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GOLDIE AND THE THREE SUVs

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Jun 20, 2004

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

Hummer H2, alongside its H1 brethren

GOLDIE AND THE THREE SUVs By DAVID GARDNER

ONCE upon a time there were three trucks, a big truck, a medium-sized truck and a baby truck, and they all lived happily together in the state of California where the SUV is king. One day, when all three vehicles were parked up for the day to conserve gas in a garage close to the ocean in Orange County, a young girl named Goldie strayed off the boardwalk wearing only a bikini to cover her silicone-enhanced chest and a tiny thong. She was crying because a cruel stranger had stolen her clothes and she had no idea how she was going to get home to Fullerton on the bus wearing next to nothing. It was in the middle of May and almost as soon as she left the coastal path a hazy fog cloaked the whole area and Goldie could not find her way back to the bus stop. Lo and behold, a bright light shone out like a beacon leading her to where the three SUVs were parked close together in their cozy carport. Goldie couldn't see a sign of life, so she went and looked in the big truck. It wasn't as spacious as Goldie had imagined it would be, but she recognized it as a Hummer, the daddy of all trucks, and there was a key in the ignition inviting her to go for a drive.

First, Goldie thought she would look inside the medium truck, a Dodge Durango. It also had a key and she thought how nice it would be to go for a spin. Goldie had seen adverts on TV saying how much soccer moms liked all the space the truck had and so she assumed this must be the mommy truck.

Dodge Durango

The baby Ford Escape looked so cute Goldie couldn't resist a peek inside. With a highway mileage of 25 mpg, she pondered, this might be the cheapest way home. There was an ignition key for this one, too, so surely no-one would mind.

The Escape will also come in hybrid form for 2005

The trouble was that the longer Goldie stood out in the cold, covered in goose bumps, the harder she found it to make up her mind which SUV to borrow for the ride home. "I will just have to try them all first. Then I will know which one to borrow" she said out loud.

She decided to try out the Hummer first as its bright yellow exterior matched her bikini and she thought it would attract admiring glances, much as her double-D boob job had done.

Hummer H2

The first problem she faced was that she really wasn't very tall in bare feet and as hard as she tried, she just could not see in her rearview mirror around the spare tire that blocked half of her back window. Goldie barely felt the crunch, but when she climbed back out to inspect the damage, she saw she had bent the beach cruiser parked against the car port wall. The good thing was the Hummer was barely scratched. "I would be safe driving this truck home" she said to herself. "That's a good point to remember, especially in these poor driving conditions when drivers used to dry roads with good visibility tend to drive rather wildly." The traffic was terrible trying to get off the peninsula - Goldie wanted to try out the Hummer on the freeway - so she took out the driver's manual to check out what the 2004 H2 Vortex V8 had to offer. Goldie had taken a mechanic's course in high school and passed top of her class so she knew a bit about engines.

As she picked up the booklet, an invoice for $54,725 dropped on the floor. "That's not such a bad price for a truck like this" she thought, "particularly when you can get it for just under $50,000 without extras like the extra chrome, leather seats and sunroof." But then another thought struck her. She was planning to head back down to the beach the following week and the Hummer only really seated five people, with one extra in the third row seat, which is optional. If she kept the truck for a week, she could take it back the next week, but all she couldn't fit in all her buddies, which would be a shame as they would all like to show off in a Hummer.

Hummer H2 "I would have thought these things would have more space inside" she decided. The traffic was gridlocked now, as it would be most of the summer, but it gave Goldie time to read through the specs. There was a 3-piece ladder-type frame with an independent front suspension and a coil spring rear suspension, four wheel disc brakes and all the usual stuff. Goldie knew her boyfriend would be impressed with the 17ins cast aluminum wheels and the LT315/70R17 all-terrain tires and, man, the way those Bose speakers blasted out "It's Getting Hot in Here" was incredible. But she had hardly gone a mile or so and she thought she had at least enough gas to get over to the 405, but the red light was flashing. "This beast eats up the gas, I'd better get it back and try another truck" she thought. Turning around and stopping at the lights she couldn't be sure the floppy-haired surfer was staring at her car or trying to glimpse her double-Ds. Either way, it was all good. Back at the port, she spat on her hand and tried to rub away the scratch on the Hummer and then jumped into the driving seat of the blue 2004 Dodge Durango. The first thing she noticed was the space - enough room for seven to sit comfortably - and although it didn't have the macho chic of the H2, it was pretty comfortable. She had friends with Expeditions, Tahoes, a Toyota Sequoia and a Nissan Armada and the Durango looked like it could hold more stuff than any of them if you put the third row seats down.

