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Episode 1041 – Yellow Means Stop, Not-So-Cool Refrigerant, Repurposed Conveyor Belts

January 3rd, 2013 at 11:48am

Runtime: 8:22

In China you can now get a ticket for running a yellow light. The debate over DuPont-Honeywell’s new automotive refrigerant heats up after it fails Daimler’s internal safety test. One man’s trash is another man’s… garage floor? All that and more, plus John McElroy talks with the head of BMW i design about what went into the interior of the i3 electric.

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Hello and thank you for joining us for another report from Autoline Daily. Here are some of the things taking place in the global automotive industry today.

1-2-3 RED LIGHT
In America it seems that everyone is running red lights these days. But in China you can get a ticket for running yellow lights. According to Bloomberg, drivers will receive six demerit points for running a yellow. They lose their license if they reach 12 points. Not surprisingly, the new rule, which started the first of the year, is not popular. Critics argue that driver’s won’t be able to brake fast enough to avoid running a yellow light. It’s estimated that there are 250,000 traffic deaths in China every year.

AS LONG AS THEY DON’T IPAD THE BILL
Mopar is in charge of all the dealerships at Chrysler and when Mopar’s CEO, Pietro Gorlier was on Autoline This Week he said one of his top goals was to improve the dealership experience for customers and improve profitability for the dealers. Now the Detroit News reports that when customers bring their cars to the dealer, a technician will plug an iPad into the car and bring up everything about it, from tire pressures to service bulletins. Right now they’re beta testing the system but customers seem to like seeing everything about their car within seconds of driving in the service doors. It’s optional for dealers to use, but Chrysler thinks 1,000 of its 2,400 dealers will use it.

HEY, DON’T THROW THAT AWAY
A company called repurposedMATERIALS takes industrial byproducts and repurposes them. For example, it’s taking conveyor belts from mining operations and using them for garage floors, truck bed liners, and other things. Used conveyor belt rubber is much stronger than other rubber materials of similar thickness, even in extreme temperatures. Not only does it keep this stuff out of landfills, it can be 50 percent to 75 percent cheaper than using new material. I think I’m going to have to take a look at this for my garage floor.

NOT SO COOL REFRIGERANT
A new refrigerant designed by DuPont-Honeywell to reduce the global warming potential of automotive A/C systems just failed Daimler’s internal safety tests. It simulated a high-speed crash in which the refrigerant, known as 1234yf, was released into an engine compartment heated to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. In each of the more than 20 tests, a fire broke out. I had heard this refrigerant is safer than the current R-134a refrigerant. But I guess the book is still out on this one.

JAGUAR ADDS AWD
Rear drive cars can be a handful in snowy conditions, so Jaguar will now offer all-wheel-drive in the XJ and XJL sedans. The driver can choose from 3 different setting. The system defaults to 100 percent rear-wheel-drive but can also send 100 percent of the power to the front wheels, which should help maintain that classic Jaguar driving experience.

BARN FINDS
Wow, we sure got a lot of guesses about that car I found out in the woods that we covered in yesterday’s show. We’ll dive more into that tomorrow when we do our Barn Finds segment. But all I’ll say for now is that the Spitfire name on the engine is the clearest clue we’ve got.

Coming up next, the BMW i3 gives us a hint at the future of interior design at the Bavarian automaker.

BMW i3 ELECTRIC
(The i3 interior design can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)

We’re getting closer and closer to the introduction of BMW’s electric cars. And the company is taking a decidedly different approach to designing the interior of those vehicles. Recently I asked Benoit Jacob, the head of design of BMWi to point out what they did with the interior of the i3 electric.

Supposedly we’ll see the i3 in production sometime later this year.

Say, before we go, please be aware that Autoline After Hours will be on tonight at its regular webcast time of 6 pm eastern time. If you want to know what’s in store for the automotive industry for 2013 we have a great prognosticator joining us. Anthony Pratt the head of forecasting from RL Polk will be joining me and that outrageous, bodacious, Autoextremist, Peter De Lorenzo for the best insider’s view of what’s happening in the car biz. That’s right here at Autoline.tv.

And that wraps up today’s report, thanks for watching, we’ll see you tomorrow.

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

67 Comments to “Episode 1041 – Yellow Means Stop, Not-So-Cool Refrigerant, Repurposed Conveyor Belts”

  1. T. Bejma Says:

    Amazing that one of the things that the NYT article says the ATS does the best is the one thing CK thinks is the worst. Definitely not a clue…

    …and I QUOTE

    “The base ATS weighs 3,315 pounds, a mere 26 pounds more than a Corvette Grand Sport convertible. Throw in nearly perfect 50-50 front-to-rear weight distribution and a suspension that was tuned on the fabled Nürburgring course in Germany, and you’ve got a small sedan that’s a blast to drive on the road and the track.”

    “Cadillac did manage to create a top-of-the-class chassis. The ATS is agile but not nervous, the controls transmitting a level of feedback that makes the car feel alive even when you’re just moseying around town. The last sedan that I remember accomplishing that feat was the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo RS, a frothing high-strung psychopath with no radio or air-conditioning. To achieve such a degree of man-machine communication while ironing out the potholes is a significant achievement.”

    The NYT even likes the interior materials that CK likes to rip on…

    “The ATS interior is well wrought, especially in the Premium Collection trim. We can debate whether carbon fiber’s voguish status will stand the test of time, but at least the stuff available on the ATS’s dash is real carbon fiber. The interior strives for flash, which is fun and useful in some cases (like the color heads-up display projected on the windshield)”

    and, in case it was missed on the show from yesterday…

    Looks like CK owes me a case of IPA (early – since the bet was inventory would be down by the new truck launch)…

    GM inventory just announced this morning…

    Days Supply 12/31/12 (Number of vehicles)
    All Vehicles = 76 days (717,025) – down 29% from Nov
    Full-size Pickups = 80 days (221,649) – down 43% from Nov

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    C’mon John….we,the ALD faithful nailed your field find in a very short time ;}>

    The i3….internet connected? Did I miss something about drivers NOT being too distracted?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If this new “high tech” refrigerant is a fire hazard, why not just use butane or propane. Yeah, they’re a fire hazard, but are cheap, non-corrosive, and make good refrigerants. Probably propane would be more like R134, in terms of liquefaction pressure, etc., than butane.

  4. HtG Says:

    1 Come on now, TB, how many thousands of people read the NYT? many

    Here’s a pro tip from the world of classical music; the musicians well understand that only a few member of the audience can tell the difference between good and bad performances. There’s this joke about works that end loud and fast leading to an eruption from the seats.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    TB,
    You need to convince the powers that be within Cadillac that they should sell a “3.6 Standard” version of the ATS.

  6. ColoradoKid Says:

    #1 Nice try …. but the print article when placed into full context doesn’t come out so well now does it T ?

    And perhaps you missed out on the conclusions of the article .. and I quote ;

    “But there’s work to be done, notably in the drivetrain department, where it’s ambitious to ask $42,000 for a car that uses the same V-6 engine as a $24,000 Camaro.

    The ATS reminds me of a star college freshman who leaves for the N.B.A. and finds the game is a lot different at the pinnacle of the sport. The raw talent is there, but it might take a few more years to arrive at greatness ”

    Taking special notice of the final line . ( from the online version )

    BTW You call 76 days a plus ? Thats still well within the range of a major NEGATIVE when it comes to business matey . Seeing as how the bet was that current stock would be down far enough to justify purchasing the 2013 model …. No IPA for you yet my fine feathered GM cheerleader

    If anything in light of your current rhetoric you’re gonna wind up owing me a major league apology . Especially when you finally see whats coming down your pike ( GM’s ) at a 150 mph on a dead on collision course . Consider that a heads up cause thats all I can say on the subject at present

  7. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Would this be the same 3.6L in my 12 Equinox ltz? If it is,trust me,you’ll love it.It’s a fast little sucker with a good sound for a V6.My E is also awd and on I-5 here in southern Oregon I average about 26.2+ mpg.I’m sure it will get better mpg when it’s broken in.I bought it a year ago this month and just have a bit over 7k miles on it.

  8. HtG Says:

    “…my fine feathered GM cheerleader.”

    Please, CK, no ad hominem

  9. ColoradoKid Says:

    T.B .

    You need to tell the marketers at Cadillac to quit going down the Automotive Kiss of Death trying in any way shape or form to compare the ATS to BMW Mercedes or yes even the Lexus IS despite the blatant propaganda being put forth by much of the US automotive press due to the pressures placed upon them by GM e.g. ” No positive reviews …. no Press Cars for you ”

    Better they charge less for the thing and then put some genuine time and effort using better materials especially in the interior ….. instead of Smoke & Mirrors to improve the thing rather than get customers hopes up only to have them disappointed once they’ve compared the ATS to its ( cough) competition on their own, Especially in light of that god awful ludicrous attempt at being BMW price tag

  10. T. Bejma Says:

    #4

    Always the voice of reason HtG. Sincerely Thanks.

    Also wanted to ask you about the Surface. I have the Windows PC’s/Laptops at home and the XBox 360, but will probably never have a Windows phone. Can you still get the advantage of the connectivity/cross sharing/etc. with an Android phone?

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    #8

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

    Methinks you’ve got your idioms confused good sir . No insult or attempt at aiming the critique at the author rather than the argument .

    Just a simple statement of fact with little or no insult intended.

    FYI it seems to me its been TB thats been on the insult tear of late when it comes to criticisms of GM Volt and the ATS specifically …. so wheres the voice of reason been on the reverse ?

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7,
    Yep, it’s the same engine, though the power ratings vary a little by application, maybe due to differences in intake and exhaust plumbing, though there may be other differences.

    It is used in Equinox/Terrain, Traverse et. al., Impala, XTS, SRX, LaCrosse, CTS, Camaro, well, everything GM has with a V-6, except the big pickups which still use the 4.3.

    Everything I’ve heard is that the 3.6 is a great engine, and I see nothing wrong with it being used in “everything GM,” just as Chrysler uses their new Pentastar V6 in almost everything.

  13. HtG Says:

    10 I’m not sure. I know MS is trying to get the most popular apps into their own store, yet Amazon won’t let me play movies on the Surface. I can easily access my gmail account on the Surface tablet; what I do on the laptop gets across, no problem. Same with YouTube, Twitter. Remember MS has an investment in FaceBook. There’s going to be a competition between Google, MS, Apple, Amazon building their own cloud, maybe even Blackberry, to corral people into ecosystems. Yesterday we read about Intel trying to get into the living room with their own video service. It’s all in flux, and I pay more attention to the processor level battle.

  14. G.A.Branigan Says:

    After having owned one for a year now,it is a fine engine.Sounds damn fine too,even after a year I still marvel at how good it sounds.With the right exhaust mods it would definitely turn some heads and increase the wow factor…..considering what it is of course.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    The i3 Electric’s dash, to me, lacks any integral styling; the section where all the ‘boxes’ attach looks pretty good but the squareness of the readouts just protrude from the styled landscape’d interior.

    My experience with GM’s 3.6 is very positive; my daughter has the 3.6 in her Saturn Vue, I had the non-DI in my ’06 STS and I currently have the 3.6 DI in my ’11 STS; all powerful, smooth and fuel efficient. Perhaps the N.Y. Times article should have mentioned that the Camaro also gets the fine GM V-6 (not the negatively bias alluding to a lesser engine, which it is not).

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Would it be fair to compare the ATS’ mission as the same one of the Cimarron all those years ago? Was GM not going for the same buyers? I am NOT saying they’re in any way. shape or form alike, jsut going for the same market segment.

  17. C-Tech Says:

    @ #16 I think you are correct that Cadillac is once again offering a vehicle to compete with BMW and Mercedes, but this time they are doing it the right way.

    Despite all the jaw-jacking from C.K. and T.B., ultimately the market will decide which car will be MOST successful. BMW and Mercedes are not going anywhere. Will Cadillac not just crash the party but be a major player well into the future?

  18. C-Tech Says:

    A corretion to the Chrysler dealership iPad experience: A Service Advisor, not technician, will pull up all that info on your car or truck when you pull in. It is a great timesaver when linked to the dealership system. A Service Advisor can quickly prepare your order with this system, it can even be linked to the parts dept so the basic parts the technical needs can be prepared for the technician quickly.

  19. pedro fernandez Says:

    Funny thing is that most people I have met who own German makes would not even consider a domestic brand, no matter how good the NY Times or anyone else says it is. The driving “dynamics” is what they lust after, no matter how expensive it becomes to upkeep.

  20. W L Simpson Says:

    My son is visiting in his 2012 Genesis–That car is just too dam smart , maintaining distances, holding lane positions , trip display etc, etc. Frightening to this olwrench,whose diagnostic & driving abilities were earned by experience ,not cybernetics.

  21. pedro fernandez Says:

    Too intrusive IMO, for that I got my wife next to me, but I can always leave her home.

  22. ColoradoKid Says:

    Congratulations are in oder for Subaru ;

    First major recall of 2013 as well as first candidate for Automotive BBQ of 2013 .. barely three days into the new year

    http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2013/01/subaru-recalls-nearly-634000-forester-legacy-outback-tribeca-models-due-to-fire-risk.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    If this any sign of the things to come this is gonna be one lousy year in the automotive industry I’m afraid

  23. ColoradoKid Says:

    #19

    ” The driving “dynamics” is what they lust after, no matter how expensive it becomes to upkeep ”

    …. and the quality of build and materials .. customer service from beginning to end … not to mention Cadillac’s reliability and service costs are nothing to brag about … resale value .. interior layout …. genuine substance rather than unsubstantiated bravado and hype …. that its not its not as good as a _____ but is the _______ ( fill in BMW Mercedes etc ) Cadillac is so desperate to compare itself to .

    A better hint from the Music World since HtG bought it up earlier on the subject of Cadillac ;

    ” The very Moment you try to compare yourself to your peers or the competition …. at that point you have completely negated any and all talents you may or may not have in one fell swoop . Saying you’re ” As Good As ” is tantamount to saying you’re not any ‘ Good ‘ at all ” ;-)

    ( care to guess the origins of that quote HtG ? )

  24. HtG Says:

    23 absolutely correct, but no idea who said it. But I could guess; was he a good talker?

    So tough to compare cars for me. All the gizmos, the detachment, etc. are attractive to lots of people.

  25. T. Bejma Says:

    According to the people that are paid to gather the data, Cadillac is 3rd best in reliability. That is genuine substance (and substantiated below). In fact, the only German make in the top 5 is Porsche…

    “Lexus ranks highest in vehicle dependability among all nameplates in 2012. In addition, the Lexus LS has the fewest problems in the industry, with just 72 PP100. Rounding out the five highest-ranking nameplates are Porsche, Cadillac, Toyota and Scion, respectively.”
    http://www.jdpower.com/content/press-release-auto/Q5wPftR/2012-u-s-vehicle-dependability-study.htm

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    #22 I still say it’s the damn engine covers, between that and the aerodynamic under-bodies, the frigging cars can’t get enough cool air in there to make those ever hotter engines cool down, and let’s not talk about all the plastic where it should be METAL.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    #23 I think that depends largely on the dealer, for example Lexus dealers who are usually attached to a Toyota dealer have a great customer satisfaction rating, among the best in the industry while Toyota continues to bottom out the surveys time after time, I have recently experienced this first hand and I have been dealing with one Toyota dealer or another since 1986 and it gets no better, the last Scion purchase was NEVER followed up by any call, no surveys, no nothing, as if we had bought a toaster at Walmart. Rout service call was less than stellar.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #27, My main problem with Toyota dealers is that the people who move the cars don’t bother to pick up their feet, so there are greasy smudges on the door sill, door panel, etc. The one actual service I’ve had, other than oil changes and tire rotation, was changing the steering intermediate shaft. The Indiana Toyota-Honda-Ford dealer performed the service successfully, and, that day, they didn’t even soil the interior of the car.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23,
    OK, we know you don’t like the ATS, while everyone else who has driven one mostly likes it, and is willing to point out both the good and not-so-good. Isn’t it time to give it a rest?

  30. HtG Says:

    27,28 This post is facilitated by Tito’s vodka. It’s good.

    A nearby Toyota dealer is part of the DCH group, who are based in Hong Kong. I took my sister’s Matrix there for an oil change, and was treated so well that I felt an urge to get a car. DCH also own a local BMW dealer which they bought out from the owners for crazy money some years ago(speaking to service people is fun!). But at another Toyota shop, I had to wait around endlessly when I was shopping cars, and then the saleswoman tried the line about how the car was actually already sold, but I still could get it. You know what? Sit and spin.

    Dealers. (I could tell stories, but I won’t ID people)

  31. HtG Says:

    Check it. A company called Elio bought a closed GM plant in LA.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/03/us-trust-formergmplant-idUSBRE9020M420130103

  32. HtG Says:

    The video

    http://www.eliomotors.com/videos/

  33. C-Tech Says:

    @ #31 & #32 What a contrast, That plant used to be the GM Hummer plant, now it is going to produce 80 mpg, 3-wheeled vehicles? Pass the Vodka

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It was only the “little” Hummer, the H3 that they made there, along with the Colorado/Canyon, and earlier, S10/Sonoma.

  35. C-Tech Says:

    As I prepare to leave dealership life in the next 2 years after spending close to the last 20 years, I believe the reason you don’t get good dealer service has a lot to do with dealers increasing profit by reducing the pay of sales and service professionals. Service advisors and sales people have to work longer hours and weekends for the same commissions or less. Those who are really good at it go to better (luxury) dealers and the rest are a revolving door of people in and out of dealers. Management could care less about retaining and training sales and service people. The most important thing (after you pay) at the dealer is the survey you receive after sale or after warranty work.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The H2 and H1 were built in Mishawaka, Indiana at a former AM General plant.

  37. C-Tech Says:

    @ #34 The H3 and Colorado/Canyon still had poor mileage for their size. I still find it hard to believe GM replaced the S-10 with the Colorado, in my opinion a cheaper design.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C-Tech,
    Are dealer techs still paid by “flat rate”?

  39. T. Bejma Says:

    The Shreveport, LA Plant never made it over to new GM and was one of the plants that old GM still had. It was not going to be GM plant for long. Don’t know if it was in the decision process but I do know they had a pesky Local down there.

    Glad someone got the plant, the general assembly area was practically brand new. The stamping and paint portions were some of the worst in GM. The orange peel put out by their paint line was legendary (in a bad way) and I think the stamping plant was old when the S-10 started…

  40. C-Tech Says:

    Yes I (and most every technician) are still paid via flat rate.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37,
    Yeah, the H3 was too heavy, and those 5 cylinder engines were too thirsty for the power they made.

  42. T. Bejma Says:

    #35

    Part of the reason the pay for dealership employees is going down is because the margins are getting smaller and incentives less. Used to be that sales guy could make over $100,000/year, now they would be lucky to get half that. I heard a figure that the sales guys make about $100 on a Cruze…

  43. HtG Says:

    35 wow is that true about customer surveys. I spoke to a service manager who told me how if they didn’t get 9 or 10 points from a customer he’d have to be on the phone to the OE, explaining. At another dealer, I kid around with the service writer about making sure to fill out the survey favorably. It’s just a lot of power to give mostly ignorant clientele, I think.

  44. C-Tech Says:

    As manufacturers manipulate (lower) the flat rate times paid to the dealers, it lowers the pay to technicians. If you look at the GM truck recall for fractured transmission dipstick tubes, the replacement of the tube used to pay about 2 hours under warranty because of the way it was routed. Under the recall GM pays .5 hours. Your truck will not be cleaned of my greasy fingerprints and footprints for .5 hours :)

  45. C-Tech Says:

    @ #42 The margins are thinner, however when you add in what the under-educated masses pay in financing and service contract commissions dealers do not lose money. A Cruze, Sonic, Spark truly are financial vehicles.

  46. ColoradoKid Says:

    @ pedro

    On the buying German vs Cadillac issue : here’s a question every potential Cadillac buyer should be asking themselves before signing on the dotted line ;

    Why would you pay BMW-Mercedes bespoke prices for a GM Parts Bin car with a Cadillac badge pinned on its snout : especially in light of Cadillacs poor reliability – lousy resale value and equal or higher maintenance and repair costs ?

  47. C-Tech Says:

    @ #46 BZZZZT! Wrong Jeopardy question C.K. If you phrase it that way, Why on earth would you do the same for a Porsche (Cayenne), Audi (VW), Lexus, or Infiniti? If you don’t like Cadillac or GM, that’s fine, but you are dead wrong about the issues of reliability and quality being so far behind those European badges today.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The ATS is not a “parts bin” car. There is not a Chevy, Buick, or any other version of it. Yes, it shares engines with other GM cars, just as BMW and Mercedes share engines between cars at the top and bottom of their lines. The fact remains that the ATS works very well.

    Time will tell how the reliability turns out. As far as depreciation, the Germans do better than most Cadillacs. Whether that “matters” depends on how long you plan to keep the car, and it also makes the one that depreciates faster a better buy used.

    Maintenance and repair costs, off warranty, are likely to be higher on any BMW or Benz, than on a Cadillac.

  49. cwolf Says:

    Yeah,pedro,why buy a Cadillac ATS,though having a base price of thousands less, when BMW is discounting their cars up to $10K? Just over look little things, like a pair of rotors cost over $700 or a couple hundred bucks for an oil change. And besides,any BMW/Merc driver with any amount of common sense leases the car and leaves the repairs for the next sap.

  50. ColoradoKid Says:

    Please name one single solitary part on the ATS other than the body and the badge along with a couple of interior details that is not from GM’s multinational parts bin

  51. ColoradoKid Says:

    The TRUTH about GM’s supposed shrinking truck inventory ;

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/472316/#more-472316

    Manipulate a figure here – take a number there out of context – make a few unrealistic assumptions about future sales based on one good month and …… POOF ! Inventory gone . Pure magic . Smoke & Mirrors magic that is

  52. ColoradoKid Says:

    #47

    I wouldn’t buy an Audi-Lexus-Infinite -Volvo – Lincoln for those very same reason . But seeing as how the conversation was about Cadillac I kept it

    #49 Please tell that to my neighbor with her similar model to my Mercedes Cadillac … purchased within 30 days of one another – hers having but 1000 miles more on the OD than mine . She’s had hers in the shop now going on 15 times ( in 20 months ) now for major ( 10 ) and minor ( 5 ) repairs : Whereas my Benz has been in for repair of any kind a grand total of …….. 0 .. none … nada ….. Perception vs Reality . Reality once again winning the day

  53. Bob e k Says:

    I feel Cadillac is doing a great job with there ATS XTS read motor trend Feb issue…# 1 is the Cadillac ATS ….US vehicles from GM Ford are excellent vehicles quit bad mouthing them buy US owned

  54. cwolf Says:

    Perhaps it would be more acceptable to you, KC, if GM resorted to using the Euro brand practice of reducing inventory and boost sales by forcing dealers to document each car, then claim it as a sale. You really should quit grasping at straws to justify your beliefs, ol’chap!

  55. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Given the fact that GM is fixin’ to launch the 2014 trucks in about 3 months,I would say they are all but giving the 12′s and maybe the 13′s away.Around here at least they are advertising huge discounts for everything ‘truck’.I am of course talking about gm only.Having said that,I would not be surprised if they keep the discounts rolling for a while longer….

  56. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #52,
    It sounds like your neighbor has been unlucky, and maybe you have been lucky.

    As far as this nameplate thing, would you hate the ATS less if GM dropped the Chevy, Buick, and Cadiilac brands, and called all of their cars, say, GMC, kind of like BMW and Benz use (mainly) one “brand”?

  57. C-Tech Says:

    @ #52 When you run out of facts……

  58. pedro fernandez Says:

    cwolf, you’re howling at the wrong tree (get it) I have nothing against any of those companies, I just can’t afford any of them, but if I could, I would get an LS, boring? yep! lethargic handling? Yep! but it is what I look for in a car, plushness quietness, roomy plus the added reliability of Toyota

  59. pedro fernandez Says:

    BTW it’d be used, let someone else take the hit on depreciation.

  60. cwolf Says:

    pedro, I also like most brands. The LS is very nice, but I could be just as happy with Honda of late….if’n I’d buy from a foreign company.

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    Now if money was not an issue, I’d get a 66 Toronado and give it the Leno treatment. (less HP of course)

  62. Kit Gerhart Says:

    #58,
    Yep, the LS is still the ultimate luxury car, if you are looking for luxury in the traditional sense, as in quite, comfortable, good ride, and roomy. An S-Class has more “panache,” but the LS has at least equal luxury, in the traditional sense, and much more user friendly controls.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62, Oops, that’s “quiet,” not “quite.”

  64. C-Tech Says:

    Wow! How did the Lexus LS (one of my favorites too, LS400 for me) become the new Buick? BTW Pedro, I understand your Leno ’66 Toronado reference, but why build a rwd Toronado when you could have done a ’65 Riviera? (With Leno’s money of course!)

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    ctech. I just always like the Toro, it was the first car that as a kid I fell in love with, It looked as if it had come from the future. Otherwise a 66 Mustang 289 stick will do as well. Sorry the folks who used to buy those big Buicks would find the LS just too damn expensive now, when it came out in the early 90′s it was in the mid 30′s. Undercutting the Germans by a lot of $$

  66. C-Tech Says:

    Pedro, I agree with you, but if you look at the price of a Buick, you’ll find it not that far off a Lexus.

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Lexus LS is a lot more expensive than any current Buick, starting at about $72K.

    The Lexus ES is Buick priced, but is basically a Camry. The most Buick-like Toyota product is probably the Avalon, which competes with the LaCrosse, price-wise. For someone who wants “traditional luxury” for a lot less money than an LS, the Avalon is a very good car.