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Old 08-13-2010, 07:37 PM
 
261 posts, read 308,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico7 View Post
Several years dated (say 2005), Saab and Volvo were considered moose-safe. You might be assuming that an SUV like a Grand Cherokee or Excursion would be a good bet, but keep in mind that a male moose could be quite tall and after you take his legs out that's 1500 pounds heading straight for your windshield. Subaru would be your best choice for avoiding that moose in the winter; they are safe, but I'm not aware of any moose-specific testing done.
I guess since I'm looking at medium sizes SUV/crossovers, their height is about the same across the line. Subaru OB is 66", Lexus 66", and Jeep GC is 69". My current sedan is 59" tall. A Ford F-450 would be 79" high, but I don't need a beast at this point.

Would weight (a few hundred lbs) of the car make a any difference? Probably not, since once that deer is flying, it will all come down to the windshield.
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Old 08-13-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
9,214 posts, read 12,505,196 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
I guess since I'm looking at medium sizes SUV/crossovers, their height is about the same across the line. Subaru OB is 66", Lexus 66", and Jeep GC is 69". My current sedan is 59" tall. A Ford F-450 would be 79" high, but I don't need a beast at this point.

Would weight (a few hundred lbs) of the car make a any difference? Probably not, since once that deer is flying, it will all come down to the windshield.
you should go by ground clearance aka ride height not overall height of the car or truck.

With the vehicle stationary, ground clearance is the measurement from the lowest-hanging point under the vehicle (usually a differential or the exhaust system) to the ground. A high ground clearance allows a vehicle to drive more easily off-road or through heavy snow without damaging underbody components. Ground clearance can also be measured at other key points, such as under the frame, in order to help drivers navigate off-road obstacles.

the jeep grand cherokee has a ride height of 10.7 inches the subaru outback has 8.7 inches of ground clearance. so the jeep being 2" taller stock would be better because it would have less chance of something getting caught or dragged underneath and causing damage to the truck.

Last edited by GTOlover; 08-13-2010 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:29 PM
 
261 posts, read 308,884 times
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According to major auto websites, Jeep Grand Cherokee's ground clearance - at curb weight is 8.3" vs. 8.7" for a Subaru Outback. Do you have another source which calculated this using different key points?

Anyways, the Jeep is 3" taller, so the roll-over risk increases. In my calculation, I would more likely hit that deer than swerve, as swerving is not always possible due to oncoming traffic. But then again, if I had a massive tailgater behind me, I might swerve. Now how does the electronic stability control fit into this equation? Are the roll-over ratings published taking ESC into account? Have there been comparisons with and without?

Hey, someone please create a new "Extreme Parent" criteria which would calculate the combination of the roll-over risk with the groud clearance height!
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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I have no idea what has happened with Volvo after its transfer from Swedish-to-American-to-Chinese ownership, but my gut would say a Volvo with all-wheel drive would be your best bet for safety; they are still built like tanks (although maybe not to the extent of some earlier models). A close second place, and much easier on the bank account, would be a Subaru Outback or Forester. In my personal opinion, the newly redesigned Outback is a fantastic vehicle, one of the best values on the road. If you want to look further into value, there are Ford models with available all-wheel drive that are based on a Volvo V70 -- I think that's the model -- platform: Ford Five Hundred, Taurus, and Freestyle.

I would not buy a Jeep right now. There are too many reliability problems with the vehicles and the parent company, Chrysler, seems not to be bothered by such concerns. They have been putting out cars that are little more than eye-candy.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:41 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 12,010,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ResearchMom View Post
According to major auto websites, Jeep Grand Cherokee's ground clearance - at curb weight is 8.3" vs. 8.7" for a Subaru Outback. Do you have another source which calculated this using different key points?

Anyways, the Jeep is 3" taller, so the roll-over risk increases. In my calculation, I would more likely hit that deer than swerve, as swerving is not always possible due to oncoming traffic. But then again, if I had a massive tailgater behind me, I might swerve. Now how does the electronic stability control fit into this equation? Are the roll-over ratings published taking ESC into account? Have there been comparisons with and without?

Hey, someone please create a new "Extreme Parent" criteria which would calculate the combination of the roll-over risk with the groud clearance height!
As someone who has done some pro driving for manufacturers running these systems in extreme circumstances, you should understand that no system is automatic protection against roll over. These systems like ABS or stability control assist the driver but do not eliminate all the risk, nor can you assume they can fix every problem that occurs(and if a salesperson tells you otherwise they have been misinformed). Yes the technology like on the Outback is very good and very quick to respond and yes it is impressive, but still a limit exists on every car, whether a Lamborghini or a Subaru.

Grip is grip and once the grip limit is exceeded on the tire, stability control can gyrate around trying to help fix the skid, but the car is still at the mercy of it's momentum and in addition severe weight transfers can effect things as well. Also with some of the commercial and police clients I have been involved with in states like Colorado, some of the worst rollover accidents and frequency there of, involve AWD SUV vehicles with all the gizmos. People think with all the electronics and AWD they can bulldoze through snowstorms at 70 mph and well, often it's a fatal error.

