19]
    soks_n_sandals
    Link
    I've been frustrated in shopping for trucks and SUVs and having most of the options be massive, rolling luxury offices. As an avid cyclist, the size of these vehicles and the demeanor of many of...

    I've been frustrated in shopping for trucks and SUVs and having most of the options be massive, rolling luxury offices. As an avid cyclist, the size of these vehicles and the demeanor of many of the operators is a genuine concern. I understand the desire of driving a capable vehicle with space to move items around and ample room for a family. But the reality is that these vehicles are getting too big and unnecessarily dangerous.

    5 votes
    1. [6]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Yeah I haven't really driven much since the late 2000s. I recently rented a Rav4 for a trip and the thing just felt HUGE and ungainly. The original was like, slightly bigger than a sedan. The new...

      Yeah I haven't really driven much since the late 2000s. I recently rented a Rav4 for a trip and the thing just felt HUGE and ungainly. The original was like, slightly bigger than a sedan. The new one looks like a boat. It's just not fun to drive. Who enjoys this?

      And the Rav4 is one of the better ones in this regard. The Fords and Chevies of the world are crazy! The pick up truck world is even more nuts. Look at the old vs. new Ford Ranger. The old one looks practical and sensible. You can reach into the bed without a stepladder for one thing! The new one looks like someone mixed up the design of a Tonka truck with a real car.

      9 votes
      1. [3]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        I hear you on this. A couple of years ago someone hit my car, so it had to go into the shop and they set me up with a rental during that time, paid for by the insurance of the person that hit me....

        I hear you on this. A couple of years ago someone hit my car, so it had to go into the shop and they set me up with a rental during that time, paid for by the insurance of the person that hit me. I don't know if they were trying to maximize some payout or win me over or if it was just the luck of the draw, but the car I got was a brand new, tricked out, absolutely monstrous SUV (I think it was either a Yukon or a Tahoe, and it was the sort of "XL" variety of whatever line it was in). I had to step up on a running board to be able to then climb onto the driver's seat. I felt like I was operating a tank.

        Don't get me wrong -- I prefer driving a larger vehicle. I like a little height off the road, as I feel like I can see better. But this was way, WAY too much.

        The school I was working at in the time was in the middle of a city. Most streets were technically two-way streets, but with cars parked on the side there really wasn't room for most cars to do anything but squeeze by each other. Not this beast. I took up the whole road. I was worried about potentially ending up in standoffs with cars that wouldn't let me through, but honestly, I found that people outright yielded to me. I owned the road.

        I also hated every minute of it. The entire time I was driving I was worried about hitting or scraping things. Despite the size, visibility was surprisingly poor. I changed my route to and from work to a longer but ultimately safer and more spacious drive, in part because I also felt like I had to start braking a good ten seconds before anything came up. I also got to work earlier than normal to make sure I got a "safe" spot in the lot where I could park it easily and where anyone else was unlikely to hit it.

        If I'd had to drive it longer than a couple of days I probably would have asked for something else. It affirmed for me that there is definitely such a thing as too much car.

        Oh, and the gas mileage was absolutely terrible. I think sub-20 MPG, and the vehicle was brand new. Anyone using a car like that regularly would have to pay through the nose for fuel.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          This is one of those treadmills. Whenever everyone on the road is in a sedan you can see just fine. When everyone on the road is in a lifted truck, CUV, or SUV you can't see for shit unless you're...

          I like a little height off the road, as I feel like I can see better. But this was way, WAY too much.

          This is one of those treadmills. Whenever everyone on the road is in a sedan you can see just fine. When everyone on the road is in a lifted truck, CUV, or SUV you can't see for shit unless you're also in something with a high ride height.

          Also doesn't help that monstrous A and B pillars on everything along with sloping rooflines in the rear now make it feel like you're in a bunker. Visibility is really not at a premium in car design anymore. They try to make up for it with sensors that beep at you, which makes driving feel like more like a chore than ever.

