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July 11, 2014

11
A.M.

Real Wheels Live.

Total Responses: 30

About the hosts

About the host

Host: Warren Brown

Warren Brown

Warren Brown has covered the cars industry for The Washington Post since 1982.

On Wheels Archive

Real Wheels Live Q&A Archive
Host: Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the founder and owner of the first privately owned automobile website Carlist.com. Recently Lou Ann has developed an automotive and energy issues related website, Drivingthenation.com, that covers a broader range of subjects than solely the automotive or the energy industry.

About the topic

The Washington Post cars columnist Warren Brown and guest Lou Ann Hammond will discuss the auto industry. Plus, they'll give purchase advice to readers.
Q.

Lou Ann Hammond :

Good morning Warren and Friends

 

How was your 4th of July? I had my cousin/namesake, Lou Ann, and her two children, 10-year old Abby and "I'm 8 years old" Frankie visit me from Canada. 

 

Children are a handful and the questions are non-stop but I was pretty impressed with Frankie's questions about batteries and hybrid cars. We had a Porsche Panamera S e-hybrid. Beautiful car, beautiful ride. The 2014 Panamera S E-Hybrid, starts at $99,975, our paper said the car we were driving totaled $128,000. 

 

At 8 years old Frankie knew that there was a difference between the "normal battery" in a regular car and the car we were driving. 

 

I explained to him that The Panamera S E-Hybrid switches to a lithium-ion battery rated at 9.4 kilowatt-hours. I told Frankie that the old Porsche hybrid used a nickel metal-hydride battery pack. Porsche says the new hybrid has a range of more than 20 miles but when we charged it the instrument cluster said we had 16 miles of electric. The battery pack can be fully recharged in about 2.5 hours on a 240-volt power source.

 

Porsche says the new Panamera S e-hybrid will run from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds, have a top speed of 84 mph on electric power and a top speed of 167 mph off electric. The electric provides boost under hard acceleration or climbing mountains like we did going up to Lake Tahoe, and powers the car during coasting when the V-6 shuts down. We stayed at the Resort at Squaw Creek and they had a charge right by the front door for us so we got to use electric around town as well and the first 16 miles on the way home. 

 

A smartphone application lets the owner remotely monitor the Panamera hybrid's state of charge range, along with pre-heating or cooling of the car. We didn't use the app but we did use the charger and it was the one complaint about the car I have. 

 

The charger for the plug-in is ridiculous. you have to plug it in and wait for it to cycle and then plug in the charger to the car, but if you open a door it stops charging and if you don't wait for it to cycle it doesn't charge. and unplugging it is challenging as well - you have to lock/unlock the car unplug first then discharge from the car. The Prius, Volt and Leaf chargers are so much simpler. 

 

Let's chat about cars

 

Like me on facebook 

https://www.facebook.com/DrivingTheNation

 

follow me on twitter

@drivingthenatio

Q.

2015 Hyundais?

Hi folks, When will the 2015 Hyundais hit the showrooms? Thanks!
A.
Warren Brown :

Probably September-October.

– July 11, 2014 10:55 AM
Q.

new Porsche roadster

I read that Porsche is planning a new, smaller, four-cylinder roadster to fit below the Boxster in price. Have you heard anything about this?
A.
Warren Brown :

Lots of rumors, which would not surprise me, if true. The estimated 16 million cars and trucks currently sold in the United States are bought by only 17 percent of the population, down from about 20 percent prior to the 2009 recession. Nobody is going to ick up more sales by moving upscale.

– July 11, 2014 11:00 AM
Q.

Bicyclists

What are your thoughts on Courtland Mliloy's controversial column about bicyclists?

A.
Warren Brown :

I figured that question would come up today< I would not support Courtland's prescription for solving the problem. But I agree with him that there is a very real problem--with bicyclists and pedestrians. Too many people amblin absentmindedly into flowing traffic, too many bicyclists NOT sharing the road, creating a hazard for motorists and themselves. Rules are rules. We should all follow them.

– July 11, 2014 11:03 AM
Q.

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid has been available to purchase in Northern Virginia since late last year. This vehicle is not on the Virgina DMV approved list for clean fuel vehicles and therefore not allowed in the HOV lanes. There are other SUVs which do have this designation. My question is, why would anyone be willing to purchase this vehicle in NoVA given that it is not authorized? One would suspect that NissanUSA would be interested in adding this vehicle to the list but even their dealers seem unaware of this problem.
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

I'm sending this to Nissan and a few of my auto industry friends to find out why. standby - they usually get back to me quickly. 

– July 11, 2014 11:03 AM
Q.

midsize SUV

Trying to narrow down the list of midsize SUVs to test this fall. Currently considering Subaru Forester, Kia Sorrento, maybe Hyundai Tucson. Any others I should consider? Also, general thoughts/preferences? Thanks!
A.
Warren Brown :

Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape.

