Episode 297 – Fiat Will Sell Chryslers In Europe, Toyota Wants 30% Cost Cut, Hybrid GT-R

December 23rd, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 7:32

Fiat will sell five different Chrysler models in Europe as Lancias. Toyota tells suppliers it wants to cut the cost of parts by 30 percent over the next three years. Nissan looks at doing a hybrid version of the GT-R. All that and more, plus John answers questions about Saab and OnStar in the “You Said It!” segment.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Fiat will sell 5 different Chryslers in Europe. Toyota tells suppliers to cut costs by 30%. And Nissan looks at doing a hybrid version of the GT-R.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Wednesday, December 23, 2009. And now, the news.

We’re learning more of how Fiat plans to use Chrysler to boost sales and profits at both companies. The Wall Street Journal reports that Fiat will invest $11 billion, or 8 billion euros over the next two years, to launch 17 new models and 13 refreshed ones. Fiat will get 5 Chrysler models that it will sell as Lancias (subscription required), including a crossover, a sport utility, a sedan and a convertible. Fiat also plans to boost production in Italy by 50%.

In related news, Bloomberg reports that Fiat will unveil an electric version of the 500 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. It says Chrysler will show a model based on the Lancia Delta as well.

Now, to the Pacific Rim. Toyota held a big meeting with suppliers to tell them it wants to cut the cost of parts by 30% (subscription required) over the next three years, the Wall Street Journal reports. It’s what they call their RRCI program, which translates into Quality, Low-price, Cost and Innovation. Toyota will lose $2 billion this fiscal year, and company president Akio Toyoda wants them to be profitable after that.

In related news, Toyota will stop distributing Volkswagens through its dealerships in Japan (subscription required). The Journal says half of all the Veedubs sold in Japan are through Toyota dealerships. I imagine it might have something to do with VW publicly stating it wants to surpass Toyota in sales and become #1 in the world.

It’s official, Michael Schumacher is returning to Formula One. According to the AFP, the seven time world champion signed a deal to race for Mercedes for the next three years. Schumacher says hes over the neck pain that ended his comeback this past season when he was supposed to fill in for Felipe Massa when he was injured.

Hyundai workers in South Korea are voting to avoid a possible strike. According to the AFP, union leaders and management agreed to a deal that would freeze pay next year in exchange for bonuses. Workers must now vote on the deal and if approved it would be the first strike-free years. Strikes have cost Hyundai over a million vehicles in lost production, resulting in nearly $10 billion in lost profit.

Well, unless Glass House melts or the fjords overflow with melting icebergs it looks like Ford will FINALLY sell Volvo to Geely sometime in the first quarter of next year. In a statement this morning Ford said that “all substantive commercial terms” have been met and they’ve moved onto financing and government approvals. By the way, analysts are estimating that the Volvo sale will bring the Blue Oval some 2 billion and change

Inside Line says that the next generation of Nissan GT-R could offer a hybrid version of the high performance sports car. With a twin turbo V-6 and an electric motor, you’ll can use you right foot to tap into 600 horsepower. That would add 100 horses to the current car, but the added weight of the hybrid system means performance would be the same. However, fuel economy would jump from the current combined 18 miles per gallon to somewhere between 25 and 30 mpg’s.

Coming up next, it’s time for You Said It!

And now it’s time for some of your feedback.

This is “You Said It!” Every day we get dozens of comments and questions from you, our viewers. “You Said It!” gives me a chance to respond.

Alex Kajdi wrote in to ask, “Why does GM/OnStar license their service to other automobile manufacturers?I believe Acura uses OnStar then why not Honda, Hyundai or Kia?”

Alex, you’re right. OnStar was available on Acura’s. But when it switched from an analog system to a digital one, Acura dropped the service. Lexus also used to offer OnStar services, but called it Lexus Link. But Lexus dropped it too. OnStar tells me they’re open for business, and would love to sign up other automakers. Even though it’s a competitive advantage for GM brands, OnStar is in business to make money and it could make a lot more if other automakers offered its services.

John V wrote in to comment about Saab with a pretty good observation. He says: “Saab was a unique product that was not for everyone. Those who liked the old Saabs were very loyal and enthusiastic. Whether Saab could have found a way to make it on their own or not (instead of becoming part of GM), GM will get the blame.”

I agree and would add this: Saab was always marketed as a quirky kind of brand, for non-conformist kind of people. And apparently there are not enough quirky people out there who buy new cars.

And a few of you eagle eyed viewers saw our report on the new Fiat Sedici and recognized it as something else. Kevin Davies from Columbus, Ohio wrote in to say:

“We get the Fiat Sedici already in the US… it’s a re-badged Suzuki SX4. The Fiat version is built alongside the Suzuki’s destined for the European market in Hungary I believe.”

Kevin, you believe right, that’s exactly what it is.

Hey, a quick reminder about the benefit gig we talked about last Thursday on Autoline After Hours. The Exhaust Tones — a local band made up of automotive writers, journalists and PR folks — are holding a benefit gig for Jan- Willem Vester, the former head of Saab USA Communications who lost his battle with cancer this month. It’s at the New Way Bar in Ferndale, Michigan on Tuesday night, December 29th. Please do what you can especially during this season of giving.

And if you’re not in Detroit but still would like to send something to Jan-Willem’s family there are two ways to do that. There’s a Vester Family Trust set up at the Chase Bank on 4150 Orchard Lake Road in Orchard Lake, MI Zip 48324.

Or you can take the more direct approach and mail a check right to the Vester family at 5951 Orchard Woods Drive, West Bloomfield, Michigan 48324.

And that’s it for Autoline Daily for 2009. We’ll be closing down along with the rest of the auto industry for the holiday season. And that goes for Autoline After Hours, as well. Thanks for your interest in our programs, have a great holiday. We’ll be back here on January 4th.

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

150 Comments to “Episode 297 – Fiat Will Sell Chryslers In Europe, Toyota Wants 30% Cost Cut, Hybrid GT-R”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Your show will be missed John! A very Merry Christmas and holiday season to all the production staff and fellow viewers.

  2. Dan Clemons Says:

    Happy Holidays to the Autoline crew!

  3. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Happy Holidays to the staff and fellow bloggers of Autoline, I may just add this: as much as I praise Toyota for their ability to make really good vehicles, they don’t play fair. If you’re so confident in your product, then why must you prevent other companies to fairly compete with you?

  4. Fred Cherney Says:

    No generic, meaningless greetings from me!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May 2010 bring health, happiness and prosperity to you and yours!
    Fred

  5. Nick Stevens Says:

    Best wishes for the Holidays for all from me too.

    While buyers are generally quite pleased with their Toyotas, one group that is livid about the company is its DEALERS, and especially those in small Euro members where Toyota rules them with a very heavy hand, requires them to spend millions on standardized showrooms and inventory and demos, and if they do not do well it closes them down and continuously reduces their numbers.

  6. Laurance Miller Says:

    Great show. Look forward to it every day. Merry Christmas to all. Wont know what to do untill ALD resumes. I just hope we do not loose any more good auto brands, i.e. Saturn, Pontiac, Volvo, Saab in 2010. Also, can you address Cap-and-Trade, as it may applies to the auto industry?

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    MERRY XMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

    @Nick: Toyota isn’t the only one to “heavy hand” their dealers……..Harley Davidson effectively closed privately owned dealerships back in the late 80′s and early 90′s.They insisted on having all showrooms basically the same,looked more like a damned disco instead of a bike dealership.They did even more to force out the old mom and pop dealers.I love the bikes,I hate the factory.They even tried to close down all of us “outlaw” shops.

  8. Salvador G. Says:

    Merry Christmas JohnMc/and family and everyone at Autoline and also have a happy new year.

    1- I can’t believe FIAT plans to produce and lunch 30 different models in the next 2 years. What I would like them to do is to announce which models will FIAT be bringing here already.

    2- Go Toyota Go (fear of competition, that’s a company)

    3- It’s truly amazing that Hyundai having strikes for so many years and lost 10 billion, are selling like no other company, Success thy name is Hyundai.

    And Finally… I wonder how much torque will get off the line a Hybrid GT-R.

  9. Zieke Says:

    Toyota wants parts costs cut 30%? Easiest way to do that is to use cheaper materials in the constructing, translating to shorter life. Bet I know what this means. We will be driving Toyotas that have planned obsolesence with their vehicles just like GM cars are now.

  10. ron leax Says:

    J.Mac thanks for a good year!!!

  11. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Harley Davidson effectively closed privately owned dealerships back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.They insisted on having all showrooms basically the same,looked more like a damned disco instead of a bike dealership.They did even more to force out the old mom and pop dealers.I love the bikes,I hate the factory.They even tried to close down all of us “outlaw” shops.”

    I did not know all that.

    I had a project with Harley back in 97, supervised a team of 4 that worked there for 4 months. visited twice (once in York, PA and the other time in the HQ in Milwaukee). THe workers took a lot of pride in making the bikes, this was no Saab or GM assembly line. It was not really about the engines and mechanicals either, it was like jewelry making.

    Just to paint the gas tank of a Harley cost them $400 back then, vs $180 to paint an entire Accord at the time.

    I still got a coffee mug from them.

  12. Nick Stevens Says:

    Remember that in the US, only 2 years ago, Hyundai was in a disarray, there were cultural misubserstangings between US and Korean mgmt, they fired most of the US managers even tho they were doing OK (Kosmai was the top guy that got fired). Things can change a lot in a few years in this industry, today Hyundai can do nothing wrong while both Honda and TOyota seem out of steam and aces out of their sleeves.

    Hyundai has one huge advantage over the US, its very low exchange rate (used to be 800 won to the $ now it is 1200 or more), while Japan has the opposite problem, the yen is too expensive and they can’t make any profits importing cars from japan to the US.

  13. Max Christensen Says:

    Season’s greetings and wishing the crew of Autoline and everyone else here (even you Nick) a very Merry Christmas and the best in the new year to come!

  14. Kim B. Foster Says:

    Toyota’s cost cutting is evident in their cars now even before they start a 30% cut to suppliers. For some reason, they want to be General Motors. My new base Corolla in 1989, had a navy blue herringbone tweed upholstery that still looked brand new after 6 1/2 years when the car was traded.
    The seat cloth would not have been out of place in a Mercedes. It was very durable, had a high thread count, rich feel and cleaned up wonderfully after accidental spills.
    In contrast, the seat fabric in brand new Corollas would not look out of place on a three year old lease return. 2010 Camry seat cloth and seats are equally as disappointing.
    This is the visible cost cutting. What is going in the other areas of the build, mechanicals etc. that Toyota buyers can’t see?

  15. Edward Lipman Says:

    I second what Kim and Zieke said above , when you start cost cutting the quality goes out. Toyota will loose its rep. of quality and then the sales will go. When that happens it takes a LLLOOOONNNGGGG time , if ever to come back !
    It will end up COSTING INSTEAD OF SAVINGS for Toyota , and that ain’t good.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    I completely agree with Kim, I owned a 1986 Camry, died of natural causes at 240k miles. Interior was impeccable to the end, my cousin’s 94 Corolla, same deal. My 98 Corolla, though it has been mechanically near perfect, the interior has just fallen apart on me. Broken inside and out door handles, center console cup holders, little storage door, all the plastic linings inside the doors, now even the headliner is coming off too, they could have put a little more effort inside, but I guess they figure when inside starts to fall apart, most people will get rid of car and buy another.

  17. Salvador G. Says:

    Pedro, was the interior plastic held down with glue??
    -cause I’m thinking, it was probably the glue hold that expire.

    and what do you mean “died of natural causes”??

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Salvador: yes it’ all glued together, but the problem is that the plastic molding “shrunk” and got very stiff all around the doors and that caused it to separate from the frame around the doors. I have seen other Corollas from those model years (1998-2002) and most have the same condition. Natural causes means the engine died of old age, just wear from too many miles and constant oil burning/leaking.

  19. Salvador G. Says:

    Ok, Pedro -I just though it was the glue that finally expire, although; I should had ask first how many years did you had that car??