          7 votes
          1. poopfeast6969
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            It's entirely safety regulations (mostly for rollover crashes) that's created the large pillars of modern cars. The industry is still trying to catch up with the loss of visibility. I've heard of...

            It's entirely safety regulations (mostly for rollover crashes) that's created the large pillars of modern cars. The industry is still trying to catch up with the loss of visibility. I've heard of cars like the Fiesta implementing little curved sections on side mirrors to reduce the new blind spot.

      2. [2]
        hamstergeddon
        Link Parent
        I was briefly considering getting a truck and the old ranger seemed kind of perfect. I just want a small truck so I can haul stuff every now and then. But the new one looks about the size of my...

        I was briefly considering getting a truck and the old ranger seemed kind of perfect. I just want a small truck so I can haul stuff every now and then. But the new one looks about the size of my parent's '04 F-150 and that thing is gigantic and feels unwieldy to drive at times.

        Wasn't the Ranger's whole appeal that it was supposed to be a smaller option for those who didn't need a lot of power?

        3 votes
        1. frostycakes
          Link Parent
          Yeah, as someone who owned and loved an old Ranger (a 2000 XLT, I loved that truck), the new ones are just bloated monstrosities. IIRC the new Ranger is the same size as the early '00s F150, and...

          Yeah, as someone who owned and loved an old Ranger (a 2000 XLT, I loved that truck), the new ones are just bloated monstrosities. IIRC the new Ranger is the same size as the early '00s F150, and I'm in absolute agreement that they were unwieldy to drive.

          The original one was the perfect small truck-- small enough that it wasn't a chore as a daily driver and to do things like parallel park, it had a large enough bed that (at least during college) that I could fit most everything I owned into it when moving and didn't need to rent a trailer or take multple trips, it sat high enough (it had an off-road package, apparently) that it was incredibly fun to take off-road and was perfectly capable anywhere I took it, and wasn't as horrible in terms of fuel efficency as a full-size truck.

          Granted, the fuel efficency I imagine is similar, if not better now-- the 4.0L V6 in mine was still plenty thirsty fuelwise compared to the twin-turbo I4 they have now, but on every other factor, it's a lose on the new ones.

          It's sad how bloated 'small' pickups have gotten now-- the Ranger, Tacoma, Colorado, and Frontier have all gotten massive compared to what they used to be.

          1 vote
    2. [12]
      AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      To put it mildly I'm a "gearhead." I have four vehicles at present (not counting my wife's), I've restored more found-rotting-in-a-field vehicles than most people will own in their lives, I'm...

      I've been frustrated in shopping for trucks and SUVs

      To put it mildly I'm a "gearhead." I have four vehicles at present (not counting my wife's), I've restored more found-rotting-in-a-field vehicles than most people will own in their lives, I'm sitting at my desk in my office typing this and there are four car parts just within my peripheral vision (even more if I turn my head). Qualifying all of that, I'm not a traditional "car guy". I firmly hold onto the belief that in order for me to be able to continue enjoying the old vehicles that I prefer requires the rapid advancement of electric vehicles and mass public transportation infrastructure.

      Modern trucks are unnecessary monstrosities, their prevalence among people that do practically no manual labor (be it as a job or just DIY) or transport anything that needs such a vehicle is an atrocity. SUVs are almost universally pointless and a blight on society as a whole. There are "small" trucks available with more coming out, although as the article states the small trucks are the size of old full size trucks. This size increase is across the board though, the modern Honda Civic is the size of the old Honda Accord for example and that continues across all manufacturers.

      So I'll now ask what you're looking for in a vehicle that requires it to be an SUV or truck?

      Edit Replaced "county" with "counting".
      6 votes
      1. [10]
        soks_n_sandals
        Link Parent
        A fair question about what I'm looking for. A pretty good option that meets most of my needs is the Honda Passport. Here are some of the things I'm looking for: In the coming years, I will be...

