Episode 794 – Hyundai’s New Chief Designer, Biodiesel Incentives Set to Expire, Car Sales Grow

December 23rd, 2011 at 11:30am

Runtime: 8:38

Hyundai just named Christopher Chapman as its Chief Designer in the U.S. He’ll be responsible for new vehicle and concept designs. Biodiesel incentives are set to expire at the end of the year in the U.S. Edmunds predicts that car sales will end up at 12.8 million units in the U.S. this year. All that and more, plus a look at the brand new Buick Verano.

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This is Autoline Daily for December 23rd, bringing us to the last show that we’re doing this year since we’ll be off next week. But that’s next week, let’s now go to the news of the day.

Hyundai just named Christopher Chapman as its Chief Designer in the U.S. He will work out of Hyundai’s Design Center in California and will be responsible for new vehicle and concept designs. Chapman previously worked at Isuzu and BMW. He graduated from Art Center in Pasadena, California.

While EVs have had no trouble getting billions of dollars in government support, biofuels have been largely ignored as a way to reduce our dependence on oil. In fact, biodiesel incentives are set to expire at the end of the year in the U.S. Biodiesel production tripled this year to a record 802 million gallons, thanks to all the incentives for producing it.

SPAIN #2 IN PRODUCTION IN EUROPE (subscription required)
I always thought that the order in which countries make the most cars in Europe would be Germany, France, Italy and England. But noooooo! Ward’s reports that Spain is the second-largest vehicle manufacturer on the Continent. In fact, with 2.3 million vehicles rolling off the assembly lines, this is the third year in a row that Spain out produced France, Italy and England.

Speaking of sales, Edmunds sees them finishing out the year strong in the American market, or at least strong as measured in the “new normal.” It predicts 1.2 million new cars will be sold this month, and that the year will end up at 12.8 million. That’s not very good by historical standards, but still, it’s up a million units over a year ago. Edmunds specifically says that Chrysler and GM are going to have a blow-out month with sales up 30 percent or better.

Now for some news from our friends at German supplier company Continental. 2011 turned out to be a great year for them. They’re selling an ever-increasing number of electronic-stability-control systems because they’re becoming mandatory in more and more markets. The popularity of advanced driver-assistance technology is also adding to the bottom line. Conti is the supplier of Volvo’s “City Safety” system. Ford of Europe offers a similar technology, “Active City Stop.” On the Focus it’s a 350 Euro option, and amazingly the take rate is 40 percent! Continental also tells us that Fiat is putting technologies like this into smaller, cheaper vehicles, like the Panda. They also hint that Chrysler will offer them in the near future as well.

With Europe’s economy on the edge of recession again Volkswagen seems to have perfect timing with their new UP! small car. According to Autoblog, the UP! could retail for about $13,000 in the ‘States and come equipped with a three-cylinder engine that earns 50 miles per gallon. Zero to 60 takes about 13 seconds, and top speed is 107 miles per hour thanks to the engines 74 horsepower output. The UP! is VW’s first volume car with a three-cylinder engine. The 2,000 pound vehicle seems to defy physics. It delivers five stars in European crash testing.

I’m Craig Cole at Lincoln Center in Manhattan and I’m ready to introduce you to the new star in Buick’s lineup. That story is coming right up.

Manhattan’s Upper-West Side is home to some of the priciest real estate in the country, and home owners who can afford it. And those are the exact buyers Buick has been targeting the last few years with products like its LaCrosse, Enclave and now the new Verano sedan.

This four-door is one of the only players in the premium-compact sliver of the market. It’s a big step above other C-segment offerings, but it’s not quite as pricey as cars like the Acura TSX or Lexus IS250.

One of the first things you notice about the Verano is its size. It shares the same foundation as the Chevy Cruze, so it’s pretty small, at least by traditional Buick standards. But the family resemblance is strong; it looks just like a three-fifths scale LaCrosse. This familiarity extends to the powertrain as well.

For now, all Veranos are hauled around by a 2.4-liter Ecotec engine that’s good for 180 horsepower. It’s matched to a slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. From a standstill, 60 miles an hour takes around 8.6 seconds, so don’t plan on out running that Camaro in the next lane. A 2.0-liter turbo will be available a little later.

As with the rest of brand’s lineup, silence is an important attribute AND a major selling point.

Helping keep unwanted racket at bay, the Verano is literally stuffed with all kinds of baffles, blankets and foam. Buick showed off its secret sauce in a special cutaway display model. Following the same recipe they’ve used elsewhere, engineers have cooked up a ghostly quiet C-segment sedan.

Of course it’s not all decimals and decibels. Buick also focused on design with this car, especially on the interior.

And some of those high-end features include soft materials throughout the cabin, buttery smooth leather and five, yes, FIVE different interior color combinations – two with cloth seats and three with leather. That much choice is almost unheard of today, especially in a small car. If you’re wondering, the signature hue is called Choccachino and it features turquoise-colored stitching for a nice contrast.

While the Verano isn’t much fun to drive, it is smooth and very quiet, which makes it feel like a bigger, more expensive car. It’s a welcome addition to Buick’s lineup, pushing the brand into a smaller, more affordable segment. Starting price is about $23,500, INCLUDING the destination charge. Check every box on the options list and plan on spending about 30 grand.

Thanks for that report Craig.

And make sure you check out this week’s episode of RoundAbout. The gang is looking back at the predictions they made last year for 2011. Were the RoAb oracles accurate? Did their forecasts come true? Listen! That’s what you’ll have to do! Where else? Autoline.tv.

And that wraps up the last report for Autoline Daily for 2011. We’ll be taking next week off, so have a great holiday, and we’ll see you back here on January 2, of 2012.

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

358 Comments to “Episode 794 – Hyundai’s New Chief Designer, Biodiesel Incentives Set to Expire, Car Sales Grow”

  1. Donan Iacovone Says:

    Why no push for the use of biodiesel all these years? What a shame to let that great resource slip away. Surprisingly, VW is not offering a diesel option on the UP! That could easily push the mpg into the 60s.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    To anyone that ‘sometimes’ frequents the AAH, last night’s was a good one. Presents and ‘lumps of coal’ were distributed by John, Peter and David; pretty spot-on IMO and very entertaining to boot.

    I’d like to present my recommendation for ‘Present’ to John and the whole Autoline crew for some of the best automobile information on the net; great job all year round.

    I have a lump or two of ‘coal’ to give out but discretion prevents me from ruining the joyousness of the season (but you know who you are). ;)

  3. T. Bejma Says:

    Wow, had a little sticker shock on the Verano considering a loaded Equinox LTZ is $30,000! The entry/mid level cars have some nice stuff for mid $20K’s pricing, I just don’t know who we are targeting with the up-level when a well equipped Regal and even a base Lacrosse are around $30K…

  4. Autos101 Says:

    The number one problem for the Verano, the Malibu Eco and other domestics is that, while a few decades ago they were $1-2k cheaper than the Japanese equivalents, now they are actually more expensive!

    The Camry Hybrid is only $650 more expensive and much more fuel efficient (city esp) than the Malibu Eco. Even if you don’t include the higher or much higher resale value for the Camry, you will erase that $650 in two years (I did the precise EPA Math) for an average driver, 12,000 miles, 55% city MPG.

    Only an Econ Illiterate would not see this glaring imbalance.

  5. Autos101 Says:

    PS these are $26,000 and $26,600 or so base prices (Camry HYBRID vs Malibu Eco)

  6. HtG Says:

    A question for A1. What do you make of the front ends of today’s cars and trucks, as it concerns the minimal distance between the sheet metal and the hard motor? I look at pics of the Verano, and most front engine cars, and think “oofaah.” These bulbous designs just don’t look right to me, even as I overlook the increased widths of current stronger A pillars.

  7. JT Says:

    Happy Holidays to the Autoline Family! See you next year at Cobo! All the best from teh team at ESI!

  8. tj Martin Says:

    (time for a qucky )

    @ Autos101

    Errrrrrrr…… hate to be the bearer of bad news there ….. but err …. ahhhhh ….. hmmmn ……. the Ferrari SUV is laready on the books and will probably see the light of day in the next 12 -18 months at least on the show circuit

    Its already been previewed to a select few in drawing form and …….. well …….. thats enough bad news for anyones day , don’t you think ? ;-)

    For the record , the overall opinion of the Ferrari SUV by those that have seen the artists rendition has been overwhelmingly negative , but Ferrari needs the cash and desperation generally has a negative influence on ones business decisions .

  9. tj Martin Says:

    Nice to see Hyundai’s got themselves a new copy machine ….. i mean designer ……… no … copy machine ……. what am i talking about … this is the digital age ….

    A New …. High Tech …. 1 to 1 Digital Scanner/Printer

    Merry Xmas Hyundai !

    Or not !

  10. Autos101 Says:

    “@ Autos101

    Errrrrrrr…… hate to be the bearer of bad news there ….. but err …. ahhhhh ….. hmmmn ……. the Ferrari SUV is laready on the books and will probably see the light of day in the next 12 -18 months at least on the show circuit ”

    Not bad news, I have not be tthe $10,000 yet..lol

    I was not aware. I did read that Lambo will try to resurrect the SUV they actually built in the 80s,m which had the Countach engine, weighted three tons, and was sold to Sheiks in very small numbers.

    I bet that even if Ferrari does build it, they will also make small numbers which would not push total ferrari sales… up 428% as the EPA clowns predicted.

  11. Autos101 Says:

    “HtG Says:
    December 23rd, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    A question for A1. What do you make of the front ends of today’s cars and trucks, as it concerns the minimal distance between the sheet metal and the hard motor? I look at pics of the Verano, and most front engine cars, and think “oofaah.” These bulbous designs just don’t look right to me, even as I overlook the increased widths of current stronger A pillars.”

    I make exactly what you make. As I have often posted and kvetched about this myself here, these cars look way too front heavy. Some of it is unavoidable (FWD they say).

    But Porsches and Ferraris also have a huge amount of length in front of the front axle, but it looks much less massive because it tapers off to a pointed front.

    They look the worse at a 90 degree angle, side view. Not just GM cars, but most Subarus also look as bad and worse, and even the Golf (from the side) and the Accord

    BMWs are usually the exact opposite, their front axles are much closer to the front bumper and the front overhang is minimal. Same for ROllses and Bentleys.

  12. Autos101 Says:


    One reason people like classic cars from the 30s is that their wheels were pushed to the extremes of the front and back and their wheelbases were huge and their overhangs very small. They look very graceful that way.

    On the contrary, a car with big front and back overhangs looks like they will fall off.

  13. Autos101 Says:


    PS TJ: It seems you are the one who needs an update. MArchionne here says a Ferarri SUV IS NOT HAPPENING.

  14. Lex Says:

    Hey John, Peter and the Whole Autoline Family, Merry Christmas & Happy, Healthy 2012!!!

    I understand Why Hyundai is hiring a Chief of Design for North America. They want to gain even more market share by tailoring their vehicles extactly for The North American Market. The Nose on the Elantra needs to be cloned to the Sonata and Azera, as it has been to the Accent. That Angry Bird Look is perfect!

    The Verano in just a luxury version of the Cruze with a $30k price tag. I would have rather seem the engine optons in the Verano offered in the Cruze. A Cruze with a 2.4 Ecotec or a 2.0 Turbo engine with 180hp sounds great to my ears. Taking the Cruze and rebadging it as a Buick is GM just falling back into the old practice of Brand rebadging vehicles, and nobody is fooled by that!

    Bio-fuels from waste materials is the way to go. We have alot of waste in this country, most of it in Washington DC.

  15. Autos101 Says:



  16. Autos101 Says:


    And if the MARKETS say it’s DIESEL, so be it. If they say all GREEN CRAP IS MORONIC, SO BE IT. OK?

    I am sick and tired of BILLIONS AND BILLIONS beingf wasted, and not just wasted, being given to The CORRUPT OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FUNDRAISERS like in the case of SOLYNDRA, or to some hare-brained ‘company’ just because AL the GORON sits on the board of Directrors.

    The amount of ENERGY ILLITERACY in this country is appalling.

  17. Aliisdad Says:

    I’ve heard that the car front ends are designed with their big snouts out so they can meet European passenger safety requirements..Guess if the car hits someone, they now fly up and over the car rather than a good clean kill!!!

    I also wish all of you a Merry Christmas and nice New Year…When I count all of our blessings, a lot of these daily concerns really don’t seem so big…God Bless you all!!

  18. Autos101 Says:


    OPEC must think we are GOD DAMNED MORONS to babble about green jobs and biodiesels and green energy and renewables WHEN WE HAVE VAST RESERVES OF FOSSIL FUELS.

    IF we PRODUCED WHAT WE HAVE, gas WOULD IMMEDIATELY PLUMMET to $1 or so and we would have HUGE PROSPERITY and not the Jimmy Carter MALAISE we have under these two corrupt Imbeciles Obama and Biden!

    11 more months!!!

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, Autos 101/bob/Nick S. blah blah blah,
    We know you don’t like Obama. I, for one, am very glad we have him rather than the wars-for-profit Republicans with a McCain that lost his mind, and an incredibly uninformed woman who thinks North Korea is our ally.

    Now, can’t we all refrain from making this forum political. It’s bad enough without that.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does it really make sense to burn all that natural gas to recover the “non-conventional oil” from the tar sands? Not really.

  21. HtG Says:

    there’s also the matter of oil being ‘shut in’ when the price gets too low to cover the costs of extraction and processing.

    Slightly related, here’s a Bloomberg piece on east coast refineries closing due to unprofitability.


  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    LMAO,yes I too believe that our friend has reinCARnated back here to be with us.Well met,and I am glad your back.

    Bio-Diesel should never have been the ‘red headed stepchild’ of our country.Big,heavy,expensive,not totally reliable and maybe not too recycle friendly either.

    With all of the letters/petitions my peers and I sent to macaroni and (un)Manley in regards to a diesel jeep for the USA,maybe now it’s for the best.Let the whole diesel power fade from american memory.Keep pushing ev’s as ‘the answer’.You of america deserve what you got,no more bio diesel incentives,no more desire to greatly reduce our dependence from foreign oil,forget all about the rare earth minerals too,we don’t care if we are dependent on china for our very existence it seems.Oh yeah….MERRY CHRISTMAS……bah…honda ;}>

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Para #2 is in reference to ev batteries…..xin loi.

  24. Andrew Charles Says:

    It’s not just incentives for producing biofuels which run out next year—CAFE credits for building dual-fuel vehicles (which were already pretty small) are also being phased out.

  25. merv Says:

    Happy holidays John,enjoy your time off.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Perhaps the folks at Edmunds have had their heads up their uranus too long to see that the economy worsens, it DOES NOT get better, every single indicator shows it, people are worried and scared for their future, there is uncertainty in most aspects of life, most auto service depts in this area are struggling because people are not repairing or servicing their cars unless they have to, so who are they talking to? the top 1%.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    Per TTAC Feds predict that by 2025 Chrysler/Fiat will see big sales decline while GM remains stagnant and Tesla will go up almost 4,000% Ha Ha Ha, and who says the Feds have no sense of humor?

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The dual fuel thing, which has been around for years, never made sense. As far as biofuels, I like the idea of using fryer oil for fuel. I know a restaurant owner who burns it in a 80′s Mercedes. If works ok, as long as it does’t get too cold. When it gets down in the 40′s, it doesn’t flow.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The only “processing” he does on the frier oil is to mechanically filter it, to get the potato and fish bits out. I suspect the current diesel cars might be pickier, though, than the old Benz.

  30. Jesse W. Henry Says:

    Just wanted to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to the Autoline Daily crew and all those who reply here. I enjoy the news and comments every day and feel this is one of the top automotive shows around.

