AD #2449 – Super Cruise Tops Autopilot in CR Test, Honda Invests in Cruise, Most Popular Car Brands in Songs

October 4th, 2018 at 11:39am

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Runtime: 7:45

0:28 Honda Invests in Cruise Automation
1:46 Super Cruise Tops Autopilot in CR Test
2:33 AM General Reportedly for Sale
3:29 California’s ‘Electric For All’ Campaign
4:16 NASCAR’s Roval a Ratings Hit
5:35 Most Popular Car Brands in Songs

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31 Comments to “AD #2449 – Super Cruise Tops Autopilot in CR Test, Honda Invests in Cruise, Most Popular Car Brands in Songs”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I can only think of one Mercedes song, the one by Janis Joplin, but a number of songs about Chevys. I don’t listen to much hip-hop and rap, though.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Welcome back John. Have you had a chance to drive (or not drive) the various auto pilot vehicles? Curious how they interact with the driver to keep them engaged. I still feel that a partial assist system opens the door for more distracted driving as you mentioned. Would be interested in your actual experience.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    I think part of the reason the Charlotte race did so well is its the first one in four years at that track that was not affected by rain. Plus it helps when they are on broadcast TV and not just cable. In addition to no other competition besides football and the grand prix the numbers might be a bit misleading.

  4. Larry D. Says:

    I am curious why it is you did not report the stellar achievement of Tesla in September sales yesterday. I was expecting you would do the EV segment separately today, but still nothing! This is Far bigger news than Honda’s idiotic decision to waste billions on this cruise thing.

    In September 2018, Tesla sold close to 30,000 units of its only three models. Its sales did not just obliterate the usual losers (Volvo, Jag-LR, Mitsubishi, and even, for the first time, Mazda, it surpassed the total sales of the entire BMW group, including Mini and Rolls!

    As for Consumer reports, while I still take their test stats seriously (real MPG and the like), when they gave the now defunct Impala a…. 95 total score, I knew they have become a JOKE. So it is NOT good news for GM that the same clueless old maids at CR think the Cruise is good, because they thought the Impala was the 8th wonder of the world, and it was DISCONTINUED after DISMAL sales!

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    “409″, “Hey Little Cobra”, “Dead Man’s Curve”, “Little GTO”, “Hot Rod Lincoln”, “Pink Cadillac”, etc.; songs about the cars (not just reference to), ah, the ’60′s (I remember then well). :)

    The Impala, as derived from the Lacrosse and further ‘polished’ in the Cadillac XTS; I’d give it a 95 (why not).

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 CR gave the Impala an 86 rating, and 91 “road test” score. That’s what their web site now says.

    Actually, the current Impala is s nice car. It is roomy, rides well, and is fairly quick, with the V-6. Yeah, it didn’t sell, but neither do any of its competitors, like Avalon. Something else that probably hurt Impala, is that the Buick version doesn’t cost much more, if similarly equipped.

  7. Cycles Says:

    2- I have not driven the Cadillac, but I have driven Tesla with Autopilot 1.0 (newer cars have different hardware suite, 2.0 and 2.5 versions) The UI alerts the operator to put a bit of force on the wheel to ensure that they are 1 paying attention to the UI, and 2 in contact with the wheel. On Cadillac I understand that it is a more hands off affair but the system actually tracks your eyes to ensure you are looking down the road. Cadillac system currently has a big limitation that it is only supported on roads that GM has mapped. Tesla does not have this limitation.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 Actually, Impala has outsold Avalon by more than 2 to 1 in most years.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    6 Maybe they have modified it, I remember a 95, but even the current 91 for the road test is absolutely LAUGHABLE.

    The Impala is a terrible car. The fact it outsells the much better Avalon says very little, other than the fact that buyers of large (non-luxury) sedans seldom look at imports.

    There is no justification for the 91 on the road test. I wonder how much they gave the S class, the LS460, or the Corvette for that matter.

