Interesting thread. Several years ago, I bought an SUV (Ford Expedition)
for towing a trailer. I did not want a truck because I wanted to put my
spare wheels/tires/tools in the back where they would be somewhat safer than
in an open bed, and I did not fancy putting a camper shell on a truck.
As a towing vehicle, the Expedition has been great. Yes, the fuel mileage is
not good - about 10 mpg average when towing. With hindsight, a diesel truck
would have been better, but I did not know that at the time I bought the
Expy. I do regret getting the four-wheel drive - I thought it would help
on muddy fields/side of tracks, but I never really needed it. I tried to
take the Expy off road in the desert in San Diego/Imperial County, but it
proved to be just too big for most of the tracks I enjoyed taking with my
previous 4 wheel drive- an Isuzu Trooper. By the way, I did 178,000 miles in
that Trooper, at least 30,000 of those off road, and never rolled it, or
have an accident except for a few misshaps off-road (such as getting bogged
down in the mud in the "Borrego Sink"!). Apart from a clutch at 150,000
miles, I cannot remember having any problems with it.
I still have the Expedition and the trailer, even though I hardly use either
nowadays (2,000 miles in the last two years!). I will keep the Expedition,
as with the bad publicity and gas prices nowadays, I would be lucky to get
$4,000 in trade-in for it, even with only 67,000 on the clock. I don't
drive it as a sport car, I am well aware of its limitations, and I still
think I am way safer in it than either in my Bugeye or my Lotus Seven.