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Death of the body-on-frame SUV?



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    the problem with most Americans...

    I think that is an unfair generalization and isn't particularly cogent in making your case. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Maybe...but Americans are known to value individual freedom above all else.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Posts: 105
    Regardless... I for one will do everything in my power to keep my family safe. Who wouldn't want to do everything possible to protect their family? Safety to me is more important than where oil comes from. Most of my friends also drive big trucks or SUV's. Those who don't have made the decision not to for various reasons and I accept that. I wish them no harm, but they realize they are no match against a large vehicle. I owned a motorcycle for several years when I was younger, but after being hit three times by cars, I decided size and protection does matter. You can call us "short sighted", but at least we will be safe.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    "but after being hit three times by cars, I decided size and protection does matter" I wonder if a huge SUV hit you instead of a car if you'd be here today??
  • powder73powder73 Posts: 15
    well bob i have 4 kids ...i love hunting and i love fishing...first i had a 4runner but then the 4th one force to upgrade to a bigger one...right now a suburban.....until i change it for an expedition...and then maybe another one....

    and here in quebec let me tell you it's not the big suv you see every night on the news smash to a's those small cars young people drive to insane speed....that's the real problem here....
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    You do have some idiotic drivers there. I almost got run down by a tailgating semi while doing the speed limit in my minivan.

    Of course, an Expedition wouldn't have helped much in that case either.

    (your logging roads are a whole 'nother story too!)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "...The bottom line is that to me at least, the safety of the millions of people driving small and mediums sized vehicles is more important then the safety of the few individual wanting to drive these huge SUVs. You can respond if you want, but every fact you provide just proves my point more. "

    Motorhead needs a large SUV to tow. You can't do that with a small car, and (depending on the weight being towed) possibly not with a crossover either.

    I rented an Expedition 4WD once in New Mexico. I was going out to some rugged areas. The one thing I instantly noticed was that the gearing on the vehicle caused me to drive more aggressively. I found myself starting to pull up behind smaller vehicles on the freeway, simply because the truck had so much power. I had to consciously ensure that I kept my distance. After I realized the issue, everything was fine so far as my driving behavior. But it was enlightening. I had to keep repeating to myself that I was driving a 3 ton vehicle - because it felt like a sports car so far as acceleration goes.

    BTW I'd ordered a smaller 4WD, but they were out and "upgraded" me. I didn't want the size or MPG, but there you are. I must say that truck was comfortable in all situations, and the 4WD was awesome.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Posts: 105
    Actually one was an SUV. That's why I switched to a big truck at that time. ;)
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    "...The bottom line is that to me at least, the safety of the millions of people driving small and mediums sized vehicles is more important then the safety of the few individual wanting to drive these huge SUVs. You can respond if you want, but every fact you provide just proves my point more. "

    IIRC, close to half of the vehicles sold are pickup trucks, SUVs or CUVs. So, I don't get your millions to a few argument. BTW, this is the US of A where freedom of choice is our right, within limits of course. If you want to dictate away our rights, then you might as well change the name of the country, IMHO.

    I agree that we need to cut dependence on foreign oil. I see a very good way to do that is go with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. One company has developed a version of that for demonstration on a Hummer H3. 30-40 miles on electric charge then after that 30-40 MPG running on generator to rechage and power the electic motor. My normal commute is about 40 miles. With something like this I could probably cut fuel usage from 800-1000 gallons per year to 150-200 gallons per year and NOT give up my SUV. If we could get enough of these on the road, we could cut usage of gasoline a lot in the short term (until hydrogen fuel cell or whatever) is available in XX? years. This is a similar concept to the Volt, economical for short drive distances, extended range on fuel that is supplied from our current infrastructure.

    More on the plug-in extended range hybrid
  • Volfangary stated a few posts back:
    “Regardless... I for one will do everything in my power to keep my family safe.” Very commendable Volfangary. I too purchased my vehicle with safety as the primary consideration. Years ago old hotrodders had a saying. “There’s no replacement for displacement.” They were referring to engine size but perhaps that adage applies to vehicle size as well.

    By the way I found out why Bobw3 is so scared of big SUV’s? Here’s the scoop… He drives a 2,500 pound econo-box. Heck Bob, I would be scared too if I drove a Honda Fit. There are literally thousands of Ford F-350’s and other assorted heavy-duty diesel pickup trucks running around the Austin area. Personally I would have chosen something safer for your family to ride around in but that’s your choice. By the way, I looked up your 2007 Honda Fit at . Did you know your car has only a three star crash rating for the rear passengers? Bob, you should seriously consider buying a safer car to haul your wife and two small babies around in. I know I mentioned it before but it is worth repeating. You should read “Buying a Safer Car” and utilize the government website where this document is located to help you make a more informed decision about purchasing a safer vehicle for your family. Getting 35 mpg should not take precedence over your family’s safety. Another thing Bob, please stop asking people to give up their larger vehicles just to reinforce the bad decision you made to put your kids in the backseat of a car with a three star crash rating. It is not my responsibility or anybody else’s to drive something smaller just so you can get 35mpg.
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    "By the way I found out why Bobw3 is so scared of big SUV’s? Here’s the scoop… He drives a 2,500 pound econo-box. Heck Bob, I would be scared too if I drove a Honda Fit. "

