SUV Sales Remain Strong In U.S. Despite Gas Prices

We guess the sort of person who wants a luxury SUV isn’t too concerned about the idea of gas approaching $3.50 a gallon in the coming months, because sales have only dropped 0.9% over the past year, reports BusinessWeek. “‘For a high-dollar car, people with that level of discretionary income can absorb gas fluctuations,’ says Brinley of AutoData.” But it’s not just the filthy rich who have SUV-fever: sales of small SUVs have increased by 22.7%.

“There are buyers for whom, that’s the vehicle they still want, for what their needs are, and gas prices won’t deter everyone,” says Stephanie Brinley, senior manager for product analysis at Tustin (Calif.)-based AutoPacific.

“Surprisingly Strong SUV Sales” [BusinessWeek]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mojosan says:

    Oh boy…this thread will bring out the haters.

    Paying to run an SUV is no different that buying beer instead of tap water or a steak instead of hamburger.

    If that’s what you want, and you can afford it, good for you.

  2. greatgoogly says:

    It’s this sort of attitude that is going to be the downfall of this country. I’m getting what I want, screw everybody else. What these people who buy these SUV’s don’t understand is that by buying and using one of these they are using up a non-renewable resource and hence making it more expensive for the rest of us.

  3. MsClear says:


    Um not quite. We can breed more cows and grow more hops for beer. Can’t grow or breed more oil. It’s a limited resource. It’ll be even more expensive and more limited as consumption continues to soar.

  4. sonichghog says:

    @greatgoogly: Get a bike. Even your compact car is using fuel. Fuel that could be used to heat our homes.

    See where this can go…

  5. sonichghog says:

    @MsClear: Bio Diesel….

  6. greatgoogly says:

    SONICHGHOG A bike is not a reasonable alternative. I live 12 miles from work and today it is 8 degrees outside. A compact car is the best I can do, a SUV is not a reasonable choice. A smaller car will get you to same distance in the same amount of time.

  7. MsClear says:

    Bring on the Grease Cars! I’m all for that. Currently, I’m planning my bike purchase for the spring. Think I can get my car usage down to twice per week if I do so. Cheaper and good for the planet.

  8. sonichghog says:

    Sorry. Motorcyle. Dress warm. My Bike (motorcycle) gets better mileage than a Prius.

  9. sonichghog says:

    Sorry, by bike, I mean motorcycle. Dress warm. My Bike will get me better MPG than a prius.

  10. Mojosan says:

    We can breed more cows and grow more hops for beer. Can’t grow or breed more oil. It’s a limited resource.

    Is energy being used to brew the beer? How about to deliver the raw materials to the brewer? How about the enourmous energy used to manufacture the glass bottles? How about the energy used to transport the finshed product all over the nation? How about the energy used to keep it cold once it arrives at the retailer and the consumers home.

    Unless you wear old potato sacks as clothing, eat “people kibble” as sustenance, and live in the smallest possible pod as shelter, your “wasting” energy and non-renewable resources.

  11. m4ximusprim3 says:

    I just wish they would make registration fees dependent on engine displacement. It’s asinine that it costs more to register a brand new 35mpg honda than a 2003 bronco.

    I don’t mind you having your giant car, but you should f’ing pay for the privelige.

  12. warf0x0r says:

    Well in MN I can’t say I can fault people for wanting one for the winter months, but they shouldn’t buy it just so they can go 85MPH in the winter and the summer.

    You gotta slow down a bit with the snow.

  13. abercrombie121 says:

    They dont even sell the bronco anymore since like 1980 and a few states will tax you for having a big car

  14. Sidecutter says:

    @sonichghog: Great mileage, yes. And massively higher pollution than an SUV, too. So the best of the good and the bad, all in one!

  15. Tank says:

    my SUV burns e-85, cost a little less at the pump, but i sacrifice a couple mpg, so at the end of the day the money is about even, but the “oil” consumption is less

  16. I actually know a couple who bought a used luxury Forerunner and then BITCHED for MONTHS to everyone who would listen about how they could barely afford the gas. Keep in mind, they were already in debt and living on a single income with a new baby in a shitty neighborhood. THAT’s the kind of attitude that is defining America right now.

  17. AD8BC says:

    I drive an F-150. I love my F-150 and am willing to pay for its gas.

    Of course, I need to haul stuff.

    Try doing that with a Prius or a motorcycle.

    What about big families, don’t they have the right to drive around in a single vehicle instead of two Priuses? (What’s the plural for Prius? Priui?)

  18. greatgoogly says:

    “Sorry, by bike, I mean motorcycle. Dress warm. My Bike will get me better MPG than a prius.”

