--Jan, 2014 Consumer Reports review of the new Mercedes-Benz GLK350, which gets 14 city/29 highway, real world driving
On the weekend when everyone is supposed to be out buying yet more crap to support the economy, I did my best to avoid being mauled, er, malled, at least the big box variety. I started out Black Friday walking the hounds back towards the stables on North Mesa. Ran into another guy walking his two pups and we marveled at how much nicer it was to walk dogs in peace rather than try to rush the counters to buy CSFC (cheap s*** from China). I did have a few groceries to pick up and a couple errands to run in Bombtown, so I put the panniers on the Long Haul Trucker and daisy chained my errands for a 20 mile Tour de Cat Food (Smith's), Art Shoppe (Village Arts), and our Food Co-Op.
|Long Haul Trucker in typical form|
|Providence shines kindly on two-wheelers|
Sun rays courtesy of a late afternoon return to Bombtown
A beautiful weekend to be on two wheels, at any rate. Enjoy it while you can. Next weekend should bring significantly more cold.
WARNING: Foaming Rant* follows. The title? Well, the Surly and BMW are extremely sporty and yet can be quite utilitarian, scaled to their size, as well as frugal in their operation. This weekend, I had no need for heavy hauling capacity, if you don't include my fat ass in that calculation. Furthermore, I'm not sure I agree with CU that 14/29 mpg in an age when it is well accepted that anthropogenic impact to climate change is driven by fossil fuel emissions, can in any way be "guilt free". Nor do I think CU even knows what consumer "guilt" means any more--they have become part of the consumer-as-glutton problem. Hence I may cancel my subscription. Why one needs a "small" (4200 lbs) SUV with minimal storage space and an engine powerful enough to accelerate "as quick as a Porsche Boxster", to quote Consumer Reports (and with worse gas milage than the Boxster), is a question I don't have an answer to, esp. since its emergency handling and avoidance maneuver capability (and probably its brakes) undoubtedly are not as good as the Porsche, which means the untrained bozos pushing the limits in the M-B Narcissist's Special are likely a little closer to the ragged edge.
Sure, bicycles and motorcycles don't fit the picture of a stereotypical SUV, but neither do they guzzle gas, take up a lot of space, or hit with 4200 lbs of impact. Either can carry a week's worth of groceries, at least with me eating. How about an SUV that sacrifices blinding acceleration while providing for other people's safety, some real utility, and some fuel economy instead? I suppose it wouldn't fly very far in the Benz market. Besides, maybe its better to go whole hog and just hasten our extinction. (I used the Impreza as an example because Subaru shrunk the engine and vehicle weight to improve gas mileage while maintaining respectable performance. Yeah its still a "cage", but Subie did go marching in the other direction compared to the "bigger, faster, meaner" crowd.)
|The Real Long Haul Trucker |
*Foaming Rant borrowed from Patrick O'Grady, without permission. I'll buy him a beer.