  20. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The Koreans are a open boisterous Passionate people Salvador and Nick. It wasnt really a big deal when they had those strikes, as the company kept on trucking. Plus, its normal for them to have problems like that. No big deal. This is a country where Parliament is pretty much like a glorified fight club. Watch on You Tube.

    Now the Koreans are putting their passion into their highly reliable and fuel efficient cars, their affordable and sensible cell phones. Plus, they have the won and global economy on their side. Man, are these guys about to make an even bigger killing.

    As Toyota/Lexus/Subaru/Scion “Old GMs” itself more by the day (notice how all of the good Toyota Vehicles were made from 1976-2003), they will lose marketshare to the Koreans, Resurgent Americans, and Resilient Germans.

    A lot of you may or may not like it, but this is the way its going to be.

  21. FrankCanada Says:

    Chrysler Delta Integrale! Go Fiat! Please send over some F1 engineers & go Indy racing! Dodge FPT Indy V8! Come on.

  22. Salvador G. Says:

    HyundaiSmoke Says:
    The Koreans are a open boisterous Passionate people Salvador and Nick.

    HSmoke – I wasn’t putting down Koreans… What I was trying to express is -as to how impressive it is to me, that a company like Hyundai had face constan strife and still comes on top.

  23. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I know that you werent putting down Koreans, its just that I actually wish they would emphasize the: We’re Korean, exotic and different, a value, premium, the ultimate leader in fuel efficiency, and its becuase our cars are Korean and Superior in advertising etc…. The passion and fire of the Korean people have been missing in their cars up until recently in terms of styling-the “It” factor, and that performance factor. Now since they are showing it in the product, I say its time to step it up even a further notch. (Yes, there’s still some people who dont even realize that Hyundai/KIA are Korean and are the same company)

    Everything about their products says we are Asian Germans, now they need to harness that “They’re superior becuase they’re Germans” perception of their products like the Germans have. So, in 2032 or whenever they start to deteriorate as all automakers do (Toyota Currently, Merc 10 years ago) they will have that premium perception with them.

    Despite their 2032 line-up being littered with recall ladden rattletraps, there will still be many customers willing to kill you for speaking the truth about their decline, or that: Those Cheap Chinese Cars, Indian Cars, Iranian Cars, Russian Cars, Ethiopian Cars everyone used to laugh at have not only reached the Standards Hyundai/KIA set, but now they have exceeded those standards. Kind of like Toyota/Lexus customers today, Merc Customers 10 years ago, or GM customers 30 years ago.

    Yeah there will be many Hyundai/KIA Guys in 20-25 years just like the Lexus/Toyota Guys today saying in reference to the Korean Rennaissance, but About the Chinese: “How, dare you say these Inferior Chinese cars are better than ours?” Then we Hyundai/KIA look at the stats in that era. The reality dawns on them, “Oh, yeah those Chinese cars are better than ours, holy- sh@t.”

    Kind of like How some of the Toyota fans are starting to wake up and smell the coffee. Dont be dismayed, my Toyota/Lexus/Scion/Subaru Friends. The Chrysler Audience jumped ship to our company, Im one of them, and you guys can too. Just Think about it!!

  24. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Look at Toyota, this is what happens when they try to compete with lower cost OEMs like KIA and Chevy. They will cut that 30% out of interiors, etc… Just look at the current gen Corolla, it shows. Just like GM with Toyota, now it seems like Toyota is doing the same in reference to Hyundai.

    Try to get their product cost competitive, while killing their quality. Id be scared if I was them, just remember Hyundai/KIA became 4th place from 7th place globally in sales over the last 3-4 years just by eating up Chrysler Global marketshare, and making those Atoz’s John and his friends laughed at during the LA Autoshow for being “1 person cars”.

    (Actually John Mc Elroy, believe it or not Tuscon is Hyundai/KIAs most popular vehicle in sales globally, Followed By Elantra/Avante, Getz/Click/i20, Accent/Verna)

    http://www.hyundaibuzz.com/2009/08/hyundai-tucson-the-most-popular-korean-car-overseas-since-2005/

  25. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Salvador I still have that Corolla it’s a 98 on its second engine and it has 296,000 miles but lie I said the interior is falling apart, even though I have taken good care of it

  26. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    How many miles on the first engine Pedro?

  27. Nick Stevens Says:

    I wonder if it is worth getting a second engine when one can pick up a used car from its owner for next to nothing.

    My Old 1990 Accord coupe 5 speed I bought in 94 and kept until 2008 (donated to charity) never had any interior issues. The interior was outstanding, and everything looked like new until it died. But external rust behind the rear wheels became a big problem towards the end. Plus a hit and run on the passengers front fender made this once very elegant car look bad at the end. Only 137,500 miles, but NOT easy highway miles, but everyday cold starts and couple-miles here and there in bitter winter cold.

    Go to the Honda Happy owners site. Some people have put 917,000 miles (in MAINE!!) on this vintage accord. Others over 1 million. Getting over 300,000 is routine.

  28. Nick Stevens Says:

    http://automobiles.honda.com/mile-makers/owner-stories.aspx

    No Huyndai owners I know were able to put this kind of mileage, (917,000!!!) and Huyndai has been around in the US for more than 20 years.

  29. Nick Stevens Says:

    Mercedes, and I believe Volvo, had a similar site well before Honda started theirs. Anyone has the links?

    But Most mercedes owners I knwo baby their cars, they don’t let them out of the garage just because it.. Rains, plus if they are simple RWD they do nto do well in the snow and ice, while Honda owners whip them hard under all weather conditions.

  30. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    The original lasted for 294k and suddenly it developed internal problems where it would have been too costly to repair, my other option was to look around in junk yards and I found a 99 from a totaled car which had only 94k miles, I bought it for $500 and the labor was $600. so for $1100 I figured I have a few more years, plus the tranny was redone in 08 and the body is in good shape, no accidents, the only other issue is the damn interior just falling apart on me, but I don’t really care about that.

  31. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Nick I think it’s also a matter of luck, this guy I know bought a 99 Accord from an old couple who babied the thing like crazy. only 45k miles excellent condition. Two years after he got it, tranny went haywire, he was told by tranny guy that those Accord automatics had same issue. Few months later a/c went out. and this guy drives like an 80 yr old lady so it’s not abuse, and he does do the maintenance as required. At this rate I don’t think he’s gonna set any longevity records.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Honda Cars were in America 26 Years before 1990 to even make an Accord that could go that distance. How many earlier than 1990s Hondas that can go the distance like that? Hyundai has been here 23 Years.

    According to your Site Nick it took Honda until 1980 to even make cars that were good enough to last more than 100,000 miles. Honda was making cars for the US market for 16 years then.

    My point, I see plenty of 250,000 mile Elantras and Accents from 2001 and up. In 2001 Hyundai was in America for 15 Years. Therefore, we have just reached our Time to Make Million Mile Sonatas.

    Watch, in 19 years from now (probably less-15 years for Hyundai)there will be a web site dedicated to 500,000-Million Mile Hyundais. With some old guy (probably Hyundai Smoke) trying to tell some kid a history lesson about how my Hyundai is superior than his “Inferior” Chinese car. Despite his “Inferior” Chinese cars that have improved over time to become statstically superior to the modern equivalent of my Hyundai in all indicators that matter to a car buyer.

    Remember, Honda had a 22 year head start.

  33. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Nick I think it’s also a matter of luck, this guy I know bought a 99 Accord from an old couple who babied the thing like crazy. only 45k miles excellent condition. Two years after he got it, tranny went haywire, he was told by tranny guy that those Accord automatics had same issue. Few months later a/c went out. and this guy drives like an 80 yr old lady so it’s not abuse, and he does do the maintenance as required. At this rate I don’t think he’s gonna set any longevity records.”

    One isolated example means nothing. I am sure some detropit owners will also come out and i will believe them if they say they did 250,000 higghway trouble free miles with a Bonneville (former student of mine) or a Chevy.

    What is important is the average stats. When a Honda or a Toyota have 50 failures per 100 cars, that’s still 50 failures! A chevy would have 200 and a Land_rover 400 (the worst of the worst), and only in that sense we say that Hs and Ts are reliable and LRs are utterly unreliable.

    But there were a class of Honda Auto trannies that had problems, and many were replaced for free under warranty or unde rspecial Honda provision. I would never buy an auto Honda or a Manual Detroit car (not again after my 83 pontiac, which did not fail until after 11 years, but its tranny was never a smooth, honda-quality tranny)

    PS Hyundai Smoke, I fully agree Honda had 22 more years of experience, but what do you want me to do, as a consumer, buy a Hyundai even tho I know it is quite inferior? Maybe you should follow your own advice and not make any ridiculous claims about Hyundai-Kia that makes everybody here think you are their ad agency.

    I’d not even buy a honda or Toyota anyway, (except for a new Prius) now that I found out that german luxury cars, which you can buy cheaper than the cheapest Kia, are actually very well made and have LONGEVITY and hold up well with time, sometimes better even than the Hondas.

  34. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro I did 263,000 Miles in my 98 Accent before I traded it in for the 07. I raped that car, dude.

    This is the small car you want to have in the Snow States. The Interior was Cheap and Horrid and fell apart, like most 90s cars. The Electronics worked, but malfunctioned. The Alternators on this car were absolute junk, but that Motor, that beautiful little humming 4cyl Motor. It reminded me so of that old school Corolla (one of the tiny ones that are even smaller than a Yaris you know, the 1980s Corollas Back in the days when it was a B-Segment car) I owned for a little while until the engine blew up that I harkened back for.

    07 is a Lexus compared to the 98.

  35. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    I have seen first hand evidence that Hyundai/Kia have indeed come a long way. At the mechanic I go to, there’s a guy with a 97 Sephia with about 220k miles and car is still running good, someone I know bought a 98 Sonata for only $1500 neede some minor mechanical work and a lot of cleaning and guess what I rode the car and it rides really nice, no noises or rattles, moves really well, I was honestly impressed.

  36. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, look dude. Im not an inside guy or any other that other crap.

    These are not ridiculous claims, look at the reliability, fuel economy stats, compare cars, etc… Hyundai/KIA is the better brand right now THE STATS THE SPECS OF OUR CARS SAY SO DUDE, and we will pull much farther from you guys in our lead. If you go to car sites on a daily basis you would have stumbled on some Reliability Stats over the last 5 years, and see who always comes up on top of the mass market brands or almost comes to the top of mass market Brands, and it surely isnt Honda or Toyota these days. Or, havent you heard that according to the EPA Hyundai is #1 in Fuel Economy. These are primary reasons to buy a car in the US Market. The same primary reasons why people became interestd in Honda/Acuras products in the first place.

    The Japanese brands have grown complacent and they lost their hunger and fire. Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura used to steal Auto Shows, now a lot of people either yawn or puke when you go into their booths.

    The Hyundai/KIA booths are where the Action happens now, and deservedly so. The Japanese are ripe for the taking, they been asking for it for about 8-10 years. Not just by Hyundai/KIA but Ford/Lincoln/Mercury, and Volkswagen A.G. as well.

  37. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Unless VW can improve their reliability, they will never be #1 in the US market, American buyers expect a certain level of reliability and will avoid unreliable cars. That’s why I laugh at those people who think Fiat is going to make any impact here. They’re still at the bottom of the pack in European reliability surveys.

  38. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I loved that Toyota for the same reason why I loved that Accent. It was reliable, gas sipping, and you can beat that thing up in the snow man!!!!!

    The New Accent still has that Rally Snow Handling tradition. I hope they dont screw it up in that Veloster Accent.

  39. Nick Stevens Says:

    You are getting REALLY tiresome, with your obsession with Hyundai. What the hell is wrong with you?

    I would understand it if you were passionate about FERRARI or LAMBORGINI or even Porsche. I would go as far down as BMW. BUT about Effing Hyundai???????? Give all of us an effing break! These cars are dam ned APPLIANCES. Have you EVER driven a good car, and then a damned SOnata? I HAVE, and there is NO comparison! (the Sonata was a 2005-6. I am sure they have improved, but how much? They are still damned APPLIANCES, like Toyotas and even Hondas! Although Hondas do try to approach the FUN at driving you get in a BMW, and no coincidence, Both Honda and BMW were MAJOR Motorcycle Makers as well as car makers.

