I own an ford expedition and a ford f150 supercrew (4 real doors).
- I do not like being at "car level". I feel more secure at "truck level". Better visibility.
- More metal. Real bumpers. I do not feel safe in a small plastic car.
How many car accidents have you been in recently? Most cars have excellent crash test ratings these days compared to even 10 years ago. A friend recently slammed into a rock cut at about 40mph, her PT Cruiser did a 360 in the air and landed back out on the road. She walked away with belt burn and a bruise on her neck from the air bag. Also, SUV's are most prone to rollovers. Airbags don't help much when the passengers have been ejected from the vehicle.
- MPG. Even if I could get a car with more metal and size, many car models are not significant improvements over my SUV and offer less convenience.
City mileage drops fast with less weight, highway mileage drops fast with better aerodynamics, both drop fast with a smaller engine. Your 5.4L Expedition gets a reported 13mpg city 18mpg highway, so actual is probably more like 10/15. My 3.4L minivan (Pontiac Montana) gets 20/26 actual.
- 4x4. When I want to go, I go.
Many car models offer 4x4, Subaru only makes 4x4's for example.
- Interior room. I have 3 kids. Ever put 3 child safety seats into a small plastic car?
- Kids have "things"... backpacks, class projects, game cases. 3 kids + any friends gets cramped in cars.
- Minivans, the only real alternative to SUVs. Ugly. Expensive. Nuff said
Many cars handle this fine, so far I'd direct you towards a Ford Flex AWD
-.Environment? Meh. I drive a 2 cylinder for the better part of 9 months out of the year. It's a Harley.
Catalytic converters reduce smog emissions by a factor of 430. By my math (880cc/5.4Lx430) your Harley emits about 70 times as much smog as your Expedition. You're not doing us any favors...