  31. Andy Says:

    Want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year!

    Anyone who has not seen or heard of the film FUEL should the time to watch it over the holiday! It is very educational and eye opening. Bio fuels are the future. Watch the film and then you will see and understand what it is all about! No subsidies needed if everone is told the truth!!

    Change your fuel and change the world!


  32. T. Bejma Says:


    Looks like I need to provide a lesson in badge engineering…

    Back in the 80′s and 90′s all of the big 3 would take a popular vehicle and slightly change only the exterior bits and maybe the color or a couple soft trim items of the interior and then give a version to each division. These vehicles were built on the exact same chassis, suspension, springs, shocks, etc. GM was guilty of this as recently as the Cobalt/G5 and the Aveo/G4 twins.

    The Cruze and the Verano do not share one single piece of exterior sheet metal or trim and besides a corporate steering wheel, none of the same interior. They have different suspension rates and noticeably different rides. They are even built on different assembly lines in different states (Lordstown, OH, and Lake Orion, MI) and I know from being on the launches that they each went through their own separate development cycles with an almost entirely different team. Except for the auto enthusiast, I highly doubt ANYONE will even realize they are on the same BASIC architecture…

  33. T. Bejma Says:

    Oh yeah, I also would like wish everyone at Autoline Daily and on this forum a very Merry Christmas and a Profitable and Happy New Year!

    I am thankful that there are still passionate people in the automotive industry! We are the ones that will save it!

  34. Autos101 Says:

    Best wishes to all, including the green econ illiterates.

    Hopefully 2012 will be better and END much better!

  35. Autos101 Says:

    21: good post.

  36. Autos101 Says:

    “Bio fuels are the future. ”

    Another day, another econ illiterate who bases his comments NOT On SCIENCE and ENGINEERING but on a DUMB MOVIE…

  37. Andy Says:


    Have you watched it? Because its not dumb it fact! You are the type of person that needs to open your eyes to the truth!

  38. Autos101 Says:

    Give me a break, Andy. GO watch “Who killed the electric car”.

  39. Autos101 Says:

    EDUCATE yourself. DO NOT base your beliefs on MOVIES. GEEZ!!!!

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder when we’ll get to see “Who killed the Volt?” or “Who burned the Volt?”

  41. Andy Says:

    Please AUTOS have you watched it? It is all the Education that YOU need. After you see it you will understand what its all about.

  42. Autos101 Says:

    Andy: don’t be a damned fool and don’t waste any more of my time. Youhavce NO EFFING CLUE about who I am or what is my… education, ESPECIALLY about ENERGY, you utter fool.

    pedro fernandez Says:
    December 24th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    I wonder when we’ll get to see “Who killed the Volt?” or “Who burned the Volt?”

    Actually, you may know that the same fool who made the idiotic pack of lies “Who killed the Electric car” made a NEW movie, with the full cooperation of the damned Fools at GM, extolling the virtues of the FAILED (not to say IN FLAMES too!) Stupid, Stupid VOLT!

    I am sure the forum clueless fanatic Andy would be thrilled to see it.

  43. Andy Says:

    ? My only question to you Autos is have you watched it? You are the only one wasting your time! If people like you would open their eyes and start seeing things for what they are and we would be a lot closer to being energy independant. When VW has produced cars for 30+ years that get 40-50 mpg and the American car company’s won’t sell the products in our country that they do in other parts of the world it seem like a inside problem. And maybe your on the inside and part of the problem? Just a thought! Have a nice day and if you can’t find the time to watch the documentary film then stop wasting my time on bs! Ps would you buy a computer from the 80′s or the 60′s because that is what our car company’s are selling us and we keep buying them because that is all they offer.

  44. Autos101 Says:

    please go away, Andy.

  45. Autos101 Says:

    and the American car company’s (SIC!)

    And PS: Andy, besides your apparent obsession with some idiotic movie, you should really worry about YOUR education. If I were you, I’d ask them for a full refund.

    EDUCATE yourself on Energy. STUDY Yergin’s Pulitzer-prize winning “The Prize” and his newest “The Quest”. These are BOOKS 800 pages long, NOT Movies, so I understand this will be a little hard on you.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    The book should be called: “Chevy Volt, D.O.A.” or “Why govt should never tell private enterprise how to operate their business” Did we not learn anything from the Soviet business model?

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yergin’s predictions have been less-than-wonderful, and “The Prize” was written in ’91 or so, a long time ago as things happen with oil. He does a good job with the early history of oil in America, though.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, I haven’t read “The Quest,” but should, and plan to.

  49. cwolf Says:

    Hope santa was good to everyone!

    Kit,this is for you: I bet there were at least 3-4 dozen Prius on the roads I traveled. Looks as if they hold lots of presents,too!

  50. Andy Says:

    Autos I have not read the book but I can and will get it and read it because I, unlike you I might add, are open minded! I did not mean to upset you or question your education just wondered if you have seen it. It is very eye opening to how we get oil and how we use it. If you have time this documentary is very worth watching.

  51. Kit Gerhart Says:

    On my “road trips” between Florida and Indiana, I always see some other Prius, most of them going slower than I’m going. A little surprising, though, is that I almost never see a MINI. Other than being a little noisy, a MINI is a decent road car, as long as you don’t need to carry more than two people, and not too much cargo.

  52. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link for Pedro. The LATimes reports that a Honda hybrid owner is not satisfied with the payout from a class action claiming the car did not deliver on mileage promises. This owner is going to try to force Honda to defend itself in small claims court. Honda has admitted that the batteries on some years of the Civic hybrid failed early and the cars’ mileage was hobbled.


  53. HtG Says:

    A notable passing. Jacob Goldman, head of Ford R&D lab in the 50′s, has died. Goldman was recruited from Ford to create Xerox Park, where the graphical user interface and mouse were created.


  54. pedro fernandez Says:

    If you’re dumb enough to pick Insight over Prius after all the negative reviews, you deserve ZERO$$ IMHO BTW Vehix online picked Mazda 3 Elantra and Impreza as top cars under $20k. No American brands again? what’s up with that? Chrysler 300 made the list in the under $30k class

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    They include the Camry, Sonata, Accord in the same class as the 300, I don’t agree with that at all. I think the 300 belongs to a higher class, the 200 is the one to go against the mid-size, but it pales in comparison.

  56. cwolf Says:

    pedro,these three cars are worthy,but there are many others that could be considered equal. I wonder what the criteria were. The Mazda3 has been a top pick for years due to its crisp handling and pep.It’s surely wasn’t selected for its smily face! Maybe the Impreza was chosen because it is a vast improvement for Subaru and,for a 4 wd’er,it is said to get 2wd mileage. And the Elantra choice must be for its style,yet may not be on my list.

  57. Autos101 Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    December 26th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Yergin’s predictions have been less-than-wonderful,”

    DOn’t speak when you don’t have CLUE ONE. It is OBVIOUS that you have NOT read, or NOT understood, ONE WORD that Yergin EVER SAID.

    YErgin, you clueless person, wasa NEVER in the “Prediction” business. He is NO FOOL. He is a HISTORIAN in “The prize”. Got it?????


    ” and “The Prize” was written in ‘91 or so, a long time ago as things happen with oil.”

    You CLUELESS FOOL. Keep biting my ankle. YOU FOOL, I DID NOT JUST MENTION “THe PRize”, but also his NEW BRAND NEW book “THe QUest”, which covers VERY RECENT EVENTS.

    I am really wrong to waste my time with you, BUT I want to correct the RECORD.

    ” He does a good job with the early history of oil in America, though.”

    You are in no position to know. YOu are a rabid green fanatic that is NOT encumbered by rational thought. No wonder the US is in as bad shape as it is, 15 trillion in debt AND paying OPEC $500 billion every year for oil we never needed, as we have HUGE reserves of our own that the FOOLS in Wash DC and the Grreens don;t let us touch.

  58. Autos101 Says:

    Andy: You should read CAREFULLY. I did NOT just recommend ONE but TWO books, and this is just the TIP OF THE ICEBERG. You can claim you are open minded but what does it help if you are UNINFORMED? and you can FALSELY ACCUSE me of not being so, but Where is your PROOF????

    You and Kit might benefit from actually LEARNING FROM THOSE WITH A CLUE instead of biting their ankles.

  59. Autos101 Says:

    And PS Ansy, NO MOVIES OF ANY KIND will give you a SERIOUS background and info on energy, autos or any other topic. GEEZ!

  60. Autos101 Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    If you’re dumb enough to pick Insight over Prius after all the negative reviews, ”

    While I agree that the Prius is worth the few $k extra over the Insight (or the very few $ over the Civic Hybrid), have you ridden in the Insight? I have. Its main problem is that it is very cheap inside. Otherwise, both the Insight and the Civic Hybrid normally get very good MPG and sure within the new (2008) lower EPA MPG numbers.

  61. Autos101 Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 7:14 am

    “They include the Camry, Sonata, Accord in the same class as the 300, I don’t agree with that at all. I think the 300 belongs to a higher class, the 200 is the one to go against the mid-size, but it pales in comparison.”

    Interesting points. I agree with the 300. Another important thing is the 300 looks SO MUCH BETTER because it has a FLAGSHIP_level 120″ wheelbase. almost a whole foot longer than they do, and shorter front overhangs than these midpriced sedans.

    Another comparison is the poor selling Taurus vs the others. A pity, because the Taurus looks great in some colors and lighting. But its problem is that it is obese, expensive, and actually the ACCORD (no lightwqeight but far lighter than the Taurus and less expensive!) has more room inside!

  62. Autos101 Says:


    We will set the record straight whether you like it or not:

    I DARE YOU to back up your allegation that Yergin has made predictions and that they were not good. GIVE LINK, where and when did he make any prediction, esp. one that was proven false.

    It is the loons “PEAK OIL” Charlatans that are in this false prediction business, they come out of their dirty rock every time the price goes up, and the FOOLS NewsAnchors that LOVE Gloom And DOom always let them talk and NEVER hold them accountable for their HUGE, SERIAL Blunders!

    I ALSO dare you to recommend us ANY other book that does even a COMPARABLE job, let alone a Better Job, than “The PRIZE” does in EDUCATING the average Joe on ENERGY.

    (hint: There is NONE).

  63. cwolf Says:

    Auto101: Seems you are a little trigger happy to cause a ruckas. Being confrontational isn’t what expressing your views means. This type of conduct is not desirable and ruins your chances of others wanting to respond to you. Thanks

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    I always believed a longer as possible wheelbase was always the way to go, I hated those monstrous American sedans with gargantuan overhangs, engine compartments and trunks and average passenger room, due to their limited wheelbases. I always love the old Citroens, besides the air suspension, the always big for the period wheelbase pampered passengers with above avg. comfort.

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 1992-2011 Crown Vic had a very short wheelbase, and cramped back seat for the size of the car, but according to an article I read when the car was new, there was a reason. They knew the car would be used mainly as a taxi and police car, and designed it accordingly. The back seat of a taxi is mainly used for short trips, so needn’t be too comfortable, but a large trunk is needed for luggage people might have for trips to and from airports, etc. Police departments also value large trunks more than roomy back seats. The trade offs that were made for taxi and police fleets compromised the car for general use, though.

    No, I don’t remember where I read about the design decisions of the Crown Vic, but it was probably Ward’s or Automotive Industries.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Why don’t you take your arrogant, pompous self back to the hole where you have been hiding for a few months. You are not funny, and not nearly as smart as you seem to think you are.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is an article partially rebutting Yergin’s WSJ editorial:


    Another short rebuttal is here:


    Yes, Yergin is, or was a good historian, but that doesn’t make him the ultimate authority on everthing.

  68. cwolf Says:

    I didn’t own a Vic,but a Marquis. The back seat was comfortable for the 2-6 footers in my family,so it couldn’t have been that small of a back seat. With 3 adults in the back seat and a full trunk,the rear end would have sat low,but the self-adjusting shocks leveled every possible cargo load. With over 200k miles before buying another car,I was pleasantly surprised the air shocks never had to be replaced.To replace them would have cost $1200!

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Crown Vic/Grand Marquis had small rear leg room for a car 212 inches long, but it wasn’t too bad. The big “expensive European” cars have longer wheelbase and roomier back seats, but much smaller trunks.

  70. cwolf Says:

    Agreed,Kit,the rear leg room was just ample. They also had a large turning radius. As a result,I can’t imagine having a longer wheel base ,to boot! Ugh!!!

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yergin, prophet or mere historian?


  72. Autos101 Says:

    What a bunch of FOOLS.

    YErgin a “Peak oil prophet”????? LOL!!!!!!

    Ye3rgin spent ENORMOUS resourses in CERA, his company, to IN VESTIGATE, in a field-by-field analysis, and DEBUNK the claims of THESE SAME PEAK OIL CHARLATANS conspiracy theories (UNproven, of course) that Saudi Arabia is running out of… oil !!!! ( or the =desert running out of sand…LOL)

    ANd of course PROVED that this was all a whole lot of NONSENSE.

    ON THE CONTARY, Yergin was probably the FIRST to RECOGNIZE that there was sure NO Peak Oil in the SUPPLY of the ABUNDANT resource (hence its dirt-cheasp price, DESPITE OPEC and MUCH Cheaper than the GREEN Energy!!!!!),

    BUT INSTEAD, in places like the USA, there has been since 2007 (SEE THE STATS, NOT worthless op-eds, Kit!)

    a peak in the DEMAND!!!! for oil in the US due to the Obama economy and all that. The drop in consumption has been IMPRESSIVE and has c ontinued as our unemployment remains at dismal levels. BUT of course, this could REVERSE when we get an ECON LITERATE president in 2012 and the economy recovers.

  73. Autos101 Says:

    I REALLY should not waste my time here…

  74. Autos101 Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I always believed a longer as possible wheelbase was always the way to go, I hated those monstrous American sedans with gargantuan overhangs, engine compartments and trunks and average passenger room, due to their limited wheelbases.”

    You got it absolutely right. These Buicks with 208 inch length and… 114 inch wheelbases look like an obese mother-in-law with tiny feet.

    TO see how ludicrous such vehicles look, draw a MINI with a large front overhang. Even the AZTEC will look better.

    The new Chrysler 300 Luxury version with 31 EPA Hwy with a V8 and an 8-sp Tranny looks fantastic not only in the interior But ALSO in the Exterior, BECAUSE it has a S-class like 120″+ wheelbase AND 7-series like short front overhang. I predict it will do great, if they have reasonable reliability.

  75. Autos101 Says:

    Obviously Kit was UTTERLY UNABLE to respond to my c hallenge.

    He could NOT find any book REMOTELY comparable with “The PRIZE” (which has been recently UPDATED, BTW, for the most recentr developments), OR an energy EXPERT comparable to YErgin.

    That’s why YErgin is invited to TESTIFY IN CONGRESS and enjoys the DEEP respect of the clowns there, while those ANKLEBITERS with a web page DO NOT.

  76. Autos101 Says:

    PS Kit: My name IN THIS FORUM is AUTOS 101, not all these other names you cite. In case you feel necessary to use it. Nice try.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Vergin is an excellent historian, as demonstrated in “The Prize.” Other than that, he is a person of OPINIONS, which certain people here agree with, but others do not.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Autos 101, You don’t seem to know what your name is, or what you want it to be. It sure changes a lot.

  79. pedro fernandez Says:

    I see my Vibrolla with its puny 97 in wheelbase and wonder Why? why not push out the wheels as far as possible when they designed these things, after all it should be maximum interior room with as little exterior dimensions as possible, better ride and handling are another plus. I suppose it was a matter of not encroaching on the next size class, the Camry. My son’s xB is the same length and has massive interior space in comparison due to its long wheelbase and very short overhangs.

