Mountain Brook () - Stacy Bucher had become quite fond of her 2005 Ford Excursion. Its tall stance made it easy to see over the other vehicles in the parking lot of Whole Foods Market, while the backup camera allowed her to see what she was about to hit. The 310 hp V10 Modular engine, a variant of which appears in the Koenigsegg CCR
, produces enough torque to beat all but the heaviest footed Mountain Brook drivers off the line. Unfortunately, in this era of high gas prices and global warming, Bucher feels that it would be better to drive a smaller SUV.
"I really love the car," said Bucher. "But when I pick up Joshua from Highlands School, some of the other mothers look at me funny. We sent Joshua there so he would know what it is like to interact with the 11% minority population that is different from him. I'd hate to jeopardize his learning because of our Excursion." Bucher and her husband Mitchell have already begun looking at other SUVs that might fit their needs. Contenders include the GMC Yukon, Porsche Cayenne, and Lexus LX. "I'm not really sold on any of them yet," said Bucher. "It was really easy to put all of the pottery equipment and fired pieces in the Excursion for the trip to my studio. I can do it in the others, but I might have to stack some things."
Bucher is also worried about the safety of some of the smaller SUVs which do not have Ford's BlockerBeam technology built-in. This under-bumper roll-bar like device helps stop smaller vehicles from sliding underneath the Excursion and being crushed during front and rear collisions. "It would be so much safer if everyone drove an SUV, but I know that some people don't and I'd hate to drive over them in an accident."
Bucher insists that money has nothing to do with her decision to downsize. "It's funny," she said. "We can't actually sell the Excursion because no one is buying big SUVs right now. We'll have to just keep it out back in the extra large garage we built for it until this global warming thing blows over." Bucher feels that her family will be ok with the smaller SUV, but longs again for the day when it is not frowned upon to consume fuel unnecessarily.