    You are convincing NOBODY with your silly speeches about how great Hyundai and Kia are. And in fact, beyond VALUE (which is due to your undervalued CURRENCY, the WON, while the Yen is OVERvalued!), the other attraction of these cars (WHEN they look attractive) is that the Koreans realized they are not good enough and paid the ITALIANS, who are the best in the world in styling studios) to do the exterior designs!

    So give it a rest with your obsessive fanaticism!

    PS I never commented on the STRIKES in korea, as you implied. I would not care less. I only, and repeatedly, commented about the Dissaray and misunderstandings in the US Hyundai-Kia operations only 2 years ago, which resulted in the firing of perfectly good managers like KOSMAI.

  40. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    VW is getting Better, Pedro. They are tied with KIA in 9th place overall JD Power. A few years ago VW was in the 20th place group. KIA However, wont be 9th place anymore as they Hyundai will start making KIA Cars, and KIA makes Hyundai Trucks. The goal is to get KIA 1st place in overall reliability.

    The Program is Called “Defects to Zero.” They look to meet this goal by 2012. It was in the KIA Motors Magazine I read about 7 months back.

  41. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, Kosmai a good manager My ass, dude!!!! He wasnt what the company needed to move upmarket to a Chrsyler status, Krafick is.

    If Hyundai wanted to even move futher upmarket, or have an upmarket Channel they would need Ewanick in that spot.

  42. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Constant Management change along with a Company Long term Vision is good. Hiring and Firing every 2-4 years seems to have worked out quite well in those sales stats, correct?

  43. Nick Stevens Says:

    Blah blah blah, yada yada yada

    But the “piece de resistance” is when the resident lunatic told Jit to dump his excellent MINI for some obscure Hyundai or KIA POS!!!!!

    As if either of the two make ANYTHING that is even REMOTELY a substitute!

    Again, Hyundai Smoke:

    What the hell is WRONG with you?????????

    Do you see ANYBODY ELSE in this group obsess about ANY car maker, even DREAM CARS that cost 10 TIMES what your stupid Genesis costs??? And are worth every penny? if they did, they would have a POINT!

    have you considered getting some badly needed medical help for yourself?

  44. Nick Stevens Says:

    Hyundai Smoke reminds me of these obese drunks Chicago Poles fans of Mike Ditka on SNL. Ditka is as much GOD for them as Hyundai and Kia (of all makers!!!!) are for our resident lunatic…

  45. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, based on statistics, showing that MINIs are horrible cars that are way overrpiced for the size. Up until the smart car, the MINI was the smallest car sold in America. My Accent is small, but a MINI can swin in it. I was right to suggest as a decent human being that Maybe Kit needs to buy something else. A Public Service, as I always bring nothing but fact to the table.

    As Kit is the adult in this (since you’re not considering your behavior) Kit will make the best decision for her/himself regardless of what I say. Most people who buy cars are very uninformed about the current statistical data on cars, and buy cars based solely on reputation or look.

    If you go by current trends in terms of reliability, Fuel Economy, Value, Fit and Finish, etc… Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit should be your only small cars of choice. If you buy Anything else, you’re going to be sorry. More people are wising up to the real values as those are top 2 selling small cars in the US. Nice sales figures for such an “obscure car.” If I pay $17K for a base MINI I take the risk in getting an overpriced POS, if I pay $17K for an Accent I can guarandammtee that im getting a good car (that will work everyday) filled with the trimmings.

    If MINI was a good small car it would be in the top 5 sellers, its not even close, for a very good reason. The MINI has been around for 8 years , and not one quality improvement, its been in the basement from day one. Its a Niche Brand, but I think that could go bye bye soon enough, if they dont get the sales and quality up. BMW isnt stupid enough to continue to pump money into a money losing brand. Talk about an Obscure product.

    You want to call me obsessed. Yeah, Im Obsessed Nick. I get very pissed off when some car company entices some uninformed person to buy a car with a nice look or style, or whores its hard earned reputation around for quality in a car that is a POS. I see many people with cars, they shoudlnt have gotten in the first place everyday. Not becuase they settled for less or anything like that, but becuase they wanted more, or they wanted style.

    I feel horrible for these people, dumping obscene sums of money FOR A PRODUCT THAT WILL CRAP OUT ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick do you own a MINI? You kind of take things personally. You had a problem with me from day one, dude. I said nothing nasty to you, or nothing offensive to you, yet you just blow up on me.

    I know what it is. I love Hyundai/KIA, and you hate them, while I profess my love for this company on a constant basis. Its just strange when I dont bring Hyundai/KIA into a converstion (50% of the time) hardly no one in here will talk to me, but when I bring it up you guys blow up on me.

    Im going to speak speaking about this company in a good light, so get used to it or LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!!

  47. Roman Says:

    “Chrysler’s” in the title should be changed to “Chryslers” because there is no need for the apostrophe.

  48. Nick Stevens Says:

    “by Joseph L
    Norway, ME
    Mileage: 907,000 miles

    I bought my 1990 Honda Accord LX 13 1/2 years ago with 74k miles. This was my first time buying a Honda. My Honda was made in America, which is important to me as a Patriotic American and also makes my car “True Blue” in more ways than one.

    Currently my 1990 Honda Accord has 907,000 miles on the original engine, automatic transmission, power steering system, brake calipers, fuel injectors and much more.

    This car was towed once after 10 1/2 years of service for a fuel pump failure, which was also original to the car.

    I have recorded and completed all the scheduled maintenance services to the vehicle using the same quality parts and fluids every time.

    I’ve been in the automotive field most of my life and it wasn’t till I owned a Honda that I truly understood the engineering and workmanship that Honda puts into their products.

    To this day my car still amazes me and the people I share my story with.”

  49. Nick Stevens Says:

    No, you DERANGED MORON, I do NOT hate any INANIMATE Vehicles, wether they are Tata nanos or Huyndais or Kias. In fact, I like LOTS of different models.

    What I hate is DERANGED MORONS like YOU, who appear to be infatuated with APPLIANCES of all things. As I said I would understand it if you touted anything SPECIAL, such as a Ferrari or a Lambo. There is NO excuse or explanation for your infatuation. YOU did NOT design or build any of these vehicles, in which case I would understand some of this.

    Don’t you want to be a regular HUMAN BEING, one with a REAL NAME and not a LUDICROUS “Huymdai Smoke and Mirrors” or something?

    Do you think you are normal? DOn;t you think you need MAJOR HELP?????

    Who the hell are you? Some dumb 12 yr old that does not even have a license? You sure appear like one!

  50. Nick Stevens Says:

    HyundaiSmoke Says:
    December 24th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Nick do you own a MINI? You kind of take things personally.

    No, You LUNATIC, KIT GERHART bought one and you, in your craziness, advised him to… trade in the Mini he JUST BOUGHT for some POS Hyundai. I guess if he bougfht a ROLLS ROYCE, you MORON would advise him to trade it in for a Hyundai as well.

    And of course NOT, I do NOT take anything personally, I have NO CLUE who YOU are and you have no clue who I am.

    I just do not suffer FOOLS gladly.

    So, GET AN EFFING LIFE, Get as REAL NAME, tell us something about YOURSELF, what do YOU drive? I bet, NOTHING!

  51. Nick Stevens Says:

    MEanwhile, As long as you ABUSE thos forum with Huyndai-Kia COMMERCIALS, for which John MC ELroy should CHARGE you a fee or kick your abusive ass off the forum, I will, whenever I feel like it, post OTHER stories like the above INCREDIBLE Accord LX, very similar to my own 1990 LX 5-sp coupe, whose owner in Maine was able to put 907,000 miles!!!

  52. Nick Stevens Says:

    And if somebody finds the Merc or the Volvo link with million-mile owner stories, I’ll post some of these too.

  53. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, well talk when you stop acting like a 12 year old!!!

    Its waste of my breath to even speak with you.

    John, in a way I find your exclusion of the KIA Soul from the finalists list due to scratchy plastics fair. Its a great car, like most of journalists say it is. That Scratchy plastic deters from that. I got to ride in my Co-workers Soul one day. Hyundai does have decision in this, and up until a few years ago Hyundai had propelene interiors on some of its models. Hyundai now is using better materials in its new Lineup, and the refreshes of models that has a little bit of that. KIA pretty much gets the rumage of the Hyundai Bin sometimes, but if they didnt that would take away the point of KIA to be dirt cheap.

    I do think that should be enough to give Hyundai incentive to use better materials on the small KIAs.

  54. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    John: your guest Mr McGraw almost passed out when you asked him about the new Prius, while praising the Fusion hybrid like a Ford sales rep. I must come to the conclusion that Americans don’t know how to pick cars, cause last I heard, the Prius was outselling the Fusion by quite a bit, even though the latter supposedly is a better value. Go figure!!

  55. Tom Says:

    Wow john your site is getting more and more popular!

    Keep of the good work!

    Have a happy new year :D

  56. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    John: your guest Mr McGraw almost passed out when you asked him about the new Prius, while praising the Fusion hybrid like a Ford sales rep. I must come to the conclusion that Americans don’t know how to pick cars, cause last I heard, the Prius was outselling the Fusion by quite a bit, even though the latter supposedly is a better value. Go figure!!”

    Pedro: Good job… but I am not sure of these characters appreciate irony. As for the Fusion Hybrid being a ‘better value’, even the ford afficionados can’t claim that. It is far more expensive than the prius and gets 10-20 MPG LESS in ACTUAL driving. But what they say is that the Fusion feels like a real mid-sized car with no compromises and does not look like an Optimized for MPG prius.

    However, as far as I am concerned, I find the Fusion terminally boring, and if I had to buy one, I would be a damned fool to buy the hybrid, I’d buy the base 4 cyl engine and get almost as good MPG as the Hybrid, and save myself $8k or so.And John Mc Elroy correctly pointed that out in the same show, that they should NOT have picked the Hybrid but the whole Fusion line, and he did say he liked the base 4 better non-hybrid too.

    PS Tom: the main reason for the increase in traffic is that this page stayed on for 2 weeks over the holidays, while normally it lasts a day or so.

  57. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Nick: once again you are correct, the Prius goes from about $23k to a high of $28 with navigation while the Fusion starts at $27k. When people consider the many years of experience Toyota has had with hybrids and the excellent reliability record the Prius has compiled, the choice is clear. If you need more room you look elsewhere, but it looks like certain folks in the auto media are making an effort to downplay the import brands while propping up the domestics, maybe I’m imagining this, do you agree?

  58. Nick Stevens Says:

    Pedro: No question the prius dominated hybrids, and Honda, who has been successful in other car categories, failed miserably, first with the little science project 2-seater Insight, then with the Accord hybrid, and now with the 4-door Insight cheapo hybrid.

    In fact, the word “Prius” is almost synonymous with “Hybrid” today. And its reliability has surprised even Toyota dealers that I know personally.

    The prius is also a very roomy design, esp. the new Prius has corrected a problem of the previous gen, rear head room, by raising the roofline. And its 5-door design is quite practical.

    Even tho I currently drive a very different vehicle and I do not do many miles every year, I will look at the prius very seriously next time I shop for a car, and will sure recommend it to most of my friends.

    I am also glad to see many Prius TAXIs, both in the Wash DC area and in smaller towns. I bet there is a ton of them in NYC too, but have not been there recently.

    if they only developed a longer version prius that is a full wagon with extra leg room in the rear, it would be an ideal taxi, and this is where the PRius shines, in City stop-go driving.

  59. Nick Stevens Says:

    And yes, there is no doubt that many auto journalists are blatantly rooting for the domestics, and that includes John. There is a lot of wishful thinking on their part, such as their claiming over and over that the wasteful CFC program was allegedly a success, even tho we now know that it accomplished NOTHING and $3 billion of our tax $ went down the drain and nothing to show for it.

  60. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Around So.Fla the county and city governments use some Priuses. I even see from gen 1 driving around still. Toyota had announced they would start a Prius line including vans, coupes, etc I think they would do well if they went ahead with this. The rest of the automakers have a long way to catch up to them.