    Unfortunately here in Mass you ride a motorcycle you are likely to get wacked by either one of the SUV’s, Pickup Trucks, or just a big ‘ol Massachusetts Pot Hole. There is a reason motorcycles around here are referred to as “organ donor mobiles”. I know one doctor who used to tell his patients who were waiting for organ transplants to hold on til spring because then when all the motorcyclists come out and inevitably a few donations would become available.

  19. trrwilson says:

    I have 10 year old Ford Ranger, and I’ll probably get a small SUV as a replacement when it dies. I do a lot of driving in bad conditions and have to carry a lot of stuff around with me.

    I can see why the sales of small SUVs went up. They get better mileage than the big ones, but they still offer most of the benefits; large amounts of covered storage, 4WD, better sight lines while driving, etc.

    Also, some of the small SUVs get the same MPG that a large car will get, but the SUV is more versatile.

  20. trenz says:

    disclaimer: i own an suv.

    The suv is a comfortable target. While i admit that driving a big suv is not eco-friendly, where is the same thought process when it comes to houses?
    Many Americans live in houses that are way bigger than they *need*. Take al gore for example ;)
    Living in a big, private house wastes a ton of water (lawn), electricity , and oil/gas (heating).
    Driving an SUV and living in a big house are things that people *want* – not *need*.

  21. sonichghog says:

    @greatgoogly: True. But if someone is going to moan about how much fuel is wasted by suv drivers, over there car. I will also moan about how much is wasted by compact cars over my bike.

  22. shfd739 says:

    I like some people actually need an SUV. My wife and I are both on a local volunteer fire dept. So we have to carry two sets of gear plus two medical bags. It gets tight in a car trunk plus with all the dirt roads we have around our rural area and a car just wont work. We had a car for going to work (70 miles round trip) but it was totalled in a wreck. We are now looking at SUVs to replace it but the ones we are looking at get mileage equal to a car.

    Heck my mom just bought a new Rav4 and it gets city mileage comparable to most smaller cars.

  23. MYarms says:


    That’s right if that’s what you want and you can afford it then why not screw over the rest of the world by sucking away our natural resources.

    Good for you, what a forward thinking attitude you have there.

  24. AD8BC says:

    We have lots of oil here in the US. We can even turn coal into oil like Hitler did.

    What the problem is?

  25. ptr2void says:

    Like SHFD739, some people require SUVs or SUV-type vehicles for good reasons.

    My wife has multiple sclerosis, and getting in and out of a car without considerable ground clearance (there’s probably another term for this…the distance between seat height and the ground) is rather difficult. Coupled with the need for storage of devices used for walking assistance, groceries, and the ability to carry other people as well leads to a *need* for an SUV. Now, that doesn’t mean, of course, that we’ll go out and buy a huge V8, truck-based SUV for this purpose; rather we will buy a mid-sized SUV, most likely a Pilot or Highlander.

    Is that a problem for the haters?

  26. pastabatman says:

    Barely anyone needs an SUV. period. I don’t care how much crap you think you have to carry around. and i’m NOT talking about the rural firefighter here.

    Biodeisel scares me. bad idea having fuel growing the same place as food. Mexico has already had issues with rising costs of tortillas among poor communities that rely on them to live. It sounds like I’m being ‘funny’, but that crisis is real.

    If i were a farmer and you asked me if i wanted to grow ‘car gas’ or wheat, it would be ‘gas’ hands down. The ONLY way i would grow wheat is if it paid the same as ‘car gas’.

    see where this is going?

  27. Buran says:

    @ad8bc: We’re not willing to pay more for your selfish status symbol. Need to haul stuff? Rent a truck for a day and stop trying to justify selfishness.

  28. pastabatman says:

    I’m also not talking about people with special needs NEEDING an SUV.

    Do you really think that people will “hate you” because your wife legitimately needs a large vehicle to get around?

    Besides, what do your specific needs have to do with the general population buying cars they don’t need that are wasteful?

  29. Steel_Pelican says:

    Gas prices aren’t going to make people wise up and buy more practical vehicles. I think a luxury tax on large vehicles is the way to go. A substantial (like 50%) tax levied at the point of sale, which would go towards funding alternative fuels research & environmental cleanup efforts.

    The gov’t would allow exemption from this luxury tax if the purchaser could demonstrate a need for a vehicle of that size- a large family living on an unpaved mountain road, for instance, or volunteer emergency personnel.

    It would discourage people from buying Hummers for the “conspicuous consumption” factor, and help fund the extra effort it takes to clean up the extra mess.

  30. emilymarion333 says:

    I have to say – I have a sports car that does not get the best mileage (24MPG) – but I only drive it 2-3 days a week. On the weekends I try to ride my bike and I carpool to work almost 4 days a week..

