Episode 149 – CAFE Costs Could Skyrocket, Chrysler Names New Chairman, BMW’s Doppler Radar

May 21st, 2009 at 12:00pm

Runtime 6:36

Chrysler announced Robert Kidder will take over as chairman once it emerges from bankruptcy. The new U.S. fuel economy regulations could cost you a lot more than claimed by the Obama Administration. BMW puts Doppler radar in your car, so you can see the weather. All that and more, plus a look inside Lincoln’s new three-row crossover, the MKT.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. Chrysler names a new chairman. CAFE costs could skyrocket. And BMW puts Doppler radar in your car, so you can see the weather.

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

This is Autoline Daily for Thursday, May 21, 2009. And now, the news.

Hold on to your wallets! Ward’s reports that the new U.S. fuel economy regulations could cost you A LOT more (subscription required) than claimed by the Obama Administration. $1,300 of extra cost was the initial figure tossed out there, but according to Ricardo, an independent engineering firm, depending on the type of vehicle, the actual price tag could be anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000!

Chrysler announced Robert Kidder, 64, will take over as chairman from Robert Nardelli once Chrysler emerges from bankruptcy. Kidder is the former chairman of Borden Chemical and Duracell, the battery company, and has extensive private equity experience. He was chosen by the Presidential Task Force.

And Chrysler put out a video yesterday from Steve Landry, the executive vice president for sales explaining why the company is getting rid of so many dealers. We’ll have the full video posted later on our website.

Daimler was fined by German market regulator BaFin, over the resignation of its former chief executive Juergen Schrempp. According to the Detroit Free Press, BaFin fined the company $272,000 because it knew well in advance of his resignation and should have notified the public earlier. Schrempp’s resignation sent stock prices higher, hurting investors who sold stock just before he left. Daimler admits no wrong doing but accepted the fine to avoid more legal battles.

Chinese automaker Chery will start building vehicles in Brazil. According to Gasgoo.com, the plant will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units. Chery will invest $500 million in the plant and plans to open it in 2011. The automaker will begin importing its Tiggo SUV to the Brazilian market next month with three more models to follow by the end of the year.

BMW will launch a new feature that lets drivers look at cloud and precipitation animations right on their navigation screens. The display looks just like Doppler radar and shows weather patterns for the past 90 minutes. Called “Precipitation Pattern” feature it’s set to launch this July.

Coming up next, a look inside Lincoln’s new three-row crossover the MKT.

The new Lincoln MKT crossover goes on sale late this summer. To set it apart from the competition, the company gave it some unique features – not the least of which is its styling.

People will either love it or hate it, but at least they’ll have an opinion about it. The plunging grill, kicked-up shoulder line and bulbous bustle back are unlike anything else out there. And while its exterior may cause controversy, there’s little to argue about inside.

The dashboard and doors are covered in stitched panels and real wood trim. The look is clean and luxurious with high-quality materials everywhere. Moving back, the second-row seats are like thrones, with plenty of room to stretch out. Unfortunately, passengers traveling in steerage are not blessed with the same spacious accommodations. There’s very little leg or headroom in the third row.

As we reported earlier in the week, Ford is offering its new EcoBoost V6 as an option on the MKT. A naturally-aspirated 268 horsepower, V6 serves as the base engine.

Driving the EcoBoost-powered MKT was more fun than expected. The big crossover handles remarkably well and rides smooth. With the turbocharged engine, it’s quick at all speeds. On level ground with the cruise control set at 70, the digital readout indicated 23 miles per gallon, or about 10 L/100 km. That’s impressive for a big vehicle with 350-plus horsepower.

If you’re in the market for a luxuriously trimmed three-row crossover, the new Lincoln MKT is hard to beat. Its styling isn’t for everyone, but if you like what you see, it offers some appealing features like a top-notch interior and surprising performance.

And that does it for today’s show. But one more thing before we go. Because of the holiday we’re taking tomorrow off, so I have to announce the winner of this week’s trivia contest today. We challenged you to identify the car pictured here. And the correct answer is … the Citroen Nemo. It’s a compact utility van that’s sold in Europe. And this week’s winner is… Brian Heersink of Livonia, Michigan. Congratulations Brian, you’ve just won a really cool Mercedes-Benz clock.

Also, don’t forget to checkout Autoline After Hours. It kicks-off tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern or 23:00 GMT. Along with Peter and Jason we’ll be joined by Robin Miller, one of the best motorsport journalists in the business, and Sam Abuelsamid from Autoblog. One topic for tonight: Is it possible the Chevrolet Volt will not make it into production? You’ll want to hear what that’s about.

