I am not in the camp that believes that all SUVs are inherently evil and that all hybrids are inherently good. Arrogant judgments based on a vehicle’s average mileage are fatuous, because the basis of judgment is very broad. Such judgments are based on a number of assumptions which may or may not be true, and they ignore other factors that may be more significant than average mileage.
For example, families making vehicle purchasing decisions need to consider per person miles per gallon. An SUV with six people in it often gets better mileage per person than does a hybrid with one or two people in it. Supporters of public transportation make this same kind of argument all of the time. Why should it not extend to private transportation?
Depending on the trip being made, a single person driving a personal vehicle may provide the best per person mileage for that trip. Time is also a valuable commodity that must go into personal transportation decisions. Most people make transportation decisions based on overall transportation needs, rather than needs for a specific trip.
Few people are well enough off to buy a fleet of vehicles that will provide them with enough options to always drive the optimal vehicle for any given transportation need. So people get a vehicle that attempts to strike a balance, with the effect that a single person occasionally ends up driving a seven-passenger SUV. Does that make the person’s choice evil?
While I appreciate beauty, I am kind of a utilitarian person. An innate sense makes me believe that something generally needs to serve a functional purpose to have worth. I find, however, that there are all kinds of exceptions to this basic rule. But when something violates this basic rule to the point of exceeding the boundaries of common sense, I often need someone or something to help me overcome the perceived dissonance. Unless and until that happens, I necessarily conclude that the element in question embodies absurdity.
Today’s question comes as I have noted a proliferation of four-wheel-drive SUVs (built on truck chassis) running around town that have fancy street rims and high performance street (or even racing) tires. In my mind, a 4WD SUV with fancy street tires violates the principles of common sense. If you need me to explain why this is so, you should quit reading this and go back to reading your latest edition of People Magazine.
Is there anyone out there that can explain the phenomenon of 4WD truck-base vehicles with street rims and tires (especially in northern Utah, which has an environment that seems particularly unfriendly to such vehicle gear)? To me, this seems to contradict reason.