  31. UpsetPanda says:

    I was given my SUV…can’t afford a car payment right now, so I’m dealing with the gas cost. I like my car, do I wish I had something more fuel efficient so I could save on gas? Sure, but it isn’t worth paying $300 + a month just to save $50 a month on gas.

  32. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: In other words, you’ll complain if someone doesn’t go and put themself at risk of death. Nice.

  33. nutrigm says:

    Not all SUV’s are bad. Hummer on the other hand is pure evil! >:(

  34. Mojosan says:


    My case exactly.

    Do you drink anything but water? Why are you screwing over the rest of the world by sucking down natural resources?

    Do you live in a 100sq ft apartment? Why are you screwing over the rest of the world by sucking down natural resources?

    Do you eat any food that is not grown by yourself? Why are you screwing over the rest of the world by sucking down natural resources?

    Watch television? Why are you screwing over the rest of the world by sucking down natural resources?

    Shall I continue? Or is your horse so high you can;t get off it?

  35. econobiker says:

    The illegals in TN love, I mean absolutely love SUVs- bigger the better. It is their way of showing they are prosperous especially with cash only deals. They won’t be qualifying for any house mortages anytime but can “Buy Here-Pay Here at 29% Interest” for a 3-7 year old Expedition or Suburban… And then fit all of the anchor babies in the monster.

  36. Mojosan says:


    Some people have children. I dont really want to rent a u-haul 3 times a week, but thanks for offereing that practical alternative.

    May I ask what type of home you have? I’d like to offer you more energy efficint alternatives.

  37. MCShortbus says:

    I am not wild about the SUV craze, and I understand the fact that some people do need a hardcore vehicle to be able to get up their shit drive way…But half of those SUVs have ground clearance like my Jetta. Those Luxury SUVs are a waste of money and resources. If they got better mileage, fine. Impose fuel economy standards. But an H2 which gets about 10 miles (I think the EPA was being VERY generous there) is not practical.

    I have grown up in the winter and in Mass I have no difficulty getting around in the winter. Front Wheel Drive, a set of cheap snow tires and a standard transmission and you are fine. And I have a crap driveway to boot. Everyone is just sold on this concept that with an SUV you are able to go out and drive as fast as you want no mater what the weather is. It’s all marketing.

  38. pastabatman says:


    so then we should forget the whole thing because no matter what you do, you’re wasting resources, so meh.

    You may be annoyed by the other post, but your response makes no sense to me.

    What exactly are you saying? Seriously. Is it all just a waste of time to do anything, or is that that we have to do everything all at once?

  39. AD8BC says:

    @Steel_Pelican: There is such a “tax” — it’s the increased cost of the vehicle. Oh yeah, I forgot. People are buying vehicles they cannot afford anyway, with a “low” monthly payment. They would probably rise up and pay whatever tax was necessary to maintain their status symbol. I hate hearing people complain about what they pay for gas when they choose to purchase a large vehicle.

    I paid cash for my truck — it was 2 years old and I bought it in Michigan last November. It is only 2 wheel drive (I don’t need 4WD in Texas) and because the dealer couldn’t get it off his lot (it was November) I got it for $5000 less than a comparible truck here in Texas. And I pay no interest. So I am not bitching about gas prices. I budget for them. And my wife (who really does much more driving than I do for her job) drives a 2001 Saturn with 140,000 miles on it that gets great gas mileage. So she cancels me out.

    @Buran: You’re funny. That’s all I’m going to say.

  40. hn333 says:

    The first thing we need to do is Kill All SUV Owners.

  41. ClayS says:

    There are a lot more pickup trucks than SUVs on the road; where is the outcry about them? Same sort of gas mileage.

    The SUV is the whipping boy of fascists claiming to be environmentalists.

  42. MsClear says:

    GMAFB with the “unless you live in a cave, you can’t say anything about SUVs” BS.

  43. AD8BC says:

    @ClayS: There was already an outcry about pickup trucks on here. Specifically mine. I can still hear the echo.

  44. ClayS says:


    I have no issue with pickup trucks or SUVs. I think we should live and let live, and allow people to choose for themselves what they want to drive.

    My wife drives an SUV and I drive a Honda Accord. Together, we average 24 mpg. When we go on trips that SUV is loaded almost to the headliner. I can’t stand driving that monster, but my wife loves it. To each his own.

  45. Mojosan says:


    GMAFB with the “I waste resources in hundreds of ways every day, but get all righteously indignant because people dare to choose the type of vehicle they want to drive”

  46. johnva says:

    @Mojosan: What do you think people did before SUV’s existed? People hauled kids around back then too, y’know. SUV’s actually waste a lot of interior space.

  47. AD8BC says:

    @ClayS: And to tell the whole truth, I barely drive it 6000 miles a year. I’m usually too busy burning jet fuel and driving rental SUVs as I travel around the country, consulting for shipping companies’ conveyor systems (the same three that are hated here on Consumerist) and airport baggage handling systems (for airlines hated here on Consumerist).

