Episode 631 – Hyundai Surges Past Honda, Uncle Sam Downsizing Vehicles, Gas-Tax Hike?

April 28th, 2011 at 11:31am

Runtime 8:23

Wow!  Hyundai just surged past Honda in global sales in the first quarter.  The federal government is downsizing . . . the vehicles in its fleet, that is.  Six U.S. Senators – three Democrats and three Republicans – are working on a debt-reduction plan that includes a gas-tax increase!  All that and more, plus a look at the power-to-weight ratios of some popular b-segment cars.


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This is Autoline Daily for April 28, 2011. And now, the news.

Hyundai surged past Honda in global sales in the first quarter. Hyundai had been gaining on Honda for the last year, but the aftermath of the giant earthquake in Japan helped push it past Honda. Specifically, Honda sold 860,000 cars in the first three months of the year, while Hyundai sold 919,000.  And the news gets worse for Honda as it posts the financial results for the most-recent quarter. Revenue plummeted 66 percent, net profits fell 27 percent. In fact, Hyundai made more money than Honda despite the fact that Honda also sold a ton of motorcycles and power products. Specifically, Honda made $542 million for the quarter, while Hyundai earned $1.7 billion.

Not that we here at Autoline Daily go around trying to get you to buy stock, but if you are looking for someplace to invest your money you might want to consider the stock of European car companies. According to the investment firm, Vermilion Capital Management LLC. European automakers will outperform American and Asian automakers in the stock market this year. Vermillion says that Japanese earthquake pulled down all automotive stocks and now it’s very bullish on BMW and Volkswagen in particular, while Daimler, Renault, Fiat, PSA, Porsche and Volvo all look pretty good.

Chrysler won’t bring a rebadged Lancia to North America. According to Car and Driver, the company planned on offering a rebadged Lancia Ypsilon in the U.S. market but Olivier Francois, the head of the Chrysler brand, says the Ypsilon is too closely related to the Fiat 500 and he doesn’t want two similar cars in the same market. There were also plans to bring a compact sedan to North America for Chrysler but those plans look unlikely now. The president of Dodge, Ralph Gilles, has already confirmed that they’ll get a compact car to replace the Caliber. So it seems like the Chrysler brand got left out.

Luxgen, the automaker I visited earlier this month in Taiwan, just unveiled an EV concept in Shanghai called the Neora. The company says its design cues will be used in future models. The car is powered by lithium-ion batteries and a 180 kW electric motor. The company says it can travel 400 kilometers when fully charged which is nearly 250 miles, but that’s at a steady 45 miles an hour. The Neora can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds I’ll have a test drive of the car coming up soon.

The government is downsizing . . . the vehicles in its fleet, that is.  The Detroit News reports the General Services Administration, or GSA, is buying more sub-compact cars as opposed to full-size vehicles.  This will have a big impact on the efficiency of the fleet, which numbers some 600,000.  Fuel economy is estimated to improve by 21 percent this year to 23.4 miles per gallon, up from 19.1 MPG today.  This is projected to save some 2.4 million gallons of fuel and $9 million taxpayer dollars annually.

In related news, six U.S. Senators – three Democrats and three Republicans – are working on a debt-reduction plan that includes a gas-tax increase!  Hard to believe, I know.  The plan calls for a 15-cent increase.  Currently the federal fuel tax is 18.4 cents per gallon.  The last time it was raised was back in 1997, which means IT IS NOT linked to inflation.  The Highway Trust Fund, which handles this money, is set to run a $7 billion deficit this year.  Compounding the problem, a fleet of more fuel-efficient vehicles means less fuel is consumed leading to lower tax revenues.  A tax hike is necessary but unlikely.  Politicians don’t like raising taxes, especially when gasoline is selling at four-bucks a gallon and the economy is on shaky ground.

