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This is from The Boston Globe today. Do any of you think the price of gas will influence whether or not you keep your SUV or not?

After paying $75 to fill his black Dodge Ram pickup truck for the third time in a week, Douglas Chrystall couldn't take it anymore.

Graphic Breaking the gas habit
more stories like thisFeeling pinched at the pump, and guilty as well, Chrystall, a 39-year-old father from Wellesley, is putting ads online to sell the truck, and the family's other gas-guzzler, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. He knows it will be tough to unload them because he is one of a growing number of consumers downsizing to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.

Americans are turning away from the boxy, four-wheel-drive vehicles that have for years dominated the nation's highways. Sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks - symbols of Americans' obsession with horsepower, size, and status - are falling out of favor as consumers rich and poor encounter sticker shock at the pump, paying upward of $80 to fill gas tanks.

The sale of new SUVs and pickup trucks has dropped precipitously in recent months amid soaring gas prices and a weakening economy: SUV sales for the month of April alone fell 32.3 percent from a year earlier and small car sales rose 18.6 percent. This fundamental shift comes against a backdrop of relentless gas increases, and growing concerns over the environment and US oil consumption, according to auto analysts and car dealers.

"The SUV craze was a bubble and now it is bursting," said George Hoffer, an economics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University whose research focuses on the automotive industry. "It's an irrational vehicle. It'll never come back."

With stocks of unwanted new SUVs and pickups piling up at dealerships across the country, automakers are offering unprecedented promotions. Incentives for large SUVs, including cash rebates, topped $4,000 in March, or more than double those offered in March 2002, according to Edmunds.com, which monitors the motor industry.

At the same time, consumers like Chrystall are flooding the market with used SUVs, trying to trade in hulking Hummers for compact Corollas, and getting thousands of dollars less than they would have just a few months ago. In April, the average used SUV took more than 66 days to sell, at a 20 percent discount from vehicle valuation books, such as Kelley Blue Book, compared to 48 days and a 7.8 percent discount a year earlier, reported CNW Marketing Research, an automotive marketing research company.

Some desperate car dealers and consumers, are willing to lose thousands of dollars just to get rid of their SUVs. Last July, 20-year-old Sannan Nizami, of Lowell, bought a 2007 Toyota 4Runner SUV for $32,000 when it cost about $65 to fill the tank. Six months later, as a gallon of gas soared to $3.50 and more, and tank refills climbed over $80, Nizami put the vehicle up for sale. He posted it online for $27,000 but received no responses for months.

Frustrated and unable to afford prices at the pump, Nizami last month turned over the Toyota to a dealer who only sells vehicles from private owners. Nizami is still paying the $450 loan but now is bumming rides to work with a cousin and worrying about making enough from the sale to cover the car loan.

"I didn't think gas would shoot up this much. I'm willing to take a hit just to take the pressure off," Nizami said. "I'll probably get a really cheap Camry or Corolla. Something that gets more than 18 miles to the gallon."

The slowdown in the home construction industry has also lowered demand for used SUVs and full-size pickup trucks. Meanwhile, midsize and small domestic 4-cylinder vehicles have fetched higher used prices during this period of high gasoline prices, according to Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association. For example, wholesale prices of used small cars increased from $8,480 to $9,240 between December and March as gas prices rose from $2.98 to $3.22 per gallon.

The growing popularity of crossover vehicles, which offer SUV features on a car platform, is putting a dent in SUV sales and reshaping the focus of the auto industry toward the more fuel-efficient crossovers. In March, twice as many crossovers were sold compared to SUVs, according to the auto dealers association.

Herb Chambers, who owns more than 40 dealerships across Massachusetts and Rhode Island, said the incentives offered on new SUVs are pushing down the value of the used vehicles, and increasingly, he is taking a loss on SUV trade-ins at his various dealerships, which include everything from Chevrolet to Jeep to Mini.

"The incentives have never been higher than they are today for the large SUVs and small pickup trucks," Chambers said. "I don't know how factories can make any money for these cars."

