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All hail the SUV

Hail to the Road Hogs -- those gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs that greenies so love to hate. I don't own one, but after having lived through the D.C. Blizzard of 2010, I wish I did.

I drive a station wagon (sexy, I know) with all-wheel drive. But my car is not high enough to clear the frozen lumps of snow that still stubbornly inhabit many of the District's streets like hibernating Ice Age creatures. And the Metro stop nearest my house is an above-ground station that has been shuttered for the better part of the past four days. (Question for Metro: What good is public transportation if it's unusable when most needed?)

I had little choice but to work from home Tuesday and Wednesday when the weather pattern now known as Snowmaggedon bore down on the city. No choice, that is, until a colleague and her husband came to the rescue.

I don't know what make or year it was. I don't know if it was a domestic model or an import. I'm not sure whether technically it was a truck or an SUV or whether it was gold or beige or some other color altogether. But this morning it was the most beautiful vehicle I'd ever seen: big, broad, sturdy and roaring and raring to go, as was my trusty chauffeur, a native New Yorker who laughed -- no, guffawed -- in the face of passing snowdrifts. (He also randomly and routinely orders expensive cookware for his wife, an accomplished cook. If he did the cooking himself, I'd say he would be a shoo-in for "The Perfect Man.")

I hope not to be in the market for a new car any time soon, but when I am, I'm going to remember the past few days. My sons may yet convince (i.e., nag) me into buying that adorable little car that is fuel efficient and environmentally friendly, but their odds of succeeding just got a hell of a lot slimmer.

By Eva Rodriguez  | February 11, 2010; 2:26 PM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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Comments

What a foolish article.

How often does DC get blizzards like this? I saw plenty of SUV's sliding around as much as I did in my sub-compact, not to mention that they drove hubristically and nearly killed themselves a number of ways.

A better solution is to pressure the local government to improve snow removal in the area, rather than to purchase an SUV for these once in a blue moon blizzards.

Posted by: kiehlchristie | February 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is the dumbest thing I've read in a while. What is happening to the Washington Post?

Posted by: supersmax | February 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Love my, love my SUV!
Love my, love my SUV!
Love my, love my SUV!
Lllloooooovvvveeee my SUV!!

Love it for many reasons: can haul an entire dorm room up the mountain to FSU; can carry 4 golf bags, wheeled carriers, balls and shoes with space to stop at the grocery store on the way back; can carry wheelchair, special chair, table and all of my mom's craft show detrius with space; can carry three adult sized bikes (!); hauled my husband to work at postal HQ and back on Tuesday night; and so many more marvelous things. Not just for the occassional winter unhappiness; buy one if you need one! Love my SUV!

Posted by: merzydoats | February 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree. This is a dumb article or its satirical. I have seen more SUV's stuck in snow than anything else. The problems is the people who buy them think they can drive anywhere at any time. They are top heavy and flip in high winds and uncontrollable. Terrible vehicles.
Also how ofter does DC get this much snow - never before !!!! The authors all wheel drive station wagon is a better bet in spite of the snow mounds as its easier to control. Best bet get a 1961 VW Bug. !!! Goes anywhere.

Posted by: hmrc1 | February 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

The worst driving I've seen during the past week has been SUV drivers. People think that high clearance and 4 wheel drive=automatic ability to drive in snow. Guess what? You still need to leave extra braking room, not oversteer in a skid, and remember that you can brake or you can turn, but doing both at the same time isn't a great idea.

As we drove down a packed-snow covered Little River Turnpike on Monday in our 2002 Prius, it was an SUV driver who grossly oversteered during a low speed skid and made a 90 degree right turn in front of us, crossing 3 lanes to end up in a snow bank. The Prius didn't even skid as I braked to avoid T-boning the monstrosity.

For the curious, hybrids are typically heavier than non-hybrid cars their size, which gives them better traction. That being said, my 1991 Celica was the most snow/ice stable car I've ever driven.

Posted by: SolontheGreat | February 11, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

There go the liberals, blaming the SUV for the sins of those that drive them.

A competent driver in an SUV can get around in a snowy street better than a competent driver in a clown car like a Prius. No one has bothered to debate that point here so far.

Posted by: JoeSchmoe06 | February 11, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

For folks that really want an SUV during a snowstorm, renting one is an option. Even if it does cost several hundred dollars it's still cheaper than buying and owning one.

Posted by: paul5301 | February 11, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

People who sold their SUVs at deep discounts and bought Prius' at premium prices at the height of the global warming hysteria did worse on their car investments than most people did on their 401k investments. These people probably threw out their computers just before Y2K so they wouldn't blow up and sold all their investments in March 2009 just before the market turned the corner. Group-think often gets us in trouble.

Posted by: jfv123 | February 11, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

It amazes me to see the self destructive morons who lampoon things to be phony (sorry, I meant "funny"). Simple strategy, be PREPARED for the storm. Expect to be shuttered in. Why buy a gas guzzler that merely contributes to depletion and price increases of valuable finite resources? I have a used Jeep. And I use it rarely as I have a much more fun/economical vehicle. I also have space available to store it w/o fear of it getting smashed by other cars or irate neighbors. This was a silly post. And the smartass comments even sillier....

Posted by: dasboatless | February 11, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

You're right - the three to five days per year you'll need to drive on snowy streets will competey make up for the amount of gas you will pay for as well as all the carbon monoxide your selfish utility vehicle will spew out. Post here next year and tell us how dumb this decision was...

Posted by: TurdFergusonJeopardy | February 11, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Some comments focus on how few times a year one really, really, needs an SUV.

Except for every time it rains (better traction and control), every time it snows, and every time you may need to be protected from some idiot who rams into you because they don't know how to drive on snow in their oh-so-cute econobox.

SUVs not as economical as econoboxes? Yep, but the U stands for "utility." As in, that which is useful.

Americans should be able to drive what they can afford. And choose those features that are important to them individually. Not be shamed or coerced into buying something that makes global warmists feel good.

Here's the deal: I'll consider giving up my SUV when Al Gore and the many other celebrity global warmists take public transportation or drive an econobox, not the private jets and limos that seem to be standard issue.

Posted by: Jack43 | February 11, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Plus, we have plenty of fuel for it,
from our perpetual wars!

Carry on.

Folks in glass empires shouldn't fly drones.

Posted by: Major_Variola_ret | February 11, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

I have bad news for you. Its not the vehicle, it is the driver. If you have an all wheel drive vehicle and can't handle driving, an SUV isn't going to help you. You'll just be another yuppie stuck in a ditch.

Posted by: jimotto | February 11, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

So what's wrong with staying home until the roads are clear and safe? Cabin fever in less than 24 hours? That doesn't say anything good about our society.

Posted by: ccs53 | February 11, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, great. We have the first significant snowstorm we've had in 7 years, so the SUV people got to have fun for a day or two.

That is, if they didn't ram into a snowbank, crashed into someone else because they were driving too fast and slid on ice(nothing an SUV has will stop that) or blindsided someone because they were driving with 10 inches of snow on their rooftop and their headlights off.

If you can work from home (and you did) why the heck did you NEED to go out to work anyway? Is your neighbor a doctor or a cop or a utility worker who had to go to work?

Somehow I doubt it. And I doubt if most of the other SUV drivers are anything but status seekers, not people who do essential work in an emergency.

Their SUVs sat in their garages or their driveways gathering snow while they were holed up in their houses with their overstocks of bread,milk and toilet paper.

Posted by: librarylady61 | February 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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