SUVs: cars or trucks?

Discussion in 'Architecture & Engineering' started by Fraggle Rocker, Jul 5, 2007.

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  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    We are told that some sport-utility vehicles are "car body" and some are "truck body." What exactly does that mean? Does a car body have unit-body construction, strut suspension in front, coil springs in the rear and possibly front-wheel drive, while a truck body is bolted to a chassis, has leaf springs in back and rear-wheel drive?

    The only visible cue is that the "truck body" SUVs are ridiculously tall, with ground clearance they will never need in their lives of pure highway travel, and look like station wagons for Klingons. Whereas the "car body" fleet are merely very tall and look more like overgrown minivans.

    My wife recently bought a used Mercedes SUV without my judgement. (I would not have tried to impose my prejudice and talk her out of it because it's an SUV, but simply because it's a shoddy product with a dismal frequency-of-repair record, nothing like the Mercedes diesel sedan we bought new in 1978 and is still running just fine.) This is the flagship of the car-body SUV fleet, with stability control and all that Buck Rogers technology. Still, it's way too high, with ground clearance we don't need even in our rural area, and it's awkward to climb into. With all that bulk it still doesn't have any more carrying capacity than a minivan--whose handling it emulates more than a real Mercedes. And the huge frontal area gives it just awful fuel economy, around 21mpg (more than 10L/100km).

    I shudder to think what it would be like to own and drive a true truck-body SUV. Other than the ability to pick up Klingon hitchhikers, of course. :)

    I originally posted this under GS&T. One member pointed out that I'm a pretty incompetent moderator to not remember that we have a subforum that breaks out engineering. :(
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  3. mikenostic Stop pretending you're smart! Registered Senior Member

    I think you answered your own question there.
    The 'car' SUV has the unibody (not unit-body) that allows it to be a better ride on the road, with less creaking and rattling that a full chassis vehicle is susceptible to. The 'truck' SUV has the chassis because they are typically stronger.
    I think the whole SUV market has become a huge gimmick. If you want space and spend more time on the road, get a damn minivan or station wagon. The only time you would want a 'truck' SUV, is if you do need space/have a big family AND stand a good possibility of towing a trailer/boat, etc.

    Most women I've met have absolutely no idea how to pick out/choose and buy a vehicle. "ooh it's cute" is pretty much all they need to buy a car. They think nothing about researching the fuel mileage, reliability or reputation of the manufacturer.
    One of my female friends went and bought a Hyundai, even after I warned her against it. I suggested a Corolla or Civic. "The Hyundai was cheaper" was her response. Yeah, it'll be cheaper but with the Corolla or Civic, your paying extra because those cars will run an extra 50,000+ miles more than that P.O.S. Hyundai.

    YEAH! WTF man???? What kind of mod are you. Please demote yourself to lurker.
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  5. zanket Human Valued Senior Member

    Agreed. My Toyota minivan drives as smooth as my old Lexus did. I think they share the same chassis, along with the Camry.

    I always wondered why people buy those, and Suzukis! Oh well at least they're helping keep the prices of the better cars down.
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