AD #1159 – Renault’s All-New Koleos SUV, 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, Dodge Won’t Go Away

June 20th, 2013 at 12:01pm

Runtime: 10:55

Renault introduces the all-new version of its Koleos SUV at the Buenos Aires Motor Show. Honda will assemble its second hybrid in the U.S., the all-new 2014 Accord Hybrid. Host John McElroy shares his insight into the rumors that the Chrysler Group will get rid of the Dodge brand. All that and more, plus in this week’s chapter of Design Handbook, Jim Hall looks at one archetype that has remained the same for more than a century.

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. Later on in the show we have another chapter being added to the Design Handbook with Jim Hall. But before we get to that, let’s get to the news.

J.D. Power released the latest results of its Initial Quality Survey and the results are completely unexpected. Porsche topped the list with the highest quality, followed by GMC — who saw that coming? — then Lexus, Infiniti and then Chevrolet — another surprise! In fact, General Motors performed the best of any group manufacturer. How did GM jump to the top of the list? Here’s my Autoline Insight. J.D. Power redesigned this year’s IQS to include design issues, like interface issues with infotainment systems. And it weighed those issues more than the traditional things-gone-wrong defects. In fact, two-thirds of all quality issues in this year’s IQS are design related, not some sort of malfunction. Also, GM has some of the oldest vehicles in the market. The older a vehicle is, the better the quality gets as line workers and suppliers get really good at eliminating every defect. GM is bringing out 20 new models this year and so don’t be surprised if it drops down the list next year.

Speaking of GMC, it’s talking up the fuel efficiency of its 2014 Sierra and the 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 which gets best in class MPGs. They even say it beats Ford’s EcoBoost turbo V6. As we reported yesterday its new 4.3L V6 does even better. But despite the impressive mileage numbers on both the 2WD and 4×4 models, GMC doesn’t want to skip over the other capabilities of this all-new truck.

Tony DiSalle, GMC: “We wanted to communicate the fuel economy of the 4.3 but also emphasize the total package which includes the capabilities which this 4.3 V6 offers because we know that consumers today really want to buy a V6 but it’s got to be capable, hence the emphasis on 7,200 lbs. of trailering capability and over 2,100 of payload. So it’s a real truck and it’s a real truck engine in addition to the great fuel economy that we announced today.”

By the way, the brand will be adding a third engine to the mix this fall with its 6.2L EcoTec3 V8, which they say will be the most powerful engine offered on any light-duty pickup.

Renault just introduced the all-new version of its Koleos SUV at the Buenos Aires Motor Show. If it looks a little familiar that’s because it’s Renault’s version of the Nissan Rogue. But Renault did a good job of differentiating the two vehicles, and the front-end features Renault’s new design direction. The Koleos is available in two-wheel or four-wheel drive versions. It’s equipped with Renault’s new infotainment system called R-Link that includes a seven-inch touchscreen display. And new safety features include Blind Spot Warning and a rearview camera.

Honda is about to add the Accord hybrid to its lineup. It gets some unique parts, like the blue-accented grille and light lenses, rear decklid spoiler and wheel design. The cars new two-motor powertrain, similar to the one in the Accord Plug-in, allows it to run in 3 different modes: “EV Drive,” which solely runs on lithium-ion battery power, “Engine Drive,” which sends power directly to the front wheels, or “Hybrid Drive,” which mates the 124 kW electric motor to the all-new 2.0 liter Atkinson-cycle engine. Honda Expects the Accord Hybrid to get EPA ratings of 49 MPG city and 45 MPG freeway. This will be the company’s second hybrid assembled in the U.S. and the first at its Marysville, Ohio plant.

There are reports all over the web that Chrysler is going to drop the Dodge Caravan minivan. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Sergio admitted they were looking at doing that three years ago. Even so, rumors are rampant that the company is going to drop the Dodge brand. Here’s why I think those rumors are started by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. The Dodge brand accounts for most of the Chrysler Group’s sales. Dodge handily outsells Jeep, Ram and Chrysler. Also, Dodge sales are up 23 percent this year. The Chrysler brand and Jeep are actually down. The Chrysler brand only has three models, the 200, the 300 and the Town & Country. The Dodge brand has 7 models. So even when they drop the Caravan it will still have twice as many models as Chrysler. And that’s why, these rumors about the Dodge brand going away don’t make any sense to me.

