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Episode 542 – Metal Prices Soar, The Astronomical Cost of CAFE, Knockout New-Car Smell

December 16th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:25

The prices of aluminum and copper are surging, and there could be a shortage in 2012.  The Center for Automotive Research released a study looking at the proposed 60-mile-per-gallon fuel-economy standard, and the cost of meeting those rules is shocking.  That “new-car smell” probably isn’t the best thing for your lungs, but according to one forensic investigator it could knock you out.  All that and more, plus John takes a swing at your questions and comments in the “You Said It!” segment.

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This is Autoline Daily for December 16, 2010. And now, the news.

RAW MATERIAL$ ON THE RI$E
Yesterday we talked about how the price of rubber is climbing. But it’s not the only raw material that’s going up. Now Bloomberg reports that aluminum prices are expected to jump 29 percent, and that there could be a shortage by 2012. Copper prices are up 22 percent this year and set a record earlier this week. And as you well know, with the prices of raw materials going up, it’s only a matter of time before the car companies will have to raise the prices of their cars.

THE CO$T OF CAFE
But wait, it gets worse. A study by the Center for Automotive Research in the U.S. says that if the Obama Administration pushes fuel economy regulations to 60 miles per gallon by 2025, it’s going to add $6,400 to the price of the average car! The study says that will force most Americans to hold onto the old cars longer, which could cost 220,000 jobs at the car companies, and up to 1.3 million jobs if you include the supplier companies. Reuters reports that the lower sales would cost the industry $62 billion.

NO MORE HYBRID INCENTIVES
And it could be a lot more difficult for automakers to sell green cars in the American market. The Detroit News reports that yesterday the Senate dropped a provision to provide $4,000 in tax credits to people who buy hybrids, clean diesels and vehicles powered by natural gas. And this makes me wonder if the $7,500 tax credit for electric cars will be dropped when it comes up for renewal.

FISKER IN CHINA (subscription required)
That silver tongued Henrik Fisker is at it again. According to Ward’s, his company has signed a deal with the China Grand Automotive Group to sell its Karma EV in the country starting next fall. The automaker says it already has 3,000 orders for the luxury electric, and globally it expects to sell 15,000 of them per year. That might be a tough goal to reach given the Karma’s nearly $90,000 price tag.

VOLT HELPS CLEAN UP BP’s MESS
Everyone knows the Chevy Volt is a “green” car, but GM’s is taking it one step further. The company announced it’s recycling those oil-soaked plastic booms to make parts for the Volt. Those booms were used to help clean up the mess BP made down in the Gulf of Mexico this summer. GM estimates it can prevent more than 100 miles of this stuff from ending up in landfills, instead turning it into underbody panels for the Volt. The project is expected to produce enough components to supply the vehicle’s first production run.

THAT CAR KNOCKS ME OUT!
So, you just picked up your brand-new car from the dealer. All the paperwork is signed, the insurance is taken care and you’re ready to hit the road. You slide into the driver’s seat and relax for a moment, taking in a lungful of that delicious new-car smell. Other than probably being really bad for you, what’s the worst that could happen? Well, according to one accident re-constructionist, it could knock you unconscious. The Vail Daily reports that a Colorado man was driving his 2010 Mercedes sedan when he rear ended a bicyclist. Overlooking simpler and more obvious explanations, the forensic investigator found that the vehicle was emitting “new-car fumes” which could “potentially alter the driver.” I will never cease to be amazed at how people can come up with the most incredible excuses to blame somebody else for the problems they caused. Turns out the driver had sleep disorder, so it’s more likely he just dozed off behind the wheel.

Coming up next, a look at some of the things that are on your mind.

And now it’s time for “You Said It!”

Tony Gray was wondering what happened with this part of the show and why it didn’t run earlier in the week.

“Hey!  No “You Said It!” segment this week?  What are we . . . CHOPPED LIVER?!!”

Tony, Tony. Chill out, dog! Chill out.

Pedro Fernandez saw our report on the new BMW M1, including an under-the-hood engine shot and was shocked at how tightly its packaged in there.  He writes,

“I hope BMW plans to hire some techs with tiny hands and skinny arms to be able to work on that M1 engine compartment, holy tiny crevices, Batman!”

602goliath was not impressed with the acceleration in the new Lexus CT 200h, and also has an idea of what the GM Performance Parts division should do with its monster small block V-8. He says, “LMAO!  0-60 in ten seconds?  No thanks.  They should find out a way to make the LSX454R get 40 MPGs”

LMAO? Laugh my. . .