  80. Autos101 Says:

    Kit: Don’t be a DAMNED FOOL. Why is the PEN NAME of ANY importance??????

    MANY posters here DO NOT post under their real names for PRIVACY REASONS.

    FOcus on the FACTS I POST, FOOL.

  81. Autos101 Says:

    Pedro: Not only the Corolla but all small and midsized FWD cars look like that. I’d bet they are trying to save a few bucks. Even the AWD Subarus look like that, which makes them even uglier than they already are.

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You, like another person here, seem to confuse FACTS with OPINION, arrogant buffoon.

  83. Autos101 Says:

    Pedro: “I suppose it was a matter of not encroaching on the next size class, the Camry”

    That’s another good point. I often wondered why many small and compact cars don’t have adequate space inside, they can do it with little extra cost if they just raise the ceiling a couple inches and make the seats more upright, but the number one reason is what you guess above, they don’t want to threaten their larger, more profitable cars.

  84. pedro fernandez Says:

    In particular, the FWD configuration does not have the excuse of having to run an extra long more costly drive-shaft to the rear that is one of the reasons the Mini has been so successful since its rebirth. BTW is the new 300 still MB based?

  85. Autos101 Says:

    You contemptible, worthless liar, you ignorant fool KIT: YOU are in NO position to call me names and compare me with people that are my POLAR OPPOSITES.

    You PURPOSELY Provoked me when I WISELY recommended to this Andy fellow, who based his comments only on a DAMNED MOVIE(!!!) to GET AN EDUCATION ON ENERGY and STUDY the BEST BOOK On the subject.

    You are NOT worth my time.

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Who first started calling people names? It wasn’t me.

    You seem to have a bit of a temper, don’t you, Autos 101?

  87. pedro fernandez Says:

    When I got my Corolla my uncle commented that it was too bad that the “space between the 2 axles” was not longer, otherwise he would have bought one of them instead of the larger Taurus he ended up buying, and I think that is the answer to this, it forces people to buy bigger (costlier, more profit) to get adequate interior space.

  88. Autos101 Says:

    Actually, compared to its much larger overrall length, the Taurus always had a rather short wheelbase (comparatively!) Its reare room is poor for a car this big (the current taurus is much longer than an E-class!) but at least it has a big trunk. (the E and 5 series have pretty large trunks too, as large in fact as the larger S class or 7 series)

  89. Autos101 Says:

    WHO IS THE ANKLEBITER, KIT? YOU ENGINEERED the whole thing. Perhaps you derive some sick satisfaction by making people INDIGNANT at your false charges.

    The RECORD is HERE for all to see. GO BACK to the first email and SEE if I attacked ANYBODY, and in particularly YOU, first.

    YOU were the one, with NO expertise to boot, to Criticize my WISE comment to Andy, question Yergin’s books with NO proof and NO alternative, NEITHER a PERSON or a BOOK that is out there today, that can do a BETTER job in EDUCATING about ENergy.

    You are nothing but an ANKLEBITER.

    Keep up the good work.

  90. Autos101 Says:

    Here are some VERY interesting facts about the Prius that will eclipse the Prius in non-plug-in MPG:


    This is the Yaris-based, $4,000 cheaper than the Prius, “Prius C” much smaller vehicle, and with a smaller engine (1.3 lt vs 1.8).

    Earlier I saw some MPG data for both the prius and the C, and did an extrapolation that made the Prius C get an estimated 64 city and 60 HWY EPA. I still suspected these were probably too high.

    With the link above giving some additional data, the difference is only 3 out of 35 (km per liter), or an improvement of only about 9-10%.

    So based on the new info I change my above estimate, and now estimate that the Prius C will only get about EPA 54-55 HWY and 57-58 city.

    The big questions are

    1. How many C will be sold? The Yaris size class is not popular in the US. The Fiesta has done miserably, and even the Sonic production is not nearly at Cruze levels.

    2. How many of Prius C sales will be at the expense of Prius sales, and how many will conquer new customers?

    FOr those who don’t need the extra space and need a small (but allegedly with same room as the Corolla in some sense) very fuel efficient car to commute 100s of miles a day in suburban roads-city conditions, the Prius C, at $4,000 less than the base Prius, would be a very attractive proposition.

  91. Autos101 Says:

    From that link, an interesting ‘fact’ (really a forecast!)

    “Toyota is aiming for monthly Aqua sales in Japan of 12,000 units, with a starting price of 1.69 million yen ($21,600).”

    This can give us a clue as to how many would be sold here. JApan is half the size of the US or less (as far as cars sold per year), but due to its very different driving ocnditions, cars are MUCH smaller than here, and the Hybrid Fit is a best-seller there.

    So my guess is, less than 12k per month. Maybe 6,000-9,000 a month, which gives 72,000-108,000 a year. If this is in addition to regular prius sales, it is a very substantial number.

  92. Autos101 Says:

    A colleague here bought a Prius of the previous model design and claimed to me that he gets more than 50 MPG HIGHWAY ( I rented the same model in the LAX Hertz office for 3 days and got 47 MPG on a long highway drive at 75 MPH)

    At what speed? I asked him. 75 MPH, he said.

    Do you overinflate the tires? I then asked. Yes, he admitted. By 1-2 PSI? By 4 PSI! he said. That would do it, but I wonder how safe this is.

  93. HtG Says:

    I wish all here would try to stay cool when arguing. It’s getting so that I find myself not saying anything.

    On the new Prius C, I wonder how it compares in size and weight to the Versa, which it resembles in appearance. I know for myself that when I got the Civic in 02 when gas was cheap, that I was trying to insure against the higher gas prices I was anticipating in the out years.

  94. HtG Says:

    One does wonder if there is an economic brake on the cost of gas, as high prices kill demand. Will this number rise in the future? It’s tough to buy a Prius solely for mileage if gas caps at about 4 or 5 bucks.

  95. pedro fernandez Says:

    #92 I always believed that for just saving gas, you can do with a Yaris, a Versa, Fit or a Mazda 2 but the Prius is “more” car with better mileage, but is it worth the premium price?

  96. HtG Says:

    One really needs to do a lot of miles to pay more for the Prius. However, how do you calculate the value if you compare the gap between the cost to buy against the residual value? What if a Prius holds value better than a cheaper car? (ignore sales tax differences). What did it cost you to drive the Prius? I recall that GM got the leasing cost of Volt down by raising the expected residual value.

  97. pedro fernandez Says:

    #94 both Fit and Yaris hold up their value pretty well, I remember reading an article where it said that the Yaris had the largest % of residual value of any car in any class, while the top luxo models were the lowest. I believe it’s true I have done some research and found that the Corolla makes for a much better value as a used car than those subcompacts.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agreed with you that The Prize was a good history of the oil business, but indicated that maybe some of what Yergin had written since then shouldn’t be taken as fact. That made me a “clueless fool” and various other things in your posts, back in #56 and others.

    As I said before, what Yergin is writing now, as with the recent WSJ article is opinion. If that makes me an “anklebiter,” so be it.

  99. HtG Says:

    95 Yep, we keep getting solicitations from new car dealers who want to pay top dollar for the Versa. Last week one Nissan dealer said they would buy it outright. This week it was the Kia dealer sending a letter. Where do they get these lists?

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In the case of Fit and Versa, it depends a lot on how much you drive. With Mazda 2, you have a lot less space, both for people and cargo, but if you don’t need the room, it can be a good choice. Also, the 2 is fairly fun to drive, at least with a manual trans.

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    My son keeps getting offers from the same Toyota dealer for his xB, seems like for people that need some room w/4 cyl it’s the best choice used around. Plus it’s very reliable.

  102. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I get 44 mpg at 75 actual mph (77 indicated) with my current generation Prius. I overinfate the tires 2 psi, but they have usually leaked down to spec by the time I check them again.

  103. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, is your son’s xB the old one, or the new one? The old one is really a “hot item” where I am.

  104. HtG Says:

    100 Didn’t you ask a while back, Kit, how people inflated their tires? I recently upped the pressure in the rear tires of my Miata, so it’s at 27 front and 30 rear. Now we’re talking oversteer! What fun, I don’t gripe anymore about not having enough power to steer the rear out of turn.

  105. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    On the new Prius C, I wonder how it compares in size and weight to the Versa, which it resembles in appearance.

    The Prius C is based on the YARIS model which is much smaller inside than the bulky but cheapo Versa. They claim the Prius C has a bit more space here and there than the Yaris, but given it’s a hybrid, it will have to lose space for batteries etc, so I estimate it will be just as big as the regular Yaris, and hence smaller than the Versa.

    PS I never heard you complain when TJ was calling Kit all kinds of names, and with little provocation.

  106. Autos101 Says:

    BTW, I wanted to add that the price of gas in the US will obviously also affect Prius C sales, which I tried to estimate above using other factors. HtG brought it up in a later email.

    If gas exceeds $4 again, which is likely if the world and esp. the US economy finally starts to recover and unemployment drops (maybe in 2013 with a new, far better Administration), Prius C would sell as many as they make, and would have a long waiting list too.

  107. Autos101 Says:

    Kit: “…I overinfate the tires 2 psi, but they have usually leaked down to spec by the time I check them again.”

    I also make the last point to friends here all the time, that most cars are underinflated because, if the drivers check the pressure once a month or so and correct it to the normal number, the Average Pressure will be 1 PSI below that, assuming they will lose 2 PSI in the next 30 days.

    Here it is a pain to find free air, most gas stations have metered things that also stop the air way too early, and the one which is free is the other way than I usually have to drive. In addition, last time I checked all my tires were fine except the driver’s side front tire which lacked a couple PSI so I did not bother to fix it yet.

  108. pedro fernandez Says:

    the new one, the old one for sale are so damn expensive that it does not pay to buy one, they’re underpowered and noisy but people love them just the same, the new ones gave up on the cuteness factor for more size and power at the cost of lower MPG’s I do see a lot of them as service vehicles, taxis and transport for the elderly, lots of interior space and 4 cyl economy plus pretty trouble-free.

  109. Autos101 Says:

    BMW recommends 35 front and 39 rear for my 740, but some members of “The Magnificent 7″ owners group on the web overinflate all of them arbitrarily to 44, but they don’t use them in winter (they live in Buffalo NY) but use Buicks instead (!!!)

  110. HtG Says:

    103 You’re right about how I have not complained in the past, A1. TJ does get very tough. He’s argued hard at me a few times too, and I’ve returned it. It’s only my hope that people won’t be scared off by some of the heat on the board(I know I took some hard shots at HyundaiSmoke and Trump), and that John McE won’t ask anyone to stop commenting.

  111. pedro fernandez Says:

    I bought a small, tire inflator and check mine every couple of weeks to keep it at 35 psi about 5 more than what the placard says, but I feel that it gives me a slighter “sharper” handling and cuts back on the mushiness of the Corolla ride.

  112. HtG Says:

    Air pressure. I use a bicycle pump with a dial, and have a pressure gauge too. In the Miata, you can feel it if a tire is a pound down.

  113. Autos101 Says:

    “HtG Says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    95 Yep, we keep getting solicitations from new car dealers who want to pay top dollar for the Versa.”

    All enthusiast reviews were far worse than the Versa specs and data would imply. SUre it has huge interior room for its class, but it is so damned cheaply made, few drivers will enjoy driving it.

    WHich brings up the question I have come up with, if your home is worth $x, how much should your car be worth? Isn’t it ridiculous owning a million dollar home and driving around in a car that costs $10-15k new?

    Especially if you do a lot of miles and then it becomes important not only to have an ultra-safe (passive AND active safety!) car, but also, since you are spending 10% of your life (or 15% of your waking hours!), it better have a kick-ass interior, stereo, acres of wood, leather, the works!

  114. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow!! talk about taking advantage of an architecture, the xD is also based on the Yaris along with a bunch of other Toyotas being sold world-wide. The European-built Aygo is a nice, subcompact which will never come here unless gas goes through the roof.

  115. Autos101 Says:

    Maybe the rule should be 1:10. If you own a 200,000 home, a 20,000 car is appropriate. 500,000, a 50k car, and a million, go get a $100k S-class or 750iL.

  116. cwolf Says:

    After calculating annual fuel costs for my daily 168 mile work drive,the Prius’s primium cost cannot be justified under these driving conditions. When giving the Prius an est. 45mpg(hwy) and another,like those listed above)at an est.38mpg(hwy),the difference in fuel consumption is only about $550/yr. The Prius prolly better shines in city driving or a combo of city/hwy.,but even then its high price makes many other cars a possible better buy.

  117. Autos101 Says:

    Pedro, you bring up the Aygo frequently, but a friend who owns two Toytota dealerships overseas did not like the Aygo and recommended to potential buyers to buy the Yaris instead.

    Note that the Aygo is not made in Japan and neither is it a Toyota-quality vehicle, but it is made together with two clones (one Peugeot and one maybe VW or Citroen?) in the same plant in Eastern Europe.

  118. pedro fernandez Says:

    The Versa cannot possibly be any worse than that POS Aveo and yet, they get sold, I have a neighbor that just bought an Aveo (I suppose they got a real good elimination of stock sale) recently and they went from a 90′s Sentra into this? I guess some people just don’t have any taste in cars.

  119. Autos101 Says:

    “After calculating annual fuel costs for my daily 168 mile work drive,the Prius’s primium cost cannot be justified under these driving conditions.”

    The Prius was designed for superior overall MPG. If your driving pattern is 95% highway at cruise control speeds of 75 or so, then you are better off with the excellent DIESELS from VW which routinely get 50 MPG REAL mpg hwy.

    But, I think I told you before, you should compare the TOTAL cost, including maintenance, repairs, insurance etc, per mile.

    (AND of course, resale value, which is far higher because of the far more reliable vehicle etc. above.)

  120. Autos101 Says:

    ALSO, CWOLF, you don’t need to buy a NEW Prius (if you wanted one), when gas prices go down you can get a good deal used, and they are so reliable, you don’t have to worry about putting 100,000s of miles on them.

  121. Autos101 Says:

    My previous tax preparer had an Aveo and was happy with it. probably he got a really good deal. I was not impressed at all with the POS but did not like to make him sorry by telling him. BTW, I then switched tax preparers and the new one (who was his boss in a sense) is far better too.

  122. HtG Says:

    111. Yes, Versa is not rich and luxurious. OK, it does feel a bit cheap in overall construction. It does have soft touch materials inside, a comfortable seating position and large greenhouse, and excellent visibility. The steering is quite numb, though. The seats are very comfy. The service and warranty work has been super; you wouldn’t believe the effort Nissan makes in this category. We’ll see how it ages.

  123. Autos101 Says:

    HTG: FYI: The Versa is not a Nissan. It is a Renault CLio Clone.

    Renaults are not just French, they are the cheapest, most poorly made of any French vehicles. The others are the innovative Citroens and the far better quality and durability Peugeots.

  124. Autos101 Says:

    Another execrable Renault clone is the Romanian Dacia, which, at $5,000 or so, is the only car that can challenge the… Tata Nano (!!) in cheapness and overall god-awfulness!

  125. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys some people will rather buy new with less features than used with more for the same price, we may think it’s dumb, but they figure nothing like new wheels, no headaches for a few years, “new car” smell, no wondering where it came from or how it was treated.

  126. HtG Says:

    121 Yes, I know the Versa is a Clio. But it suits the driver. For its price, it is quite nice inside, and for driving around suburbs with the occasional 250 mile trip to DC, it has worked out.