Earlier in the week we reported that hybrids and EVs are depreciating faster than conventional cars. Now the National Automobile Dealers Association says prices for used plug-in EVs are falling faster than any other vehicle segment, 30 percent! As a percentage of its MSRP, the Chevy Volt lost over half of its value while the Nissan LEAF only retained 42 percent of its. This tells me that only the “green” crowd is interested in these types of vehicles.

As with all forms of fashion, car design elements go in and out of style. But, there’s one archetype that has remained the same for more than a century. Can you guess what it is? Find out in the Design Handbook after the break.

Time for another edition of Design Handbook with Jim Hall, expert analyst and head honcho of 2953 Analytics. You know, Jim was a student at Art Center College of Design, is a contributing writer for “Car and Driver” and “Motor Trend” and is even the “uncle” of the Mazda Miata. So he’s had a close eye on this industry for a long time. And, in all that time there’s one design rule that has never wavered. Jim has more in the section he calls “Secrets of Proportion.”

(Design Handbook – 05 – Sports Car Proportions can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

If you’ve got questions or ideas for future editions of Design Handbook, send ‘em our way. That e-mail address is

And don’t forget to join us tonight for Autoline After Hours. Our guest will be Don Runkle from EcoMotors, bringing us the latest update of that revolutionary engine and their plans to put it into production. So join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo for some of the best insider information in the business.

And that wraps up today’s report. Thanks for watching and I hope we see you tomorrow.

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52 Comments to “AD #1159 – Renault’s All-New Koleos SUV, 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, Dodge Won’t Go Away”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Depreciation on ev’s and hybrids shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.Resale values should be in the crapper too.Aside from range anxiety on the ev’s,there is also the cost of maybe having to replace the batteries and the possible disposal costs for the used batts.On the hybrids,used there isn’t much of a warranty and the possible repair costs for a used hybrid will scare people away I’m thinking.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    So this means that GM is gonna take a big hit on those low down and lease payments for the Volt, I guess they thought it was going to have a much larger residual value at the end?

  3. Sean Sweeney Says:

    Can you guys talk about the recent spy shots/video of the 2015 mustang on AfterHours tonight?

  4. ColoradoKid Says:

    Pedro – 2- GM is taking a major loss on each and every VOLT sold . Even if they sold at full price … which few have . On the leases they’re taking it in the shorts big time … and will only be hit worse when those leases are returned and need to be sold


    G.A. #1 ….. +1


    DODGE – Im not so sure y’all at ALD got this one right at all . Fact is on this one IMO I think you’ve got it dead wrong . I’m reading across the automotive and business news that the demise of Dodge is imminent …. all the numbers say JEEP is the only even vaguely profitable division of FIAT/Chrysler/Dodge/RAM/SRT etc etc etc .

    And then of course … when looking towards the future … one must factor in that healthy dose of Marchionne’s Madness thats running ( ruining IMO ) the show .

    So I’ll be the friendly Devils Advocate here and say …

    Care to place a gentleman’s wager on that one ? The Dodge brands demise that is ? ;-)

  5. pedro fernandez Says:

    From the rise of the East and decline of the West dept. Mullaly issued a statement stating that Ford will start exporting cars from China this year, according to TTAC, 2 articles above that one there’s one reporting that July 4th traffic and travelers will be less this year due to sluggish economy, am I the only one that sees a correlation here?

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Dodge survives it will be the new Saturn, selling all re-badged stuff from Fiat and Alfa except for the Charger, which will continue the same basic architecture for a long long time, cause they have no other source for any new ones.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Apparently the high depreciation of hybrids doesn’t apply to Prius. I looked it up yesterday on KBB and Edmunds, and Prius held its value better than its closest non-hybrid hatchback competition, Focus hatchback. I’ll check NADA and see if they found the same thing.

