Editorial: Point and counterpoint on having a 4X4 for bad weather driving

Point: Here in Toledo, Ohio, where I live, we just got abut a foot of snow. I had to drive into work last night and would have had a very tough time if I did not have a 4x4 truck. Thankfully, I do have one. While I was there, the snow drifts made the parking lot almost impassible, and our security guard couldn't get her car out. So, I dropped her off at a nearby hotel. Again, without having my 4x4 truck, we may not have been able to make it there. What's my point in all of this? Sometimes, having a vehicle with 4 wheel-drive is necessary to get around. How often it is required depends on where you live and what your occupation may be. What I am saying is this: Some people need vehicles that most would consider non-green.

Counterpoint: In the two years that I have owned my truck it has been in 4 wheel-drive less than five times. Any day but yesterday, I most likely could have traveled where I needed to go without having a 4x4, but locking it in made the road more easily traversed. I own a truck in the first place because I require its hauling and payload capability about twenty times during any given year. Before, I would need to borrow my father's truck for these tasks. What is the point of my counterpoint? There has been precisely one time when the necessity of having a 4x4 allowed me to get somewhere I had to go. Truth be told, I could probably have just stayed home that one time. The fuel penalty of 1 mpg under the 2 wheel-drive version would have saved me money and had an impact, albeit small, on the environment.

Draw your own conclusions... you are probably already on one side or the other. I know that it sure was nice to have it when I "needed it", but I can now see that it is mostly unnecessary. Fortunately for me, my other car is much more fuel-efficient and I can take that vehicle most of the time. The truck is my family's second vehicle. When it comes time to replace it, I am hoping that the Phoenix SUT will be available and at a price I can afford. It would suit my needs perfectly; if you own a truck, ask yourself, how about yours?

If the answer is no, how about a hybrid for your second car? It seems to work for 25 percent of all the other hybrid owners out there!

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