Confessions of an SUV driver.

With ongoing international situation (Iran, Nigeria) and the increase in oil demand (India, China) the price of oil can only go up. Currently my car is nearing the 50 dollars per fill-up mark, and gets on average 17 mpg. For me the 50 dollars fill-up indicates that my car is getting too expensive to drive. My fuel costs for 2005 went up over 20 percent from 2004, and if anything I drove less in 2005 then in 2004 (started biking to work in 2005).

If I decide to get a new car, I would like it to get at least 30 mpg, and still be comfortable for my 6’5″ body. However outside of Hybrids and Diesel very few cars available in the United States match the mpg requirement, and I don’t know how many of those would match the comfort requirement. Diesel is out of the question till Low-Sulfur diesel arrives, and engines are available to take advantage of it. Hybrid technology is tempting, however the increased cost of the car (even with the 2006 tax credit) and increased complexity of the car (potential higher maintenance cost) make hybrids less attractive.

So now I’m left to decide if I should ride out the upcoming increase fuel prices for the prospect of more fuel-effiecent vehicles in the future? Bite the bullet and get a new car, live with a car payment for a few years. Give up driving all together, ride my bike, and use public transport to get everywhere.

So if you have any suggestion on what I should do, go tell me.

8 Responses to “Confessions of an SUV driver.”

  1. akuma Says:

    1997 Ford Explorer
    http://www.edmunds.com/used/1997/ford/explorer/17292/specs.html
    Front Head Room: 39.8 in. Front Hip Room: 51.9 in.
    Front Shoulder Room: 57.1 in. Rear Head Room: 39.3 in.
    Rear Shoulder Room: 56 in. Rear Hip Room: 51.7 in.
    Front Leg Room: 42.4 in. Rear Leg Room: 37.7 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 42.6 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 81 cu. ft.
    Maximum Seating: 5

    2006 Toyota Camry Solara
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/toyota/camrysolara/100525906/specs.html
    Front Head Room: 38 in. Front Hip Room: 53.7 in.
    Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in. Rear Head Room: 36.4 in.
    Rear Shoulder Room: 53.7 in. Rear Hip Room: 50.8 in.
    Front Leg Room: 42 in. Rear Leg Room: 35.4 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 13.8 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 14 cu. ft.
    Maximum Seating: 5

    2006 Honda Accord Coupe
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/honda/accord/100645404/specs.html
    Front Head Room: 37.5 in. Front Hip Room: 54.2 in.
    Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in. Rear Head Room: 36.1 in.
    Rear Shoulder Room: 55.4 in. Rear Hip Room: 46.1 in.
    Front Leg Room: 43.1 in. Rear Leg Room: 31.9 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 12.8 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5

    If you REALLY want to stick w/ the 30 MPG, you can look at the civic coupe, but you would be sacrificing a lot of space…..
    2006 Civic Coupe
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/honda/civic/100653377/specs.html
    Front Head Room: 37.8 in. Front Hip Room: 53 in.
    Front Shoulder Room: 53.9 in. Rear Head Room: 34.7 in.
    Rear Shoulder Room: 52.1 in. Rear Hip Room: 49.2 in.
    Front Leg Room: 42.6 in. Rear Leg Room: 30.3 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 11.5 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5

  2. kowgod Says:

    I must really disagree with the Accord. I have driven both Jolley’s and An’s Accords, one a full size, one a coupe, and both have nearly no leg room for the driver. The seat just simply does not go back far enough. In both, my knees touched the underside of the dashboard and the door, and the tops of my thighs could brush the steering wheel.

  3. kowgod Says:

    VW’s!!! You can always test drive my car if you want. The new one in 2006 should actually have more room (the chassis is longer) and gets a bump in fuel efficiency.

    **NEW** 2006 Volkswagen Golf GTI (coming soon this year)
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/volkswagen/gti/100684934/specs.html
    EPA Mileage Estimates city/hwy: 25 mpg / 31 mpg
    Front Head Room: 39.3 in. Front Shoulder Room: 54.7 in.
    Rear Head Room: 38.5 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 54.6 in.
    Front Leg Room: 41.2 in. Rear Leg Room: 35.3 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 15.1 cu. ft. Maximum Seating: 5

    **CURRENT** 2006 Volkswagen Golf GTI (what I have now)
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/volkswagen/gti/100613573/specs.html
    EPA Mileage Estimates city/hwy: 22 mpg / 29 mpg
    Front Head Room: 38.6 in. Front Shoulder Room: 53.7 in.
    Rear Head Room: 37.4 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 52.7 in.
    Front Leg Room: 41.5 in. Rear Leg Room: 33.5 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 18 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 42 cu. ft.
    Maximum Seating: 5

    2006 Volkswagen Golf GLS
    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2006/volkswagen/golf/100615247/specs.html
    EPA Mileage Estimates city/hwy: 24 mpg / 30 mpg
    Front Head Room: 37.4 in. Front Shoulder Room: 53.7 in.
    Rear Head Room: 36.5 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 52.5 in.
    Front Leg Room: 41.5 in. Rear Leg Room: 33.5 in.
    Luggage Capacity: 18 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 42 cu. ft.
    Maximum Seating: 5

  4. akuma Says:

    Hmm the older accords were harder to fit into for myself as well, but i test drove a new coupe accord and it was relatively easy for me to fit in. Then again, Greg has 5 inches on me so…

  5. Taz Says:

    Don’t listen to them. They’re living in the present. Get a car from the future NOW, a Hydrogen Car! 🙂

  6. kowgod Says:

    Or you could just drive a go-kart powered by your own sense of self-satisfaction!

  7. fooichi Says:

    Heh. I like the go kart 🙂

  8. Anonymous Says:


    Excellent post. Keep it up!