    As far as pure EV’s and Volt, they are heavily discounted, and have heavily subsidized leases, so it’s not surprising that they have very high depreciation relative to MSRP. Also, the long-term life of the lithium batteries is pure EV’s is a big unknown for those who might have the cars as they get older.

  8. T. Bejma Says:

    Some good news for today – new Corvette doing 0-60 in 3.8 seconds…

  9. T. Bejma Says:

    Contrary to the belief of some here, the Chinese actually do want Cadillac’s…

    “Cadillac’s China sales jumped 74 percent year-on-year by volume in May, after nearly doubling during the previous month, making Cadillac the fastest-growing among GM’s brands in the country.”

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe the Buick owners in China aspire to Cadillacs, as was the case in the U.S. in the 50′s and 60′s.

  11. Dan Clemons Says:

    Enjoyed it Jim!!

  12. Grant Fisher Says:

    Keep up the designer handbook with Jim.
    It’s great!

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    #8 And pray tell just where did that little tid bit come from ?

    Especially in light of everyone across the board saying Cadillac trying to expand in China is delusional thinking at best

    Sorry T …. but its BUICK’s that the Chinese aspire/desire when it comes to US luxury cars with Cadillac being a remote after thought ….. and if GM’s powers that be had an ounce of business sense they’d be jumping all over that built in and decades old demand for BUICK’s creating a line of High End Buicks built on the new Caddy line up …. with LWB’s as thats the demand there … rather than wasting money trying to sell them a brand thats not even on most of their radars

    And after those ludicrous ads Cadillac is running in China that HtG posted yesterday ….. that serve to Offend the Chinese mindset …. I’d say its pretty obvious GM hasn’t got a clue what the Chinese do or don’t want ….. along with being utterly clueless as to their cultural bias’s etc

    Remind your minders T …. History forgotten is most often Opportunity Lost . GM’s got a hum dinger of an opportunity sitting right under their xenophobic insular noses …. and are on the verge of Blowing it ….. yet one more time

  14. IM Buell Says:

    I really like the Design Handbook series, interesting stuff. So are there design differences between Sports Cars and Muscle cars? My friends and I have had a long standing debate as to whether or not the Mustang and Camaros fall into the sports car category. Although they check the box for proportions, power to weight ratios and many other sports car requirements (at least on paper). For some reason, that we can’t put our finger on, they fall into the other category. Heck my new Mustang feels like it could out handle the BMW I use to own, but still…..

  15. T. Bejma Says:

    G.A. – Looks like (almost for sure) diesel option for new Colorado/Canyon and maybe even… Turbo 4…

  16. T. Bejma Says:


    Buick sales already doing very well (50-60K in May)in China.

    Don’t fix what ain’t broke…

  17. Phoenix Mark Says:

    At CK post #3,
    Does Chysler/Fiat post profit numbers by division? I find it hard to believe that RAM is not posting big profits.

  18. Phoenix Mark Says:

    The Honda Accord hybrid front end looks better to me than the one on the plug in version.

  19. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ TB:Diesel sounds good to me and what my needs are.When you say ‘turbo 4′,are you referring to the diesel or a eb type of thing? I won’t buy a turbo gasser anything.

  20. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’ve been a Corvette fan for forever (including the C7); but what I’ve got to admit is that the new Corvette is definitely Jekyll/Hyde in the looks department. The introduction was in red/black and that was kind of a set-off (for me), and in today’s link it was yellow/black, and again yuck, then in the same article in that brilliant blue, was just wow. As long as I stay away from the black wheels and keeping the body in mono-tone, I’m still a believer; and the numbers it produced, oh yeah.

  21. T. Bejma Says:


    Yes, meant gas. Just another alternative.

