Episode 563 – First Fiat-Chrysler Rebadge, Who’s the Biggest Automaker? 2011 Jeep Compass

January 24th, 2011 at 12:04pm

Runtime 8:18

Fiat gets its first rebadged Chrysler Group product. We reveal the top three biggest automakers in the world. Money for advanced vehicle technology gets tangled up in government bureaucracy. All that and more, plus we hit the trail in the new and improved 2011 Jeep Compass.


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This is Autoline Daily for January 24, 2011. And now, the news.

Who’s got the bragging rights as the biggest car company in the world? Well, despite all it s problems with recalls and slipping market share Toyota is still Number One, with production of 8.4 million vehicles last year. That includes its affiliates Daihatsu and Hino. General Motors was a close second, with sales of 8.3 million. Volkswagen came in third with sale of 7.1 million. That’s according to Bloomberg. The real interesting number will be who comes in fourth place. Will it be Ford, or Hyundai/Kia? We ought to know soon, but so far they haven’t reported their global sales for 2010.

Some automotive news came out of the deal U.S. President Obama struck with Chinese President Hu Jintao. GM announced a deal with its Chinese joint venture, Shanghai GM to export $900 million in Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Buick vehicles and components to China over the next two years.

And you have to wonder if the Chevy Volt might be part of that deal. GM could double production capacity for the Chevy Volt by next year. According to Bloomberg, GM’s original goal was to hit 60,000 units by 2012, now the company is working with suppliers to hit 120,000. Also this year production may jump to 25,000 units from an original plan of 10,000. GM says it wants to be prepared if the price of gas skyrockets. GM might formally announce its plans at this week’s Washington Auto Show.

But while GM is cranking up electric car production, others are having problems getting going, thanks to government bureaucracy. In September of 2008 the U.S. government approved a $25 billion loan program to help automakers, suppliers and start up car companies create fuel efficient vehicles. But since that time only 4 loans for $8.5 billion have been awarded. Companies and Congress are fed up with the delays. According to the Detroit News, the Energy Department has received over 100 applications for over $42 billion. Congress complained to the department that the process is difficult and that it is missing deadlines for approvals. In the meantime some projects have collapsed and other companies are barely hanging on hoping to receive grants in time. But it’s not just start-ups that are having trouble, GM and Chrysler are also waiting to be approved for loans. The Energy Department says its now on track to award loans more quickly but this makes me wonder if its just government bureaucracy holding things up or if the government realizes some of these projects just aren’t feasible.

Just as Fiat is about to start selling the Cinquecento in the American market, it’s also about to start selling a version of the Dodge Journey in Europe. Only in this case it will be called the Fiat Freemont. As you can see, about the only thing they changed visually on this vehicle is putting the Fiat badge on the grille. Under the hood the Freemont will get a 2-liter diesel, with 140 or 170 horsepower. It will go on sale in the second half of this year. Later, a 4×4 version will be equipped with Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6.

And speaking of badge engineering, Subaru is going to start selling this vehicle called the Trezia in Europe. But it’s nothing more than a Toyota Verso with a Subaru grille bolted onto it. Both vehicles will be sold in Europe and Japan, which is a big mistake when it comes to badge engineering. At least Fiat and Chrysler are keeping their badge engineering efforts separated by the Atlantic Ocean.

And while you might be forgiven if you think that the Kia Picanto is just a badge engineered version of the Ford Fiesta, that’s not the case. Interestingly, the Picanto is powered by a 1-liter, 3-cylinder engine. There are three versions: gasoline, flex-fuel, and bi-fuel. When equipped with stop-start in Europe, the car will produce between 90 and 100 grams of CO2 per 100 kilometers, meaning it will qualify for emissions-based tax savings where applicable.

Coming up next, a look the updated Jeep Compass. Back right after this.

Chrysler is scrambling to make up for lost time. During the Cerberus years its products were left to whither. But now we’re finally starting to see what Sergio and his crew have been up to for the past year or so. With another look at some of its refreshed product, here’s Craig Cole.

The Jeep Compass gets a through redesign for 2011, and it looks a lot like its big brother, the Grand Cherokee, but more importantly, it can act like its big brother, too. You can take this thing off road just about anywhere, like the Grand Teton Mountains, here in Wyoming.

And whether it was blazing a trail through the woods . . . dashing up snow-covered hills . . . or slogging its way over rough terrain, there was very little the Compass couldn’t tackle. For 2011 it gets “Trail Rated” just like the rest of Jeep’s lineup. Sure, it can’t do everything a Wrangler can, but its off-road performance is pretty impressive given its compact-car roots.

Beyond its mountain goat capability, the Compass gets many other upgrades. The most obvious one, of course, is its new front end, which makes it look like a baby Grand – the two even share the same headlamp assemblies. Inside, it gets Jeep’s new corporate steering wheel – and that’s not a bad thing – soft plastics on the door panels and on the center armrest PLUS powertrain refinements to cut down on NVH. But that’s not all! There’s more to this refresh than meets the eye.

Despite all of these upgrades the Compass is still far from perfect. The 2011 model is all-around better than last year’s version, but it still needs work. If nothing else though, it’s at least worthy of consideration now, which puts it miles ahead of where it was before.

Thanks for that report, Craig

And that’s today’s report on the top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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101 Comments to “Episode 563 – First Fiat-Chrysler Rebadge, Who’s the Biggest Automaker? 2011 Jeep Compass”

  1. tj Martin Says:

    I’m not sure which is Funnier .

    Us getting the FIAT 500 ( albeit late if at all / and only with the pathetic 5 speed FIAT equips its Base Model with )

    Or the EU/UK getting our Dodge Journey POS , re-badged as a FIAT .