Here’s a shocker.  Steering wheels are dirtier than public toilet seats . . . nine-times dirtier!  According to Autoblog, researchers at Queen Mary University in London found there are – on average – 700 different kinds of bacteria per square inch of tiller.  Toilet seats averaged only 80.  If it’s any consolation trunks fared even worse, with 1,000 kinds of bacteria lurking in the shadows.  Why are steering wheels so dirty?  In short, we’re filthy animals.  Clean your cars more often, people!

Coming up next, a look at which compact cars have the best power to weight ratio.

We’re trying to push power-to-weight ratios in our product features and reviews.  To bring you up to speed on how different cars stack up against one another we figured we’d do some direct comparisons.  And where better to start than at the bottom of the market with b-segment cars?

Here’s a lineup of popular subcompacts offered in the U.S. today. In alphabetical order by manufacturer we have … the Chevy Aveo four-door … the Ford Fiesta sedan … the Honda Fit sport … the Hyundai Accent hatchback… the Mini Cooper … the Nissan Versa SL … the Scion xD … and the Toyota Yaris liftback.

All of these cars are powered by small, four-cylinder engines and each of them is equipped with an automatic transmission.  For consistency, we took the heaviest version of each car listed by the manufacturer.

Not surprisingly, they all produce similar amounts of power and torque (PAUSE).  Whoa, that’s a lot of numbers!  The xD is the horsepower champ delivering 128 ponies, while the Yaris brings up the rear with 106.

Of these eight cars the Mini has the best power-to-weight ratio a whisker more than 20 pounds per horsepower while the Chevy Aveo has the worst at about 24.  Still, it’s surprising how close they all rank to one another.  No car has a big advantage over any of the others.  Some of them are separated by just a couple of tenths in the pounds-per-horsepower category.  Look how closely grouped the Yaris, Fit and Versa are.

From performance cars to minivans, look for more direct vehicle segment comparisons like this one in the future.  It will be interesting to see how other groups of vehicles stack-up to the b-segment and to one another.

Don’t forget to tune in to Autoline After Hours tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. Our guest tonight is Chris Theodore who played a key development role in the Dodge Viper and Ford GT, and has now come up with a rolling chassis that he sees as ideal for electric cars. Join me and the Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo, tonight for the best insider discussion in the business.

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

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

56 Comments to “Episode 631 – Hyundai Surges Past Honda, Uncle Sam Downsizing Vehicles, Gas-Tax Hike?”

  1. pedro fernandez Says:

    Hey John and staff, nice job there on the comparison tests, looking forward to the all-important and competitive mid size family car segment.

  2. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    The power/weight ratios are quite simplistic (although in today’s cheapo econobox segment it will not be a big problem, the cars being so closely grouped together).

    for two main reasons:

    1. it is NOT just the HP, it is ALSO the RPM! An automaker may want to advertise the HP, but if this high HP is available at 8,000 and 9,000 RPM, this is NO vehicle I would want to take on a highway trip!!!!

    2. there is ALSO the TORQUE.

  3. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    While I am a big fan of older Hondas and much older ACURAS, I am quite disappointed at the new Civic range.

    Especially since Honda WITHDREW the next gen civic 2-3 years ago and went back to the drawing board to make it smaller and more fuel efficient.

    The results are truly pathetic, too little and way too late, while in the meantime the new Elantra, which is $4k cheaper AND ALL of whose versions are rated EPA 40 MPG, is eating their lunch.

    The new Civic is penny wise and pound foolish.

    The Hybrid is way too expensive and 6 MPG worse than the prius, AND still looks like any other Civic. WHO in his or her right mind would choose the Civic Hybrid over the AWESOME 50 MPG REAL MPG Prius?

    The rest of the Civics, when all others offer 6 and 7 speed transmissions, not to mention 8b and 9 speeds in some luxury cars, make do with a Primitive 5-speed auto!

    To make their MPG goals, they lowered the 5th gear ratio to 0.525 or so!!! This, combined with its MEAGER HP, will sure guarantee a LOUSY experience on the highway and esp in passing.

    0.525 is fine in a 400 HP Corvette, but not so in a 128 HP civic (or is it 140n now?)

