'Open season' on SUVs continues

Mon 12 January 2004 View all news

Attacks on 'gas guzzling' and 'unsafe' SUVs and 4x4s have continued to gather pace. Motor industry representatives have responded by saying that the attacks rely on unhelpful stereotypes rather than an understanding of the full range of such vehicles, their uses and capabilities.

Friends of the Earth said that Britain has one of the worst records in Europe on average new car emissions and one of the highest rates of purchase of 4x4s. The environment group called for radical changes in vehicles excise duty to make it much cheaper for people to own and drive smaller, greener cars.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says that CO2 emissions in the 4x4 off-road segment have fallen by ten per cent in the last six years alone and are, in fact, lower than in the luxury saloon segment. Most sales in the 4x4 segment are diesel variants which have better fuel consumption and emit less CO2 than petrol models.

In recent weeks the use of SUVs, particularly in urban areas, has been under fire from the New Economics Foundation - a 'think tank' - the Liberal Democrat's Environment spokesman and London's Mayor.

Related Links

Friends of the Earth press release
SMMT press releases (see '4x4 - the facts')

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