SUVs are the vehicle of choice for many families these days. But are these large vehicles really necessary? The parents of the Grenier family from Trois-Rivières are managing happily with just one small car to get themselves and their 3 children where they need to go.
Why did they make this choice?
SUVs are often advertised as the ultimate choice of vehicle, synonymous with power, success and freedom, but that didn’t influence the Grenier family. Their choice sets them apart.
The first reason they opted for a smaller car was economic. Richard, the father, crunched the numbers, including the larger purchase price of SUVs and the high fuel consumption, and quickly realized the financial benefits of sticking with a smaller car. The environmental benefits are also important for the Greniers. The lower fuel consumption of their smaller car reduces their environmental footprint. As parents, Richard and Maude-Amie also admit that the number of SUVs in their neighbourhood concerns them for their children's safety, given that collisions involving SUVs are more numerous and more serious than those involving smaller cars.
How to manage with a smaller car
It just takes a little more planning. For example, on long trips or vacations, a family of five will have more luggage than usual. Richard and Maude-Amie decided to install a roof rack to be able to carry more luggage and travel more comfortably. And for their camping weekends, the family has a trailer for all their gear, including their canoe. Otherwise, for their everyday needs, the Greniers manage to fit everything in pretty easily!
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Assessing our real needs
The Grenier family shows us that an SUV is not a necessity, and far from the only option for a large family. Despite their children's activities and busy lives, keeping their smaller vehicle and adding on accessories responds very well to their needs. There are also alternatives to taking the car for many people, such as public transit and active transportation.
We’re now aware of the harmful effects of SUVs. Opting for a smaller car or alternate ways of getting around is a concrete step that we can take to help address the climate crisis.
Quebecers' growing preference for heavy vehicles is cause for concern:See the campaign