Episode 823 – Tesla Model X, Mitsubishi Reveals New Outlander, Chevy Cruze Wagon

February 10th, 2012 at 11:40am

Runtime: 8:45

Tesla just unveiled its electric crossover, the Model X, which is basically a taller version of the Model S sedan. Mitsubishi is set to reveal a new version of its Outlander SUV at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. And speaking of Geneva, Chevrolet will unveil a station-wagon version of the Cruze at the show. All that and more, plus a preview of Autoline This Week with Volvo’s new president in North America talking about how they’re going to be taking the brand more upscale.

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This is Autoline Daily for Friday, February 10th. And here’s what’s going on out there.

Product, Product, PRODUCT! It’s the engine that drives this industry, and we’ve got several new offerings coming down the pipeline. First up, Tesla, which just unveiled its electric crossover dubbed the Model X. As we predicted, it’s basically a taller version of the Model S sedan. This seven-passenger, all-wheel drive CUV comes with gull-wing doors, though Tesla calls them falcon wings. Since there’s no internal-combustion engine the Model X actually has TWO trunks. It should be a real performer, too. The zero to 60 sprint should take just 4.4 seconds. The starting price will be around 50 grand after tax credits. Production should kick off late next year.

Mitsubishi . . . yep, they still make cars . . . just not in the Netherlands any more. Anyway, the triple-diamond brand is set to reveal a new version of its Outlander SUV at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Look for a 2.0-liter gasoline or a 2.2-liter diesel engine under the hood of European models. A variety of driver-assistance features will be on the menu including adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. The Outlander’s “outlandish” grille is standard.

Speaking of Geneva, Chevrolet is set to unveil a station-wagon version of the Cruze. Per usual, the U.S. is getting left out in the cold. The company has no plans to offer this model in ‘Merica. European buyers will have a wide array of gasoline and diesel engines to choose from and almost 53 cubic feet of luggage space with all of the seats folded down.  That’s about 1,500 liters. Australian buyers will feel the love as well. Holden is going to offer a version of the Cruze wagon down under.

The UAW is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its Flint Sit-Down Strike against GM that led to its first national contract and sparked labor movements across the country. Workers protested working conditions at the plant by sitting down and refusing to move. This prevented GM from bringing in strikebreakers and moving equipment to another factory. Workers clashed with guards, local police and even the Michigan National Guard was called in by the Governor. But GM finally relented and signed the contract with the UAW. This led to other sit down strikes at other companies and industries.

Ford announced that two of its top executives are going to retire. One of those was sort of expected. The other kind of comes as a surprise. Lewis Booth, the head of finance at Ford, and Derek Kuzak, the head of product development, will be leaving Ford at the end of March. Lewis Booth, 63 years old, is close enough to the traditional retirement age of 65 that it was sort of expected. But hearing that Derek Kuzak, 60 years old, will retire, comes as a surprise. Here’s my Autoline Insight. Ford has deep bench strength and will easily replace them. But clearly the company felt the need to inject new blood into its management ranks. That tells me Ford recognizes the easy part of its turn-around is over, and it’s throwing in fresh troops for the next phase of the battle. The company also named Jon Huntsman to its board of directors. Huntsman was running for President of the United States on the Republican ticket, but his campaign went nowhere. He’s also the former ambassador to China, and undoubtedly Ford is looking for some expertise of how to weave its way through the Byzantine maze of Chinese politics. Ford, as you know, has a lot of catching up to do in China.

Last week we showed you rip-offs of the Ford F-150 and Chevy Colorado from Chinese automaker JAC and now a Chinese brewing company has ripped off the Jeep name for its suds. Its official name is the Hubei Jeep Brewery Corporation and one of its labels features a picture of a Jeep. The company even offered a Jeep Compass to the distributor who could sell the most Jeep beer as an award. Sure would like to know if it’s any good.

Coming up next, Volvo’s new president in North America talks about how they’re going to be taking the brand more upscale, and why.

On Autoline This Week we’ve got a smorgasbord of interviews including Klaus Busse, the head of interior design at Chrysler talking about the 700C concept vehicle that was shown in Detroit. We have Max Wolff, the head of design at Lincoln talking about the new MKZ. We have Fred Diaz, the CEO of the Ram Brand, as well as Ludwig Willisch, the new president of BMW North America. But we also have John Maloney, the new president of Volvo Cars North America, and in the following clip he talks about how and why they want to take the Volvo brand more upscale.

By the way, you can watch that entire show right now at Autoline.tv, or check your local public television listings because Autoline can now be seen on many public TV stations across the United States and Canada. And be sure to tune in tonight for another episode of Roundabout starting at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

And that wraps up this week’s automotive reports. Thanks for your interest in the automotive industry, we will see you on Monday.

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

120 Comments to “Episode 823 – Tesla Model X, Mitsubishi Reveals New Outlander, Chevy Cruze Wagon”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    In addition to the Chinese beer company ripping off the Jeep name, they ripped off Heineken’s color scheme (at least in their cans).