    My personal tastes in automotive luxury are satisfied by AC and soft door panels. I get a kick out of seeing what designers and engineers can achieve on a tight budget. For some reason I find that cool.

  127. Autos101 Says:

    For CWOLF, who does a ton of miles, it makes sense to buy a new car. For me, who put anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 miles in each of my (earlier 3, now 2) cars annually, it makes ZERO Sense. I got my 740iL for $10,500 looking like new back in 2005, and it still looks great six years later. The new 740 with its bangled exterior lines is TEN TIMES that.

    The ideal car from me when I buy again will be a 3-7 year old with a TON of miles (then they will probably most be highway miles) at one-tenth of its price new.

    Let somebody else pay the depreciation!

  128. HtG Says:

    would it make any sense for Cwolf to consider a remanufactured engine for his car? His car has high miles but is in good nick, so why not avoid new car costs, taxes, and insurance on his daily driver? Are Jasper engines good?

  129. cwolf Says:

    My point on the Prius is only draw awareness of the cost of return vs the primium price. I would like to have one,but there are other choices giving a bigger bang for the buck with a lesser initial expense,IMO.

  130. Autos101 Says:

    my 1990very nice and smooth Accord 5-sp coupe sold (actual purchase price, not just base price) for $15,000 and I bought it for $6,500 after 3.5 years and 68k miles. The 740 was 7 years old and had 113k miles, but the owner would give it to me at the end “as is” for $9k, an eighth of what it cost new (and even without adjusting for inflation!!!), but I wanted him to fix it like new and detail it inside and out, hence the $10.5k I paid.

  131. Autos101 Says:

    127: If you really want to do a correct econ analysis, you should compare total costs per mile including everything, which requires a prediction of maintenance, repairs etc. But even what you do also requires a big prediction, what will be the price of gas not today, but the average price during all the years you own the car.

  132. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    December 28th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    would it make any sense for Cwolf to consider a remanufactured engine for his car? His car has high miles but is in good nick, so why not avoid new car costs, taxes, and insurance on his daily driver?

    It might make econ sense, and in fact it might even make sense to pay $1-2k to CONVERT the engine to use propane-butane as a fuel as they do over in Europe (Poland etc) to combat high gas prices

  133. pedro fernandez Says:

    Why get a rebuilt engine if you can find one at a junk yard for a lot less money and you can check out its mileage and condition before buying it?

  134. cwolf Says:

    HtG,My repairman says a crate engine,install and replacing ball joints,rod ends and or shocks/breaks would be about$4-4.5K. I’m not sure I would enjoy having a car that long! I no longer have to be all that frugal any more. Presently,the Verano may be interesting,though the ATS is starting to press my buttons. When its time to wake-up from my dream,I’ll prolly get a Cruze,Focus,Fusion or the like.

  135. Autos101 Says:

    CWOLF-if you can wait a year or two, you can get the allegedly 50 MPG EPA HWY Cruze DIESEL built in the Lordstown OH plant

  136. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The old xB is almost a “cult car,” and it’s only been gone about 5 years. Yeah, the new one is a much better car, but is thirstier. I’d think they would use the 1.8 as well as the 2.4; it would have adequate power, and get better city mpg. I guess they want to keep the build simple, though.

  137. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In Florida, “free air” is impossible to find, so I got a cheap 12 volt compressor that plugs into the lighter socket. It takes about 2-3 minutes per tire to add 2 psi, but I have the time

  138. pedro fernandez Says:

    In Florida, even the sunshine comes at a steep price, in higher insurance costs and other higher than average cost of living, except no state income tax, till some day………….

  139. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t think the insurance is as high in Brevard County where I am as in South Florida, but it’s about 30% higher than in central Indiana.

  140. pedro fernandez Says:

    We pay as high as anyone, it’s all the fraud BS that we seem to have adopted as a way of life and making a few quick bucks w/o considering the circumstances.

  141. Autos101 Says:

    From Wikipedia:

    “All Aygos are built at the new factory of the Toyota Peugeot Citroën Automobile Czech (TPCA) joint venture in Kolin, Czech Republic. ”

    Confirms my prior post from memory. It was Peugeot and Citroen (not VW)

  142. Autos101 Says:

    I just looked quickly at a review of the new Honda CR-V. The old CR-V was very popular sales-wise so they did not change much, the new one is mainly an evolutionary design. It has modest HP, torgue and price below $30k, but what caught my eye was that its weight was kept under 3,600 lbs, which compares favorably with the obese 4,000 lb compact suvs from GM or CHrysler

    The CR-Vs good sales (in contrast to the biug sales declines of the Accord, Civic and other Hondas) shows also that people want and like WAGONS, and in their absence they buy, to a small extent minivans, most of which are way too big and heavy and expensive vs what they NEED), AND, to a larger extent, COMPACT SUVs.

    Not only the CRV but also the Escape and the Equinox have had very healthy sales in recent years, which further proves the above point.

  143. pedro fernandez Says:

    My local Shell station raised the price of reg gas by 10 cents in just 3 days in what I assume is reaction to the Iran blockade threat, this is why we must stop depending on this region for oil, but it seems that every single alternative is ridiculed, criticized, and put down as unworkable and a joke, in the meantime we will continue to be at the mercy of these freaking towel heads and the unscrupulous oil companies. Wish we could build a giant edema bag with multiple hoses so we give them all a rectal enema with their damn oil as they deserve.

  144. HtG Says:

    As far as I can tell, Pedro, this Iran thing is only for show. What worries me is mistakes; an accidental confrontation or a rogue commander. That’s the kind of stuff that’s been wargamed in order to avoid escalations. I also don’t know what kind of internal struggles in Iran are being played out now, but they may involve enemas in certain cases.

  145. pedro fernandez Says:

    It’s obvious this Ayatollah Lococabeza wants to start a rumble against the West in order to rally up the country against the old enemy, the imperialistic, evil, infidel Yankees and all their followers, this way the internal dissident movement can be crushed once an for all.

  146. cwolf Says:

    Car of the Year Choices Coming In!

    Scott Burgess(Detroit News) voted for the Buick LaCrosse as car of the year. For truck,the F150. Notables were the A7,Focus and civic. Notable trucks were the Wrangler and Evoque.

    Mark Phelan(Detroit Free Press) chose the Focus and the X3. Second place was the Elantra and Countryman.

    Goes to show how views vary and just how difficult it is to choose from so many good vehicles.

  147. pedro fernandez Says:

    CIVIC? After all the negative press and reviews? Wow!! Well, remember the Vega?

  148. Autos101 Says:

    MAny of these vehicles look quite attraqctive, but then you read the reviews and they have quite a few drawbacks, not least of which are their really high prices, for the kind of segment they are in..

  149. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What “car of the year” is this? It is not NACTOTY because several of those mentioned are not finalists for NACOTY or NATOTY.

  150. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit #144 was posted by the Wolfman himself

  151. cwolf Says:

    Hey guys,I’m just sharing their reports with you! Tap into each news paper and read the reviews for yourself.

  152. Autos101 Says:

    CWOLF: Don’t be so thin skinned. Nobody protested what you wrote.

    And FYI, I had ALREADY read both detroit papers auto sections and did notice at least one of these “reports”, not because I think they are that important, but because I read a lot of different auto sources every day.

    But if you really believe that these DETROIT paper Auto Journalists are FAIR AND UNBIASED and a CONSUMER can take their advice to the dealer and buy a car, you got another rthing coming..LOL

  153. Autos101 Says:

    Kit: OF course these are NOT the NACOTY etc, they are the individual papers’ awards. Like Motor Trend’s award etc.

    Not that I hold even the NACOTY in much higher esteem.

    Note that none of these clowns chose a really BREAKTHROUGH Vehicle like the AWESOME PRIUS V wagon.

  154. Autos101 Says:

    As for the NACOTY and TOTY, its near-zero credibility can be seen in LAST year’s choices… when they voted for the Stupid, Stupid Volt and an even less significantr truck (coincidence- they were both domestic?) over far superior rivals.

  155. HtG Says:

    Morning A1. How is the Prius V a ‘breakthrough?’ I saw it at the NY show, and was very impressed. Isn’t it a station wagon?

  156. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The was Volt was NOCOTY because, whatever you think of it, the car was something new and different, a plug-in hybrid with meaningful electric range, and “unlimited” range if you put gas in it.

    Yeah, it costs too much, and gets very mediocre mpg when run on gas. And yeah, it doesn’t make economic sense for anyone, but a future car of that type, whether made by GM or someone else, might make economic sense for some people. The Volt actually drives better than I would have expected, but it is, of course, and expensive toy for people who want something different. The first, Echo-based Prius wasn’t so great either, but it was a starting point for the fantastic second generation car.

  157. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just read on TTAC about how good the GM X cars looked on paper before they were released and of course, they turned out to be the #1 reason GM went down the drain, ditto for the Volt, great idea, but poorly executed, GM is no Toyota, they would have messed up the Prius as well, if it had been a GM product.

  158. Autos101 Says:

    Speaking of the Stupid, Stupid Volt and the even worse (?) Fiat 500: (from today’s Autoblog)

    “..Tis the season for thin news cycles and cheesy top ten lists. Yahoo! Finance has thrown its hat in the top ten ring with its list of the biggest flops among all consumer goods introduced for 2011.

    Both the Fiat 500 and Chevrolet Volt have made it among the chosen few..

    Why the Volt? Yahoo! points to the vehicle’s underwhelming sales, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fire investigation and misguided General Motors executives as indicators of the plug-in hybrid’s failure. ..

    And what of the Fiat 500? It’s no secret the adorable Italian hatchback has missed its sales goals by a country mile. While Chrysler had hoped to move 50,000 models this year, actual U.S. sales for the year will probably end up around 20,000 units..”

  159. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW, I clearly remember the hoopla over the GM X cars created by the auto media, “import fighter” “America will have a world-class automobile” I fell for it, got my order for a Skylark and waited 6 mos for it, 6 mos that I should have canceled the damn thing.

  160. HtG Says:

    Can Kit or anyone else explain why the Atkinson cycle engine has a an efficiency advantage? Why does keeping the intake valve open during the compression stroke have a benefit?

  161. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, have you driven a Volt? It’s not that poorly executed, except for the odd controls on the console. It drives decently, has adequate acceleration, etc.

    Still, for 40K, there are a lot better automotive toys out there, unless you are a compulsive “early adopter,” or, like Jay Leno, have enough money to buy one of everything.

  162. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    December 30th, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Morning A1. How is the Prius V a ‘breakthrough?’ I saw it at the NY show, and was very impressed. Isn’t it a station wagon?

    No it is not!!!

    It is a TOP 44 MPG HYBRID Small tall wagon with 50% more space than the prius hatch.

    It has arrived 10 years overdue, but I’m glad it has.

  163. Autos101 Says:

    KIT: Just Stop askinmg everybody if they have driven a Volt, as if it drives like an M3 (or my 740iL for that matter..LOL!!) It drives MUCH WORSE than these STELLAR autos, and EVEN if it is not on fire.

    I have driven very few vehicles and my time is valuable, and since I have NO Intention to buy one, I don’t want to fool the dealer into thinking I want to buy one.

  164. pedro fernandez Says:

    As I said, Volt: great idea, poorly executed. Prius: great idea, brilliantly executed.

  165. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think you know I’m not saying that a Volt drives like an M3 or 7 series, but it drives as well as a Prius, which you seem to like.

    BTW, I didn’t go to a dealer making anyone think I was going to buy a Volt. I drove it at a dealer where I had bought cars in the past, but they knew I just wanted to drive it, but was not buying.

  166. Kit Gerhart Says:


    Atkinson cycle operation has lower pumping losses than conventional valve timing, but you get less power for the size of the engine. Google “atkinson cycle” and you will find several explanations, both for “true” Atkinson cycle engines, and modified Otto cycle as used in hybrid cars.

  167. Autos101 Says:

    From the Detroit News: Another plug-in atrocity bites the dust:

    “Fisker recalls plug-in hybrids; EV safety concerns revived”

  168. Autos101 Says:

    Loser Central, aka the Year in review

    26 different models were killed in 2011 alone:

    Buick Lucerne

    Cadillac STS

    Chevrolet Aveo

    Chevrolet HHR

    Dodge Caliber

    Dodge Dakota

    Dodge Nitro

    Ferrari 612 Scaglietti

    Ford Crown Victoria

    Ford Ranger

    Honda Element

    Mercury Grand Marquis

    Lotus Elise

    Lotus Exige

    Mazda RX-8

    Mazda Tribute

    Maybach 57

    Maybach 62

    Mitsubishi Eclipse

    Mitsubishi Endeavor

    Saab 9-3

    Saab 9-4X

    Saab 9-5

    Tesla Roadster

    Volvo S40

    Volvo V50

    Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20111229/BLOG06/111229920#ixzz1i29n2LCR

  169. Autos101 Says:


    No, I think YOU know that the VOlt is an UNACCEPTABLE POS that should have NEVER BEEN PRODUCED.

    SERIOUSLY. While a $20,000 civic or corolla or even Cruze is REEASONABLE, they, as well as this obese, cramped science project the VOLT at $42,000 is NOT.

    The $7,500 taxpayer robbery for every one fo them is also OUTRAGEOUS.

    The STUPID, CORERUPT Goverenment should NOT pick winners and losers.

    It would be OK fdor GM, IF it had a ton of $ and was not broke, to have produced a few PROTOTYPES and when it saw they SUCKED, it should have CANCELED the stupid idea, OR tried to make them READY for prime time, and THEN and ONLY THEN offer them for sale. Like TOYOTA did with the PRIUS LINE.

    I ALSO challenge ANYBODY to DO THE MATH and SHOW ME any HUMAN BEING of the 7,000,000,000 on this PLANET for whom the VOlt would make ANY Economic sense.

    If you want to buy one as some fancy video game on wheels, fine with me, BUT do not PRETEND this is a serious v ehicle.

  170. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some of you might want to read the autoblog piece at:


    Autoblog says that neither the 500 nor the Volt are nearly as bad as being on the yahoo list might indicate, and maybe didn’t belong on such a list. Autoblog’s headline for the article is:

    ” Fiat 500, Chevy Volt listed among biggest product flops of 2011… but should they be”

  171. Autos101 Says:

    And even if waste my time and the dealers time and money and test-drove one of these POS volts, WHAt would I learn I don’t already know and WHY would it make ANY difference?

    That it is a very obese (for its size), slow, underpowered, cramped (cargo space despite the fake hatch design) vehicle that sells for TWICE as much as it should, and gets a PITIFUL 37 MPG HWY with gas alone?

    That it has MAJOR safety issues?

    The Volt is Lutz’s “Hail Mary” pass that resulted in “Lutz’s Folly”.

    As much as I admire the entire Toyota Prius FAMILY, I have nothing but utter contempt for it and its inferior performance and economy.

  172. Autos101 Says:

    That is AUToblogs OPINION ONLY. Autoblog REPORTED the YAHOO article, and THAT was what I wanted to post, NOT Autoblog’s lenient editorializing, which I could care less about.

    IF I want the TRUTH, I will go to THE TRUTH ABOUT CARS.com and read MIke Karesh’s reviews.

  173. HtG Says:

    if you assume that the tech under the Volt is going to improve, like batteries getting more power dense and cheaper, where is the tipping point for Volts to be strictly rational? Is it a moving target, since gas could get pricier, or electricity also get mean? I do also question what the value of Volt is to GM as a halo.

    But then, some rich folks got their own notions.

  174. HtG Says:

    169 When I sat in the Volt, I liked the comfy seats, and I read that the low cg(it’s the battery) makes for a crisp handling car.

    (rear seat shoulder room not so much)

  175. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and the YAHOO article was also OPINION ONLY.

