4wds vs Ford Territory, Mazda MPV's and Toragos

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 23:28
ThreadID: 20492 Views:2834 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Fellow law-abiding citizens, please read on.

I have been watching the great 4wd debate with great interest waiting for the talk back radio groupies to actually make a credible, reasonable argument.

Do you all know what the Wheels Car of The Year was? The Ford Territory. I passed one today on my way home in my Rodeo and I think it was bigger than me. It's a wagon with poor vision out the back and is fairly big in all directions. AND it's a 4wd (awd). You could apply EVERY argument against the "hulking, gas guzzling behemoths" to the Territory.

Most of the rhetoric spewed by the "no suggestions, only slanderous inacuracies" activists are also true for a large number of cars. Toyota Toragos and Mazda MPV's for example. They've been around forever.

They also miss the big picture in all of their other arguments. I really like the one about "4wd's are twice as likely to kill a pedestrian as a saloon". Some of you already know my distaste for stats, but seriously a commodore is probably twice as likely to kill you as a nissan pulsar, which is twice as likely as a beetle, which is 10 times more likely than a motor bike. It's called physics !!!! In fact, we would ALL be safer if we ALL drove Patrols or Landies than if we ALL drove Pulsars. It's the imbalance either way that creates statistics.

Fuel consumption, another one they wheel out. "It's for the environment". I wonder if they use electricity in their homes, which produces massive greenhouse gasses. The other beauty is "they are gas guzzling behemoths, send them out to the bush". Presumably where they would not create polution ?????? Simple fact is that a tuned 4wd produces less polution than a poorly tuned Commodore. (Petrol for Petrol of course). I bet there isn't a statistic for whom keeps their cars better tuned, but given the love and affection most people have for a 4by I know where my money would be.

Speed limiting, what a joke. Why segregate 4wd's for speed limiting when clearly this argument fits ALL modes of transport.

I could go on, but you won't read that far anyway. (I'd be surprised if you got this far!!)

My point is, don't use minority sections of transport like buses etc as we will lose that one. If you look at the whole picture, and consider each argument on it's merits then there isn't much credibility to most of the points. The ONE thing I agree with and agree with whomever suggested we be proactive, is why doesn't the 4wd community defuse the argument by coming out and DEMANDING a separate class of license or extra training to drive "special" vehicles such as 4wd's, just as they SHOULD have for powerful V8's, WR-X's etc. I know this needs clarification as "4wd" isn't the problem, it's larger vehicles with different handling characteristics to smaller, lower to the ground cars.

By the way, my brother rolled a Toyota minivan because he didn't know how to drive it differently to a car. Braked and turned at the same time and over she went.

I'm thinking at the moment of how to do something about this. Clearly my point of view isn't newsworthy, but I'm thinking of a website, or a letter to someone useful or something like that. Suggestions welcome.

Cheers all and beware the angry, rabid mob of complainers looking for their next topic to just be unhappy about. (That's really what these people are.)

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Reply By: Kumanara (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 23:37

Tuesday, Feb 15, 2005 at 23:37
Have you noticed how the whole anti-4wd thing has been beat up by the media.

They love their phone polls. Why? Because there is a cost for each call and they make heaps out of people voting.

If you want to be effective in voicing your opinion start writing letters to every politician you can.

The 4WD market is the fastest growing sector in the auto industry. Politicians need votes and there are enough 4wd owners out there to make a huge difference at an election.
Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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Reply By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 00:32

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 00:32
Good post Smocky.

I agree with everything you say, EXCEPT the need for a separate 4WD license.

Many years ago, there was a popular small car being sold and driven in their thousands throughout Australia. It was called the VW Beetle and was one of the easiest vehicles to flip, as soon as it felt an unstable (gravel) surface.

Obviously, pointing the wheels at the sky can be put down to driver error, but the inherent design of a vehicle, or a modified centre of gravity (eg. raised suspension, heavily loaded roof rack, etc.) will certainly need to be taken into account and driving methods modified to suit.


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Reply By: peterK - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 06:44

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 06:44
If you are looking for something or a suggestion, join the Pedestrian Council of Australia Limited. Its $25 a year. That way you can have a part in ensuring that your views are correctly represented.
Just lodged mine application -
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Follow Up By: peterK - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 07:03

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 07:03
Also you can get your point of view accross. For example TV shows like ACA dont actually have a "moral stand". Their charter is ratings, so if you can recommend something that can achieve this they will follow it up. The main thing they look for is Vision and maybe a bit od debate or something. On their sites they have "submit your story ideas". There is always opportunity to put up ideas about the fun and good lifestyle of touring in a 4wd - lots of vision of driving and families and friends seeing the outback.
If you can offer a good and well thought out argument or comment, you could be listed in someone's "talent" list. So when a debate or story happens, and the researchers are chasing Talent for that nights show, if your on the list you have a chance.
I was at one stage very good friends with News journos they used to explain a lot
FollowupID: 357011

Follow Up By: peterK - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 07:18

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 07:18
Sorry, left off a bit
Thats why Harold gets used so often. Yesterday when the North Sydney Council announced it policy. As pointed out it had nothing to do with 4wd (directly) but they are obvious choices. Every producer needed a story or angle, the researchers are in a hurry to get someone who has a title and can say something. Most of all is available. Harold is in the Talent lists.
I mentioned the title, but it dioesnt have to be a major one as such, just something to make the talent look credible. "training officer worlds smallest 4wd club" is just as good
hope my suggestions help you feel that you can have a say
FollowupID: 357013

Reply By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 06:49

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 06:49
Never forget guys, you cant deal rationally with an irrational person [or group]

Common sense is never going to win over extremists, but if i have to pay a little extra to drive my 4wd, and use it like I do, then, I will just be happy with that.
AnswerID: 98609

Follow Up By: Robert - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 10:04

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 10:04
"but if i have to pay a little extra to drive my 4wd, and use it like I do, then, I will just be happy with that."

That's just what the authorities are hoping for, it enables them to fleece even more revenue from you!
FollowupID: 357032

Follow Up By: 3.0turbob - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 12:18

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 12:18
Agree with Robert. It's called "Level of Acceptance". The authorities (Government) will introduce a TAX, just a little bit, people will complain and protest, then just accept it. Then they increase it. Just a bit more. Again people will object, but they accept because it's not that much more than "before". Then they increase it. Just a bit more...................
FollowupID: 357052

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:35

Wednesday, Feb 16, 2005 at 23:35
And then I just charge more to cover the costs, and its still user pays, no matter how many times it goes around, and gets passed on.
FollowupID: 357155

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