    0.525 is fine as the last option in a 6 or 7 gear auto tranny but NOT in a 5 gear one!

  4. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    Re the Lincoln MKZ and its Hybrid NON-Equivalent:

    When will people finally EMPHASIZE that these two are NOT the same car, one hybrid and one not, but the hybrid has a FOUR Cylinder while the non-hybrid has 6?

    this is ONE reason wgy most buyers of the MKZ dump the Hybrid.

    another reason is they are looking for as LUXURY vehicle and are paying a premium, so most will NOT accept a lousy 4 cylinder for all that dough!

    a THIRD reason could be (I don’t know, just guessing) that the DEALERS offer better deals to move the V6s than to move the hybrids, and this should be far more true now we got $4++ gas, on its way to $5 and $6 by MEMORIAL DAY.

  5. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    If I was forced to choose btw the hybrid and v6 MKZ myself, I’d get the hybrid. BUT if not forced to choose between those two losers, I’d get the PRIUS. Unless if the unscrupulous dealer marked it up by $5 and $10k!

  6. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    Hi CWOLF,

    You wrote you have a 200 mile commute each day, ie 1,000 miles a week w/o weekend driving or evening driving!

    You talked about your current Fusion vs a new FOcus, and I agree with you it is really not worth the insignificant savings from the higher MPG, to get a hit of $10-20k to buy a vehicle one size smaller than the Fusion.

    If i did all these miles (Assuming you cannot carpoor and have no available mass transit), then I would not drive any such car.

    IF gas $ was no problem, I’d go with an UEBER-Luxury, Ueber-big, heavy and powerful vehicle, maybe the hybrid LEXUS flagship LS 600h, or the S hybrid, or the 7 hybrid, OR the Merc E class diesel (if available).

    IF gas $ IS a big issue, I’d need a PRIUS (Actuaql 50 MPG city or highway), or at least a VW Jetta Diesel (actual 45 MPG Highway,but less city).

    I would even go further and get me a motorbike-efficient OLD Honda Insight 2 seater hatch, rated almost 70 MPG Highway (probably 60s in real driving).You can find a few of these around on cars.com.

    NONE of the big 3 offer a SERIOUSLY fuel efficient vehicle for somebody like you, doing 1,000s of miles Each WEEK. At best they offer more expensive versions of teh Focus or the Cruze that get 40-42 HIGHWAY EPA and MUCH LESS city.

  7. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    April 26th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    As regular cars reach 40 mpg hwy, I think Hybrids and especially electrics are going to become even a harder sell as gas passes $4 a gallon and govt incentives to buy them end.”

    Yes and no.

    1. Regular cars are LOUSY in city driving and most people do NOT do 100% highway, but 55% or more CITY driving.

    2. Allhybrids are NOT creatred equal. There is the AWESOME Prius, which DELIVERS actual 50 MPG, and every other hybrid, which is far behind.

    3. The above is the REASON why the Awesome Prius TOTALLY DOMINATES Hybrid sales, selling more vehicles than ALL THESE DOZENS of other hybrids combined (or even more?!@!!!)

    4. I agree that EVs are a COMPLETE JOKE, and NOT ready for prime time.

    5. PLUG-INS will have a HARD TIME justifying their price premium over non-plug-in hybrids, especially the Prius Plug-in vs the already AWESOME regular prius.

    I saw two lousy stupid Volts in my area, one had a “manufacturer” plate was parked where I live, the other was parked in a supermarket lot and the youngish looking fool inside was trying to learn how to use it.

    Since CWOLF cannot buy any vehicle not made by UAW (not even an OHIO AMERICAN Civic or aCCORD… but would he buy a MEXICAN made SIESTA FIESTA at Ford’s sweatshops there?), let’s see if the stupid Volt is good for him.

    he has a 200 mile commute daily. SO at best he’ll do 35 cheap miles on electricity, the rest at a LOUSY 37 MPG witht he Volt’s gas engine working to feed the battery. NOT A CHANCE vs the 50 MPG prius, AND the Volt costsd TWICE AS MUCH!

