In Defence of Grunt

Yesterday, some reactionary twit wrote in the Daily Mail that Gruntmobiles – big 4×4 cars like wot I have – should be banned. I’d provide you with a link to the story, but in spite of diligent searching on the newspaper website I haven’t been able to find it. Anyway, his reasons for this were such gems of wisdom as:
1) They look silly
2) They’re all driven by short women who can’t see over the steering wheel
3) Bull bars murder pedestrians in cold blood
4) They’re only ever used for the school run, where they take up too much space, and they never go off road.

The case for the defence:
Well firstly, they’re not as big as they look – my Gruntmobile is shorter than the Nissan Primera which preceded it, although it is admittedly a bit wider. It’s certainly higher, but the only person who’s inconvenienced by that is me, as suddenly I can’t use multi-storey car parks.

Bullbars: Well, maybe they’re a bit pointless on most 4x4s, but people who have them certainly pay, through extra insurance. And bull bars never hurt anyone, unless they were hit by the car the bars were fitted to: It’s being hit by a car that injures people, not the fact that the car has bull bars.

School Run: The best car to use for the school run is your feet – any car is inappropriate (unless it’s lobstering down with rain).

On the other hand, the high driving position gives much better visibility, especially in the urban setting where I’m much better able to see if small people are about to run out between two cars. In poor weather conditions (snow, ice etc) four-wheel drive is much safer, as the roadholding is better.

On the economic front: I, and many other Gruntmobile owners, need a big car to tow my caravan (or their boat, horsebox etc). If it was economic to run two cars (a big one when needed, and a mini the rest of the time), my Gruntmobile would hardly ever be used, but thanks to the ridiculous way British road tax and insurance rules work, I can only afford to run one vehicle.

Meanwhile, to those people who think Gruntmobile owners should be financially punished: We are. My fuel consumption means that for every mile I drive, I buy nearly twice as much fuel as the driver of a smaller car. And 80% of that is tax.

Oh, and look silly? At least it’s not a Smart Car

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