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Pique n' your interest

SUV guilt

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The word Porsche immediately conjures visions of the ultimate little sports car, hurtling down highways, hugging tight corners and handling like a dream.

Now, breaking a long tradition of producing the ultimate little sports car, Porsche is tapping into North America’s seemingly insatiable need for the ultimate Sports Utility Vehicle.

Joining other luxury names like Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, Lincoln and Cadillac, Porsche is bringing the Cayenne to its 2002-03 line. It’s billed as the fastest SUV around.

What a ride it would be behind the wheel of a Porsche Cayenne.

I’m ashamed to admit it but in all honesty, I like SUVs.

I know I’m not supposed to. I know they spew more harmful greenhouse gas emissions into the environment than say a compact, fuel efficient Civic or Neon. I know SUVs are a major contributor to global warming, to smog, to poor air quality and the countless health related illnesses as a result of dirty air.

I know they guzzle gas as though the earth’s oceans and seas were made of petroleum rather than H2O.

I know the advertising companies have reeled me in hook, line and sinker, with promises of a better life with the great outdoors at my feet, nothing standing in the way of me and my SUV.

I know all this and still...

There’s just something that’s different about climbing into a big sturdy, boxy truck and cruising down Highway 99.

It makes for a much better ride than scrambling into a Pony to be at the sudden mercy of all the other reckless morons on the roads.

SUVs make you feel safe. Sitting up higher than mere car drivers, SUVs make you feel powerful.

I’ll admit it. I’ve been bamboozled by the advertising giants.

Unfortunately though, or perhaps more fortunately, SUV guilt is starting to eat away at me, gnawing away at my conscience. It’s wearing me down.

Only last month I was at a special AWARE meeting where the guest speaker was Vancouver City Councillor Gordon Price.

He was talking about the travesty of the North American highway system, the sheer number of cars on the road and our ridiculous love affair with the Sports Utility Vehicle.

It was inspiring and informative and scary, all at the same time.

And as I walked away, I sneaked up to the green Cherokee I was driving, hanging my head in shame, turning the engine quickly and ducking under the wheel, less any AWARE members catch my hypocrisy in action, cruising down Village Gate Boulevard.

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