Author Topic: SUVs are actually dumb  (Read 7667 times)

FINate

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2018, 08:38:56 AM »
Actually most trucks have gotten worse in the same regard. Ground clearance and approach angles have generally decreased on modern trucks.

This is a problem we're running into. We spend a chunk of our summers (and it will be more in ER) helping maintain some hunting land, which technically has a few "roads", but driving a car in there is risky given the fresh crop of rocks that Mother Nature provides every year. We're thinking of getting a truck once we retire, but have noticed that the ground clearance in most passenger trucks isn't all that great either! It makes me want to scream.

Found specs online for older F150s which indicate that the newer models have more ground clearance (7.3 vs 8.8 in). Specific things can affect one truck to the next, even within the same model year. The extended cabs have also extended the wheelbase, which affects performance. And most American trucks have multiple options for the rear differential that people don't think about. An older truck with a limited slip will outperform a newer truck with an open differential. IMO, an e-locker is the preferred option for when you really need traction.

If you need more ground clearance then get a used truck with slightly bigger wheels (or add your own). Also, if worried about rocks/ground clearance, get skid plates, have saved my ass a few times.

GuitarStv

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2018, 08:54:54 AM »
Actually most trucks have gotten worse in the same regard. Ground clearance and approach angles have generally decreased on modern trucks.

This is a problem we're running into. We spend a chunk of our summers (and it will be more in ER) helping maintain some hunting land, which technically has a few "roads", but driving a car in there is risky given the fresh crop of rocks that Mother Nature provides every year. We're thinking of getting a truck once we retire, but have noticed that the ground clearance in most passenger trucks isn't all that great either! It makes me want to scream.

This is very much a symptom of the disease.  Why make a truck good at being a truck, if most of your customers are buying trucks but really want/needed a car?  :P

FINate

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #52 on: March 15, 2018, 09:23:20 AM »
Older cars, early 80s and before, were very different from cars today. They were body on frame design.

I'm going to be picky her for a moment b/c not ALL cars were body on frame in the 60s and 70s. Falcons/Mustangs/Mavericks were unibody. All the VWs. The Datsuns and Toyota cars in our family were unibody. There were alot of unibodies back then.

I agree with the rest of your post though.

Fair point. They were much less common. I had in mind the photos of old cars towing travel trailers, which made more sense with body on frame. I suppose cars were also just beefier back then as well, along with worse MPG.

FINate

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #53 on: March 15, 2018, 09:34:39 AM »
Actually most trucks have gotten worse in the same regard. Ground clearance and approach angles have generally decreased on modern trucks.

This is a problem we're running into. We spend a chunk of our summers (and it will be more in ER) helping maintain some hunting land, which technically has a few "roads", but driving a car in there is risky given the fresh crop of rocks that Mother Nature provides every year. We're thinking of getting a truck once we retire, but have noticed that the ground clearance in most passenger trucks isn't all that great either! It makes me want to scream.

This is very much a symptom of the disease.  Why make a truck good at being a truck, if most of your customers are buying trucks but really want/needed a car?  :P

Except it's not true. Trucks have actually gotten better at towing and off roading. The tech keeps getting better. The F150 gets better MPG because the body is lighter and stronger (aluminum) and they keep improving the ecoboost engine. Increased ground clearance (mentioned up thread), outboard mounted rear shocks, better rear differential options. Add something like a tow package (most people get this) with trailer sway control and a transmission cooler and it's an extremely capable tow vehicle as compared to older vehicles.

If you really want something great for 4x4, then you're going to have to customize it. Better yet, get something with a short wheelbase like an old Jeep.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 10:04:24 AM by FINate »

TheThirstyStag

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2018, 11:53:37 AM »
Yep, this is where MMM and various mustachians take frugal/small car worship into stupid and dangerous territory. Just because you can attach a hitch to your little scion xa and it has enough horsepower to get something moving doesn't mean it's actually capable of safely towing that load, especially as mentioned at speed.

If you own a small car and need to tow something occasionally, rent an appropriate vehicle. Don't endanger yourself or others with your stupidity.

I agree, to some extent.  If you're referring to the MMM article a few years back in which he built a cargo box for the back of his Scion supported by a hitch, then I'd say that's more reasonable.  If it's just a cargo carrier for a few extra items, or a cooler, or bicycles, then that's mostly in line with towing specifications for most compact cars (Class 1?). 

However, when folks are towing large boats or campers with sub-compacts without the requisite suspension and braking capabilities, that's just dangerous and puts other drivers at risk.

FIRE47

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2018, 02:21:06 PM »
SUVs . . . not as good handling as a car (heavier/higher center of gravity), doesn't seat as many as a van, doesn't carry as much stuff as a truck or van, less towing capacity than a truck, not designed for use off-road.

Seemingly primarily sold exclusively to people who want a van, but don't want to say they drive a van.

Sure but what kind of Mustachian principal would it be to have 4 specialized vehicles when one can perform decently at everything.