At his Mini dealership, Chambers said people have been turning in Chevrolet Suburbans for the tiny British car in recent weeks. He currently has a one-year waiting list for the coveted Smart Car, an 8-foot-8-inch vehicle that gets more than 40 miles per gallon.

"Having SUVs as an everyday commuter car is largely going away," Chambers said.

Jon McHugh, of Swampscott, is celebrating the last payment on his 2003 Acura MDX by putting the SUV up for sale. He had expected to drive it a year longer, but rising gas prices and growing economic uncertainty made him reconsider. Plus, McHugh recently reacquired a taste for the convenience of a smaller car. Whenever possible, he drives his wife's new Civic Hybrid, which costs half as much as the Acura to gas up.

"I don't need this much space," McHugh said of his SUV. "It just seems ridiculous."
 

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I don't think it will kill the SUV. Like everything else, it will evolve. Anyone over 40 probably remember the oil problems of the 70's. When the "American Land Yachts" went on a "diet"...Well, it took awhile, but we we got was better more fuel efficiant vehicles. There will always be the need for spacious multi-function vehicles. The station wagon became the mini-van to the SUV. So what's next? :shrug:
 

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Being that our Escape is a hybrid I'm not inclined to get rid of it. We are, however, going to rethink our driving habits. For the time being my wife will drive my truck. A tank of gas will last her her 2-2 1/2 weeks, where it barely gets me through one week. I'm going to drive the Escape for while, which should get me almost two weeks of driving between fill ups. My wife only filled up once every 5 weeks when she drove the Escape.
 

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I'm kinda lucky in that I work from home most of the time, and my office is only three miles away if I need to go there. Also, I lease, so no matter what I'm driving, it goes back, and I don't need to worry about whether or not the market is right to sell it.

I'm thinking of the Escape Hybrid (and a Fusion Hybrid?) next time for sure, although if Ford brings the Kuga here, I'd be very interested in that.
 

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Ain't nothing making me get rid of my Mariner! :heart:

Except a Mariner hybrid. ;)
 

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My Escape is not going anywhere. I actually downsized from a minivan and my Escape mileage is much better. Hubby drives a Dodge Ram Quad cab but luckily works only 7 miles from home. When they send him out of town, the company pays per diem. Evenings and weekends we are cruising in the Escape.
 

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Dasha said:
Ain't nothing making me get rid of my Mariner! :heart:

Except a Mariner hybrid. ;)
That's kinda what I was thinking (just replace Mariner with Escape) :)
 

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Some will dump the big SUV (Slow Ugly Vehicles) in favor of the smaller more fuel efficent vehicles, some are stuck with them because they are so upside down in the value, and still some other will keep them as a status symbol. We have a lot of what I call soccer moms that ferry little johnie/janie to the grade/high school here in a small town because the other moms see how well off they are. Funny thing is they park them in front of the single wide when they get back home.

As a nation we need to become more fuel efficent, we need to combine trips, arrange trips for multiple purposes, and just plain cut down on trips. I have parked the big truck at least two monthes ago and have become even more cautious in "to town trips" to reduce our fuel usage. In fact I am considering quiting work so I can do away with that commute (5.2 miles each way) and go on unemployment and welfare until I can make it another year and start drawing my social check. After all if Nancy Pelosi gets her way that would be a very cushy deal.

PUTT :D :D :D
 

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There's a difference though, in the 70's we thought there was a shortage of oil. Now we are smart enough to know that there's no shortage, it's the cost of oil. My feeling is that if you can afford the gas for a giant SUV then go for it. If you can't then you have to do something to reduce your consumption. Personally I rarely have to travel more then 5-10 miles to do what I need to, but two years ago when my commute was 100 miles a day. I moved 50 miles closer to my work and traded my Jeep Grand Hog for the Trib.
 

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I think after owning my first SUV, I will always have them. However, this is our only vehicle and will be getting a toyota corolla in the next few weeks. I've already got it all planned, and we'll be taking the corolla to commute to and from work (9km each way & we travel together). I think we'll use the Escape to go up to the cottage and haul stuff, and as a second vehicle. The 'rola will be our main vehicle from now on. It's not that I cant afford the gas in the truck, but why not use a more fuel efficient vehicle to commute and save a few pennies? Makes sense to me!
 

