Source: Microsoft CarPoint.
Sport Utility Vehicle
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.