|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/12/02 12:40 视听英语Ladder AI杂志|
Big Rollers 超级大车
Sport Utility Vehicles: love ‘em or love to hate ‘em
“It’s like putting a submarine in a swimming pool,” says one Brisbane driver as she’s hemmed in on both sides by gigantic sport utility vehicles. “These things are just too big for the road.”
How big are they? The largest SUVs weigh more than five times as much as a compact car, and are nearly half as long as a city bus. That kind of size makes them a favorite of nervous drivers – if an SUV hits another car, the SUV driver is much more likely to survive. However, the other driver is also much more likely to be seriously hurt, which explains why most drivers give these cars a wide berth.
SUVs are also a favorite target for environmentalists. On average, they create 47 percent more pollution than standard-sized cars, and they suck up gasoline like it’s going out of style. According to the Sierra Club, switching from a normal car to an SUV for one year would waste more energy than leaving your refrigerator door open for six years.
So, what’s the attraction? Why do people buy cars that are bigger and more expensive than many people’s apartments? SUVs are sold on their ability to go anywhere – they can roll over mountains, up rivers and through deserts that the average car could simply never handle. Many SUV buyers apparently picture themselves leading an adventurous lifestyle at the wheel of their cars but, in fact, few SUVs ever leave the road. A senior marketing executive at Ford admitted, “The only time most SUVs are going to be off road is when they miss the driveway and crush a flowerbed at 3 am.”
But with oil prices at record highs, some SUV owners are thinking about downsizing to something a little smaller. “You know you’re in trouble when your monthly gas bill is nearly as much as your car payment,” said one driver. “Driving this monster makes me feel safe, but I just can’t afford to do it anymore.”