Is one SUV more biofriendly than 2 smaller cars?

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Is one SUV more biofriendly than two smaller cars? 

Recently SUVs have been getting a bad rap due to their size, fuel consumption and emissions.  But if you had to choose between having one SUV or two smaller cars, which would you choose?  And do you know which choice would be more biofriendly and save you more money?  I decided to take a look because our family (due to its size) requires the use of a larger vehicle.

I went on FuelEconomy.gov to compare emissions, gasoline consumption (not factoring in any fuel additives, bio-fuels, maintenance, etc).  Here is what I found:

Our Suburban gets about 15 mpg (average between city and highway).  Annual petroleum consumption is estimated at 22.8 barrels/year (42 gallons per barrel) and annual CO2 emissions are apparently 12.2 tons.  Then I searched for information regarding two cars we used to have before we had kids….a Volkswagen Jetta and a Ford Mustang.  Here is what I found:

The Volkswagen Jetta gets about 22 mpg, annual Petroleum consumption estimated at 15.6 barrels/year and annual CO2 emissions are apparently 8.3 tons.  The Ford Mustang gets about 20 mpg, annual Petroleum consumption estimated at 17.1 barrels/year and annual CO2 emissions are apparently 9.2 tons.

When you add those two cars together you end up with annual Petroleum consumption at 32.7 barrels/year and annual CO2 emissions at 17.5 tons.  So for our family we are saving gas and lowering emissions by having one SUV instead of two smaller cars.

Please note: While this solution may be more biofriendly for us, it doesn’t mean it would be the same for someone else….we have 2 kids and a dog that we transport around so need a larger vehicle.  Additionally, I work from home, so don’t need a second car to commute back and forth to a job.  And to be honest….since we’ve had kids we don’t do as much traveling as we used to.  I’m sure that will change as the kids grow up but for now one vehicle works well for us.  Anyway, it’s something worth checking out for yourself.

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