The Durango's 5.7 liter V8 Hemi It was an SLT 4X4 Hemi and before she started the engine Goldie popped the hood and took a look at the hemi, whatever it was. When the dad shows his little boy the hemi in the advert, the son looks terribly impressed, but Goldie couldn't see past the 5.7L V8. "Can't they just tell you on TV?" she wondered. But when she started up the engine and shot out into the street, narrowly missing two pedestrians, she imagined she could tell the difference in performance. This time she knew people were looking at her chest as the Durango, while charming in an SUV-kind of way, hasn't the WOW factor going for the Hummer. The spec sheet was sitting right there on the passenger seat, with a price tag of $35,915, which included lots of stuff like an overhead console, sun visors and reading lights that really could have been thrown in with the base price of $30,945. For all the fuss made about the hemi, Goldie thought, it comes as a $895 add-on. She had planned to take the Durango down the Pacific Coast Highway to test it out, but decided to go back and try out the third truck because she felt she knew all she needed about this one. It was big and nice and would work great for a family. But the color didn't match her thong and it really didn't do a great deal for her image. She wasn't ready for a family. It was getting dark by the time Goldie pulled out of the car port in the 2005 V6 Ford Escape. It was the length of a car, really, and she found it easy to maneuver, easily skirting around the grandmother and only just clipping the corner of the baby stroller she was pushing. Goldie could hear the baby crying as she drove off, so no real harm done. At $24,615, this one was cheaper and Goldie knew she could at least afford to fill the tank. It even had 16ins aluminum wheels with a 103ins wheelbase. Sitting tall in the leather bucket seat - which comes standard - she knew this really was the perfect SUV for a young girl of her limited means and busy social life. She could ferry around her friends and get to college each day without hitting anything. Well, not much. Zipping up and down Route 55 she barely made a mark on the half tank of fuel and her happiness was only slightly dulled when she stopped for a hunk at the crosswalk and he barely glanced at her or her cleavage. "He must be gay" she thought, and eased off the 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. When she got back to the garage, three people were standing out in the road waiting for her. "Where have you been in my car?" said the daddy.

"And where have you been in my car?" said the mommy.

"And where have you been in my car" said the baby, "And why are you still in it?" Goldie screeched to a halt, momentarily impressed at how the P235/70R16 BSW A/S tires stopped in the wet, and was so exhausted she promptly fell fast asleep. She awoke several hours later in a holding room at the Orange County Jail. A policeman was standing over her with a quizzical look on his face. "You know I have to ask you a couple of questions" he said. Goldie nodded, afraid of what might come next. "Firstly, would you like a blanket to cover up that itsy bitsy bikini?" "Yes" said Goldie." "Good, then there is something else I must ask you - which SUV did you like best?" Goldie thought for a moment as she pulled the blanket around her shoulders. "The Hummer" she replied firmly. "I know the other trucks were cheaper, better value and more sensible.

"But I just like big boobs."

For more information on Dodge products, go to www.dodge.com. For more information on Ford products, go to www.fordvehicles.com. For more information on Hummer products, go to www.hummer.com.

