Put in canoe terms, if you were paddling solo 95% of the time, but once a year needed more capacity, would you want an 18'6" tandem as your only canoe? Much preferable to have a solo, and either rent a tandem or bring a second solo for the other 5%.
My math says that operating a car that gets 10 l/100km costs more than one that gets 6 l/100km.
20 000km/100km * 10l * $1.25/l = $2500
20 000km/100km * 6l * $1.25/l = $1500
This is based on the current fuel cost in my city, and 12 000 miles per year. Extrapolated over a typical 10 year service life the bigger car costs $10 000 more in fuel. This is just fuel, too. Bigger cars usually cost more initially, often cost more in maintenance/parts (bigger tires cost more), and may have a lower resale value as a percent of their initial purchase price. Also, this equation assumes gas will stay the same price, though it seems reasonable that the price of fuel may increase.
On top of the economic argument are the other reasons for using less petroleum including climate change, local air pollution/smog, energy security, and keeping wealth closer to home.
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