SUV’s: Friend or enemy?

I have thought a-lot about this topic because I wanted to say something fresh and different. I used to hate SUV’s but now I have grown to see why they can be helpful.

I have driven a 2009 Lexus RX SUV for the last several years and have seen the advantages in having it. Previously I had 4 door cars. Here is the list of advantages that I have experienced.

  • Ability to carry more cargo in a more convenient way than trucks or Vans. With a truck you have to tie things down. With a Van the huge size of the van makes it hard work to drive. You really have to focus because the mechanics of driving are so poor. In addition you have to secure it in a Van or it will move around as well. An SUV cradles things so they don’t tend to move around. I moved furniture/TV and many other things and never had a problem.
  • Ability to absorb bad roads/bad weather. I drove both 4 door cars and this RX in the snow, and it beat the 4 door cars easily. Even cars with AWD same as the RX and newer, did a worse job in the snow than the SUV. This isn’t praise for Lexus but SUVs in general. Every AWD car I have ever driven in the snow was junk compared to an SUV. In addition, it handles high snow and deep water filled potholes better than any car does. If you live in an urban area, having an SUV just makes sense. The low ground clearance of cars just works against you too often.
  • Ability to see past other SUV’s. The problem with not having an SUV is that your view is limited. With an SUV you can see further down the road and that is always helpful. The ability to plan ahead is key in driving, and when you are behind another SUV even more critical. Some cars are so huge that even in an SUV you can’t see ahead. Suburbans, Escalades are just ridiculously large. In traffic I move away from them whenever I can because they are just dangerous to be around. You can’t judge traffic when you are behind one of those things.
  • Ability to park in most spots. With a truck/van it is hard to do on-street parking. Most spots in urban areas are too small. An SUV however tends to be about the same size as cars so it fits in many spots. I thought that street parking would be difficult when I first started driving an SUV. Turns out it was no more difficult than when I had a car. The cars that I had were large and in some cases longer than the SUV. In some ways, parking an SUV was easier. With a backup camera and smaller dimensions, transitioning was easy.
  • Ability to be easier for people with limited mobility. A person who has limited mobility said that it was easier to get into an SUV than a car because it required less bending down and moving around. Since US citizens are both getting heavier and older, something that makes it easier to enter/exit makes perfect sense.

Now the disadvantages I see are the follows.

  • Slightly worse gas mileage. Cars got better gas mileage slightly. I like to drive fast so the gas mileage was always below what it was claimed to be. However, this was not really a big deal. With the larger gas tanks that SUVs have, I was filling up less and that was great with me.
  • Slightly more concern when going in a low ceiling parking garage. With a car I never gave it a second thought, but with an SUV you always are a little paranoid if you are too tall. It has never been a problem but it is something that you think about.

To me, these two disadvantages are minor. I can see another SUV in my future. What about you?

Post navigation


Interested in technology, loves life.