SPECIFICATIONS

2004 Dodge Durango SLT Hemi

All dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted. All dimensions measured at curb weight with standard tires and wheels. GENERAL INFORMATION Body Style Four-door compact sport-utility vehicle ENGINE: 5.7-LITER HEMI® MAGNUM® V-8 Displacement 345 cu. in. (5654 cu. cm) Valve System Pushrod-operated overhead valves, Fuel Injection Sequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless Construction Deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum alloy heads with hemispherical combustion chambers Compression Ratio 9.6:1 Power (estimated SAE net) 335 bhp (257 kW) @ 5400 rpm, (61.0 bhp/L) Torque (estimated SAE Net) 370 lb.-ft. (509 N·m) @ 4200 rpm Max. Engine Speed 5800 rpm (electronically limited) Fuel Requirement Unleaded mid-grade, 89 octane (R+M)/2 - recommended, Unleaded regular, 87 octane (R+M)/2 - acceptable Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg (City/Hwy) 14/19 - 2WD, 13/18 - 4WD TRANSMISSION: 5-45RFE, AUTOMATIC FIVE-SPEED Included with 4.7 and 5.7L engines TRANSFER CASE: NV244HD Opt. - Included with 5.7-liter engine Type - Two-speed, electronically shifted Operating Modes 4WD Low, Locked (4LO); Neutral; 4WD High, Locked (4LOCK); AWD DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES Wheelbase 119.2 (3027) Track, Front 65.0 (1652) with steel wheels 64.4 (1636) with aluminum wheels Track, Rear 65.1 (1653) with steel wheels 64.5 (1638) with aluminum wheels Overall Length 200.8 (5101) Overall Width 76.0 (1930) Overall Height 74.3 (1887) Load Floor Height 33.2 (842) Ground Clearance Chassis (Fuel tank) 10.0 (254) Front axle 9.9 (251) Rear axle 7.9 (201) Drag coefficient 0.393 Fuel tank capacity 27 gal. (102L) WEIGHT Drive / Model / Engine / GVWRb, lbs. (kg) / Curb Weightc, lbs. (kg) / Payloadd, lbs, (kg) 4WD / SLT / 5.7-liter / 6600 (2994) / 5076 (2303) / 1520 (690) SUSPENSION Front Upper and lower "A" arms, torsion bars, gas-charged monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar Rear Live axle, link coil-with Watt's linkage, gas-charged monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar STEERING Type Power rack and pinion Overall ratio 18.86 - on center, 13.17:1 at full lock Turning diameter (curb-to-curb)a 37.5 ft. (12.2 m) BRAKES Front Size and Type 13.2 x 1.1 (336 x 28) vented disc With 2.13 (54) two-piston pin-slider caliper and ABS Rear Size and Type 13.9 x 0.87 (352 x 22) vented disc With 2.13 (54) single-piston pin-slider caliper and single-channel ABSb 2005 Ford Escape

Dimensions and Capacities (in inches unless otherwise noted) Overall Length 174.9 Overall Width 70.1 Overall Height 69.7 Wheelbase 103.1 Track, Front/Rear 61.3/60.9 Fuel Capacity 16.5 gallons Oil Capacity Duratec 23: 4.5 quarts Duratec 30: 6.0 quarts Coolant Capacity Duratec 23: 5.3/6.4 quarts (manual/automatic) Duratec 30: 10.6 quarts Interior Cargo Volume Rear Seat Up: 29.3 cubic feet Rear Seat Down: 66.3 cubic feet (cushion removed) Powertrain Engine Type Duratec 23: Inline-4, Aluminum Block And Head Duratec 30: V-6 Aluminum Block, Aluminum Heads Bore/Stroke Duratec 23: 3.44 x 3.70 in, 87.5 x 94.0 mm Duratec 30: 3.50 x 3.13 in, 89.0 x 79.5 mm Displacement Duratec 23: 138 cu in, 2,261 cc Duratec 30: 183 cu in, 3,000 cc Compression Ratio Duratec 23: 9.4:1 Duratec 30: 10.0:1 Fuel InjectionSequential Multi-Port Electronic Valvetrain DOHC, 4 Valves per Cylinder Power Duratec 23: 153 hp @ 5,800 rpm Duratec 30: 200 hp @ 6,000 rpm Torque Duratec 23: 152 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm Duratec 30: 193 lb-ft @ 4,850 rpm Transmissions 5-speed manual (I-4 only) 4-speed automatic (I-4 and V-6) Final Drive Ratios Manual: 4.13 (FWD); 4.43:1 (4WD) Automatic: 3.77:1 (V-6); 4.23 (I-4) Gear Ratios ManualAutomatic I3.50:12.89:1 II1.94:11.57:1 III1.26:11.00:1 IV0.95:10.70:1 V0.81:1- Chassis Suspension Front: MacPherson Struts, Coil Springs and Stabilizer Bar Rear: Multi-Link Independent, Coil Springs, Shock Absorbers Steering Type Power Rack-and-Pinion Overall Ratio 17.9:1 Turning Circle, Curb-to-Curb 15-inch Wheels35.4 feet 16-inch Wheels36.7 feet Brakes Front 10.9-in vented disc (11.9-in on V-6 4WD) Rear 9.0-in drum (11.9-in disc on V-6 4WD) Assist Type Vacuum, ABS, Quick Brake Assist Wheels and Tires Base Wheel and Tire 15-in, P225/75R15 Largest Tire Available 16-in, P235/70R16 Weights (pounds) Base Curb Weight Duratec 23 FWD manual: 3,180 Duratec 23 FWD automatic: 3,261 Duratec 23 4WD manual: 3,340 Duratec 23 4WD automatic: 3,409 Duratec 30 FWD: 3,304 Duratec 30 4WD: 3,464 Max Towing Capacity, Properly Equipped Duratec 23: 1,500 Duratec 30: 3,500

