Tuesday, April 25, 2006

She may not look like much..



..but she gets 38 MPG on the highway.

Yep, gas prices just keep going up, and every news station in the country is doing spots showing outraged regular folks at the pumps. The blogosphere is humming with talk about Peak Oil, Big Oil, Iran, Bush's laughable speech about investigatin' to see if there's price gouging going on, etc. etc.


But let's not kid ourselves. We've been setting ourselves up for this for a long time. For the last ten years, the American car buyer seems to have been intent on using as much gasoline as possible to run errands or commute to work. Huge sections of the population have convinced themselves that, since they have 2 kids, they absolutely NEED a 3 ton vehicle with a V8 engine. Back in the 80s, a small sedan like Mazda 626 was considered a family size car, now a frickin' GMC Yukon is. Back in the 80s 23 MPG on the highway was considered shitty mileage, now it's considered pretty good.


When SUVs first hit the streets in the 90s, they were for the dude who went into the mountains or back country on the weekends to go hiking, skiing, or fishing. And, hey, since he was going to be on some dirt roads or snow, he needed 4 wheel drive; and since his buddies were tired of doing rock-paper-scissors to see who had to ride in the way back, it was nice to have something with a full-size back row of seats. It was a type of vehicle that had its niche.


But, people found that they liked the feeling of driving something massive. Everybody started buying them. An arms race of sorts ensued, culminating in monstrosities like the Escalade, and of course, the Hummer. SUVs became bloated, lumbering, ugly behemoths. They would never see a dirt road, never drive into the wilderness. They became nothing more than station wagons on steroids. If the early SUVs were sleek but powerful wildebeests, the recent ones are flabby cattle fattened up in feed lots.


Now that the price of gas is through the roof, people have the nerve to complain about how much it costs to fill up their Chevy Suburban. So, excuse me if I say boo-fucking-hoo! Suckers. Y'all brought it on yourselves. Not that SUVs are the only culprits, there are a lot of suspiciously shiny pickup trucks that I'm sure haven't hauled anything ever, as well as smaller cars with powerful but gas-guzzling engines. Nobody forced people to buy vehicles with shitty mileage, but they did,
and now everybody's paying for it!

4 Comments:

Blogger Jay said...

My little pickup, which is immensly handy for hauling other things besides just me, gets 30+ in the city and close to 40 mpg on the highway. Still...it costs me over fifty bucks to fill the thing.

4:03 AM  
Blogger dAVE said...

Ah yes - I should say a kind word for those little pickups. The little old Toyotas that you still see around these parts, all weighted down and tugging along like champs. Good workin' trucks.

8:14 AM  
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