    I’m not kidding. I bet now many of you are pi$$ed off at me.

  48. Buran says:

    @Mojosan: You don’t need a freaking pickup truck to haul kids around. Get a fuel-efficent wagon, hatchback, or if you must, a minivan. And if you want to know about my house, have fun tripping over the large pile of recycle bins on the curb.

  49. AD8BC says:

    @johnva: yeah, and those were the days where it was legal to seat kids four across in the backseat and two in the back of the station wagon.

    We can blame car seat and booster seat legislation for making SUVs popular! Hooray! Us environment-hating conservatives are off the hook!

  50. Buran says:

    @pastabatman: I can’t imagine that anyone “needs” an SUV “just to get around”.

  51. Parting says:

    @Mojosan: Do you have a GOOD reason to drive SUV?

    Then you are sucking world resources.

    It’s not even gas consumption, it’s the fact that every ”recreational” SUV is poisoning air.

    So here comes a new generation of kids who suffers more and more from a variety of allergies, raising number of lung cancers, etc.

    But who cares anyway? Oh, when in couple of years gas prices will soar for EVERYONE, because wannabes wanted their precious SUV.

    Cars is one of the biggest air pollution causes.

    Europe/Japan already regulate how polluting cars are. That’s why even SUV there are less harmful for everyone.

  52. MsClear says:


    You know this about me how?

    FYI, I don’t believe in consumerism, rent a small apartment and try to keep my footprint as light as possible. GMAFB. Attitudes like yours suck.

  53. AaronC says:

    I believe people who try to force others to live the way they want them too, are far more selfish than those who choose to live their own way.

    Call me crazy, but if they can afford a big SUV that sucks $80 at the pump every time. Than I say go for it. I don’t want to hear you complaining, but its up to you what you drive. And it should STAY up to that person.

    I love how people think they are so much better than everyone else because they “recycle” and buy a smaller vehicle. If those are your priorities than good for you. But just because you give money to a charity doesn’t mean everyone else should have to also. It is our right to choose what we do with our lives.

    If i had the money i would buy a truck because they are the most efficient vehicle out there utility wise. And if you get a diesel or hybrid they can have extremely low inpact on gas prices, or atleast no more than a car.

    Get over your selves

    I drive a mazda 3. It’s no prius, but atleast i don’t force other people to live how i want. Because i’m “better”. Let them live how they want to live!

  54. Parting says:

    @Mojosan: Pfft, examples please. Concrete examples.

    What’s as polluting as driving a big car, emitting tons of crap?

  55. Parting says:

    @AARONC: Bull, a secondary cause of someone driving a SUV is polluted air. Why everybody has to suffer for someone’s desires? (And I don’t mean people who actually NEED an SUV)

  56. Parting says:

    @AARONC: Plus another cause, when gas becomes more and more rare, EVERYONE is paying higher prices.

  57. AD8BC says:

    @AARONC: Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  58. ClayS says:


    Very good. You walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

    You need to ask all those that express such intolerance about choice in vehicles, whether they also reside in apartments. Maybe there needs to be an outcry about people owning single family houses. How wasteful is that relative to apartments?

  59. barty says:

    Its easy to think you can afford the gas when you’re making payments for 6-7-8 years.

    I think if the bulk of the SUV market were those who genuinely had the disposable income or drove it so little as to have little sensitivity to gas prices, their horrid fuel economy would be a moot point. I concede that there are people with legitimate NEEDS for larger vehicles, but most folks are buying these things to try to impress their friends or out of some illogical fear of driving a slightly smaller and more fuel efficient vehicle. There are just a group of people out there who seem to be in constant fear of being hit by a semi or other large vehicle and think a Suburban, Expedition or H2 is their only chance of salvation. Hate to break it to you folks, but a semi is probably going to wipe out any passenger vehicle or SUV at anything over 20 mph or so.

    Honestly, I don’t care what anyone drives one way or the other, but I think most of the people in the US driving these things can’t truly afford them if they were forced to deal with more sane loan terms.

    @abercrombie121: Ford discontinued the full size Bronco in 1997, alongside the old body style F-150.

  60. MsClear says:


    Small houses are probably just about the same as small apartments. Hasn’t the average size of the American home grown exponentially in recent years? I’m not in favor of that either.

    I think the US, as a society, has to downsize. I mean that in terms of vehicles, houses, shopping etc. We need to figure out an engine for the economy besides mindless, empty consumption. It’s not working anymore.

    I have never said on this thread that I favored laws that prohibited SUVs and I don’t favor those laws. I would support higher gas taxes though.

  61. AD8BC says:

    @barty: An excellent point as well.