Anyway, that’s it for today’s show, thanks for watching, we’ll see you next week.

58 Comments to “Episode 149 – CAFE Costs Could Skyrocket, Chrysler Names New Chairman, BMW’s Doppler Radar”

  1. Dan Busch Says:

    How about the EcoBoost technology for the 4 and six cylinder engines?

  2. mitchw Says:

    Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed how we americans may no longer be the prettiest girl at the dance? I see more cars being designed with Chinese preferences in mind, like the backseat on this Lincoln being throne like. I sat in the Toyota Venza rear and got the same feeling. Plus the latest interior on the Honda Civic was made to appeal to the glitzy tastes of the Chinese.

    Guess we’d better learn how to dance.

  3. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    That Lincoln needs to have regular flossing along with an oil and filter change, also keep raising the prices on new cars and sales will drop even more than now, I’m buying 2 cars next time and store one for the future. Mew cars will become a luxury for most folks

  4. Thor Says:

    Re Today’s stories:

    The first one, Ward’s tall tales of cars costing $12k more because of the new regulation, that’s UTTER, unadulterated BS. You can DO NOTHING except put a diesel in any existing car and maybe a start-stop system, and you will meet these requirements at less than $4k extra cost. And ther way the US $ is falling, a car costing $24k in 2012 is barely $20k now, so in REAL terms, prices could well go DOWN.

    Journalists look always on the bad side of things, BUT recently we learned that cars were NEVER as affordable as they are now, in terms of weeks the average worker has to work to buy one!!!

    I’ll talk about that POS obese (5,200) stupid wagon from lincoln with UGLY styling and a third row seat for 5 year olds only, but why would I bother? this dog will die an early death, and Ford looks especially DUMB to design it, AFTER the utter failure of the Mercedes R class and the Chrysler Pacifica, which were almost identical in design and weight!

  5. Lex Says:


    Bob Lutz was on Letterman show to defend the Chevy Volt from Dave’s swips at the Volt in a earlier broadcast. Letterman own’s a Tesla Roadster and was mocking the Volt. Bob is not the best choice to go toe to toe with a guy like Letterman. I would of had Jay Leno, a real “Car Guy”, go toe to toe with Letterman.

    If Bob Lutz really want to get the good word out on the Volt, book himself on the Talk Show circuit! If Author’s use Talk Shows to promote
    their books, why can’t Lutz do the same with a revolutionary vehicle like the Volt.

    My only concern is that the price tag of the Volt (estimated at $40K) will keep it out of reach for many consumers. I base this opinion on the fact that a Toyota Prius and Honda Insight sticker fully loaded in the $25K range. The $15K premium in price for the Volt means that it would take 10 years for the own to recoup the additional cost in fuel savings over a similar model listed above.

    I think the Chevy Cruze and other ready to go GM models would be better able to bring
    “Voltec” drive systems to market at a more reasonable price for all consumers to consider.

    By the way John, The Blue shirt you wore on today’s show makes you look more professional in front of the shows background screen. The Striped Shirts do not work. Darker colors are the way to go.

    Fantastic Show, got to get my daily fix of Autoline!


  6. William R. Walling Says:

    “I truthfully believe Detroit DOES believe Ricardo bluff or that from other naysayer.”
    Supports the reason our PLANET has no competitor of note for TOYOTA’S ‘Prius’.
    While this globe is awash in ‘posers’ for the Hybrid vehicle crown Mr. Toyoda will soon take reigns of a ‘cash cow’ provided he continues historic EFFICIENCY!
    Caveat, Wonder how much ‘Green’ resources and support a failed TUNDRA cost TOYOTA? BILLIONS?
    Marketing 101 -
    ‘If your company devises, manufacturers then vends SOLELY ‘cars and trucks’ WHO would EXPECT clientele to purchase a car or truck from?’
    Therein lay many global ‘Transportation’ vendors fatal flaw, this NOT solely a land transportation malady.
    Enjoy this Holiday while appreciating America’s Military historic, present and future sacrifices!

  7. Ivan Sears Says:

    John, if the new U.S. Fuel economy regulations do as you reported, and drive vehicle costs by $5K to $12K per vehicle, then there will be a great opportunity for some of the out-of-work members of the auto industry to go into the refurbishment business – - to keep today’s cars on the road and in good operation condition. Look at Cuba. They are still driving vehicles from the 1950′s! Not all in good shape, but necessity remains the mother of invention . . .

  8. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    It was just announced today that the Hyundai Sonata, built in Alabama, won a customer satisfaction award. And these American automakers want to build cars in Mexico, China, Europe, anywhere but here, I think that’s pathetic.

  9. Episode 149 - CAFE Costs Could Skyrocket, Chrysler Names New Chairman, BMW’s Doppler Radar Says:

    [...] Original post by John’s Journal [...]

  10. Thor Says:


    i hope you understand that it is far easier to “satisfy” a hyundai customer than a mercedes, bmw or even a honda customer. lol…

  11. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Aithough Ford has been,imho,hitting homeruns lately,they sure stepped on their meat with the nasty looking MKT.”Big toothy grin” I believe is how John described it several weeks ago.John,you need to borrow my trifocals.And I know John you just don’t like diesels,I’ve seen you whin too many times about it to not notice,well get ready cause we are gonna see um,and damn soon too.Fuel economy,reliability,and a price people are now willing to pay.My 06 libby with a 2.8L crd was outstanding in performance and mpg….too bad the rest of the vehicle was a steaming pile,complete with flies.Have a nice holiday weekend everyone,I know I will.I flew my two tours in lovely RVN,70-71-72.Got lots to remember,peace.

  12. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Thor, my point is that if you can build good cars here, the problem is not with the American auto workers, but with the actual company that builds them. Camry, Corolla, Civics,Accords, even Benz and BMW are built here. And the not so big 3 think they can do better building them abroad?

  13. Thor Says:


    i don’t think the big 3 currently build any car i’d like to shell out $20k or more to buy.

    or that is even remotely comparable to my 1998, 126k mile bmw 740iL.

    which i bought for $10.5k (what POS Kia can youi buy for so little?) while the new one, which sure has more HP at 400, goes for over 100k, with few if any options!

    From my viewpoint, to buy a new car it must be totally superior, at least in some respects, to the used ones out there that I can buy for peanuts.

  14. Thor Says:

    And the point *I* wa smaking above is that one needs to properly interpret customer satisfaction indices.

    The fact thatg Buicks or Huyndai Sonatas may have a high index does not necessarily mean that these cars are top-notch and will satisfy everybody in this forum, for example.

    On the conrtary, the fact that Mercedeses or BMWs may not have as high a customer satisfaction index does not mean they are.. worse than the above Buicks or Hyundais (that’s laughable!), but that their owners, most if whom paid a ton of $ to buyu them, have the highest expectations from them, while the Kia or Yugo buyer may be happy if the damned ugly thing merely can go forward!

  15. Ron Paris Says:

    In your report on the Lincoln MKT you stated “On level ground with the cruise control set at 70, the digital readout indicated 23 miles per gallon…” I have noticed an awful lot of people these days accecpt as gospel whatever the trip computer says about fuel mileage. My only experience with such a device was on my ’98 dodge Dakota, which always read at least 10% off when compared to calculated mileage. Do you think these devices are any more accurate than they used to be? I’m sceptical.

  16. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Ron Paris:The mpg readouts only show what the vehicle is doing at that particular time.In order for it to match the hard numbers crunch,it would have to show pretty much the same reading for the whole tank of fuel.Look at it like a vacuum gauge,but higher tech.

  17. Max Christensen Says:

    Several things……

    1. I take a dim view of the slams being given to Kia! I own a Kia Sorrento, and I’ll put that thing up against any Jeep, Ford, Chevy, or upper crust BMW, Mercedes, Honda, or Lexus! Plus, it’s a running son of a b! They better not be in my way or they’ll get their butt run over!

    2. I agree with Ron. The trip computers that I’ve been around are very inaccurate, in the area of about 10% off. I’m very sceptical of mileage numbers unless they have been calculated the old fashioned way.

  18. Max Christensen Says:

    @ G.A.: Most if not all trip computers show both the current mpg plus the AVERAGE mpg. The average should calculate out to what we want to know, but they rarely do.

  19. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    No doubt that an BMW OR Mercedes buyer is going to expect more from their car than someone who buys a lower priced vehicle, but remember that most likely the lower price buyer has to make a bigger $ sacrifice in order to purchase this vehicle so they also expect some level of satisfaction, not in the sense of a luxurious ride but as far as fit and finish and reliability is concerned. Buick buyers are usually older, so I guess they’re easy to please and they most likely pamper their cars.

  20. Thor Says:

    Pedro wrote: “but remember that most likely the lower price buyer has to make a bigger $ sacrifice in order to purchase this vehicle so they also expect some level of satisfaction,”

    You are assuming that just because the lower price buyer paid less, he also has a lower income or he is poorer than those that go lease an expensive vehicle. You seem to make some argument that as a % of a poor person’s income, the poor guy who buys a $20k hyundai or Kia spends more than the wealthy guy that buys a Merc.

    I don’t think it is a matter of wealth,but one of automotive literacy.

    There are plenty of wealthy people that know very little about cars, and do not know how they should perform. There are also lower income people that know lots of things about cars. The two will have very different expectations. Some (usually women) are satisfied if their Toyota always runs and gets good MPG, even if it has a lousy ride and feels like a damned Diswasher appliance. They don’t care, so they will be very satisfied with that or an equally reliable Buick. But the auto enthusiast, regardless of income, will not.

  21. paulstewart Says:

    Pedro you should know better than to oppose “Thors” opinion or facts. It’s a free country and he lives in Asgard !

  22. Max Christensen Says:

    I think Pedro made a very valid point about the vehicle price of a lower income person can actually be a higher percentage of their income.

    Meanwhile, Thor made a good point too about lower income people knowing lots about cars (and tends to contradict his earlier blog). The lower income people have to know more about cars because they can’t afford to go to a high priced shop to get them fixed, while the wealthy person can, and thus knows less about the actual workings of the car. That’s where Thor contradicts himself in saying that people buying lower priced vehicles expect less. I’m thinking people who buy and maybe can only afford lower cost vehicles actually expect MORE from their cars! Thus, a lower cost car showing a higher customer satisfaction is quite a feat for that lower priced car.

  23. paulstewart Says:

    Feel the mighty hammer of “Thor” god of Asgard !

  24. Salvador G. Says:


    Ok, since no one since to have pay attention to the news today, I’ll try to make it short.

    1. it won’t matter the cost of a new car in the next 5 years, because most people will just extend the life of the current one, or buy a brand New Used car.

    2. Hiring executives who understood nothing about the car business, is what cause the problem in the first place.

    3. I don’t think its me, but just in case; can some one correct if I’m wrong, but aren’t all those chery chinese cars look familiar?

    4. No to make fun of BMW, but we do have the whether channel 5 day forecast and its not like I cant see trought the glass on my car when rain or snow its coming or if I can do something about it, if its start raining – let it rain.


  25. paulstewart Says:

    You have Odin’s blessing !!!

  26. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Perfect example, I’m a working stiff, money dose not come easy, I have to do a lot of research as to what kind of car fits my needs. I drive for a living so a reliable, economical car is a MUST. I got a Corolla, boring, unattractive, does not go too fast nor does it handle great. But you know what its reliable and economical and starts up every freaking morning and has never let me stranded. A guy I used to work for, changed cars every 2 years, sometimes even every year. He used to brag that he had never purchased tires, cause before they wore out he got rid of the vehicle. You think reliability, economy or anything we think is important meant anything for this guy, NO he leased them just on emotion. Whatever he liked at the time and then he would tire of it. No brand loyalty or anything.

  27. paulstewart Says:

    How old is your Corolla, just curious. What’s the best mileage you get & how many miles on it ? Thanks for your time !

  28. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Paul: it is a 98, it has over 200k miles, it still gets about 27 mpg mixed city and highway. it’s dropped a bit due to age, loss of compression, whatever. I will buy a used car when this one dies on me. No more new cars, its not worth it.

  29. paulstewart Says:

    I’m impressed ! Hope you use synthetic oil. I can’t blaim you on buying used again.

  30. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Max: the mpg readout on my 08 Wrangler shows mpg in realtime.It fluctuates with load,speed etc.and doesn’t have any other feature.My wifes 09 Focus SEL does have what you are talking about.One that shows what it’s doing right now,and the other (I think it’s in bargraph form)shows overall mpg…..I think.I don’t drive it very often so I’m not really familar with all the doodads and readouts.

  31. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Actually syn oil is no good when you have a lot of miles, it finds leaks you didn’t even know you had, I just stick to regular 10w30 change every 3k miles and add more as it needs it.

  32. Todd Jaspers Says:

    Hmm, all of those Chery models look familiar???

  33. Miguel A Rodriguez Says:

    Chery stop stealing other companies car designs!

  34. Jonathan Says:

    Personally I can’t stand hybrids, and think the EVs are useless as an only vehicle. I used to be a mechanic, so I want a car that I work on and drive any where at any time. This country needs to open it eyes to diesels. I know a guy who has a VW TDI, he gets 45 mpg when he drives it to the race track, changes tires and flogs it all day. Let see any one to that with a Prius.

  35. Thor Says:

    I also am strongly in favor of Diesels for most buyers. Hybrids are of benefit only to those that do a lot of City Miles or worry about pollution (say they live in LA).

    otherwise, Hybrids should be bought by city fleets. Taxis, Pizza delivery, Mail trucks, expecially POlice cars, that idle all day long, would be GREAT as hybrids.

    I used to not stand the Prius, but after I rented it in April in LA for 2 days and did 300+ miles with it, I am very impressed.

    In the city I could not get it to go below 50 MPG. On the highway to San Diego with the cruise at 75-85 mph, it still got 48.

    The Jetta diesel can do 45 highway, but will only give you 30 or so city. But it is much more fun to drive, alegedly.

    And you can buy a 08 Prius with $20k these days. Hurry because as gas prices go to $3 again (they are $2.65 today already) these will go $4k above list again, not $4k below as they are now!

  36. Thor Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    Perfect example, I’m a working stiff, money dose not come easy, I have to do a lot of research as to what kind of car fits my needs. I drive for a living so a reliable, economical car is a MUST. I got a Corolla, boring, unattractive, does not go too fast nor does it handle great…”

    You could have the same excellent reliability and much better handling and overall driving feel with a Honda. Some parts are more expensive than a Corolla (for example timing belt, but you only replace that every 100k miles), but overall it does not cost much to own a civic.

  37. Thor Says:

    “# Max Christensen Says:
    May 21st, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I think Pedro made a very valid point about the vehicle price of a lower income person can actually be a higher percentage of their income

    Actually, if you look back, it was me that made the point about the % of the income, commenting on Pedro;s point. BTW, this is true of food even more, poorer people spend a much higher % of their income on food than the rich.

    “Meanwhile, Thor made a good point too about lower income people knowing lots about cars (and tends to contradict his earlier blog).”

    That was not my exact point, I did not think of people fixing their cars themselves, which is a good point also. My point was that an old lady that needs a car to go to church on Sunday will be quite happy with her Buick, because it just works, and will not care if it handles like a boat, or if it is not that fast to avoid an accident scene. And even if she paid an arm and a leg for it (there are Buicks that costr more than $40k all included!!!) Similarly with somebody that buys a Kia Sorento or other Korean Minivan or SUV because for some reason he or she did not want to shell out the extra 1-2k to buy a far better Honda equivalent. (and the irony is, not only would he be far more pleased with the Honda, over the life of the car he would spend LESS, not more).

  38. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Thor seems to have a dislike for KIA’s. They make for a good used car purchase cause they depreciate a lot when new, so you can get a used one for a good price. And they do have that 100k mile warranty which can be transferred.

  39. Brian Heersink Says:

    Thanks for the Mercedes Benz clock! How many correct answers were there?

  40. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Thor: Don’t knock the Kia until you’ve owned one. I have a brother who bought a new Honda CRV and I also have a sister-in-law who bought a used Honda CRV. BOTH have had more problems with their vehicles than I’ve had with my Kia, and I currently have more miles on my Kia than either of them have on their Honda. So why would anyone want to spend more money for an inferior vehicle such as a Honda?

    Also, you seem to think your BMW (what does that mean? Bratworst Motor Works?) is so special. I’ve also got a 1999 Dodge Caravan with almost double the mileage (231,000+) of your beloved 740, and I’d bet my next paycheck that I’ve spent less to maintain it in total, let alone per mile, than has been spent to get your Bimmer to 126k.

  41. Thor Says:


    I am aware of depreciation. I used it in my favor much more than any buyer of Kias or Hyundais has ever used it, when I bought my 1998 BMW 740iL flagship “decathlete” sedan in 2005 for peanuts compared to its equivalent price new today ($10k vs .. over $100k!). And the car still drives and looks like new inside out. And that is NOT some little 3 series BMW, it is the flagship, I can’t even start describing the experience.

    As for the warranty (which has a ton of ifs ands and buts), I could not care less. Only the WORST quality cars offer this 100k mile warranty, to attract buyers. As you must know, TOYOTA Never bothered to offer that, and neither did Honda. Because people already know these cars will be utterly reliable.

    Who are the cos offering 100k warranties in the past few years? CHRYSLER, VW, and Hyundai-Kia. Most of them are at the rock bottom of reliability, worse than even FOrd and GM, let alone Honda and Toyota!

    So I don’t dislike Hyundais or Kias. I hate Subarus, they almost look they were intentionally made to look ugly, but they drive very well.

    But why bother to buy a Kia? Isn’t a 3 yr old Civic or corolla a FAR better deal?

    And, after all, how much is your LIFE worth? And the more miles you drive, the bigger the risk to have a SERIOUS accident.

    Is it too much to pay to buy a used big powerful agile BMW than the Kia? I paid less, BTW, than a NEW kia, to get the 740iL. Only the gas cost is a bit higher, but I could care less, my commute is 1.5 mile, and today I walked it (1 mile shortcut!).

    And on the highway at high speeds, the BMW gets 22+ mpg!!!

  42. Thor Says:

    Max Christensen Says:

    You could NOT have been more wrong, but I do not have the time to explain to you why. Your conclusions are LUDICROUS, both about the Hondas and about the BMWS.

    and you have no clue about the BMW costs. Last year, I did NOTHING to the car the whole year, except an oil change and replacing the brake fluids. 100.00% reliable, and I drove it all winter.

    My next appointment is here. More later, if not tomorrow. PS Get a CLue, Max.. LOL

  43. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Thor:

    If I only drove a car 660 miles a year, I probably wouldn’t spend much on it either! In case the math doesnt’ make sense to you (which could be derived from your earlier posts), I’m basing your miles on 220 work days per year (average) x 3 miles per day (1.5 each way).

    By the way, I have a 120 mile roundtrip commute everyday, so I tend to want to own a reliable, cost efficient, SAFE vehicle that can be driven at anytime and anywhere. Thus my reliance on Dodges and Kias.

    Good luck with your Brat mobile Thor – and have a good weekend! I’ve got bigger fish to fry than to sit here and read this all weekend…..

  44. Dan B. Says:

    So, the cafe regs. will cause more harm to the big three? Hmmm, GM just killed the 4.5 diesel that was going to go into their light trucks, and who knows where the 2.9 turbodiesel that they showcased in the CTS coupe at N.A.I.A.S. in ’08 went to, “just evaprorated”. After reading the GM “memo” from 1988 posted on this site, it is obvious that GM is its own worst enemy.(and yes the UAW foresaw these problems 20 years ago), and were ignored by management when they expressed their concerns of the direction that GM was taking!

  45. Thor Says:

    “Max Christensen Says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    @ Thor:

    If I only drove a car 660 miles a year, I probably wouldn’t spend much on it either!”

    This ILLUSTRATES Max’s limitations for all to see.

    I said MY COMMUTE is 1.5 mile. Do you with a straight face assume that I drive 660 miles a ye4ar????????? I drove well over 5,000 miles, and that with one of the three cars I used to use, now just two, the main one being the BMW with 5,000. Do you assume I do not take long road trips for business (fully reimbursed at $0.55 a mile, which means i PROFIT,after gas costs, $400 or so every time I drive the 1070 miles round trip to Wash DC, and I have FOUR of these just this year!)

    That’s as LUDICROUS as your OTHER nonsense comments above, that… Honda is worse than Hyundai or Kia or Chrysler Yugo or whatever other loser brand you got in your imagination.

    You do nto even have the elementary COMMON SENSE to understand that this UTTER NONSENSE, and the PROOF is in the prices actually people pay to buy these competing cars.

    WHY don’t Honda and Toyota lose as much in resale value? WHy do Kias depreciate like HELL?

    It could hardly be because Kias are Better (LOL!!!) than Hondas and Toyotas!!!

    I doubt you could get serious even if you wanted to…

  46. Max Christensen Says:

    @ Thor:

    I just had to come in one more time before the weekend to read what moronish nonsense you could come up with, and yes, with a straight face, I could assume that you only drive 660 miles a year, especially since you drive a POS Bratwurst Mobile!

    Your next statement is just about as stupid as anything I’ve read from you, plus goes to prove that you really probably don’t know anything about cars! The statement I’m referring to is that you drive a big, huge whooping 5000 miles per year!!!!!!!!!! My gosh man, if that’s all you drive, no wonder you don’t know sh**! My 88 year old mother drives more miles than that per year!

    As to the prices, depreciation, etc. that you mentioned, I honestly don’t even look at those things when buying a car – nor do I abide by the road tests in such rags as Motor Trend or Car & Driver – they’ve been biased for years and always will be. Same goes for Consumer Reports! I go by if I LIKE the vehicle!

    You could have the best most reliable car that hold it’s value well, but if it doesn’t make you happy, it’s not a good car. I drive what I like and I drive what makes me happy, and if it happens to be a good car in various ways (price, mpg, reliable), so much the better. I don’t think you understand this concept as is shown by your “bragging” about driving a Bratwurst mobile and how much you get reimbursed – BIG WHOOP!!

    Besides, I question if the Germans have ever really built anything worth having? I’ll take a good Asian or American car any day!

    Again, have a good weekend and I hope you don’t get passed by too many Kia’s or Hemi’s on one of your “long” drives ……. hahahahhahaa!!!

  47. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Thor, don’t you think that if I buy a 2 year-old Kia with warranty for the same price as a 4 yr old Corolla or Civic with no warranty, use it a few years and then sell it while it’s still worth something, I’d be better off. With a 4 yr old there is no warranty, if it turns out to be a lemon. I’m screwed. Kias are better than Neons and Cavaliers/Cobalts anyhow.

  48. Thor Says:

    # Pedro Fernandez Says:
    May 22nd, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Thor, don’t you think that if I buy a 2 year-old Kia with warranty for the same price as a 4 yr old Corolla or Civic with no warranty, use it a few years and then sell it while it’s still worth something, I’d be better off. ”

    No, I don’t, on a whole number of levels.

    First of all, don’t bet it will be worth anything. I remember that Kia Sephia (do they still make them?) was about 10k new, and after a couple years (2 years!!) you could have them, with low miles, for less than $4-5k!

    Second, there is no comparison between a civic, even a 4 yr old, and a Kia of the same size. Test drive them and find out, also read the reviews and the specs. You own a corolla, so you know what a high quality mid-priced compact should be.

    Third, it is not just about the $, how much is your life worth, I asked you the other time. And if you have a family anmd ypoung kids to transport, the choices change drastically. I could buy a porsche or a corvette if I planned to drive them myself, maybe with a passenger, but it is a very different story if you have a family in the car. In that case, I would need a car with plenty of active and passive safety, meaning both a heavy, strong structure, AND a big powerful engine, and a great suspension for good handling, ABS, Stability etc. My $10k 740il would be perfect, but for a family I would need a bigger trunk..

    “With a 4 yr old there is no warranty, if it turns out to be a lemon. I’m screwed.”

    Few, if any cars, are lemons, except for exotics like MAaserati, where you have a good chance of getting one (it happened to a colleague, the dealer replaced it with another)andn some makers like CHrysler and Land Rover that have terrible reliability for the most part.

    ” Kias are better than Neons and Cavaliers/Cobalts anyhow.”

    I’m not sure, why do you say that? The Neon was pretty bad, as most chryslers, but I am not sure the Kia would be better than a cobalt.

    In any case, why compare them with these. You have a corolla, even with a lot of miles it is a far better car than any of these. Why not replace it with another corolla, or, if you want more driving pleasure, and the same reliability and good MPG, with a civic.

  49. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    Some people here give anecdotal evidence, usually from one or two vehicles, and use it as proof of properties that millions of similar cars have.

    This, of course, is laughable, to anybody with even elementary knowledge of Statistics and how to use them.

    Somebody claimed that a friend of his had a Honda CR-V that was almost a lemon, while some Kia or Huyndai bought by another person did much better, and, with a straight face, came to the conclusion that… Kias or Huyndais are.. better than Hondas.

    This is really laughable. People should do some homework and look at the facts.

    You can look at it from the long-term reliability point of view, or from the Auto Enthusiast magazine’s point of view, and if you are lucky, you may find a car that is rated excellent by both.

    COnsumer Reports is the best, by far, source to check the long term reliability of a vehicle, since 100,000s of owners report their hard data to CR, and CR does not accept commercials and even buys the cars it tests retail, and does not accept them as gifts or free rentals, as most other mags do!

    And if you go by that, Toyotas, Lexuses and Hondas are the top, the very best cars you can buy, and this is reflected on their price premiums and their resela values.

    If you also check the Entusiast Mags, and Car and Driver is my favorite among them, they are near unanimous in their selections of winners in comparison tests, that look at fun to drive and performance and not reliability and resale value. And the cars that top their “best 10″ lists and win their tests include very few toyotas, but a whole bunch of Hondas and a lot of BMWs, to mention cars that have been cited in this group.

    So if one wants to have the best of both worlds, the choice, among low and mod priced cars, is a Civic or an Accord or almost any other Honda, all win top honors in both above venues,

    and among luxury cars, excluding exotics like Porsche and Ferrari, you can’t go wrong with a BMW.

    Those who have driven them, know the above is true.

  50. Jeff Cunningham Says:

    PS If the CR-V is so bad in general, and not just that one isolated case, how can anybody explain its terrific strength in this terrible market? It is not only very successful in sales this year, it is even better than almost all its Honda Siblings.

    As for Huyndai, it is doing very well this year, but this is laregly due to this Marketing gimmick it advertises, that pays a few months after one loses his or her job, a gimmick that was immediately copied by all Detroit 3..

    But I do not like Hyundai’s dishonesty in trying to present a mid-priced coupe as a luxury vehicle, by giving it, falsely, the name of a much bigger, luxurious vehicle it sells. I am referring, of course, to the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which has recently lost a comparison test to the new Chevy Camaro in Car and Driver, I believe. This so-called “Genesis COupe” has nothing to to with the far larger and far more luxurious Genesis Sedan, and in fact it is not even based on the Genesis Platform!

    This is some kind of Badge Engineering that I find deeply deceptive. it is similar to Mercedes Benz’s new “E class coupe”, which, however, is NOT built on the E class midsize platform, but on the smaller and much cheaper entry-level C Class platrofm! If they had any honesty and integrity, they would have called it the “C class coupe” instead.

  51. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Thor, you are correct,Sir. I feel ashamed of even thinking of turning away from a reliable brand like Toyota and take a chance on a Kia or Hyundai, or even less on a Chinkmobile. It’s like they say:”pay me now or pay me later” However I was told by a tranny tech that auto Hondas have a recurring tranny problem due to weak torque converters, have you heard of anything like that?

  52. Brentton Says:


  53. Thor Says:

    “# Pedro Fernandez Says:
    May 23rd, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Thor, you are correct,Sir. I feel ashamed of even thinking of turning away from a reliable brand like Toyota and take a chance on a Kia or Hyundai, or even less on a Chinkmobile.”

    Over in Europe, Cars are far more expensive, for various reasons, and a new corolla in 2005 (a colleague at the time bought one) cost 17,000 Euros, that’s more than $22,000, and it only had the 1.4 lt engine. But the quality inside was very good, and of course mechanically it is top notch.

    “It’s like they say:”pay me now or pay me later”

    That is very true, a retired colleague observed that people that buy new cars look at “first cost” only, which is how much they pay to buy the thing, but do not include the total, lifetime, cost of operating this car until they sell it or scrap it.

    “However I was told by a tranny tech that auto Hondas have a recurring tranny problem due to weak torque converters, have you heard of anything like that?”

    I remember some Honda recalls, for a few model years, but they were for the Auto transmissions only. Both Hondas I have owned were 5-speed manuals. They are far more satisfying, unless all you drive is stop-go, when they can be annoying. The manual transmissions never had any problems, and provide both better performance, and higher fueleconomy. Plus you can say they are safer because if your brakes are not enough, you can always downshift to slow down.

  54. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    So. Fla traffic is horrendous, many cars on the road and too much stop and go anytime of the day any day of the week, a manual is just impractical for everyday use. Maybe as a weekend car, or to go on a highway trip. I have narrowed it down to a used Corolla or a used Xb but the latter is harder to find around here. And a used Civic, they are just overpriced, and thieves love them.

  55. Thor Says:

    Diesel Prices used to be $5 a gallon last May,when gas was $4.25, but today Diesels are 20-30 cents less than Regular gas!

    Owners of VW and other diesels should be very happy… they already get 30% better MPGthan gas equivalent,now they have a price advantage too!

  56. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    I think it’s funny that after some manufacturers announced a couple of months ago that they would NOT be bringing diesels into the US market, the price of diesel started going down.

  57. Pedro Fernandez Says:

    Back in the 70′s the VW rabbit diesel was getting 40 mpg, they were sure ahead of their time. The problem with bringing diesels into the US market is that diesel demand will go up and so inevitably will the price. These oil companies have us by the proverbial gonads.I would love to get my hands on a reliable, economical diesel car for my heavy duty use at work.

  58. Thor Says:

    The original Rabbit diesel was listed as 60 MPG and got almost as high an MPG. Weightwise, it was almost 40% lighter than the current Golf. EPA rules before 85 or so were very lenient producing high mpgs even for a Cavalier-like Pontiac 1.8 lt (brazilian engine, 5-speed, similar to the European Opel Ascona) 4-door listed 28/46 MPG, I actually would get 40s mpg only at 55-65 MPH.

    In 1980, almost 80% (!!) of all MErcedeses sold in the US (!!) were diesels!