– July 11, 2014 11:05 AM
Q.

Why push financing and leasing?

At the Lexus dealership this weekend, I was close to plunking down cash for a ES350 hybrid when the salesman asked if I would be interested in financing or leasing. When i said no, he brought in the manager who explained that there are many programs that can both save us money and make it for them through the car company. They were willing to give us a better deal on a car for which we financed a tiny bit and paid it off almost immediately. Is this true? All of these games are ridiculous but of course we are always looking for a savings. I just can't believe that they can be better off with 0% financing rather than cash. I know they have the sales price to bargain with. Is it better to bargain on a cash price?
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

I always thought it was but perhaps they give a dealer a spiff if they have a certain amount of cars that are financed or leased? I'm sending this to my Toyota friend and asking them. Warren you have any idea? doesn't make sense to me. 

– July 11, 2014 11:06 AM
Q.

2016 Miata

Now that a date has been given for the unveiling of the new Miata, do you have any more information about its details, engine, etc.?
A.
Warren Brown :

Not me. You, Lou Ann? It Is on my schedule early August.

Lou Ann here" 

got this in the e-mail the other day 

This fall, 25 years of storied MX-5 Miata history will turn the page to unveil the beginning of its fourth chapter as the next-generation roadster will be rumor no more during simultaneous global events in Japan, Spain and the United States.  Officially confirmed as a 2016 model, the all-new MX-5 coyly made an initial debut at this year’s New York International Auto Show in the form of an exposed SKYACTIV-CHASSIS.  MX-5 historians eagerly scribbled notes, snapped photos and speculated on what the final product would be.  On September 3, 2014 speculation will shift into revelation during an exclusive event to be held in Monterey, Calif.

 

“We’re excited to make this official, to announce that the newest member of the MX-5 Miata family will be arriving soon,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  “Along with our colleagues around the world, we continue to celebrate the MX-5’s 25th anniversary and look forward to sharing even more news in the near future.”

 

In addition to the global unveil of the 2016 MX-5 Miata, MNAO has partnered with the enthusiast-operated event eponymously known as Miatas at Mazda Raceway, which will be held on September 5-7.  The next-generation roadster will be on display along with an array of heritage, concept and motorsports MX-5s.  MNAO also will lead consumer discussion sessions covering history, motorsports, R&D and design as well as coordinate one of the largest gatherings of MX-5 Miatas in North America.  Registration for the annual event is free and open to the public.  For more information, visit www.MiatasAtMazdaRaceway.com.

– July 11, 2014 11:09 AM
Q.

Warren Brown :

Warren's Rule of Thmb: If you are buying transportation, lease. If you are purchasing property, buy.

Q.

2015 Nissan Murano

Hi! Have you or Lou Ann had a chance to drive one yet? If so, what do you think? I am going to break down and buy a new car this fall. I read that Nissan made more backseat room by stealing from the front seats. If too short (my reason for not buying the 2014 Acura MDX), then I may take your advice and give the Lexus RX450h a try. That's another $10,000 +. I don't buy Chrysler or GM products. Thanks for all your efforts in getting car info out to us.
A.
Warren Brown :

Not yet.

Lou Ann here: 

I just drove the Lexus RX450h and loved it. Got great gas mileage, fun to drive. I would pick it over the Toyota Highlander hybrid, toyota 4runner acura mdx. I don't remember the Nissan Murano being short on room, but the 450h was so impressive with mpg and functionality that I would give it a good look

– July 11, 2014 11:12 AM
Q.

Pagini

Just a comment from Geneva, Switzerland. (Visiting for work, never been to the Autoshow.) Anyway, the Bentley dealership is displaying a Pagini (I think it's a Zonda, but maybe a Huayra). Wow. I like. I really like. Alas, I don't have $1M to spare. Have you seen, or good lord, driven one of these beauties?
A.
Warren Brown :

Haven't driven it. Out of reach for most of my readers. So, I tend to stay away from those. But you have rekindled my interest.

Lou Ann here:

I was lucky enough to be in Florida and get a small drive/ride in the Huayra. Here I am talking to the owner of the Pagani dealership owner 

http://www.drivingthenation.com/lou-ann-hammond/2014-pagani-huayra/

I was also in Geneva at the auto show in 2011 and the Zonda was not manufactured for the US specs but the Huayra was. Here is a video of it then. 

http://www.drivingthenation.com/lou-ann-hammond/pagani-huayra-at-the-2011-geneva-auto-show/

 

– July 11, 2014 11:16 AM
Q.