  22. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ TB: thanx for clearing that up.Only two engine options for the new Colorado would I consider,the diesel of course being #1 and the 4.3 V6 would be #2,in that order.Is it confirmed that the diesel will be a VM Motori? Damn fine engine….I had one in an 06 Liberty.Engine and trans were excellent,uber mpg’s for a 4×4.The vehicle it was in was a pos.Would the diesel be a 2.8L? And last but not least,does GM want me to beta test the new rig? I know that me being retired and all and having such a busy schedule (said with a phony limey accent) but I am will to donate my precious time to such a worthy endeavor ;}>

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    Jerry Seinfeld … with David Letterman … in Paul Newman’s Volvo wagon ….. with a race built engine underneath . Does it get much better ?

    Honestly …. with Kit Car Architecture on the horizon – Homogenized design and engineering well established – and Badge engineering becoming the norm ..

    …. this may be about as much ‘ Entertainment ‘ as we can expect from cars in the not too distant future . Unless of course .. one buys something old … and cool …. like this

  24. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Here’s an update on the Jeep recall:

  25. Bradley Says:

    The Buick Regal GS is a great looking car, in fact I really like it.

    Of course, I will never own a GM product. Too little, too late and all while spending the taxpayer’s money.

  26. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Thanx for th’ link,lol. But there were some things on that Volvo that were lacking,especially for a blown small block.I noticed it had single exhaust,and David complained about the heat coming up from the floor.Lack of attention to detail by the builder.They have had to have known about Lizardskin.It’s been out for years.Other then that it’s a cool ride.I especially liked the soccer balls falling out of the back ;}>

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A. – You’re most welcome . I especially enjoyed Jerry’s comments about the LEAF at the end … LoL

    And yeah … its sounded to me like a detail or two was missed out when building that Volvo as well …. but still . I could learn to love a wagon like that … after a good sorting out that is

    As for the JEEP recall .. its sounding like the consumer groups are all to a number saying …. Not Good Enough . Hmmmn . So I guess the average consumer does have an aversion to the whole Car-BQ thing after all . Dang ! There may yet be some hope ;-)


    Bradley ;

    ” Of course, I will never own a GM product. Too little, too late and all while spending the taxpayer’s money ”

    Holy ______ ! and + 1 I couldn’t of said it better if I tried .

  28. ColoradoKid Says:

    One more fun link afer I heads ta the hills fer a fair piece .

    So .. till then ;

    Rock On – Drive On – Keep Calm … and Carry On !

  29. HtG Says:

    So, CK, you’re going to ‘miss’ this weekend’s big event in La France to go where? It must be very good.

  30. aliisdad Says:

    #4, I really agree with you on your comments about Dodge… Perhaps the cars should become Chryslers (or FIAT’s!!!), and the trucks could go back to Dodge??!? Based on my experience with Dodge products, though, they should all go away!! Seriously, I think they will all be FIAT’s at some time in the future..

    On another topic: I have really been enjoying Autoline After Hours, both lately and since it started….Great “can’t miss” weekly program!!

  31. Buzzerd Says:

    I see people posting that GM is losing money on the all volts, how do you figure that?

  32. HtG Says:

    31 here’s one way

  33. Buzzerd Says:

    Well that’s what I figured, people are including “development” costs. So how do you do that exactly? you have no idea how many cars will be sold or how many other vehicles will use the technology. So if you only looked at the amount of money it costs to build the vehicle are they losing money? I betting not.The rest of the numbers are subjective guesses.

  34. cwolf Says:

    Ford’s poor initial quality showing should get their attension sooner or later, ya think? And it’s nothing but pitiful that the C-Max is at the very-very bottom of the list! Despite being a hyb./plug-in, it was also developed and designed by the Germans! Guess this just supports the recent trend the Germans are not what they once were!

    On another note: I can now state the likelyhood that the UAW will most likely gain unionization of of Southern assembly plants, prolly German(VW). The UAW will follow the same format used by the Germans. I sure hope the UAW gets the new members it needs to survive because they lost touch of any kind with the remaining current membership! I can’t begin to tell you just how many co-workers are wondering why they are paying dues and getting nothing for them.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    I believe Toyota lost money as well when they brought out the Prius, but stuck to it and now it’s profitable, but not as much as some of their mainstream cars, Kit, can you shed some light on the subject?

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    # 34 Mullaly over estimated their engineer’s ability to get this hybrid thing just perfect as Toyota did, I guess.

