Forget the fit, rugged, 30-something-year-old navigating flood plains and climbing mountains in the snazzy 4WDs as depicted in the commercials.
The reality is, drivers of the suburban monsters are often obese, aggressive, intolerant and aged in their 40s or 50s.
A new study has found that city owners of large four-wheel-drive vehicles are less community minded than other drivers, less charitable, more likely to be homophobic and have a low opinion of indigenous culture.
The Australia Institute study has also found they are more likely to use force to get their way.
Based on a Roy Morgan Research survey in 2003-04 of 24,718 people aged 14 and over, the study found the typical city driver of a large 4WD is a male in his forties or fifties in full-time work with a higher than average income.
Two thirds of their drivers in the city are overweight or obese.
Now I admit quite freely that I am two-thirds overweight or obese. I fit all of the other parameters as well.
I DO NOT OWN A 4WD!! My current transport is a Mitsi Lancer CG wagon 1600cc. It is 12 years old and still running like new.
However, drivers of luxury 4WDs are very different.
They are more likely to be female, in their 30s and 40s, and are more materialistic than other Australians.
"This group is more than twice as likely as the general population to say, `I was born to shop' (33 per cent)," the authors said.
"And two thirds (65 per cent) say they would normally buy their favourite brand regardless of price, compared with 43 per cent of the population."
They also watch their weight, and are less likely to be obese than the general population.
Well, that sure does NOT fit with me.
Final blast from this quarter...
It was "read" by one news presenter that very few of these "off road vehicles" were ever used for their intended purpose.
"One respondant said that he drove his 4WD off road every night - into the driveway of his house"
Sounds about right...