    Looking back bobw3 seems to have driven a Ford Freestyle in the past. That was in the CUV class. I remember he thought highly of it. So, if he has a Fit now he must have downsized his ride.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Funny how you're interested in what I drive (actually I drive both a Fit and Freestyle)...I guess I struck a nerve with some (feeling guilty, making you think...huh?)! Like I said, what several times now, it's not about ME but the larger SOCIETY. Like I also said, the more uneducated and selfish views posted by those only looking after themselves, the more it proves my post on! My bottom line is still the real bottom line in that the less large SUVs out on the road the safer it will be for everyone driving something smaller and that can't be denied. I'm comfortable with my choice of vehicles for a variety of reasons and only one of them is good MPG. Don't be so worried. There's no bills in Congress outlawing your car...but if there were I'd call my representatives asking them to vote for it! Happy driving.
  • Well Bob, if you want to put your babies lives at greater risk for the larger SOCIETY and 35 mpg, that's your choice.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    If you really think that the mllions of people that aren't driving huge SUVs because they can't afford or don't need one are endangering their families that's a pretty sad attitude from some who's actually participating in the endangering. That's like blaming a shooting victim because he's not carrying a gun, but then you probably think that everyone should walk around with AK-47s over their shoulder to defend themselves too! Actually, if you're so concerned with safety you should armor plate your SUV and hire a professional driver. If you go read your statistics you'll find that you're more safe that way too. ;)
  • Bob, If you want to risk your life unnecessarily, again that's your decision, but please don't let 35 mpg be your family's epitaph.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    If you want to keep repeating your same reponse unnecessarily, again that's your decision, but don't keep implying that everyone not driving the same vehicle as you is endangering their family. It's simply not true. Actually if you want to be really safe you'll stay off the road in any vehicle and as a bonus, you'll be risking less lives too. By the way, since you brought up the "epitaph" phrase at least mine won't say "I only cared about me and my dog."
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Anyway motorhead, you can continue to repeat the same thing if you's a free country...and I'm sure you'll be happy when some others agree with your views. But I'm glad I made you think beyond yourself even a little bit...and you know I did (but I'm sure you'll say I didn't...that's okay too)!! Goodbye and happy motoring :D

    P.S. Since you are driving a big car that you've said will crush the little ones, try and be extra carefull out there...hopefully you're never on the cell phone while driving, nor driving tired, not having your dog jumping on your lap, or otherwise distracted. With the freedom to drive whatever you want comes added responsibility that you have whether you want it or not.
  • volfangaryvolfangary Posts: 105
    Bob... If it's a choice between protecting my family or protecting everyone else in society, my family will win each time. If you want to put society first, that's your decision and I respect it and hope you respect mine. Happy and safe motoring to all!
  • Watch out Volfangary, "selfishly" putting your family's safety before that of complete strangers won't set well with socialist Bob. ;)
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    choice between protecting my family or protecting everyone else in society

    One could argue SUV owners gain their safety at the expense of others upon whom they impose greater risk. But then I'm not sure that any of this is pertinent to the topic at hand. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    How are body on frame SUVs safer than unibody SUVs of the same mass?

    The body on frame SUV is stiffer (less crushable). This doesn't mean it is safer in all types of collison. In fact in a single vehicle collision with a very stiff obstruction (tree, concrete wall, bridge, etc.) the extra stiffness of the body on frame will cause higher crash forces to the occupants.

    In a two vehicle collision between vehicles of unequal mass, the occupants of the more massive one experience proportionally lower crash forces, and the occupants of the less massive one proportionally higher forces.

    If you have to do serious towing or hauling, then the pick-up based RWD SUV is the best for the job. But these massive high powered vehicles consume fuel at a higher rate, which is a threat to our economic future.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 12,607
    traverse v6 (cuv) has a curb weight about 100 lbs more than a trailblazer ext v8 (suv).
    it is making an assumption that the the 'frame' of an suv is not designed to handle a collision in any manner different than a cuv.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    "putting your family's safety before that of complete strangers"

    Actually the "strangers" I'm thinking about are my brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, co-workers, etc..., who actually mean something to me, but then you're more concerned with yourself and the dog sitting beside you...hmmmm. And yes I know that anyone who thinks of others is called a "socialist."

    Now let me go back to my Prius forum with rest of the socialists ;)
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The real heart of the matter is that people who drive heavy, stiff vehicles shouldn't be castigated as totally unconcerned about the safety of the occupants of other vehicles.

    And people who drive body-on-frame SUVs shouldn't claim that those who drive more fuel efficient and less menacing vehicles don't care about the safety of their family or other occupants of their vehicle.