        A fair question about what I'm looking for. A pretty good option that meets most of my needs is the Honda Passport. Here are some of the things I'm looking for:

        • In the coming years, I will be moving at least once and I will be helping my partner move as well, likely over a long distance. Additional space, or a vehicle that's more capable of towing a small trailer through the mountains, would be excellent.
        • Roadtrips are my preferred method of travel or vacation. I am fully aware of the awful mpg offered by most trucks/full-size SUVs currently available, so that's very limiting in what I'll accept as a daily driver.
        • I'm fairly tall/broad guy, so having my head and knees not hit the roof/dash is important to me.
        • I'd like to be able to tow dirtbikes/a small boat.
        • I'd like to have some moderate ground clearance to do some light off-roading.
        2 votes
        1. [9]
          AugustusFerdinand
          Link Parent
          Are you looking to buy new or used and when do you intend to purchase? What is your budget? How would you rate your mechanical skills to do repairs/modifications to your own vehicle? Have you done...
          1. Are you looking to buy new or used and when do you intend to purchase?
          2. What is your budget?
          3. How would you rate your mechanical skills to do repairs/modifications to your own vehicle?
          4. Have you done any off-roading (defined as not on a trail or otherwise well worn path) prior to now and can you state, in full honesty, that you will actually do so on a regular enough basis to justify all the downsides of normal driving or is your desire for ground clearance a I'd-like-to-have-the-option-to-go-off-road desire?
          1 vote
          1. [8]
            soks_n_sandals
            Link Parent
            To each of your questions: I would prefer to buy a new vehicle. I project it will be between 40-45k USD, on the higher side. I have little experience in working on my own vehicle, largely because...

            To each of your questions:

            • I would prefer to buy a new vehicle.
            • I project it will be between 40-45k USD, on the higher side.
            • I have little experience in working on my own vehicle, largely because it has run very well and I've done no modifications. I consider myself to be technically competent and able to read mechanical diagrams and follow instructions.
            • No, all driving has been on tarmac or forest roads. I should be clear that I'm not seeking a 6 inch lift or anything like that. I'd like to car-camp and have some flexibility in where I can go without doing significant damage to the vehicle. Also, I see myself moving back to a region where floods and water on the road are both common. Ground clearance is a factor in that.
            1 vote
            1. [7]
              AugustusFerdinand
              Link Parent
              Overall the Pilot is not a bad choice, but be aware that Honda has had various transmission issues with anything they sell that has a V6 engine. The Rav4 might be spacious enough for you (I'm a...

              Overall the Pilot is not a bad choice, but be aware that Honda has had various transmission issues with anything they sell that has a V6 engine. The Rav4 might be spacious enough for you (I'm a fellow tall/broad guy) and in the right config has the same towing capacity as the Pilot, but give it a test drive to be sure you're comfortable. The 4Runner sacrifices too much MPG for off road capability, and the Highlander is unimpressive to me and trying too much for the "big grill" look. None of Subaru's offerings can tow worth a damn, Mazda has ditched anything resembling off road capability, Nissan sells lifestyle SUVs for people that can't afford a Lexus, all the domestics are putting truck grills on their SUVs.

              So you're certainly on the right track with the Pilot given the lack of variety in new cars. That said, and if you'll entertain me for a moment, all of what you need can be had for the same or better MPG, comfort, space, towing, and off road capability with...

              I just couldn't resist making this suspenseful... ...a mild (3-3.5" at about $2k) lift kit installed onto an AWD minivan such as the Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey.
              2 votes
              1. whbboyd
                Link Parent
                I assert that 90% of the Americans who want a truck and don't actually just need a bicycle would be far better served by a minivan than a pickup. A lift is probably not necessary for dirt roads...

                I assert that 90% of the Americans who want a truck and don't actually just need a bicycle would be far better served by a minivan than a pickup.

                A lift is probably not necessary for dirt roads and shallow flooding. If you want the ground clearance anyway and feel averse to making suspension modifications, a small cargo van (à la the Transit Connect or Promaster City) may suit.

                1 vote
              2. [5]
                soks_n_sandals
                Link Parent
                I actually love the Rav4. My sister drives a newer one. I'm in a 2012 CR-V right now, but just want that big of extra space afforded by the Pilot/Passport. I've been a bit mini-van averse since my...