    At first I just shook my head (again) about Chevy not bringing the European Cruzes’ over to the good ole USA, but after some thought, it’s because the wagons just don’t do well here. At least we’re supposedly getting one of the offered diesel here eventually.

  2. pedro fernandez Says:

    Funny how we start the webcast with a company that has yet to come alive followed by another that has one foot in the grave. BTW Volvo going upmarket Pt deux, the first attempt in the 80′s did not go too well, did it? The y went from the ultra-reliable, tank-like 2′s to the POS unreliable 7′s

  3. tj Martin Says:


    Brilliant idea except we won’t be getting them , and the Euro’s won’t buy them either ( you’ll see why next monday )

    So ….. irrelevant

    ( you gotta lotta splainin to do here T. Bejima )



    How nice . More ‘ Vapor Ware ” from the company that to date has ‘ manufactured ‘ ( remember the roadster is an Elise in E/V drag ) nothing …. promised us the World …. delivered on NOTHING ….all for a mere $1.2 billion of our tax dollars .

    Whats next Mr Musk ? The X – Box version ? Oh wait . thats what this one is …… silly moi !



    Still on their illegal copyright infringement kick . Now there’s a real surprise


    CHRYSLER SB Ad Revisited

    Any of you seen both Clint and Bill Murray’s interviews on CNBC (yesterday and today ) trying to justify the Chrysler SuperBowl Ad Clint ( urp ) starred in ?

    Both saying … and I paraphrase ;

    ” The Ad is intended to portray and celebrate America’s Self Reliance and Do It Yourself attitude ”

    For Chrysler ?

    Lets see now

    Been bailed out by the Tax Payers going on Four Times since the 70′s

    Been bought out twice ( OK … purchased once and given the second time … to FIAT ) by a Foreign Auto Maker

    Still begging for money / tax breaks etc behind the scenes .

    Yeah thats Self Reliance alright there Clint & Bill . Damn good thing neither of you practiced that level of ‘ Self Reliance ‘ or Bill i’d still be slinging hamburgers and Clint would still be parking cars

    Hypocrisy to the N’th degree

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It seems to me that Volvo should go back to basics. An updated rear-drive wagon like the 240 would be a great car, at the right price.

    If/when gas gets really expensive, Chevy may rethink selling the Cruze wagon in the U.S. As Chuck mentioned, Americans don’t buy wagons, at least not many of us. I’ve had my share of wagons over the years, though, and would consider a Cruze wagon in a few years, if sold with a diesel as efficient as VW’s TDI.

  5. tj Martin Says:


    Minor correction / addition mi amigo

    Started with the Vapor Ware Company

    Then the ‘ Foot in the Grave ‘ Mitsubishi

    Then on to the rapidly descending into Hell Chevy

    And on to the most irrelevant organization currently active in the US

    Finishing up with FORD once again unable to get out of its own way and the Chinese sticking it to us once again on their copy cat mania

    Truly a depressing episode from top to bottom


    So …. OK … some good news

    Daimler Mercedes has reported RECORD profits for the year 2011 , in spite of losing some €330,000 on every Maybach sold … and therefore will NOT be letting anyone go . from upper Management to the Assembly workers .

  6. Autos101 Says:

    The Cruze wagon looks great. Bring it here AND stick the 50 MPG DIESEL in it, and many, many families will buy it!

  7. pedro fernandez Says:

    Once again we get deprived of a nice, desirable vehicle while the rest of the civilized world gets to have it, there are really not many affordable wagons available here, are there? 191 I just googled the Forbes list, no diesels and one VOLT, that is why I said Forbes should keep out of the car recommendation business.

  8. MJB Says:

    My how times have changed.

    I’m not old enough to know first-hand, but did line-workers (and other factory workers too, for that matter) back in the days of that first UAW sit-down strike in Flint, MI really wear their fedoras all day long – even while assembling cars on the line?

    yes-sir, times have changed.

  9. Chuck Grenci Says:

    @Kit, you’re right; sometimes a wagon is ‘just’ right. I had an ’84 Celebrity that was terrific, and would consider another, but currently there’s just not enough of us, but as you said, maybe with the diesel it could complete the ‘right’ package for enough people (some time in the future).

  10. Autos101 Says:

    Tesla, John? LOL

    It will be about as successful as the DeLorean.

    And Delorean did not rob the US taxpayers of any half billions of $. (He did rob the Brit taxpayers and/or the irish ones, tho)

    The sooner Tesla, Fisker, (insert other crooked amateur here) goes BROKE and IS BURIED, the better for the long suffering US taxpayer, and the USA as a whole.

  11. HtG Says:

    Whe here’s a sadist? Who likes movies? Do you want to see Elon Musk “eat a glass sandwich?”