Yes typically the higher the vehicle height, the higher the risk for rollever, but not always. What actually helps the Subaru is their engines are horizontally opposed in a Flat configuration so the weight is lower, rather than like a V-6 or V-8 where the center of gravity is higher up. A lot of other factors come into play, not just ride height or total height. Suspension, tires, the road and it's camber and the actual exact center of gravity in the vehicle, not the numerical height.

While picking a good vehicle is great, I'd invest in some driver training like at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School or Bondurant or Skip Barber. These schools do have programs focused on road driving and skid control. I think it's better to have good driving skills and not be in an accident in the first place rather than trying to find a perfect safety cage and then running over every animal, man woman and child in sight plus an assortment of other vehicles.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:46 PM
 
9,703 posts, read 12,010,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nico7 View Post
.

I would not buy a Jeep right now. There are too many reliability problems with the vehicles and the parent company, Chrysler, seems not to be bothered by such concerns. They have been putting out cars that are little more than eye-candy.
Haven't got my hands on the new Jeep Grand Cherokee yet, so it may be improved, but I did a couple of hundred laps on race tracks last year with the old dog and it's still 1993 in there. It's all a bit flobbery, cramped for such a big SUV with a narrow view out the front windscreen, plus a stale engine that needs a few seconds to wake up and a clunky gearbox.

And you do get the feeling Chrysler doesn't give a damn anymore. Sad really because they did seem to make progress in the 1990's only to have Mercedes ruin them.
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Old 08-14-2010, 10:56 AM
 
261 posts, read 308,884 times
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Never had an accident or a spin-off, and I'm not looking for a cage to feel safe in. Physics is physics, and I'm not swayed by the notion that a bigger car is better. Just trying to find the best car for the money, and unfortunately I am under time pressure to buy one. I've driven through Midwest and New England winters with a small sedan for years, so I have learned how to maneuver small cars pretty well. The skill-driving school idea is great, didn't know such schools exist. It could be fun.

For the overall value, Subaru Outback seems to fit the bill. However, one thing bugs me. It doesn't have the window auto-reverse feature on passanger and back windows. I've got a kid and it should really be a must in 2010. I thought this was a standard thing in all cars on all windows by now? Seems like only Lexus, Volvo and Merc have it. I've been spoiled by VW big time! My basic model VW has that feature on all windows, plus heated seats, plus door auto-lock, and heated mirrors. I had no idea these were considered "high-end" options.. (btw I can live w/out).

Is Buick Enclave a good car to consider too?
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
9,214 posts, read 12,505,196 times
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[quote=ResearchMom;15471896]Never had an accident or a spin-off, and I'm not looking for a cage to feel safe in. Physics is physics, and I'm not swayed by the notion that a bigger car is better. Just trying to find the best car for the money, and unfortunately I am under time pressure to buy one. I've driven through Midwest and New England winters with a small sedan for years, so I have learned how to maneuver small cars pretty well. The skill-driving school idea is great, didn't know such schools exist. It could be fun.

For the overall value, Subaru Outback seems to fit the bill. However, one thing bugs me. It doesn't have the window auto-reverse feature on passanger and back windows. I've got a kid and it should really be a must in 2010. I thought this was a standard thing in all cars on all windows by now? Seems like only Lexus, Volvo and Merc have it. I've been spoiled by VW big time! My basic model VW has that feature on all windows, plus heated seats, plus door auto-lock, and heated mirrors. I had no idea these were considered "high-end" options.. (btw I can live w/out).

Is Buick Enclave a good car to consider too?[/quote]
I would check out a ford explorer before looking at a Enclave. ford explorer strated the whole mid-size SUV craze and is the most sold SUV in history.

YouTube - Ford Explorer Review - Kelley Blue Book
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:51 PM
 
Location: NYC & NJ
747 posts, read 1,378,989 times
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IMO you need to maximize your probability of avoiding a deer collision in the first place, rather than worrying about ground clearance and going over a dead deer.

Headlights: get a car with really good HIDs, so you can see as best you can. Don't buy a car with aftermarket HIDs that have, say, 6000K or 8000K. Kelvins are not a measure of light output. In fact the further you go away from 4300K (either higher or lower), the lower your light output.

Brakes: the better your brakes (and ABS), the better your chances of controlling your car around a deer or minimizing the impact and momentum of any unavoidable collision.

Handling: similar point as above, but you're going the wrong way if you're concentrating on ground clearance. All else being equal, the lower your Center of Gravity the better handling you'll have and a lower chance of rollover: the taller your vehicle or the higher your ground clearance, the higher your CoG will be.

Speed: drive slower through deer-populated areas. The more time you'll have to react, lower your speed and/or maneuver around any animal.

A tall truck with a huge guard is not an answer as any animal could be thrown through your windshield instead. And you need to stop thinking about ground clearance and start thinking about handling: the small monetary price you'll pay in scraping something on the bottom of your car is nothing compared to the losses from a bad collision and/or losing control.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:53 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,193 posts, read 20,714,966 times
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Go for the 2010 Subbie Forester. Great vehicle.
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