Thursday, August 7, 2008

Are You Driving a Pig!

Many of the vehicles driven today fall into one of four categories; van, car, pickup or an SUV. Very few of the American models get the mileage they should. Everyone is up in arms about mileage these days and here we are with an American automobile industry that is tooled up to manufacture vehicles that average 20 miles to the gallon(I'd say that estimate is being generous).

I couldn't figure out for sure what people were thinking when they would buy an over sized 4 wheel drive to get groceries and go to work. I live 20 miles from town in South Dakota and I never owned one myself. I couldn't justify one then and I darn sure can't justify it now.

I used to have a 1986 Pontiac with a 4 cylinder motor in it. This little car was every misers dream. The dang thing got 36 miles to the gallon on the interstate driving 70 mph. What happened to those cars anyway? Sheesh, if you were mad at it and drove it 75 or 80 it still got 28 mpg.

How fast do we have to get places anyway? My little Pontiac probably wouldn't do 60 mph between stop lights like cars made now but you could sure pass a lot of gas stations. Last year I had to go European to get a car that would get in excess of 30 mpg and still haul my family without stacking them in. German actually . . .first time I ever bought a vehicle that wasn't made in the USA; it bothered me too. . .not too bad though. I mean really; what options did Detroit leave a person that was concerned about fossil fuel consumption? None that I could see.

I read an article today published in the Topeka Kansas newspaper. It was written by a lady that claimed she was upside down on her SUV. She claimed not to be able to trade it even on a brand new economy car; the dealers won't take them. Now this is an intelligent person; educated and teaching at a mid-west college. What are people like this thinking of when they buy one of these 4 wheel drives? I don't think they are thinking. How can reasonably intelligent people quit thinking when they go buy a new vehicle? What really gets me is like most everyone; she justified her purchase by giving us the classic answer everyone gives when you ask them about there SUV.

"I'll be glad I have it when the snow comes and the roads get slippery."

Every time I hear this statement I want to scream! If I count the number of days of work I've missed in ten years because of the weather I can come up with about four . . . well maybe five days . . . in ten years. Now how can you justify the extra expense of fuel, maintenance and payments on an SUV for a measly four or five days in ten years. It is impossible.

I will get off my vehicle soap box now. I think everyone has the picture. I will not mention it again. It is a very sore subject now with many people. BTW, I sure like my Mercedes Benz I bought last year.

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