Earlier this week I wrote about the declining value of used SUVs in the face of soaring gas prices -- a 3-year old SUV in 2008 i worth considerably less than a 3-year old SUV in 2007. Luxury might have been the order of the day during the boom times, but now it's all about economy, economy, economy.

A piece in The Wall Street Journal wonders (subscription required) whether the plummeting values of SUVs might make them more appealing now. The idea is that if you drive infrequently, the lower price of an SUV might compensate for the additional money you'll spend on gas.

But I'm not so sure: inventory problems aside, a new SUV is still more expensive than a new economy car. A 2008 Kia Sportage still costs 50% more than a Kia Rio so it isn't like buying a gas pig will save you money. Manheim Consulting reports that average auction prices for used SUVs fell 17.%% in April to $12,500 -- a big drop but you can still get a smaller car for a lot less.

Sorry but buying an SUV isn't -- and never will be -- an economical decision.

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