    You’re right. If more people realized that they really can’t afford to drive that big bohemoth, the SUV “problem” wouldn’t be a problem.

    Bridging this to those of you who feel that they will always have a car payment so you might as well drive a nice car and pay that monthly payment, this is a sobering video called “Drive Free…Retire Rich!”


    Pay cash for your cars people. Then later on you will actually be able to afford that bug smoke-belching SUV and afford the gas at the same time!

  62. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I don’t care if people buy large SUV’s if they have a genuine need for it. Obviously you can’t comfortably fit a family of 5 in a Civic or a Prius. And you certainly can’t tow a boat with a Camry.

    But I have issues with people that buy SUV’s..

    – As a status symbol. Escalade, 22″ rims, $5000 A/V system.

    – Because they feel “safer”. While driving like maniacs themselves.

    – As an excuse to hog the road and drive slow in the #1 lane.

    – As an urban assault vehicle used to bully their way through traffic.

    – Complains about gas prices.

  63. Parting says:

    @ClayS: A single family house is a LOT LESS polluting, then a single SUV.

  64. Buran says:

    @MsClear: What does GMAFB stand for?

  65. MsClear says:

    Give Me A F_____ Break

  66. AD8BC says:

    Thanks, I’ve been trying to figure that out.

  67. ogremustcrush says:

    People buying SUVs… I have a car that gets 30mpg, and I want a smaller car. It just seems brutally inefficient to me that people drive around monstrous heavy vehicles all by themselves. I very rarely have more than 2 people in my car, and usually just myself, so I wouldn’t mind having a 2 seat car, except that the only ones that seem to exist (at least at a fair price) are sports cars that get worse mileage than my current car. I think the Honda Insight was quite a nice car, even though it is no longer made.

  68. ClayS says:


    A single family house uses many times the energy of an SUV.

    Move into an apartment. I can’t tolerate you energy wasters. You don’t need a house. I will determine what you need.

  69. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @warf0x0r: Yeah, I live in Michigan and I can definitely see wanting something with four-wheel drive if you live out in a rural area or a small town with unreliable plowing service. We got ten inches of snow dumped on us over New Year’s and some of our neighborhoods still aren’t plowed (and I live in a sizeable city).

    On the other hand, might it not be better to get a pickup truck in that case? I’m not sure how the mileage compares.

  70. iminneworleans says:

    I’ve actually been working on a truck that has four motors, one for each wheel. I should have it complete by the second quarter of this year. See you at the pumps!

  71. Parting says:

    @ClayS: Nope, check your numbers. 1 SUV causes much more pollution and waste then a single family house.

    And freedom stops when it starts harming someone else’s.

    Bad air and high gas prices affect everyone.

    (I mean, I like to drink beer, and a secondary effect is p@ss. Should I throw that at people surrounding me? That’s freedom)

  72. Zombietime says:

    I don’t let SUVs or large pickups merge on the highway.

  73. ClayS says:


    I guess we need to ban internal combustion engines then.

    Or are you the person to decide what vehicles are banned?

    Maybe all vehicles over say 3000 lbs? Or engine displacement over 2.3 liters?

    How should we dictate what vehicles people are permitted to drive in your dictatorial utopia?

  74. Parting says:

    @ClayS: It has nothing to do with a ban, but with personal responsibility. ”I have a right to show off and pollute freely!” is pretty much the way of thinking of many SUV drivers. I don’t know if it’s either ignorance or selfishness.

    The gouvernment should oblige manufacturer’s to lessen pollution/gas consumption in US.

    And tax SUVs, more pollutant = more tax.
    And give this money as a tax break to fuel efficient drivers. Damn, they already do that in Canada.

    If people are too dumb, maybe government should regulate their consumption habits. No one has a right to damage someone else’s health on a whim. You can’t punch a bystander in a face, so why should you have the right to cause his lung cancer? or his kid’s allergies?

    And you last argument is strangely similar in its way to a Southern politician, when he was opposing slavery.

  75. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    @Mojosan: Actually, by just existing you are wasting energy and contributing to the eventual death of the universe. It’s just fact.

  76. ClayS says:


    You don’t want to ban certain vehicles, but rather tax them to provide incentives/disincentives to save fuel, etc.

    Should it be only SUVs that are taxed, or some cars as well? Maybe a sliding scale based on gas mileage, or weight or engine size?

    That may be ok, we tax income on a sliding scale as well. Real estate based on value too.

    What I oppose is taking away the right of people to buy the vehicles they want.

    As far as your last argument, all slavery is morally wrong, while gas consumption is a matter of degree.

  77. Parting says:

    @ClayS: Gas consumption is not wrong.

    Even if the gas prices go even higher, alternatives will be put to use. Ethanol/alcohol/etc.