Josh 1303 asks a question that a lot of people are asking.

“John,

Have you driven a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the 3.6-liter V-6 yet?  Or any vehicle?  How does it perform?  They say it has 290 HP but what it is really to the wheels?  On the Grand Cherokee, what is the power-to-rate ratio? I am looking at the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and looking at the HEMI but just thought maybe you got some more information.”

Josh 1303, I have not driven a Grand Cherokee with the 3.6, but my colleagues who have are very impressed with it. In fact, we have an Autoline Detroit coming up in a couple of weeks about the North American Truck of the Year, because the Grand Cherokee is up for the award.  Anyway, one of my colleagues on the jury said there were times he wasn’t sure if he was test driving one with the Pentastar V-6 or with the HEMI.  That’s how good the new V-6 is.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours tonight, live at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time for the best insider discussion of what’s going on in the automotive industry.  Join me and that bodacious Autoextremist Peter De Lorenzo.  Also joining us tonight, Jason Vines and Kimatni Rawlins from Automotive Rhythms.  It’s going to be a good show, that’s tonight, LIVE, on Autoline After Hours.

And that brings us to the end of today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry.  Thanks for watching we’ll see you tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

54 Comments to “Episode 542 – Metal Prices Soar, The Astronomical Cost of CAFE, Knockout New-Car Smell”

  1. HtG Says:

    I’m just looking at how far over the front wheel axle that 1series engine is perched.

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    If people in general really want superior mpg,and if cafe really wants superior mpg,why in hell don’t they start to promote the new clean diesel technology already available? Why is diesel a dirty word here in the USA?

  3. tj Martin Says:

    The idiot Mercedes driver in Vail should be flogged along with his lawyer .

    Two thumbs up for the Senate finally doing something logical . Dropping the Hybrid Tax incentive . Now do the same for E/V’s You want to be a pretentious Early Adapter.. be my guest . But do so on your own dime , not mine ( US Taxpayer )

    Fisker’s at it again with his lies and broken promises I see . I’m shocked anyone still takes the man seriously , never mind invest money with the Grifter

    COST of CAFE – The other consequence of CAFE should Obama get his way is that those older cars that’ll be staying on the road have worse mpg as well as more emissions . Not a bright move if saving the environment is really the End Goal

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    I just love this show.

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    If I can read into today’s news correctly, the auto industry may be enjoying the best year for a long while. What with CAFE and the cost of raw materials in the future, add to that more govt mandated safety equipment and even a small, economy car will be going for over $20k. leaving the door wide open for the low labor cost and plenty raw material East (China) to come in and have an open market.

  6. tj Martin Says:

    G.A, Branigan ;

    What’s to be said about the Clean Diesel issue that hasn’t already been said ?

    Its the smart , cheapest and quickest viable solution that no one in the US excepting perhaps you and I want .

    In this High tech age everyone’s more buffaloed by the Whizz Bang Techno madness that doesn’t work .

    But Truck/Tractor technology ? That can’t possibly be any good now can it ? ( you and I know the answer to that one )

    Most times the simplest and easiest solution is the one no one believes can be real . A case of Silicon Snake Oil I’m afraid .

  7. HtG Says:

    Here’s a thought. Let’s modernize the EPA test cycle so it more accurately reflects the capabilities of modern cars. Stop-start technology just doesn’t get its due right now, for example. And my ’02 Civic gets 43 on the highway, but the EPA doesn’t give it close to that. If 60mpg is going to be the new target, then the testing needs to reflect reality well.

  8. Ralph Kercheval Says:

    I have said it before and will say it again: Get the US Government OUT OF THE AUTOMOBILE BUSINESS.

    Nobody wants the Hybrids without heavy subsidies and now they have to subsidize EV’s to get anyone to look at them.

    Keep up with the CAFE limits being rediculously high and we will have to have another “Cash For Clunkers” sooner than you think!!

  9. cwolf Says:

    Add me to the list of the few who want diesels in the U.S. My 2010 Milan just passed the 70kmi.mark. I wonder how long I’ll be able to buy another car after it reaches 200k miles! With all possible increases perhaps no one will be able.
    This may be corny,but there may be something about those wonderful new car smells. For the first two or three months after my purchase, I kept getting a film on the rear window.For awhile, windows were cleaned every day and at the end of the day the oily film returned. Eventually it went away as the good smell lessened. The leather smell remains….AHHHH!