                I actually love the Rav4. My sister drives a newer one. I'm in a 2012 CR-V right now, but just want that big of extra space afforded by the Pilot/Passport.

                I've been a bit mini-van averse since my parents had two Odysseys and always had troubles with alignment and steering. I'd never considered lifting a minivan though. Honestly it would be kind of neat.

                1. [4]
                  AugustusFerdinand
                  Link Parent
                  Do you know what year Odysseys those were? It's something that is worth looking into in my opinion. If I was in your position and didn't have purpose-built vehicles I'd buy and lift a van. The...

                  Do you know what year Odysseys those were?

                  It's something that is worth looking into in my opinion. If I was in your position and didn't have purpose-built vehicles I'd buy and lift a van. The current version of both of those vans is pretty new, so you may only find a standard lift kit, which is perfectly fine, but if I had my choice I'd look for an air suspension/bag lift kit. The latter will be a little more expensive, but give you the option to adjust the height as needed if so desired.

                  1. [3]
                    soks_n_sandals
                    Link Parent
                    It was probably through 2000-2012. They were super spacious and not worrying about hitting parked cars with the doors was a luxury.

                    It was probably through 2000-2012. They were super spacious and not worrying about hitting parked cars with the doors was a luxury.

                    1. [2]
                      AugustusFerdinand
                      Link Parent
                      Don't have first hand knowledge of those, but a quick forum browse shows a lot of people chasing alignment issues with that era. I'm a big fan, and proponent obviously, of vans and wagons. They...

                      Don't have first hand knowledge of those, but a quick forum browse shows a lot of people chasing alignment issues with that era. I'm a big fan, and proponent obviously, of vans and wagons. They are better at nearly everything the average person uses an SUV or truck for.

                      1 vote
                      1. Gyrfalcon
                        Link Parent
                        I bought a Prius V for exactly this reason. More internal cargo space than a Rav4 or any of the smaller SUVs, and it gets great mileage. It's a shame they stopped making it, though I think Toyota...

                        I'm a big fan, and proponent obviously, of vans and wagons.

                        I bought a Prius V for exactly this reason. More internal cargo space than a Rav4 or any of the smaller SUVs, and it gets great mileage. It's a shame they stopped making it, though I think Toyota is rolling out a hybrid Rav4 now that may fill that space in the SUV oriented driver's mind.

                        1 vote
      2. poopfeast6969
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I was listening to Gordon Murray earlier, who said that cars being three times larger than required is almost as much of an environmental problem as IC engines. But one which people seem willing...

        I was listening to Gordon Murray earlier, who said that cars being three times larger than required is almost as much of an environmental problem as IC engines. But one which people seem willing to ignore because it requires a compromise that more money can't solve.
        This seemed very poignant to me. It doesn't matter if the 3 ton vehicle is electric or not, the it's at least three times more energy/resource expensive to run and manufacture.

        He likened it to smoking, in that if you told a young person today how many people used to smoke, they probably wouldn't believe you. And hopefully in 50 years, young people wont believe that we used to use a 3 ton vehicles to carry around a single person. The blatant excess is absurd.

        1 vote
  3. Akir
    Link
    Frankly, it's this kind of thing that makes me never want to buy an American car. I mean honestly, even after several gas price explosions, they are still selling giant gas guzzlers because they...

    Frankly, it's this kind of thing that makes me never want to buy an American car. I mean honestly, even after several gas price explosions, they are still selling giant gas guzzlers because they take advantage of people who want to have power fantasies in order to make more money. And Ford is only just now releasing an all-electric car, years after almost every other automaker has introduced them. I swear the auto industry is the single best example why we can't let capitalism run unchecked.

    2 votes
  4. NoblePath
    Link
    I”ll add this one factoid:between a car and a cyclist, only the cyclist has a legal right to be there. Cars require a state granted license to operate. It’s a privilege.

    I”ll add this one factoid:between a car and a cyclist, only the cyclist has a legal right to be there. Cars require a state granted license to operate. It’s a privilege.

    2 votes