Last post on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM
You are in the SUVs
What is this discussion about?
Chevrolet Tahoe, Honda Pilot, Isuzu Trooper, Ford Expedition, Dodge Durango, Ford Freestyle, Volvo XC90, SUV
#1 of 118 Death of the body-on-frame SUV?
Mar 06, 2007 (2:21 am)
I wanted to start this discussion b/c I'm curious what other people think.
I used to own a 2001 Chevy Tahoe LS 4WD. While I loved it, after having to spend 50+ on every tank of gas, I opted for my new ride...
2003 Honda Pilot AWD LX. I must say that I have never missed the extra cargo capacity on the Tahoe, and like 99.999% of all SUV owners, I towed with the Tahoe less times than I have fingers and toes (nothing heavier than the Pilot could handle I might add).
I for one just cannot see how anyone can possibly buy body-on-frame SUVs these days! There is just no comparison. While some people need great off-roading, the majority of SUVs can't deliver on this. Cargo capacity and passenger capacity is also now clearly better in crossovers (see Acadia/Enclave/Outlook). Add to this $2.80+ gas and the better mileage and drivabiltiy of crossovers like the Pilot...man, stick a fork in body-on-frames!
#2 of 118 Re: Death of the body-on-frame SUV? [sddoc07]
Mar 06, 2007 (9:55 am)
IMHO you are experiencing the difference between a Mid Sized SUV and a Full Size SUV more than whether or not there is a frame under it.
My Trooper's mpg is important to me. I get 16.7 around town which is just as good as our minivan which like your Pilot has no frame. (Pilot is a shortened version of the Honda minivan, given how nice that minivan is, that is a good thing) On the highway our minivan gets 24 to 27 mpg because it is aerodynamically shaped and low to the ground. On the highway my Trooper with a frame gets 21 mpg at 65 mph and 19.5 at 70 mph. I bet your frame less Pilot is within a mpg or two of my Trooper with its frame.
If there will be the death of body-on-frame it will not be from MPG but from government regulations that specify that the vehicle has to crumble like a ball of aluminum foil if it is in a collision.
SUV is just a tall station wagon. I think cross over is just a name for mid height station wagon. The future will hold "green cross overs" which will be low to the ground station wagons that get good mpg.
Even though I tow and go off road infrequently, I like to drive a vehicle that can get me through those situations with confidence.
#3 of 118 Its about use of the vehicle
Mar 06, 2007 (11:50 am)
I can't think of any other vehicle on the road that can transport my family of 6 and 2 of my kids friends, ( 8 people), plus tow my 6000 lb boat to the lake and haul all my gear other than a Chevy Suburban or a Ford Expedition EL. As long as there are people out their who need to tow and haul people body on frame will live on.
#4 of 118 Re: Death of the body-on-frame SUV? [sddoc07]
Mar 07, 2007 (9:13 am)
I think Boxtrooper is right! The unibody construction you seem to enjoy cannot withstand the punishment of load and time like a body on frame! GM took its' full size vans back to this architecture for just that reason. I think each driver has to look at their individual usage to determine whether the rated capacities they expect will be delivered through the vehicle they wish to use. The new SUV's mentioned are examples of crossovers that deliver on passenger capacity but passenger and towing weight can take them out of the running. One guys opinion.
#5 of 118 Re: Its about use of the vehicle [catam]
Mar 07, 2007 (11:11 am)
You're right...but most Suburbans/Expeditions I see driving down the road aren't towing anything and have one or two people in them. I just wonder how many people buy the big ones out of need or just desire to drive something big?
#6 of 118 Re: Its about use of the vehicle [bobw3]
Mar 07, 2007 (4:48 pm)
"You're right...but most Suburbans/Expeditions I see driving down the road aren't towing anything and have one or two people in them. I just wonder how many people buy the big ones out of need or just desire to drive something big?"
We should consider that these large vehicles are expensive. If people have a legitimate need for periodic towing, it's possible that they cannot afford an "everyday" car in addition to the large SUV, so they buy the SUV and not a smaller car. And then they drive that large car all the time.
However, many people want the safety of a large heavy vehicle in case a collision occurs. They are safest in a crash with most vehicles, provided the driver keeps in mind that they are top heavy and large. But most of the new trucks come with some kind of stability control.
If you have some money, you could buy both the large truck and a nice hybrid, but most people are not in that class.
#7 of 118 Re: Death of the body-on-frame SUV? [sddoc07]
Mar 07, 2007 (5:08 pm)
i like rwd, and most good suv's have a real 4 wheel drive system. i like to take mine where i fear to tread occasionally.
#8 of 118 Re: Its about use of the vehicle [bobw3]
Mar 07, 2007 (6:43 pm)
To be sure, there are some out there who buy these large SUV's "just for show".
A couple of points to condsider though. As another poster pointed out most people can't really afford an extra vehicle for limited use. I have done the math, you literally can't buy, insure, drive, and maintain a 3rd vehicle and save money vs. the cost in gas on driving the Suburban around daily. (the simple math, I spend about $100 in gas per month on my Suburban, a small car that averaged 30 mpg would cut my fuel bill in half to $50. Good Luck finding a car for $50/ month)
I haven't towed my boat anywhere since October, as boating on frozen lakes tends to be a little tough. But come summer, I take the boat out 2-3 times per month for weekend outings.
I would happily drive a more fuel efficient vehicle if the basic laws of physics didn't dictate that I need a vehicle with the size and power of a Suburban to do the job I need it to do.
#9 of 118 Re: Its about use of the vehicle [catam]
Mar 07, 2007 (7:57 pm)
You're on the mark catam.. We use the space in the back of our aging Passport all the time, how else are you going to haul 300 rolls of TP from Costco? Seriously it is the trip to Costco, or weekend ventures to the ocean, kids haul all the toys in the back. We also need 4WD for the occasional snow storm to get to/from work. I didn't find many alternatives to 4WD with trunk capacity other than form of SUV. It is the most practical/utilitarian vehicle for us. I can't ever think of owning a typical sedan again.
I don't know if anyone has looked at the 2008's coming down the line but they are getting larger again, bigger engines, and the new 2008 EPA estimating rules are going to drop mileage even more. There's a lot of heavy marketing baraging us every day on TV to have the biggest most powerful vehicle on the planet. I'd even say the market is still in favor of more and more truck sales as much or greater than SUV market.
#10 of 118 Hybrib replaced Minivan
Mar 08, 2007 (7:53 am)
A friend has replaced her minivan with a nearly new hybrid Civic or something like that. The family's other car is a Tahoe. She says the switch is nice for lower cost of fuel, but she has to plan more carefully to swap for the Tahoe in anticipation of picking up her kids friends along with her own kids or for anything that requires more room. Her kids have to plan for only the things they need in the seat with them, other stuff has to be placed in the trunk.
Her change to a hybrid was cost effective because of unforeseen circumstances that landed the hybrid in her possession, she had to decide to keep the minivan or the hybrid not both.