    What’s wrong is the air pollution caused by unnecessary fuel consumption in a car (like SUV). Statistically, allergies/lung diseases are on the rise. And long term effect include greenhouse gases that can destroy several ecosystems (not mentioning possible flooding of some regions).

    Childish behavior deserves to be regulated by the government. ”I want this car!” is not equal to ”I need it”.

    In Canada, a person gets a reimbursment by gouvenment around 2K for Yaris – Toyota purchase. And gets taxes if buying a SUV. At least it’s some way of controlling pollution.

  78. sonichghog says:

    @pastabatman: In the US we still PAY farmers NOT to grow crops. That would have to end.

  79. sonichghog says:

    @Buran: No. But if someone is moaning about haw bad the SUV getting 20 MPG is compaired to there car getting say 40MPG, I will moan at them while getting 50+MPG on my bike.

    Safety is not the issue in this discussion. Waste and gas are.

  80. sonichghog says:

    @chouchou: That would really depend on the house. Oil heat is not really pollution free.

  81. ClayS says:


    Oh ok, it was my understanding that the issue was gas consumption. It is actually air pollution.

    Hasn’t the government over the past several decades mandated increasing tighter emissions standards? (rhetorical question)

    If those pollution standards need to be even more restrictive, so be it. The auto manufacturers will comply as they always have.

    The vehicles that cannot comply with those standards will no longer be manufactured. Could be SUVs or pickups or large cars.

    Is that not acceptable?

  82. pastabatman says:


    “In the US we still PAY farmers NOT to grow crops. That would have to end.”

    and then what?

  83. Sudonum says:

    So much rhetoric so few facts. According to this web site []
    in the state of California (the only one I looked up since I knew they had the statistics) passenger cars emit 21% of the CO statewide. All types light trucks (up to 8500 lbs GVW) emit 18%. So according to the CARB cars are still polluting more than trucks/SUVs in the state of California. Adding those two up gets you almost 40% of the CO emissions of the state (I’ve done some rounding here). 60% of the CO comes from sources other than light cars and trucks. That means that there are other areas that can be addressed, particularly “Off Road Equipment” which accounts for 12.5% of CO emissions in the state. This is construction equipment, which currently have little emission requirements. But I guess nobody ever got cut off by an asshole in a Caterpillar.

  84. MrEvil says:

    I stopped driving my F250 or my Explorer when I bought my ’98 Police Interceptor at the county Auction for $1449. Haven’t gotten it to get worse than 21mpg mixed city and highway. Only rarely do I have to use either my pickup or my Explorer to haul stuff for work. Unfortunately Dell and Lexmark love to send me boxes of printer parts large enough to fit the ENTIRE printer in. And it will neither fit in my trunk nor my back seat. I also use my F250 to haul loads of seed every planting season. Try fitting 1500 pounds of seed wheat in the back of your hybrid.

    @abercrombie121: Actually, the Bronco was made from 1966 to 1996. The original broncos or “little” broncos were made from 66-77 and the only engine you could get until ’69 was a 170 cubic inch Inline six. (2.8L for you metric fans). Bronco didn’t get supersized until 1978 when the engine options were a 351 or 400 cubic inch engine.

  85. MBZ321 says:

    I can understand people that have trucks and large SUV’s for work purposes (contractors, landscapers, etc, but most people do NOT need an SUV. What happened before SUV’s were around? I grew up in a family of 4 and we were all quite “comfortable” in an 80’s Corolla (with two car seats at the time). Sure larger families would need a larger car, so they would buy station wagons and larger 4 door sedans. People saying “they need the space” need to get a reality check. I bet 9 out of 10 people that have an SUV truly do not need them.

  86. Kloud says:

    @sonichghog: Not even close.

  87. arirang says:

    @MBZ321: I hate SUVs, hate them. Ditto for minvans, they are all gas guzzling OPEC product loving parasides. So do you know why I’m contemplating either one or a minivan, well in my head at least during my darkest moments? It’s called kids but specifically CARSEATS, people. Has anyone bumped their toddlers head while putting them in their carseat? Has anyone every had a toddler freak out and get totally pissed off as you were attempting to put them into their car seat and worried that you’d accidently bonk their heads into the ceiling of say a late 90s model sedan? Or bonked their own head while going through either one of these processes? And I have only one kid so far. And that means one stroller. I can’t even fathom a day w/a double stroller coming and how the hell I’m going to fit it in the trunk along w/groceries. And NO, I’m not moving back into the city. I’m not lugging groceries back to an apt with a kid in a stroller without a car. just.not.happening. And don’t tell me about Fresh Direct and other delivery mechanisms. We have it here in ‘burb land too.

    Walk 10 minutes in my shoes.

