I'm not surprised to see that 92% figure, Chuck. I would imagine you'd see similar stats for trucks when it comes to how many trips are actually used to move stuff in the bed. That's a lot of money spent and gas consumed to use these vehicles just for passenger trips.
Yes, the high perch is also the appeal for many SUV drivers, Rob. In the mid-'90s, we were told that 92% of SUV drivers never took their vehicles off road. They didn't want the powertrain and clearance so much as they wanted the high seats. It's the same for me in a minivan -- in and out is so much easier.
That makes sense, Chuck. One thing I liked about the minivan is that I climbed up into the driver's seat rather than stooping down into the seat of a standard car. I also liked the heightened view of traffic.
@ Ann R. Thryft, all of us feel embarrassed about our old vehicle which is baseless indeed. It seems that we have finally started understanding that car is more about solid design and reliable functioning rather than stylish look and status. It is noteworthy that our more than 10 year old cars are exported to less developed countries where they are used for another decade or so without any real problem.
I agree, Chuck. It's hard to lose the wonderful feeling of not having a car payment. I've managed to avoid car payments for about 15 years. Mostly by paying cash for used cars and keeping those payment-free cars forever.
Believe it or not, Liz, the Tesla Model X seats seven, although it's not nearly the size of a minivan. It's coming out in 2014. I'm still trying to figure out how they pack seven people in there, but I saw it done at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
I agree, Rob. Many of us have lost that urge to buy a new car. My old Honda minivan now has 196,000 miles on it. I don't want to replace it, not only because replacement is expensive, but because I can't stand buying new cars. When the salesman says, "Let's go sit down in my office," my only urge is to leave.
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