The SUV Epidemic


The Porsche SUV is an enigma wrapped in a $600 Louis Vuitton scarf. Owning one of these cars manages to say, “My spouse is never home and this is gluten-free vodka in a $30 water bottle,” while simultaneously saying, “Lucas needs to get to lacrosse practice before two.” There are actually two different SUV models manufactured by Porsche, the Macan and the Cayenne, the Macan seems to be the most common with it being Porsche’s best selling car in the US. They look exactly the same except the Cayenne is $15,000 more expensive with a somehow worse gas mileage, 20 miles to the gallon, even compared to the bleak 22 mpg that the more compact, supposedly updated, Macan gets. The only things these cars are good for are hit and runs on road bikers.

Another looming issue with owning one of these tasteless, gas-guzzling SUVs is their size, especially here in Mill Valley. The Cayenne is the chunkier of the two, coming in at a nearly 200 inches in length and almost 80 inches in width, it can barely fit in a highway lane, much less down one of the narrow, windy, backstreets of Mill Valley. It’s almost not the driver’s fault if they happen to accidentally nudge a pesky cyclist off the side of the road and to their untimely death. The car is so wide that there’s no room for anyone else to drive or even bike by without catching a scowl from the driver.

It actually makes a lot of sense that Americans love this car so much. We as a people love to flaunt all the nice things we have and what’s the best way to do that? Driving around your rich suburb in a massive SUV you might see scaling the Appalachian Mountains or traversing the Sahara Desert on TV. The harshest terrain most of these SUVs will ever encounter is a road with potholes or the occasional drunken swerve in the opposite direction of a small child. I wonder how the designers and engineers behind these cars feel now because all that comes to my mind when I think of a Porsche Cayenne or Macan is white privilege and the monotony of suburbia.