  61. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Pedro and Nick

    “…but it looks like certain folks in the auto media are making an effort to downplay the import brands while propping up the domestics…”

    All I can say is, “IT”S ABOUT DAMN TIME!!” For the past 20 years or so, the media has been so pro-import that it has made me sick! Are there good imports? Of course there are! But there are and have been some damn good domestic products as well! And it’s about time the consumers and media in this country wake up and start paying some attention to what built this country and made it great, and support our domestic industries. It seems that just because it was “imported” made it better – bullsh**!!!

    The imports in the 70′s and early 80′s were nothing but rust buckets, and now with the latest Toyota pickup recall concerning their frames rusting out, have they really come that far???? I’ve not heard of a single Ford, Chevy, GMC or Dodge pickup having a frame rust so bad that you have to worry about the spare tire falling off onto the road.

  62. Nick Stevens Says:

    Oh Really, Max? it was the media’s fault that the domestics produced UTTER CRAP for decades, FORCING the once loyal consumers to consider their own SELF INTEREST and go to Toyota and Honda and never come back?

    You are in the deepest of denials. And while the quote you cite was Pedro’s, not mine, and he can reply to you as he wishes, his quote is 100% TRUE.

    As for thre pickups, I know for a fact that FORD used to design their cars to laast 100k miles, while their trucks to last 150k miles. WHo in his right mind would go buy a ford CAR then, if they are so poorly made, by DESIGN? And why would I buy the stupid Pickup if I do Not need one??? $4 gas changed all that in a jiffy, and the 1,000,000 a year very profitable F-150s (and another 1,000,000 Silvcerado+Sierras) have dwindled to just the trucks people NEED in their work, which is HALF these numbers, if not one third. And the onetime Mall POSEURS now drive around in little 30 MPG Hyundais and Focuses, for the benefit of all the rest of us (lower gas prices due to lower consumption).

  63. Nick Stevens Says:

    PS and YES, even Honda and Toyota and even 1990 models, like my 1990 Accord coupe, had serious rust issues behind the rear wheels, but WHO CARES???? The rest of the car was in perfect shape inside and out and I and its first owner had it for EIGHTEEN LONG YEARS until I donated it to charity, fully running, in 2008

  64. Max Christensen Says:

    Once again Nick, you make no sense whatsoever and are just rambling to hear (or in this case, see) yourself talk.

    How in the world was it the media’s fault that made the domestics produce utter crap?? That makes no sense……..

    And so what if an import is designed to run more miles if their frame is gone! Once again, you make NO sense! My brother in law has a 2002 Toyota with a rusted out frame – with less than 100,000 miles on it. So what good is having a motor and tranny that will run longer if the body has given up??? And like with your rusted out POS Accord, who wants to drive around in a rust heap, even if it still runs well?

  65. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Having lived in both the snow belt and the tropical climate of So . Florida, I can assure you that rust up north was a big issue for all cars. Optional undercoating and hosing the undercarriage helped a bit but eventually most if not all vehicles felt victim to this vehicular cancer. As a matter of fact, smart used car buyers would drive south to buy their vehicles for that exact reason. The fact that most people associated rust mostly with the Japanese vehicles was because THEY LASTED LONGER. The domestics died of engine and or transmission problems before the rust got real bad, c’mon man, I remember back when a 5 year-old American car was ready to be junked already. No one here had seen regular cars and pickups last so long, so when dealers in the north saw these competitors gaining ground, they started telling customers: “those Japanese cars become rust bucket in a few years” Well theirs would not make it to that point because as soon as you finished making your 36 months payment it was time to trade it in for another, so you never saw the rust on them. If it had not being for the imports, American cars would still be stuck in the 70′s.

  66. Nick Stevens Says:

    Kelly blue book stats below are revealing. The more educated, computer literate consumers that use the web to their advantage, are interested in these vehicles:

    Glaring by their absence: NO Chrysler, Dodge, or even Jeeps (!!!). And of course no Buicks, even tho the new Lacrosse is much better than it used to be, and no Mercurys, Saturns or even Pontiacs. (it helps the last two were closed down by Govt Motors)

    Also, QUALITY and Reliability does count for something, note that the top 8 vehicles are ONLY Hondas or Toyotas!!!

    “Kbb.com’s Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2009

    1. Honda Accord
    2. Honda Civic
    3. Toyota Camry
    4. Honda CR-V
    5. Toyota Corolla
    6. Toyota RAV4
    7. Toyota Highlander
    8. Toyota Prius
    9. Nissan Altima
    10. Honda Pilot
    11. Ford Escape
    12. Chevrolet Camaro
    13. Honda Odyssey
    14. Ford Fusion
    15. Mazda3
    16. Ford Mustang
    17. Volkswagen Jetta
    18. Toyota Sienna
    19. Lexus RX 350
    20. Chevrolet Equinox”

  67. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    By this list, then I take that most folks looking to buy a new car are not even considering a domestic? Or most computer savvy people only would consider a Japanese brand? (notice, no Koreans) sorry Mr Hyundai/Kia rep. guy. And No luxury brands either, I guess those folks got so much money they can afford to buy a car, if they don’t like it, just trade it in for another, and lose a crap-load of $ doing that.ps the previous mention of rust, I can’t even remember the last time anyone considered “rust” as a factor when buying ANY vehicle.

  68. Nick Stevens Says:

    There were a couple Chevys in there, the better ones.

    You also need to have in mind the sales figures. Most luxury brands sell very few copies. Still, I thought something like the popular cheapo BMW 3 series, or the cheaper lexuses would make the top 20. In fact, the camry clone ES 350 did make it.

    You are right about no Hyundai-Kias in the list, it will be amusing to see how the resident Hyundai fanatic explains that away.

    Re rust, they do say that all cars will rust in the snowbelt (in fact the guy that told me that later became the president of MIT, no kidding, for 14 years too!), but there must be differences. My small fuel efficient pontiac I bought new in 83 did not rust until it died in 94, but what good was that for me? it died with only 65k miles! And after the first 50,000 miles, everything seemed to break down. Ridiculous, when I now consider buying luxury cars with 110,000+ miles alredy on them!!

  69. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I’m not surprised that there isn’t any jeeps on the list.Definatley a niche line.The flagship Grand Cherokee always had problems,is obese (not as obese as the commander)and way overpriced.I don’t know what the sales numbers would be….low I’m sure.The libby I think sells okay,but is rumored it’s to be dropped….no loss there either.The Wrangler JK sells pretty damn good,but again I don’t know any sales numbers.I guess Jeep will be dropping several of their offerings in next year or so.They got a bit happy with tagging on their “trail rated” badges on everything that said jeep.I don’t know of anyone dumb enough to have fallen for that crap.

  70. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    G.A.: being a Jeep aficionado, do you think a back-to-basics Jeep model, w/o all the electronics and plushness, 4by4, manual tranny would sell well in today’s market? or do you think people have gotten too used to all the creature comforts?

  71. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Good question Pedro,I’ll try to answer.Todays Wrangler JK is by far the most sophisticated ever in the Wrangler line.Having said that,since the JK line has been out(07)they have built up quite the following,and most love ac,and the overall comfort of the seats etc.The 4 dr unlimited has opened the doors to even more people (families)to enjoy the off road experience.You see where this is going:creature comforts found on most 4×4′s almost equal that which is found in cars.Recently on one of the JK sites I’m a regular on,asked that very question.Although a few “hardcore” crawlers go for a more basic JK,most want more available as options(I’m one of them).Most everone wants a diesel/heated seats/heated mirrors to name a few.Not unreasonable by any stretch.Manual trans is standard on all levels of JK’s,a 6 spd.I have always preferred autos for my 4×4′s.That also seems to be the popular consensus.Myself,I can live very well with a standard stereo whereas most want the hyper spendy nav system.That is only an option on the Rubi,maybe the Sahara,but not the sport(formerly the X).The frame on the Jk’s are the strongest jeep ever built,and it shows very well.#1 complaint:the 3.8L engine.Most say it’s gutless.In reality it has more base power then the old inline 4.0L,and I’ve had both,and like them both.The 2011/12/13 series JK’s will show big changes,more then just the diesel and the Pentestar.

  72. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I will add this,Jeep will be coming out with a JK based pickup truck.It will have the diesel option as well as the Pentestar.It will have to compete against the upcoming Mahindra T-20 and T-40 in amenities as well as price.This is good for the consumer as there will be choice=competition etc.Pedro,I just love my JK,and in all honesty,it would be hard for anyone not to like it.Quiet,comfortable and damned capable too.For everyone?Nope.For a lot of different lifestyles?Yup.I get an average of 22mpg hwy.Not bad for a 2 ton “brick”.

  73. Gary Keselis Says:

    Hello Guys. I’ve been following these posts over the last week and I will say one thing. Strong opinions abound-and thats a good thing, because it’s usually based on experience.
    Pedro, I know you love Toyota and I will say they do make some great cars(as does almost everybody now) but watching my sister fight with them over a sludge filled V6 Camery that had suffered catastrofic engine failure was quite an experience. First they blamed her maintenance intill she pulled out her record book showing 3500 mile oil changes. Way short of the recommended interval. They finally,to their credit, made good on it, but it was a battle all the way and only a few thousand miles out of warranty.
    The Kelly thing is interesting, but don’t you think its just people researching what they perceive to be a smart buy. Not wanting to waste time on what they PERCEIVE is a vehicle of inferior quality. Again, don’t you think right now perception is the domestcs biggest enemy. We drive a 2004 Liberty with a 100,000+ miles and another 25000 flat towed behind an RV.
    Honestly-no problems-We do the maintenance(although not the 12,000 mile F/R axle lube changes-Thats CRAZY)but it been a darn good vehicle and great during the New England winters. We have a 2009 Mustang and again, maybe I’m stupid, but we really like it.
    My Alfa 164 has 149000 miles and with the right care(you try doing a timing belt on a front wheel drive ALFA!!!) its never let us down
    My one beef eith the Korean mfg and the Japanese mfg is not the quality or reliability of their cArs. It’s their closed domestic markets. It’s 9,000,000(K+J combined norm yr if I remember right) possible sales that they have virtually locked up.It makes a free marketeer like me sick and makes it hard for me to buy one of their cars. Well just a couple of thoughts.
    Gary

  74. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @Gary:I agree.Turnabout should be fair play.The closed market…or extremely limited market for our products sux bigtime.I personally don’t give a rats ass about japanese or korean cars.Well…to tell the truth,I don’t care about any cars really.I have mentioned more then once about “perceived” quality in regards to the american counterparts.Bottom line,people will buy only what they are comfortable with.Magazines don’t always tell the whole story.

  75. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    G.A. thanks for your input, I suppose car buyers have come to expect a certain level of plushness and convenience when they buy any new vehicle, but it just seems to me that to use a $25/30k Jeep to go off-roading is a little crazy. Most likely it will get some damage, a friend of mine got a used Jeep and is in the process of raising it and installing big old tires/wheels to go off road, but he only paid $3 grand for it. Gary: not all cars are perfect, even my trusty Corolla’s interior is breaking apart before my eyes due to cheap plastics and poor assembly and I know Camry’s have had this sludge problem. But all I can tell you is in my daily drives I see tons of old Civics, Accords, Corollas and Camrys.

  76. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Pedro:My stock JK came with 32″ tires right from the factory….for me,there is no reason to lift it,plenty of ground clearance.The JK’s are extremely capable off road machines,but nothing I am aware of protects them from stupid.

  77. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Happy new year to all!!!. Good article in the UK daily telegraph about the “true” engine of the future which is now in the present over there, they refer to the small gas and diesel engine that Toyota, Honda and now VW are selling over there. And how the electric car will have a very limited use and appeal (mostly same people who now buy the Smart (stupid) car. But unless gas goes up here quite a bit, I don’t see many Americans buying 1.0 liter engines.

  78. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    There’s no Hyundai/KIAs on the list becuase there are still many ignorant people like yourself Nick around to check one out.

    Just becuase you research a car doesnt mean youre going to buy it in the first place, nor that its a quality car.

    Who has lead in recals in 2009 and been a runner-up the last 5 years? Humm…. IT DAMM SURE WASNT KIA PRODUCTS.

    Basing product on cars from 20 years ago which goes both ways-Japanese good Koreans Bad is a horrible way to shop for cars, as the Automotive indutrsy is probably the most changing and evolving business model you can think of.

    Right now, the perception lags behind the reality, and older guys like yourselves in this room dont get it. You guys seem so old you’ve forgotten how unstatic the Auto industry is.

    Just in my short 28 years of life the US Auto Industry has gone from:

    1. Laughing at the idea of Korean cars for Export to the US when shown at early 80s Auto Shows (Like China and India today) to Korean cars leading the charts in quality and fuel economy TODAY!!!!

    2. Toyota and Honda leading in quality and fuel efficiency to leading in recalls.

    3. No AMC.

    4. Renualt

    5. Yugo

    6. K Cars to FIATS

    7. 20 MPG being excellent fuel economy to 30 MPG just being barely adequate.

    8. No SAAB-they were big players in the early 80s if my history is correct.

    9. Chinese Volvo-they were early 80s big players too.

    10. Near Luxury Volkswagen-A company that used to be the Hyundai of the 80s, up until Hyundai said it wanted to go upmarket.

    11. Merc being at the pinnacle of quality. Then falling down to be among the worst in quality, to just bringing itself back up now in the last 3 years.

    12. The Idea of Toyota, Nissan-Still called Datsun then, Honda having a Luxury brand in the era of my birth was laughable (kind of like how some of you laugh at Hyundai’s upmarket intentions NOW), and now they are dominant Luxury Players.

    13. The British still had an Auto Industry

    14. Peugeot sold cars here.

    15. GM going from 2 Billion 1950s RELLIC BRANDS LIKE OLDSMOBILE THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN OUT TO THE BACK AND SHOT A LONG TIME AGO To GM having 64 Billion 1990′S NICHE BRANDS THEY STUBBORNLY TOOK INTO THE NEXT CENTURY-and failed. Now to new leaner, meaner GM that produces Wendy Hamburgers Type cars. A WORLD
    Better than the MC Donalds it used to be, but its still fast food.

    16. No Plymouth

    17. Isuzu making awesome Mark-1s to its current impending extinction.

    18. Chrysler/Buick/Mercury leading the Near Luxury market to first getting trounced by 1980s/early 90s: Lexus Infiniti Acura VW, and now Hyundai.

    19. Mazda making Toyota like cars, to making cars that were very equivalent to the KIAs of the day just 7 years ago (Compare Protege 5 to KIA Spectra 5, you’ll see what I mean), to the ZOOM ZOOM we want to be the Japanese Audi brand it is today.

    20. Mitsubishi lending antiquated POS parts to an inferior Hyundai/KIA, to now being dependent on Hyundais/KIAs left over parts they wouldnt touch with a 10 ft pole.

    21 Ford making the fiesta (True first Gen KIA Rio/Pride, a Chinese quality car that only came to the US as a Fiesta) To FORD MAKING THE FIESTA!!!

    My Point, CHANGE HAPPENS SUCK IT UP!!!

  79. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, you or a relative must have been one of the first Excel buyers. From the way you talk it seems like it.

    NOBODY IN THIS ROOM HAS A PROBLEM WITH HYUNDAI/KIA AS MUCH YOU DO. Maybe that says your perception is so outdated its not funny. Nick, Hyundai/KIA haters in this country are a fast and dying breed. Too bad you’re one of them.

    1. Now you have a small but increasing percentage of fanatics like myself.

    2. Those who like our cars, but wouldnt buy for some pretentious reason that has nothing to do with the functionality of the car.

    3. Those who are skeptical but will be open to try.

    4. Those who are Jumping Ship-Like 80% of Chrysler/Dodge/Jeeps audience.

    5. Those who were indifferent and didnt notice us just 5 years ago, finding more and more about these cars, and are really liking what they are fiding out.

    Perception is a lagging indicator of fact, and you know it, so dont act like you dont.

  80. Nick Stevens Says:

    Happy new year to all, even to the raving delusional lunatic who calls Day NIGHT and NIGHT DAY:

    “HyundaiSmoke Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 11:24 am

    There’s no Hyundai/KIAs on the list becuase there are still many ignorant people like yourself Nick around to check one out.”

    You dumb moron, it is PRECICELY the well informed that DO the research, and obviously they are NOT attracted by the cheapo POS Hyundais or Kias.

    In fact, Hyundai Buyers are quite similar to buyers of SATURNS as depicted in those truly STUPID Saturn ads that featured auto illiterates that ADMITTED they knew NOTHING about cars, and crazily TRUSTED the Saturn dealers to be nice to them and serve their interests and not… their own! LOL!!!

  81. Nick Stevens Says:

    PS and, raving delusional Huyndai MORON, si nce you made it PERSONAL and attecked me presonally, you are wasting your breath, since Hyundai and Kia make NO vehicles that are even REMOTELY as huigh-quality, and especially as well PERFORMING as the top German Luxury cars. There is a reason these go for well above $100,000, sometimes $200,000 new (I’d never buyu them new, of course, I am no fool!), WHILE it took Hyundai and Kia FOUR FAILURES to enter even the NEAR luxury market, (with the 300 or 350, the azera, the amanti, all of whom were TOTALLY thumbs down in the INDEPENDENT press) let alone REAL luxury cars.

  82. Nick Stevens Says:

    And in ADDITION they make NOTHING even remotely like the 50+MPG (REAL MPG)PRIUS Wonder of Engineering, which I MIGHT conider buying even new, if I had to do a lot of miles. AND also NOTHING like the excellent Golf-jetta DIESELS, who are second only to the PRIUS in REAL (not these fake EPA MPGS) MPG!

  83. Nick Stevens Says:

    But I will allow this for Hyundai-Kia, they have a really smart and successful CEO in the US, Krafcik (sp). While having far inferior material than either Honda or Toyota or of course the german Luxury makers, Krafcik thought up those GIMMICKS for the destitute and the soon-to-be unemployed, that apparently worked with the fearful consumers, payment protection and all the other gimmicks. it is too early to see if these generous offers will have the same effect that the 0% interest loans did to Mitsubishi a few years ago, they almost KILLED them and now Mitsu sells only a fraction of what it used to sell with the above offers.

  84. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    In 30 Years if Korea has the same problems as the Japanese today. Id jump ship to Chinese and Indian cars, which by then Im sure will be quality leaders. Or id buy a Used Korean Product and drive it until the wheels fall off, then give the Chinese a chance.

    However, I hope I dont get that stubborn in my older years if that were to happen.

  85. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Ok Nick, BUT THEY WERE CONCIEVED 10-15 YEARS AGO IN A DIFFERENT WORLD WHERE PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY WHO WORKED AT HYUNDAI/KIA THEN DOESNT EVEN WORK THERE NOW!!!!

    They were on par with Lexus 25 years ago dude. The same set-up in the interior and everything. Go find a 20+ year old Lexus. THEY WERE GLORIFIED TOYOTAS THAT HAD A LITTLE CHROME AND SOME LEATHER IN THEM!!!! That’s all that they were.

    Toyota, Honda and VW also SELL STUPID 29 MPG ACCORDS ETC….. The Hyundai Accent has 37 MPG (with auto trans) which is the Best in the small car sector right now. Yaris 36, Mini 33 with Auto Trans, Fit 35, Aveo 34 VWs most fuel efficent Gas Powered car gets 32 MPG, and you can get that in a Gen Coupe 2.0.

    I DONT GIVE DAMM ABOUT THE PRIUS GETTING 50 MPG (In 2 years Hyundai will have 2 cars that will beat Prius anyway-and THEY WONT LOOK LIKE A DILDO) THE DAMM FACTS ARE WE LEAD IN US FUEL ECONOMY, JUST GO TO THE EPA WEBSITE AND CHECK THE FACTS OUT FOR YOURSELF, DUDE.

    If you care so much about “Real MPG” with the way most NORMAL people drive youd PROBABLY ONLY GET 43 mpg IN THAT CAR TOPS!!!!!!!

  86. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Fit is 33 with an Auto trans, but what Sadist buys a car with a manual tranny these days anyway.

  87. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Manual trannies are about to go extinct in Hyundais by the way. They have DSG-like clutches ready to go. Accent, Elantra, Sonata, etc….=no more manuals.

    You cant say the same with a Honda product. As 80% of the industry wont have any Manuals by 2014.

  88. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, Youre my Autoline Daily Resident Hyundai/KIA hater. That’s ok, I have 1 hater who is just as obsessive as you are on pretty much every site I frequent.

    That means Autoline Daily is a good enough site to attract diverse viewpoints.

    I know you Honda/Acura Toyota/Lexus guys are pissed about this “Hyundai Renaissance”.

    Well, shut us up.

    1. Stop the Recalls.

    2. Make better cars that trounce all over ours, like we are making better cars that Trounce all over yours. You used to do it. What Happened?

    3. Stop Pricing Fits without leather at $20K, and the other various overpricing badge snobbery you engage in.

    4. Stop chasing away Young buyers who mostly work in lower wage service professions with cars that are designed for Daddy and prices that keep them out.

    5. Make Scion a more viable Econo brand, and ‘Upmarket” Toyota providing the feel and look of a Luxury product at an affordable price.

    6. Almost Everybody picks Elantra over Corolla in reviews these days. Maybe you need to find out why. Maybe that’s the key to solving your increasing problems.

    You cry babies remind me of GM and Ford, bringing back your glory days, and then producing Sub Par Quality Products squandering your hard earned reputation.

    When you produce these sub par products, you try to hide your problems and not take responsibility for them. I find that detestable in a person and especially a CAR-a product I use everyday that I need to trust and is going to make me feel good after dogging the hell out of it, and gets good MPG.

  89. Nick Stevens Says:

    Over here we don’t have much traffic and I drove manuals until I bought the Big Merc V8 that is not offered as a stick in the US,

    But today’s autos are sufficient, manuals do not have the advantage they once had. In my 1990 accord coupe, the previous owner claimed that the 5-speed allowed the car to have the performance of the THEN V6s with the economy of a 4. But today the automatics are just as good, and if you are unlucky enough to have traffic, much more convenient.

  90. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HyundaiSmoke:You know young man,I appreciate your enthusiasm for a brand that right now you happen to like.But,it seems to have closed your mind to others.Also,your comment about manual transmissions are going to be extinct is a bit much.Because you either never mastered the 4/5/6 spd trannies is by no means a “truth”.For myself,after decades of owning 4×4 vehicles I personally find that autos work for me better then a manual.That is me.I know many many offroaders that have all brands of 4×4′s that prefer the stick.If,by chance,you have NEVER driven a real performance vehicle with a 4 or 5 or more manual,you kid are missing a WHOLE different and exciting world of driving,and I can’t help but to feel sorry for you.Your too damn young to NOT ENJOY the whole feel of driving,if even just once.Try renting a new Mustang with a 5 spd stick and enjoy the experience,or maybe go to a SCCA event.Walk thru the pits and take it all in.Rent a Jeep JK and go up into the hills and enjoy and see the other side bro.At the very least man,spark one up and chill.

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    H/S,

    It’s a MINI thing—you wouldn’t understand…
    There is a British web site by that name, but it pertains mainly to “old” Minis.

    I find this Prius vs. Fusion Hybrid discussion a case of comparing apples and oranges. Except for both cars having gas engines, electric motors, and big batteries, the cars have little in common. Of the two, I would consider only the Prius because it is a practival HATCHBACK, and it gets much better gas mileage than the Fusion, and all other cars having even close to the cabin space. Golf and Jetta Wagon TDI’s come close in “real world” mileage, though.

  92. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Of the two, I would consider only the Prius because it is a practival HATCHBACK, and it gets much better gas mileage than the Fusion, and all other cars having even close to the cabin space”

    Right, and if one wants a Fusion, why bother with the Hybrid, sdave $8k and get the basic 4-cyl and the MPG will be quite good. John McElroy has already pointed that out.

    “. Golf and Jetta Wagon TDI’s come close in “real world” mileage, though.”

    They are great in HWY MPG, there they equal the prius, but in city MPG they are far lower. So it depends on one’s driving needs, if you do mostly highway miles, the diesels are perfect.

