Sunday, January 04, 2004

Look, Ma, no brains -- The grossly disproportionate CAFE standards applicable to cars and trucks, while criminally stupid, is at least historically and politically explicable. What Downshift has never understood is why there are different rules about tinted glass.

Most SUVs and minivans have dark glass from the factory, while sedans and wagons don't. That's because light trucks can have tinting on all but the windshield and the two front side windows, while cars cannot. Certainly, tinting would make the Downshift family station wagon more bearable, particularly for the sensitive-eyed 2-1/2 year-old in the back. Look for a post when Mrs. Downshift approves a budget item for after-market tinting.

Recently, however, a thought occurred to us. Perhaps trucks, particularly SUVs, require tinting to camouflage how little most trucks are used for truck-like purposes. Without dark windows, you'd really see that most of the time what's being hauled in your neighbor's Escalade could fit in a Mini.