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Question of the Week: What do you drive, and why?

2008 June 16

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Got wheels? There are as many reasons you have a car, truck, or whatever you drive, as there are types of vehicles from which to choose. But there are also trade-offs in your vehicle choice that affect the environment and your wallet.

What do you drive, and why?

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En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

¿Tienes ruedas? Hay muchas razones para escoger su medio de transporte, sea un automóvil, un camión, o lo que usted decida conducir, así como hay una gran variedad de vehículos que puede escoger. Asimismo, se hacen trueques al seleccionar su vehículo que afectan el medio ambiente y su bolsillo.

¿Qué tipo de vehículo conduce y por qué?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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266 Responses leave one →
  1. Patrick permalink
    June 16, 2008

    We have many vehicles including motorcycles; each for a separate mission. Frugality in this case means using the most economical vehicle for the job at hand – the camper is only used for camping, and motorcycles are for commuting to work. What I can’t understand is people who drive a huge gas-sucking SUV everywhere, all the time!

  2. Big Wayne permalink
    June 16, 2008

    ——– a motorcycle has been perfect for fifty years. 1/4 of a parking space, 1/3 of a highway space, 1/2 of highway wear-and-tear; double or treble gas mileage of a car/suv, there’s always a parking space when i get where i’m going – which takes less time since i’m never jammed in traffic-jams . lower initial cost (i can buy one that’s faster’n any car, stronger pound-for-pound, and pollutes less ’cause i’m not stuck idling in traffic… ), i can buy three for the price of one car (four for an suv ). i don’t block anybody’s view as i’m driving down the road . and, i’m personally not contributing to cell-phone pollution . . .

  3. John Wiemhoff permalink
    June 16, 2008

    I drive a Honda Gl 1100 Gold Wind. It is my 2 wheel version of the prius getting over 50 miles to the gallon. Why: someone has to counter the effect of the Hummers out there, which the Bush Administration had earlier given tax incentives to buy/

  4. vdog permalink
    June 16, 2008

    I drive a Chevy Tahoe simply because when Bush was elected he gave tax breaks to vehicles weighing over a certain amount if they were used for work purposes. With gas @ $4.20 in my area and rising, I now know the answer to why a tax break was given.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks George.

  5. June 16, 2008

    I drive a 1988 Toyota 4 wheel drive truck with 246,000 miles on it. I need 4 wheel drive because of our winters and because I live on a two mile long dirt road. In some areas I go, it would be dangerous not to have 4 wheel drive. I am an elected County official and I drive all over my 3,000 sq. mile forested mountain district. Unfortunately, we are a very poor county and we are very poorly paid. I can’t afford a newer vehicle.

    I live in a very rural area and there is no mass transit. The nearest city of 500 people is 20 minutes away. The County seat where I work is 45 minutes away (27 miles.)

  6. Katie permalink
    June 16, 2008

    WOW Elizabeth!
    You rock!!!
    Kudos 8^)

  7. Katie permalink
    June 16, 2008

    I drive a purple Dodge Caravan (minivan) – 1998.
    It had to be purple…
    and I have two young children, so I wanted to have something that would fit the four of us and friends for when we all wanted to go somewhere together.

  8. The Contrarian permalink
    June 16, 2008

    Ram 1500 Pickup with a multiple-displacement Hemi engine. Bought it on Earth Day to combat the little gnats (ie: Yaris’, Fits, Aleros) starting to proliferate on the local roadways. If you’ve ever seen one of those little suckers fall into a pothole in Buffalo, it’s a chuckle when you see them drop in. Plus, when we get pounded with 3 feet of snow when there’s a -20 windchill, I am not going to be the one walking home from a stuck go-cart.

    Bottom line…go with what you can afford and what’s practical. It’s thoughtless to burn excess fuel if unnecessary, but I’m waiting for technology to provide me with something that’ll last as long as a gasoline engine and be less destructive to the environment (Hint: Lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries??? Come ONNN!!)

  9. Devin permalink
    June 16, 2008

    I drive a red Raleigh Retroglide. and I burn about 25 calories per mile. I ride my bike everyday – rain or shine. I even rode it all winter with 2-12 inches of snow on the ground. It was a hoot! The fenders keep me dry and the baskets carry all the groceries I need for a week so only about once a month do I need to run errands with the car.

    on most weekends, I drive a 1995 4Runner. Granted the gas mileage isnt great but it holds my kayaks and camping gear and gets me up into the mountains better than my bike could. Handles passengers better too – since I normally have at least my boyfriend and dog with me and sometimes a friend or two too. And I figure the tank of gas on the weekends is worth it to go paddle great whitewater. Plus I only put about 3000 miles on the car last year so I think I’m doing OK.

  10. Linda permalink
    June 16, 2008

    I drive a 2000 Toyota Sienna. I drive it because it is paid for, gets decent milage pre gallon and I am retired so do not go out more than 2-3 days a week within a 20 mile radius.

  11. tom lara permalink
    June 17, 2008

    personel ride a motorcycle choice of lifestyle

    work a 350 4 wheel drive deisel dually flatbed i pull my equiptment around with this has to be heavy enough to handle the load powerfull enough to pull it

  12. Bonnie permalink
    June 17, 2008

    Now both myself and my husband drive a Toyota Corella. We each have one, we recently traded in a Ford Taurus for a new Corella to gain better gas mileage.
    Why? The Corella is far better on gas, and very dependable.

  13. Chris permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2001 Jeep Cherokee. Gas mileage is semi-pitiful at 16.2 MPG but it does everything I need. Walking or biking to work is not a relaiable option as I drive 25 mi to work one way. Northern Indiana weather is not nice in the winter and changes at will the rest of the year. 4 wheel drive is mandatory for winter and fishing activities. The cherokee does all this, it is build like a tank (I have tested the impace resistance) to protect my kids,and is still a cheap very reliable vehicle that I can honestly pay for and not constantly regret the payments.

  14. GeologyJoe permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I bought a 97 VW golf as a commuter car, travel to job sites and general get around car for $900. I get about 36-37 mpg at about 63mph. The car is in excellent shape and drives well. I drive it about 30,000 miles per year.

    I also have a 97 toyota tacoma I use for work (i’m a geologist) and home tasks (water pumps, soil monitoring, bldg. materials, firewood, landscape materials, dump runs etc.). I have no payment on this so it it pretty cheap to keep around for these chores. I drive it about 6,000 miles per year.

  15. Rose permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I currently drive a 94 Ford Escort because it is paid off and gets fairly good gas mileage (25 mpg). Because of it’s age, I am starting to shop around to test drive the Corolla, Mazda, or Cobalt. I am at the age where comfort must also be considered. I generally drive my cars til they “die”. I live in a rural area where public transportation is less than public and my work is approx. 22 miles one way. I try to combine various stops when I can and don’t leave once home.

  16. Pam permalink
    June 17, 2008

    My car is a Toyota Matrix and gets great gas milage, but I only drive it when I go out of town and in bad weather. My local means of transportation to and from my office is a Yamaha scooter. At 110 miles per gallon, you can’t beat the savings! When I’m not in a hurry I ride my Trek bike. The savings there is even better!

  17. Stephanie permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2004.5 Volvo S40 which is pretty good on gas and is a very safe car. My husband takes his motorcycle to work everyday due to the high gas prices.

  18. Shelby permalink
    June 17, 2008

    A 1995 Honda LX Wagon is my choice of transportation for five years now (I’ve put 100,000 miles on it). It is by far the best vehicle I could own for gas mileage (30mpg), safety, hauling ability and comfortable driving. If you can find one on the internet, buy it! You won’t be disappointed. At 180,000 miles, it will most likely last another four-five years. Living 20 miles from the nearest city makes it an affordable drive into town. My last car was a 1995 Ford Escort (237,000 when I sold it) at 35 mpg and the coldest ac you could ask for. Either car is great for a used vehicle, if you can find one.

  19. Uncle permalink
    June 17, 2008

    When I’m not riding my XL883 Harley Sportster that gets around 50mpg I drive a 2004 Ford Mustang 6cyl stick shift that gets around 24 city and at best about 31 hwy. I’m also figuring out how to make a sticker for the back window of the Mustang that’ll read “less MPH = more MPG”

  20. Runner permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a Honda CRV. I wish there was a hybrid in this class and please do not suggest the Ford Escape as I am suprised you can drive the thing off the lot. I can put the dogs in the cargo area and still have a back seat. It is also necessary for some light construction work that I am responsible for so I can haul lumber, pipe etc. And the gas mileage could be better but in overall analysis it is a great car and inexpensive to operate.

  21. Sylvia permalink
    June 17, 2008

    My car is a 1988 Mazda 323 and I do very little driving these days because I’m afraid of “the other guy” who is texting or cell phoning. However, the MPG on this car is excellent, so a full tank lasts quite a while.

  22. HoustonGirl permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 1985 Volvo with 280,000 miles on it. It gets about 22mpg in the city. Not great gas mileage but it is paid for and my husband can easily work on it so it doesn’t break down and we have mimimal maintenance/repair expenses.

  23. Donald Kennedy permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I have several friends that all have recently purchased a device referred to as the “GAS SAVER”.A 2002 Toyota Van with 100,000 miles, a 1990 Buick with 28,000 miles, a 2003 Saturn SUV with 53,000and all haveimprovements in MPG since installing this device. This device uses Platinum injected into the fuel system which causes burning of gas which ordinarily would not burn. Hooray to all free thinking americans who are not afraid of doing something different. For those of you willing to learn how to improve on MPG I would recommend two things. # 1would be to install this GAS SAVER DEVICE and # 2 would be to improve your driving habits such as drive at 35mphwhere 45 is called for and when on a trip cut it down to 60-65 instead of 70-75 on open road.

  24. John permalink
    June 17, 2008

    My current Fleet consists of: 1989 Ford F-150 4×4 long bed extended cab (~12 MPG), 2001 Dodge Caravan (~19-22MPG), 2002 Mazda Miata (~28-33MPG). Use the Ford when need to haul big or heavy stuff, use the van when need to haul bunch of people (car pool to dinner, vacations, etc.), use the Miata for errands, weekend trips for two, and fun. My wife also drives the van to/from work 1.2 miles each way so mileage really does not matter. I ride the bus to and from work. Why these vehicles? They were all relatively cheap to buy, in my experience all reliable (when properly mantained), insurance costs are also relatively low, all are old and near worthless (low property taxes), and they generally cover the range of what we need to get done from a personal transportation perspective. Global warmimg CAUSES CO2 concentrations to increase, NOT the other way around!

  25. Gerald Primm permalink
    June 17, 2008

    My wife and I do most of our driving in a 2004 Toyota Sienna van. I also have a 1997 Toyota Camry 4-cylinder which I do quite a bit of local driving in. The Camry (my 4th) gets around 31 mpg overall. We are both senior citizens and have some back deterioration, so the Sienna is much easier on our backs when we travel. We live in a rural small town and must drive 26 miles to our doctors, dentist, grocery shopping, etc. We also take some vacation trips in our van, which gives us the room we need to carry all of the things we need on a trip. The van has also allowed us to do explorations while we’re on vacation trips, such as driving (on rough trails) to remote Indian ruins, etc., and to visit many more sites than we could see if we just flew to the center of an area. We’ve cut back on those somewhat since gasoline has risen so high in price, and also because of our concern over both long term energy problems and the environment. We also have five children, plus grandchildren who live anywhere from 30 to 170 miles from us. We like to visit our children at least a couple of times a year, and the closer ones more often. The Sienna van not only carries the things we need with us when we travel, but also gives us space to haul Christmas presents, birthday gifts, etc., and for both us and one of our children’s families in the same vehicle if we go out to eat or some such while we’re visiting them. The Sienna gets overall gas mileage of 23 mpg and highway mileage of 26 to 27 mpg, depending on speed traveled. Finally, I am a cancer survivor and have to travel 511 miles to the cancer center in Houston, Texas two to three times a year. My wife normally accompanies me and
    we drive in the van. That gives us transportation when we get there, more flexibility, helps in making appointment times, plus we sometimes stop on the return and visit long time friends in Texas. We tend to drive a lot. If there were viable forms of public transport in our area, e.g., light rail, bus service, by means of which we could get to shopping, doctors, dentists, etc., we would use it, but unfortunately we live in a rural area where there is no public transportation of any kind. For future vacation trips, we’re considering flying to urban areas, then renting an economy car to drive out to more rural areas, e.g., the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I’m sure our carbon footprint is bad, but the largest amount of it is due to the fact there are no alternatives where we live.

  26. Phil permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I have a 2001 Sunfire GT and a 2005 Mazda Tribute. One is for most commuting and the other is to tote the kid and groceries. Our proximity to work from home means we don’t feel the gas price crunch like some do. Las Vegas isn’t known for it’s public transportation.
    I even celebrated Carbon Belch Day on the 12th by driving a big fat Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer between Green Bay and Wisconsin on a business trip. It felt good to let loose!

  27. Chris permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2003 Saturn L300 V-6. I get 22mpg city and 30 highway. I bought the car due to a combination of zero percent financing, ample passenger and trunk space, and decent gas mileage. I drive 8 miles one-way to work in Western New York. Due to my current work location public transportation is unavailable. I will run the car until it perishes as it is paid for next month. It has 75000 miles on it and hasn’t given me one problem. I’m hoping for another 10 years.

  28. SUV Family permalink
    June 17, 2008

    We have two full size SUVs – An Armada and a Jeep Commander. I have big cars to protect my family in an accident. I don’t care what gas costs, safety of my family is paramount.

  29. PopDaddy permalink
    June 17, 2008

    2008 Honda Civic. The obvious reason is the great gas mileage. I’m averaging 30.5 mpg in normal everyday driving in town since I bought the car last month.

  30. Bikeguy permalink
    June 17, 2008

    Kfio: I’d encourage you to contact some of your local bicycle organizations to learn more about bike commuting. Heck, even talking to folks at the local bick shop will give you a lot of info on riding. Your commute is a bit shorter than mine (and I love my commute!) and it took me a couple of years to get the hang of it: find my favorite routes (I now seek out the hills cause they usually have less car traffic), figure out what I need to clean up at work, how to bring extra clothes on non-biking days. You also want to make accomodations for when you won’t be able to bike home (due to a flat tire, nasty weather). Having a back-up plan really helps. Good luck!!

  31. Mario permalink
    June 17, 2008

    Gosh, at the beginning of this year I traded my 1997 BMW 740i V-8, 4.4L, fully paid-for and a heck of a nice ride, because it was starting to cost me more to drive it based on the ridiculous gas prices added to the periodic and unexpected maintenance for it (every trip to the dealer, or any mechanic shop, for any little thing was always well over over $500 and it seemed as if everything was starting to go bad with it just from regular use. Geez, the oil pump was about to go kaputt and BMW quoted me about $2,000 between parts and labor. I said forget it. With these luxury cars one almost has to budget like $200 per month to prepare for any “eventualities” down the road, once you exhaust the factory & extended warranties, which was my case. In other words, it is not the initial purchasing cost but the maintenance upkeep that gets you). I got a 2008 Mazda CX-7 (four cylinders plus Turbo) crossover. I wasn’t too impressed with the gas on this one at the beginning (17 mpg) but with time it has improved to 21-22 mpg. I’m 6′-3″ so needed enough leg room on the driver seat. It is a great looking CUV too.