  37. HtG Says:

    33 Actually, Buzzerd, I was told directly and repeatedly by a Chevy salesperson that GM itself was telling them that it cost 100K per car. Also, Sandy Munro isn’t anyone to ignore. But you’re right about development costs; I don’t know how the numbers are arrived at.

  38. HtG Says:

    35 There’s this, Pedro.

    I don’t really know what happened, but I enjoy tweaking Toyota a bit. I’ll be rooting for them at LeMans this weekend, so go figure.

  39. Buzzerd Says:

    I also seen an interview with Lutz where he said that GM was not losing money on Volts and the people who said they were, were including the development costs which isn’t an accurate way of doing it. Do we do that for other cars?

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    #38, well, one was a good investment, the other one…. not so much. BLAME THE BATTERY!

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedto, of what I’ve heard, Toyota lost quite a bit of money on the first generation Prius, but the second generation car made money within a couple years. The second gen car was a complete effort at making the “ultimate transportation appliance.”. It had hatchback utility which mpg freaks like, and had the aero shape to acheive excellent highway mpg, along with the city mpg. The second gen car was cheaper to make, but much more apoealing to people like me, and it sold much better from the start.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Bradley, the Regal GS looks good, and it is generally appealing for a semi-sporty front driver. You can even get a manual transmission. If I wanted that type of car, I’d consider it partly BECAUSE it is GM, having more friendly controls than most of the competition. It is too pricey, though, at about 35K MSRP. There are other cars I’d rather have for that money, including one from GM, a base, CUE-free ATS.

  43. C-Tech Says:

    Although many people here scoff at hybrids and electric vehicles, The fact is many buyers in the 19-31 age group look favorably on “green” vehicles. For them the horsepower race is over and the kilowatt race is just beginning. Whoever figures out how to make money on these (and autonomous) vehicles is going to have great market share.

    I really love the prospect of seeing the 4.3L motor again (would prefer it in a smaller truck like the S-10 again. Hey Chevy, drop the Colorado/Canyon name and bring back S-10 / Sonoma) but my b.s. sensor is rising on the claims of higher mileage, and heavier towing with a bigger engine.

  44. T. Bejma Says:


    An educated estimate would be more like about a tenth of that figure…

  45. RonE Says:

    Here’s an article from Bob Lutz in Forbe’s on the cost of the Volt, dated 9/10/2012.

  46. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Thanks RonE for the link: read both articles and then decide for yourself. IMO, the Forbes article is more correct, and with the formula it is trying to use (of course there are variable involved for different cars and car types), holds uniform for the automotive industry. Love them, hate them or somewhere in between; I certainly appreciate that there are choices out there (and the freedom to buy what you want) from ‘green’ to ‘mean’.

  47. Bernd Says:

    Very interesting bit with Jim Hall about the sports car design proportions.
    The Lotus Elan II might have been the most affordable sports car to violate the rule but I doubt it was the only one.
    Look at any mid-engined sports car with longitudinal engine. Countach, Murcielago, Aventador, Mc Laren F1, all Pagani…..

  48. ColoradoKid Says:

    G.A, Branigan – A special effort … cause i know you’ll enjoy it .

    The details on the Newman killer Volvo wagon

  49. Wim van Acker Says:

    @ Design Handbook: Interesting as always. One observation: to me it seems great sports cars like the Ferrari 458 (and its predecessors) and the Lamborghini models Aventador and Gallardo have different proportions than discussed by Jim Hall.

  50. Bradley Says:

    42 and 27

    Yea, I haven’t seen the ATS in person. I hold a lot of respect for GM’s effort to create consistent design in Cadillac cars. However, there is something about their angular-acute styling that I don’t like. I think it may be that the styling is loosing some punch being stretched onto large of cars.

  51. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ CK: Thanx again,I did indeed enjoy it.I have to ask,why in hell didn’t they use a Jag irs setup that could really handle the power and put it down? It’s a good thing I’m into trucks as I could really rip into those builds for what they didn’t do and should have done.

  52. kevin m Says: