Why You Can't SUV Five

There is a very narrow sidestreet adjacent to my son's school which is the perfect drop off pick up point for savvy parents like myself who religiously prefer to avoid the the obvious bottleneck situations and unprotected left hand turns.

Only one problem.

Actually, more like hundreds of the same problem.

And that problem is SUV's.

They are frigging everywhere.

And the narrow street adjacent to my son's school wasn't prepared.

When you consider that you've got cars parked on both sides of the street and hundreds of kids and parents meandering through the boulevard like it was Disneyland, there's barely enough room for a Ford Fiesta to squeeze in and out of, let alone two suburban assault tanks. 

Standing for Sport Utility Vehicle, the SUV used to be the vehicle of choice for Jeep lovers and dog owners, but sometime in the late nineties (we're talking 20th Century here) the SUV became the high powered replacement for the seriously un-cool mini-van.

And I get it.

I totally do.

And in all honest disclosure, I own one myself. That's right, I too am a crossover enthusiast. Lots of members of my family are SUV drivers too. No, I don't go off-roading, no I'm not hauling much more than my little Echo couldn't handle with ease, and no, it's not even 4 wheel drive, so I most likely couldn't even drive it up my front lawn.

But it's a nice V-Six sitting cozy on a front wheel drive automatic trasmission, it feels safe and heavy at freeway speeds, and my wife looks hot in it.

So there's that.

It's definitley the car for me.

But it's not the car for you.

And I've got five reasons why:

Number One: You Don't Know How to Drive It
You may think you can drive it. The Y suspension and cozy cockpit kind of lull you into thinking you're driving a mid sized luxury sedan, but you're not. You are a good two to three feet further from the ground than you really should be which makes you top heavy and unwieldy at high speeds. And because they don't make them with manual transmissions, you have virtually no direct control of how the engine engages between zero and about 15 miles per hour. The exact speed you need to be going down narrow streets adjacent to elementary schools.

And speaking of low speeds,

Number Two: You Don't Know How To Park It
Jesus said something about pushing a camel through the eye of a needle being easier than gettin a rich man into heaven. (Matthew 19:24) He only used that hyperbole because he never saw a Whole Food's parking lot. Had he gone up and down the rows, he would have been able to see that not a single on of you found a way to comfortably manuever between the lines. I've seen parents having to pull their children through the windows because none of the doors would open wide enough for an eight year old girl to slip through.

And speaking of eight year old girls,

Number Three: You're Too Short For It.
If your line of sight isn't at least six inches above the steering wheel, if you can't see the edge of the hood, then this is not the car for you. First of all, a 4'10" soccer mom having to use a hand hold to pull herself onto the first step, looks dowright stupid. And because she can't see the first sixteen feet in front of the bumper, well, that's how dogs die.

And speaking of dead animals,

Number Four: The Amount of Fossil Fuels You're Burning is Literally How the Terrorists Win.
Actually, that's not true at all (sorta). Most of the "Foreign Oil" you're using is Canadian. They're good people. And in truth, the only way to secure commitment to renewable energies is for the costs to be equal or less than the resource burning competition. So . . . guzzle away my friends . . . I want an electric car before I die.

And speaking of supply and demand economics,

Number Five: You Can't Afford It.
True story: Long returning customer walks in.

I say "Hey Nancy, haven't seen you all week. Where ya been?"

And she says "Well me and John [her husband] were looking over our bank statements and we discovered we were spending a small fortune here and decided to cut back to once or twice a week."

I can only smile. I like her a lot as a person. And she's right. Together, they spend more on their coffee per month than some of my part time workers used to make in the same amount of time.

But I sold a luxury product for high prices. That's how business works.

And since I did like her and her husband, I wanted to help. Maybe getting a small instead of a medium. Maybe getting the oatmeal bar instead of the scone. And maybe she didn't know that I was charging her for both the vanilla and the caramel, cause that's what she wants, but she was paying double for different flavored sugars. That's like 75 cents per adjective.

But what I was really smiling about is because the SUV she just pulled up in was costing $650 in autol-loan fees alone. I also knew that her husband's Mercedes SUV was costing upwards of $800 per month. (I know this cause I'm a gossip queen and I eavesdrop with impunity, I mean did they really think I was sweeping the lobby all the time cause cared about clean floors?)

Cars are in fact, the absolute worst dollar for dollar investment (sans Mortgage Backed Securities). The minute you drive them off the lot you've lost nearly 30 percent of their value.

Now let's just say for fun sake that John and Nancy (not their real names) used their down payment cash and purchase a couple of clean presentable five year old Honda Accords. Not flashy, but you know, elegant, and there really isn't any reason to drive faster than 80, or go off-roading in the wine country, so serviceable.

So they own the cars outright. Since there is lots of city driving going on, they'd probably halve their gas consumption from lets say $250 a month to about $120. Their insurance is less, assuming they have an alarm installed, their maintenance fees are much much less.

So let's put their average monthly savings at right around $1,800.

And let's say they kept this experiment going for five years.

The exact amount of years before their twin boys turn sixteen.

Just a little math . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . 

John and Nancy would have a round about savings of $108,000.

So in five years, give or take, they are spending $108,000 (extra) on two cars that they can't drive, can't park, look stupid in, support Al Queda with (joking), and is forcing them to think seriously about managing the size of their lattes.

So I ask you? Can you afford and SUV?

Yeah, kinda didn't think so.

But in conclusion, and this is super important, cars are awesome.

Big cars, nimble cars, luxury cars, fast cars. The roar of a V8, the high pitched squeel of a turn takin like a man, the moment when you floor it on a freeway on-ramp to get ahead of a barreling semi and the torque just grabs you by the balls and throws you out into space.

Awe yea.

So get whatever car you fall in love with. The more ridiculously you the better. I'll ask you to let me drive it long before I'd ever sit in judgement.

Unless of course you're that one lady this morning who shut down the enitre narrow street because she parked her vehicle halfway into the road and needed the other half to open her door and spend fifteen minutes unbuckling her children from car seats that were so high up she couldn't reach them.

Her I'm gonna judge.

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