    BTW, you you have a link to the yahoo article?

  176. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:
    December 30th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    169 When I sat in the Volt, I liked the comfy seats, and I read that the low cg(it’s the battery) makes for a crisp handling car.

    (rear seat shoulder room not so much)”

    Rear ANYTHING should be lousy. This is a Cruze-Corolla-Civic-sized auto. And I bet the batteries take a huge amountof interior space, unlike the far roomier (cargo-wise) PRuis Hatch.

    Even my big, LONG (Limo-like L version) of the 740iL, while it has TRULY huge leg room in the back, for some reason, when I sit there, my hair/top of my head is touching the ceiling! UNacceptable. The car is 56″ tall, which should be more than adequate, but the rear “THrones” must have a higher seating position, hence the miserly head room. REALLY unacceptable. The car needed to be at least 58″ high to have flagship level head room in the back. FOrtunately I practically never have to sit there, but this FLAGSHIP car was AIMED at the officials or dignitaries sitting in the BACK, not just the driver!

  177. Autos101 Says:

    Kit: No, I did not bother. GOOGLE IT, if you have time to kill (which you might, being retired). I only read it at Autoblog. I saw no need to go read the full article, I got Yahoo’s point, and Autoblog’s excuses (which I omitted). didn’t you?

  178. Autos101 Says:

    And PS, I’m only 6’1″ and of average weight. WHat about the 6’4″ and 6’6″ and 6’9″ drivers and passengers? ANd these are not only NBA players, I knew a family when I was a grad student in the Boston area, whose 3 male members had precisely the above heights (father was the tallest, and the two sons were the others)

  179. Autos101 Says:

    The easiest, and by far the cheapest way, to accomodate tall/big people TOO, is to just raise the roof 2-4 inches, for almost all cars. You will pay a small penalty in HWY MPG (probably less than 1 MPG) but you will get HUGE increases in comfort and a good increase in cargo space too.

  180. Autos101 Says:

    KIT: Talk is cheap. Can you do the MATH? SHOW ME, I dare you once more, ANY Human being of the 7,000,000,000, for whom the VOlt makes ECONOMIC sense, in total cost per mile driven, vs any other serious fuel efficient Hybrid or Diesel (with no plug-in even).

    The pathetic VOlt should NOT have been on sale so early, when it has such a poor overall performance. No wonder nobody bothers to BUY the POS, EVEN after they ROB ME and all the otther taxpayers of 7,500 for each lousy $42,000 cobalt-cruze!

    And these are the HARD FACTS, not opinions.

  181. Autos101 Says:

    178: and PS Assume any driving pattern that suits your purposes, and make sure you don’t leave anything out. I will still be able to find a BETTER alternative, ECONOMICALLY.

    If you talk PASSION and not ECONOMICS, the VOlt loses again, since it is no Ferrari or M3 or even a lowly GTI.

  182. HtG Says:

    174 Go sit in the new Camry’s back seat, A1. I have a long torso, and still had inches of headroom to spare. I usually check this in a car; one year I got locked in a Daewoo at the NY show, and had to crawl between the front seats to escape.

    It was also funny then.

  183. Autos101 Says:

    And it is not just me or Yahoo. CAR AND DRIVER, arguably the most comprehensive Enthusiast Mag out there, did a thorough comparison test of the Volt vs its cousin the 42 MPG HWY CRUZE ECO,(at HALFD the price of the stupid Volt) and concluded that the lowly Cruze is SUPERIOR.

    I really hope that GM just surrenders and in 2012 sends the Volt at the garbage heap where automakers sent the 26 models discontinued in 2011.

  184. Autos101 Says:

    HtG: Why would I want to torture myself by siting in the rear of stingly econoboxes and family cars? Their rears are designed for kidsa and teens who belong there. Or the little wives, if two couples go out to dinner in one.

    the new Passat is not only far better looking than the weirdly styled new Camry exterior-wise, but also should have great interior room. I have not sat in it, because I have no desire to buy one and time is valuable.

  185. Autos101 Says:

    PS I could even fit in a tiny Miata 10 years ago, but I could not recline, and it was with the top down. Probably I could not tolerate it on a long highway trip.

  186. HtG Says:

    I just like to see what the car makers are doing, even when the models aren’t intended for me. Like at an ALMS in Lime Rock, where Chevy had a big sread; I am interested in their marketing, how they’re trying to reach people.I remember when Venza came out, I sat in the back and felt like this was the throne seat. I could only think of the intention of selling this car to Chinese poobahs, who get driven around like prized Pandas.

    I take my potential sports attention time, and put it to cars. Don’t quiz me about sports, please.

  187. HtG Says:

    184 I’m ‘only’ 5’10″ so Miata is OK even though my head comes up too high. Long trips are no problem after I put in a high performance radiator that means there’s less of a furnace in the driver foot well.

  188. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree that, at today’s fuel prices, the Volt does not make economic sense. Neither did the first generation Prius, which sold for over $20K in 2001.

    Obviously, at this point the people who buy Volts do so because they like them, the same reason people buy SUV’s, Corvettes, and 7 series BMW’s. I’ll even admit that my buying a Prius was because I wanted it. Unless gas prices increase dramatically in the near future, I would have saved money by keeping my Malibu Maxx a few more years.

  189. Autos101 Says:

    HTG: I have no clue about sports, so don’t fear.

    The VENZA looks excellent, esp compared to its butt-ugly, mismatched rival, the GOd-awful Honda Crosstour.

  190. Autos101 Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    December 30th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    I agree that, at today’s fuel prices, the Volt does not make economic sense. ”

    So find what gas price would make the Volt better than your prius or a diesel. AND feel free to use ANY driving pattern of any Human on earth! I bet I can find a better alternative.

    “Neither did the first generation Prius, which sold for over $20K in 2001.”

    Nonsense. Apples and oranges. That non-plug-in Hybrid Prius cost barely $20k!

  191. Autos101 Says:

    THAT’s my main point: WHILE a $20,000 Volt might be attractive and make econ sense, a $42,000 (even a $35,000 after the robbery) does not.

  192. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Venza looks decent, but it gets only 21/27 EPA ratings, even with the 4 cylinder. They should sell it with the Camry hybrid power train. It would get good mpg, and still have adequate acceleration, even though it is kind of porky.

  193. Autos101 Says:

    A colleague here wants to buy a PURE EV, and tried to justify it to me a few months ago, by saying that he can do all he needs with it despite its 60 or so REAL mile range, BUT his wife owns a REGULAR Auto they can take trips with, and I bet he never bothered to do the MATH, if he did he would know he will be saving NOTHING, and if anything, losing a ton of $ (per mile total cost.)

    Still, this fellow is a distinguished academic in MEch Eng and a member of the Natl Acad of ENgineering (only 2,000 of the 312 million Americans are!)

  194. Autos101 Says:

    My main problem with the Venza is its likely blind spots in the back due to the thick slab of sheetmetal vs glass there.

    Families with young kids, who are almost 100% of its buyers, want safety, so the Venza’s heft will not be a disadvantage.

  195. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Nonsense. Apples and oranges. That non-plug-in Hybrid Prius cost barely $20k!”

    At that time, you could get a Honda Civic for ~$13K, MSRP.

  196. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It sounds like your colleague WANTS an EV, whether it will save him money or not. I see a lot of people who WANT huge SUV’s to haul one person around town. That doesn’t make much economic sense either.

  197. Autos101 Says:

    193: No you would not. My 1990 ACCORDcoupe, with 5-speed, (about $1k LESS than with auto), already cost $15,000 actual price to its first owner. Ten years later in 2000, the Civic should sell for far more than a measly $13k, more like $17k. .

    HtG has a bare-bones 2000s civic coupe, but might remember what a comparable model would sell for.

  198. Autos101 Says:

    194: He probably wants to, but he claimed it would save him $, which it would not.

    In addition, the Nissan Leaf looks dreadful (exterior styling), like some obese piggy.

    The Ford FOcus electric, which he liked more, looks much smoother but it may be more expensive.

  199. cwolf Says:

    Clearly Auto thinks little of the Big3 and favors Euro models most. Can’t blame him though because many Eoro designs are high tech. and meant to be driven. On the flip[ side,most Americans can’t afford them and/or the cost of repairs. Yep,VW’s and Audi’s hsve that Euro feel and drivability…..and all too often straight to the repair shop! This may be why the majority of these people lease the cars they drive.The others purchasing their car expect paying more just because ….. If it were an American car it would be labled a POS! Don’t get me wrong:I marvel the Euro brands as much as the next guy,but haven’t the desire to purchase something used just to say I own a BMW or Mercedes. Unless driven on a race track,the potential of these cars cannot be utilized on American roads.

  200. HtG Says:

    197 a few weeks ago I got my doors blown off by an AMG Benz on a twisted highway. I guess he’s trying to break the curve.

  201. cwolf Says:

    Without knowing the long term strategy for the Volt,I wouldn’t discount its future. Seems GM hasn’t. Add the diesel,planned for the Cruze,into the Volt and one of its faults has been corrected. Then,when perfected,add a longer range battery and the Volt becomes a real contender or winner! Li-ion batteries are scorned for now,yet look at how many brands are are adding them to their cars. Let’s wait and see what all the “doubting Thomas’s” have to say then.

  202. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I looked up the price of a Civic. Edmunds said 12 something, so I said 13 to include “destination charge.” Yeah, the one for 13K was probably a stripped down car. Maybe you’d have to pay 15K for an ’01 Civic equipped similarly to a gen 1 Prius.

  203. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Toyota has really been a holdout on using Li ion batteries; even the 2012 Camry hybrid uses NiMH. I suspect they stick with NiMH for the hybrids because they have a proven track record for long life. Now, with the fire scare with lithium batteries, there is another reason to use NiMH for the non-plug-in hybrids, which don’t need large batteries.

    At one time, NiMH would have been cheaper, but now, Li ion are as cheap, or cheaper on a per kwh basis, and the price is dropping.

  204. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The plug-in Prius will be the first Toyota to have lithium batteries.

  205. HtG Says:

    A1 wrote that the Civic I have was bare bones, which aside from the AC is true. What’s interesting though, is that when I sat in recent cars like the Fit, my old car felt upscale in terms of interior materials. Look at the dash on a Fit; HS. I still haven’t found I car I’d trade for my Civic. Maybe a wild police chase will change that for me.

  206. cwolf Says:

    Kit,once the scare is over and Li ion’s get smaller,yet stronger,I think they will have more of a place in even hybreds,like the Camery. The less weight will facilitate the quest for even greater mpgs. Like them or not,the battery has a sure foothold in future cars.

  207. Autos101 Says:

    “cwolf Says:
    December 30th, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Clearly Auto thinks little of the Big3 and favors Euro models most. ”

    UTTER GARBAGE, I am a 100% FAIR reviewer and in fact the ON LY car I personally bought new was a PONTIAC 200 back in 1983, which lasted 11 yrs and less than 65k miles (!).

    I appreciate the pluses and criticize the minuses in EVERY Vehicle, EVEN the FLAGSHIP model I own, unlike TJ who will not say one bad word about his ENTRY LEVEL Breadvan on stilts Merc.

  208. Autos101 Says:

    Re the Prius vs CIvic comparo back in 2000, it boils down to a $20k prius with excellent MPG vs the Civic at $15k, that’s only 25% less than the PRius,

    BUT the VOlt is TWICE as expensive, actually MORE than twice, 100% more, than the Cruze, and has even WORSE MPG on the HWY than the Cruze!

  209. Lex Says:

    #31 @ T. Bejma

    The Only Lesson concerning the Verano and Cruze is that if you build in different assembly lines in different states (Lordstown, OH, and Lake Orion, MI) the end net result is a clone. The Clone (rebadged) vehicles sharing the same basic Architecture.

    To quote your very words: “I highly doubt ANYONE will even realize they are on the same BASIC architecture…”. I guess you believe the US Consumer are just stipid, willing to buy anything GM (Detroit) slaps together from spare parts left over in the parts bin. GM and all of Detroit needs to reduce the number of Brands and Models if offers for sale. I admire FORD with it’s global architecture. GM seemed to be doing it with the Cruze but it seems they are reverting to the same old method of rebadging to maximize production volume and spread R&D and Production costs over more product lines.

    If you believe this is “OK” with you, than you and GM have learned nothing from the past. Detroit needs to build high quality vehicles and stand behind it with the best warranty in the market to prove that they desire and deserve to be “NUMBER ONE” in the world!

    I cannot get excited about anything that comes out of Detroit anymore. They have lost many American Consumers when they took the Government Bailout and returned to they old business practices. If their should need another Bailout I hope the Government says “NO”!

  210. Autos101 Says:

    “Clearly Auto thinks little of the Big3″

    The ONETIME Big 3, TWO of the three BANKRUPT and alive thanks only to ME the US Taxpayer?

    ” and favors Euro models most.”

    Not true! I have been a very satisfied HONDA owner for more than three decades, and I even recommend Toyotas to women I know who want an appliance that does not break down and could care less about performance and handling and joy of driving.

    I have also, repeatedly, BLASTED MOST Euro makers, as you can easily see in these forums, RENAULT, CITROEN, FIAT, SAAB especially, and that’s just off the top of my head.

    On the contrary, I applauded domestic designs like many vcersions of the Chrysler 300 with its long wheelbase and the new luxury interior, the Cruze, the Equinox (ad nauseam!)

  211. Autos101 Says:

    PS and not forget the “Dumb” aka the “Smart”! I may have been the first one to call it what it is!

  212. Autos101 Says:

    “Lex Says:
    December 30th, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    #31 @ T. Bejma”

    WHat I find the most interesting in T. Bejma’s recent posts here is not what he talks about, but, given that he works in the Volt team, what he does not!

    (You got it, he talks about every other GM model but the Volt and its recent issues!)

  213. Lex Says:

    @ Autos101,

    I am also a very satisfied Honda Owners. I have owned Ford’s, Chevy’s, Old’s and VW’s.
    Each one of these vehicles gave me trouble once the warranty was over. The Honda’s on the other hand have been very reliable. My only problem with Honda is styling. I like the front of the new 2012 CR-V but the rear end especially the rear tail light and lack of any true rear bumper worry me.

    Happy & Healthy New Year Everybody!!!

  214. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and lithium batteries take less space for the battery capacity needed for a hybrid. That will reduce the amount of storage/cabin/gas tank space lost to the batteries.

  215. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m a satisfied Honda motorcycle and scooter owner. I now have an ’03 SilverWing scooter. It has been flawless, and even has the original battery.

  216. cwolf Says:

    NACOTY/NATOTY 3 Finalists:



  217. pedro fernandez Says:

    Focus will win just to kiss Ford’s ass and these are not really trucks, so I cannot give an opinion.

  218. cwolf Says:

    And maybe McElroy will vote for the Elantra just for more Hyundai revenues! Or maybe between the 100 voters,they will sincerely choose the real #1 whatever it is.

  219. pedro fernandez Says:

    How do you choose the winner??, Passat would be it if it’s reliability was anywhere near decent, but………………

  220. cwolf Says:

    Besides reliability,the new Passat is $7000 less than last year. Cut here,cut there, then include the wopping rebates from last year to make ya think this thing is really cheaper..or should that be just cheap? The Elantra’s new design is stylish,but not really much different otherwise. Maybe the voters will see the Focus more innovative. Picking the truck is tough because,in my book,none are! I think the Evoque will rise to the top only because of drastic body changes for the brand. And to be honest,since none are trucks,I don’t give a rats a$$!

  221. pedro fernandez Says:

    Passat may indeed win just because of the value for the dollar deal, you know, German engineering at an affordable price, blah blah blah, never mind where you make the cuts, perception is everything for these judges.

