The SUV Appreciation Thread

Often considered the most evil of inanimate objects, I love my SUV. I would like others to share why we love of SUV’s. I bought my mid size SUV on a whim and it has now become an invaluable member of the family.

A few weeks ago, I had to make a trip to New Hampshire. On the way back down to our house, I had my daughter in a child seat, my pregnant wife in the passengers seat, 1,000 pounds of bricks in the back, my 100 lb Samoyed on top of those, a few bags of fertilizer off to the side, and a huge book shelf strapped to the roof rack.

I now realize that I will never buy anything other than an SUV. Large pickup trucks offer utility but I can’t easily put my daughters in them for a nice trip.

I love my SUV. How about you?

My Jeep Cherokee is a compact SUV. It has been extremely useful. I’ve had fun offroad in it. I hauled some heavy loads from L.A. to NoWA. It’s made a trip over washboard roads on Vancouver Island for a couple of days of kayaking. It’s towed my motorcycles, my boat, and the CJ2A I used to have. I’ve taken it camping in Kelowna. It has hauled a buttload of movie equipment. It has been the most practical vehicle I’ve ever owned.


It’s too big. I have to slow way down to average 25 mpg. Since I’ve been riding my motorcycle almost exclusively, it stays on surface streets in city traffic. With the a/c on. I’m lucky if I see 15 mpg. I’d be much happier with a smaller, more efficient car.

I don’t have an SUV, don’t need one; I have a pickup, Razorette drives a sexy Chevy Impala. But there are more SUVs per capita here in Colorado than any other state, I’m told.

Lots of my friends have SUVs – elderly folks I know love 'em because they’re easy to get into and out of, easy to load and unload stuff. Some of my friends are just large people (not obese, but 6’4" and broad-shouldered – and her husband is a really big guy! Hey, can I get a rim shot here?) I think there’s a legitimate market for SUVs – I’d rather see a Yukon in the commuter lane with four people riding in comfort than four Buicks carring one person each.

That doesn’t mean I’m not sharply critical of some of the excesses involving SUVs, but this isn’t the place for that. Just wanted to weigh in with recognition that they have definite advantages.

Essentially stumbled over a new used '98 Explorer, high milage, excellent upkeep, first vehicle purchase in a new marriage. We have since used said vehicle for 1 year; 2 trips to Delaware to get household goods, bunches of other trips, runs like a charm, can haul half a house at a time, V-6 good on gas. Only one repair needed, that a usual A/C condenser problem with all Fords. A true turn around for a GM fanatic. The beastie does bunches of things very well, off-road included. Am now a firm “mid-sized” SUV believer, the “rolling homes” monstrousities can just roll right off the map, just let me keep my mid-sized machine.

I love my SUV too. I’m on my second one.

My first one was a '97 Ford Explorer XLT with a V6. It was great, we used it to haul all of our camping gear, and I made innumerable trips to the hardware or garden nurseries with it. It was great for hauling the family around too.

Unfortunately, it could not pull the boat we purchased last year, so whenever we went boating we had to take both my husband’s big Ford F250 and my SUV. His truck is only a single cab and there was no way four of us could fit in the truck. This truly sucked on camping trips across the state. The amount of gas we had to buy was killing us.

For Mother’s Day I received a 2006 Expedition. Believe it or not, it actually gets almost the same gas mileage as the Explorer did. Now, we haul all of our camping gear, us, AND the boat. We boat a lot, so this is wonderful for us. Additionally, we have room to take friends in the same vehicle with us.

All that being said, until we no longer boat, and the kids are gone, I don’t think I’ll switch from an SUV.

You can get an extended-cab pickup, you know. My husband has a Chevy Silverado with those funky double doors (not a king cab), the kind that open after you open the front doors, and the back seat is pretty spacious.

That said, I have a Trailblazer and I love it. I’m always hauling kids and stuff around, whether it’s sports junk or camping junk or work junk. With the back seat down, I can get three bikes in back. Yeah, I need a bike rack, but I don’t have one yet.
I also need 4WD in the winter. I drive a lot of rural roads and on the few occassions when we get snow, where I drive is often the last area plowed.

I love my SUV too. An Explorer. For years I drove a very low to the ground Mustang and couldn’t see around any vehicles on the road. Now I’m the one blocking sight-lines. Yay me!!

That said, it’s very hard to park here in Germany. But I do appreciate the admiring - nay, lustful - glances it draws from German men.

Ironyears - Weird, I’m having trouble with my airconditioner too. I didn’t realize it was endemic to Fords. I’m now trying to find someone who will do warranty work here as the vehicle is only 2 years old.

I love mine, no doubt about it. We currently have two- a 2002 Land Rover Discovery II and a 2000 Ranger Rover. They have been great for us, and especially helpful with hauling kids, crap and Newfoundlands!

Offroad, they are the best I’ve ever driven. Driven properly, there are almost no situations those cars can’t slowly & carefully get me out of.

I won’t go back into it (it’s a 5 year old thread), but we were in an accident in our 2000 Disco II when I was 5 months pregnant, and everybody walked away without a scratch. I credit Land Rover for much of that result. This page shows just how much Land Rovers can handle! :wink:

These are #'s 2 & 3 for us, and there will be more.

I have a new Pathfinder that replaces a ’93 Pathfinder. Great car for me all around.

Let’s see.