  2. tj Martin Says:

    So what the heck is up with Subaru ? First the joint venture with Toyota on the Sports Coupe ( why Toyota needs a Subaru engine is beyond me and Subaru needs a RWD Sports Coupe like they need a hole in the head )

    Now Subaru is re-badging Toyota’s for the EU and Japan ?

    Makes not a damn bit of sense to me .

  3. rick Says:

    the europeans get to have all the fun. us americans are chopped liver or also rans. poor poor policy/gov.regs.

  4. shan Says:

    The Jeep Compass started out as a ugly duckling, but admittedly, but it was a great value for an entry level 4WD compact SUV at $16k. Now, Jeep is improving it just enough to justify charging an outrageous price of $25k. It is nowhere near the refinement of a Toyota RAV4. The Jeep Compass interior still has tons of cheap hard plastic. They are still using a CVT rather than a quiet and smooth 6 speed transmission.

  5. bob Says:

    rick Says:
    January 24th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    “the europeans get to have all the fun.”

    You’re kidding, right?

    Do you know how much a Porsche 911 Turbo costs there? More than TREE TIMES (over 300,000 EUROS, or US $400,000 what it costs here, in some Eurozone nations!

  6. bob Says:

    The Compass was just an ugly version of the more modest Patriot, and was from the start a “Chick Car” (or a “Chick crossover” if you prefer).

    Much like the Fu King ugly Mercury Cougar of the 80s was an otherwise identical Ford Thunderbird for Chix.

  7. bob Says:

    Which explains why Alan Mullaly correctly killed the Mercury (Chick) division.

  8. dave Says:

    “..GM says it wants to be prepared if the price of gas skyrockets..”

    But the big new story this weekend was GM just kicked production of full sized trucks? With gas soon to be 4 or 5 bucks a gal.? SAME OLD GM

  9. bob Says:

    If the gas price truly “skyrockets”, as it has done in the past a few times, it will soon collapse again, more or less, as it has also collapsed in previous times, and GM needs to do NOTHING.

    On the other hand, if the price of gas rises constantly and continuously and stays at these Sustainably high (but not very high) levels, that’s something worth planning for.

  10. dcars Says:

    I agree TJ, Toyota is taking Subaru down the re-badge road to oblivion.

  11. HtG Says:

    gas is up to 3.42 near me. Some places at 3.50.

    Another week, another dime.

  12. dcars Says:

    I saw very few enthusiast cars in Europe, it’s dominated by lots of little cars like the smart, twingo, Peugeot 106′s, VW Polo’s….. We have lots of nice cars in the US. Accords, Camry’s, 300′s, mustangs, camaro’s and Corvettes are affordable to the average person. We might not have any of the hot “hatches” but we do ok.

  13. ckernzie Says:

    I was hoping it wouldn’t happen to Subaru but its association with Toyota just took the first step to killing Subaru’s brand identity. The sports car I can live with but a rebadged econo-box sold in the same markets…disaster!! I realize in Japan & possibly in Europe it might go unnoticed but it’s only a matter of time before they try something like that in the N.AM. market. It’s hilarious watching Toyota make the very same mistakes that bankrupted GM. The VW group is well on their way as well.

  14. bob Says:

    I filled my tank with the cheapest mid-grade (manual recommended only 89 octane) gas within 10 miles of where I live (used gaspricewatch.com) at $3.169/gal, yesterday afternoon.

    I had not filled the car since… June 9, when, at the recommendation of the dealer’s service dept., I filled the tank and overinflated the tires by a few Psi, then garaged it until jan 4.

    I paid $55 (less after my 5% AAA visa discount), and the MPG was truly ATROCIOUS, my lowest ever at 9.8 MPG, because not only of my very short distances-cold starts daily, but also leaving it on idle etc, but who really cares, if you only fill the tank once a month?

    On the upside, the battery behaved flawlessly this time, in previous winters it would die once or twice each winter, but this year it never did, (after of course the Jan 5 jumpstart by AAA after almost 7 months of doign nothing in the garage)

  15. bob Says:

    “ckernzie Says:
    January 24th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I was hoping it wouldn’t happen to Subaru but its association with Toyota just took the first step to killing Subaru’s brand identity.”

    Were you worried that Subarus produced jointly with Toyota would be even uglier and even less attractively styled than the butt-ugly Subarus of today? (but admittedly otherwise practical and reasonably priced vehicles)?

    Fat chance of that happening.

  16. tj Martin Says:

    Oh Bob !

    Cost of a Porsche Turbo ;

    UK £ 140,038 = $224,060

    Germany € 173,241 = $237,340

    Not even CLOSE to the the $400K you’re claiming

    If your point was that the EU/UK pays more for its own cars than we do you’d be correct . But if you’re going to give numbers , do try a bit harder to be a WHOLE LOT MORE ACCURATE

    And you’ve got the cajones to challenge MY accuracy . Thats laughable .

  17. tj Martin Says:

    @ dcars ; re; Cars in Europe

    I’d completely agree . The overwhelming majority of cars in the EU/UK being of the asthmatic , sniveling Tin Box variety . The only thing more rare than an Enthusiasts Car in say Paris is a good cup of coffee ! ( see NTimes article to verify the coffee claim )

    But , dcars , you should read an article or two in the UK press ( say CAR or EVO ) about how they portray our Automotive population . According to them ( especially CAR ) ALL we drive is SUV’s Mini Vans and Chrysler K-Cars . All of course while lauding their so called superior Automotive population .

    Clueless ( UK automotive press )

  18. tj Martin Says:

    ckernzie ;

    Two thumbs up . I’m in complete agreement . The Badge Engineering Epidemic is reaching Critical Mass proportions .

    Truth be known , I think it’ll only get much much worse what with VW-Audi well on their way ( todays announcement on autoweek about the the Lamborghini-Porsche-Bentley – VW -Audi- take your pick – choose your badge , thats to be the Lambo 4DR says clearly where VW-Audi is heading )

  19. bob Says:


    Read my post AREFULLY, you fool!


    I said IN THE EUROZONE, in SOME of the more than a DOZEN members of the EUROZONE, a Porsche Turbo S Cabrio is well over 300,000 EUROS, NOT DOLLARS, and I was and am STILL 100.00% correct, loser!!!!!

  20. bob Says:


    Take bankrupt GREECE for example, and see it for yourself!

    even just the BASE price of the Turbo S Cabrio is over 315,000 Euros. DO THE MATH, IDIOT MArtin! It is well over 400,000 $US!

  21. bob Says:

    Who is laughing NOW, IDIOT MArtin??? You annoying PEST.

    You should be flattered that I wasted time to EDUCATE you, PUNK.

  22. bob Says:

    PS CLOWN martin: EVEN IN YOUR DREAMS, in your WILDEST DREAMS, you will NEVER be as ACCURATE As I am on any day.


  23. Brett Says:

    I don’t want to only have access to the interesting vehicles available in Europe, I’d like to be able to choose between them and the current lot of domestics.

    What I wish is that we could just establish reciprocity with the EU on safety and emissions so all the vehicles were readily available both in Europe and in North America.

    I think the true Ford Mondeo as sold in Europe would’ve sold great here. I’m talking 2000 onward Mk.3 model, not the pathetic thing they dorked up and sold here as Contour and Mercury Mistique (aka “Mistake”). Don’t touch a think to “domesticate” it. Just drop it in the dealer showrooms and people would’ve loved it. Not much market now as the Fusion fills that niche in the lineup.

  24. tj Martin Says:

    Oh Bob !

    I did and do read your posts AREFULLY . And just like your spelling as well as your grammar , sentence structure and context , they’re riddled with inaccuracies and errors .

    FYI comparing US prices to the likes of a near bankrupt poverty ridden country like Greece ( which hangs on tenuously to its EU status ) is a bit …… how shall we say this ………. Ignorant and Stupid of you .

    Compare apples to apples . Not Apples to Rotten three week old Tomatoes .

    Oh and YOU EDUCATING ME ??? That TRULY is a LAUGH ! In fact I may just bust a gut I’m laughing so damn hard !!!!

  25. tj Martin Says:

    Bob ;

    Now be a good little fellow . Take some Time Out in the punishment corner mommy has set out for you . And drop the Temper Tantrum routine .

    Its even less impressive/intimidating than HyundaiSmoke’s proselytizing . And I think H/S is a very bad joke on his best of days .

    But of course if you care to shove your virtual foot down your throat again with me ( you’re up to your kneecap so far ) I’m sure if I have the time I’ll be happy to oblige .

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the Europeans DO get all of the good stuff, because, to me, good stuff is hatchbacks and wagons. By wagons, I mean those that are about the same height as their sedan counterparts, not “crossovers” and such.

    I also like 4 cylinder turbo diesels, something you can only get from VW in the US.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This is a carry over from yesterday:

    ““2010 Prius 32 55″
    You have mentioned that CR city number for the prius before, and I find it impossible to obtain unless you take the Prius on the TRACK like Car and Driver does with its test models.”

    I, too, would like to know the details of CR’s “city” test, but given the city numbers they come up with for other cars, the 32 they got for the Prius is very believable, and is probably not a typo.

    While I don’t come close to “hypermiling,” I drive fairly economically, usually accelerating only fast enough to stay with normal traffic, letting off the gas when I know I will have to stop for a red light, etc. and I get only a little over 40 with my Prius for segments of driving that include lots of cold starts and short trips.

    CR’s “city” rating for other cars I own, or have owned recently are as follow:

    Mini Cooper Base, manual transmission 24
    Chevrolet Malibu Maxx hatchback 14

    I typically get low 30’s with my Mini in my version of “city” driving, and got in the low 20’s with the Malibu Maxx. These numbers all stack up “for comparison,” based on my experience.

  28. tj Martin Says:

    Oh Bob !

    One last bit for your personal edification .

    Using the term ACCURACY when stating Severe OVER GENERALIZATIONS is an Oxymoron . Contradiction if thats not a word in your vocabulary .

    Stupid ignorant and uninformed , if thats still above you .

    If thats still to advance …… well you’re hopeless .

  29. Holy Crap Says:

    Ben, you guys reading this WAR between tj and bob?

  30. tj Martin Says:

    Kit Gerhart ;

    Wagons . Most definitely . More would be better . If we could only convince the average US consumers to buy a few more : the manufactures might send/build us some more .

  31. dcars Says:

    Hi TJ, yeah, the Europeans do trash our car culture. I was a big fan of European hatches and small cars in general, but after reading their negative US comments in various blogs. I turned negative on them. I would have loved to own a VW GTI its a nice car. But not anymore.

  32. dcars Says:

    I had a Passat wagon, but for a growing family a Mini van was a lot easier for us.