    Then, the same week, I traded my wife’s 2002 Dodge Durango SLT+ (V-8, part-time 4×4), also fully paid-for (yikes, that hurt too, it was a great truck and I could fit my entire drumset in it for gigs and rehearsals, plus the older version of the Durango has a great looking bodystyle), because it never gave us more than 13 mpg, no good. I got her a 2008 Mazda CX-9 (6-cylinders) crossover, smooth ride, and can also fit the entire family with sports’ gear and such for the weekend tournaments. This one is giving me about 18 mpg, not much of a greener vehicle but definitely an improvement over the “Dwango”.

    I also have a 2007 Mazda6 that my oldest kid drives, a safe and reliable, somewhat fuel efficient car (getting about 25 mpg) going to and from school (3 miles away). I guess I have become a Mazda aficionado, and I also get good discounts with Mazda through my employer (as an employee benefit). I like their cars, but their fuel efficiency needs to be continuously improved.

    Now I’m thinking of a motorcycle for the future but am somewhat afraid of them (or rather, what others can do to you out there on the road).

    I do miss the Bimmer and the Dwango, but not the cost of operating those two, unfortunately.

  32. andrew permalink
    June 17, 2008

    You’re an idiot. If anything the “greeny’s” as you call them are reducing the price of gas by not driving as much. It’s people who are still driving away that are increasing the demand for fuel and hence prices.

  33. Ryan permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I walk/jog and ride my bike everywhere around my small town. When I must, I’M SURE TO FIND SOMEONE TO CARPOOL WITH, but I never drive. I’ve never owned a car.
    Public Transit is not an option. But I will definitely consider the Hybrid when the price is dropped about $5,000 in the next couple years.

    Help the environment and Spread the Word! Stop global Warming!

    If we lall get involved by turning lights off and other simple tasks, we can reduce our emissions so much that they will actually be reduced and brought back down to our 1970′s level and maybe the 50′s level. Just WOrk Hard. Please visit http://www.blackle.com and set that as your homepage. it’s an alternate google counterpart that is more enrgy efficient because it uses only 56 watts I(compared to google, 79 watts) to light up because it’s formatted in a darker screen. All the little emissions add up.

    Stay strong in the fight,

    and please visit:

    http://www.blackle.com

    http://www.blackle.com/tips

    FOR MORE

    EPA ROCKS

  34. Nancy permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2005 Chevy Cobalt. However, I’m considering a Toyota or Nissan. What’s your recommendation? Thank you.

  35. Lisa Levy permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 1992 Chrysler Grand Marquis because it is affordable, the gas mileage isn’t great, but the monthly investment is minimal and my ROI is great! Even if I spent 200 per month on fixing it up (Which is not the case) I would be getting a better return on my investment of 300 dollars then if I bought a new vehicle. At this rate if it lasts more then 2 months (It’s been 5 so far) my return on spending is very high, as long as I keep driving it around town and not very far away. It also gets 30 miles to the gallon, and is leak free with great AC; I can only pray to find aother gem like this!

  36. Kathleen permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2005 Honda Civic mainly because the gas mileage is wonderful. The gas mileage averages 34 mpg around town and 38 – 40 on the highway.

  37. Rachel permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a F-150 pickup but I also hypermile and get around 21 mpg. I drive that because my husband drives twice as far as I do, so he takes our little Escort which gets 30-35 mpg. He just bought a motorcycle, though, so he’ll get 80 mpg, and I’ll soon drive the Escort.

  38. Bob permalink
    June 17, 2008

    When I drive, I drive a 93 Geo Storm. Its tiny and gets maybe 30 mpg. I feel like it should get even better mileage, but I guess its just old. Most of the time, I just ride my bike. I can get around DC faster on my bike than in my car. Cars are fat and sassy.