4x4 including low range and good ground clearance. We get over 10+ feet of snow a year and are the only full time residents on our road. We are pretty much last on the list when it comes to plowing. I use 4x4 every day from November through May. Last year we got 2 feet of snow on October 10th.

We have 2 60 lb dogs. Works great to haul them around.

6000 lbs trailering capacity. Just for fun, I checked the capacity of the Dodge Caravan. 1800 lbs. My utility trailer weighs more than that empty.

Easy for me to get in and out of. Plenty of room in side too.

I forgot about the trailering capacity. We have a woodstove and sometimes my husband will go off with the trailer (for hauling the lawn mower and other grass cutting equipment for his second job) and then call me and say, “Bring the log splitter over, we’re getting some free wood.”
I can bring him the splitter, and we can split a bunch of free wood, and then he can bring it home on the trailer.

I’ve got a Honda CR-V, which is kinda wimpy in the Grand Scheme of SUVHood, but I love it. My car before it was a Chevy Cavalier, which was too small, too low, and too sporty. I’m just not that sporty, myself. I’m a tiny woman in a moderately large vehicle, and I love it. The gas mileage is as good as I had in the Chevy, and while I haul considerably less stuff than I used to, I love having all that room.

And the floor of the trunk can be pulled out and used as a picnic table. How cool is that. To say nothing of the parking brake that looks like a Hyperdrive Activation Lever. :slight_smile:

You have a Samoyed? Awwwwww! How come you never post pics?

Anyway, I don’t know if this is technically an SUV, but one of my dream cars is a fully-stocked Jeep Cherokee, with the cabin in the back, and DVD players and everything, so I can load anything I want into it. I’ve had Corollas all my life and they are fine for day-to-day use but just try to take a parrot cage or even a mattress home in one of those.

I have no need of one, but my sister is a long-time SUV driver. She and her partner do a lot of camping in remote areas of the Rockies, and they live out in the country with their two large-ish dogs (a dalmatian and a mutt). Between hauling dogs, firewood, camping gear, etc., and driving in rough terrain to get to the foot of their desired backpacking trail, I don’t think she could find another kind of vehicle that would suit all of her needs as well as her Mercury SUV does.

Can we please get off the use of the word needs when one really means wants or desires.

Any yes I love my SUV, power to all wheels, high ground clearence means I can get through places where my car couldn’t (though I’ve tried), tinted windows/ higher profile cut down on tailgaters dramatically, and tinted rear windows help out against super bright headlights from behind (not available stock with cars, but allowed with light trucks (SUV’s). High profile helps protect me against animal colisions. Cargo capacity helps me haul the stuff I want to.

I loved my Ford 350 van. It could haul 12 people to an SCA event, or 8 people and a bunch of stuff, or 5 people and a HUGE bunch of stuff, or haul a trailer, or carry sheetrock in the rain. It did everything I ever asked it to except stop on glare ice.

Subaru calls my Forester an SUV, but it’s a wagon to me. It is still one of the best vehicles I’ve ever owned. It is physically impossible to get one stuck in the snow, I know because I tried.

EJsGirl I hear you on the toughness of the Rovers. I had a 96 Disco a few years back. I got rear ended while stopped at a red light by a woman in an Oldsmobile, the entire front end of her car was demolished, absolutely flattened. I had to replace the lens and bulb in my bumper turn signal assembly. I guess that’s the benefit to driving a vehicle that weighs 6000 lbs.

I am not at all a fan, but the advisor to my son’s Venturing Crew was hit head on by a drunk while driving his Lincoln Navigator. The drunk died, and tho the Navigator was totalled, Ernie suffered little more than airbag rash and some (pretty significant) scrapes and bruises.
He says he will never buy a smaller vehicle, and considers the gas costs as pretty cheap insurance. Which I consider a reasonably convincing argument.

I have a Jeep Liberty and I love it. I need the 4WD to get back and forth to work, it’s short enough to park on the street (a problem for some cars and most trucks), it can haul all the crap we haul around. I get about 25 mpg with the standard transmission. It’s got giddyup, can carry a Porta-bote on top, and is a comfortable car to drive.

When I bought it, I was actually looking to replace my beloved Contour, but didn’t find a car I liked nearly as well. I’m a believer in test driving models until you fall in love, and I fell in love.

My only complaint is that the Liberties are shy of cubbies. I want cubbies!

Y’know, SUVs have a long and storied career in the U.S. Remember the old International Scouts? Those were honest-to-goodness SUVs; did all the things today’s 4Runners and Liberties do, and it was almost impossible to even dent the damn things!

D’ya think maybe there needs to be a delineation somewhere between true SUV and just plain old vehicular monsters? I mean, how much “sport” or “utility” is involved in a Navigator, fer cryin’ out loud? Yukons, Liberties, 4Runners – those things, IMHO, honestly fit the description of a sport-utility vehicle. But H2s, Excursions and Suburbans, I think, belong in their own category. New thread, or can we address that here?

Is my Jeep Wrangler an SUV? I love it, either way. I have never changed my plans due to weather, and always make it in to work even through snow drifts. I haul a kayak/canoe trailer loaded down to remote put-ins and take-outs. I take my son’s dirt bike in my utility trailer wherever he wants to ride. Five minutes of work and the soft-top is down (which invariably leads to precipitation, but oh well).