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One of my neighbor's just switch from a 2004 Toyota Sequoia to a 2008 Ford Escape, I don't blame him, on Christmas he was complaining about the bad gas millage he was getting, and couple of months ago, I took him with me to San Juan (about 85miles) from where I live, (I live in the south) and he was well impressed with the ride, and AMAZED with the gas millage! So, 2 months later, he just got his brand new Scape!

PS: (Now I am jealous he's got a newer Scape) J/K, I'm in love with my 2005!!!
 

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Over here, we I'm now paying £1.10 per litre for unleaded ( Approx $2.00), thank God I don't have a V6.
Petrol is increasing, on average, £0.04 per week here.
Plus it now costs me £210 a year for road tax, and £450 a year for insurance.
At least I only live about 5 miles from where I work, otherwise I could be looking at downsizing.. :(
But, I'm toying with the idea of replacing the Maverick with a Doublecab pickup truck, a Ford Ranger or a Nissan Navara would be nice, or even a Landrover 110 Doublecab (Tomb Raider edition), but, we'll see :shrug:
 

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Have no intention of replacing the four cylinder escape. It has good economy. This mileage is improved by adjusting driving habits. Had enough of offroading for the time being.

Sth. australia has not received a sufficient downpour of rain, to make exploring a challenge. At the moment in my spare time, have been going for long distance cruising along the sealed highways. Basically something like a day trip, but it is partaken of on friday and saturday evenings. The fuel tank is topped up. Our state limit on highways averages on 110Kms per hour.

I find my best economy is achieved at 100 Kilometres per hour. The cruise control is set , so that my needle feathers exactly on the 100 digit. On a full tank i have to drive a considerable distance, before the gauge needle even moves. For example have driven for a long way, and the needle drops about a whisker down from full.

Mostly enjoy travelling distances averaging something on 550 0r 570 kilometres. Hi Lathan! I think you mentioned about visiting my state in the past. My recent trip was to ' Renmark'. Departing location was mt. lofty ranges. I proceeded along the coorong to ' Keith' and 'Bordertown'. From bordertown the next destination was 'Pinaroo'. From Pinaroo it was an effortless cruise to ' Loxton'. :) :play: At Loxton i changed plans and drove to 'Berri'. After ' Berri' my final pit stop was 'Renmark'. Yes i took notice of the road sign indicating ' Mildura'.

:lol: Contemplated going over the border to Victoria. Give Adamjan1 or Fitzy a nice surprise. To anyone overseas ' Mildura' is in the state of Victoria. Anyway changed my mind for fuel reasons. Calculated my treasury to make sure sufficient funds were available, in context of travelling petrol for driving back to adelaide. Haven't been to renmark for twenty years. Everything has been redeveloped. I went home via 'Berri' to ' Barmera' ' Waikerie' 'Blanchetown' ' Barossa Valley' and into the 'Onkaparinga Valley'. :)

It is not as though they are long trips. I have not ventured to the isolated desert regions. My friends look surprised when they submit enquiries. :shock: You have been where? :shock: :lol: :D :hyst: I haven't been far. Just a wee little excursion around the state. Not a long way but just a bit of a drive. Their response is to the effect of " Yeah sure! Only a bit. Just a bit and plus all the rest" ;)
 

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I think the ridiculous gas prices, it will just make people think more. I have a friend who stopped at the Toyota dealer and "fell in love" with a blue Tundra Quad Cab, 381 hp V8. She had no need for it (single mom with one child, no boat or ATVs etc) and still likes it but the gas mileage is terrible. Now is stuck with it due to negative equity. She can afford it, but its getting worse with these prices.

I say, if you need something big, get it. If you can afford it, then get it. But people don't think again, and that's what gets them in the end...
 

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I drove 4 different Sedan all my life , I always wanted a SUV couldn't afford a new one so I went for a use Escape and I love it. Escape is not too big and not too small it is perfect for me. Even though the gas price is high ($3.85) I will not get rid of it anytime soon. If I do sell it, it will take the money and go buy a Escape Hybrid.
 
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