    I am most intrigued by the BMW X5 Diesel, though, since Motorweek on PBS got an amazing actual 27.7 MPG on mixed loop driving, while the EPA is 19/26! merc’s GL is bigger and also offered with a less potent Diesel, but I doubt it gets as good MPG.

  93. Nick Stevens Says:

    “HyundaiSmoke Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Nick, Youre my Autoline Daily Resident Hyundai/KIA hater.”

    You are LYING LIKE A DOG. Much worse than a dog, actually.

    WHY in hell would I have any reason to hate Hyundai or Kia? I do no thate any automakers. I hate that my hard-earned tax $ is wasted on idiotic schemes like the CFC program, and on all the billions we give Sergio MArchionne at Fiat just because they got Chrysler, BUT THAT’s IT.

    On the CONTRARY, YOU are the one that seem to either be mentally deranged 12 yr old posting from your mom’s basement, or, more LIKELY, you are an adult with an OBVIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST in favor of Hyundai Kia.

    You have no idea how LUDICROUS you sound when you recommended that… Kit trade in the MINI he JUST Bought (with low miles and very recent vitnage too!) for a stupid Hyundai or Kia? When NEITHER of these companies make an even REMOTELY similar product????

    next thing, when somebody will talk about buying a Rolls Royce, bet you will be Desusional enough to suggest that he buys a stupid Genesis near-luxury korean Buick instead!

  94. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    I don’t get John’s enthusiasm over the Fusion Hybrid, it gets better mpg’s than the 4, but at what cost? Not only upfront, but down the line as repairs and service require specialists. A 4 banger with the 5 speed auto is the ideal choice, plus is a hell of a lot cheaper. If it does win the N.A. car of the year(which buyers really don’t pay much attention to) it will be to throw a bone at a domestic car maker.

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens says:

    “I am most intrigued by the BMW X5 Diesel, though, since Motorweek on PBS got an amazing actual 27.7 MPG on mixed loop driving, while the EPA is 19/26! merc’s GL is bigger and also offered with a less potent Diesel, but I doubt it gets as good MPG.”

    I just wish BMW would sell the 3 Series wagon with the diesel in America. That is a car that might make me splurge and buy a new car well beyond my normal price range. What I’d really like, though, would be a 3 Series or C-Class wagon with a 4 cylider diesel and manual tranmission. I guess their quest for “exclusivity” keeps M/B and BMW from importing these cars, but if/when fuel goes to $6/gallon, these companies might rethink their American offerings.

  96. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Kit I actually saw that before.

    Actually G.A. I liked Honda and cross shopped until I set down in a last Fit and then looked at my Accent. Its got the same plastics the same seat cloth, etc… However, the Accent had more power at the time and it was only a 1 MPG sacrifice to get in there, and since my Previous car was an Accent I got the customary Hyundai owner Loyalty rebate. They both were quality products with very similar fit and finish. I stayed with the Hyundai on Power, Loyalty, door handles, and price. I hate the door handles on the Fit, that’s so old school. Interest rates for the Honda were higher as well.

    I looked at the Nissan Versa and even took a test drive. The thing revs at 4000 RPM doing 80, in the Accent its 3100 RPM at 80, the vehicle which came straight from the Factory had losse-almost broken door handles, the plastics and seat trim were of the same quality as the Accent and Fit however. The engine light came on too during my test drive. The best things in that car were the sound system and power, but there were too many build quality questions with the thing. The Reliability problems of the Versa only proved me right.

    I unlike most people especially love Acrua’s new look.

    That’s why I was so hard on Honda. If Honda and KIA played a game of 1 upsmanship through the 2010 decade, I guarantee some of the best cars ever made, that make perfect sense for the times will blossom out. I consider VW AG as a friendly competitor. I love Jeeps too, but that’s a dying brand. I wouldnt even touch a new one, on that one fact alone.

    I love the idea of the MINI G.A and Kit-not the drawbacks, but Hyundai is about to out MINI the MINI. That will be good for both brands. MINI will be forced to keep a tab on price, and get the quality up. Hyundai will be forced to provide a small car interior, and performance dynamics in the MINI class. This will be another interesting game of 1 upsmanship this decade. They are already testing prototypes of this small car. 145 HP and 45 MPG will come standard. The JCW will have to contend with Hyundais secret hot hatch variant of this car as well. It even has that MINI stance, but its larger than a Cooper, more like a Clubman. Its not a Tiburon Replacement, nor is it a different car; its an Accent Hatch Replacement

    I dont like Toyota for the same reasons why I dont like GM, and never will. They are our enemy. GM #2 is what they are.

    By the way G.A. Accent is gets used by some as an SCCA car and a rally car. Its not a winner, but many times its a second or third place car. We intend to win on a cosistent basis in our next gen product though. The thing has tons of tuner parts out there, its easy to soup one up and get the thing to race spec. If I had a roll cage, etc.. Id be ready too.

    But that would be silly to put a roll cage in my everyday car.

  97. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Pedro Fernandez Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t get John’s enthusiasm over the Fusion Hybrid, it gets better mpg’s than the 4, but at what cost?”

    Pedro,

    did you hear John’s comments on the Fusion? he was NOT enthused about the Hybrid, he made a point that he WISHED that all Fusions were included in the nominee, and that th ebase 4 would get almost as good MPG as the hybrid, at a far lower price!

  98. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ HS:Jeep is not a dying brand,in fact it does better then the other Chrysler/Fiat products,and will continue to do so.Contrary to popular belief,Jeep has gained in popularity because of the redesigned JK series.What hasn’t done well will be dropped,and maybe replaced…..not sure.With 2 new engine/tranny combination’s coming out,with quality improvements The Jeep line will continue.Although sales are lagging for the once popular 1/2 ton pickups,I foresee a brighter future in those lines too….with the inevitable diesels that will come out.people still need work trucks.The once “standard” of the industry 3/4 ton diesel pickups will continue it’s downward spiral thus increasing the demand for a more “capable” 1/2 ton diesel version.JMHO….

  99. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, stop being silly dude. The MINI is only better than the Accent on the Interior and Sporty front. In everything else that matters about having a small car however, its lacking and considering the premium you pay to get into a MINI=not good.

    BMW products only have many miles on them only because they are like Tiger Woods-everybody gets a try. When the first person gets tired of the problems they trade it in at 100K, the person who gets it second hand trades it in at 200k, the next at 300K until some kid gets it thinking hes cool becuase he has a BMW product, and it barely works. Also with that preventive maintenance program BMW has for its products, they dont tell owners that there are other ancillary services that cost an arm and a leg that are covered that still need to be done on the thing.

    Considering the price of sale-new/used, upkeep, etc… I would have a vested interest to maintain it as well, despite reliability foibles. This decade hasnt been kind to our generation in terms of finances, and the principles of frugailty are more important than ever.

    Hyundai used to do cheap frugal cars, now they will do frugal upmarket cars. A MINI caliber product in terms of an interior combined with Hyundai Reliability at a Honda Fit Price is the smart way to go.

    Thanks Hyundai, youre the future.

  100. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Nick Stevens says:

    “I am most intrigued by the BMW X5 Diesel, though, since Motorweek on PBS got an amazing actual 27.7 MPG on mixed loop driving, while the EPA is 19/26! merc’s GL is bigger and also offered with a less potent Diesel, but I doubt it gets as good MPG.”

    “I just wish BMW would sell the 3 Series wagon with the diesel in America. That is a car that might make me splurge and buy a new car well beyond my normal price range.”

    This should not be difficult for BMW to do as it already offers the diesel on the 3 sedan, but this is not the economy small diesel but the performance big diesel that is more ideally suited for the X5. Motyorweek also tested the 335d which has 23/36 EPA and got an unremarkable 31 mpg overall, while the X5 d got an average 27.7 which was above than even its highway EPA rating!

    But have in mind that the current 3 is not as nice and luxurious inside as the previous 3, which also had better exterior styling IMHO.

    ” What I’d really like, though, would be a 3 Series or C-Class wagon with a 4 cylider diesel and manual tranmission.”

    I think they will eventually be forced to sell these small diesels in the US again, because, unlike Lexus, BMW and merc are not part of a bigger company with lots of high MPG cars, and under the new EPA rules they got to get 35 MPZG or so, and the cheapest way fro them to achieve this is to import the small diesels.

    ” I guess their quest for “exclusivity” keeps M/B and BMW from importing these cars, but if/when fuel goes to $6/gallon, these companies might rethink their American offerings”

    Even $4.50 should do it. Back in 1980, I believe an incredible 80% of all mercs sold here were Diesels!

  101. Nick Stevens Says:

    The other piece of bad news about US diesels is that, if you want to buy used, whether it is a Golf/Jetta or a Merc or BMW, the diesel versions are far, far more expensive than the gas-guzzling gas versions, and unless you do a zillion miles a year, they are probably not a better bet..

  102. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Truthfully, H/S, I don’t think people who are considering a Mini or a Fit, would even look at an Accent, at least the current generation model, now if they got something better coming up, that’s another story.

  103. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I still think with FIATs products this market will be tough for them, well I can see a few Alfa sales, but other than that the FIAT and Lancia Styling on Dodge and Chrysler products, compared to what: VW AG, Hyundai/KIA, GM, Nissan, or Ford have planned for that time frame, that styling in this market=FAIL. That will go on for 10 years tops, they will get tired of it, selling Jeep to the Indians or something.

    Mahindra almost got Jeep. Remember that?

    I think they should scrap the Lancia plans and use Alfa Styling on the Chryslers. These guys dont have time on their side, the Lancia products are styled very inappropriately for this market, Kind of like SAAB and Volvo, and see where that went.

    Plus almost every FIAT product except 500 are like KIAs from 5 years ago. Back in the era when they didnt use Hyundai parts. The only way they can pull thsi off is if the Fiat sourced Dodge Products are priced as the cheapest cars sold in America.

    $7500 Subcompacts
    $10000 C Segs
    $13000 D Segs

    That kind of thing.

  104. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    You got a point Pedro. However, I was speaking on the functionality of the car. More so than the dynamics. Dyamically speaking, yes the current gen Accent is an inferior car to MINI, but from a functionality standpoint the MINI is inferior.

    To the small car buyer like myself functionality comes first, then toys. Priority #1. MINI drivers for the most part toys come first. However, the existence of the MINI is forcing makers of small cars to push the game up. Just 7 years ago, pretty much every small car was a stragiht out econo box.

    Just by having MINI in the US its stepped-up the game on features, etc…..

    So I respect MINI for that.

    Yes, we have revolutionary change coming Pedro.

  105. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Pedro Fernandez Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Truthfully, H/S, I don’t think people who are considering a Mini or a Fit, would even look at an Accent, ”

    Now just this gem from H/S, claiming that… the Accent is a MINI competitor, when there is ZERO resem blance and the Mini is TWICE as expensive, tells it all. He is either UTTERLY clueless and/or Delusional.

    Even the Honda Fit, which Kid did consider, is NOT a MINI substitute. The only one I see that is also a retro copy is the Fiat 500, as a cheaper alternative to the Mini, with inferior handling, but also cute and retro.

  106. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Small cars in this market before MINI used to be just an eocnomical choice, now the makes are serious about small cars. Fit, Yaris, Rio, and Accent are good initial steps, and worlds away from the Echo, Cavilier, Tercel, Last gen Accent, Old Rio. Now everybody makes small cars that are more than Just Competent.

    Next step in that evolution is more premium features, more performance. I think the Revolutionary change is to make these cars run like C-segment cars do now. Probably nothing under 125 HP, etc….

    After what Hyundai is doing to its Accent everybody will want to run GDI and get C segment power out of a B-segment car with superior fuel economy. Ford with its Fiesta In-Sync will force all of these small cars to run some kind of system like that.