Used Cars

Warren, a follow up on my previous question: Please advice which is best to buy as a used car; a Nissan Altima ( other Nissans); Honda Accord ( or other Hondas); or Kia. Your advice is crucial to my decision. My wife has other choices. I think my "line-up" is better. Many thanks.
A.
Warren Brown :

The Honda Accord. Consistent quality. Extremely durable.

– July 11, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

New-to-me Toyota Avalon

A while back, I submitted a question about all the problems I was having with my fifteen-year old Toyota Avalon (brakes, transmission, rust, failing mechanicals, etc.). Lou Ann gently told me that my car was dying and it was time to get a new one. In February, I finally bought a used Toyota Avalon (2010) and am very happy with it. Such a feeling of security, knowing that I will have brakes at the bottom of the hills. Thanks for the nudge.
A.
Warren Brown :

Yeh, Lou Ann!

– July 11, 2014 11:18 AM
Q.

Volkswagen puzzler

Hiya Warren and Lou Ann. Thanks for doing these chats. I always learn a lot. The Volkswagen California is a camper van that seems to be selling well in Europe. There is nothing like it on the market in North America. Does VW plan to introduce it in the U.S., and if not, why not? Seems like the market is big enough to support this. Puzzled.
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

I am just about to put up a video interview with Marc Trahan from Volkswagen and I ask him why VWs product takes so long to come from Europe to America and he says I am right but that is about to change. They have agree that a B-class SUV will be coming in the next year so look for the rest of the product line-up to come over sooner than later. 

– July 11, 2014 11:25 AM
Q.

Speaking of Hyundai....

In doing research on the Elantra, I'm seeing the sedan and coupe reviews for 2015s, but not for the hatchback. Is this version discontinued in 2015, or will it come out after the sedan/coupe versions?
A.
Warren Brown :

The Hyundai Ealntra GT hatchback remains in the running at this writing. My understanding is that it is being twweaked for better fuel economy.

– July 11, 2014 11:28 AM
Q.

Driving speed

Good morning, Warren and Lou Ann, In the last week, I've had to make two drives out I-66 to rural Virginia. In both cases, I've been rather surprised that the prevailing speed of traffic hasn't been greatly above the speed limit. I know in my mature age, I've slowed down, but is there a trend here?
A.
Warren Brown :

No. Follow I-66 west until the legal limit goes to 70 MPH. Amazing how many people apparently find that too slow.

– July 11, 2014 11:29 AM
Q.

Blue Highways

Hi Warren and Lou Ann: Have either of you ever driven coast to coast on the blue highways of the U.S.? It is kind of an adventure/small town/curiosity thing, but if you have the right car/van/truck, it is also a car thing. You could review different vehicles as you pass through the different states. There would be highway speed driving and small town driving. There would be nothing better than a Warren Brown/Lou Ann Hammond travelogue/car review series as you make your way west. Have you ever considered doing this? If you leave Ocean City on Route 50, you can get to Sacramento and beyond. Whaddaya think?
A.
Warren Brown :

I've done that exactly five times. Interesting. Our military seems mostly supplied by rural and small-town America.

– July 11, 2014 11:40 AM
Q.

Nissan Rogue

I'm thinking about buying one -- any thoughts?
A.
Warren Brown :

A good, compact SUV. Worth the look.

– July 11, 2014 11:41 AM
Q.

Living in the Sticks

My husband and I retired to the Shenandoah Valley, and my otherwise-reliable 10 year old Accord EX is inadequate to the winter need for 4-wheel drive. Recommendations for a small to mid-size 4WD SUV, with extra points for style (no "mom cars")?
A.
Warren Brown :

Get a Subaru Outback or Impreza and be happy.

– July 11, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

New Car

I have a 2001 Mazda protege that I'm happy with, but know it's probably going to die soonish. I am also inheriting about 9k from an uncle. Short (10mi) commute in arlington. New car? Used car? Any ideas as to what I should look at? I kind of was thinking honda fit or mazda since this last one has been so good to me. Thanks!
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

I would look at the Mazda 3. The Honda Fit is a good vehicle, but I think of the Mazda 3 as a step-up. If you're inheriting money use that money for increased safety and fun. Buy a new one if you can, it will have all the newest bells and whistles on it. Thank your Uncle. 

– July 11, 2014 11:42 AM
Q.

Lease vs Buy

Hi Warren. I'm curious about your rule of thumb to lease transportation. I have never leased a car, because it seems like I pay all that money and have nothing at the end. perhaps a misperception. I am also not crazy about the mileage limits that seem associated with leases. My experience has been to buy, take care of and hold on to vehicles for ten years or more (after turning my back on Detroit in the mid 80's). We drive them as many miles as we like and once they are paid off, no more payments. we currently have a 12 year old BMW, 7 year old Nissan pickup and 5 year old Infiniti. Before that we had a Previa for 15 years and two Accords for 10 years plus. I do understand that lease offers a lower payment for a more expensive car and I'm basically only renting transportation.
A.
Warren Brown :

Lease transportation if you normally don't hold onto a car or truck more than three years. It makes no sense to buy in that short window. Reason: The vehicle will depreciated faster than you can recoup your return on investment through use. Buy if you plan to own for four years or more.