  88. arirang says:

    dammit I meant to type parasites. damn I’m tired.

  89. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: It is very much the issue when you consider that you’re groaning and moaning at people for not putting their lives in danger. I’ve noticed that bikers tend to have a smug superior attitude toward anyone who doesn’t ride one, too, up to and including having eyestabbingly bright fucking stroboscopic headlights that just get you highbeamed for that crap, and then justifying blinding other drivers in the name of “safety”.

    How about you drop the “I’m a biker, I’m smarter than you” attitude. If more bikers did that it’d help reduce the bad reputation bikers have.

  90. Buran says:

    @arirang: Oh boo hoooooo. Whatever did we do without SUVS!?!? Previous generations coped just fine. Now, we make up any excuse we can to drive one of those resource-sucking view-blocking polluting vehicle-occupant-killing pieces of junk.

    Walk 10 minutes in the shoes of your parents or grandparents.

  91. sonichghog says:

    @Buran: That is not the issue. Gas use is.

  92. sonichghog says:

    @Buran: Back then we had these things call Station Wagons. If you wanted to seat 6, you had those 2 extra seats in the back. Try getting 6 into a Prius.

    Maybee someone still makes a station wagon that seats 6, but I do not know of it. If you need room for 6 you get an SUV or a Minivan. Either of wich gets crappy mileage.

  93. Joe_Bloe says:

    @Sidecutter: Not true anymore. New motorcycles have emissions limits, and most have catalytic converters.

  94. Parting says:

    @Sudonum: cars pollute more in CA because there is much MORE cars the SUVs. However, if you look at SUV/pollution ratio, it’s MUCH more higher than of a car’s. Meaning a ”small” number of people do a lot of pollution.

    For the rest, in CA two main pollutants are industries and air conditioners. Both should be regulated too.

  95. ltlbbynthn says:

    I bought an SUV recently, because it was the only thing I could get financing on and I desperately needed something that wouldn’t break down on me while I was trying to get to school. I use CA40g to increase the fuel efficiency. Gives it 100 more miles to a tank. I also live two miles from my work. I’m amazed at people who would get bigger vehicles for every day. Mine is topping out at 20 mpg. If I had a smaller vehicle to commute with, I’d definitely use it.

  96. cerbie says:

    @greatgoogly:moogly! I injured the fur trapper.
    (couldn’t help myself)

    @Sudonum: a CAT? Nope, it was a Volvo. But, middle aged women driving SUVs seem to be the worst. Right on my bumper, weaving all around to get maybe 30 feet ahead, not using turn signals, lead feet and brakes, instead of cruising…these folks are inhaling gas, and whatever brake pads are made of, these days.

  97. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: It is very much the issue when you’re sitting here bitching at those of us who try the hardest to reduce our consumption.

  98. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: Today we still have these things called station wagons, and you can STILL get vehicles that are a lot less polluting than those three-letter swear words. You apparently were too lazy to look harder and stopped when you saw that Explorer and you got captivated by the shiny.

  99. LeopardSeal says:

    @greatgoogly: Nice try, but how about going with enviromental inpact instead? You might end up a little closer to the facts. One of the biggest widely believed myths is that we’re going to run out of fossil fuels in the near future. Every time some nut comes out with a “we’ll be out of oil by 2030” or whenever, we find another huge oil reserve. The most recent that comes to mind is the huge deposit in the Bakken formation under Saskathcewan/Manitoba/North Dakota/Montana. Funny how only the bad “news” seems to spread.

    And by the way, I’m from Alberta, home of the oilsands, one of the largest petroleum reserves in the world.

  100. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @Buran: The reason we “bikers” which by the way the vast majority of us are not is safety. I use my highbeams during the day and low beams at night. The strobe effect you see is not because of something we put on the bike. It is the natural vibrations of the bike being transfered to the headlight. It is illegal to have your headlight flash like that in most all states.

    Most motorcyle riders will tell you that people just don’t look for or see bikes most of the time. How many times have you been cutoff in your car? Imagine having that happen when you are on 2 wheels? Without crumple zones and airbags etc.?

    Trust me the vast majority of bike riders are just tryin to get home safely. Not trying to tick you off. Are there bad riders yup and they piss me off more than they do you. It makes us all look bad. Unfortunately cagers as we call people driving a car or truck just don’t bother to drive safely most of the time. Once I started riding I became a much better driver because I actually needed to pay attention to my surroundings.

    As far as gas mileage my wife and I have 2 cars and a bike. I ride the bike 9-10 months a year to work and for small errands. She drives about 12 miles each way to work so she drives the most fuel efficient car. The other car is my backup in case I can’t ride or need to carry too much stuff or when I have the baby. The main car gets 23 city and 33 highway, we fill it up at least once sometimes twice a week. Because it gets the best mileage we drive it the most. 2nd car gets 18 city 25 highway I fill it up about once a month if I actually use it. My bike gets about 60 miles to the gallon city or highway. It has a 3.5 gallon tank so I only fill up about once every 2-3 weeks depending on how much I ride it. I only work about 4 miles from my house so gas mileage is always good for me.