  107. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick writes:

    “This should not be difficult for BMW to do as it already offers the diesel on the 3 sedan, but this is not the economy small diesel but the performance big diesel that is more ideally suited for the X5. Motyorweek also tested the 335d which has 23/36 EPA and got an unremarkable 31 mpg overall, while the X5 d got an average 27.7 which was above than even its highway EPA rating”

    I remember those mileage numbers, and it never made sense that the difference in mileage between the 3800 pound 335d and the tall, trucky 5200 pound X5 diesel would be so small. Consumer Reports tests seem more reasonable. They got 28mpg overall for the 335d vs. 22 for the X5 diesel. Also, they got 40 “highway” for the 3 Series vs. 29 for the X5. Both vehicles get very good fuel economy for “what they are.” The X5 is a heavy, luxurious SUV, and the 335d is a sporty sedan that is very quick for a 3800 pound car that gets its fuel economy. That said, I’d rather have a smaller diesel in the 3 Series; that six is way more than you need.

    Before people bash my quoting of Consumer Reports, there are a few things they do well, one of which is measuring fuel economy for comparison purposes. They also do a good job of tabulating weight, length, height, etc. of vehicles.

  108. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The MINI will do this one thing for these cars. Force every last one of them to offer leather. There will be more chrome exterior trimmings, etc…. too.

    I actually think every make is capable of providing a MINI-like experience now for so much less, and in a little bit larger car. The fruits of this are starting to sprout.

    That means the MINI will have to go even futher “upmarket”.

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Hick writes:

    “Even the Honda Fit, which Kid did consider, is NOT a MINI substitute. The only one I see that is also a retro copy is the Fiat 500, as a cheaper alternative to the Mini, with inferior handling, but also cute and retro”

    When it was newer, the New Beetle was in that catagory, to some extent. It was the first of these “retro” styled cars. The Mini is the only one of these smallish retro cars which has the same power train configuration as the “original.” Of course, none of them have much in common with the originals except for styling cues.

  110. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    The reason the Mini has done well, and it has done very well, (I see tons of them all over So. Fl where weather is not a factor), is the fun-to-drive factor that so many cars, specially here are lacking. The emphasis has been on functionality and mpg’s leaving the “fun factor” for expensive cars. Put out a reliable, affordable, frugal car that’s also fun to drive, and it will sell like hotcakes.

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick, the spelling of your name was a typo, not intentional.

  112. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Ps and please don’t say VW, they’re neither affordable or reliable.

  113. Kit Gerhart Says:

    HyundaiSmoke Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    “The MINI will do this one thing for these cars. Force every last one of them to offer leather. There will be more chrome exterior trimmings, etc…. too.”

    Maybe Mini (and Mercedes-Benz) will force Hyundai and Kia to offer vinyl in all their cars. I never considered vinyl to be “up-scale,” but the $55K Mercedes E350 recently tested by Consumer Reports had vinyl seats, or was it “leatherette.” I’m not sure vinyl is still standard in Minis, but I think it is.

  114. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Ya know what guys? My wife still loves her 09 Focus SEL,and I tend to agree.Plenty of power,great mpg,comfy with the heated leather butt buckets,and a blast to drive with the upgraded suspension.I know….I know,what they (Ford) offers in the EU is better and stuff,but it ain’t available here yet,and she is a happy camper with it.Zero warranty stuff to date.Some of you might remember my wanting my wife to let me install a flowmaster catback and a k&n filter.Well sportsfans,she sez yes…..do it.LOL.I guess it doesn’t take much to make either of us happy,but we are ;}>

  115. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick the reason why they have an Accent Blue at that price is becuase, the Accent was replaced by i20 in Europe last year and they needed to get rid of a lot of Euro product.

    So, their solution was to put recalibrated 1.6s in there, change the cluster, etc… Euro Accent bodies were the same as US Accent bodies so they didnt have to get them specially ready to pass crash tests. Keep the trims as bare as possible to pay less shipping, and add no options to them.

    To get any options you have to pay $3000 to go up the next trim level. I can assure you one thing, however. This will not continue in the future as its bad for image, etc…

    Of course makes do this all of the time, if they have an overproduced model for one region, they bring it to regions that buy them in good number, and price them as low as possible to get rid of them. Not many people buy the Blues anyway from what I hear, plus its the last year of this current model, so why not?

  116. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Kit, you have a point there. Leatherette is starting to be offered on some of the lowest trimed H/K products now. You can get a Forte with leatherette for $14.9K now, and real leather for about $17K. If I remember Tucson and Sonata wont offer cloth seating at all. Elantra is still testing in pre-production form, but that will be the next Hyundai Debut (Chicago maybe), then Accent Sedan, then the Accent Hatch (Veloster) so I dont know about the smaller cars, but Krafick did say next gen smaller cars were going to be more higher end in features.

    Pedro, VW is coming back dont worry man. I like those guys, they show reliability improvement everyday. They need a SEAT like brand in the US, and They could take the opportunity to use American Suzuki for that task.

    The next Gen US Focus renderings with the bar grille look very nice G.A.

  117. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Detroit will be more a of KIA show though. Sportage Debut and Optima Debut.

  118. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I really don’t understand the use of vinyl seats in expensive cars, or even cheap cars. I’m sure today’s vinyl is much more durable than that in my ’74 Duster, but I still don’t see the point of using it. Personally, I like cloth seats. They have good ventilation, they hold you in place when cornering fast, and today’s cloth seats last about forever. I’ve noticed that the new Cadillac CTS has vinyl standard, I’m sure to be like Mercedes and BMW, but I still don’t “get it.” Can someone explain?

  119. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    It looks like leather, and with the way they are making these vinyl seats these days, its kind of hard to tell the difference.

    Plus, people want leather or leather like materials these days. Cloth=Econo to the eyes of an increasing amount of people. Cloth=Stains, Cloth=Mites, etc…. and you know how scared this culture has become with germs.

    Hyundai is slowly but surely introducing Alcantara into more of its cars, so I think that will become even more popular dash material, just like the seat leather being increasingly popularized.

    Alcantara can be the final ingredient that can kill those 1-2 ‘Plasticky” Areas in most cars that auto journalists cry about.

  120. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree that cloth seats show stains. That is part of why I got black cloth/leather combination in my Malibu rather than all grey.
    While I tend to be fanatical about the interiors of my cars, I drink black coffee in them.

    My Mini has grey/black vinyl which does, in fact, look a lot like leather. I just hope it holds up better than the vinyl in my 1974 Plymouth Duster which had seam rips at about 50K miles. It got “stiff,” which I suspect was why it failed. The seat material in my Mini is soft and flexible so far, and if it stays that way, it should probably hold up well. Still, I’d have more faith in modern cloth lasting 15 years and 200K miles that I would in today’s vinyl, even the vinyl they use in a $50K+ Mercedes.

  121. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Kit i did an experiment on my Accent. I took a few yards of leathette material and wrapped the dash, etc… I used real leather on the seats. The Leatherette material was so durable, that one cut with a razor blade wasnt enough.

    After that experience, I trust that material. It wouldnt burn either, upon contact. It needed at least 1 minute of prolonged exposure to fire to even burn. That was some stubborn stuff.

    If makes are using the stuff I got, fantastic.

  122. Nick Stevens Says:

    “I remember those mileage numbers, and it never made sense that the difference in mileage between the 3800 pound 335d and the tall, trucky 5200 pound X5 diesel would be so small.”

    I was also surprised, and I believe in Co nsumer reports strict MPG measuring procedures much more than those Motorweek Amateurs. I don’t think it was an typo by Motorweek, but it is suspicious that they were not able to get such huge MPGs for the Audi A7 diesel that has similar weight and HP.

    ” Consumer Reports tests seem more reasonable. They got 28mpg overall for the 335d vs. 22 for the X5 diesel. Also, they got 40 “highway” for the 3 Series vs. 29 for the X5.”

    The 40 HWY is excellent, the Jetta-Golf Diesel do not get much more, and they have 2/3rds the engine and the weight. That makes the 28 MPG overall too low, the 31 + MPG MW got sounds more consistent with 40 HWY.

    The 29 Hwy for the X5 diesel is also excellent, almost 30 MPG!!! Considering not only the 5,100 or so lb weight, but also the very large frontal area that should penalize MPG at Hwy speeds.

    it is interesting to compare with the stupid Tahoe Hybrid, which only gets 20 MPG hwy and 19 city, or vice versa, which shows how pathetic hybrids are for large SUVs.

    ” Both vehicles get very good fuel economy for “what they are.” The X5 is a heavy, luxurious SUV, and the 335d is a sporty sedan that is very quick for a 3800 pound car that gets its fuel economy. That said, I’d rather have a smaller diesel in the 3 Series; that six is way more than you need.”

    I agree, but 3,800 lbs is hardly a small car. A colleague of mine has the predecessor of my S-class, that sold until 1991, weighted LESS than that, 3770 lbs for the 300SEL! And had a 177 HP I6 gas, and got barely 20 MPG highway.

  123. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    When it was newer, the New Beetle was in that catagory, to some extent. It was the first of these “retro” styled cars.”

    As much as I admire the original beetle, I really despised that lame-ass “new” beetle. it has almost nothing in common with the original except some exterior styling cues and the stupid vase on the dash. Otherwise, it was a Golf without the trunk space, the rear room, and the utility. The original Beetle was a rear-engined car, the new was not. Our former Computer person bought a white one new, and it sucked, repairs with low miles etc. he was a terrible computer guy too, we got a new one who bought a v6 2001 passat wagon and had 105k trou ble free miles (he has a large family), and is a fantastic computer person.

    The Mini is the only one of these smallish retro cars which has the same power train configuration as the “original.” Of course, none of them have much in common with the originals except for styling cues

  124. Nick Stevens Says:

    “leatherette” is much better than the old vinyls on 70s domestics. A friend in Houston grew up with an old mercedes 200 which had leatherette and he told me it worked very well. It was durable and much easier to clean than cloth, when you have small kids and they make a mess all the time.

    Among the various Hyundais I like the Elantra, although I have not driven it and can’t say if it handles as well as a Honda, or more like a yaris-corolla. But I like the basic stats, and the 5-door hatch/quasi wagon version:

    The base price is about $14k, (is the 5-door as cheap?) quite low even for smaller cars. The HP and torque, 138 and 136, are adequate for its 2,750 lbs weight, which is low and is largely due to a short length, medium width but enough height: 177X70X58+”. Despite the tall height, it gets an excellent 35 HWY with a 5 sp manual (or auto?).

    Not surprisingly, it has done much, much better in sales than any other Hyundai-kia model, even the Sonata, I believe, this year.

  125. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Says:

    “The 40 HWY is excellent, the Jetta-Golf Diesel do not get much more, and they have 2/3rds the engine and the weight. That makes the 28 MPG overall too low, the 31 + MPG MW got sounds more consistent with 40 HWY.”

    If Consumer Reports fuel economy tests are consistant over a period of years, the “old” 90hp VW TDI got much better fuel economy than the new, 140hp one gets. A 2000 Golf TDI with a manual transmission got 41 overall in their tests, while a new Jetta TDI with DSG only got 33, and the BMW 335d got 28. The new Jetta at 3225 is about 300 pounds heavier than the old Golf. The DSG should about match a well-driven manual tranmission, but I haven’t seen any real comparison tests between a new TDI with manual and DSG.

  126. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The 2000 Golf and new Jetta TDI’s got 54 and 47 respectively in CR’s “highway” test, while the 335d got 40. They are all impresive.

  127. Nick Stevens Says:

    I remember that 54 MPG figure. I bet they got it going rather slow, 55 or 65 MPH. Most realistic driving today is done with the cruise at 78 when the limit is 70 and 72 when it is 65. The CR tests actually should be inconsistent with past tests to reflect both higher speed limits and actual speeds.

  128. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nick Stevens writes:

    “As much as I admire the original beetle, I really despised that lame-ass “new” beetle. it has almost nothing in common with the original except some exterior styling cues and the stupid vase on the dash. Otherwise, it was a Golf without the trunk space, the rear room, and the utility.”

    I agree completely. The New Beetle is a styling exercise based on a (now twice superceded) Golf platform. There are those, though, who have said on this forum that the new Fiat 500 will be competition, albeit cheaper competition, for the new Mini. Seems, though, the the new Fiat 500 has a lot more in common with the New Beetle, as it is strictly a retro styled car with no similarity to the “old” Fiat 500. The old one was a tiny, even by European standards, rear engine rear drive car with a two cylinder air-cooled engine. The new 500, like the New Beetle and Mini are transverse engine, front drive, but of the originals, only the Mini shared that configuration.

