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Old 05-17-2008, 03:20 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Cherokee - '88 Jeep Cherokee
90 day: 19.44 mpg (US)

Ryo-Ohki - '94 Geo Metro Xfi
90 day: 50.15 mpg (US)

Vger 2 - '00 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE

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Well in most cases the cars we have are more than we "need" it also has a lot to do with what we WANT.

Do I need a Cherokee? No off course not. but I sure WANT one. I like how they look I like how they perform. Good on gas (for an SUV) Nimble Sprity and again love how it looks. I also enjoy 4 wheeling but would have wanted a cherokee even if I did not want to 4wheel.

And again your not quite ok with me that way. There are no limitations or detriments really in driving a 4wd or AWD vehicle. Unless you go outside of there operating envelope but thats not a limitation of the vehicle thats a defect in the driver.

The issue is not tearing down 4wd/awd vehicles as dangerous or not good. Its about educating people.

Compared to a 2wd care even a FWD the abilities of a good 4wd or AWD vehicle ARE borderline magical to the average person.

The trick is not educating about the 4wd its educating about the BRAKES. ie simple physics. IE making sure they realize that this Civic and that Hummer have something in common. They both have 4 wheels and 4 brakes. When it comes to "stopping" 4wd means nothing.

If I am in the snow I will take the hummer over the civic without a second thought.

Those 4wd vehicles in the ditches have nothing to do with 4wd and ALL to do with the DRIVER.

Its not about magical properties its understanding that this magic has LIMITS and knowing what they are.

There would likely be a massive drop in accidents if all vehicles were AWD with Traction Control. That technology increases on road safety by such a large margin its amazing. Situations that would be life threatening in a regular car are suddenly not even noticed in one of these. They way they can intelligently stop providing power to the slipping wheel etc..

I "tried" to have some fun in my dad's Lincoln Towncar. Its nearly impossible! The Computer simply will not let the wheels slip if at all possible. I would "rev" up to do a spin and it would literally intercede and prevent the tires from spinning. and thats JUST traction control! Both of us tried to spin it. Amazing how stable they are.

Combine that with AWD and wow.

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Old 05-17-2008, 06:38 PM   #52 (permalink)
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I'm OK with you (and others) having an SUV ... I even belong to an Xterra forum because a couple friends of mine owned one. They are a good bunch of guys ... but most are die hard wheelers that bought the vehicle because they understood what they wanted and the Xterra has that kind of capability. I respect that.

Likewise, you seemed to have at least thought it through why you wanted your Cherokee. No problem from me on your choice.

But, when you ask most people why they bought a 4WD SUV, the two most common answers are:

1) "Mmmm ... I dunno" and
2) "Well, it's better in the snow"

The people who answer #1 are just clueless and most are beyond hope or reason when it comes to vehicle choice. Maybe now, with $4 per gallon gas, some of those people will finally be forced to put some thought into what they drive and why and choose more wisely. As for the remainder? Perhaps Darwin has a fate awaiting them, who knows?

It's the people who answer #2 that I'm trying to reach with my caveats/warnings about A/4WD. In most winter conditions, FWD is just as safe as A/4WD. I say that because safety is mostly about steering and stopping ... and we both agree all vehicles with 4 wheel brakes are theoretically on equal terms. Two things that really help with steering and stopping are physical grip (your tires) and light weight (less momentum to overcome). Of course ABS, stability control help in adverse conditions ... but they are whole other subjects.

A/4WD is better at getting you going which most people do just fine with (at least eventually). It's turning, slowing and stopping that's the safety issue and we both agree A/4WD has no advantage ... in fact, they are a tad heavier so those vehicles will (all things being equal ... though they rarely are) have a slight disadvantage when compared to their FWD bretheren.

So, for safely getting around a town that doesn't have steep hills and deep snow drifts, I'll put my Civic up against a Hummer H2 any day.

