An SUV Owner Reconsiders

<p>Judith Warner reflects back on what made her purchase a Land Rover in the first place ('beating back middle age') and her ideas for what to do with it now that she can't afford to drive it ('in-law apartment').</p>
July 14, 2008, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Why on earth did we buy a car like this?

Well, a lot of people once did. In fact, until late 2004, a lot of people went out of their way to buy precisely these monsters because -– if you can believe it -– the government actually offered a tax break for buying a car that weighed over 6,000 pounds if you were self-employed and needed it to transport heavy work machinery. Like farm equipment. Or a laptop.

But that's not why we bought ours.

We bought our Land Rover because our friends had one. They were fun, attractive, athletic kinds of people, and it seemed to us that that they had a fun, attractive, athletic kind of a car. A swashbuckling kind of a car. With its extra-high roof rack, its khaki-colored interior, its front end that looked like the face of a panther, their Land Rover looked like it could take you away from Safeway and out on safari."

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Published on Thursday, July 10, 2008 in The New York Times
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