Drivers Cling to Their SUVs
"Stephanie Torgerson, 32, of Pataskala, Ohio, said she simply can't put her three boys in her husband's Mazda 626. The 1-year-old needs a car seat, the 5-year-old needs a booster chair and she doesn't feel comfortable wedging her 8-year-old between the two.
Sure, she could probably get better mileage in a minivan, but she doesn't like the stigma."I don't want to be labeled as a soccer mom," she said.
Torgerson said her 2006 Chevy Trailblazer, which gets about 20 mpg, affords her and her kids protection -- not to mention four-wheel drive traction in the snowy winter months. But security comes with a price.
Torgerson's daily commute to Hilliard -- another Columbus suburb -- is 72 miles roundtrip. She spends about $82 a week on gas, she said."