  33. bob Says:

    Who’s got the bragging rights as the biggest car company in the world? Well, despite all it s problems with recalls and slipping market share, X is still Number One, with production of 8.4 million vehicles last year. ”

    John Mc ELroy:

    I can’t believe how silly, naive and juvenile the above sounds to ANY serious person that would want to INVEST in that Automaker X, whoever it is, that you claim is “number one”



    1. If Automaker 1 sells 8.3 million POS econoboxes at $9k each, and Automaker 2 sells 8.2 million serious vehicles at $25k each, WHO IS NUMBER ONE, JOHN?

    2. More to the point, it is not even about the Sales in DOLLARS, much less the sales in UNITS you lazy Auto Journalists so much love to tout.

    3. There was a REASON why the shares of TOYOTA a few years ago were, collectively, worth SIX TIMES the value of all the shares of GM (long before it went bankrupt…LOL) .

    4. The reason is always PROFITS, PROFITS, PROFITS!!!!!!

    WHO CARES who sells how many units? Every self-respecting investor will value a company according to its PROFITS. And in fact, the shares of ANY company reflect NOT today’s profits, but the expectations for its FUTURE profits.

    You are welcome.

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder who’s getting the worst shaft, us with the crappy cinquocento or the Europeans with the underachieving Journey POS.

  35. tj Martin Says:

    Subaru question Revisited ;

    Well after another day of ” Banality with Bob ” ( I see he’s now trying to educate JM as well today ) back to cars and my original question on post # 2

    Is there something , financial or otherwise going on with the company . that has Subaru going down the Badge Engineering route with Toyota ?

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    I tuned in to the last American Top Gear to find out which is America’s toughest truck and I was not convinced by their answer, what a waste of my hour, well at least the scenery was nice

  37. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;I asked the same question in post #1 .

    I’ll say …….. with FIAT dumping the 5 speed 500 on us ……. Its pretty much a toss up .

    We’re both getting screwed !

    I’ll also hazard a guess that the EU/UK bunch will buy a lot less FIAT badged Journeys than we’ll buy the 500 . Or what ever FIAT is going to call it once they dump it on our shores .

  38. tj Martin Says:


    So what was ( not so ) Top Gear USA’s toughest truck ? Or did you wisely turn it off before they gave the results ?

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    A 1980′s Chevy but the test was done in such an unfair and unscientific manner that any of the trucks could have easily won. If you watch the show you might get the feeling that the 3 trucks that competed were American made but the real champion was an old Toyota pickup used as a back-up.

  40. dcars Says:

    In my opinion, Top Gear usa would be a lot better if they had Paul Tracy and Adam Corrola to host with Tanner Faust.

  41. tj Martin Says:

    Oh one more slap in Bob’s arrogant little face .

    Oh Bob !

    Did you do any research when looking up Porsche Turbo prices in Greece ? I kind of doubt it . See I just had a little online chat with a friend there and as it turns out the List Price of a Porsche 911 Turbo is not that very much more than it is in say Germany .

    The prices you’re seeing there BOB are the prices After Greece’s outrageous VAT , Engine Capacity and Luxury Taxes levied on cars such as the 911 Turbo .

    Ahh the Details . They’ll get you every time Bob . At least they ( the details ) have so far .

    But do carry on with your GlenBeckonomics and RushLimbaughOlitics . Hey ….. maybe if you’re in the mood you could regale us with some PalinForeignPolicy as well . I enjoy a good round of Beer Addled , Red Neck thinking

  42. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    Figures they’d leave the Toyota out of the mix . Trying desperately albeit inaccurately to distinguish themselves from Top Gear UK who’ve said over and over again that Nothing is as tough as a Toyota P/U

  43. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Fuc-ing Toyota!!!

    They need to be stopped.


  44. tj Martin Says:

    dcars ;

    In my opinion , for Top Gear US to improve they’d need to ;

    1) Have at least two of the hosts have extensive Automotive Journalism backgrounds ( TG UK has three )

    2) Get some ” Age Diversity ” in the mix . Right now all three hosts appeal to the same demographic.

    3) Stop trying to ” Copy ” all the TG UK stunts, etc. verbatim and focus more on the US Automotive scene , from Drags to Euro Snobs and Exotics to Pick Up trucks Hot Rods etc.

    4) Have e few ” Crush the EuroSnobs ” episodes with US cars such as the C6 , BOSS 302 , Shelby Mustangs etc. going head to head with Europe’s best .

    5) Spend a little more time in the vast diversity of landscapes and settings the US has on offer with their tests drives and adventures . As well as making their Adventures genuine Adventures by our standards . Not the fluff they have been doing .

    Simple fact is dcars we’ve got so much more to offer than what Top Gear US is showing .

    Sometimes I think BBCA and Top Gear UK ( parent company of Top Gear US ) like the UK Automotive Press are just intent on belittling and Demeaning the US car scene etc. At least thats what it feels like , the few episodes of TG US I’ve watched .

  45. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    By the way John, we’re tyring to get KIA to bring that Picanto over with the 3 Cyl (GDI) Turbo that pumps out 110 HP. America needs more A Segments.

    A Segments should be treated like B Cars, B like C, and C like D.

    Why not. Bring the KIA Picanto, Ford Ka, Chevy Spark, the Toyota Aygo, the VW Fox, Honda Brio (Honda could be in trouble as Accent in the Carribean is called Hyundai Brio, and has so for 10 years)-over to America.

  46. tj Martin Says:

    Ahhhhh and Bob’s Alter Ego / Long Lost Twin shows up

    The ;

    ” Dumb & Dumber ” show .

    Nice language there H/S . What did I tell you about Gratuitous Profanity and how it exposes the Stupidity of the one who uses it ?

    Forget that lesson already H/S ? Keep telling you son . Lay off what ever that is you’re smoking .

  47. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    They need to drive more of the stuff Americans drive. From Korean Small Cars to those big boy high riding diesel pickups from Dodge.

    America is not a Supercar country. What in the hell are they doing?

    If TG UK shows a Renault Clio road test, then TG USA needs to show a KIA Rio.

    If TG UK tests a VW Golf, then TG USA should test an Hyundai Accent.

    If TG UK tests a Caravan, then TG USA should test a DODGE CARAVAN.

    If TG UK tests a Bentley Mulsanne, the TG USA shoudl test a Hyundai Equus.

    If TG UK tests a Euro Honda Civic, then TG US should test Civic coupe.

  48. HyundaiSmoke Says:


    What you don’t like Colorful Metaphors?


  49. tj Martin Says:

    [ A ] Segment Cars . Yes they’ve been such a resounding Success here in the US .

    What with the Smart , Subaru Justy , etc. etc. Yes siree there I can just see all the manufactures bringing over a flock of [A] segments so they can collect dust in the dealers lots and bankrupt the importers .

    But what am I saying ? By all means KIA ! Bring over the Pugnacious POS Picanto that even the Euros hate ( rated BAD by CAR and worse by AutoCar and EVO ) . Just let me know when they do there H/S so I can count the days till KIA’s US Demise . :o )

    Watch out what you’re hoping for there H/S. You just might get it . GET IT ?

  50. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Umm, have you seen that New Picanto interior?

    It’s sweet, find out about it and quick.

    Justy was a B seg, and they still are pondering the Idea of a 21st century Justy for the NA market. They can just bring a Toyota Ractus or a Daihatsu Sirion or a Toyota something else over.

    tj, yeah they said the same thing about B cars 30 years ago, which by the way were smaller than Today’s very porky A cars.

  51. tj Martin Says:

    H/S ;

    And while they’re at it lets have Hyundai bring over the even worse i20. Rated BAD as well . Then the whole H/K influx can fall flat on its pretentious little faces at the same time .

    Yep H/S . Bring em on over . We’ll hold the laughter till after they’re on the boat and well into the open Seas . Promise . Wouldn’t want to have to watch a bunch of Grown Koreans crying like little girls you know .

  52. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    There’s a Cult of Geo Metro/Suzuki Swift Owners in North America, who’s cars are quit elong in the tooth. I think A Segments will appeal to those types of buyers.

    I may be gay for the Accent, but Geo Metro Cultists will kill you over their rides.

  53. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    i20 is a traditional (smaller) B Segment car like the Yaris and MINI.

  54. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link to a Sylvania press release about the efficiency of LED lights. EVs might get 6 more miles per charge.


  55. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Who cares what those Pretentious VW lovers think?

    Korean cars scare them, and they know it.

    i20 is better than anything sold in America today, even the Fiesta.

    If it was made in Surrey they would wroship that car.

    Xenophobic Pillocks!!!

  56. tj Martin Says:

    H/S ;

    While you’re hoping and praying for what would turn out to be Hyundai/KIA’s US demise you might want to ask yourself why it is that the Might of VAG and Mercedes don’t bring their A or B Class cars here such as the A1 and the Mercedes A or B Class . As well as why it took a US importer , not Mercedes to get the Smart over here . So it could fail .

    Ooops . Gave it away . Because A & B class cars are destined to fail in the US . The MINI being the only exception . But explaining to you why that is ( the MINI’s US success ) would just go right over your head I’m afraid .

  57. tj Martin Says:

    Oh H/S you’ve done it again ! Gotten your facts mixed up . The MINI ( which is what I’m assuming you’re referring to ) is made in Oxford , not Surrey .

    Are you sure you and Bob aren’t related ? You both seem to have such extreme difficulties dealing with the FACTS .

  58. tj Martin Says:

    Pillock = Anyone who knowingly joins an online Forum with the expressed intent of Promoting a Singular Brand to the complete annoyance of the rest of said Forums members . More often than not having a much Smaller Pillock than is considered within the realm of normal by any and all Medical Standards .

  59. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Oh, im not talking about the MINI tj. I just used Surrey as an example.

    Accent sells more than the MINI, and always has dude.

    Soul sells more than Accent, so now… :D

    B Class is coming to the US next year. Both VW and Merc have said they will bring A1 and A Class if gas is $5 a gallon or more in the US.

    VW Then added “You can buy the upmarket version of the VW polo that will arrive stateside soo.”

    This was in a Bloomberg interview last year.

  60. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I’m looking forward to test driving that Polo. Polo VS Accent smackdown.

  61. GPL Says:

    I used to enjoy reading the comments on this website. Now it just reminds me of the saying, “Arguing on the internet is like competing in the Special Olympics; even if you win, you’re still retarded.”

  62. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    GPL, but it’s fun!!!

  63. cwolf Says:

    As Dave(post#8)touched upon, the Flint plant(Sierras) is adding a third shift which could add up to 560 jobs. Despite rising gas prices,it might pay off if housing up-swings continue and brand loyalist remain faithful.
    The Jeep Compass’s improvements are probably more a necessity than a welcome. Increased HP, plus a 2mpg increase is aluring,but an additional 1″ ground clearance!; how many people will this benifit? My tiff with Chry. is that there is no continuity in reliablity from one model to the other. How can anyone buy one of their products with a sense of confidence unless a buyer REALLY is knowledgeable of the brand and model?

  64. pedro fernandez Says:

    There are cults for just about everything, Vega, Pinto, De Lorean, so what, all those cars were horrible samples of automotive engineering.

  65. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Exactly Pedro, and that’s why A Segment cars can sell even a litle bit here.