    Then you want to see the Revenge of the Electric Car. Chris Payne’s movie is a personality driven film about electric cars, following Musk, Carlos Ghosn, and Herr Lutz as they work on electrics. It’s no paean to battery power, let me tell you. And the the extras on the DVD include extended interviews, and a panel discussion, which followed the movies premiere. The cinematography is also to be enjoyed.

    Sorry, tj, no netflix for you! :)

  12. Autos101 Says:

    #7 thanks, but could you do me a favor and either post the LINK or just copy and paste the list? It only takes 3 seconds.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I had an ’86 Celebrity wagon with the 2.5 “iron duke” and 4-speed manual. For the time, it wasn’t a bad car. That car was replaced by the turbo, 5-speed Dodge Caravan that I still have.

  14. HtG Says:

    More on RotEC.

    Dan Neil of the WSJ has a big role in the movie, but one thing he said in the panel clip was that the govt believes we have the electric power available to charge something like a hundred million cars. Is that right? Did I not hear correctly? Neil and Musk also said that the 2.5-5Kwatts it takes to refine a gallon of gasoline is enough to power an EV the same distance as that very same gallon of gas. Huh?

    Don’t watch the movie to learn much, rather to see the execs up close like on AAH.(yes John, we do learn on AAH) But really, you want to see Elon suffer? It’s like nobody will tell him the safe word

  15. C-Tech Says:

    Volvo moving upscale, well John I guess there is more room at the top!

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    I love wagons myself, I wanted to buy a Corolla wagon but there are very few around, ditto for the old Civic tall wagons.

  17. C-Tech Says:

    It seems to me that Chevy just has a marketing problem with bring the Cruze wagon to the U.S. Instead of calling it a “wagon”is the U.S. just market as a “crossover”. Welcome to the U.S. “Cruze CUV”.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t understand why the word wagon has become such a no-no for American car makers, I blame the mini-van and the stupid SUV’s.

  19. Jon M Says:

    John, I like your Autoline Insight on the Ford management shake-up. I think not only will some fresh blood help, but maybe even some that is not part of the Detroit good ‘ol boys network. Even though an outsider per se does not necessarily guarantee a better pick, the right one will at least help further purge Ford of their old ways.

  20. HtG Says:

    18 also those 5 door hatchbacks. Maybe it’s just that there are many other solutions to the same question wagons answer. Plus, does Chevy want a Cruze wagon competing with the Equinox? I’m sure A1 knows better how consumers look at the choices.

  21. dcars Says:

    Jeep Beer – I bet you didn’t know – you can take it anywhere, Italians get it for free, the cap will unexpectedly fall off and sometimes the bottle leaks.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe they should call them “estate cars,” the term used in the UK.

  23. C-Tech Says:

    @ 18
    One of the reasons i heard for the decline of the American wagon is because the EPA classified them as cars. Since they are heavier and get less gas mileage than cars, it brought down the CAFE average for a given manufacturer. One by one, GM, Ford, and Chrysler dropped their wagons. Minivans and SUV’s were classified as (ha-ha) trucks. The last really successful (sales wise)wagons that I saw was the old Taurus/Sable wagons (1st gen.)

  24. C-Tech Says:

    The Dodge Magnum was a great wagon. A number of salespeople who had them, loved them. It got canned to make room for the Challenger.

  25. Jon M Says:

    @ 18

    I’m with you Pedro. I’d much rather say I own a wagon than a crossover or CUV. What the heck is a crossover or CUV? Don’t get me wrong, I know what they are, but what stupid things to call them. I still hate the description of SUV. I had neighbors back in the late 70s/early 80s that owned a Chevy Blazer. Guess what they referred to as? A truck. What were they thinking!?!

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I just love government interference in our every day lives, like they do such a good job taking care of their own issues, they pretend to know what is best for the rest of us. Libertarians unite!!

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The problem is that SUV’s are not an efficient solution. By making a wagon 6-8 inches than a car that is otherwise similar size, you turn it into a gas hog, and something that doesn’t handle as well. The difference in gas mileage between a car/wagon and tall vehicle widens when you go faster, like on the interstate, because the aero drag of the tall vehicle comes into play to a larger degree.

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Right!! Crossover from where? the twilight zone? Uranus? behind curtain #3? a crossover is nothing but a tall, wagon-like version of a car platform.

  29. aliisdad Says:

    #6; Yes, I also was thinking the a diesel Cruz wagon sounds like a great idea..Hopefully, this is a preview of product to come although this one looks like it will not be coming here for now…I have also heard about Subaru diesel wagons in other parts of the world…Wow, would I be ready to jump on that one if it were ever offered in the US…
    Hey, I love my country, but almost think it might be worth a move to get the “good stuff”…
    Well, maybe not quite, but I sure wish we would get some of the cars offered in other places by the auto manufacturers…

  30. tj Martin Says:


    Sadly its Toyota this time


    So someone remind me with Hybrids and E/V’s having some ten times the electronic complexity of an average sedan , just why it is they won’t ( or haven’t already ;-) ) go up in smoke as well ?

  31. HtG Says:

    Here’s a video report on the Tesla X from Gigaom. Start saving up Pedro, it’s going to be available at the end of 2013!!!


  32. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I liked the Magnum, and might have bought one if I hadn’t gotten on my fuel economy kick. I test drove an R/T. It was fast, and handled decently for something that big.

    I think they still build it and sell it in Europe with a Chrysler nose, and sell it as a 300 Touring, or similar name.

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    I gave up on electric toy cars when I was 14, thanks anyway.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Oops, I left out a word. I meant:

    The problem is that SUV’s are not an efficient solution. By making a wagon 6-8 inches TALLER than a car that is otherwise similar size, you turn it into a gas hog, and something that doesn’t handle as well.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Were you driving a Power Wheels jeep until you were 14?

  36. tj Martin Says:

    @ Jon M

    What is an Xover SUV you ask ?

    That’d be the GLK that just blew your doors off in a heads up while the driver wafted along in absolute comfort while your ‘ Wagon ” is beating the crap out of you and looking like something a retired Train Modeler should be driving

    FYI Kit y’all might wanna pay attention to the track test in the last issue of C&D where the BMW X5 M blew the crap out of several so called ‘ Track Day ‘ performance cars before you go on about how ‘ Bad ‘ the current crop of SUV’s handle . Ya might wanna pay special attention as to how low the MINI faired against the X5 M as well . And uhhh ….. don’t go racing any GLK’s anytime soon in your MINI either ….. cause you’ll lose . Having owned the MINI ( with the better tires /suspension than yours ) thats guaranteed


    VOLVO – FORD made a mess of things . As of now the Chinese are making things even worse ( TTAC Jalopnik Bloomberg ). And they’re gonna go upscale ??? Compared to what ?


    @ HtG – wouldn’t watch that movie if’n ya paid me ta do so


  37. C-Tech Says:

    #32 – I like the looks of a 300 and functionality of the Magnum, That would be a cool light custom, thanks for the idea, Kit. I will have to look that up.
    #33 – Pedro, how many miles did you put on that Powerwheels? We know how long you keep cars! :)

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit has a sense of humor after all, no, My fellow part-time Floridian, when I was 14 we had to pedal our ride-on toy cars, I meant the scale racing ones that use a track, I did not like Hot Wheels either.

  39. pedro fernandez Says:

    Ctech the new Don Rickles, I pedaled my little red fire truck real hard and got nowhere and then I discovered bikes, more efficient use of leg power.

  40. Jon M Says:

    @ #36

    I’m not sure if you really read my post, tj. My question was rhetorical. The point I was making in agreeing with pedro was simply that I hate the crossover, CUV, and SUV monikers by which people describe certain vehicles. They are stupid terms for people who evidently find their identities in the TYPE of vehicle they drive. And to reiterate, I was saying I would RATHER SAY I own a wagon than a CUV, which should imply nothing about what I actually own.

  41. Dale Leonard-Lakewood,O Says:

    Well,Here we go again,Chevy Cruze Wagon,and we won’t be getting it here. Why do all the manufacturers say “We’re World Car Makers” then do a 180 and only make cars and trucks for certain countries? Even though I’m a die-hard Ford person I would be interested in a Cruze Wagon. Oop’s sorry Ford!

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW my usable, working bike is a 1970′s Peugeot road bike that I’ve owned all these years and converted to HYBRID a few years back. (don’t get on my case now TJ)

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A MINI, even one like mine, would blow away a GLK, X5, or any other “crossover” or SUV in an autocross.

    Of course, a vehicle like the X5 M with almost twice the power/weight of my MINI, or your GLK with 40% higher power/weight would beat the Mini in a race/time trial where high speeds are involved. Duh…

  44. tj Martin Says:

    DODGE Magnum


    Lets take a look

    To match the performance of the GLK350 with the Magnum you’d have to buy the Hemi ( RWD GLK 0-60 6.5 seconds – 16 – 22 mpg/ Dodge Magnum Hemi 13 – 18 mpg)

    And for the same performance with a tad less mpg you could have the GLK350 4Matic …. which still gets better milage than the Magnum Hemi

    Damn thats efficiency ! Such and intelligent choice that’d of been

    Oh and did I mention the GLK will run circles around that over weight pathetic excuse of a Bling Mobile ? ( Dodge Magnum )

    Gee Kit . A Magnum ? Really ? Had no idea you were either a back woods beer addled ( JEEP beer perhaps ) Red Neck or a Suburban / Urban Gangsta Rappa wanna be

  45. pedro fernandez Says:

    Original derailleurs, wheels and other hardware, they don’t make them like they used to, I guess.

  46. tj Martin Says:


    Wanna place a serious bet on that Kit ?

    Like every other confrontation with me …

    you’ll lose !!!!!!

  47. tj Martin Says:

    @ pedro

    Why would I get on your case about your bike ?

    Thats a freaking classic ride my man and nothing to be ashamed of .

    You’d be shocked to see what some folks would pay for that these days ( Urban Hipsters love em )

    See Pedro ! Told you you’re one Hip dude ! 8)

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A Chrysler 300C with the same power train of the Magnum R/T is almost a second quicker 0-60 than a GLK350, and gets better gas mileage, much better highway mileage, and on regular, not premium.

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How would we settle the bet? Who would set up the course? I could set up a course where I would win. You could set up a course where you would win, if you didn’t roll your car.

    On the courses I have seen at events using SCCA guidelines, in Indianapolis, a GLK wouldn’t have a chance, with equal drivers.

  50. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I have an early 80′s Bianchi, probably one of the last actually from Italy.

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ Cause I turned it into a Hybrid and we know how you feel about them hybrids

  52. pedro fernandez Says:

    #49 Can I join that race in my Vibrolla? A comedic relief may be nice.

  53. Autos101 Says:

    Then you want to see the Revenge of the Electric Car.

    Seeing either the original ridiculous movie “who killed the electric car” or the idiot director’s new POS (sucking up to the STUPID, STUPID Volt) would be a huge waste of time for any thinking person.

  54. Autos101 Says:

    HtG Says:

    “Dan Neil of the WSJ has a big role in the movie, ”

    I used to respect Dan Neil. Not any more!

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    Homestead, Fl racetrack is available for rent. I’ll put beans and guacamole in my gasoline blend to give me a fair chance.

  56. Autos101 Says:

    Kit Gerhart Says:
    February 10th, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    “The problem is that SUV’s are not an efficient solution.”

    That’s true, BUT NOT for the reasons you cite below!

    ” By making a wagon 6-8 inches TALLER than a car that is otherwise similar size, you turn it into a gas hog, and something that doesn’t handle as well.”

    No and No.

    1. It will be a gas hog ONLY at very high speeds, which the FAMILIES that use these wagons should AVOID anyway, if their kids and their own lives are worth anything to them.

    2. It will handle JUST AS WELL because it will NOT have a high ground clearance as SUVS and Crossovers have, AND its center of gravity will not necessarily increase proportional to the extra height!!! The biggest weight in a car is the PASSENGERS, compared to the cargo they are 4-10 times as heavy, AND their centers of gravity will not rise proportionally!

  57. T. Bejma Says:

    #41 and others…

    There is only one reason that the Cruze wagon will not come over here. It is not that we don’t get good vehicles. It is not that GM is not a global company.

    The simple reason?

    Wagons do not sell here. Name 1 single wagon that sold more than 10,000 units last year? Didn’t think so…

    In case you haven’t noticed, GM is trying to make money for the shareholders so they can make money selling their shares. Shareholders don’t like it when you tool up a version of a vehicle for the US Market and never get your ROI back. No automaker is going to bring a model here just because a couple guys on a website are anti-SUV and would love to have a wagon. Get real!

  58. Autos101 Says:


    One more Prius C report, they got over 53 MPG average, AND there is a video of the screens and some neat add-ons which give you how much you save vs if you used another car (eg a 30 MPG one)

  59. Autos101 Says:

    57 Excuses excuses.

    If you offer either the excellent Cruze HATCH or the WAGON WITH the 50 MPG DIESEL, you will see a ton of sales and you will FINALLY be able to repay your damned $25 BILLIONS (or is it $27 billions?) you owe us!

  60. Autos101 Says:

    #57 you and all the others that PARROT the party line “Wagons don’t sell here” DONT HAVE CLUE ONE.

    The HUGE sales of small, ugly crossovers like SUBARUS and FORD ESCAPES and CRVs and RAV4s point to WHAT? THESE are NO SUVs, they are TALL WAGONS, esp in FWD form, like the 32 MPG Equinox!

    People don’t like big MINIVANS, but they would buy FUEL EFFICIENT TALL WAGONS Immediately if they were offered,

    esp given gas prices are headed for $4 and ABOVE in a few months! (Driving Season!)

  61. Lex Says:

    Gull Wing Doors on a Tesla Model X what a stupid idea! I want to see who has a garage large and high enough for those doors to open.

    Mitsubishi Outlander frontend redesign is another stupid idea because the old one was fine. Put the money behind the vehicle warranty like Hyundai / Kia and maybe their cars will sell.

    No Cruze Wagon for the USA another stupid idea by Government Motors!

    Thank God it’s Friday because the Automotive Companys can make a sane person start drinking!

    These are the reasons they needed Government Bailouts poor product decisions!!!

  62. pedro fernandez Says:

    #61 I beg to disagree, ANYTHING Tesla, stupid idea. If Mitsubishi initiated the H/K warranty plan, they still would not sell, unless they also improved reliability at the same time.

  63. HtG Says:

    Dan Neil is actually quite critical of EV near term prospects, A1. I said he has a large role in the ‘POS’ because he get’s interviewed for some time, wherein he’s quite wry. He may be googel eyed, but he’s not wide eyed at all about these kinds of cars. (though he says these are the cars he’ll buy from now on; yeah, and test drive Porsches all week long)

    If you want to see an actual quality type flic, may I recommend Robert Duval’s recent ‘Get Low?’
    (I hear he’s quite conservative politically, so it’s OK)

  64. HtG Says:

    61 The Tesla doors have an extra hinge midway up so that they can have side and overhead clearance. Falcon Wings!

    Now, do the suckers leak?

  65. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I agree that the big hit in mpg is at high sprrd, but I sure see a lot of them on the interstate, going fast. In most cases, the center of gravity IS high. That’s why rhey are involved in more than their share of rollovers, and why the SCCA won’t even allow most of them in autocross events.

  66. C-Tech Says:

    @48 – Thank you Kit
    @52 – I’m on your pit crew (if the 16 year old Acura makes it!)
    @56 – An SUV or CUV on a car platform that is 6 inches taller will have more wind resistance at 55-70 mph (highway speed) than a comparable car. The added weight of the extra steel and glass will also reduce gas mileage.

  67. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nah, HtG I am sure the superior engineering and assembly process of the Tesla would not allow for such leaks to occur. You gotta have faith in the modern automobile, remember: “There is no such thing as a bad car anymore” and “The worst new car today is better than ANY car 30 yrs ago”

  68. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sorry about the typos. That happens a lot when I’m typing on my phone.

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    What ever happened to all the Ford Explorers blow outs and flip overs? Did tires all of a sudden stop exploding. Did Firestone hire the Michelin designers, did Explorers suddenly lower their center of gravity?

  70. C-Tech Says:

    #67 If they build it, it will leak, besides the leaks will help put out the smoldering battery pack.

  71. MJB Says:


    Sorry Autos (and, no I don’t have any industry factoids with me to post and back me up on this, but) wagons simply won’t sell here.

    Over the years I have seen on the road wagon versions of cars that I never even KNEW were offered as wagons. And I’m not talking about that gorgeous new Cadillac wagon either (happen to love that car). I’m talking about Ford escort wagons, Toyota Camry wagons, and more. But I have never seen them in multiples. They exist, but nobody is buying them.

    And it’s not because they don’t posses the magical traits you are professing would be the ‘silver bullet’ to mass acceptance and profitable sales in the U.S. market.

    Most people don’t want to drive around in a wagon anymore than they want to be seen in a minivan. (yes, I know this is an old debate that I am not likely to win within the confines of this forum) But when I say “most people” I am quite aware that it does not apply to “most people” on this forum. I’m talking about most Americans.

    This ain’t the Brady Bunch. The station wagon had it’s heydey. I know it has distinct advantages over the SUV/CUV. Those are undeniable. It’s just a fact,(virtually) Nobody wants a wagon these days. Because if they did, we’d see a lot more of those small wagons I mentioned earlier on the road.

    Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good spinach is for him, you won’t get your kid to eat it. Wagons are spinach to the american public.

  72. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I don’t know the sales numbers, but the Jetta wagon sells fairly well. A lot of them are TDI’s. That is probably the best selling of the few car-height wagons available in the U.S.

  73. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #71 and 72, MJB and Kit; you are right on the mark. There are wagon enthusiasts, but by and large, every wagon offering falters. Never say never, I say, but for quite a while, the wagon curse still exists. (personally, I’m a candidate for one, even put me down for a hatchback, but they don’t sell either)

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Actually, the Jetta wagon is about the only non-premium car-height wagon sold in the U.S. What else is there? 3 series, CTS, and E-Class. Subaru has an “almost wagon” or two, but they have mandatory AWD, as does the E-Class as sold in America.

  75. John McElroy Says:

    Dear Autoline fans,

    This comment section was always about letting viewers being able to share information as well as their ideas and opinions. We’ve posted warnings in the past that we would block anyone who goes out of their way to be nasty and who consistently insults others. Apparently those warnings weren’t enough. Today, we have blocked two of you from leaving any more comments.

    Later this year we’ll be switching to a new way to post comments, where everyone will be forced to use their real email address. That will give us better control.

    Actually we don’t want to control this at all, we want it to be free-flowing. But we are going to make sure this forum is a place where people feel welcome to participate and share their ideas/info/opinions in a respectful way.

  76. HtG Says:


  77. Brett Says:


    I vote for “shooting brake”. :)

  78. Brett Says:

    John, that is a “real” email I use. It’s from my old “That’s Racing! Motorsports” team days in the 90s. Now it’s just the non-business, non-music catch-all account. I scan it for new messages several times a day.

    Ever hear the old saying “Arguing on the Internet is like competing in the Special Olympics. You may win but you still…”? :)

    Thanks for what you do.

  79. RonE Says:

    Are you saying one’s email address, which is provided anytime he/she posts, will be published for all to see?

  80. mike-g Says:

    @ 75 … Thank you John McElroy. I’m pretty sure I know the two you refer to! This site has been hijacked for way too long.

  81. pedro fernandez Says:

    Actually my real name is Clint, Clint Eastwood, but by using my real name then people would know that I’m a cheap ass who owns a decrepit old Corolla with all the millions I’ve got. http://WWW.clintischeap.@hotmail.com

  82. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Actually, there another car-height wagon, the Prius V.

  83. C-Tech Says:

    @ #75 Thank you John! ;)

  84. mike-g Says:

    Thank You Johnny Mc! These guys are out of control and have taken over your site. Bout’ time you took it back.

  85. Andrew Charles Says:

    Wagons can be classed as trucks by the EPA—the Magnum and Outback are. It depends partly on whether the commercial capability of the cargo area meets the EPAs requirements.

  86. cwolf Says:

    TTac says BMW fined $3M for delaying recalls. I find it very interesting there were 16,yes 16, reported safety defects and recalls on BMW in 2010! How many times hve there been comments calling American stuff junk when a recall was announced? Seems those Germans are doing a better job of screw-ups than we are. An to think some of you believers are delighted to pay thousands more to have one of these cars all using premium gas! But it’s OK. After 16 times to the service department I’m sure you are on a first name basis. Geesh!! 16 Times!!!

  87. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A lot of the Explorer problems, especially the blowouts, were because Ford said to under-inflate the tires, I think to 26 psi, to improve the ride.

  88. HtG Says:

    84 Here’s a link to the WSJ story on BMW safety recalls not being timely. All but one of the 16 recalls were for motorcycles. Note the late Friday release, too.


  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Magnum was one of very few, or the only “true wagon” to be classified as a “truck.” They did that to help the car CAFE numbers, but had the side benefit that they could sell it from the factory with dark tinted windows, except the front doors and windshield. The Magnum was definitely car height, and was sold with RWD. Apparently the rules allowed them to call it a “truck,” just because they wanted to.

    The Outback has raised ride height, and mandatory AWD, making it more “trucky.” The whole car-truck thing, and CAFE, need a lot of re-thinking.

  90. cwolf Says:

    @ HtG
    Gee thanks pal! The least you could of done was to let me enjoy the moment at least until lunch time tommorow before putting out my fire. Motorcycles…Bah!!

  91. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Does anyone know the details on the recalls? The wsj link doesn’t have much info.

    I’ve had BMW motorcycles, but the newest one was an ’82, probably not one that was recalled. The only 4 wheeled BMW I’ve had is my MINI.

  92. HtG Says:

    keeping standards up, buddy

  93. HtG Says:

    Here’s a link to an hour long documentary on Eddie Jordan of F1. If you don’t know who he is, you probably don’t want to watch.


  94. cwolf Says:

    Real email addresses many be necessary,but there should be no reason why those of us who have followed proper ethical standards have to keep typing in our addresses. How about fixing this for us so we can simply click in the box?

  95. cwolf Says:

    Who would have ever thought the UAW would side-line unionization efforts and/or internal issues for pure politics? I’m told they will be reaching deep into their purse to stand off the right to work issues and those promoting the idea. UAW plans to picket GE conference on the 25th seems an all around waste of time/money for what public awareness it generates. Doing so reminds me of UAW picketing transplant dealerships;No logic in it at all! Furthermore, I am still amiff as to what King hopes to accomplish by going to Europe to help GM save Opel considering he will try to convince the workorce to take a paycut. I’m sure they can handle their oun affairs and will make whatever sacrifices are needed if they want to save their jobs.

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Here is a cool wagon:


  97. cwolf Says:

    May dad had one but light blue. I used it to go on my first date with my wife to the drive-in. Her mother did’nt like seeing the wagon at all! Her only remark was to stay in the front seat!!
    Sure was a swell car. If I’m correct,the steering wheel was an odd shape;kinda like those found today with a flatter bottom providing more room between the wheelm and seat.

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I remember one of those odd shaped steering wheels on a ’64 Chrysler sedan a friend had. Tilt wheels weren’t very common then, if they existed at all.

  99. cwolf Says:

    Two other notables that come to mind are the rear window and 3rd seat. The 3rd seat faced the rear. When a kid,I never liked it much. The rear glass retracted into the tailgate. What was really handy was being able to adjust the window to any height by turning the chrome window crank. I would prefer this set-up on a new wagon over the swing-up or one piece hatches. IMO it would have more uses.

  100. cwolf Says:

    Thorough report on the Prius c at TTAC.

  101. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That was an interesting review on the Prius C. It looks like the official name of my car is “Prius Liftback,” which is a good name for it. In a few years, it will be “Prius Classic”:-)

    Based on the MSRP’s, it looks like if I were buying a C, it would only be $2K cheaper than my car. I’d probably want a “three” to get cruise, and the “keyless drive” that I have gotten spoiled by.

    Anyway, it sounds like the “real world” mpg might be even better than the EPA numbers indicate. I would expect TTAC drivers to maybe have “heavier feet” than I do, and they got 50 mpg in their test, while I get mid-40′s overall. The EPA “combined” ratings of the two cars are the same, or msybe the C is one mpg higher.

  102. Earl Says:

    I get a chuckle out of all those people that are disappointed that GM is not bringing the Cruze wagon to NA. These are the same people that say they would buy it but they never put their money where their mouth is. Same with hatchbacks.

  103. pedro fernandez Says:

    Motorweek announced their ‘Driver’s” choice awards and TJ take it easy, subcompact and midsize sedan went to Accent/RIO and Sonata/Optima. They only got right the Odyssey as top minivan. My question is: if it is truly a “driver’s” award should it not go to the best selling model? After all, drivers vote with their wallets, no?

  104. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think the only cars eligible for Motorweek’s “driver’s choice” awards are ones they’ve driven during the last year. Is that correct?

    They really seem to be loving those H/K’s, giving their “awards” to H/K products in two mainstream classes. The “expensive Germans” were pretty much left out, except in the “dream machine” category.

    Anyway, if you didn’t see the show, the whole group can be seen at:


  105. pedro fernandez Says:

    yeah 2011, this is getting like show business, soon there will be awards to honor other awards. “The award for the best acting award is……. “and like I said, the only one that should count is what people actually buy. BTW I went to see a client at a big tourist hotel in Miami Beach and most of the rental cars on the lot were Chrysler products and a few Buicks. No wonder Chrysler sales are up for the year, it’s the damn rentals.

  106. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From the MotorWeek web site:

    “We look at the factors mattering most to consumers – price, practicality, performance and fuel efficiency.”

    Price must have been a big factor in selecting the Jetta GLI as the “best sport sedan.” The VW would be a sporty and fun car, for a front-drive sedan, but as “best sport sedan,” somehow the BMW 3-series comes to mind more than a Jetta.

  107. pedro fernandez Says:

    They also gave kudos to the whole Prius line-up besides the H/K accolades, I know of one blogger here who must have been cursing at his TV.

  108. cwolf Says:

    The Odyssey was good choice and that was about it. The Boss is a terrific car,but how many has anyone ever seen? The MustangGT would have been a more logical choice. This is the car the mustang person is buying if street performance is a must have at a good price.

  109. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought the Odyssey and Priuses were good choices, but I might be biased on the latter. Still, I think most unbiased people would consider the Prius lineup a good choice for a category called “eco-friendly,” though maybe “high fuel efficiency” would be a better name for the category.

    As “best luxury sedan,” the Infiniti M certainly isn’t what I would think of, but it does get good reviews, and is sportier driving than some others in its class.

    Speaking of Boss Mustangs, there is one in the parking lot at my condo, that I have never seen before. I suspect it belongs to a visitor. It is a few years old, the body style previous to the current one.

  110. pedro fernandez Says:

    Met a physician on Sat who could frankly buy just about any car or SUV on the market, buy being ecologically conscious, he and the wife both have Prii and when I mentioned the new C model he told me that he would look into it for his daughter. When I asked him if he missed the previous large SUV’s they owned his answer was, “I don’t miss the high gasoline bills”

  111. pedro fernandez Says:

    #107 BUT instead of BUY

  112. Kit Gerhart Says:


    The Mustang in the parking lot is a GT550, not a Boss. A GT500 is bossier than a Boss, is it not?

  113. pedro fernandez Says:

    Who’s the real Boss: the Boss, the GT500 the SVT Cobra or the Steve McQueen version.?

  114. cwolf Says:

    @pedro RE110
    Thats easy; Bruce”Born In America”Springstine of course! The Cobra is,too. But I would’nt know what to do with it. Since I’m a softy, I’ll go for the bullet.

  115. pedro fernandez Says:

    Most bloggers on TTAC are all excited about the Sonic, frankly I don’t understand why. The car looks like your run of the mill current crop of 5 door hatchs, engines are nothing class leading, and it is another Daewoo engineered and designed product after all

  116. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sonic has gotten generally good reviews from various testers. It’s way too early to know about reliability, though.

  117. pedro fernandez Says:

    TTAC tester says the 1.4 engine with turbo is the engine of choice, I don’t like cars that come with a crappy standard engine and make you spend more to get the better one, ditto for the wheels, they’re engineered and designed for a larger wheel and then they throw in a smaller one which gives you neither the handling not the appearance that was originally intended. That is the one thing that attracted me to my Corolla, one engine and one wheel size choice.

  118. vrmchris Says:

    to mr. mcelroy,

    thank you.


  119. MJB Says:


    Thanks, John.

    I had actually ‘left’ the forum (for about a week and a half or so) due to the over-the-top ravings of one member in-particular.

  120. dave Says:

    Wagons dont sell here>>>well if cant buy one here then you cant sell them here..With people who need room and hight fuel cost wagons and or hatch backs are all over the road.