    PS the Volt looked really poor. $41,000 base price and it is just a cobalt. Even the sub-$20k Cruze looks much better!

  8. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    What do YOU think?

  9. Lamberto Says:

    Ok, so if BIG government is trying to offset their losses in tax revenue, why not try to stipulate the price of gas at the pump so to minimize these speculative increases. If this is done, we will drive more, and keep the tax base up at levels they need to operate?
    What urks me about it, is that I do not get wage increases just because my costs go up. For example, pump prices go up because oil prices rise??? Sorry, you will just have to make less profit this year!! Tell you what, if gas goes up $1 per gallon, I say we cahrge that extra cost back to the employers who can then get a tax credit from the government for the expense. And for the government to recoupe those costs, they can then levy a tax against Exxon, Mobil, and the rest….

  10. 66GT Says:

    It would be interesting to see lb/HP vs. MPG. This would give a simple insight on drivetrain efficiency. I would expect that lower lb/HP would equate to higher MPG and vice versa.

  11. tj Martin Says:

    I think Jeff Cunningham is either Bob or Nick Steven’s SOCK PUPPET .

    Thats what I think !

  12. Lex Says:


    No surprise to me that Hyundai passed Honda.
    Honda has been in a funk for several years now.
    Honda needs to atleast match Hyundai’s 5yr/60 Bumper to Bumper and 10yr/100K Powertrain Warranties or Loyal Honda Buyer’s Like myself will be visiting our local Hyundai Dealer the next time we are in the market for a new vehicle.

    I carry disinfecting wipes to clean the steering wheel, shifter and control knobs in a rental car. The same disinfecting protocols apply when I stay in a hotel.

    Our Government Leaders should keep AirForce One parked so that it can save the taxpayers some money on fuel, security and logistics. Gasoline is already $4.25/gal in NYC. What the hell is the regular working guy to do rob a bank to get back some of the money the US government loaned to banks?

    The American Dream has become working two jobs and hope you keep your house, and if you don’t own one don’t even bother!

  13. pedro fernandez Says:

    If Cwolf’s miles are mostly highway, a mid-size car like the one he has is better because of comfort and safety; if it’s city, then a smaller car would be better, my beef with the hybrids is maintenance costs, battery life, etc. what you save on gas you might end up spending on services and repairs, specially with all the miles Cwolf drives.

  14. tj Martin Says:

    Jeff Cunningham ;

    But on the rare chance that you are for real , and not an alter ego of someone else , remind me to NEVER take ANY advice from you on future car buying decisions .

    Because fro the choices you’ve offered so far I could ;

    1) Buy an over priced , under performing , overly complicated and excessively pretentious PRIUS or some other equally laughable Hybrid that will cost me more per mile overall to drive than a performance car would . As well as add more pollution to the world .

    or ;

    2) I could buy an over sized , over priced , gas sucking POS with a Snob Badge on it to satisfy my ego and show everyone else how much Money I’m worth . Like I care !

    Great choices there . Hope you don’t use the same criteria in picking a partner/mate . If so you’ll probably wind up with a battery powered Brittany Spears Android .

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh God this Smokey character must be sky high by now with today’s news. Expect his rantings to be extra long and off-topic, who knows, he may predict we will all be forced to learn Mandarin and have our eyes surgically slanted to fit in the New Chimerica.

  16. tj Martin Says:

    @ Lex H/S ( you know he’s coming ) ET AL;

    READ the news ! The REASON Hyundai has passed Honda has nothing to do with Honda’s sales , quality or waning popularity .

    Quite simple really .


    Has READING become a lost Art , along with common sense and discernment as well ???

  17. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW, I notice that companies that make deliveries and put on tons of miles mostly always use old Corollas, and new Yaris, just go to any pizza delivery place and see what they’re driving. Auto parts delivery people like the old, small Toyota or other Japanese pickups.

  18. tj Martin Says:


    Oh we know H/S will come on strong today . Its just a matter of time . Unless of course his mommy won’t let him play with the computer today .