  66. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf: I beg to differ from your statement re Chrysler and its reliability, there is continuity indeed, the new models are just as bad as the old ones. Just ask any mechanic.

  67. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiSmoke ;

    Shame on me ! I forgot to tell you the good news . There’s a brand new Hyundai Sonata in my neighborhood . Finally ! Drives by every day about now !

    My impressions ?

    As it approaches it looks for all the World to be a Toyota Camry .

    Then as it gets closer I notice those pretentious Mercedes Benz Wanna Be Double Bubble humps on the hood .

    As it comes closer , the rear third seems to be more VW Passat CC than anything .

    But as it passes by its once again its all Camry . Except its not nearly as fluid and cohesive as the Toyota’s design is .

    Honestly there is not one solitary Original Line in that cars entire design . Its one Pastiche and Reference after another .

    This is the BEST Hyundai can do ? Blatantly copy and mash together designs from its competitors ?

    Pathetic !

    And once again H/s . Mercedes and Audi have clearly stated that they WILL NOT be bringing over their A and B Class cars to the US as well as BMW delaying the release of its X1 if they bring it at all .

    Don’t you read the news H/S ?

  68. tj Martin Says:

    Accent and Soul sell more than the MINI .

    Of course they do dim wit . Worldwide . They are both a hell of a lot cheaper and the MINI is way out of the league of any potential Accent or Soul buyer .

    By the way thats cheaper in Price and Quality H/S .

    But here in the Mid West the MINI outsells the Soul 20 – 1 . Must be that Mid Western Common Sense again . The Accent is for all practical purposes here a No Show !

  69. XA351GT Says:

    WTF has everyone gone off their meds today?? Calm down boys and realize that your opinions are YOUR opinions and that not many other people care one way or the other what you think. Now go take a Valium and settle down.

  70. cwolf Says:

    For you ol’farts who will remember: My favorite Chry was my dad’s 69 Newport wagon,383? with push button trany. That park break lever next to the buttons was SO cool and benifitial for dating. No shift lever in the way! The flat brow over the head lights and the oval grill gave it an appearance of a shark. Heavy as a tank and drove like a dream; the oval steering wheel was a hoot,too. Finding dating popular/fast chicks too troublesome,this pretty and very smart girl in her class gained my fancy. For some reason, I opted to take the NewPort,instead of my MGC to the drive-in. I recall her mothers bulging eyes seeing the wagon and remarking for us to stay in the front seat. If mother would only of known that I’d be happy just to cuddle a tad,steal a kiss or two and to get another date! Didn’t get far by todays standards,but may have coped a feel. Whatever state of frenzy I was in,I vividly remember driving off onto the highway with the speaker and 15 feet of cord still attached to the rear window. I kept that darn speaker for at least 15 years as a token of my love for dad’s Newport: YEA RIGHT!!! That car went all over the USA, into Mexico, and several times around Matachawan,Canada. The ol’girl have 230,000 miles on her when dad traded her in. The next owner put on another 60K.that I know of. The new car was a 72 Ply wagon with decal wood grain. What a POS! I never liked Chry products again…. By the way; I married that gal 32 years ago!

  71. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    tj Martin said: “But do carry on with your GlenBeckonomics and RushLimbaughOlitics . Hey ….. maybe if you’re in the mood you could regale us with some PalinForeignPolicy as well . I enjoy a good round of Beer Addled , Red Neck thinking”

    tj Martin: Bob hooked you into the predictable last resort of a liberal – Beck/Rush/Palin bashing.

    Do you expect your Teleprompter in Chief to announce any new federal “investments” in happy, smiley green Government Motors cars in the SOTU speech? The automotive world is breathlessly awaiting. BTW, which side of the road do they drive on in Kenya, as you seem to know it all? I’m guessing FAR LEFT!

  72. dcars Says:

    I like the comments about TG. US cars are far more interesting than the Europeans, we have every kind of racing and all different types of cars.

  73. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Your dad’s Chrysler wagon couldn’t have been a ’69. They only used push buttons from ’56 to ’65. I enjoyed your story, though.

  74. Andrew Charles Says:

    How about some civility?

    2010 Price for thew 530 PS 911 Turbo, including 17.5% sales tax in Germany was 184,546 Euro.

    Then again the Maybach Landaulet was listed as 900,000 euros in Germany and $1,382,750 in the US, so you don’t always pay more in Europe.

  75. Andrew Charles Says:

    It’s not the “good stuff” that is so much more expensive in Europe—it’s basic cars:

    Take the Chevrolet Cruze 1.8—19,690 Euros in Germany, but just $16,995 in the US. Or the previous-gen Mazda6 (when both Euro and US models were the same)—c. $20K for the 2.3 I4 in the US, but Euro 28K in Germany. Subaru Legacy 2.5, under 22K in the US, but Euro 33K in Germany (more than an Audi A4); Passat 2.0T, 24K in the US, over30K in Germany; Hyundai Azera 3.3 L $25K in the US, and $39K in Germany.

  76. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I guess some of you have seen the new Jetta ‘spots’ that use the phrase “Great for the price of good”………….. Well, I guess all is fair in autos and marketing, but truth be known, and I think I speak for most here, the more correct slogan should probably read, ‘Good for the price of good’.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Back to yesterday, I found this description of Consumer Reports’ “city” driving test that returns very low mileage numbers for nearly all cars.

    “These tests are stop-and-go city-driving simulations
    on our test track, which has a total of 18 stops and 4 minutes of
    total idle time. Top speed is 40 mph. Two different testers each
    drive three runs for a total of six 2-minute, 40-second trials on
    every test vehicle. Total test time is approximately 16 minutes.”

