What do people use SUV's for?

In case you can't read the back window, it says: "1-888-SUV-LIMO." I do not understand the concept of a limousine designed after an SUV. I took this picture in downtown Chicago.
Why do people want to pay a large sum of money for a car that has all sorts of features people don't need? SUV's have their purpose and it generally isn't in a big city like Chicago. If I lived slightly away from civilization, then I could see the point. It would be great to have a car that could get through all those dirt roads and use all four wheels. In the city, I don't see the need for it. Granted, Evanston does have rather bad roads, but I would hardly consider it offroading.

As a comparison, I'm going to look at what people use their SUV for and how I use my 'little' Honda Civic. Typically, people will drive around running errands with either themself or another person. I can't see why it would be more convenient to have a huge car for this. It's harder to park and get through the tight spaces in some parking lots. With my Honda, I often find spaces that are closer because larger cars can't fit into the space. I guess I shouldn't complain then because it is helping me out.

Moving various items. I've heard several people say they use their SUV to move large items for people. I can see it being useful to have a large car to move furniture, but then, I find it very useful to have a car rack on my car that I have used to haul 300 lbs of wood, several couches, beds, and other large pieces of furniture. When I had the larger couch on top, I wondered if it would even fit into an SUV. I would guess they would have to put it on top of their SUV, which means that they would have to lift it up about 1-2 feet higher to get it up there. Again, more work for them. This is particularly true if you often put a bike on top of your car. I don't have to strain much at all to put my bike on top of my car. It is quite simple since it is so low.

Some people claim that SUV's are safer cause if they get into an accident, they won't be hurt as badly. This is true, at least for them if they hit a small vehicle, like my little Honda. This would be unfortunate for the other driver cause they are likely to sustain much more damage to their car and their health. If they happen to hit another SUV, they are likely to sustain injuries similar to that of two people driving smaller cars in an accident. So, let's say everyone was to drive an SUV. Then, no one would be any safer than they are before SUV's became so popular (assuming the same safety features on the car like airbags and such). They would just be consuming much more gas to perform the same task. They will always have the issue of being more prone to rollover though, so it would probably be less safe. SUV's will always have a higher center of gravity than smaller cars, so they will always have a greater chance of tipping, unless their wheel base is increases, but that just makes them even bigger and amplifies the previous ideas.

People like to see above everyone else. This is true. I often find it very hard to see beyond the SUV, but I can see through other people's windshields. This would be advantageous to have a better line of sight. Again, what if everyone had an SUV? Well, I suppose no one would have this advantage and it would again be just like before SUV's became so popular. So, even though this only works for people with the biggest car, I'll concede this point to the SUV's.

SUV's have made me want a higher gas tax. I think it is despicable that people can drive such gas gussling machines. Compared to the rest of the world, Americans drive much larger cars and pay much less for gas. I would love to see a government imposed gas tax of 1-2 dollars in metropolitan areas and put this money directly into providing good public transportation. Driving around cities like Los Angeles makes me disgusted. There are so many cars on the road. I cannot believe how 8 lanes can be packed bumper to bumper with cars containing 1 person. They have a special single lane for cars with more than one person. $1 per gallon in tax would really make people think twice about driving and provide a lot of money to install some really nice public transportation.

In conclusion, as you might have guessed, I am not a big fan of SUV's. I do not understand the point of them in cities. They do not add anything, except a higher line of sight, than you can get from a smaller car unless they are used for the intended purpose. I would love to take a nice SUV out four wheeling, but I can't see anyone who paid $25,000+ taking their beloved car anywhere near an unpaved road. I just can't understand why SUV's have become so popular.

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