  39. Erin permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I do not currently drive a car. I ride my bike, walk, run, take the bus and carpool. I do this for the exercise, enjoyment, savings, politics, and smart resource use. I am able to do this because I am an able bodied 23 year old without children. As someone who has lived in relatively rural areas and has been utilizing these methods over the last 7 years when I could have been driving, I can certainly say that this country’s non-single-person-car infrastructure is vastly insufficient. In a few months I will be forced to finally purchase a car due to work, which is really disapointing to me. I will be driving a Subaru Legacy because it is dependable on Alaskan roads and my friend is selling it to me for a steal. My goal is to use this vehicle only at last resort, and mostly continue my healthy transportation methods.

  40. Jessica permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I drive a 2003 Toyota 4-Runner. I drive it because my lifestyle warrants it. I regularly drive over mountain passes in the winter to snowboard, frequently drive old logging roads to hike or bike and travel (drive) to visit firends and family in other locations. When I drive to see them I often bring lots of sporting equipment so that I can do some of those activities along the way. Honestly, flying isn’t always cheaper and I can travel by my own itinerary and have a car to drive when I get there instead of renting or counting on others to shuttle me around. Yes, gas is getting really expensive but I get decent gas mileage for an SUV. With mixed driving consditions I get almost 20 MPG.

    As a side note, I live within 10 miles of work. Half of the year I am only working (commuting) 4 days per week. When it is nice out I try and commute on bike. Unfortunatly the transit system in my location is convoluted and does not make travel by bus reasonable (my time is worth money too). I try to “increase my gas mileage” by taking alternative modes of transportation when I can. Personally, I think in the long run it can sometimes be more environmentally friendly that way. Sure, someone may own a car that gets better gas mileage but if that means they “take advantage of that” by driving twice as much as I do then they are not really being environmenatally friendly.

  41. June 17, 2008

    I drive a 1997 Saturn SW2 that has 168,000 miles on it and gets 31 MPG highway. I work 20 miles from home. I considered getting a motorcycle for summer but really wouldn’t feel safe driving Baltimore highways with it. We also own a 2001 Astro Van which only gets about 15 mpg and my partner drives it daily to work, also 20 miles each way. We are looking for a used small vehicle to take the place of the Astro for weekday commutes. We will keep the Astro though because we need the hauling capacity every weekend, it’s paid for and who’s gonna buy one of them right now anyway!

  42. June 17, 2008

    That’s those Saturns! Can’t beat ‘em.

  43. Bonnie Aylor permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I currently drive a Mercury Villager Van. The van uses 19 mpg in the city and about 27 mpg on the highway. I had a different vehicle before buying the van that I still own, but that needs a new clutch, a new air sensor, a new air conditioner, a new odometer, and a new speedometer and has 164+ miles on it, therefor I have a sneaking sensation that it will be needing a lot more then that once I get those things fixed. That van used 30 mpg city and probably about 36 to 40 mpg highway, it was a Mitsubishi Expo LRV, 1993. I was actually quite fond of the vehicle, and that is why I have not yet let it go.

    I need the van becuase I have a child, myself, two full sized dogs that I breed, and currently 8 puppies to tote around. My daughter also likes to have room for friends on our adventures, and I was able to move a whole apartment in that van. We also like to carry around large rafts and kayaks on/in the van and they were larger than the Expo but fit nicely on top of this van.

    When I was looking for a new vehicle I was looking for something with a lot of highway miles but all that I could find on the used market were vehicles that had average mileage on them. That pertains anything I could just buy ash rather than having to finance. I was not looking to finance a vehicle becuase the behaviors of the workers at the then current job that I held possessed characteristics that made me feel unstable about that work, the company did not produce raises as promised and increasingly found ways to make it more expensive for me to go to work or keep my insurance with the company. Financing was not an alternative. Anything other than the vans, extended cab trucks, and SUVs that I could find consisted of small cars and one seat jeeps. Small cars are nice but not practical for my uses. Jeeps would not have worked becuase I still would not have had enough room for all that I need to transport in them.