The flip side is that it can handle better than a van or truck, tow more and carry more than a car and seat as many or more than a truck or car and is good at light off roading (or just avoiding damage on badly maintained roads) not sure how many people I know have their cars damaged by potholes around here. They are also great in inclement weather involving deep snow which is a very real thing for a lot of people. Also not sure about the off-roading comment but SUVs are actually the king of off-roading when properly configured.

Other than a king-cab mid-size pickup they are basically the most practical vehicle there is in the sense of their capabilities.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 02:25:15 PM by FIRE47 »

TheWifeHalf

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2018, 02:54:00 PM »

Crossovers/SUVs-lite aren't a bad thing. Most folks don't use them off-road, so they are better matched to people's expectations/usage. Better than if everyone that wanted a station wagon and were commuting/shopping via a full body on frame vehicle with straight axles and manual lock-in/lock-out hubs in the front. I grew up riding in a family vehicle like that. Great if a person lived at the end of a muddy 10 mile long road through the wilderness but my parents really just needed slick weather traction and room to carry home bulky packages occasionally. There were few alternatives and no car based alternatives aside from tiny Subarus and the AMC Eagle then. DW and I have similar needs and thus our crossover purchase.



I loved my AMC Eagle hatchback, and as the kids kept coming, my AMC Eagle wagon.  The last time I saw a wagon on the road, was 2012, I think the last year for them was 1988.
TheHusbandHalf used to have to 'lock his hubs' for 4 wheel drive (truck), then with the Eagles, we just had to stop and push a lever.
Now, we're looking at vehicles that are AWD and it looks like you don't have to do anything different.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2018, 05:47:57 PM »
TheHusbandHalf and I were in a bad car accident 10 years ago. He was driving, I was a passenger. He got a broken rib, no treatment needed, I had a closed head trauma. My lasting effects are such that if someone doesn’t know me, they know nothing of my injuries. I was in a coma for a couple of weeks, and a rehab place for a few months. I signed myself out of the rehab, before they were ready. We convinced them that in our case, we could handle it.
We attribute our fortune to the F-150 supercab we were in. It was destroyed. A local Ford dealer had a used Lincoln pick up, I think it was 5 yrs old, which we are still using. TheHusbandHalf does not put his truck, and Mustachian in the same paragraph when getting a new vehicle. I figure, he asks for so little, he works so hard, I’m glad in this one part of his life he can splurge.  He’s always had a truck, never goes off road, but tows and hauls things for ‘This Old House’ I can drive it, but after the accident, never alone. I can remember all the driving rules, but may forget where I’m going. At least twice a year he attaches a rope to the truck ,then around the tree, and with his direction, I pull it over.

The Lincoln seems to be of a higher quality than the Ford. We used my van that I used before the accident, as a trade in for the truck. (I used to travel around to dog shows, it had no back seats, but a platform he built so I could carry 8 dogs)

So we have been down to one vehicle, and probably always will be. The only thing, I don’t feel comfortable driving a vehicle that’s back window isn’t the back of the truck.  TheHusbandHalf is tall, most of it being his legs, so since we’ve decided when this truck dies we have to find something that both of us can drive comfortably. It seems like we keep vehicles 15 years or so, so it could be any year now.

A few months ago we went to the local ‘car show’ and really didn’t come away with any decision made. The only vehicle we liked was the Honda Pilot. My son is on his second Honda, got his first 15 years ago. It took some off the list, rather than helped make a decision.

But there’s something we have to keep in mind:
TheHusbandHalf’s employer has a program (forget its name) that we’ve been using for 20 years, where we can buy any Ford, Lincoln, and others (but not ones we’d choose) at the dealer’s cost. It does not include Honda. We’re still in the research stage but are looking at vehicles that have a higher safety rating and are just now looking at ‘crossovers’  I guess the main thing now is safety.

We live in rural NW Ohio, many times 8-10’ ditches on each side of the road. At least once in the winter, pick up owners go around pulling folks out of the ditch.

GuitarStv

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2018, 05:57:27 PM »
SUVs . . . not as good handling as a car (heavier/higher center of gravity), doesn't seat as many as a van, doesn't carry as much stuff as a truck or van, less towing capacity than a truck, not designed for use off-road.

Seemingly primarily sold exclusively to people who want a van, but don't want to say they drive a van.

Sure but what kind of Mustachian principal would it be to have 4 specialized vehicles when one can perform decently at everything.

The flip side is that it can handle better than a van or truck, tow more and carry more than a car and seat as many or more than a truck or car and is good at light off roading (or just avoiding damage on badly maintained roads) not sure how many people I know have their cars damaged by potholes around here. They are also great in inclement weather involving deep snow which is a very real thing for a lot of people. Also not sure about the off-roading comment but SUVs are actually the king of off-roading when properly configured.

Other than a king-cab mid-size pickup they are basically the most practical vehicle there is in the sense of their capabilities.

I'm familiar with driving in snow.  We lived deep in Northern Canada for most of my early life (https://goo.gl/maps/aQLthpdwMmz).  We averaged over 8 ft of snow a year according to this website, although we certainly had more than that some years (http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/canada/climate2/Hornepayne.html).  We never had a problem getting through snow with a small car outfitted with snow tires.  Where do you live that several extra inches of height on your vehicle make a big difference?