Now, if you consider getting yourself out of a ditch you've slid into, getting up a steep hill/driveway or the ability to plow through snow banks/drifts safety issues ... I'll happily concede those points.
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:32 PM   #53 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Levittown PA
Posts: 800

Cherokee - '88 Jeep Cherokee
90 day: 19.44 mpg (US)

Ryo-Ohki - '94 Geo Metro Xfi
90 day: 50.15 mpg (US)

Vger 2 - '00 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE

Ninja - '89 Geo Tracker
90 day: 30.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 12
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Even driving in regular snow is a big deal for regular cars (FWD has a distinct advantage here) My brother was PO'd when he tried to go somewhere in his car and could not even get out of our street. I get in the jeep and just "go" :-) boy did that make him mad.

Slowing and Turning is also not a problem for a 4wd UNLESS you drive them outside of there operating envelope

If your doing 40mph in snow and want to stop in 200 feet FORGET IT. Just not going to happen. Thats driver error not 4wd problem.

Turning 4wd is better I get the same "pull me out" of it that you get with your FWD. Its actually very hard to SPIN a 4wd. you have to either be brain dead or try hard. I know I tried :-) I have to use the ebrake to "brake" the spin and keep the wheel tight if I lighten up on the wheel the front wheels immediately "pull" me out of the spin.

Most people do not buy 4wd because it has 4wd they buy it because they want the "truck" styling that they get with the 4wd. Once they see options and the price difference its silly to get the 2wd when its so cheap to keep the 4wd option.

Some like the 4x4 logo. So what thats there thing. AS LONG AS THEY ARE SAFE with them !!!

For safety getting around town I would always take my jeep over a compact car. Its safer more comfortable and with minimal penalty over the civic. your "typical" civic ie non modded non hypermiled gets around 35mpg. I get 25+mpg in my cherokee.

And I fit :-) Another advantage of 4wd vehicles and vans (hence why I tend to own those kinds of cars) is head room.

I want a Diesel VW so badly I can taste it but the ONLY one I can physically own is also the only one I can not afford. The beetle. Golf Rabbit whats the other one??? I forget anyway I do not fit. I literally can not "sit" straight in them. My head ends about 2 inches above the ceiling :-) The beetle I fit with 1 inch clearance but alas it also tends to sell for DOUBLE the others (jetta thats it :-)

That Sucks. :-)

Now granted I am not your average driver. I tow 7,000 pound trailers. I 4wheel. I tke long trips I drive a lot I am very tall. for me an econobox just can not work as my ONLY car (I want one badly as a daily driver I want one of those little 3cyl metro SOOO badly and I FIT !! I found one locally and confirmed I fit (alas it was 4cyl not what I want) I want that solid 50+mpg highway!!!

My favorite vehicles is my 92 Clubwagon. over 5000 pounds giant extended length van. The drivers seat is more comfortable than a couch :-) and I have 2 fists head room :-) (ever hit a bump and thump your noggen? I have :-) not in the Club :-)

Its also so tall that I can actually sit "straight up" 90' erect back angle. Feet perfect 90/90 angle dangle. No fatigue. I have driven 18 hours straight in this and its wonderful.

Sadly it sucks down gas at a rate of 15mpg :-( Ouch. $125 to fill the tank (35 gallons)

I CAN NOT WAIT till 2015. This is the first vehicle I will convert to electric. Stuff 10-12 of those E95's in the back :-)
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Old 05-17-2008, 09:35 PM   #54 (permalink)
Grrr :-)
 
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Levittown PA
Posts: 800

Cherokee - '88 Jeep Cherokee
90 day: 19.44 mpg (US)

Ryo-Ohki - '94 Geo Metro Xfi
90 day: 50.15 mpg (US)

Vger 2 - '00 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE

Ninja - '89 Geo Tracker
90 day: 30.27 mpg (US)
Thanks: 12
Thanked 31 Times in 25 Posts
Oh one more thing. Most hummer owners bought a hummer for FINANCIAL reasons. You see one of the ways our wonderful gov helped to kill the electric car was to increase the "tax credit" for 6000 pound or greater trucks to $100,000

That meant that you could buy a hummer and it was almost free with the tax credits you could claim if you did things right. IE it could erase your business taxes for many small to medium businesses.

THATS why so many hummers got sold. Also helped that gas was dirt cheap at the time :-)

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