    It's a continuum. These are all legal vehicles. But the fact is that the era of cheap petroleum is coming to an end. To preserve our economy and our natural resources we may have to enact tax policies that discourage the discretionary high consumption of petroleum.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    "These are all legal vehicles"

    Just because something is legal doesn't make it smoking in offices was legal even though at the time the 2nd hand smoke was killing co-workers, but it took years for the legal system to catch up with what was right. Car pollution standards that were legal 30 years ago that made the air unbreathable in many cities are now illegal. Again, it takes a long time for the legal system to get in line what society feels is the right thing to do.

    Obviously people can drive whatever legal vehicle is out there. My point is not to castigate everyone drive a giant SUV, but just encourage them to think outside their box... My hope is that MPG standards will get so high that manufacturers will have to reduce the size of vehicles they produce just to meet the MPG standards. That will create the twofold benefit of less gas usage and less big cars competing wtih the small ones.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    but just encourage them to think outside their box... My hope is that MPG standards will get so high that manufacturers will have to reduce the size of vehicles

    That's not encouraging people to think outside their box, that's forcing them into yours. But I still think we should relegate the political discussion to another venue. hint, hint!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • wlbrown9wlbrown9 Posts: 867
    I'm waiting for the Plug In Hybrid extended range SUV/CUV. One of these would cut my petro usage about 75% and NOT require that I downsize. 50 to 100+ MPG would be easy for me with an average daily comute of 40 miles. -washington-dc
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,727
    I really don't want to get into a pi$$ing match over how evil SUV's and their owners are, but I don't care what anyone drives or what others think of what I drive. I've had several SUV's over the years because I choose to tow a boat and a travel trailer. Plus we often bring our daughters friends along so, I occasionally have 6-8 people in the Expe. I like the SUV over a truck because it has a much better suspension for everyday driving, plus the extra room for passengers. But if the "high and mighty" econo car crowd win and make the SUV extinct, I'll just buy a diesel 3/4 ton truck and continue to use my boat and RV.

    As for dangers on the road, obviously, I understand the physics of my 6000lb SUV broad siding a Civic. But, if a larger SUV like a Expedition/Tahoe/Suburban are so dangerous, how come they are so cheap to insure? I pay less than $60/mo on my 07 Expedition for full coverage with a 500k liability policy and $500 deductible. You'd think if the actuaries could prove that my driving a 6k lb SUV would mean I'm more likely to kill a family in a compact car, my rates would be much higher. I'm paying far less than I did for any car, and I have more liability coverage than I did then.

    I did T-bone a person in a Grand Am with a Nissan Pathfinder about 6 years ago. I hit them right on the drivers door. I was going about 30mph (I was in an unfamiliar area and didn't see the stop light until I was basically in the intersection and it was raining (no question it was my fault). My air bad did not go off and she walked away unscratched. Did total her car though and did 7k damage to my 01 Pathfinder. You'd think by listening to this board, my accident should have killed the poor lady I hit.
  • rockman59rockman59 Posts: 250
    Luckily large body on frame SUVs are selling less every year, so you're right Americans are making their choices, and more smartly now too for everyone.
    That may be true but I just read an article yesterday saying that the dealers are selling every SUV and pickup on their lots. Supply is short because of the GM/Chrysler situation. Likewise, the prices on used Suburbans, etc are on the rise again.
  • Jim,

    It’s easier to control the rate of deformation of a uni-body vehicle than a full frame vehicle, which is probably a good thing in a low speed impact. Taking the Chevrolet Traverse, which someone earlier said does not have a frame. The weight listed on the Traverse is about 5,000 pounds. According to a certified “CAT” scale, the weight on my Expedition with a full tank of fuel and me in it is right at 6,000 pounds. In a collision with a stationary wall at 40 mph, the Traverse has lower crash forces transmitted to the driver than the Expedition, but this is with the vehicle striking a fixed object. Both vehicles are rated five stars for the frontal crash into the wall test. If the Expedition and Traverse hit each other in a head on collision at the same speed say 45 mph, the Expedition driver will incur lower crash forces because of it’s heavier weight than the driver of the Traverse. Additionally, if you look at the Traverse side collision numbers on you will see that the Traverse has worse numbers than the Expedition but still garners a five star side crash rating. Where the full frame vehicle comes into it’s own is in a severe two vehicle collision. Remember, in a frontal type collision, you want the front of the car to deform as much as possible up to the point of intruding into the passenger compartment. Some of the newer full frame vehicles have dimpled or weakened portions of the front part of the frame to help with deformation in a frontal collision. Remember that crumpling is good up to a point then you want deformation to stop completely, again before any intrusion into the passenger compartment occurs.

    Framed vehicles such as full size SUVs and full size pickup trucks are built on a heavy steel frames so they can handle heavy loads. I’m not sure we will see the death of the body on frame vehicle because there will always be a need for a vehicle that can haul a five-ton trailer such as a boat, camper etc. and that takes a steel frame vehicle. Nobody will argue that heavier vehicles don’t have a huge safety advantage over smaller lighter vehicles in a high crash force accident. A strong steel frame just adds a greater degree of protection from intrusion into the passenger compartment. There will always be accidents that are so severe that no vehicle would offer sufficient protection.

    By the way I found this video from IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) which is worth watching:

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