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Su Vs: They Just Aren't Worth The Cost

1538 words - 6 pages

The SUV-whether you think it was a great vehicle or a gas guzzling monster, rules the road in America. "The debate over this immensely popular vehicle rages on. To some, the high gasoline consumption of the vehicle is a symbol of decadent waste. To others, the large size of the vehicle is a symbol of status and safety" (Kic). What is certain, however, is that the SUV, the way it is, creates definite economic problems. Many things can be done to change this, but many automakers feel it is in their best interest to not fix those problems.There is a large gap in the fuel economy between what the average passenger car receives (28 miles per gallon) and what popular SUVs receive (12-16 miles per gallon) (Economics of SUVs). An example of the real difference this makes would be to consider a driver of a passenger car that receives 28 miles per gallon-a 2005 Chevrolet Impala SS fits this category, and a driver of a SUV that receives 15 miles per gallon-a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe fits this category, that both drive 12,000 miles per year (MSN Auto ). The driver of the Impala will spend $1, 213 a year on gas at $2.83 a gallon . The driver of the SUV will spend $2,264 a year on gas at $2.83 a gallon. This is a difference of $1,050 a year! I am sure the average consumer can find a much better way to spend over a thousand dollars.Improving fuel economy standards could be done with relatively low cost compared to the excess amount of money that would be spent on gas. "Duleep identifies feasible fuel economy improvements that can be made in the upcoming five to ten years and their respective costs. He estimates that average efficiency can be increased from 28.1 to 37.6 by model year 2001 at a cost of approximately $860 per vehicle" (Krupnick).One study pointed out the problem of the 'rebound effect'. "Since fuel economy improvements lower the cost per mile of driving, people may drive their more fuel efficient cars more than they would a less fuel efficient one. This behaviorally-based 'rebound effect' will result in actual emissions reductions (and reductions in overall gasoline use) being smaller than would be expected with no driver response to lower vehicle operating costs" (Krupnick).Not only do SUVS have significantly higher fuel costs, they also tend to cost more to maintain and repair. Sometimes bumpers alone can cost of $5,000. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study in June 1999 that concluded that many popular SUVs can sustain quite expensive damage in 'crashes' of five miles per hour. They tested types of accidents that would usually occur in parking lots. The results were astonishing. "The Jeep Grand Cherokee cost $5,107 to repair after those tests. The Mitsubishi Montero Sport cost a whopping $6,282 to fix. The best SUV tested, the Mercedes ML 320, came in at just under $3,000 to repair (Economics of SUVs). While SUVs put forth a tough and rugged appearance, they reason they don't hold up in crashes is because of the lack of...

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