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Why Not A BIG Vehicle?

Updated on February 8, 2019
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When I was a young driver, I was fortunate enough to go through professional auto racing school in California.

I'm Tired of News People Saying No One Needs a Big Vehicle!

Several years ago, I was listening to a morning news TV station. I was taken back with comments being made about cars that could carry 6 people and how no one needed that much space and it should be illegal! I was not happy - who are they to tell any of us what size car we should drive. Looking back now, I guess it was just a picture of what is to come.

I drive a twelve year old Ford Excursion (huge!! and now 13 years old) and a twenty plus year old BMW. We bought both cars new and will drive them a long time to come. I think it might be more about how you use a car and how long you keep a car rather than how big! I think it is wasteful for people to buy a new car even year or every two years unless you are driving more than 100,000 miles a year. But that is my opinion.

Which Would You Want Your Child In? - Children Change Your Priorities

Which One?
Which One?

Thinking about the Safety of My Precious Daughters - And Yours!

When our oldest child turned driving age, my heart drew cold with fear. Fear for her. I knew what I had done when I was a young driver; I tested all the rules, including the speed limit. When I went though the driving school, I knew beyond a doubt, as only a young person knows, that I could handle any situation that might come up while driving. Most new drivers often have that deep convection.

Now, this child was not the most coordinated person in the world. Do not misunderstand me, I love her with all my heart but I also knew her as only a Mother can know. And being cool under pressure was not one of her strong points.

She was very responsible and a great student so there was no way to say 'No, you cannot drive because of your . . . ' So the best thing we could do was to put her in some type of vehicle that would withstand any accidents. We had a Chevy van that was not new - was heavy and was built tough. It had every type of safety feature built in that was available. So that is what she drove.

It survived several accidents with her as the driver that were not her fault, she received no tickets. Still, the sides of the van were beginning to look like it would like to retire. I was very thankful, especially when one of those dent came from a driver's side hit from a drunk running a red light. I guess a big cream colored van looked like a green light. Although his car was totaled and the van needed a new door, my daughter walked away with just a few bruises and a story to tell her children.

The picture above is with crash dummies, but are you really going to put your most precious things in a car that could easily be crushed by some stupid accident? Accidents are just that - accidents, they are not planned. Life is too dear to injure or throw away when you can actually do something about prevention. (And I do not mean grounding the kids from the rest of their natural lives!)

This is not about terrorists driving down the highway with a van full of bad stuff - it is about putting the safest vehicle around your children - or your mate. This is about choices that you can make - and make the auto makers and the law makers pay attention. I, as a Mother, do not want my children driving a car that is made from plastic - I want a bomb shelter around them and my grandchildren. I want them to be safe.

75 Years - Same Name - Chevy Suburbans Have been around since 1936

75 Years of Suburbans by Popular Mechanics
75 Years of Suburbans by Popular Mechanics

I love Suburbans and big Fords. The Suburbans have been Chevrolet most profitable vehicle. They have controlled the price by limiting the production. Really too bad. When we bought the Ford, we went first to get a Suburban, the salesman told us to take a number, leave our number and we might get a call in six month or so. We bought a Ford that day, and it was not because the Ford dealer was not selling cars and trucks. Large families or families with lots of pets or lots of anything can really use these marvelous cars.

No, they are not the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road but they are among the safest. I go to Costco and Sam's Club once a month. I do all my monthly shopping in one trip. The only thing I might need at the local store is milk. Doing the shopping once a month saves on gas, time and money. I have to be organized!

The back of my vehicle is large enough to hold 2 large cooler in which I put the frozen and refrigerated items; plus I have those cooler bags for anything that might not fit or if there is an overrun of cooler foods. There is plenty of room for flats of water and other things.We also make one run a month to the feed store for bags of goat food and to have the propane tanks filled.

But back to the Suburbans, I know friends who have driven their for decades - yes - many, many years and though their cars are not 'stylish', they are more than functional.

Pickup Trucks Useful, Useful, Useful

Pickup are still the most popular vehicle sold in the US. They are fairly simple to build as a manufacture - there really is not much style to the pickup. That is not to say that the style has not changed over the years, but really, you have a cab with seats (the inside room has certainly increased over the years) and a box on the back.

It is the use of the space in the back that makes pickups so valuable. You can bring home groceries, plywood, bales of hay or a 5th Wheel RV. So you decide what you need, what you want to do and make you choices.

Again, these trucks are not the most fuel efficient but even here you have choices. (Can anyone explain to me why diesel which basically has no processing cost more than gasoline?)

Buy Them, Use Them

2000 Ford Excursion
2000 Ford Excursion

The return on investment cannot be realized in a 2-5 year span. Think about how much you pay for a car (dollars out of pocket during the time you own it) and divide that number by the number of years you own it. What did you pay for the use of the car? I bet my numbers are way better than yours. For example if you own a car for three years and you pay $369 a month plus a down payment of $3,500, then your cost is $5,594. a year to use the car not including fuel and maintenance. If you keep the car for 10 years and it is paid off in five, then the cost is $2,564 . You get the idea.

I am not advocating that everyone drives a big car. Not everyone needs one, but it should be their choice; and no one else's business. When we bought the Ford, we had eight dogs, the smallest of which was 50 pounds. Trips to the vet's office could be complicated, especially if one of the 'girls' was in heat or we had to take everyone in for shots. So we got a vehicle that we could set up kennels in the back and handle all of them. (Yes, we had more than enough room both in the Ford and at home for that many dogs.)

Just think about whether the state should have the right to tell you what to do - what type of car you have to drive. Doesn't that sound like G Orwell's book '1984'? although he missed the year, he did not miss the direction.

Average Car Life at Your House

How Long Do You Keep Your Vehicles?

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Keep It for a Long time

1970 Suburban
1970 Suburban

Guess by now you are getting the picture that I like vehicles that last a long time and are useful during that time. The above picture is of a 1970 suburban - well used. But it is over forty (40) years old. I have seen people that age that look more used than this car.

Better Buy? Perhaps. . .

2011 Ford
2011 Ford

I am trying to make a case for you to think about why you drive what you drive. If all you do is in town driving, then by all means, use public transportation or a tiny car like the Mini Cooper, but if you have a family and like to travel or camp, think about a large SUV. When I talk about a SUV, I am not talking about some of these little things that people pretend that are SUV. I am talking about a vehicle that can pull its own weight and carry more than you want to take home.

Or a big pickup truck. If you are working on your home, You need to be able to pick up an 8x4 piece of plywood or drywall. Really, think about what you will be using your car /truck for. I have gotten out of the Ford at the local opera house in formal wear with no problems.

Big Vehicles Good or Bad

Do You Believe Big Vehicles Are The Way to Go?

Big or Little

Do Not Be Shy - Vote Let Your Voice Be Heard!

What Is Your Opinion - Big or Little - Safe or Sorry - Favorite?

See results


Well, here we are, the Ford is now 21 years old and still going strong. Yes, we have had to affect some repairs but the Ford acts like a relatively new auto - we will probably use it for the new 20 years as well.

Does that mean we will not get a new car - no. We are presently looking at the Lincoln Navigator - the long version of course! We thought about the Mercedes G-Wagon but really, the inside is layout wrong for how we use a car. Great car though.


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