AD #1526 – Google’s Refined Bubble Car, Mark Reuss Talks GM Product, Is MKC the NATOY?

December 23rd, 2014 at 11:57am

Runtime: 8:08

- Google Refines Its Autonomous Bubble Car
- Mark Reuss Talks GM Product
- Reducing Emissions @ the Molecular Level
- 3D Tech Helps GM Develop Vehicles
- Get Greenbacks for Green Ideas
- Mercedes Exits Sub-$30,000 Field
- OnStar Tracks Santa’s Whereabouts
- Is Lincoln MKC the NATOY?

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153 Comments to “AD #1526 – Google’s Refined Bubble Car, Mark Reuss Talks GM Product, Is MKC the NATOY?”

  1. Phil Says:

    Hi John,
    Those door mirrors really stand out like a sore thumb on the google car – perhaps because its so small. Why are they necessary if the car drives itself? If they are required by law wouldn’t the google car be an ideal candidate for tiny, backup style cameras projected onto a screen on the dash?
    Phil in Burlington

  2. Ron Paris Says:

    I don’t doubt for a moment that GM and the other Detroit automakers are making much better cars today than they did before the recession. But honestly John, sometimes your shameless cheerleading for the domestics is just flat embarrassing. Makes one wonder if there’s an industry PR consortium that you’re on the payroll of!

  3. Brett Says:

    Have a great holiday season everyone!

  4. John McElroy Says:

    The reason why you’d want rear view mirrors is checking for traffic coming up from the rear before you step out of the car.

  5. HtG Says:

    Season’s Greetings to all and Happy New Year!

    The thing about that Google car is that the company still can’t figure out how to make money off YouTube. What’s the business model when everyone else is also developing autonomy? Is it just advertising for how forward looking Google is? I say this as someone using a Chromebook that’s a cheap and effective tool.

  6. Jon M Says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!

    The most wonderful time of the year for sure, but the NAIAS is a close second. So apropos that it occurs soon after.

  7. cwolf Says:

    I don’t know if I would make the MKC NATOY, but wouldn’t place the VW on the top three either.
    Having both a push button and a console shifter, it does take a little getting use to. Never the less, I like the push buttons and just the way they are! I certainly wouldn’t like them to make a noise when pushed,especially in a high end vehicle,but I would prefer if they were not so brightly illuminated. One thing for sure; The MKC is NOT an Escape! The guy must on the show must have been hallucinating while driving one.

  8. HtG Says:

    OK, this could get me in trouble, but it might be interesting to see a breakdown of how the voting for NACTOY goes between males and females. That MKC is a feminine car if you ask me.

    come at me

  9. RumNCoke Says:

    Here’s wishing that Takata executives get stuck in traffic behind a Pinto and in front of an Audi 5000.

    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good drive!

  10. Buzzerd Says:

    @ Ron – if you don’t doubt what he is saying what is the problem? John was simply giving a bit of context to the clip he showed.

  11. Jonathan Says:

    Great show….happy holiday..

    Hope ford mustang and f150 win the award….

    Not the vW or the MKC..


  12. Bradley Says:

    Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

  13. cwolf Says:

    I don’t think the MKC looks feminine in the darker colors. If it were my only transportation, I wouldn’t feel out of sorts when driving with a suit or tux. Also wouldn’t feel it odd hauling my recyclables in one, either. Let’s just say the MKC would make a stylish all-around ride. At least when fully loaded,no one would ever think your just “Escaping” from da “hood!”

  14. BobD Says:

    I find Mark Reuss’s comments interesting and a good example was the Chevy S-10/Colorado. The “best” version of the pickups were in their first year of production. Each subsequent year, rather than trying to improve and add features to the vehicles to gain market share, GM would de-feature and cost-reduce things like sun visors, shifters, etc. By the end of each product life, the truck was cheap-feeling and pathetic. I’m sure the bean-counters had assigned cost targets to each model year and because volumes were dropping, the only alternative was to strip stuff out. I can’t imagine the engineering time they must have spent coming up with new ways to cut costs. Hopefully they have learned their lesson on this counter-productive practice.

  15. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Chevies quality is pretty damn good considering they are a mass produced product.I’m just a month or so shy of 3 absolutely trouble free years of ownership of my nox awd/ltz.No shakes, rattles,or squeaks.I know the new diesel Colorado will be just as good.

  16. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Is the segment so weak that the MKC might get the nod. It just doesn’t move the needle (enough) for me. Anyway, just my take; opinions are sure to vary.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all (it’s been a bang up year for Autoline; thank you very much).

  17. cwolf Says:

    A dear friend stopped by for the weekend with his 2014 red V6 awd ATS. He bought it used with only 7K miles. Having the red leather and mock carbon fiber trim, it has to be one of the nicest interiors I’ve seen in an American car. Sticker price was $49K; He paid $32K. I was an inch close to buying one at the end of year sales,but chose the MKZ for various reasons. I had thoughts of making a mistake, until I really spent son quality time in the ATS. For one, the CUE was 100% horrendous! What a joke! Within the 4-5 months of ownership, the car was in the shop for a front brake squeal 5, yes, 5 times and they can’t find the problem. The V6 is terrific, except it sounds too much like a 4 cyl. Yah, I know it’s a sporty car, but the constant interior noise from the exhaust became tiresome. Though the seats are quite comfy, the ride was a bit choppy, due to the stiff suspension and run-flats. Everything else, the handling, power and over-all performance, plus the terrific looks, ALMOST makes me think the annoyances/peeves could become tolerable. Naaaah…I’m content with the MKZ. Geeze…’s still a swell car!!! Damn thing really flies!

  18. Brett Says:

    I really liked the pushbutton automatic in my 1958 Plymouth Suburban wagon. I liked the dashboard shift in my 1966 Dodge D100 van, too.


  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Happy holidays to everyone.

    I’d vote for the Colorado and Mustang for car and truck of the year, but I’d probably be more likely to buy a Golf than the others, when I’m ready to replace the Prius.

    The MKC is to Escape, what MKS is to Taurus.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I liked the push button shift in my ’57 Chrysler and ’64 Dart.

  21. Dave Forslund Says:

    Is Lincoln, once known for large, roomy luxury vehicles, taking the same path as Chrysler and concentrating on smaller, higher volume vehicles?

    Your guests used such works as “value” in their comments about the MKC. Luxury marques are rarely known for their value. Their normal customers like the “latest” and “finest quality” and are willing to pay a premium for it.

    Is Mercury returning, only under another name? And then what???

    Ford Motor needs another Edsel Ford I, who, like Alfred Sloan, knew how to up-market from “value” to “image” and made money every step of the way.

    They do in Edsel Ford II, but that is another story for another day.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, supposedly the new Prius coming out will be quite different from the current one, if so,would you consider getting one? or is the dropping cost of gas enough from having you look elsewhere?

  23. w l simpson Says:

    If we had rear wide view screens & bright red ,
    like my Terrain, digital speedo & other gauges,
    Roads would be a safer environment.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, I’d definitely consider the new Prius in a couple years, when I will probably replace my current one. What I get will depend on what appeals to me at the time. The Prius, along with other efficient hatches and wagons on the market will be on my shopping list. If the next Prius drives a little “sportier,” and has a little nicer interior, it will be very high on my list. Regardless of fuel prices, I’ll want high mpg, on “general principles.”

  25. XA351GT Says:

    Happy Holidays which ever you celebrate . and New Year . To all at Autoline and my fellow fans . Be safe and have fun.

  26. HtG Says:

    off topic

    Maybe I need a more intimidating car, since I’m not a big enough jerk on the road. I’m talking to you Mr. XTS driver.

  27. C-Tech Says:

    @ #26 HtG try driving a big black Charger or Crown Vic and watch the road clear for you

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Down in So Fl it don’t make no difference, HtG.I know a guy who owns a big black Ram and he gets cut off all the time, on the contrary, since my Crapola looks like it escaped from the crusher, people tend to stay out of my way, I guess they figure I ain’t got nothing to lose.

  29. HtG Says:

    It’s usually the same move. Coming up to a highway exit, it becomes imperative for another driver to pull ahead of the lowly Civic. Achieving this pass, since the courteous Civic driver isn’t going insanely fast nor willing to block the other car, the other driver slows down to tippy toe around the nice off-ramp turns.

    The other move is pulling out from the right lane as I’m passing on the left and getting big eyes for the turns ahead. Count on it.

    (Contrary to the impression I may give, I actually drive safe speeds on the highway and around other cars. This invites exploitation by video gamers and lessees in powerful premium vehicles. I tell ya, after I school them around a turn the Civic gets plenty of respect. “Go ahead, pass me. Why you hanging back now, bro?”)

  30. C-Tech Says:

    Happy Holidays to all and wishing you good health and joy in the new year.

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG, perhaps they think your Civic is a heavily modified sleeper and want to take you on.

  32. HtG Says:

    Maybe if you put a racing exhaust on the Vibrola you’d achieve the same effect, Pedro.

    I do wonder, are there makes that get road respect from normal drivers, or is everybody just obliviously doing whatever suits them? It was weird the first time I(in the Miata in the right lane) hauled by a 650i that had passed me into a twisty section of highway; he just hung out behind me thereafter, like a scared doggy. Wouldn’t pass even as I slowed way down. This kind of intimidation happens a lot; sometimes they won’t even pull up even at the light.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32, From my recent trip from Indiana to Florida, it seemed that I got a little more respect in a Corvette, than in a Prius or MINI. Still, most drivers seem pretty oblivious to what is around them.

  34. HtG Says:

    Yep, I think that’s true about drivers’ awareness. After I got a little pro training in how to drive I became much more aware of what was happening around me. It was like there was more mental space to pay attention, since normal guidance of my own car was taking much less effort. This change was not even the goal of the training, but there it is. I can even tell what some cars are about to do because I can recognize the subtle weight shifts that occur when another driver looks to where they might like to go; your hands follow your eyes.

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    #32 Does a hole in the muffler count? Anyway, I’m driving to the Fl Keys in 2 weeks and I’m dreading having to cross that narrow overseas highway where there is ZERO room for error and thinking of all the distracted drivers maybe crossing the double yellow line.

  36. TJWatson59 Says:

    Merry Christmas John, if I were to wish you a present, it would be a couple of clones of you to do all of those things you would like to get to. I like the changes in the formatting of the daily broadcast, and I wish you a Happy New Year for yourself and your professional and personal families. May they all get the keys to what they want from Santa!

  37. cwolf Says:

    I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a joyous New Year. You are all a bunch of swell guys and I wish I could have all of you over to share a Dortmunder. We all are indeed blessed, if even to share in our passions for automobiles.

  38. Earl Says:

    Took an MKC for a drive the other day. Quiet and well appointed. My wife has a 2013 Escape and realizing the MKC is a take off from it,I have to give Ford credit for the what they’ve done. For those that say it’s a women’s vehicle let me say there’s going to be a lot of happy women out there. A lady friend of mine has looked at an ATS and I just recommended that she take a look at a MKC. This lady is not slim and then again not a professional eater
    size but just the easy entry/exit of the MKC will win her over. The sales/profits of MKC’s alone will help a lot of Lincoln dealers pay for the reimagining they had to do on the front end of their dealerships.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess I never considered MKC and ATS to be competitors. If you want a car, you’d like the ATS better, and if you want a tall wagon, you’d like the MKC better.

    Back to the MKC, I found it interesting that CR says the Escape drives and rides better than the MKC, and I remember an AW article saying the same thing. The Lincoln has nicer cabin decor, though. Both have short range, with a 15.5 gallon gas tank, small for the mpg the MKC and Escape get,

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    It could be that the MKC is heavier than the Escape, thus overwhelming its suspension a bit, I find that the Journey, based off the CaliberAvenger platform has a mushy ride compared to those 2. (Heavier 3 row vehicle)

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The MKC is about 200 pounds heavier than the Escape, and apparently none of its 3 suspension settings work as well as the Escape’s only setting.

  42. cwolf Says:

    Until you drive an MKC for a weekend don’t let a couple reviewers over shadow the majority.

    These remarks are closer to the truth.

  43. cwolf Says:

    You can’t be a contender in NICOTY, beating BMW and MB and not be leaps and bounds over the Escape. Think about it!

  44. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42, Most of those snippets emphasize the styling and cabin decor, but not the chassis dynamics.

    Some seemed to think the Ford turbos are equal to the best from Germany, but others do not. It was interesting how different the impressions of the engines were. Autoweek said this about the engines:

    “But Ford’s EcoBoost four-cylinders just don’t seem like they belong in a “luxury” vehicle — at least not yet. It’s a loud engine and just doesn’t sound as refined as, say, Audi’s 2.0-liter turbo.?

    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal says this about the Ford turbos:

    “Under the hood is one of two sewing-machine smooth, turbo’ed four cylinders, a 2.0-liter with 240 hp on tap…”

    Are they talking about the same engines?

  45. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I think it would be safe to say that a number of ‘auto journalists’ are predisposed to anything but an American brand.They would probably piss and moan if they were to be hung with a new rope.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45, Some journalists are predisposed to foreign brands, but it seems that entry luxury buyers are much more that way. The ATS is getting generally good reviews, but is not selling well. Maybe it’s CUE that is hurting sales, but I think it’s more that BMW’s and Benzes have a lot more snob appeal. The MKC will have the same problem with buyers, regardless of what the reviewers say.

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    Like many people I know, putting down big bucks for a 4 banger luxury brand is a no-no, turbo or not, as it is, a V6 is a stretch for many shopping in that class of vehicle.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t personally know anyone who has bought a $50K 4 cylinder car, but people are doing it. I guess the Evoque is selling pretty well, even though it is near the top of most UNreliability lists. Go figure.

  49. cwolf Says:

    My 2010 Milan has a 4 cyl. with about 220K problem free miles. Ever since giving it to my brother,even he has no complaints.

    Our new MKZ is in the mid $40K and has a turbo 4(2.0). When using the remote start I sometimes wonder if the car is running and can only tell by the lights being on. It is very quiet while on the road at any speed and seems as peppy as many 6′s. The down side is the city mpg’s @ 25 mpg: 31.6 hwy isn’t bad though. So far so good!

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems like Honda has the best cases against turbo 4′s. I just looked up some info on small “luxury crossovers,” and the Acura RDX with a 3.5 V6 gets better mpg, and is quicker than the Evoque and MKC with turbo 4′s in CR’s tests. The Evoque has slightly better epa mileage, but the MKC has worse.

    The same holds true when comparing an Accord V6 with a Fusion 2.0 “ecoboost.” The Honda is both quicker, and gets better mpg.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, case closed!

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This morning, with some time to kill, I stopped by the local Lincoln/Jaguar/Land Rover store.

    I looked at, and sat in an MKC, one with a sticker price of ~45K. The interior was nice, but didn’t stand out to me like some cars, even most of the current Cadillacs, but the radio had a volume knob, which is nice. The seats seemed very comfy. They had a more basic one with a sticker of ~35K which had vinyl rather than leather seats, and which didn’t have a big sunroof, etc. For someone wanting a CUV that size, with a “premium” nameplate, the basic one is probably an ok buy. The expensive one was a good buy, compared to the $50K Evoque at the same dealership.

    The car that really caught my attention, was the Jaguar F-Type. It looked great, inside and outside, but is way too pricey. The “R” coupe in the showroom stickered at almost 105K, and the cheapest ones are almost 70K, quiet a bit of money for a V6 powered coupe, even a very attractive one.

  53. HtG Says:

    Rational, rational,…I’m keeping it rational. I will not, will not make a bid. Only six more hours to hold out.

  54. HtG Says:

    52 with that Ftype I believe Jag was aiming at a price point below the 911 and above some other car. I heard it on some car review. Agreed, it’s a nice looking car, even saw a white one on the highway some time ago. It stands out from the crowd, I’d say.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    54 Appearance-wise, it stands out from the crowd, and in a good way, at least to me. As far as driving, I suspect the 911 is better, at least for the enthusiast.

    CR did a “short drive” with a rented F-Type, an S with the 495 hp blown V8, and they said the exhaust is REALLY LOUD. In CR’s words, it “has a rumbling bark that could almost drown out a Corvette or Maserati Gran Turismo.”

    I’d think potential buyers would want the opposite, a refined, classy, and fairly quiet car, that just happened to be fast.

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    63, OK, maybe I missed it, but what is it? Boxster? Miata?

  57. HtG Says:

    Just climb up on your roof, Kit, and look 10 miles west to Apopka. An early S2000 in blue. Hopefully, some fools bid it up past fair value.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If I didn’t already have too many cars, I might want to check it out.

  59. RonE Says:

    An interesting read on the F-Type Jag’s exhaust sound.

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59, Interesting. I haven’t heard an F-Type, either 6 or 8 cylinder, but I’d like to hear what they sound like.

    For me, the exhaust sound of my oldish Corvette is perfect. If I get on the throttle a little, especially with the windows down, I get a nice, “classic” V8 sound, but if I am cruising at 60 on a two lane, or 75 mph on the interstate, I barely hear it at all. I like it that way.

  61. HtG Says:

    Funny story, Kit. I checked out the profile of the high bidder so far on that Apopka S2000. It turns out all this bidder’s bids over the last 30 days were for units from this seller! Whoa boy, what a!!

    Very excited to see how the auction turns out. 11 minutes to go. Very exciting

    (this is why the guys at the Miata shop avoided ebay. The flake zone)

  62. HtG Says:

    SOLD! TO! YOU! for $14,3000

    I want to see if it stays on the lot

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If I need something to do in the next few days, I might drive over there.

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, sounds mighty, uhh, suspicious.

  65. HtG Says:

    It’s actually a very nice example of the S2000. Fair price is a bit over 13K.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought that. It’s low miles, and if it hasn’t been crashed, or driven in road salt or on the beach, it should be nice.

  67. cwolf Says:

    I prefer the looks of the S2000 over the Miata,but any add-ons may favor the Miata. I don’t see many roadsters of any kind on auctions. Old German and British 2-seaters pass the block on Macan sometimes. The Tesla roadster is a pretty good looking toy, but what’s the sense if it doesn’t also have the sound of one?

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the cool thing about the S2000 is that high revving motor making about 240 hp, naturally aspirated. You have to use the revs to get much power, but with its slick shifting, it wouldn’t be tiring to drive, even though you need to use the gears.

  69. HtG Says:

    I was shocked by the specific power of the S2K when it came out. But it was also a great handler, with a bit of a movable rear end. Guys were stuffing them and Honda made the later version handle a bit more sedately. They also gave it more low end torque at the cost of a lower engine red line. Someone I knew got an original in light blue, which may explain why I like it, and he complained that the car had no low end power.

    btw, the dealer has the car still listed on his own website, though at $19K, over a thousand above his previous price. Some games people play. We’ll see if indeed his ‘ebay buyer’ completes the sale.

  70. HtG Says:

    67 We’ll see if the new Miata sells well. It’s like people have turned away from convertible sports cars.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    69, I found that the power peak rpm of the first generation S2000 is 8300 rpm, and the red line is 8900.

    I know a guy at the space center who has used an S2000 as a daily driver for years. As long as you aren’t in a hurry, you can short shift it and skip gears, but to accelerate fast, you need to keep the engine in the power band, like 7500-8500 rpm.

  72. pedro fernandez Says:

    On a weekly youtube spot by tech Scotty Kilmer, he responded to a viewer’s question re. push button starters and he says that they stop working after a while and are expensive to repair on many models. Another thing to avoid when buying a car, even a GM one.

  73. cwolf Says:

    You have to bang a bunch of gears rapidly in the MGC just to reach 50 mph,also. I skipped using 1st. most of the time and second is pretty short. It goes without saying, the SU’s perform like a wound rubber band at slow speeds. Fourth gear and O/D provide a wide range and continued to seem strong above 125-130 mph.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cwolf, does the C have the same gearing as a B? If so, I can imagine that first would be really short, with the 50% bigger motor in the C.

  75. Ivan Sears Says:

    Nice vehicle or not, whenever I see the “new” Lincoln styling cues, especially in the front end, i don’t see Lincoln. I immediately think, “Gee, that’s a nice Oldsmobile.” You all drove it and reported on it, but even in person I go through the mental dance of Oldsmobile first, and then Lincoln second. I have to wonder if I am the only one?

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    75, When I checked out an MKC a few days ago, it didn’t scream Oldsmobile to me, but it did say, “why does this thing cost $45K, when my sister’s Subaru Forester cost about $15K less, and they aren’t that different.” If anything, the Subaru has a more comfortable seating position for the driver.

  77. HtG Says:

    Bloomberg is previewing the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas. CES has become very important for carcos, with Mark Fields, Dieter Zetsche and Autoline to be there. The money quote,

    “In-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers, more than twice the 14 percent who care most about horsepower and handling, according to a survey last year from the Accenture consulting firm.”

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:


    In-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers, but it is the reason I probably wouldn’t buy a current Ford or Cadillac, even though I like some of their cars in most ways.

  79. HtG Says:

    You mean you’re not attached to your Twitter and Facebook feedbags? You mean to say you can read a map and remember where to go for a few minutes?

    Outlier ;)

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, I am indeed an outlier.

  81. G.A.Branigan Says:

    All I care about is the bluetooth connectivity.The nav in my S4 works great with turn by turn voice etc.No muss,no fuss,and it doesn’t cost thousands,or hundreds of $’s.I’m not even bothered with texts when driving as the nav app doesn’t put it through but sends a text back saying I’m driving and will get back to whomever.Simple and free free free,lol.The ‘infotainment’crap is getting way out of hand.

  82. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thank goodness some companies still make cars like the Versa S no power conveniences, plain radio, not even a trunk release, too bad it does come with TPMS, guess we can’t avoid that useless trap.

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    I was not aware that TPMS sensors need to be replaced after a few years, the batteries simply run out and the whole things needs to go,there goes mounting and balancing for 4 wheels plus the replacement costs of the sensors, ridiculous.

  84. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Pedro,there are inexpensive devices that can be had at most auto parts store,to turn off the tpms.

  85. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh I did not know that, GA the world got along fine w/o those things and now it’s mandatory, soon we will also have the vehicle transponders to let big brother know how many miles you have driven, so they can tax you accordingly.

  86. Kit Gerhart Says:

    So far, the TPMS is working on my two 5 year old cars. When it quits, I’ll fix it with black electrical tape over the orange or red light.

    Actually, while it is sad, Americans need TPMS. We neglect simple things like checking tire pressure, and now that free air has disappeared, requiring a pocket for of quarters to air up tires, it is much worse.

  87. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Yeah,the good old days when a gas station was usually called a SERVICE station.They pumped your gas,wash the windshield,check the oil and the tires.

    Well, gone but not enTIREly forgotten here in Oregon.By law the stations have to pump your fuel,it provides jobs so I like that.And if your lucky,they will occasionally wash your windshield too.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    I purchased a small, inexpensive air pump at Wal Mart for about $10 and has been serving me for about 5 yrs, every month I check my tires and my son’s too, it is not a big deal and only takes a few minutes. @G.A. NJ has the same law, no self service at gas stations, very handy when it’s freezing cold outside, funny thing is that the cost of gas is actually less than here in Fl.

  89. HtG Says:

    One gizmo I like is the little red indicator light in a car’s side mirror which let’s the driver know I am passing, either on the right or left. It gives me confidence that the other guy is aware I’m there. Merc has these.
    I’ve got a pressure gauge and a bike pump with its own gauge, but the pump isn’t realistic for most people, especially with those with the larger tires on SUVs.

  90. Kit Gerhart Says:

    87, I guess it’s been a while since I have bought gas in Oregon or New Jersey.

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    89, I used a bike pump for car tires until a few years ago, when the valve fitting on the pump started leaking. When that happened, I was already getting too lazy to use the hand pump, so I got a small 12 volt compressor, rather than trying to find what I needed to fix the bike pump. I wanted an inexpensive 120 volt compressor, but those seem hard to find.

  92. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I use a ‘bike-pump’ for topping off my tires (due to seasonal temperature variations and natural deflation due to time). Usually 15-20 pumps per tire gets the job done (without having to hook-up and drag around an air compressor). I do have a battery charger/compressor for the bigger jobs.

    And maybe getting back to earlier posts (about TPMS); I think they are a good idea for all of the people considering their car (just) an appliance that need to be reminded that they are low on pressure (it is disconcerting though that the batteries in the sensors don’t last uniformly longer).

  93. HtG Says:

    Kit, that S2K is relisted on Ebay, but for $16.7 rather than $17.7. That dealer is using Ebay as free advertising. Kinda might make a guy cynical about used car dealers. How many of the overgrown teenagers ogling this car haven’t figured out the game?

  94. HtG Says:

    92 Chuck, I think that in a cost/benefit analysis the monitors would make sense.(We both know that’s how DC thinks) How much can it cost to change the batteries, compared to the risks of heat damaging one’s tires? 50-100 bucks in parts and labor to put new batteries all around? They’re like watches.

  95. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HtG: I wonder if that dealers schill will bid the s2000 up again…

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    …and that dealer gets 100% positive feedback. How meaningful is that?

  97. HtG Says:

    Ebay doesn’t capture this kind of chicanery, I guess. This dealer even has a gold ribbon as a best rated seller, which means he’s met several criteria, none of which is specifically ‘don’t be a straw buyer.’ But then the flip side of Ebay is kids and other shnorrers who bid on a car without the means or intention of following through. I’m telling you, my Miata guys just plain won’t deal with Ebay, and when I bought my car it was from a Mazda new car dealer. He even called me up during the auction to make sure I was for real and had money.

  98. cwolf Says:

    I guess I must be missing something regarding the sale of the S2K. The dealer knows he has a hot item and believes it will fetch top dollar. I like the car enough to pay $15K after it is inspected. The asking price(s) are way high,so maybe reality will sink in if it is not sold in the next week or so.

  99. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For those who might be interested, AW’s car and truck of the year, they call them “best of the best,” are Golf GTi, and Canyon. The F150 wasn’t a “finalist,” so I’m guessing it wasn’t available in time.

    The car finalists were GTi, Mustang, C-Class, and 4C.

    Pickup/CUV/SUV finalists were Canyon, Colorado, Macan, and MKC Along with other things, “value” is part of their selection process, not good for the Macan and MKC, or 4C.

  100. HtG Says:

    The S2K is interesting, yes. But the dealer is asking 19K on his own lot in FL, relisting it at 16.7 today. The chicanery is that he auctioned the car with no reserve last week, “SOLD” it for 14.3 to a buyer who had bid 100% of the time to only this dealer in the last 30 days(according to Ebay). He also ‘sold’ a 1st gen Prius a few weeks ago to buyers he told me didn’t like the car; it too is also still on his lot.

    14K out the door for the S2K

  101. Kit Gerhart Says:

    What ever happened to Honda and Toyota’s making some cool cars, like the S2000 and MR2?

  102. Kit Gerhart Says:

    100, I was wondering if that was the same 1st gen Prius. So it is.

  103. HtG Says:

    101 I don’t think the customers still exist for sports cars. It’ll be interesting to see if Mazda’s new Miata sells well in this market.

  104. cwolf Says:

    I agree HtG, most roadster buyers don’t have the disposable income to buy new; At most it’s a second car or a toy. I think Vette buyers would be of a different breed. Why don’t you call the S2K dealer and confront the guy about the BS that seems suspicious, then report the reply?

  105. HtG Says:

    cwolf, I’ve thought about asking him what happened to his sale, but I also asked him what happened to his Prius sale. He’ll know I’m messing with him. See my comment about car sales on Ebay @97. I’m not going to mess with his business by telling Ebay what’s up (maybe somebody else over there will), but I’d feel no compunction about going over there for a joy ride. Hear that Kit? :)

  106. pedro fernandez Says:

    On today’s CR’s Youtube year end show, the Lincoln MKC was picked by 3 of the experts as one of the worst new cars this year. Along with that Maserati 300-derived, overpriced, underachieving POS Ghibli

  107. Kit Gerhart Says:

    105, I may do that Friday. It’s about 70 miles over there, but it might be fun.

  108. cwolf Says:

    Kit, that would be a hoot if you were to make the effort. I’d love to see how the guy handles the situation and the look on his face.

    The Mrs. and I just walked to the beach (Lake Erie)and saw 4 eagles playfully soaring above. There are getting to be numerous around here, but still, I never tire of seeing them. Wonderful birds!

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    106, I just watched that, and it was good. No matter what people say, CR has “car guys” on their staff.

    It’s sad that the Ghibli sucks so badly, because it looks pretty good. They shouldn’t have spent all of that money restyling the 300, though.

  110. pedro fernandez Says:

    They would have done a lot better with a fully optioned, extra luxurious 300 and named it Imperial! For a lot less money.

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yeah, for what they spent on the Ghibli, they could have done an “Imperial” really well, including a ~5 inch stretch to create an exceptionally roomy back seat.

  112. pedro fernandez Says:

    But you forget the whole company is run by a passionate Italian fellow, who figured people would pay lot of cash for a Maserati-branded POS.

  113. Kit Gerhart Says:

    So true…

  114. HtG Says:

    Wow, Pedro. Those CR guys really didn’t like the Ghibli. I saw, I mean heard one in a parking lot; so silly making all that ‘look at me’ noise at 5mph.

  115. Kit Gerhart Says:

    114, I guess the Jaguar F-Type makes similar silly noises, but it looks “sportier,” so I guess they think the noise fits.

  116. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In an earlier show, the CR guys didn’t dislike the Ghibli AS much, but they still mostly disliked it.

  117. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yesterday I had a client who had bought a Ferrari I did not recognize, I asked what it was and he said F12 Berlinetta, holy big bucks Batman, the thing sells for over $300k No wonder I had never seen one b4.

  118. HtG Says:

    116 Kit, I’m listening to the CR guys talk, and at about 11min one says that Audis and Mercs are commoditized in the area. CR is based near me here in Westchester NY, and I’ll aver that’s true: They’re everywhere. When I went to the NY show and spoke to the Maser people, I learned that one angle they were taking was to target customers that wanted something different from the usual German lux-performance sedan.

  119. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I read in some website that among the auto predictions for this coming year is that BMW will continue to lose market share because they have lost their way and Audi and Mercedes are beating them up, I am not so sure about that, I see a lot of new Beemers around here and to say that the CLA is better than the 1 or 2 series is ridiculous.

  120. HtG Says:

    2 series is very nice. I’d love to have it.

  121. Kit Gerhart Says:

    118, The idea of the Ghibli wasn’t that bad, but it sounds like the execution was way off. A $90K car should have excellent fit and finish, and it certainly shouldn’t have wind noise. As far as the Dart switch gear, I would expect that. Audis have VW switch gear, or at least they did the last time I was in one.

  122. Kit Gerhart Says:

    119, With the CLA, Merc went down market from BMW in the U.S., unless you count MINI. The most basic 2 series coupe is $33K or so, and the ones you see at dealers are in the 40′s to around 50K. It’s a great drivers car, though, while most BMW’s have gone soft.

  123. HtG Says:

    I sat in a loaded up CLA, and maybe I’m a peasant, but that car was nice. All kinds of different surfaces and shapes. Very nice. I think it’s harsh to say CLA is cheap and not a proper Mercedes.

    thinks about Persian rugs and original art on the walls. Siamese cats luxuriating. Book cases. Eye contact with Carey Fisher.

    Okay, getting started a little early tonight.

  124. Kit Gerhart Says:

    123, The problem with the CLA is the way it rides and drives, not the way it looks. I think it looks good.

    Speaking of 2-series, I find that it costs $11K extra for the 2 more cylinders in the 235i coupe over the 228i. There are some other differences, like sport seats standard, but the 335 with the MSRP of $43,650 still has vinyl seats standard.

  125. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  126. pedro fernandez Says:

    Healthy new year for all!

  127. C-Tech Says:

    Happy New Year to all and the staff at Autoline for providing the forum and information. Thank you for the tips and tidbits which help me from HtG, Kit, Pedro, G.A., Cwolf, Chuck, XA1GT, and others.

  128. C-Tech Says:

    I am off to fix a noisy Neon today.

    My Wheel Woman has chosen a new Camry to replace her beloved BMW X5. Due to time constrainsts she could not find another suitable used X5. She is about as excited about it as buying a washing machine. The dealer experience was not totally pleasant (can you really charge for built-in cupholders?).

  129. Kit Gerhart Says:

    128, Hope she likes the Camry ok. It doesn’t have the panache of an X5, but the Camry is quiet and comfortable, and uses less, and cheaper gas than the Bimmer, and should be very reliable. Which Camry is it, 4, V6, or hybrid?

    123, 124, I just re-read a couple CLA reviews, and found that all CLA’s come with run-flat tires. One possible way to improve the ride and reduce road noise, would be to get rid of the run-flats. That helped my MINI quite a lot.

  130. C-Tech Says:

    @ #129 She got the XLE with the V6 and leather. I did not go with her and it was somewhat out of exasperation she bought it. My problem was with the upcharges from the dealer – $70 for door edge guards, $250 – tinted windows, $170 for cupholders (2). She turned down the paint protection, interior protection, and tire protection.

  131. pedro fernandez Says:

    $170 for cupholders?? Was this done cause it was a female buyer?

  132. C-Tech Says:

    @ #131 The cupholders charge was on the additional charges sticker attached to the car. I don’t think it was a female buyer issue, just a general dealer additional profit issue.

  133. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In Florida, and some other states, Toyotas have a ~$700 Southeast Toyota Distributors surcharge which is on the original window sticker. I bought my Prius in Indiana, and will buy any future Toyotas somewhere outside of SE Toyota states.

    I think I paid about $150 for window tinting on my car. Cup holders were standard equipment.

  134. pedro fernandez Says:

    SE Toyota distributor charge amounts to legalized Mafia-style larceny. This is why I would not buy another new Toyota in this region, unless it’s used., @C-Tech it’s well known that dealerships like to take advantage of women buyers and specially those who speaky no Ingles.

  135. HtG Says:

    Question for you southerners. Do you pay tax on both the car sale and the added fee the Toyota dealer takes? Making my wheels of mischief spin.

  136. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HtG, I’m pretty sure we do pay sales tax on the dealer add-ons, as well as the SE Toyota surcharge.

  137. Chuck Grenci Says:

    If you buy a car in Florida (maybe/probably all states), if you are buying from ‘out of state’ you pay your home state’s sales tax. In South Carolina we pay a flat fee of $300 sales tax (unless it is a used car and the tax would be less due to price), but the catch is that S.C. has personal property tax, so you pay yearly on the appraised value of the vehicle (so they get their money that way); it’s almost paying sales tax every year you own the vehicle (though it is not quite the rate if you paid the sales tax.)

    As far as paying for add-ons/surcharge; you’re going to pay sales tax on the final transaction price.

  138. C-Tech Says:

    HtG in Florida the sales tax is on the final agreed upon price of the new or used vehicle. That includes the Moran surcharge on new Toyotas.

  139. C-Tech Says:

    By the way, keep in mind the surcharge is on the vehicle when it arrives to the dealer so the dealer pays it from the invoice.

  140. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I checked a 2004 Florida receipt for a VW, and there was no sales tax on the “document fee.” I think this is different, state by state. I couldn’t find the more recent receipt for my MINI, to see if it was the same.

  141. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Oregon sales tax= $0.

  142. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Some of my statements in post 137 may have been incorrect (especially in regard to Florida). I found this ‘searching’, and one thing for sure, taxation it a very complicated thing:

  143. cwolf Says:

    I was following a Scion iQ and thought “how cute for a city car.”,then noticed it was all over the road in the stiff wind gusts. For a bit more $, I think I’d opt for the next size up.

    The neighbor down the street has a new Colorado. I like the size of it more than thought,both in and out. Later today the owner will take me out for a spin. Can’t think of nothing better on a rainy day!

  144. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Morning Cwolf,I’ll be especially interested in your impressions of the Colorado.Thanx ;}>

  145. T. Bejma Says:


    Me too cwolf! Let us know what you think. What trim level?

  146. cwolf Says:

    Just got back from my ride in the Colorado. The Colorado was a 6 cyl. crew cab, 2 wd. There was no hwy driving. The speed limit was no higher than 55 mph,but we towed a 24′ boat on the way home. Believing now more than ever,the Colorado is a perfect size. Although the interior was basic,it looked rather rich, yet durable. I must say, it really felt quite roomy inside. OMG, the dash actually had knobs which were easy to use!
    Hey, it rode like a p/u, but the ride was very comfortable and was more quiet than many mid-level cars.
    Once the boat was cradled onto the trailer, the 6 cyl. moved up the ramp without an ounce of effort or evidence of strain; I guess I won’t need 4 wd when I get a boat of my own next year.
    Now that I am at home and had a moment to reflect,I sense the Colorado’s size is the most appealing, yet performs like the “big boys” for the majority of uses. If this was offered in an extended cab, short bed and AWD…., plus a diesel, I don’t think a guy could be any happier!

  147. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Thanks for the review cwolf.The diesel will be out for the 2016 my,or so I hope it will be.If you liked the lfx engine,you’ll love the 2.8 babymax.Pure torque,smooth and quiet…..for an oil burner,and superb mpg’s towing or otherwise.

  148. HtG Says:

    when is a stick not a stick?

    So I’m configuring a new BMW 2-series, and I notice that the manual transmission has something called ‘enhanced synchronization from neutral.’ I’ve never heard of this before. According to BMW blog,

    “during the gear shift process, with the help of a gear selector sensor, engine speed and the transmission input shaft are synchronized in order to ensure smooth engaging of the clutch.”

    HUH? WTH? The same system appears on other BMWs. I think I need to find a quiet place for a little bit.

  149. Kit Gerhart Says:

    148, Part of what makes a manual transmission fun, is driving smoothly. Today’s technology makes automatic rev matching easy, but it kind of defeats the purpose of driving a manual. We all know that today’s automatics mostly outperform a manual, but I enjoy driving a manual in a way that passengers can’t feel the gear change.

  150. HtG Says:

    It looks like the sync happens every shift, not just assisting a heal-toe. If this is true then why bother with the manual, except as a conceit?

  151. Kit Gerhart Says:

    150, I think it rev matches every shift, up and down. New Corvettes have the same thing, but you can switch it off. I don’t know about the BMW’s.

  152. cwolf Says:

    Me likes the front end of the new Volt and reported improvements. If I didn’t buy the MKZ,the new Volt would be high on my list for the family car. However, when a boat is purchased a truck will be needed. Maybe our 2008 Ford Edge will be good enough to haul a 22 footer. The Colorado is now on my wish list.

    During my ride in the neighbors Colorado I thought the center console was comfortable for both driver and passenger to share, but I now wonder if it wasn’t just a bit too wide. I prefer a bench seat in a truck,so maybe this is why I frown on most things bulky. This truck also had a good amount of ground clearance. Even with the 4wd, I wish it were closer to the ground for easier access. Though quiet,I believe it would be more-so if the tires had more of a hwy. tread pattern. The interior ergonomics and layout really appealed to me,as were as the fit and finish. If I were to have a new Colorado,it would have the cab and a half, short bed and diesel,if the cost is reasonable. You guys won’t be disappointed!

  153. MLap Says:

    My mom had a used 1961 Plymouth Valiant with a push-button transmission that went Ka-chunka.

    Think Lincoln should benchmark that for it’s push-button shifter?

    Love Autoline Daily, think the MKC is ugly.