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Old 01-07-2002, 10:01 PM
carman850 carman850 is offline
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 298
I agree with Ashman on his judgement.

Actually most of SUVs handle quite good in low speed maneuvers, but they can barely hold themselves at high speed.

The steering is very sensitive and requires minimum effort, this makes them very responsive at low speed, also allows them to steer in offroad condition, also gearing normally is very low, my 96 explorer has 3.73 rear differential, some explorers even have 4.10 rear end, compared with the 2.24 rear end in my 400E, the acceleration from standstill is as effortless as highway passing on my 400E, so they can climb steeper hills than cars and tow heavy load. In city stop and go traffic, I would rather drive my Explorer then my 400E.

But when come to high speed, they just handle awful, the steering is too light for high speed, unexperienced drivers can easily oversteer in response to emergencies and cause rollover. low gear and their low rpm engine characters make them losing steam at speed higher than 140kmph. Most of SUVs have ancient leaf spring on rear end and have high center of gravity, their lateral Gs are normally under 0.7, when most MBs can take more than 0.8g.

SUVs and cars are built for completely different purpose, I use my explorers for fishing camping and ski trips extensively, and to deal with extreme Canadian weather, it makes me feel safe in remote areas, I don't even think about driving Mercedes to any of those locations.

I noticed that modern SUVs are getting more powerful which is not a good trend, some "underpowered" SUVs are quickly losing their popularity, some SUVs have close to 300 hp now, this makes them extreme dangerous, people doesn't realize what SUVs really need is torque, they are not to be driven for speed, extra horsepower can only be used to kill themselves.
99 BMW 540i 6-speed 110K Km
03 SAAB 9-5 wagon 80K Km
92 400E (Sold) 245K km
Still missing the days with the Benz, it kept me busy.
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