  10. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,Ohio Says:

    At the rate new car prices are climbing,car loans will be 30 Years just like Home loans, except by the time you pay it off your car will be a rusted lawn ornament.

  11. pedro fernandez Says:

    Has anyone ever done a toxicology study on these new car smells? It’s a combination of plastics and insulation and carpeting materials with some adhesives thrown in for good measure. Just wondering if there are any long term health issues.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Nobody wants the Hybrids without heavy subsidies and now they have to subsidize EV’s to get anyone to look at them.”

    Priuses sell well enough without subsidies, but, at today’s prices, the pure electrics won’t.

    I like “clean diesels,” but VW is the only semi-affordable one available in the US. I think we should allow Euro spec diesels to be sold in most of the US, but let California disallow them if they want. While some people bash the idea of CA having standards that are different from the rest of the country, I suspect it actually would be a problem if there were millions of Euro diesels in the LA area.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    “Has anyone ever done a toxicology study on these new car smells?”

    Maybe someone could do a study to see if there is any correlation between certain cancers and frequent new car purchases.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, I don’t have to worry about that, but what about those car salesmen who are always driving brand-new demo models. I can just see it in California, “Warning: sitting inside a new car for a long time could cause lung cancer in the State of California”

  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ tj Martin and cwolf:I know all has been said about our loyalty to oil burners but I find I just can’t help myself sometimes.You guys know what I mean.I guess there is truth to the addage,”hiding in plain sight”,or something like that.

    reference to “new car smells”=Toxic out-gassing.Enough to run over somebody?LMAO!!

  16. Alex Carazan Says:

    Material prices…why not spend a little time and research the key reasons why raw material prices are going up? Please focus on more orignal thought and research based findings…not just fact reporting.

  17. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    We’re going to have our 62 MPG CAFE Dammit, an you guys are going to have ot just live with it.

    THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR MAKING CARS WITH NEARLY THE SAME FUEL ECONOMY SINCE 1985.

    ASSHOLES!!!

    BTW Honda’s last resonable design=1995 Civic Sedan.

    Toyota’s last reasonable design=2001 MR2

    When the old people 45+ think Honda and Toyota’s designs are bad= they are horrible to someone young like myself.

    I still think H/K should cater itself mostly as an under 40 company. The Baby Boomers and most of GEN X have a ridiculous taste of design in A to B non sports coupe cars.

    That’s why MINIs are seen as “Cute” when they really arent. They arent fugly, but YAWN. At least you cant tell the difference between a Brand spanking new MINI and a MINI from 2003.

    Considering this car’s problems, if they even change the styling one bit frequently those residuals would drop like a rock.

  18. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    We dont want you old guys coming to our brand with your f-ed up design ideas. Please continue to buy Toyotas and Lexus, Nissans and Infinitis, and Hondas and Acuras.

  19. tj Martin Says:

    G.A. Branigan

    Rant all you want about Diesels . I’ll just chime right in there with you .

    @HyundaiGodWhatAreYouSmoking young fellow ? Must be damned good stuff for you to keep coming up with this barrage of non-sensical verbal madness that you seem to regale us with on a semi regular basis .

    The MINI is Fugly ?? Yeah and next you’ll be telling me the Hyundais and KIAs are the epitome of Beauty .

    Now watch your language little one and behave yourself . Use of excessive and unneeded Profanity out of context is a sure sign of Blatant and Abject Ignorance , not to mention a complete lack of Class .

    Speaking of which : what class are you in anyway ? Eighth Grade I’ll guess .

  20. tj Martin Says:

    @ HyundaismokinintheBoysRoom

    Hate to be the one to have to inform you of this little FACT junior , but its US OLD GUYS that have all the money to spend on new cars . Not the pretentious and mostly out of work Gen XYZ .

    So you might want to start doing your minders ( Hyundai ) a favor and start being a whole lot more amiable to those of us with the $ to spend .

    Keep it up with your current attitude and Hyundai will be putting you on the Unemployment List as well .

  21. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    If Hyundai became Toyota, Im going to stop buying cars period, because that would be ridiculous for them to do all of that hard work to just turn around and shit out cars (well if you want to call them cars).

    If that happened, there’s no hope for the future of the car in this country. Ill move to Europe or whatever and buy a Merc A Class.

    The Japanese=FUGLY
    The Americans=The Brands that arent on point in terms of styling have the small cars, while the brands with excellent styling like Cadillac dont have small cars.

    The best looking American small car Fiesta=has a cheap looking paint job that looks even cheaper in Pictures. It’s like a 98 Saturn that paint.

    The Europeans= Good small cars on paper, but Euro cars wouldnt be able to take my abuse. Well, unless it’s a Merc.

  22. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    BTW Mr. Lorenzo, GEN Y loves cars. You’re right. Besides the EMOs who love their e devices, most of us STILL LOVE CARS!!!

    The problem is= the product.

    The product is excellent, but its still not good enough.

    Evry Midsizer needs at least 40 MPG, the Compacts need 45-50 MPG, the Subcompacts need 55-60 MPG.

  23. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    And then Economics. Gen Y isnt as nearly prosperous as Mommy and Daddy were at their age.

  24. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Mommy and Daddy were young adults at a time when a barely litterate 8th grade drop out could get a job at a plant and make Upper Middle Class wages. Guys builing Chevys who made enough to afford a Cadillac.

  25. HtG Says:

    H/S, you’re much better when you don’t use profanity. What’s the matter, GF on the fritz?

    I have to agree with about Japanese cars looks, though. They is some kind of ugly.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    H/S,
    Why are H/K cars such gas hogs? A roomier Nissan Cube gets substantially better mileage than a KIA Soul.

    BTW, your post #24 is spot on. My, how things have changed since I graduated high school in 1964.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …but MINI’s are the best looking cars on the road, especially in red with a white roof:-)

  28. Andrew Charles Says:

    If you REALLY want to improve the fuel economy of the US fleet, and not just PRETEND you want to, you need to do two things—progressively increase fuel taxes on fossil fuels and cut tariffs on bio-fuels; include punitive taxes based on CO2 emission ratings in annual vehicle registration charges and use the money to subsidize purchase of higher-economy new vehicles.

    These are tried and proven policies that WORK, unlike the CAFE and the new European fleet CO2 requirements (a CAFE proxy), which never have.

  29. HtG Says:

    28. Higher cost of fuel also has the effect of making people drive less, and combine errands. Double whammy.

  30. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    LMAO@ KIT it’s only 1 MPG man. The base Soul is tied with the Cube in MPG. Check the websites.

    The Soul will get new powertrains in a couple of years, and MPG should go up 8.

    The Soul uses Old KIA Spectra powertrains temporalily.

  31. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    You’re correct Mr. Charles, but we need to bring that CAFE up too.

    A 40 MPG Fiesta still isnt going to be good enough for most people if gas is $5-$6 a gallon.

    Cars in America are still too inefficient to have high priced gas. Example: Me and Kit are debating over 2 subcompact crossovers that get 30-31 MPG when both should be getting at least 43 MPG-in the city at that, and 50 or so on the highway.

    The quality of life in this country with the inefficiency of USDM cars coupled with high gas prices would be devastating to this country.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    40 MPG cars are $3 a gas cars.

    50 MPG cars are $4.50 Cars

    60 MPG cars are $5 cars

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    H/S,
    The Cube got 3 mpg better than Soul in CR’s “real word” tests, probably mostly because Cube has a CVT.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Soul would be a cool car with a small diesel and manual transmission.l

  35. tj Martin Says:

    HtG & Andrew Charles ;

    Higher Fuel prices = Higher costs to the Farmer as well as the Farm to Market Transportation which would = Much higher Food Costs . A very Badddd thing .

    Now if we were to raise the taxes and prices on Gasoline only , not Diesel well then the formula might look like this .

    Food prices remain level . More motivation to get Diesel as the new Green Standard in the US = less oil consumption = less pollution etc etc . Much better .

  36. tj Martin Says:

    Kit ;

    Sorry to disagree but in my opinion nothing could be done to improve the KIA Soul(less) I’m a Shoebox hater . All of them . There’s nothing worse in my mind than a car NOT designed at all .

  37. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiWhatTheFrickAreYouSmokin

    You need to have a little look see at the actual MPG figures from your side of the pond there Junior .

    40 MPG with very few exceptions is as good as it gets . Anywhere

    As to post #24 How the heck old are your parents ? 85 ? Because its been a mighty long time since an Eighth grade Education could get you any job on any assembly line .

    CLUELESS as EVER

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    The previous gen HK engines fared poorly in MPG compared to class leading Honda and Toyota engines. But now the new ones don’t seem to have that problem based on the Sonata numbers, WE just have to wait and see the new Accent and Elantra power plants.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj Martin Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    “Kit ;
    Sorry to disagree but in my opinion nothing could be done to improve the KIA Soul(less) I’m a Shoebox hater . All of them . There’s nothing worse in my mind than a car NOT designed at all.”

    “Shoebox” cars have very good packaging efficiency, but are not-so-good regarding aero drag. They actually make sense when used for low speed driving in urban settings, but less so at 75+ on the superslab.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj,

    If all cars were designed for efficiency, everything would look pretty much like a Prius. That is what cars are shaped like if designed for low aerodynamic drag. Do we really want that? I don’t think so, even though I have a Prius (but also a much less aero Mini Cooper).

  41. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    LMAO@ TJ, 40 MPG is not as good as you can get. HKAGs Euro small cars (i20, i30) are getting mid 40s MPG when converted to US figures, and that’s WITHOUT GDI.

    These same engines with GDI will debut for US consumption in Next Gen Rio and Accent. Rio and Accent are porkier cars than say an i20 for the Amero Standards and they just weigh more as they are larger cars= -2 MPG, US Testing standards= -3 MPG. GDI= +5-6 MPG.

    Yeah, 42 MPG for Next Gen Accent is the cover story, but that engine is capable of more than that. So I wouldnt be schocked if that’s not higher when it’s final.

  42. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That same engine returns 42 MPG in Porkier Avante/Elantra in Korea on their test drives. In a smaller car that’s 500-600 lbs less, that engine should be good for more.

  43. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Audi A1 TSIs in Germany get Mid 40s MPG too when converted to our measures.

  44. Bob Says:

    “# G.A.Branigan Says:
    December 16th, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    If people in general really want superior mpg,and if cafe really wants superior mpg,why in hell don’t they start to promote the new clean diesel technology already available? Why is diesel a dirty word here in the USA?”

    Because of the auto illiterates in Wash DC and Sacramento.

    You don’t even need to promote clean diesels, they are so VASTLY superior to gas engines from any point of view, longevity, AWESOME MPG, and SUPERB towing capability, every Pickup and SUV should have one, and most cars too.

    But the problem is that instead of promoting it, these clowns in DC and Sacramento have erected such barriers and penalties to its use, it costs $2-3k MORE than the already clean Euro Diesels to convert them to Wash DC and Sacramento standards.

    Meanwhile, the awesome 520td, a huge family wagon, safe and heavy and potent, which gets 4.9 lts/100km, which is far better than the 5-6 lty/100km I get with a… 75HP little tiny CIvic here,

    a Wagon that earned TOP GEAR’s family car of the year award,

    Is not even Fu King on sale in the US!

  45. Bob Says:

    From yesterday’s posts. Kit says

    “The CT 200h should appeal to people who like their Prius, but want a fancier interior. I might fall into that catagory in about 10 years.”

    NO, the C 200h is NO luxury car, there is not a trace of polished wood etc inside. It is a PERFORMANCE version of the Euro-spec Auris, which is acrtually a hybrid cheaper than the prius in Europe, and similar to the 5-door corolla in shape and size. Four door corollas are still called corollas there, but 5-doors are Auris-es.

    I believe the C200h will fail almost as miserably as the other small Lexus Hybrid has failed, it is vastly inferior to the Prius in MPG, and offers little more in luxury, only modestly better performance.

    Byt the name of the game when you get a High MPG hybrid is NOT the acceleration or the handling, you start playing with the MPG and try to maximize it. AND NOW with gas at $3.and rising, this will be even more popular.

    AND when WAGON PRIUS (or MPV) is introduced in January, if it is even close to the 50 MPG ++ the current AND previous Prius got, it will further harm the sales of the two little Lexus non-luxury (or near-luxury, but not… too near!) hybrids.

  46. Bob Says:

    Also from yesterday:

    Kit Gerhart Says:
    December 15th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    “to all of you Prius “experts” who don’t know anything about Priuses…I’ll admit that there are a number of inconsiderate drivers in Priuses who will go fast downhill and slow uphill in order to get 55-60 mpg instead of the mid to high 40’s you get if you “just drive it” and don’t even try to get good mileage. ”

    The PRIUS EASILY gets 50 MPG and more without any hypermiling, DEPENDING on LOCATION and TIME OF THE YEAR. I have drivben the prius II (the III is even more efficient and better in many ways than the II!) in both city and highway o ver 3 days and 400 miles, and I easily achieved these numbers in the Los Angeles area in April and June 2009.

    But do not expect the same numbers when you are in the snowbelt in the winter and tax the heating or the AC if you are in FL in the summer.

  47. Bob Says:

    It is a SHAME that the CRUZE, GM’s nextg HUGE HOME RUN, which is selling like CRAZY (in total contrast to the overpriced cut5sey $23k little Ford Fiesta which is accumulating months and months of inventory!) is not even in the top 3 car of the year choices of the auto journalists..

    it is an EVEN BIGGER SHAME that instead of the Cruze, the idiotic GOLF CART, the Nissan LAme Leaf is in the top 3. That HIDEOUS monstrosity, as they said in AAH last night, only deserves a HUGE LUMP OF COAL, after all, this pure EV will use coal for at least 50% of its elecrtricity!

  48. Bob Says:

    I am NOT that pessimisatic about the consequences of the 60 MPG CAFE

    FIRST OF ALL, in case anybody still does no thave a clue, the 60 MPG IS NOT COMPARABLE to today’s 2008 EPA MP Standards, but instead translates to about 45 MPG average, still very dificult to achieve ON AVERAGE, but we can get real CLOSE with millions of CLEAN DIESEL 60 MPG subcompacts and compacts offsetting a smaller number of 25-40 MPG CLEAN DIESEL Trucks and SUVS.

    SECOND, if people keep their cars longer, this will NOT be a minus but a HUGE NETPLUS TO THE AUTO SUPPLIERS< who will have a field day selling parts for old cars.

    THIRD, there are plenty of mostly unple3asant ways to make owners of 300k mile, 20 year old clunkers part with these corpses: Higher annual licence fees among others, or extending the existing GAS GUZZLER TAX to them.

  49. Bob Says:

    Speaking of keeping the old clunker: (for 712000 miles. NOT 71,200!!!)

    http://automobiles.honda.com/mile-makers/story.aspx?Story=1069

    When Honda STILL MADE AWESOME CARS…

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Every freaking advice column regarding cars always point to the Fiesta as a great car to buy in that class, but it seems to be falling on deaf ears since sales are so bad. Perhaps if they didn’t load them up with every option available, the car would sell better, BTW I just saw a client’s brand new Fit and I like that car more and more the closer I analyze it.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does anyone here REALLY KNOW if Euro spec diesel cars would be ok to have in large numbers in places like LA? I like them, and I know they would not create an air quality problem where I am, but that might not be the case in some urban areas.

  52. GPL Says:

    HS said, “LMAO@ TJ, 40 MPG is not as good as you can get. HKAGs Euro small cars (i20, i30) are getting mid 40s MPG when converted to US figures, and that’s WITHOUT GDI.”

    HS, first, vehicles sold in Europe are rated by a different test protocol that yeilds different and consistently higher mpg ratings. You can’t just do a unit conversion from L/100km or mpg-imp to mpg-US to compare them.

    For example, the Prius is rated 50 mpg-US combined by EPA, but in the UK (same car) is rated 60 mpg-US (72.4 mpg-imp).

    Second, looking around the internet, I’m not seeing particularly high ratings for the Euro i20. According to the numbers I’m seeing, only i20 gas engine that breaks 40 mpg-US is the 1.2L. The 1.6L cars (more coparable to the US Fiesta) are only rated 38.5 mpg-US (manual) and 36.2 mpg-US (auto). The EPA ratings on those would probably be very low 30′s.

  53. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Well GPL, Im going by Hyundai Germany’s Specs.

  54. ckernzie Says:

    I’ve been watching John & Autoline Detriot/Daily/Afterhours almost since their inception and come to appreciate the intelligence of the programming and the commenters who watch & respond to these shows. Normally posters here are true car people who may have their favourite brands but understand the ebb and flow of auto manufacturing and give credit where credit is due. However I have to call out the unabashed Hyundai supporter here. Korea has been dumping inferior cars (as in int’l trade terms) since coming to North America and Korea continues to be one of the most closed off economies for our products despite Americans & Canadians dying in the Korean War for their freedom. America still protects their freedom and may get dragged into another Korean War. So don’t talk to me about ‘improved quality’ with Hyundai/Kia or LMAO ‘Free Trade’ agreements or tout their new American manufacturing base, because we are dealing with a country that is the definition of unfair trade practices that are even worse than Japan’s. I understand the clueless masses who buy Hyundai/Kia due to price and increasingly better design & quality but I take exception to people that comment on an intelligent auto website, shamelessly promoting Korean cars. I have to consider those types of people to be non-car guys/gals who belong over @ the DetNews fighting with the UAW types over ‘buy American’ patriotism.