Friday, August 03, 2007

A Confession

My radio, always turned to WYNC, the local public radio station, really annoyed me yesterday. During one of the daytime talk shows (Leonard Lopate, I think), there was an entire show devoted to the condemnation of SUVs.

Enough already. I drive an SUV. It's not a huge SUV, it's a mid-size SUV, equipped with a standard transmission (have I mentioned my contempt for the automatic transmission? I'll save that for another post). It makes 25 mpg around town (I'll bet that's at least as good as if not better than most sedans, minivans, trucks, or station wagons). And I'm weary of all this anti-SUV rubbish.

Certainly, people driving gas-guzzling cars is a national concern, and should be the topic of all sorts of radio shows and political debates. My first cars routinely made 35-40 mpg and I wish that my current car made better gas mileage. But just because I choose to drive an SUV doesn't make me evil (or any more evil than the rest of you). My SUV has room enough to carry three children comfortably (nice for those playdates for which 7 year olds are famous); there's room for groceries to be placed in the back without spilling all the bags in the trunk; I can haul bikes and yard equipment when the need arises. Come camping time, I put down part of the backseat and there's plenty of room for all of our camping supplies.

My previous car was a station wagon and I loved it. The current trusty steed has a bit more space than the wagon and is easier to get into and out of. Plus, it has a DVD player for the amusement of back-seat drivers. That's not a necessity in life, but it sure helps to ease the occasional long drive. In sum, I find that my trusty steed works well for my son and me. I assume that the cars everyone else chooses to drive work fine for them.........and it's actually none of my business anyway.

What is my business (and yours too), is having a real national discussion about transportation, automotive safety and quality, and fuel efficiency. Of course, it's a lot easier to just point fingers and blame SUV owners. But I'm over that.

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