    However, once I get enough money saved up I do plan to purchase a motorcycle which uses hardly any gas, like 75mpg-90mpg.

    I am finding that policies geared towards effecting a consumers wallet, buying power, or income potential are not efficient in combating environmental degradation unless those policies are only used for fines or INCENTIVE programs. The way current policies are set up, it becomes extremely difficult for the average citizen or the impoverished citizen to make sound environmental choices. Programs should be set in place to make it easier for them to act environmentally. Once citizens see that environmentalism isn’t going to create a damper in their income or lower their standard of living, they will be more adapt to supporting environmental legislations and more environmental minded political candidate.

    Thanks.

    Best regards,
    -Bonnie Aylor

  44. June 17, 2008

    I wonder why this poster blame’s ‘greeny’s’ — I assume you meant ‘greenies’ — for the cost of fuel.

    The factors that are well established for the current cost of fuel are (in no specific order):

    a) Instability in Middle East due to the war of choice in Iraq and other conflicts/political issues

    b) Increased demand due to developing nations/economies such as China/India

    c) Speculation on oil futures

    d) Lack of oil refining capacity/or lack of expansion of capacity

    e) Impact of Katrina on Gulf Coast

    f) Increased use/reliance on fuel for other production needs (farming, plastics, etc.) for growing market

    Just curious, where do environmentalists play into this?

  45. June 17, 2008

    I drive a Honda Civic Hybrid, it is almost 5 years old now and was actually a lease buy-out from my husband’s company when they offered it as a fleet car for remote staff.

    Seems more companies and even public agencies (state/fed and local) could be affecting broad demand by purchasing either higher fuel-efficiency vehicles for leasing programs or even alternative fuel vehicles to create demand for electric and/or hydrogen fuel-cell technologies.

  46. JJAX permalink
    June 17, 2008

    My husband and I bike to work and then share a 1993 Subaru Impreza sedan for weekend trips. It has about 165,000 miles and is running great. We only drive on the weekends for long trips, and once every couple weeks for a grocery run. We often think about what will be our next car, but because we go to the mountains for skiing and whitewater, 4WD or AWD is almost a must. It seems that there aren’t very good options out there with better than 25 mpg. The newer Subarus actually get worse mileage than earlier models which were on lighter chassis. What a shame!

  47. Nia permalink
    June 17, 2008

    We drive a 1973 BMW 2002 series. It gets about 30 miles to the gallon and we take public transport and I bike to work. We haven’t bought gas in five months! When we do (family vacation is looming and is about 50 miles away one way and we’ll need more then) I’m sure it will be a shock. Happy not to be driving and happy to be living in a place that it’s not required.

  48. John V. H. permalink
    June 17, 2008

    I am currently driving an older Saturn 4 door). To be honest, not my cup O’ tea but despite it’s age AND mileage, runs very good and IS indeed running clean with surprisingly good gas mileage. Satisfied there BUT for single bachelor and also any real work involving outdoors, is not pulling it’s weight. I am very resourceful and make due but feel VERY gipped at pump and of course with options on what I can drive despite being – as always – environmentally aware and concerned. I realize the importance of our environment, I love my country first and foremost and the good mother Earth. I feel the pump is asking too much by far at this time for U.S. Citizens and WE are very environmentally concerned as a collective nation already and always growing positively in this direction. FLORIDA is fabulous environmentally as well as California so especially applaud as we all conserve and make efforts in many areas. XOXO J.V. Hefner

  49. 2000 Chev Blazer permalink
    June 17, 2008

    V 6 4X4 and love it even the poor milage

  50. 2004 Saturn Ion permalink
    June 17, 2008

    Best car I have ever owned and the lady loves it. The suicide back doors and the rear folding seats are great.

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