Fuel Consumption


Agency Administrative Actions




A Grassroots Network Member Protects His Children and Responds to Anti-SUV Voices

As a father of two children, a baby and near five year old, I've no greater priority than their ultimate protection and concern. If nothing else, fatherhood is a test of humility and unwavering stability pursuant of this unique objective. Inclusive of this blanket priority, safe transportation.

Fundamentally, our SUV proves an integral component to facilitating this and is sorely misinterpreted by pundits concerned about profile and career accolade. This, at the expense of our calculated and deliberate SUV acquisition. Right from the beginning, a foremost point is easily refuted. Gas mileage is subject to open interpretation rather than accurate assessment. The flashpoint topic for Arianna Huffington and DetroitProject co-founder, Laurie David, is that SUVs are synonymous with excess fuel consumption.

The LA Weekly for the week of, March 30 - April 5, ran a cover story entitled, Curb Your SUV, authored by Laurie David. Inasmuch, I grant kudos to her ability to express her views in grandiose fashion. She simply won't allow for any documented proof that much of her view is biased and inaccurate. When Ms. Huffington utilized the online forum to proclaim such courtesy of the DetroitProject. I quickly refuted her fuel consumption point and safety point with salient input. As per typical DetroitProject policy, no counterpoint was offered in light of my own.

We leased a 2001 Ford Expedition with a 5.4L engine and full-on SUV capacity. With proper tire inflation and moderate driving, despite urges to the contrary, we averaged 21.27 mpg. This is a fact further galvanized with documentation. Hence, I could prove what I stated, versus any legitimate proof validating their public statements/opinions.

Additionally, safety concerns were distorted, thereby initiating a firestorm of controversy with the SUV as the eye of the storm, overall. Again, documentation proves that the Expedition is simply an F-150 truck with an enclosed body design. Since no safety concerns arise re: F-150, why is the SUV brethren isolated from the same criteria?

Instead of answering to this, suddenly the F-150 is now unsafe, as well. Rather than simply deducing the Expedition to be safe as proven by our operation. As well as a gas miser if properly maintained and driven. The broadstroke of a propaganda brush colored with proprietary bias includes, rather than proves, the F-150 equally culpable to the Expedition.

Essentially, this infers we did not acquire a vehicle that is foremost in conservative mileage, proven safety appointments and sensible for transportation, overall. Even though I can prove this, for which the aforementioned cannot, we are still accountable despite their own inaccountability. When direct refutation is required, a deafening silence. Even louder is the amplified rantings of their opinion, devoid of salient proof and/or fact.

Our 2001 Expedition has been traded-in for a 2003 Expedition for which safety appointments have improved, immeasurably. The physics of this vehicle allow for improved mileage and improved protection.

However, moderate driving seems to elude many drivers of patented gas miser vehicles, ranging from all sub-compacts to anything less than an SUV. Erratic and arrogant driving tactics abound from drivers so anxious to prove how self-righteous they are in the public spectre. Such privilege affords them to pull u-turns in non-acceptable/designated areas/situations. Accelerate beyond advisable means as to suddenly cut-off the SUV driver and turn the corner sans turn signal or even any hint of lane change. So long as their car gets exemplary mileage, such maneuvers are evidently in favor due their choice of vehicle. I ask you, does a gas miser vehicle remain one when the driver violates all known safe driving advisements? Conversely, does a gas guzzler remain one when they do adhere to all known safe driving advisements?

If moderate driving improves SUV performance, the natural equation is that immoderate driving hinders non-SUV performance. Safety concerns, notwithstanding.

The DetroitProject has a nifty lil' reminder that the SUV owner/operator is driving a vehicle shackeled to a paltry 13mpg. It's a faux-citation that admonishes SUV owners. When I openly refuted this ready to show gas receipts and odometer/pedometer readings. It did not merit this entity's concern. Evidently, their same criteria concluding SUVs have limited mileage, also disproved my counterpoint with nary an attempt to acknowledge my input.

It is lamentable that anti-SUV individuals manipulate the acronym into society's current scarlet letter. Ms. David and Ms. Huffington abuse their status. Our SUV transports up to seven children for field trips and varied educational venues. With today's fuel-emissions standards, I'd rather the SUV provide this transport versus the buses that waste fuel and over-pollute our environments. A far greater amount of undocumented vehicles excessively contribute to the malaise SUVs are blamed for. But, as the pundits prove, such fact-finding is too laborious when they can simply read new car sales reports. From this one-dimensional input, they weave a web of deceit that incriminates the minority. Is it that difficult to scrutinize DMV records to review registration renewals of vehicles on the road for much longer than the new SUV? If eco-pundits founded their concern on a truer objective, it would actually prove their point rather than exploit an uninformed perspective.

RVs are never included in the same mention as SUVs. Yet, they populate as much of our earth if not more so than SUVs. Trucks, the predecessor to all multi-passenger vehicles, have trailers for boats, recreation, ATVs, JetSkis, off-road buggies and dirt-bikes. None of this matters to fuel consumption? How could it not given they require fuel as SUVs, yes? Mind you, we're not even contemplating the varied assortment of trucks that aren't role models for low fuel consumption. The very dynamic of an open pick-up bed is a drag co-efficient akin to a drag chute that hinders mileage, immeasurably. A moot point given the enclosed cabin of an SUV. If my view serves no other purpose, it at least opens the debate for open consideration. Can DetroitProject boast the same?


Gregory Hudgins
Sunland, CA

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