While I have long considered the Lexus RX as the most feminine vehicle ever designed, I've never attributed specific female anatomy to the SUV. It was a simple combination of sweet driving dynamics, very soft lines and mom-loving utility that prompted my opinion.

Until now I have never thought about which vehicle has a cute butt. It's probably a byproduct of some deeply regressed fear of being behind another car in a race. Call it rearfasciaphobia.

After reading the Queen of Green's essay about the imposing Prius caboose, perhaps I'll consider a few human body parallels in my usual walkaround evaluation of a test vehicle. When I judge the rear of a car I normally look for taillight harmony, trunk function, visibility and other practical features. Aside from the Pontiac Aztec, I've never encountered a back end that has plunged me into counseling. Nor have I ever found a vehicular tush that persuades me to watch an Annette Haven movie.

The Queen, Ruth McCann, then delves into the safety issue of the vehicle with a passion that could only be inflamed by the sight of a Prius rump. She finds plenty of info on the web that boasts the excellent crash ratings and rollover safety of hybrids. Still, the safety promise of 2 1/2 tons of Mercedes-Benz surrounding yourself and your children is appealing. In the end, McCann accepts the notion of a "sensible" risk that pollutes less is best for her.

"Morbid and cruel as it sounds, I have to say, yes, it is right to give your child less protection in order to contribute to a national reduction of emissions," write McCann. "Yes, it is right to make sacrifices in the face of a larger, global problem. No, it is not right to take absurd risks, but driving a hybrid is not an absurd risk; it is a calculated one."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

[Source: Ruth McCann / Daily Stanford]

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