– July 11, 2014 11:45 AM
Q.

Sorry, but....

What's a B-Class SUV??
A.
Warren Brown :

A small one.

– July 11, 2014 11:45 AM
Q.

Volkswagen

Not to ask you to scoop yourself, Lou Ann, but in your interview, did the VW executive address whether they will market more diesels in the U.S.? I'm thinking specifically of the Tiguan.
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

diesels are a huge part of the VW portfolio and will continue to be. VW had to have two different rear suspensions because they're bringing in the golf tdi, because the diesel required it, but they did it because diesel is so important to them. 

– July 11, 2014 11:46 AM
Q.

Audi Q3

Any news on when the Audi Q3 will be here and what the pricing will be?
A.
Warren Brown :

Fall of 2014.

– July 11, 2014 11:47 AM
Q.

model years

I guess we're all gotten used to the new model year getting earlier and earlier, but Mazda is rolling out a 2016(!) model in Sept 2014? How does that make any sense?
A.
Warren Brown :

It does to Mazda's marketing people.

– July 11, 2014 11:48 AM
Q.

McLarens

Should I spring for the P1 or save the $$$ and go for the 650S?
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

At the 2014 New York auto show McLaren showed off their new 650S that you can own for a mere $265,500. If I'm going, I'm going big - save for it. 

– July 11, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

vw e-golf

Have you driven the new e-golf? How does it compare to the Leaf? Thanks, Joe, Bethesda.
A.
Warren Brown :

Yes, and planning to drive it again, soon. Like the Leaf, it is a good non-fossil fuel commuter. Use during the day. Charge at night. Ready to go another up to 80 miles or so the next day.

– July 11, 2014 11:50 AM
Q.

Acura TLX

Have either of you seen or driven the new TLX? Impressions? Thoughts ? Thanks
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

I would look at the bmw 535 or mercedes e350 as well. 

– July 11, 2014 11:51 AM
Q.

Buying a used car

I would like advice on buying a 2 or 3 year old car possibly a Honda, Niessan, or a Kia. We currently have 2 Acura's; one is a 1997 CL and the other is a 2003 TL. Both are getting old and need some minor repairs, etc. Both are great cars but now that we are retired and only drive local in Las Vegas, used cars would suit us better. We would like a heavy car, the weight of the TL and a lighter weight one. Thanks, Bruce McLeod
A.
Warren Brown :

Get thee to Carmax. Buy according to needs--Honda, Kia, Nissaan, or Toyota. You'll be happy and backed by a used-vehicle warranty that makes sense.

– July 11, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

Grenoble Ultra-Compact Electric Car Sharing

I read an article about how Toyota was providing two types of ultra-compact electric cars for a new program in Grenoble, France. Honestly, I don't need a big car for my daily commute to and from work. I just need something with the range (60+ miles) and basic comfort including radio/CD and AC in a car that could go highway speeds. My guess is that if the prices were right, we could get a lot of drivers to switch to a commuter vehicle... and by prices being right, I mean cheap enough that they could afford a second family car for their other driving needs.
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

the operative word is new program, which means there will be government initiative. 

The US already gives HOV lane status and federal tax credit to people to buy hybrids etc and the sales are not as forthcoming as we would like to see. 

it will take a while. 

– July 11, 2014 11:54 AM
Q.

Elio Motors

The Elio Motors facebook page said they are working to have their concept car legally considered a car and not a motorcycle (since it only has three wheels). It seems that if produced, people in some states would need to wear a helmet and/or have a motorcycle license. How do the laws work for motorcycles since it is state by state and not US laws? If I can legally drive in my home state, but go on a cross country trip, would I need to have a helmet/license to drive in the other states or do my home state laws carry over?
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

IMHO - only if you had a brain you wanted to protect.

– July 11, 2014 11:55 AM
Q.

Hybrid 7 seater??

We rented a minivan for our summer vacation and absolutely loved the added room, however we stopped more frequently at gas stations than ever before. How come no manufacturers will build a 7 seater-hybrid? We'd buy one considering that most of the time we are doing circles in the city and would be excited about improved mpgs, thanks!
A.
Lou Ann Hammond :

Toyota Highlander hybrid, lexus has one too

– July 11, 2014 11:57 AM
Q.

Warren Brown :

Thank you all for joining us today. Please return next week. Thank you Angela Wong, Lou Ann Hammond, Ria Manglapus and Michelle Dawson. Eat lunch. Ciao.

Q.

 

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