This, and the the previous poster's point about using a temporary shift in fuel price as a basis for a long-term decision, show that there is a kind of desperate denial in place for many Americans.
They were sold the big dream and are unwilling to see the simple truth; the dream of an easy, middle class life for most Americans is gone. The SUV is their symbol that they still have the kind of economic freedom that a widely-shared national prosperity used to offer. The inconvenient truths that it will cost them outrageous amounts of money to fuel, and that it will probably need major repairs long before the 7 year loan is paid off are comfortably far away when they are in the showroom buying their toy.
Why is the dream gone? That is a whole nother' thread that covers many parallel trends.
But one overarching factor is that the overall pie is stagnant or shrinking. Aside from the unproductive shenanigans of the finance parasites, and a similar milking of trillions of dollars through the for-profit health care system, plus the temporary fracking bubble that drills most of its wells at a loss using other sucker's money, there really aren't many growing sectors of the economy. We've lost many of the productive activities that had broadly-shared economic multipliers.
I'm not sure why that is exactly, but I suspect that it is driven by the inexorable decline in the ease of extraction of energy and all forms of raw materials. The easy oil and gas, the rich deposits of minerals, the virgin forests holding hundreds of years worth of stored growth, the teeming fisheries are all nearly gone. And the easy wealth goes with it.
So rather than clinging to the illusion that our lives will continue to be about which status-enhancing consumer product we should buy next, we probably should start looking at what elements are actually required to have a satisfying life without the pumped-up economic circus.
I'll give a hint--it's not about what you buy, its more about who you love and who can trust you to do what you say you will.