  129. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Let me put it this way: the original Beetle was a manly car, no power anything, noisy,built like a tank basic transportation. The new one is a girly-man cutey pie car. That’s why you only see chicks driving them. I was told by some VW ad person that a new version would be coming out, but that was 2 plus years ago, and nothing yet, maybe she was BSing me.

  130. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nah Nick, Sonata is the seller in the US Market. The Sonata Averages about 11,000 a month, Elantra Averages about 7,000 a month. Globally, the Tuscon is the Hyundai leader in sales.

    Hyundai hasnt caught on in Europe as it has here, and its a shame too becuase they have some very nice small European Products. Small Cars that get Leather as standard, etc…..

    The Wagon at the cheapest trim is about $16K, leather and the works-about $21K.

  131. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Dont expect that kind of pricing for too much longer becuase:


    But size alone doesn’t tell the whole story. As with its competition, Hyundai is betting that after the current downturn, fuel prices will resume their upward momentum. So, even luxury buyers will downsize. It’s working on an array of B- and C- models that will have “more sex appeal than they have now,” hints Krafcik, which also means more lavishly equipped and costly.

    A good example is the Veloster show car, which the executive notes would translate into a small production car “with a lot more appeal, and (which would) be more expensive than the current base level cars” offered by Hyundai”

    Source: Motortrend

  132. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro Fernandez Says:
    January 2nd, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    “Let me put it this way: the original Beetle was a manly car, no power anything, noisy,built like a tank basic transportation. The new one is a girly-man cutey pie car.”

    You’re right in that the original beetle had “no power anything,” but “built like a tank?” A car that is ~160 inches long that weighs 1600 pounds is not built like a tank.

    Also, I guess Ford Expeditions and Hummer H2′s must be girly cars. At least most of the people I see driving them here in Florida are female.

  133. Nick Stevens Says:

    The absence of power steering makes even a 1,600 lb car feel far more substantial than a mid-90s 2,400 lb corolla I rented, which went plenty fast, but was floating down the road like a buick, and its steering was so much assisted, it felt almost dangerous.

    The original beetle, due to its simple design, was also far more reliable than.. a tank, or most other later VWs for that matter.

    The new Fiat 500 may be mechanically distant from the tiny old one, but has very strong styling resemblance to the original, as the Mini does, and unlike the “New beetle”, whose styling was flaky, smiley-face Silly.

  134. Nick Stevens Says:

    Out of curiosity, i checked the numbers, and

    Sonata, 11 mos 09 vs 11 mos 08: 109,543 vs 110.764

    Elantra, same, 97,506 vs 92, 085.

    While the Sonata still sells a few more than the Elantra, the Sonata declined in 09 while the Elantra rose.

    Also, I believe the top 20 or so CFC cars bought, the Elantra was the only Huyndai that made the list, with a healthy number of sales, so it must have sold much more than the Sonata in that program.

  135. Nick Stevens Says:

    But regardless of the nos, the elantra is a far more efficient design, see the stats in my previous mail. And the segment the Sonata operates is much bigger in the US than the one the elantra does. Most americans prefer the larger size Accord-Camry-Sonata class to the Corolla-Civic-Elantra class.

  136. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Kit: the chassis was very strong, no plastic bumpers, doors etc, it was a solid car. small, noisy, bad on long trips, but bullet proof engine/tranny. That’s why I said they were built like tanks, not heavy like tanks. I did not know they were so light , that’s why they got away with such a small displacement engine. I owned one through the oil shortage of the 70′s and I was glad I did. (sorry I sold it) come on man, how can you compare the Hummers with the Beetle with its gay-ass flower vase?

  137. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Nick/HS I nominate the Elantra as the smartest used car to buy. Low price, mfg warranty till 100,000 miles and overall good reliability.

  138. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro,

    I was being a bit facetious in comparing Hummers to New Beetles, but I was serious about seeing mostly women driving Hummers and Expeditions.

    I had a ’70 Beetle while I was in the US Navy in Scotland. It was reliable for the ~30K miles I had it, and was a lot of fun to drive on those twisty, narrow roads. Old Beetles felt “stiff” for cars of their day, but those bumpers, while made of steel, were very flimsy. The chassis itself was a very flexible “pan” that everything was mounted to, but when attached to the body, it stiffened up nicely conpared to, say, a ’57 Plymouth.

    Beetle engines had to be driven properly to hold up well. High loads at low rpm were a definite no-no; the fan-cooled engine wouldn’t cool properly at high load/low rpm. All things considered, urban legand has old Beetles looking much better than the reality. The heaters and defrosting were bad, the gas mileage was mediocre for the size and performance of the car, and they tended to “drop valves” more often than other cars of their time. Still, I loved the one I had, and would buy one now to drive occasionally for fun, if I ran across a good one at a fair price.

  139. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Kit: I guess I was just being nostalgic since that was my first car, true, the heating in mine was non-existent, no A/C. Had a radio, but it was so noisy you couldn’t hear it anyway. But at that time if you needed an affordable, cheap to run car, that was it. When the Japanese came here the Beetle lost out to a better, all around competitor. Despite their rust bucket status.

  140. Nick Stevens Says:

    I am aware of the problems of old VWs with the heater, and it puzzles me, how difficult is it to just divert some heat from the engine compartment and into the interior?

    I remember a colleague invited me to join his family one Xmas eve, wife and 3 daughters, and they had one of these practical hippie VW vans, and the heater did not work, and it was a very cold evening. We froze our collective asses off goin gto a local church to hear carols!

  141. Nick Stevens Says:

    Pedro: have you driven the Elantra? I haven’t, so I did not recommend it yet, but the numbers and the stats seem quite promising. As I suspected, the $14k was just the base price for the sedan, a well equipped 5-door hatch-wagon would go over $20k, which is a lot. Hopefully they depreciate a lot, like older Hyundais and esp. Kias.

  142. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nick: if you recall, the Beetles had no heat fan, it came through a tunnel from the engine compartment and the whole thing would rust out and in my case, the levers that controlled the heat got all rusty and would not work, so I had to have them shut down otherwise in the summer it would be unbearable to drive it. In the winter I had no heat at all and the thin clutch and brake pedals would ice up and my foot would slide off when I was trying to depress it. (those were the days ) The Hyundais do depreciate a lot but not as much as the Kias, so picking up a 3 or 4 yr old one at a really good price with still 6 yrs left on the warranty is a good deal.

  143. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick Hyundai depreciation rates are slowing up, the initial transaction price of a Hyundai is up as well.

    Examples:
    1. In 2007 a base Accent GS=$10,500. Today=$12,995. Thats the Price of what the base Elantra used to be.

    2. 2006 a base Sonata GL=$16,511. Today=$18,700. Nex gen Base Price=$20,500 (est)

    I expect next Gen Accent to start at $14,500 Min. I expect next Elantra to be $16,500 to start as well. Like the Sonata, both of these cars will be significatly more advanced than the outgoing models. Therefore, a significant price increase is expected.

    Plus, if you want a really cheap decent quality car, get a KIA. KIA will stay cheap, while Hyundai’s prices wil continue to rise. Its done intentionally, to further differentiate pricing. 1. KIA=Styling-Sporty/Cheap and Cheerful. Soul=Archetype Product. Competitors: Chevy, Toyota, Scion, Ford, Dodge.

    2. Hyundai:

    Styling- Aspirational/Passionate and Athletic Provide a Near Luxury Experience at affordable pricing, providing the power of cross-shopping between Luxury and Economy brands. New Sonata=Archetype Product, which Inside Line says is a superior product to Regal. New Sonata on paper does make the Regal look like a Joke, and a waste of that extra $3K you have to dish out get into a Regal. Competitors: (Buick, Volvo, VW, Mercury, Toyota, Subaru, Chrysler, MINI, Honda, Acura) Inside Line also says you can cross shop between Acura RDX and Honda CR-V on Tuscon, as it fits nicely right in between.

    3. Genesis Division products=Classic and Athletic Provide a Benz-like experience at Bargain pricing. Genesis Sedan=Archetype Product. (Goal-Undercut BMW and Cadilac)

    Nick/Pedro, the Wagon is worth at least a test drive. Edmunds says its a better buy than Jetta wagon in terms of features, etc…. They reminded the reader as well that the Elantra Touring has more standard features than the BMW 328i Wagon. They ddnt like the styling (they want more passion, they said Hyundai played it too safe-I agree), and for as big as it is they noted that its quick with its 8.7 sec 0-62 time, and 8.4 sec 0-60 time.

    Outside of the cheaper center console, there were some soft touch surfaces that had dare I say “Audi-ish” quality.

  144. Nick Stevens Says:

    The Jetta is far more upscale and stylish and, above all, should have far better handling, at a price not much more than a loaded elantra wagon. I really am not in the market for such a wagon myself, though, and if I were, I’d spend a few more grand and get me a prius. OR spend less and get a low-mile recent used Prius, since the jetta Diesel is far more expensive than the base jetta (they play games, they only offer upscale diesels)

  145. Kit Gerhart Says:

    re. old Beetles,

    My Beetle was a 1970 which I bought new, and the heater worked properly while I had it. On the highway at constant speed and load, it worked fine. You’d need to adjust the lever, the left one as I remember, to keep the temp more-or-less constant when the engine load changed from going up or down hill, but there was plenty of heat available. In city driving, you would get ok heat when running through the gears, expecially at higher revs just before shifting to the next gear. At light engine load/low rpm, there was very little heat available. My car had no heater fan; the engine cooling fan moved the heated air to the cabin, but they added electric cabin heat fans in ’71 or ’72. That helped some, but at idle and low-load conditions, the engine didn’t run hot enough to produce much heat. A lot of people put aftermarket gas heaters in Beetles and Microbuses. I suspect the buses needed more heat that the stock heater, even on the highway.

  146. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW needs to offer another engine in the Jetta in the US. The diesel is very efficient, but pricey due to “what the market will bear,” and, I suspect, because it is expensive to make. The 2.5 liter 5-cylinder just doesn’t get very good gas mileage for the power it makes. VW has much better gas engines in their parts bin, and they need to sell at least one of them in Golf/Jetta in America.

  147. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I hate to say it Nick, you got a point about that styling and handling. Edumnds says the new Electric power steering messes with the handling.

    When I say wagon, I say it with chagrin, as Im glad they are going to bring back the Elantra GT in the near future. This time in more of a crossover/sedan-like shape.

  148. Nick Stevens Says:

    HS: Did I read it correctly that you made a reference to Audi-like styling by some Huyndais?

    They do not even remotely look like Audis, inside and especially outside. Everybody knows that if you want a cheap Audi, you get a VW.

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 3rd, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    VW needs to offer another engine in the Jetta in the US. The diesel is very efficient, but pricey due to “what the market will bear,” and, I suspect, because it is expensive to make. The 2.5 liter 5-cylinder just doesn’t get very good gas mileage for the power it makes. VW has much better gas engines in their parts bin, and they need to sell at least one of them in Golf/Jetta in America.”

    In Europe, they used to have very low-HP 1.4s, as low as 60 HP, but today they have a very fancy 1.4 that gets 122 HP and very good performance on the Golf, a colleague overseas bought one, but he paid 22,000 EUROS, or more than $32,000! They also have cheaper 1.4s and 1.6s that make 90-100ish HP. But even they should cost more than the 17,000 Euros another friend paid for a 2005 1.4 corolla over there.

  149. Nick Stevens Says:

    VW either has some capacity constraints that do not allow them to bring more diesels in the US or does not care, and prefers to price the diesel for profit and not for volume, the base diesel has far more options than the base gas Golf-Jetta in the US, and cose proportionally more, but every diesel imported is sold in a short time, and second hand Golf-jetta Diesels are so much more expensive than second-hand Hondas or toyotas, that VW brags its total fleet has the highest resale in the US (thanks to its diesels).

  150. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick i said “Audi-ish” quality plastics can be found in certain Areas of the Elantra Touring Dash and door panels, especially.

    Yet, The Dash also has a Cheap Center Console.