  222. HtG Says:

    These cars are mainstream cars, so you would expect that winning would have a strong influence on shoppers. I’ll bet the carcos are biting their fingers.

    (cwolf, McElroy only gets paid if he turns the screws on the other voters! Just who do you think gets to come on AAH?!)(Kidding Mr McElroy, just a slow day)

  223. cwolf Says:

    You mavery well be correct.Perception is evering! I wonder if a posting of indiviual selection will become available?

  224. HtG Says:

    the winning carco will certainly trumpet their car in ads during the year. It would seem VW would benefit most, since there’s a whole generation out there who know what ‘VW fade’ means, plus the bosses in Germany are hell bent on increasing sales. Nous voyons.

  225. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, winning car of the year last time did not help Volt much, did it? I really never heard anyone say: “I’m buying so and so cause it won car of the year”

  226. HtG Says:

    true, Pedro, but the finalists this year are mainstream, neither expensive nor intended for enthusiasts.

  227. HtG Says:

    clarification, I’m talking about the car entries.

  228. cwolf Says:

    HtG: VW has most to gain if the Passat was chosen,but since all three have made notable changes,the ones with higher previous sales may have an inherited edge over the Passat. And since perceptions may rein,the cheaper interior and same ol’engine of the Passat may not settle well with the voting cast when driven.

  229. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d vote for the Passat because it has the diesel, and is the roomiest car in its class. I suppose the reliability will suck, and the dealers suck, but when new, it seems a decent car.

    As far as “truck,” I’d vote for the CR-V because it’s a recent Honda that is probably as good as the old one.

  230. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As pedro said, winning NACOTY probably doesn’t sell many cars, but in the case of Volt, it probably helped even less than normal, since the car wasn’t even available for sale most places when the award was announced.

  231. tj Martin Says:


    Leave you guys alone for what …….. six days …. wake up early cause I can’t sleep …….. and what do i find but the whole joint turned upside down and into Bedlam personified !

    @ Autos101 – Chill already . Your rhetoric has gone way beyond reasonable and if you haven’t sussed this out already Kit Gerhart is a parrot that repeats every little tid bit that appeals to HIS ego despite the FACT that 90% of what the man believes is utter BS

    e.g. Arguing facts with Kit is an abject waste of time !

    @ Kit Gerhart – If your pithy little comment above was aimed at myself , I’ll toss down the same challenge I’ve hit you with before that you’ve yet to take me up on

    PROVE ONE FACT that I’ve ever posted here Boy Wonder wrong or even slightly incorrect . JUST ONE Kit !

    Oh but I bet you won’t because I’m guessing that even in your Vapor Ware state of intelligence and knowledge you KNOW I’m hitting a damn strong 90 % on FACTS as well as PREDICTIONS for 2011

  232. tj Martin Says:

    @ HtG

    Well mien freund a lots being learned from this end of things . Too much maybe . And I’ll hold true to my past advice

    DUCK & COVER financially speaking .

    The World from the viewpoint of the Grey Phantoms is looking a bit …… unsafe … financially speaking

    PASSAT – The view from here is the PASSAT we’re getting now thats supposedly a bargain is in fact a cheap TAXI alternative in disguise .

    As to the NACOTY it IS and has BEEN a joke for at least a decade and looks to maintain if not elevate its status

    NONE of the trucks in fact are ( trucks that is ) and all the cars are pathetic Hollywood remakes . None of which deserve anything but ours and the Press’s ( if they had an ounce of cojones ) ultimate DISDAIN

    Or has the McDonalds syndrome finally reduced the US to a mass of non thinking Lemmings ready to jump off any cliff the manufactures lead us to ?

    FYI HtG finishing up Job’s bio while here during my free time and its ……. very revealing . Makes Putz ….. oops I mean Lutz look like the drone/ corporate shill that he’s become …. only in full color now .

    Now keep them other fellas in line there HtG …. including Mr I know everything but in fact know Bupkiss Mr Gerhart or I may have to make my New Years resolution to never post here again …… if you catch my drift ;-)

    Ourfeelarethesame :o

  233. tj Martin Says:


    Have y’all heard the news yet ?

    The very same day Bajar and company introduce their new ‘ Rally ‘ car ( Exige R-GT ) to be entered in a series (FIA R-GT Rally ) that in fact does not exist ( and in fact two of the three rallys he’s claiming they’ll enter are in fact IRC not WRC events ) …….

    ……PROTON made several overtures/suggestions that SELLING Lotus would in fact be in their best interest as its losing too much money and doing the company ZERO good .

    Then …….. oh THEN both one US press and the majority of the EU press comes out with articles saying what I’ve stated all along


    Chalk another prediction up in my column there oh you of little faith and even less knowledge Kit Gerhart .

    @ Kit BTW never did see your explanation /excuse as to how you could of missed the single strongest tie in between an auto manufacture ( Toyota ) and an oil company ( CASTROL ) since the old Ferrari/AGIP days …. especially in light of the fACT that EVERY Toyota service dept nationwide BOLDLY Advertises CASTROL at each and every moment , both in signage , brochures etc .

    Still sure you own a Toyota there Kit ? I’m sure as ____ not !

  234. tj Martin Says:


    Looking over the US automotive news

    FISKER KARMA’s go POOF ( Spontaneous Combustion issues )

    Now there’s a real shocker :o ( pun intended )

    Toodles all till Wed. at the soonest .


    And may it be a damn site better than the last …….. even if I know unfortunately it will not :(

    Oh well . One can still wish …… can’t one ?

  235. tj Martin Says:


    Saw an interesting article over here about the US’s Big Three’s

    ” Attempts ” at building small reliable and economical cars

    The overall summation being that the Big Three have been repeating the Vega /Pinto /Gremlin / Horizon eff ups of the past .. over and over again , albeit in different formats etc , with the result being the same ;


    Unfortunately I’m inclined to agree .

  236. Chuck Grenci Says:

    See you all next year; have been holding my breath (from this hornet’s nest), and while I have been checking in daily, decided to stay out of the bickering (debating the automotive scene would be too kind of a description and a gross exaggeration). Sorry for the negative review (but I think some of you are driving away legitimate posters that may have something to say that would further enhance this forum). You can tell me to ‘go to heck’ but I shan’t respond to the ‘trollers’.

    Wishing everyone the best in the New Year and thanks again to Autoline for providing these ‘digs’ for us car enthusiasts to sound off.

  237. Kit Gerhart Says:


    Delusional tj says:

    “@ Kit BTW never did see your explanation /excuse as to how you could of missed the single strongest tie in between an auto manufacture”

    This is from my 2010 Prius owner’s manual, and I quote:

    “Toyota Genuine Motor Oil” is used in your Toyota vehicle. Use Toyota approved “Toyota Genuine Motor Oil” or equivalent to satisfy the following grade and viscosity. Recommended viscosity: SAE 0w-20″


  238. Kit Gerhart Says:


    Terminally stupid tj says:

    “PROVE ONE FACT that I’ve ever posted here Boy Wonder wrong or even slightly incorrect . JUST ONE Kit !”

    There are many things you have said here that are, putting it mildly, incorrect, but the one that takes the cake is when you said an in-line 5 cylinder engine is inherently smoother than an in-line six. I’m not sure exactly how I “prove” anything to you, but you don’t have to read much about engine design to learn that, for smoothness, the in-line 6 is the “gold standard.”

  239. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Happy New Year everyone, even tj and Autos 101.

  240. Autos101 Says:


    Spare me the nastygrams and the “even”. Wish only if you mean it.

    Now to the serious stuff.

    I read several articles in Saturday’s NY Times Autos section

    (Free subscription but 20 articles a month so I skip the biased, worthless NYT op-eds on politics and save them for worthy articles)

    They had top ten cars of 2011 lists by three different Journalists.

    At least two of the three had the Passat TDI Diesel Way up there, no. 1 or so, AND mentioned they got an honest 50 MPG on a highway trip to TN and back.

    Another remarkable choice was the BMW 528 with the FOUR Cylinder turbo and about 240 HP. It got 35 MPG HWY, an AWESOME feat for a powerful, 4,000 lb or so vehicle, BUT the price as tested was close to…. $60k.

    How many buyers will shell out even $50k (let alone $60k) for a four cylinder car? OR has the Obama-Biden $ become so worthless, that they are actually BARGAINS? LOL! I will watch the detailed sales numbers with lots of interest.

    Another car worth test driving if you want cheap power with luxury and good understated style, is the Chrysler 300 with the 470HP Hemi (!). Its MPG will not be that bad if it has the 8-speed on the highway, but around town I bet it will be single digits for short trips.

    I don’t remember if any of the three chose the 300, maybe one chose that, and another the clone CHarger, but two chose the new Durango which is NO MORE a “Body on frame” like the lousy OLD Durango but a modern unibody.

  241. HtG Says:

    NYT. You can read as many articles as you like at NYT if you delete the cookies their server places on your browser. In the internet world, your computer, the client, asks their computer, the server, if it can download an article. No cookie, no problem. It’s hard to call this unethical.

    Personally, I delete all cookies automatically, and every time I close my browser, just because I don’t want to be followed around the net.(this is an inconvenience when I must log into the WSJ server every single frickin’ time I go there)

  242. Autos101 Says:

    CWOLF: SO you think McELroy is in bed with the Koreans? LOL!

    BTW CWOLF, do you consider a Mexican-made Ford Siesta-Fiesta-Fiasco or the also Mexican made Fusion (Only the Focus is made in a US plant), made by starvation-wage paid Mexicans, a “domestic”?

    and a USA-produced Accord or Camry with 80-90% DOMESTIC content an “Import”?



  243. Autos101 Says:

    Thanks for the Heads up, HtG. For other journals and papers, we actually can use the subscriptions of our U Libraries, but in the case of the NYT we can’t.

    I doubt if I will ever need more than the 20 free articles a month from that liberal rag, but if I do, I’ll use your tip.

    I also am impressed by the Passat Diesel and probably would vote for it for COTY, even tho you cannot get it as dirt cheap as the base gas Passat ($20K!), but only from $26k-which may contain more options than the stripped gas model.

    If you have a growing family of 4-5, and take long trips regularly, the passat Diesel is one of the best choices, and if they make a god-looking long, tall wagon with the Diesel I predict it could be a smash hit, in the higher CAFE Future.

  244. Autos101 Says:

    PS the new Passat is made in the US (somewhere in the South or Midwest). I predict its reliability will be better than past VWS made in Pennsylvania in the 80s or Mexico recently, or even in Germany.

    It seems VW has made MAJOR and VERY Successful changes in its models (sales-wise!), and I will be surprised if their reliability will be neglected, since it used to be their #1 problem.

  245. Autos101 Says:

    Happy New Year to everybody and their families. Now time for Car Talk. Life is good.

  246. Kit Gerhart Says:

    BMW has removed something I always liked about the 3 series, when they replaced the naturally aspirated six with a turbo four. It sounds like the new engine works really well, though.

    50 mpg is impressive for the Passat TDI, especially if it does that at 70+ mph. The ’04 Jetta wagon I had with the 1.9 TDI would get 50+ at 60 mph, but only about 43-44 at 75 on my trips between Florida and Indiana.

  247. Autos101 Says:

    Happy New Year to all, and thanks to McElroy and Peter especially for their continuing offerings here.

  248. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The new Passat is made in Chatanooga, Tennessee.

  249. Autos101 Says:

    #244-”BMW has removed something I always liked about the 3 series, when they replaced the naturally aspirated six with a turbo four. It sounds like the new engine works really well, though. ”

    Just in case you did not notice, the NYT choice was a 5, not a 3, the 528. And given its 240 or so HP and 260 (?) torque, I bet it could even work ok in the (only 300-400 lb heavier) 7-series too! I would not predict it for the US, but they may well put it in 7s for sale in Europe. After all, my colleague’s 1990 Merc 300SEL has a measly 177 HP and 188 Lbft Torque!

  250. Autos101 Says:

    New Year’s Resolutions we would like McELroy to make for his shows here:

    I’ll start:

    Most important: Most of your car test videos look like half infomercials, because instead of having the young people in your staff (Seamus et al) do all the talking and the evaluating, they always got some company rep next to them and let them spin on how wonderful their car is, with zero critical response from the staff!

    I am fine with 100% pure commercials, such as the ones you have, but the shows should not be compromised by giving all these company reps a podium and not even critically questioning them.

  251. Autos101 Says:


    I’m not a big fan of Warren Brown’s reviews at the Wa Post, but I’ll make an exception for this review of the excellent Prius V wagon (no subscription needed)

    If you do mostly city miles, and need the (50% more than the regular prius cargo space) room, this is perfect.

    We have many regular prius Taxis around here, but PRius Vs will be even better, esp. for Airport Taxis!

  252. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Prius V is something my sister might consider to replace her reliable, but very thirsty Jeep Liberty. It gets exceptional city mpg for the amount of room it has, and she does mostly city driving.

    It will be interesting to get some good data on mpg of Prius V at interstate speed. It will be good, but, with the extra aero drag, not nearly as good as the regular Prius hatch, and probably not as good as a Jetta TDI wagon, its most direct competitor.

    I don’t need the extra volume, so it wouldn’t be for me. The upcoming smaller Prius would have been on my shopping list, had it been available a couple years ago.

  253. HtG Says:

    With its tailgate up, the V just says ‘BUY ME NOW.’ Warren Brown did, however, say that going up hills above sea level, the powerplant had issues.

  254. cwolf Says:

    What’s with this Auto?
    It seems VW has made MAJOR and VERY Successful changes in its models (sales-wise!), and I will be surprised if their reliability will be neglected, since it used to be their #1 problem.

    Auto reliability has been and CONTINUES to be VW’s No.1 problem. Service is #2!

  255. pedro fernandez Says:

    Per TTAC, GM recalled a bunch of brand-spanking new Sonics for having no front brake pads at all, supposedly the whole front end is pre-built in some third world crap hole, GM does it again, keep shooting themselves in the foot, and all those who still believe they can make a QUALITY world-class car.

  256. Chuck Grenci Says:

    This week’s Autoline Detroit, while discussing the picks for the NACOTY, specifically mentioned that at the Passat Plant in TN, that there were an increased amount of inspectors of the cars coming down the line and at final inspection; they (VW)want this launch to work. Still no guarantee but they are trying to turn around (the known) poor assembly that they have experienced in the past.

  257. pedro fernandez Says:

    I read here over and over again that it did not matter that it was a Daewoo designed product, that its built here, that it’s leaps and bounds better than the Aveo, at least that hapless POS came with rear AND front brakes

  258. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Pedro, in the realm of recalls, it was almost non-existent; I believe it was 4500 vehicles, that seems to me was human assembly error. For crying out loud you just about trashed the whole vehicle for something (that if Toyota, Honda or Nissan did you might have applauded there conscientiousness) to correct a safety issue. Just saying.

  259. pedro fernandez Says:

    No freaking brakes, come on, inexcusable. A new plant building a new car and they forget to install brake pads?? a poorly paid Jiffy Lube kid who forgets to add oil is completely understandable, but this is not!! If no one gets hurt or causes an accident it may not affect them much, otherwise………….

  260. cwolf Says:

    The breaks are shipped as an assembly and crated to the US for installation. Given that only 4000 unit are involved,the only fault is in “inspection.” You can bet this won’t happen again. Also tells you something about the Koreans,eh? Even without front break pads,the Soic is still a better choice than the Elantra. That thing,even with all its parts,is a POS just like other hyundais!

  261. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ok all you GM apologists line up with your excuses for this new debacle. Another perception nightmare for GM brass to deal with, still reeling from the Volt fire issue. Blame the Koreans, blame the UAW, blame Castro, blame Roger Smith, blame TJ and Autos 101

  262. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here’s AW’s report on the Sonic brake thing:


  263. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey I got it, blame the former alcoholic Chrysler workers that were fired and got rehired by GM to work at that plant using false alien ID, and after drinking too much one Friday afternoon, they forgot to install the pads when they learned that Kim K was getting divorced so soon.

  264. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s kind of amazing to me that the person driving the car off the line, or onto or off the carrier wouldn’t feel that something was wrong. Maybe caliper pistons, or the back side of the caliper make better brake pads than I realized.

  265. Autos101 Says:


    You obviously have not seen VW’s STELLAR Sales lately. HUGE increases over last year. DO you REALLY think they are going to ignore the reliabvility issues, real or perceived?

    PS I did not see you telling me if the MEXICAN FIesta and Fusion are DOMESTICS and the Ohio made Accords and Camrys, with 80 and 90% domestic content, are “imports” in your intentionally uninformed book.


  266. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From the AW article:

    “The missing brake pads–part of a subassembly of components–fell off before the cars were assembled and had remained unnoticed at the bottom of containers being shipped to the Orion Township, Mich., factory, said GM spokesman Alan Adler.

    “This has been fixed by adding a clip to the shipping containers,” he added.

    Delphi Automotive’s subsidiary in South Korea provides GM with the brake assembly for the Sonic.”

  267. pedro fernandez Says:

    #262 Kit, it’s simple, they don’t give a CRAP!!

  268. Autos101 Says:

    The Sonic is a new car, it’s far better than the excremental Aveo it replaces, and I’m willing to give it a break (pun intended) on the brakes issue.

    Also, it is a fare more responsible thing to do the recall, rather than, like the BAD OLD GM and FORD and CHRYSLER, to count the beans and consult their fat cart lawyers and decide to not bother, because it would cost them less to just compensate the victims who go to court!

  269. Autos101 Says:

    But it is interesting to see that nobody complains even to 1% of the extent they did when Toyota was FALSELY Accused of that BOGUS unintentional acceleration issue…

    shows you how fair the ‘domestic” groupies are around here!

  270. Autos101 Says:

    “…It will be interesting to get some good data on mpg of Prius V at interstate speed. It will be good, but, with the extra aero drag, not nearly as good as the regular Prius hatch, ”

    CR will test it soon, I’m sure. But those in the market for a Prius V are not shopping it against any other Prius but against small vans like the Mazda 5, the Jetta diesel sportswagen, or the upcoming Mercedes B class or the Focus max hybrid, actually THIS last one, the Hybrid FOcus Max, is the one the V competes against.

  271. pedro fernandez Says:

    Autos 101 this is just breaking now, remember all the negative reports on the Volt fire thing even though there were no injuries or even monetary loss and it was only ac couple of incidents. It’s just that the Volt has so many enemies that they were just waiting for anything negative to happen to it so they could jump on it.

  272. Autos101 Says:

    Pedro, actually I had a very low opinion of the VOlt long before any safety issues surfaced, this dog will not hunt, EVEN if we bribe it with $7,500 (and in some cases, if you live in San Jose in CA and work for Sony Pics, $22,500 (!!!) in subsidies!

  273. Autos101 Says:

    Even if I did live in San Jose and worked for Sony Pics and I could get the Stupid, Stupid VOlt for much less than…$20,000 ($41,500-$22,500 tax and other subsidies),

    I’d first ask them if they would give me a loaded Prius instead with some of these subsidies, and if not, I’d only buy the stupid POS VOlt only to sell it the first decent offer I’d get and make a bundle.

  274. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Another thing missing from the Sonic story is, while they are recalling 4,296 cars, the number with missing pads is probably much fewer than that, and might only be one.

    A1 beat me to it, but this is not the “bad old GM,” in that they recalled the cars, rather than hiring more lawyers as the did with the brake problems with X cars in the 80′s.

  275. cwolf Says:

    Auto: I am sure VW is trying to resolve its reliability issues,but they have a long way to go,regardless!

    I didn’t ignor your request for my thoughts on the domestics vs transplants. It is just that I have shared them before many times, but for you a short recap: I inheritantly prefer Big3 products.I prefer autos assembled in the US. And because I am a UAW tradesman,my ideal is something from the Big3 and assembled in the US.

  276. pedro fernandez Says:

    The X cars cannot be compared to this, they would have had to recall every single X car, destroyed them all and give those people brand new Camry’s or Accords.

  277. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf I don’t even think VW acknowledges they have a reliability issue, unless they set out to recognize it and fix it, much like H/K did when the new CEO took over a half dozen years ago, they will never be as good as the Asian brands are.

  278. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR’s highway test is at 60-65 mph, so we won’t learn much about mileage at 75 mph, it will be a way to compare the V with the regular Prius. The car like mine got 55 mpg “highway” in CR’s tests, but I rarely see that. At a steady 60, I would, though.

    The C-Max hybrid should show up in a few months, and yeah, that will be the direct competition for the Prius V. Information on engine size, etc. of the C-Max seems hard to come by, but it will have a power-splitter power train similar to Prius and Fusion hybrid, but will use lithium batteries.

  279. cwolf Says:

    pedro,not long ago I considered a Jetta TDI as work car despite reliability issues.What killed my choice was the very high cost to repair them.

  280. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had an X car, a Citation 2 door hatch, which actually served me well, but I only had it for about 70K miles. It had the “iron duke” 4 cylinder and a 4-speed manual. I didn’t know it at the time, but I probably got rid of it at about the right time. Those cars definitely were not what you’d want to try to run for 200K miles.

  281. pedro fernandez Says:

    My x car was a Buick, from the first few months I had bad CV joints, horribly misaligned trunk lid, doors and hood, constant over heating and the latter was enough to make the car useless for anything more than a short jaunt to and from work. Could not trust it to take family out on weekends had to borrow in-law’s Taurus wagon until I saved up for a new Toyota.

  282. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf the famous video of the VW chief admiring the noiseless steering wheel adjustment of a new Elantra and asking why they (VW) could not achieve this, got me thinking maybe he’ll push VW towards the same path, but seeing how ginormous VW has gotten and how much time, money and effort it would take to steer the ship correctly and the “cheapening” of their recent introductions has been, I don’t hold out much hope for that to take place.

  283. Autos101 Says:

    In april 83 I got a basic Pontiac 2000 4-door with the 1.8 lt engine making.. 84 HP and about 102 lbft, but it was only 2,400 lbs and could go up to 85-MPH (or more, but at 85 the speedo needle got stuck against the odometer button or whatever..lol). The 5-speed was lousy compared to the one of the 1990 Accord and 1991 Civic, really unacceptable, but it did get 40 MPG HWY (vs the inflated EPA 46 it advertised), 42 if you put a couple more psi on the tires. I kept it 11 yrs and 65k miles upon which it dropped dead. Had only some initial fit and finish issues, then 7 trouble-free years, then two major repairs before it died.

  284. Autos101 Says:

    But I also drove an X car for a month, a 1981 Olds belonging to a colleague who left it for me to drive when he went overseas, and don’t remember any problems. It was an automatic, and he used to drive it from MI to RI and back all the time.

  285. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My Citation was an ’81, the last year they used carburetors on the four, as I remember.

  286. HtG Says:

    This issue with the Sonic’s brakes has a parallel in politics. When a candidate has a reputation for something, like f’rinstance being dim, then a mistake gets amplified in people’s minds. GM has hurt enough customers(we had those overheating cars too, Pedro) that an error ignites a big ball of angry. I wonder how the intended buyer for Sonic, who is likely younger than we here, will be affected by these missing pads. (do they even know what brake pads are for? Is that an app?)

  287. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Before this story, I would have thought that a missing brake pad would show its (non) presence by dumping a big puddle of brake fluid on the ground at the offending corner of the car. If the cylinder had enough stroke to not be blown out in such a case, I would have thought there would be a lot of strange sounds coming from a corner of the car, and that the car would pull to the side. Maybe we will hear more about this, but I can’t imagine that this would go un-noticed, even by one of the younger set who know a lot about apps and facebook, and little about cars.

  288. HtG Says:

    I was kidding about young people, only making the point that this may be a non-story for some people. But you’re right, Kit, didn’t drivers notice something? How do you stop straight if one side only has a single caliper? Were cars missing both corners?

  289. HtG Says:

    crxn, I meant to say ‘if one side only has single pad?’

  290. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If we’re telling “X” car stories; I had an ’80 Citation X-11, four banger (Iron Duke) with the four speed. For me it was a fun car; for the day, it handled pretty good. Had a few problems, but nothing major and was a little sorry to see it go; traded it in for an ’88 Jeep Cherokee (Pioneer). I like that a lot too.

  291. pedro fernandez Says:

    You X car owners were just lucky, I guess. My biggest gripe was the overheating issue which could not be resolved, if this was today, I would have used the Lemon-Law to get out of it. TTAC is replete with stories of bad X car experiences.

  292. HtG Says:

    Wasn’t it Mark Reuse saying that when GM went to fwd they had to learn how to get the heat out of the engine compartment? Was it on an Autoline show?

    I remember when it got hot you couldn’t turn on the AC if you were in stop and go traffic.

  293. cwolf Says:

    Happy New Year!

  294. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The X cars had a lot of issues, but, from what I saw, overheating wasn’t a common one. Since I worked for GM at the time, I knew a lot of people who had the cars. The most likely cause of overheating would probably be a non-functioning electric cooling fan.

    The TTAC article was good, but it made way too big of deal of the drop in sales of X cars after the first year or two. The reason for the drop is obvious. X cars had all of this new “internal” competition for the ’82 model year, when both the J cars (Cavalier et. al.) and A cars (Celebrity, etc.) came on the market. A lot of my co-workers bought first year X cars, but a lot of others “waited” for the J’s and A’s.

    From my experience, the Citation was better than a first year J car. I had an ’82 J2000, which was the worst car I ever had, much worse than my Citation. The J had a rear main seal leak almost from new, rain water leaded in through the driver’s door, and it had weird glitches where the ignition timing would get wacky for a few seconds, making the engine knock and loose power. I had a second, ’84 J wagon, which was pretty good for the time. It had a Brazilian made, Opel designed 1.8 engine.

  295. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, precisely it was a malfunctioning electric fan that kept failing due to the relay NOT triggering when it needed to, it was replaced several times as well as the damaged radiator and hoses, the fact that it kept failing made the car unreliable for anything more than short trips to and from work. HTG: you’re right, the FWD configuration and transverse mounted engines brought the need for electric fans instead of the belt and engine driven variety, and that is when the problems started. VW had similar issues when they went from air cooled to radiator cooled after the end of the beetle.

  296. HtG Says:

    your ‘Fins going to take away Sanchez’ candy, Pedro?

  297. pedro fernandez Says:

    Doubt it, the way they’ve been playing all year. Parcells really took their money and set up a losing team, what a freaking racketeer that guy turned out to be. QB: FAILED. Coach: FAILED. New offense: FAILED, Parcells: FAILED.

  298. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The first transverse engine, front drive car, the original Mini, had a belt driven fan. As I remember, the radiator got its air through the left front wheel well.

  299. Autos101 Says:


    You may have4 had a lemon in your J car. Why did you get a second one if the first was so lousy?

    Mine had none of these problems, it was just not a refined, quality product, and its 5-speed manual transmission was too rough shifting 1st to 2nd and even 3rd gear. Domestics made fine automatics then, but did not know to make even a half-decent manual.

    I also had the Brazilian 1.8 due to its higher MPG

    These J-cars cars were really OPEL ASCONAS, although in Europe they had even smaller engines than the 1.8 (back there then people were buying 1.4s and 1.6 was considered a.. strong engine.

  300. Autos101 Says:

    Everybody is awed by the Passat Diesel. I just listneed to this Sunday’s Autoline Detroit, even a 6′ 10″ “GIANT fit in the back seat with his legs not touching the front seatbacks, AND still have a HUGE Trunk. This is what no-frills no-nonsense design gets you (Hyundai and others, you hear?).

    They said that the Diesel engine in this car is a STAR.

    At the supermarket, COnsumer REports validated the above, and MORE.

    They accurately tested (NO EPA VOO DOO here!) several Camrys and Passats.

    The Passat DIesel was so frugal, it actually got 51 (FIFTY EFFING ONE!) MPG HWY at the CR test, AND overall 37 MPG, practically Matching the 38 MPG Actual Overall Camry HYBRID!

    This means that the Passat Diesel has a MONUMENTAL 825 mile RANGE, or about… 12 TIMES that of the moronic Nissan LEAF!

    Those of us who take long trips frequently and hate to have to gas at some decrepit or too expensive station, this is our car.

    AND I bet it can tow too.

    This makes it the PERFECT Retirement-mobile for sensible aging boomers with large numbers of kids and grandkids dispersed all over the USA.

    They will save 50% -75% in fuel vs if they used their old Buicks, Caddilacs, and especially Explorers, Yukons and Suburbans!

  301. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #298, A1 asks:

    “You may have4 had a lemon in your J car. Why did you get a second one if the first was so lousy?”

    They made significant changes for the better between the ’82 and ’84 J cars.

    The went from the 1.8 carbureted pushrod engine, to the Opel-designed, Brazilian made 1.8 OHC with throttle body injection. The new engine worked better, and mine was reliable.

    Also, the ’82 had the same 4-speed transmission as used in the X cars, which, while generally reliable, didn’t shift very well. The ’84 have a 5-speed which worked better. Your ’83 had the same power train as my ’84. The shifting of the 5-speed was better than the 4-speed, but yeah, it was not too great compared to some other cars.

    As I remember, the Cavalier never used the Brazilian engine, but the Pontiac, Buick, and Olds J cars did. The original pushrod J car engine, in its later life at 2.2 liters actually was pretty decent. A friend has one in a Sunfire with almost 200K miles, and has had no trouble with it.

  302. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found that the CR highway gas mileage test is at a steady 65 mph. I wish they would add a 75 mph test to simulate driving on the interstate, but maybe they don’t want to do anything illegal:-)

    I don’t know how long this will be the case, but, for now, you can even get a Passat TDI with a manual transmission. I suspect I would like that car, if I needed the space. The DSG works well, but, at least through 2010, has a frequent, 40K mile maintenance schedule which is kind of pricey.

  303. Autos101 Says:

    75 is legal in many, many states, and TX has just recently had 85 MPH in some hwys

  304. Autos101 Says:

    Also, even when I do most of a trip at 75 MPH, when they have long stretches of construction and single lanes and 45 MPH, you get such huge MPG on these stretches, that the overall MPG may be close to the one for 65 MPH

  305. HtG Says:

    Happy New Year, A1!

    Question for you about auto econ. Will the states see a small car with a ~1 liter engine, gas or diesel, that gets 50 or 60 highway miles? What does it take to make a market in such a car? My Civic is about 10 years old, in fine shape, and gets 42 on the highway. I can’t see why I should switch, unless it gets whacked or something better comes along.

  306. Autos101 Says:

    Und Ein Frohehliches Neues Jahr fuer dich auch, HtG

    #303..Will the states see a small car with a ~1 liter engine, gas or diesel, that gets 50 or 60 highway miles? What does it take to make a market in such a car?

    A serious oil and gas price shock. We had plenty of diminutive cars in the 80s, but not with diesels except the Golf.

    PS Our Civic hatch is now… 21 (bought in Fall 1991) and gets 44 MPG HWY, has low miles and looks like new (Sunbelt, no rust). How many miles on yours? (but as I have said before, the 3-door hatch weighs a minimalist 1875 lbs, less than even your 2-seat, no trunk Miata, or 875 KG

  307. HtG Says:

    65K, 5sp, dealer serviced. All I wanted in a car, but when I got it I expected gas to have become expensive enough to have put even more economical cars over here. Honda went up the mountain with HP instead.

  308. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I found on CR’s web site that they do their highway mileage test, averaging runs in both directions, on a stretch of Connecticut interstate. The speed limit there might be 65, not over 70.

  309. Autos101 Says:

    #306: Did it say how many miles each way, and if they do them with a warm engine?

  310. Autos101 Says:

    We had plenty of diminutive cars in the 80s, but not with diesels except the Golf.

    Actually I take this back, there were some small lightweight Japanese Diesels (I remember Nissan ads?) but probably they did not fare well sales wise.

  311. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last small engine “minimalist” car sold in the U.S.was the Chevy Sprint/Geo Metro/Suzuki Swift. With the 1 liter 3 cylinder and manual transmission, they would get exceptional mileage for their day. I’d think there would be a market for a car like that now, if it was cheap to buy.

  312. Autos101 Says:

    #309: Our senior secretary had one of these pre-metro Chevy Sprints or sth, and I borrowed it one day for a small errand. The thing weighed 1,600 lbs or so and was really a tin can. Probably not much room even in the front seats.

    These are exclusively city cars. Uncomforable and unsafe at any speed on the HWY. ANd I bet they got, at 55 MPH, less than the 51 MPG the Passat Diesel, which is twice their size and weight, gets today at 65 MPH!

    Cars in the 80s were really retarded.

  313. HtG Says:

    My Civic has its limits on the highway. Above 85mph its suspension can’t keep up with the road forces. It gets unstable. The engine also can’t pull much once you get to 90. This is where I have to let the big Lexus get away, and I have.

  314. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It didn’t say how many miles. I wondered that too.

    Warm engine, yes. They do their city test from a cold start.

    Something I have wondered, but couldn’t find on their web site, is how they deal with tests done at different ambiant temperatures. Do they make “adjustments” to the numbers for tests made in cold weather? They don’t say. For the city test, they probably start the test from a garage with controlled temperature, but outside temp would still affect the results.

  315. Autos101 Says:

    My 91 civic hatch is really low (51 inch height?) but still it’s aptly named “civic”, it’s not destined for autobahn driving. It likes relaxed coastal highways at best, at speeds less than 60 MPH. It tops at 106 or 109 MPH (factory nos) but gets noisy (wind mostly) at those speeds.

  316. Autos101 Says:

    not really highways, but twisting roads along the coastline (2 lanes each way with no island)

  317. Autos101 Says:

    #312 “Warm engine, yes. They do their city test from a cold start.”

    Then the no of miles each way should not matter much, they will probably do a modest no, maybe 10 each way.

    “Something I have wondered, but couldn’t find on their web site, is how they deal with tests done at different ambiant temperatures. Do they make “adjustments” to the numbers for tests made in cold weather? They don’t say.”

    I’d bet they do. They also have the habit of rounding the miles on the odometer to the nearest 5 or 0, for MPG calcs, and for some reason I have caught the bug and do the same in my Excel sheets when I manually calc the MPG at each fillup for all my cars.


  318. Autos101 Says:

    Detroit Auto Show

    Next Monday Ford will unveil the all-new Fusion Peter De Lorenzo was so thrilled with. There will be several other new models unveiled too.

  319. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A couple co-workers had Sprints and Metros, and they got a very good for the time, 40+ mpg for commutes with a number of stops, etc. I drove a Sprint, and it was comfortable for me, for shorter trips, but I’m skinny and not too tall, 5’10″, 150#. Yeah, those cars would not have been good in a crash.

    The 4 cylinder versions of Metro/Swift were a complete waste. They had the crudeness of the 3 cylinder cars, but were thirstier than Civics of the time.

  320. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They “plumb in” a fuel flow measuring device, so a short run should be adequate, if the fuel measurement is accurate.

    Their city test is very short, 1.1 miles, so the they would be measuring a very small amount of fuel for a Prius or VW TDI. They say they run all of the tests multiple times, to average out errors.

  321. Autos101 Says:

    This explains why the CR city MPGs are so lousy for most cars, they do a cold start and a short run. Would the non-plug in Prius need ANY gas fuel for a 1.1 mile run, I assume at low speeds, or can it do it 100% on electric? ?

    These CR city MPG would agree well with my commute in winter (1.5 mile each way, cold start) but not with extended trips around town such as my A-B-C-D-E-A shopping round trip each saturday for Groceries and other errands, whose legs are all warm starts except the first one.

  322. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They use a formula for “equivalent” mpg for the Leaf and “composite of electricity and gas” for the Volt.

    My Prius would definitely use gas for the test, since you have to accelerate very gently to keep the engine from running. Also, if the car has been parked several hours, like overnight, the engine always starts after a few seconds, probably to “top off” the battery from its self-discharge.

  323. cwolf Says:

    I’m not sure if this explains anything. At best,it is only a “snap-shot” as what can be expected under the conditions. At average temps,the low oil weights used in most cars today make cold starts less of an issue. And to be honest,the number of traffic lights encountered going from A-Z will probably have a greater effect on ones over-all city driving.

  324. Autos101 Says:

    What are you talking about Cwolf? It makes a HUGE difference. In my case, IF it is a cold start and a short distance, I barely get 12 MPG with the 4.4 V8 740IL. IF it is a warm start city trip with longer distances, I easily get 15-18 MPG, even 20. AND on the highway at 75-85 MPH on cruze control, I always get 21-23 MPG!

  325. Autos101 Says:

    For EVs and plug-ins, they should just quit trying to compare MPGs and instead compare the TOTAL cost per mile of owning the car based on some “average driver” profile, and even that will not be very helpful to anybody.

    UNLESS much-lower priced plug-ins are available, the verdict will be known in advance: From a cost point of view, every one of the 312,000,000 US citizens (or even the 7 billion humans) can do better with a non-plug-in or a diesel or even a tiny econobox with gas.

  326. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the real value of CR’s gas mileage numbers is that they can be used to compare cars. What you actually get depends entirely on your driving. The CR highway rating is 55 for my Prius, and 41 for my MINI. I rarely see either, since I don’t drive a steady 65 (or slower) very much. If I am going a steady speed for a long distance, it is faster, generally on the interstate.

    On the other hand, I never have a complete tank nearly as low as the 32 for a Prius, and 24 for a MINI that CR came up with for their city test. I sort of duplicated the city test with my Prius once, and based on what my trip computer said, the CR test seemed valid. I started with the car cold after being parked overnight, accelerated normally, and drove through a residential area with a stop sign about every block. The computer said barely over 30 after a mile or so of this driving. My normal driving yields much better, generally in the mid-40′s actual calculated for my “city” driving.

  327. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s mid-40′s with the Prius, and mid-30′s with the MINI.

  328. cwolf Says:

    @Auto: Again,you are missing the point. Your V-8 is a different gorilla. In todays cars using 5w-20,esp 4 cyl’s,engines warm up quick! And even if we use your v-8 mpg’s as an example for what I am trying to describe,the 12 mpg would change to 15-18mpg’s in less than 1/2 mile. The extra gas consumed during that time is rather a miniscule concern,wouldn’t you say? It is also something you have to live with if you think one must have a big engine.

  329. HtG Says:

    Could CO2/mile ever be a useful standard in the US? Would it be meaningful to consumers, or only good for a govt facing standard? How do you even calculate CO2 for a plug-in when factors like power source and distance to the plant affect total energy into the battery? I read from Amory Lovins that electrical energy gets wasted by about half just overcoming resistance in the power lines.

  330. Autos101 Says:

    CWOLF: You came here AFTER I made my points and commented on them, and it is YOU, NOT I, that missed MY Points. I tried to make them AGAIN, but you obviously missed them again. SEE #322.

    The BIG difference is cold start and short city trips vs WARM start and longer city trips.

    All the other stuff you mention will barely make a difference, if at all.

    BTW I always used SYNTHETIC oils. No sense risking $1,000s in repairs.

    PS Even if I did a lot of miles,(which as you know I do not!) I can easily afford $10 gas, let alone $..3.50, and I never complained that my MPG is low, ONLY pointed the HUGE difference between cold start SHORT (REPEAT: SHORT!) distances vs city driving with WARM starts and longer distances.

  331. Autos101 Says:

    “HtG Says:
    January 2nd, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Could CO2/mile ever be a useful standard in the US? ”

    TO me it is utterly irrelevant, and I never cease wondering that the Euros give that no first, and try to keep it below 100, instead of focusing on MPG (or lt/100 km)!!!)

  332. cwolf Says:

    HtG,thats a good question! Until the power grid gets updated,wasted energy will remain an evil segment of the whole. You made me think of the distance from Davis-Bessie power plant to sub-stations supplied by D-B near home and work. As the crow flies,the distance to each sub-station is about 30 miles. I wonder if 30 miles is a calculation made to minimize further loss?

  333. Autos101 Says:

    ps My next car might well be a V12. We only live once, after all. And damn the MPG.

    Or maybe a bargain-basement Chrysler 300 with the 470 HP HEmi and the Luxury edition… have to wait a couple years for somebody to sell one with 100k miles for peanuts.

  334. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Prius uses 0W20, a good thing for maximizing mpg, especially since the engine never warms up completely in short and/or low speed trips.

    MINI says to use 5W30, thicker than most of today’s cars.

  335. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably the Euros give CO2 because it more accurately compares gas and diesel cars in regard to amount of crude it takes to make the fuel. The CO2 number is higher for diesel than gas cars getting the same mpg, as is the amount of crude it takes to make the fuel. Also, many of us think that CO2 contributes to climate change.

  336. HtG Says:

    Passat field intel report. I went to the hardware store where a new Passat was parked. So I looked it over, hoping the owner would show up. That’s a nice looking car! Lots of detail creases in the metal, complex taillights, and the interior has the Audi language, though less lux. The owner spoke first about the low price and good mileage. His was a base with stick which he paid under 19K for, with about 200+/month payment. Unlike our ‘marathonist’ Johnny Mac, this fellow had a ‘circumference,’ and praised the interior room. He said that in mixed driving a tank was good for 500 miles with his 4cylinder. I’ll have to check the capacity. He didn’t take the diesel because that required him to get a higher overall package, which would have bumped up the cost to 25K.

    But a nice car IMO.

  337. HtG Says:

    It’s an 18.5 gal tank. So he getting 27mpg

  338. cwolf Says:

    Auto,we are on the same page and I am disagreeing with you. Both of my sisters each have newer small 4 cyl. cars and each works about 2 miles distant from there homes. Alternately,three times each week they drive 12mi. across town to take my father to the VA. Because I pay for their gas to the VA every 2 weeks,I discovered there was not a significant difference in either of their mileages between work and VA trips. Is this clear enough for you?

  339. T, Bejma Says:


    I stated on here that I worked on the Volt launch, I also have worked on every GM Vehicle launch in the past 5 years. Working in Supplier Quality, I get to be a part of them all because the suppliers I work with supply parts for several different vehicles.

    The reason I have not responded to your comments on the Volt is because they do not deserve a response. I HAVE driven a Volt and am very impressed with the performance, handling, room, luxuries, ride, quietness, materials, technology, etc., etc…

    It is unfortunate that GM had to be the first to think outside the box to create a car like this and take the criticism and it is unfortunate that previous Management at GM made some bad decisions and it is unfortunate that our government and banks caused an economic meltdown (watch “The Inside Job” on free ONDemand on Cable) that took out many businesses, including GM and Chrysler…

    I, for one, am not spending my time living in the past because there is nothing I can do about it, and am very excited about the future that I am part of at GM…

  340. T, Bejma Says:


    The softer, gentler A101…

    This was very embarassing but should not take away from what is a very impressive little car…

    I am glad it is not a commodity that I work on. This should have never happened if proper testing of the packaging was done. In the US we do extensive shaker testing to verify that product does not get damaged during shipping. As I have said before, and the reason I think that Hyundai/Kia will have issues with reliability – the Koreans just aren’t up to our quality standards/procedures that we have here…

  341. Autos101 Says:


    From the TRUTH about cars.com:

    “An op-ed piece in The Washington Post praises the wisdom of Congress that refused to renew the 45-cent-per-gallon tax credit for corn-based ethanol and the 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol, thereby exposing alcohol to the rough treatment of the market. Also not extended was the tax credit for installing a charger at home or in a commercial location.

    The WaPo thinks killing the $6 billion incentive to turn corn into fuel, and letting EV owners buy their own charger was righteous, but only a half-measure. Congress should have finished the job and should have finished handing out $7,500 tax credits to buyers of EVs. The WaPo thinks it’s a waste, and the technology is going nowhere.

    “Evidence is mounting that President Obama was overly optimistic to pledge that there would be 1 million EVs on the road by 2015. Electric cars are not likely to form a significant part of the solution to America’s dependence on foreign oil, or to global warming, in the near future. They simply pose too many issues of price and practicality to attract a large segment of the car-buying public. More prosaic fuel-economy innovations such as conventional hybrids, clean-diesel cars and advanced gasoline engines all show much more promise than electrics.””

    YEAH…. and that #EVIDENCE existed for A HUNDRED YEARS when EVs were ALSO TRIED and failed MISERABLY to the FAR SUPERIOR ICE And DIESEL!

  342. Autos101 Says:

    CWOLF; DO you REALLY think I Care what you say, or what your sisters do? I GOT MY OWN PRECISE DATA. You have no clue, BTW.

  343. Kit Gerhart Says:

    EV’s dominate the golf car market.

  344. Autos101 Says:

    yes they do. They can also dominate gated communities in FL

  345. Kit Gerhart Says:

    EV’s also have a major presence as fork lifts, using lead-acid batteries, like the golf cars.

  346. pedro fernandez Says:

    I’ve seen a couple of golf carts on steroids being driven around certain So Fla streets specially the village of Key Biscayne, where they’re very prevalent for getting around the “village”

  347. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Golf carts, sometimes with custom bodies, are very common in Florida retirement communities farther north too.

  348. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, and they don’t cost $30k either!

  349. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s amazing how much some people spend for ’57 Chevy, Rolls-Royce and other bodies for golf cars, including custom paint jobs. They probably don’t have $30K in them, but they spend a lot to have something “different,” but very pointless.

  350. Autos101 Says:

    EVs also dominate the toy market.

    PS Kit, it’s golf carTs, not golf cars.

  351. Autos101 Says:

    #344: Hi Pedro, how much DO they cost? and are they covered from the elements at the sides or are they just like golf carts?

  352. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Both terms, golf carT and golf car are used, even by companies that build them. For example:


  353. Kit Gerhart Says:



  354. Autos101 Says:

    Especially the cos that build them may want to call them cars, so they can sell them for more, but are they really cars?

  355. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Actually, it looks like all the major manufacturers call them “golf cars.”


  356. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Most dictionary definitions of cart are vehicles pulled by animals, or hand-pushed vehicles like grocery carts and lawn carts.

    I don’t know if the manufacturers have always called them “cars,” or if this is something new because so many of them are now being used for short distance transportation in Florida retirement communities.

  357. Autos101 Says:


    Rumors… but if true, expect the Passat Diesel, the Jetta Diesel, the Prius and the Prius V and especially the (higher MPG than even the regular Prius) Prius C 1.3 lt hybrid later in 2012 to sell as many as they can make, and their used, if any, prices to skyrocket.

  358. Kit Gerhart Says:


    Now may be a great time to buy a Prius or VW TDI. If gas goes to $5/gallon, dealers will be wanting $5K over MSRP for them.