Source: Microsoft CarPoint.
Sport Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, are a disturbing trend in terms
of social preferences for private transportation and have accounted
for about 50% of all car sales in the United States in recent years.
Although marketed as vehicles to be used off road in rural areas, SUVs
are mainly used in urban areas, notably suburbs. Their popularity is
linked to the sense of comfort and security they provide for their drivers,
even if a SUV is more likely to kill the passengers of another vehicle
when involved in an accident. The major drawback is that SUVs are among
the most energy inefficient vehicles around. This particular model,
the Range Rover 4.6, consumes 1 gallon for every 12 miles traveled in
urban areas and 1 gallon for every 15 miles traveled on the highway,
making it one of the most energy inefficient road vehicle in the world,
but one of the most profitable for car manufacturers. Paradoxically,
Range Rovers are among the most popular SUVs on the market. SUVs can
be perceived as the epiphany of waste and inefficiency, a perfect symbol
of consumerism. Although SUVs were an attractive choice in a context
of low energy prices, the surge in oil prices that took place after
2004, have made this vehicle much less attractive. In 2005, SUVs sales
in the United States started to decline and by 2008 they were plummeting.