    In answer to your ” Why is Lexus now using an 8 speed tranny ” yesterday .

    Again . Quite simple ;

    Keeping up with the Jones’s
    Marketing ploy
    My ____ is bigger than yours mentality

    Take my word for it . The 7 Speed in the GLK is overkill and the 4 speed in the wife’s Matrix does just fine thank you .

  19. tj Martin Says:

    Think I’ll take my leave for the day before Hyundai(WTF )AreYouSmokin comes back out to play .

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    one drawback of these multi-gear autos could be the constant shifting that goes on as you change speed, or go up hills, to get the optimum mileage. I find those annoying as hell, specially when the car is lacking in torque.

  21. Phoenix Mark Says:

    I think Jeff Cunningham work’s for Toyota.

    One reason the Prius (not so awesome) is the best selling hybrid is that it does not look like any other vechicle. It plays into the “I am green” mind set.

  22. Rafi Khan Says:

    Why is it so hard (nearly impossible) to find crash-test ratings on the Chevrolet Corvette?

  23. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Part of the disparity of the steering wheel and toilet seat study probably has to do with the surfaces involved. In the olden days, steering wheels were more on par with toilet seats in the fact that they were both, most likely, solid surfaces. As of late, many more steering wheels have leather/vinyl wrapping which can harbor and even provide growth media for bacteria. While it is probably a good idea to clean your steering wheel periodically (I’d much rather drive a car of unknown cleanliness, as say a rental, then grab a toilet seat at any rest stop). :)

  24. GPL Says:

    Oh, look. Bob,Nick,Thor,Jim has another new name.

  25. Lex Says:

    @ tjMartin

    Yes I agree the tragedy in Japan had a major impact on Honda Production, but consumers realize Hyundai offers a good deal for the money. If you really want a Honda you can afford to wait for Honda to resume full production. Maybe if Honda expanded and diversify it’s supply chain to include off-shore (Non-Japanese) suppliers the impact of the disaster would have been minimized. I would support incentives that brought all phases of Japanese Automotive Transplant Production, including Suppliers that created jobs in the US.

    To say others are illiterate is simply naive.

  26. Lex Says:

    @ Lamberto

    The only problem with levying taxes against the Big Oil Companies is that they would just pass it on to the consumer. Our Representatives in Washington don’t work for us, they work for Big Oil! Who is going after BP for the Deep Horizon Disaster? It is all being left to sink beneath the waves of the Gulf! In the long run you and I will be paying for the negative impact in the Gulf with our hard earned dollars or health. I hope BP has set aside reserves to fund future claims arising for the Deep Horizon Disaster!

  27. Lex Says:


    A Value which takes into consideration the following components: Gross Vehicle Weight, Horsepower and Average Miles per Gallon at a set price, would yield an amount which might prove very interesting when looking for a vehicle with the highest drivetrain efficiency.

  28. SalvadorG. Says:

    No surprise there, but I don’t think Honda’s problems are all due to the disaster in Japan; Honda has been on a down streak for a while and the earthquake just compounded it all.

    JohnMc, you forgot; there is Election Season coming up too (Again).

    WASH YOUR HANDS! “In short, we’re filthy animals.”
    That is “we” to many. “we” says the guy that has driven more cars than probably anyone here.
    (no counting airplanes trips John McElroy, Airplanes)

    Ha-HA! But what’s the Power+WeightxMpg comparison??

  29. marsh459 Says:

    Hey John,

    Those models are pretty old. I don’t think there is a DI engine in that lot. I was hoping to see new Elantra, Mazda 2/Fiesta and Sonic numbers!

  30. Tom L Says:

    Would torque/weight ratio be a good way to measure performance or fuel mileage, or driving fun ?

  31. pedro fernandez Says:

    Jeff is not Bob, Bob likes Prius, BTW @TJ I spoke to my Honda insider and he agrees with you that when it comes to transmissions the more gears, the more fears (of breakdowns). It all looks good on paper, but in real life…… Like I’m sure the Fiesta/Focus double clutch trannys are gonna be problematic as they age.