  101. sonichghog says:

    @Buran: Then stop complaining about SUV waste.@Buran: Actually, I do not own an SUV. I use my bike for most trips, and I’m getting more mileage than you are in your car. Even if it is a prius.

    Until you get better than 55 MPG your part of the problem.

  102. Buran says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: Now, you see? Even in your explanation you can’t resist a derogatory word making fun of anyone who doesn’t ride a bike by calling their car a cage. See the problem?

    Now, my ex-father-in-law rides, and he’s very conscientous, but in my experience there need to be a lot more people like him (and you).

    Unfortunately, the strobing headlights I mentioned most definitely weren’t vibrations but were definitely caused by some gizmo that the guy had installed on the bike. He couldn’t understand why I high-beamed him as a warning that he was blinding me and flipped me off.

    Excuse me? Blame anyone but yourself, ya jerk … (not you, the guy with the strobing light).

  103. Buran says:

    @sonichghog: I’m going to complain when it’s warranted. And why don’t you stop calling those of us who do a hell of a lot more than most “part of the problem”. I do a hell of a lot to live cleanly, and you’re still blaming me? Ridiculous.

  104. Sudonum says:

    Can you show me some facts to back up your assertions? See thats the problem with this site, people spout of alleged facts and provide no back up. I lived in SoCal for 30 years before moving to NOLA. I’ve had to file reports with the SCAQMD. and monitor and control the pollution from facilities I’ve worked in.

    Can you give me some statistics that show A/C systems are a major polluter? How do they pollute? They run off of electricity, they operate within a closed system. They only way the “pollute” is if they leak. So how many PPM of HCFC or HFC do leaky A/C systems emit on a yearly basis?

    And what industries are you referring to when you state that “Industry” is one of the major polluters? Is it an “Industry” that we can do without? Do you have statistics to back up that statement as well? How much CO is generated by Stationary Sources in the State of California? How much by Mobile Sources?

    Can you tell me how many more cars than light trucks/SUV’s there are on the road in the state? You see then we could figure out how much more the trucks/SUV”s are polluting by unit.

    You see, with that information we could start a dialogue. But you don’t provide any facts, just assertions. I guess I’m just supposed to assume that since you post on the Consumerist that you know what your talking about?

  105. Sudonum says:

    So instead of banning the vehicle, we make more drivers education a requirement to get a license?

  106. arirang says:


    Dude, one day when you have at least 2 kids under the age of 6 who BY LAW must be in a car seat or booster seat (under 60 lbs) and need to lug the world around to comport them uhh SAFELY along w/other household needs, you’ll have the right to talk smack to me. Because if you DID have that in your life NOW, you’d realize that w/2 kids, the two rear passenger seats are completely taken up by carseats, which means if you want to lug other people around in addition to say a spouse or sig other even if your kids aren’t in the car with you….And if you have 3 kids forget it. Where the hell is the 3rd booster or carseat going? It can’t go in the rear passenger seat, there’s just no room. Better yet, I am not even sure that a carseat can safely be installed onto one of those flipdown ‘seat’ thingies that station wagons sometimes have. So then what is your suggestion now?

    Oh wait you don’t have kids but still recall the carefree seatbelt optional, carseat free days of the 70s…that explains your bias. If you’d like feel free to lobby for getting rid of all of that crap so we can go back to cramming 6 adults 4 toddlers and an infant into a Ford King station wagon for a NY-FL road trip just like we did growing up.

  107. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @greatgoogly: 8C, or do you live in Argentina? If it’s 8C, that’s about 48F, which is NOT too cold to bike. Since we’ve got mid-80s sticky mugginess here in Upstate NY, I gotta wonder where you are. Iceland?

    Anyway, 12 miles one way is really pushing it. It wouldn’t be so bad if the terrain was nice and flat, but we have hills, hills, and more hills in central New York. Not too nice for bikes.

  108. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @arirang: A Honda Accord (or a Camry) can hold up to THREE carseats, and it gets 30+ highway. And it’s comfortable.

  109. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @HurtsSoGood: Since I can’t edit my comments, I would also point out that once upon a time, Lee Iococca had a brilliant idea. He would produce a passenger van that was downsized enough to deliver decent mileage while maintaining high utility. I parked next to a first-generation Dodge minivan the other day, and marveled at how wonderfully compact it was, not like the bloated beast Chrysler currently sells. IIRC, the mileage on those ran in the mid to high 20s.