    The Impala also looks real bad, it is as long as the S or the 7 series, and has a foot less wheelbase, resulting in big overhangs. Beautiful cars in shows (from the 30s and 40s) that go for millions, always have huge wheelbases and tires pushed to the ends of the vehicle.

    There is a class of people, seniors with many children in different states, that want to visit them, long highway trips, several times a year. They used to buy Buicks and Caddys when they could afford them, and the Impala is a clone of the XTS if I’m not mistaken, but they have a FAR better choice. IF I was in their shoes, which i am not, I’d buy the Avalon Hybrid, and have the best of all worlds. OR a used LS460, or LS600h (overkill)

    For looks, if I wanted a domestic, in this class, nothing beats the Chrysler 300 (not even the more aggressively styled Dodge Charger), excellent proportions, long wheelbase, many common mechanicals with the E class (at least originally)

    I sat in an Impala, back seat bench, had to, a rental one, at a conference. What a totally uncomfortable seat! Very little leg room, given the car’s length. Most goes wasted in the engine bay and in the trunk, it seems.

    But seriously, a 90 for the road test? For a car that wallows like a whale?

    If it got a 91 road test, the E class and the 5 series should get… 200!

  10. Larry D. Says:

    PS above, both the Avalon and the Impala have very low sales. The Avalon because the cheaper Camry can do almost all it does for less, perhaps. This is why GM correctly discontinued the Impala.


    7. I just drove a 2018 Tesla Model X. It does allow you to use it on basically any road with clearly marked lines on both sides of the road. My issue with is was it veered during longer line breaks. It would hug the lines in turns which was very disconcerting when the line it is hugging is the center divder line. On the highway it struggled to detect and take action when trucks swerved into the lane when the car was side by side with the truck. It couldn’t accurately detect the speed differential of cars approaching from behind and would perform lane changes which required those cars to slam on their brakes. The warning to keep your hands on the wheel was easily ignored and you could just randomly bump the wheel to turn off the alarm.

    Other than that, the Tesla System was fine. I haven’t tried out the Cadillac system yet. I think I would prefer the Cadillac no hands approach to Tesla’s keep a hand on the wheel approach.

  12. Drew Says:

    A friend has an Impala as a company car. It is roomy, quiet, very fuel efficient, and has excellent fit & finish. It easily beats the Taurus in all attributes. It only lacks Toyota’s reputation for quality (but actually delivers equivalent quality).

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 Yeah, they have probably modified it. I remember the 95 too, when the current car was new.

    Have you ever driven, or even seen the current Impala up close? It is far from a “terrible car,” and is a pretty good one, for a large front drive sedan.

    S-Class got 96, and E-Class 85 road test scores. Looking at the charts, the E was worse than the Impala in ride, rear seat comfort, had 4.5 inches less rear leg room, and a smaller trunk. Then, there is the “controls and displays,” which I think is part of the “road test” score. The current E scored a 1 of 5 in that category. I suspect your older ones have much more user friendly controls.

    The E was one tick better in “routine handling,” and tied with the Impala in the other handling tests.

    The Corvette got a 92, and the LS a 72. That didn’t make sense, but reading the road test, it sounded like the current LS is worse than the previous one in about every way. Also, in some of the scores, like ride, handling, and comfort factors are relative to the direct competition, in the case of the LS, mainly the S-Class. A Corvette or Porsche 911, which has a 95 road test score, would be rated using different standards, than front drive sedans.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Elon just can’t quit tweeting about things he should probably remain silent about.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It will be interesting to learn the viewership of the Japanese Grand Prix, at 1:10 am EST. It wasn’t too good for the Russian race at 7:00 am. I watched that one, but probably not Japan.

  16. Ctech Says:

    I believe the Roval was at the Charlotte speedway. NASCAR races at Richmond later.

