Is that ol’ SUV right for you?

As gasoline prices skyrocket and parking places seem to shrink, many once-proud sport utility vehicle owners are asking themselves if they made the right choice when they purchased a 58,000-pound land barge for personal transportation.

If you’re one of these uncertain SUV owners, here’s an easy quiz you can take to find out if you really need to drive an aircraft carrier back and forth to the bowling alley, or if you’re better off with, say, a 1993 Chevrolet Cavalier.

It’s a simple 1-to-4-point scoring system that even Humvee owners should be able to understand.

  • Where do you live?
  • a) In your SUV (4)
  • b) Apartment (0)
  • c) Subdivision (1)
  • d) On a farm (2)
  • e) In a swamp (3 points)
  • How are you employed?
  • a) Rhino poacher (4)
  • b) Game warden (3)
  • c) Lumberjack (2)
  • d)Federal marshal responsible for transporting captured terrorists (1)
  • e) Accountant (0)
  • How many children under 18 years of age do you have living at home?
  • a) Eight or more (4)
  • b) Five to seven (3)
  • c) Three to four (2)
  • d) One to two (1)
  • e) None (0)
  • What kind of exotic pets do you regularly travel with?
  • a) Ocelot (4)
  • b) Alligator (3)
  • c) Boa constrictor (2)
  • d) South American carnivorous tree frog (1)
  • e) Yorkshire terrier (0)

(NOTE: If you travel with more than one of the aforementioned exotic pets, three alligators, for example, score appropriately for each animal. YORKSHIRE EXCEPTION: If you regularly carry four or more Yorkies in your SUV, give yourself a 12 and – once you’re off the road – a stiff shot of bourbon).

  • With whom do you regularly travel (five to seven days a week)?
  • a) Your daughter’s junior high school field hockey team (4)
  • b) Michael Jackson (3)
  • c) Your spouse’s methamphetamine rehab group (2)
  • c) Your Uncle Roscoe, who likes to clean firearms while traveling down winding, pot-holed roadways (1)
  • d) Yourself (0)

SCORING: If you scored 17 or higher, you probably need an SUV (and possibly a personal assistant with a tranquilizer gun).

If you scored 12 to 16, you might need an SUV. If you’re still not sure, multiply the number of field hockey players by the number of boa constrictors, divide by two and flip a coin. If it’s “heads,” keep the SUV.

If you scored 5 to 12, you’d probably be just as happy with a used Buick Roadmaster station wagon or a 1953 Dodge stake-bed truck.  (Really. I wouldn’t kid you on this…)

If you scored 0 to 5, you don’t need an SUV, you need a life. Go to church, read a book, take up yoga, paint your dog. Do something before you turn into a human doorstop, dude…

Originally published June 22, 2005.

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