  32. len simpson Says:

    Re: long commute. Move closer to the job, or change jobs, your work week is close to 80 hrs!
    Excessive wear & tear on—–the body,the wheels,
    the pocketbook & a ridiculous amount of overexposure to road hazards.

  33. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    RE ; Jeff is Not Bob

    Jeff ( Bob/Nick /Thor {never run into that one } ) does as well

    Post # 7 point 2

    MMmmnn . Me thinks he is . Or a damn close facsimile .

    Gears ; The more to break . The more that will . Nuff said !

    (what do you think is holding me up on just deciding and buying the GLK ? )

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    Salvador is right about Honda and the quake, same goes for Toyota, hey look, they had their dominance of the market, not any longer, they got greedy and stupid (Toyota) specially and now the market is wide open. I’ll bet they wish they could bring back the 90′s, their glory years

  35. tj Martin Says:

    @Tom L

    The best measurement would be ;

    Torque – HP ( at what RPM )- Weight

    Fuel Milage and 0-60 can be determined pretty accurately by those facts though testing is still needed to be conclusive . Aero plays a role as well

    Fun is subjective . Sporty Performance/handling would be a function of the above + Suspension

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    From the WTF dept: I checked online and a rebuilt 3 speed Corolla tranny goes for over $800. WOW! it was a $600 option when I bought the car. And this is rebuilt, not even new.

  37. tj Martin Says:

    Me thinks Salvador and a few others today are suffering from a bad case of Schadenfreude when it comes to Toyota and Honda’s recent woes .

    (ask HtG or babblefish it )

  38. tj Martin Says:


    Priced a gallon of milk in the last three weeks ?

    Want a real good scare ? Check out Airline prices compared to four weeks ago

    Everything is going up ….. and up ……. and up ……… and ..

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ I don’t know if you’ve had the same experience I’ve had recently. I noticed when I drive my sis’s Journey and the rental Cobalt, when I depress the accelerator after I had to slow down for whatever reason, it was like the car was telling me:” Oh, you wanna go faster, er, let me ask the transmission to downshift, and then I’ll give it more gas and eventually we’ll speed up, ok? Just be patient” I’m used to my Corolla, more accelerator=faster speed.

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, everything you buy gets transported to the store, diesel goes up they are going to pass it right along to the consumer. We get it from all angles, sides and apertures!!

  41. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    RE; Your accelerator experiences .

    Thats what I get every time I rent a Subaru , be it Imprezza Outback or Forester .

    Except its more like I press down on the go pedal and engine asks ” You want me to do what ? Yeah right buddy . In your dreams . WTF do you think I am … a Porsche ? ”

    My MINI and the wife’s Matrix ? No such problems .

    Oh but the SRX . If the Subies are telling me off the SRX was flat out laughing its arse off every time I hit the accelerator .

    The FX35 . Hit the go pedal ( just a bit to get around a car ) wait … wait …. wait ….. Kaa bam !!!! More damn acceleration than you know you called up for . Worse than the old turbo’s used to be . Fly by Wire . Got to love it in some of the new cars . Delayed Reaction is more like it .

  42. tj Martin Says:

    Here’s a daring little wager on my part ;

    I’ll bet that long after Hyundai/KIA has gone the way of Isuzu /Pontiac / Mercury/ soon to be Mitsibushi and Suzuki etc. Honda and Toyota will still be happily making cars .. as well as Ten year old Toyota’s and Honda’s will still be running strong : giving their owners good service . Whilst all those Hyundai/KIA’s are rusting away in the Salvage Yards of the World .

    Junk is Junk . Whether its popular . Has tons of gizmos . What ever . Junk is Junk and H/K is JUNK !!!

  43. tj Martin Says:

    More Bad News for Toyota ;

    The Tornados that wreaked havoc thru out the South hit the Toyota Plant as well as the Mercedes Benz plant ( that makes the M GL and R series …… not the GLK )

    Both suffering extensive damage and facing slow downs

    Toyota just cannot catch a break these days .

