Title - SUV's: Are They Really Worth It? This is an argumentive essay favoring anti-suv ideals. It deals with fuel consumption and safety issues.

Essay by pumpkins3892College, UndergraduateB+, February 2004

download word file, 6 pages 4.2

They are everywhere. You can find them every place from traffic jammed city streets to barren rural back roads. They are large, boxy, and not very hard to miss. Since the early 90's, sport utility vehicles have taken the place of the traditional station wagon as the most popular vehicle for the suburban mom. These vehicles have essentially changed our nation's highways. SUV's are categorized by the government as light trucks, which are held to less stringent fuel-efficiency and safety standards than cars ("Fact Sheet"). They may have roomy interiors, rugged appearances, and high off the ground seating, but they are also gas-guzzling, turnover-prone giants that spew out pollutants and endanger the occupants of smaller cars. They have become an icon for American over indulgence. SUV's need drastic changes in fuel efficiency and safety standards before money conscious consumers should invest in them.

Vehicles are classified as LTV's, light trucks and vans, by the NHSTA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if they weigh between 10,000 and 5,000 gross pounds (Cooper).

Included in the LTV group are pickup trucks, vans, minivans, truck-based station wagons, and sport utility vehicles. Comprising only fifteen percent of the new vehicle sales during the 1970's, LTV's, mostly pickups and cargo vans, were mainly used by small businesses and farmers for work related use. Because of this fact, Congress set a more lenient mileage standard for these vehicles, which is currently 20.7 miles per gallon, as opposed to the 27.5 miles per gallon required of passenger cars (Cooper). Also, LTV's are exempt from a gas-guzzler tax, a levy imposed on the sale of new vehicles whose fuel economy falls below 22.5 miles per gallon. Light trucks now account for almost half of all new vehicles sold, and in fact, 40 percent of U.S. households have...