Spurious SUV Mileage Quotes (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source, Science, and Nature.

Wed, 22 Sep 2004

Spurious SUV Mileage Quotes

In my last entry I mentioned some SUVs getting under 4 miles per gallon, and someone called me on that, saying (quite reasonably) "The truth is bad enough, no need to exaggerate".

I was blindly quoting a phrase someone had quoted in email:

"A Harper's Magazine writer took the massive Ford Excursion, the biggest of all SUVs for a test drive. During a drive around a city, the mighty Excursion was only getting 3.7 miles per gallon."

I googled for that parts of that phrase, and found it quoted on three different web sites, all anti-SUV or environmental web sites. Google didn't find the source of the quote. So I tried a search on Harpers itself for Ford Excursion, and came up blank. If this Harper's writer did get 3.7mpg in a test drive, he or she didn't write about it, or else Harper's isn't making the content accessible so we can get the details and find out if it's spurious.

Looks like yet another "fox terrier", everybody quoting a juicy line that might not have been accurate in the first place. I stand corrected. Big SUVs do get abysmal mileage and I still think they're responsible for a lot of our smog and CO2 problems, and should be regulated the same as cars since they're used in the same way; but that unsupported 3.7 mpg figure for the Ford Excursion is probably bogus and should not be part of the argument. Thanks for keeping me honest, Bill!

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[ 11:58 Sep 22, 2004    More headlines | permalink to this entry ]