2004 Hummer H2 Engine type: Vortec 6000 6.0 liter V8 Displacement: 364cu.in./5967cc Bore & stroke: 4.00x3.62in./101.6x92mm Block material: cast iron Cylinder head material: cast aluminum Valvetrain: overhead valve Compression ratio: 9.4:1 Horsepower: 316 at 5200 rpm Torque: 360 lb.ft. at 4000 rpm Transmission Type: Hydra-Matic 4L65-E, 4-speed electronically controlled automatic Final drive axle ratio: 4.10 Low range lock gear reduction: 2.64 Crawl ratio: 33:1 Chassis/Suspension Front suspension: independent with torsion bars, 46mm monotube gas shocks, 36mm front stabilizer bar Rear suspension: 5-link variable-rate coil spring, optional self-leveling air spring, 46mm monotube gas shocks, 30mm stabilizer bar-coil or 32mm-air spring Steering type: variable ratio, integral power, re-circulating ball type Steering ratio: variable 15/13:1 Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 3 Turning circle: curb-to-curb-43.5ft. Wheelbase: 122.8in. Overall length: 189.8in. Overall width: excluding mirrors-81

Brakes Type: 4-wheel disc, 4-wheel/4-channel ABS, dual piston calipers with Dynamic Rear Proportioning Rotor diameter x thickness (in / mm):front: 12.79 x 1.5 / 325 x 38 rear: 13 x 1.14 / 330 x 29 Wheels/Tires Wheel size and type: 17-inch cast aluminum Tires: LT315/70R17 all-terrain Dimensions Exterior Wheelbase (in / mm): 122.8 / 3118 Overall length (in / mm): 189.8 / 4820 Overall width (in / mm):excluding mirrors: 81.2 / 2063 Overall height (in / mm): without roof rack: 77.8 / 1977; with roof rack: 82 / 2080 Track (in / mm): front: 69.4 / 1763; rear: 69.4 / 1763 Minimum ground clearance (in / mm): 10 / 255 (coil); 10.5 / 267 (air) Curb weight (lb / kg): 6400 / 2909 Standard GVWR (lb / kg): 8600 / 3901 Interior Seating capacity (front / rear):2 / 3 / 1 (opt) Capacities Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 40 - 86.6 / 1132 - 2452 Trailer towing maximum (lb / kg): 7000 / 3182 Fuel tank (gal / L): 32 / 121 Engine oil (qt / L):6.0 / 5.7 Cooling system (qt / L):16.8 / 15.9 Vehicle Performance Data Cruising range (miles / km at an average of 30-40 mph (48-64 km/h) over a hard surface and rolling terrain): 310 / 499 Grade capability:60% Side slope capability:40% Approach angle:40.4° (coil) - 41.7° (air) Departure angle:39.6° (coil) - 38.1° (air) (40° with ERH) Ramp brake-over angle: 25.8° (coil) - 26.6° (air) Axle differential to ground (in / mm): 9.9 / 251.5

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