  78. bob Says:

    “Back to yesterday, I found this description of Consumer Reports’ “city” driving test that returns very low mileage numbers for nearly all cars.

    “These tests are stop-and-go city-driving simulations
    on our test track, which has a total of 18 stops and 4 minutes of
    total idle time. Top speed is 40 mph. Two different testers each
    drive three runs for a total of six 2-minute, 40-second trials on
    every test vehicle. Total test time is approximately 16 minutes.””

    Thanks for the useful info. I invite you to take your own Prius and, following the above procedure, do a city circle and measure your own MPG as accurately as you can.

    CR claims it got 32 MPG for this full hybrid, when most people get 50+ mpg city (I got 52 with the previous gen Prius in the area around the LAX airport in 09, twice)

    While the 27 MPG city CR got with the Golf Diesel is totally believable, the Prius should do twice as well easily, since it does not waste gas idling but rather shuts off the engine. In addition, it has regenerative braking for all the stop-go in the city, which sure will contribute hugely to the MPG.

    After all, who are we going to believe, Consumer Reports or our lying eyes? LOL…

  79. bob Says:

    Andrew Charles Says:
    January 25th, 2011 at 3:04 am

    “It’s not the “good stuff” that is so much more expensive in Europe—it’s basic cars:…”

    1. Europe is NOT monolithic. Of course Porsches will be far cheaper in Germany, where they are made, than in many other Eurozone countries, such as Greece, where the Turbo S cabrio DOES indeed cost 315,000 EUROS, ie more than $400,000!

    2. Actually, there is a class of cars that even in such places as in greece are cheaper than even in the US (if they are sold here, most are not)

    These are the cheapest, smallest cars. I remember a friend who had a Fiat Seicento (600 CC) which sold for only 7,000 Euros (with VAT and all!) back in the early 2000s. Same with very small Daihatsus, Suzukis, the cheapo Dacia Logan (Europe’s Tata Nano..LOL) and others.

  80. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I get about 35% better mileage than the CR “city” number with my Prius. Similarly, I get about 35% better than the CR number with my Mini and did with my Malibu. Based on that, there is no reason to think the CR’s Prius numbers are wrong. The CR test is just very severe, and produces low numbers for all cars.
    I’m sure if I floored it every time I start off, and charged up to red lights and braked hard instead of letting off the gas early when I know I will have to stop, I could get much worse mileage that I do, both with the Prius, and with a conventional car.

    Probably most on this board are a aware of the not-too-serious, but interesting test of “Prius vs M3″ gas mileage done by Top Gear a while back. The Prius was driven around a race track, flat out, while the ~400 hp M3 leisurely followed. As I remember, the Prius got about 14 mpg, and the M3 got 16.

  81. bob Says:

    “# Andrew Charles Says:
    January 25th, 2011 at 2:40 am

    How about some civility?”

    How about you tell that clown Martin to stop biting my ankles? Also tell him, that, as one of my colleagues once said to another about me, “If Prof. so and so tells you the sky is red, you don’t need to look out, it will be red.” Martin better believe this. I know what I am talking about.

    “2010 Price for thew 530 PS 911 Turbo, including 17.5% sales tax in Germany was 184,546 Euro.”

    Europe is not just Germany, All of Germany is not even one fifth of the Eurozone. And even in Germany, the above is far more expensive than in the US. But in many other Euro-Zone nations, it could be two to three times, as I have proven with LINKS, as expensive as in the US. END of discussion, PLEASE.

    “Then again the Maybach Landaulet was listed as 900,000 euros in Germany and $1,382,750 in the US, so you don’t always pay more in Europe.”

    SO? back in 2009, the Euro was $1.60, which would make the two prices very close, in fact again it is more expensive EVEN in the cheapest of all Eurozone nations, Germany, where, after all, these cars are MADE.

  82. bob Says:

    “I get about 35% better mileage than the CR “city” number with my Prius. Similarly, I get about 35% better than the CR number with my Mini and did with my Malibu. ”

    You keep saying that, but you are STILL missing the point, you are comparing apples and oranges.

    Unlike the Malibu, the Mini AND the Golf Diesel, who do not even have a start-stop system (!!!), the prius is a FULL HYBRID.

    The Prius was optimized for the CITY, NOT the Highway, where it drags its second engine and all the connecting gear with no benefit, as its gas engine is used alone on cruise control with no braking or stops.

    Just replicate the CR city test with the prius and measure your MPG as exactly as you can, and let us know, the rest is not relevant here.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Thanks for the useful info. I invite you to take your own Prius and, following the above procedure, do a city circle and measure your own MPG as accurately as you can.”

    I’ll try it, maybe today. Since I’ll only do one “trip,” like this, the only way I’ll be able to measure the mileage is with the computer. The computer is within about 5% when compared with calculated mpg on full tanks, so I should get a reasonably accurate result for my test.

  84. bob Says:

    For the Record, Kit says he got “about 35% better” mileage than the 32 MPG CR City Prius mileage.

    Assuming that the prius II that I drove in 09 has the same CR city MPG, and knowing that I got 52 MPG city driving stop-go and in traffic in LA, I state that my City prius MPG was 93% (!!!!!) better than the CR rating.

    On the contrary, my 47 highway MPG at 75 MPH to san diego (with some traffic, accelerating and braking), was understandably inferior to the 55 MPG CR got going 65 and probably without traffic. This makes my HWY MPG 15% less than the CR highway MPG. (again I drove the II while CR the III)

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “The Prius was optimized for the CITY, NOT the Highway,”

    Yes, I know. That’s why the Prius gets almost double the city mileage of conventional gas cars its size, both in CR tests, EPA numbers, and my “real world” driving.

