Big SUVs Go High Fashion

Not too many years ago the extremist Earth Liberation Front burned fleets of SUVs as economic sabotage. When the economy crumbled, public opinion and even owners themselves, in total denial of personal responsibility, condemned the auto makers for forcing Americans to drive big, ostentatious and inefficient SUVs.

Today — small fuel efficient cars, car-based SUV crossovers and sedans are gaining market share. And yet, even discounting pick-up truck sales overall leadership in the US vehicle market — SUVs have not gone the way of the dinosaurs.

The full-sized SUV has stepped up from its suburban payload of kids, soccer gear and groceries to emerge as the new limousine. Celebs of moment are assured a dramatic entrance when they roll up to the red carpet in gleaming black GMC Yukon Denali XL.

And manufacturers are strutting their big SUVs like boldly accessorized plus-sized models on the catwalk. Three recent test drives of the $88,000 Lexus LX570, the $79,000 Infiniti QX80 and the $133,000 Range Rover Supercharged Autobiography underscored the most important economic fact of this class of vehicle. Luxury SUVs are an enormously profitable market segment for car makers!