Friday, October 29, 2004

SUV's - aren't they just station wagons?

Perhaps I should stay away from this topic since I drive a Jeep. Some days, I'm glad to have a Jeep. When I'm stuck in traffic, and I can see where I need to be, and the random cell phone guy is blocking me, I can hop the curb and be on my way. I was leaving the Riverbend Festival one night a few years ago in my Jeep and there was a Honda CRV in front of me. I noticed that the two of us, not being in passenger cars, could cut up over this hill and bypass a lot of the traffic. We had to hop up over the sidewalk to do it, but I thought it could work. He agreed, and asked if he should use 4WD. I didn't think it would be necessary until we both realized that he didn't have the ground clearance to make it on the sidewalk. It would seem that the CRV desperately wants to be an SUV but isn't. Ever since then I've noticed that there are many Station Wagons out there that really want to be SUV's. Last night I was behind a Buick Rondezvous and I noticed that this thing sat just as high as my Jeep, but had less ground clearance than my wifes Mustang. What's the point? Seriously, it isn't going to get you out of a jam, you can probably haul more people, but if the weather turns bad, I imagine if the 4WD even works (I'm starting to think those are just stickers for decoration) you couldn't get anywhere in anything more than a light rain. We had some snow here a few years ago when I was waiting tables. Some kid in his Pathfinder was attempting to show us how he could climb the hill next to my parents neighborhood. I didn't follow him up because I knew what the consequences were going to be for this guy. A little less than halfway up, his car turned sideways and slid back down. After three attempts he'd drawn a crowd and we were all laughing. I went and got my friend Mike and drove him to work as well. We took the hard way just to see if the Jeep would do it. When we got home that night, the Pathfinder was still stuck in our neighborhood. We wrote "LOSER" in the snow on the windshield when we passed it. I guess I'm old school, but I think if you really want to get anywhere in bad weather or rough terrain, a Jeep is the only way to fly. These SUV's we have now are just station wagons with a higher roofline. Seriously, do you see off road Rondezvous clubs? Do you see Camp CRV? No. I can't wait until this trend dies.

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