    While the VW diesel doesn’t do as well as a Prius, it very well for some obvious reasons. Diesel fuel has 7-11% more energy than gas, depending on who you ask. Also, diesels idle more efficiently than gas engines because they don’t have the pumping loss associated with a nearly-closed throttle plate. I had an older, 1.9 liter 90 hp VW TDI, and I got very good mileage with it. I had very few tanks under 40 mpg, either highway or city.

    Now, I think I’ll go to breakfast, and do a “city driving” mileage test with my Prius.

  86. bob Says:

    In a maybe unrelated story, I read an account of the X5 diesel on a long trip a few years ago in the “Roundel”, the Mag of the BMW Owners’ Club of the US. They gave separate MPGs for each way, and they were close, one at 29+ MPG and the other at 30.0+ MPG, so the average should be pretty close to 30 MPG!

    This is truly amazing, for a 4,600 Lb truck with a large surface area. And I they even gave their average speeds, 69 and 71 MPH, which are quite high for an AVERAGE speed on a trip.

    My 740IL weighs 200-300 LBS less than that X5 diesel, and is far lower in Height, and its aerodynamics should be far more favorable. If the X5 got 30 MPG in that trip, my 13 going on 14 years old 7 should get 32, a full 10 MPG or 33% better than the 22 MPG I routinely get on long trips at about the same AVERAGE speed.

  87. bob Says:

    Change “truck” to “Sport Activity Vehicle” as BMW calls the X5, if you want to be 100% accurate.

  88. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The BMW 7 series would be great with that diesel. Of course, they sell in that way, about everywhere but the US.

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m back from my gas mileage test. Here’s what I did:

    From a “cold start,” cold being relative (it was about 65), I headed to a stretch of residential street two blocks from the beach with lots of stop signs. I had 5 stops in the first 0.7 mile, and then about 8-10 more in the next 1.3 miles. After 2.4 miles, my trip computer read 31.5 mpg, about 30 after correcting for the usual error I see when checking fill ups.

    Then, I headed for the main street I would normally use, with a 45 mph speed limit and a few stop lights, most of which were green when I arrived. When I got home, I had gone 5.4 miles, and the mpg readout was 45.2, or about 43 with correction.

    Bottom line is this. I got about 30 mpg for a short trip from cold start with lots of stops, but it didn’t take much “normal” driving to quickly bring the average up into the 40′s.

  90. bob Says:

    Kit: About what i expected. The average driver under average city conditions should easily top 40 MPG in the Prius

  91. pedro fernandez Says:

    I suppose if you drive your Prius in a really heavy stop and go scenario, your mileage will drop specially with the a/c running and wipers if it’s raining. BTW that Top Gear comparison was mean-spirited and unfair, no one buys a Prius to go full speed on the autobahn. I actually met a guy here who goes to the trouble of turning off the a/c at stop lights in his Prius.

  92. pedro fernandez Says:

    From Yesterday’s Volt news, I suppose if they can’t sell all those Volts that they plan to build, Uncle Bankrupt Sam will buy them all and press them into official govt service. Today a redneck told me he called the C4C plan the Cash for Japs plan, based on what it accomplished.

  93. bob Says:

    And the 32 City MPG from Consumer Reports is extremely pessimistic, if not unattainable

  94. bob Says:

    I got a junk mail at home where a Honda Dealer offered allegedly attractive leases. There was a 2011 Accord you could buy for $20k, very reasonable, or lease for less than $200 a mo for 36 mos,

    But then there was this butt-ugly Honda Crosstour, which you could buy for… well into the $30,000s and lease for almost double the Accord lease.

    Give me a break! Just because it has a V6 vs the 4 of the Accord?

    Who are the lunatics that would buy the ugly, inefficient, low MPG Crosstour?

  95. bob Says:

    The clowns at Top gear are just a bunch of Entertainers, not serious Auto Journalists. You can see how little their babbling is worth when they praise every single failed Brit vehicle…and we know what UTTER POS Brit cars always have been, that’s why they went extinct like the Dinosaurs they were.

  96. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t know Bob, I kinda like the Crosstour, it is very useful and I.ve met a couple of people who own them and tell me they find it pleasant to drive with a good balance of handling and long distance comfort.

  97. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I would have liked the Top Gear Prius vs M3 test, if they had portrayed it as entertainment. Unfortunately, they let on as though there was something serious about it.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    For the American market, I guess Honda felt the need to make the Crosstour 8 inches taller and 500 pounds heavier than a “loaded” V-6 Accord sedan. As everyone here knows, I like hatchbacks, but they missed it on this one. It’s so tall and heavy, it probably wouldn’t drive very well with the 4, if offered.

  99. bob Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    January 25th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    I don’t know Bob, I kinda like the Crosstour, it is very useful and I.ve met a couple of people who own them and tell me they find it pleasant to drive with a good balance of handling and long distance comfort.”

    Do you also like the Pontiac Aztec? it makes zero sense to get a $30,000++ Crosstour and not the far better looking $20,000 Accord sedan and esp. coupe.

    I am not sure if you are serious above or you are pulling my leg.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    While the Crosstour is too heavy and too tall, and not attractive to most people, it has a huge advantage over an Accord sedan if you are going to transport things other than people. It’s a hatchback.

  101. bob Says:

    There are plenty of other hatchbacks or equivalents that are not obese or wasteful or as expensive or as inefficient as the idiotic Crosstour. Anybody who pays $30k+ for this automotive atrocity needs to have their head examined.