FIRE47

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2018, 06:42:29 PM »
SUVs . . . not as good handling as a car (heavier/higher center of gravity), doesn't seat as many as a van, doesn't carry as much stuff as a truck or van, less towing capacity than a truck, not designed for use off-road.

Seemingly primarily sold exclusively to people who want a van, but don't want to say they drive a van.

Sure but what kind of Mustachian principal would it be to have 4 specialized vehicles when one can perform decently at everything.

The flip side is that it can handle better than a van or truck, tow more and carry more than a car and seat as many or more than a truck or car and is good at light off roading (or just avoiding damage on badly maintained roads) not sure how many people I know have their cars damaged by potholes around here. They are also great in inclement weather involving deep snow which is a very real thing for a lot of people. Also not sure about the off-roading comment but SUVs are actually the king of off-roading when properly configured.

Other than a king-cab mid-size pickup they are basically the most practical vehicle there is in the sense of their capabilities.

I'm familiar with driving in snow.  We lived deep in Northern Canada for most of my early life (https://goo.gl/maps/aQLthpdwMmz).  We averaged over 8 ft of snow a year according to this website, although we certainly had more than that some years (http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/canada/climate2/Hornepayne.html).  We never had a problem getting through snow with a small car outfitted with snow tires.  Where do you live that several extra inches of height on your vehicle make a big difference?

Yes it can get by with skill, planning and also sometimes just outright avoidance- but if you have to deal with a problem constantly sometimes you might as well just get the right tool for the job to make 6 months of your life easier. Without outing where I live we have had 9.75 feet in 2017 and 14 feet in 2016. The average would seem similar if not 1-2 feet higher than 8 if we have to compare. That being said plenty of people get by here with cars.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 06:53:43 PM by FIRE47 »

FINate

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #60 on: April 04, 2018, 06:56:07 PM »
SUVs . . . not as good handling as a car (heavier/higher center of gravity), doesn't seat as many as a van, doesn't carry as much stuff as a truck or van, less towing capacity than a truck, not designed for use off-road.

Seemingly primarily sold exclusively to people who want a van, but don't want to say they drive a van.

Sure but what kind of Mustachian principal would it be to have 4 specialized vehicles when one can perform decently at everything.

The flip side is that it can handle better than a van or truck, tow more and carry more than a car and seat as many or more than a truck or car and is good at light off roading (or just avoiding damage on badly maintained roads) not sure how many people I know have their cars damaged by potholes around here. They are also great in inclement weather involving deep snow which is a very real thing for a lot of people. Also not sure about the off-roading comment but SUVs are actually the king of off-roading when properly configured.

Other than a king-cab mid-size pickup they are basically the most practical vehicle there is in the sense of their capabilities.

I'm familiar with driving in snow.  We lived deep in Northern Canada for most of my early life (https://goo.gl/maps/aQLthpdwMmz).  We averaged over 8 ft of snow a year according to this website, although we certainly had more than that some years (http://www.eldoradocountyweather.com/canada/climate2/Hornepayne.html).  We never had a problem getting through snow with a small car outfitted with snow tires.  Where do you live that several extra inches of height on your vehicle make a big difference?

We were in South Lake Tahoe when a big winter storm blew through. At the time we had a first generation Prius. With chains it was doable but kinda iffy because the town has a lot of little steep areas where traction was an issue. We were snowed in for several days, whereas the higher clearance vehicles were able to get out and about before the streets were cleared. Annoying, but not a big problem on vacation, just stayed home and chilled. If we actually lived in a mountain town I'd be sure to have higher clearance 4WD/AWD with traction tires. Don't think I'd bother with it in a flat area that doesn't regularly get too much snow accumulation.

Just Joe

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Re: SUVs are actually dumb
« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2018, 01:34:54 PM »

Crossovers/SUVs-lite aren't a bad thing. Most folks don't use them off-road, so they are better matched to people's expectations/usage. Better than if everyone that wanted a station wagon and were commuting/shopping via a full body on frame vehicle with straight axles and manual lock-in/lock-out hubs in the front. I grew up riding in a family vehicle like that. Great if a person lived at the end of a muddy 10 mile long road through the wilderness but my parents really just needed slick weather traction and room to carry home bulky packages occasionally. There were few alternatives and no car based alternatives aside from tiny Subarus and the AMC Eagle then. DW and I have similar needs and thus our crossover purchase.

I loved my AMC Eagle hatchback, and as the kids kept coming, my AMC Eagle wagon.  The last time I saw a wagon on the road, was 2012, I think the last year for them was 1988.
TheHusbandHalf used to have to 'lock his hubs' for 4 wheel drive (truck), then with the Eagles, we just had to stop and push a lever.
Now, we're looking at vehicles that are AWD and it looks like you don't have to do anything different.

Our neighbors had Eagles - several in a row - followed by a long string of Subarus. The Eagles (and 80s Subarus) were good cars - they put alot of miles on them and did none of the maintenance themselves.