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The 4x4 Fights Back
posted on Sep 28 2016 by Keith Langford
The ubiquitous 4x4 has come in for some stiff criticism recently with suggestions that owners of these vehicles should pay more taxes and be banned from some places altogether.
The critics of these vehicles claim that they are too big, unsafe in the community, damage the environment and are only driven by aspirational urban women to do their shopping. A careful examination of the facts, however, gives a completely different picture.
The average C02 of a dual-purpose 4x4 emits 12 per cent less than most luxury saloons and is on a par with emissions from executive and sports cars.
Most 4x4s sold in this country are diesels, which generally have a much lower C02 emissions and far better fuel consumption than petrol models. While being taller than most other vehicles on the road, the popular 4x4s are narrower and shorter then the average saloon cars. It is argued that if parents on the school run combined to use all the seats available using a 4x4 then the actual number of cars on the road would be significantly reduced.
Research has shown that owners of 4x4s with three rows of seats regularly use them. Recent improvements to the design of the front ends of 4x4s have meant that many now score very highly on pedestrian protection in Euro NCAP tests.
Many people chose 4x4s because they are flexible vehicles that can adapt to many different tasks. The fact that they have a high driving position for example, appeals to many women who feel that an ordinary saloon or hatchback does not given them the all round visibility that 4x4s afford.
Provided 4x4s are used responsibly, they do not present any additional hazards on our roads and can be much safer than other vehicles.