  17. William O Nelson Says:

    We have a 2015 Impala and love it in most respects. It replaced a 2000 LeSabre that we also liked a lot. Both are comfortable and handle well. We live in a rural area with inferior roads and both vehicles provide a stable, comfortable ride. The Buick had a large trunk, but the Impala’s is far more useful, with the pass throughs and shape. There’s more leg room in the Impala and the seats are more comfortable. I find some of the dash trim to be distracting due to reflections during the day, but like the glow at night. The price of the Avalon put it out of reach, plus the fact we don’t like the local dealer, who used to be the Buick dealer. We’ll probably have the Impala another 150K and 10-years. Keep hoping there will be an autonomous alternative by the time it needs replacement.

  18. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I plan on watching the Japanese Grand Prix (but I reserve the right to modify my last statement). :)

  19. Larry D. Says:

    12 I was a huge fan of the original taurus back in 86, even though it was mostly the exterior styling, inside it was as poor as all the cars of the time in that price range. But Ford really ruined the Taurus in the 2nd Gen, when it made it look like a catfish up front, and with the infamous Jaques Nasser’s (Ford’s failed CEO at the time) ovals everywhere. Then I liked the next iteration, which looked like a bigger, bloated Passat, the Ford 500, and then they had the current model, which was a really poor design as far as efficiency (for example, it had less interior room than the much smaller and lighter Accord of the time).

    The Taurus was a terrible seller, worse than even the Impala. But it is small consolation to say that the cancelled Impala is better than the Taurus (which I believe).

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To come up with the current Taurus, they took the 500, and made it bigger on the outside, and smaller on the inside. Also, they made it less attractive, at least to me.

  21. Brett Cammack Says:

    I would’ve liked to have watched a bit of the NASCAR race, but was obligated to do the sound for our monthly folk music concert in Winter Park and had to miss it. Next month I’m the opening act, though. :)

  22. Larry D. Says:

    13 Thanks for the numbers. They prove my point about the cluelessness or worse of CR ratings. If the Impala gets a… 91 and the E class an 85 in the road test, I rest my case. The E class is a family car, it has a fairly large trunk, but not as much rear room as the limo sized “L” versions of the Flagship German sedans (S, 7 and A8). But seriously, ride and handling vs the Impala? It is light years better. AND no numbers on the 5 series?

    They gave the LS a 72. This is a really expensive car now, that offers almost Rolls Royce quality and luxury inside, but handles like a Buick or an Impala. So i can’t figure how they give the Impala a 91, and the LS a 72. And what did they give the Caddy XTS which is a more luxurious Impala? I don’t remember it getting a 91.

    I doubt CR has a department when they compare their scores and correct for obvious inconsistencies for different cars testes.

    Also re your Q, I have not test driven many cars recently. A Ford Dealer gave me a $50 gift card to test drive the Fusion Hybrid, I was interested in the car and test drove it, it did not get even close to its fraudulent 47 MPG EPA. (thank Vijay Nair for that, the ousted Ford exec).

    I have also seen the new BMWs and Mercs in the Showrooms (the two dealerships are next to each other, probably same owner), and the BMWs had very industrial interiors, not very luxurious, the Mercs were better but not by much. Did not bother test driving any. Not much time, and also it would be unfair to waste the salesman’s time testing an Impala I would never buy anyway.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    19 Funny the 500 looked more massive than the current Taurus. I think it was quite taller.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 If you display the data of different cars side by side on the CR web site, you might understand why the E is rated lower. I pointed out some of the reasons in my post. They are evaluating these sedans, to a large extent, on how well they work as a transportation appliance.

    The 5 series “road test” rating was 94. Quickly looking through the charts, the areas where the 5 was better than the E, were ride, rear leg room, controls and displays, and gas mileage. I don’t think “attractiveness,” of either interiors or exterior is part of their numerical ratings. You have to decide that for yourself, and an E-Class should win big over the Impala in that department.

    XTS, 82. Lower “controls and displays” rating than the Impala, and similar in most other areas. It appears that price is somehow factored into the ratings, which is why the LS did so poorly. Still, if you read the test report on the LS, some things got worse, like the so-so turbo V-6 that replaced the smooth, silent V-8 of earlier versions. Also, they found the interior of the new one too “gimicky,” though, obviously, very high quality.