  44. SalvadorG. Says:

    Is Pwr+Wgt ratio a real good way to tell Mpg performance?? (just no sure) but just to compare..
    The Mini Cooper ’10 is City MPG: 28 Highway MPG: 37
    The Chevy Aveo ’10 is City MPG: 27 Highway MPG: 35

  45. tj Martin Says:

    @ Salvador G


    Its a good indicator , but as I said , the proof’s in the testing as Aero Tires etc come into play .

  46. RS Says:

    When you buy a car, you are buying the company too. Honda has always treated me fairly and with respect. I know of people who have bought Hyundai/Kia and have had to go to court to get their lemon dealt with. First, Honda has never sold me a lemon; second, Honda has always stepped up and provided fair warranty work even when the car is officially past its mileage.

    To put it mildly, my experiences with Chrysler and GM were not as stisfactory.

    I will wait until H/K prove their committment to other “guinea pigs” before my money goes into their coffers. I need some really good reports that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Act like Honda and I will take a look. If they are willing to give aonther buyer the shaft, they would do it to me in a heartbeat!

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    Blasphemy, blasphemy, I tell you, mentioning Aveo in the same sentence as Mini. Re. Toyota’s continuing miseries. Perhaps Smokey’s got connections to the almighty.

  48. SalvadorG. Says:

    tj Martin Says:
    April 28th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Me thinks Salvador and a few others today are suffering from a bad case of Schadenfreude when it comes to Toyota and Honda’s recent woes .

    Please, honestly please; Don’t ever insult me like that. The Japanese disaster is just not funny to Anyone.

    As for your comment tires and aero.. It’s just wouldn’t make that much of a difference for cars like these. It just Would Not, trust me.

  49. cwolf Says:

    I never would have thought my driving situation to get so much attention. I’ve been doing this for so many years ,I guess I no longer give it much thought. Where I live,everything is 1/2 hr. away. Many in the area have a 30 to 55 min. drive to work. We feel it’s a worthwhile compromise. My wife and I prolly will move back to our home town,which is where I’m employed, in about 3 years. Son will have graduated from college and wife retired. Living near/on the lake and having a boat again sounds pretty good!

    Anyway, my Milan is the right size for turnpike driving,as pedro noted. Comfort, safety and heavy enough for winter weather are important requirements. Still deliberating if I’ll go smaller. Looking forward to drive the Cruze. No hurry for now. By the way; I was hired into the UAW, not owned by them. I would be foolish not to capitalize on my access to Ford and GM employee discounts. I do like many foreign cars assembled in this country,but was raised to buy from the Big3. And,yes, it sucks knowing my car is from Mexico,yet not many mid-sized cars are made here from the “3.” It’s comforting some of you feel for me,so I ask to prey with me for tail winds and cheap gas!

  50. pedro fernandez Says:

    Cwolf, this increasing gas costs in even affecting where we choose to live, it is really sad that people have to move from a place they love just because of the damn fuel prices. You add that to the news from the IMF that by 2016 we will be second to China and I predict that the sale of anti-anxiety drugs and alcohol will surely rise.

  51. BOB LONGMATE Says:





    @ FoMoCo {Circa 2008}.










  52. Ron Says:

    Good day John, I like your power to weight ratio. Can you do one for the regular cab pick-up trucks like the Chev. silverado,Toyota tacoma, Ford F-150,Nissan Titan,ETC.please. Thank-you.Ron

  53. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Yawn, who cares about these 5 year old small cars?

    The New Accent hatchback has a 17:6 HP to Weight Ratio.



  54. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That’s nearly as good as the Cooper S.

  55. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    BTW Toe Jam, you may hate Smokey, but he was right about inflation……. It’s going to get much worse, much much worse. People in America will riot over prices in the next 18-24 months

    Where’s my You —- me so?


  56. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I bet if the Accent had a 1.4 GDI Turbo it would be better than the Coop S with it’s 16:4/1 HP to Weight.