    …and no, I don’t consider CR’s points rating as the ultimate standard for choosing a car, but I find them “interesting.” To see how a car fits with one’s tastes, it is quite useful to look at the individual ratings, and see how cars compare in things you car about, whether quietness, ride, or 0-60 times. Also, reading the full road test report can be useful.

    I DO consider CR to be the best source of information about fuel economy.

    The Camry hybrid substantially beat the Fusion hybrid in CR’s gas milage test, 47 to 39 “overall.” The new Accord hybrid tied with the Camry.

    Yeah, I think the 500 was taller, but I remember reading early tests of the “revived” Taurus, and it was longer and wider than the 500, but less roomy.

  25. Larry D. Says:

    24 Yes, I noticed the points in your first post. It seems CR should put a disclaimer / explanation that its road test ratings are not absolute, but are only valid among a vehicle’s similar priced rivals.

    The 5 series deserves its road test, they are a delight to drive by serious enthusiasts. Mercs do not handle as well in the corners, where the 5 and even the 7 feel like you are on a train on tracks, you can toss them around and they keep on course. But the merc has excellent overall ride, not too much power assist on steering, compared to the impala and caddy and even the lexus LS, and feels far more solid and confident on the road.

    I also believe the CR mpg tests are far more accurate than the EPAs. I also read their other stats and the tests, just do not take their road tests scores as gospel.

    Finally, nobody cross shops between the E class and the Impala, so not much point in comparing them, I only did so to show CR’s ludicrous “scores”.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You might be surprised what people cross shop. About a year ago, a friend cross shopped the similar-to-Impala Buick LaCrosse, E-Class, and Genesis G80, which he bought. Part of why he ruled out the Buick, was that it had stop/start that couldn’t be turned off.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    26 Nothing surprises me any more. In fact when people I know ask me what car they should buy, I ask them to tell me what their “owner’s requirements” are first, and they often have a hard time telling me.

    Your friend seemed like he was planning to buy two cars, one where he checked the Impala vs the Lacrosse (are they clones?) and the other between the E and the G80, which are in the same segment too.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    I like comprehensive Car and Driver tests for individual cars. I read a good one between the E 320s I have and the gas 350, and they liked the 350 better (of course I bought the 320 for overseas, and ended up with one here too). Despite that, they did not agree with the urban myth that the MPG of the 320 Diesel and the 350 are close, they saw 34 and 26 MPG respectively in their test. They said the Diesel feels faster even though the 350 has shorter measured acceleration times. And of course they were super-awed by that torque of 400+ Lbft of the diesel.

    I said earlier that I checked a 1988 Road and Track yearbook with all 300 or so models on sale then, and none, not one, had Torque above 400. Not even SUVs, pickups, Ferraris, Porsches or even Lambo Countachs!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27 My friend had an earlier generation LaCrosse, and checked out the new one, but was also considering “moving up” to an E-Class or competitor. Then, he decided to check out the G80. What he found, was that it was “almost as nice” for a lot less money, comparably equipped, and he liked the simpler controls, and the non-turbo V-6, rather than the turbo four in the E. The G80 cost about $20K less than an E would have been, with the the packages needed to get what is standard in the G80. Maybe the Benz would hold its value better, which could negate part of that difference.

  30. Ukendoit Says:

    Re:Ford 500/Taurus, the sixth generation of the Taurus was based on a Volvo platform, so that may be why it compares so oddly to the previous 500/Taurus. Ford had just sold Volvo and wanted to use that platform because they thought it had a better ride and was quieter than the 5th gen Taurus. Being a longer vehicle but not longer wheelbase, I don’t see how it would ride better than the outgoing platform.

  31. Matt Zajechowski Says:

    Thanks for the mention for the car lyrics analysis. If anyone is looking for the full results of our 100,000 song analysis, they can be found here: