Real Wheels Live: The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover, car commercials and more

Jun 12, 2015

The Washington Post cars columnist Warren Brown and guest Lou Ann Hammond discussed what they're seeing in the auto industry. Plus, they gave purchase advice to readers.

Good Morning Warren and friends,

It will be over 100 degrees today in Auburn, Calif. We all think about snow tires in the winter, but we need to be as careful with our tires when it is this hot as well, and our loved ones. 

If you have people or animals, in the back of the vehicle it tends to be warmer. Bring water and treats. Park in the shade if you can. Lower the windows 1/2 an inch if you are in a safe neighborhood. And don't forget to put your meats and frozen items in a cooler on the way home from the grocery store. You don't want to eat spoiled food.

The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover V-8  Supercharged  

The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover

(The 2015 Land Rover Range Rover. Photo courtesy of Lou Ann Hammond.)

I drove the 2015 Range Rover V8 supercharged SUV this week. Out the door, the vehicle would run you $116,641. I got 17.3 mpg right in line with EPA expectations. 

The ultra-luxe Range Rover has a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that can extract  510 horsepower from this full-size SUV. Something that I see touted more in luxury, and high-performance SUVs is the 0-60 mph - 5.1 seconds! 

The competitors right now are a Porsche Cayenne diesel or a Cayenne Turbo, Mercedes-Benz GL-class, and Lexus RX350. 

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It will be interesting to see how many are sold...and to whom.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 (Image courtesy of Mazda)

(The 2016 Mazda CX-3. Image courtesy of Mazda)

Thoughts on the new Mazda CX-3? How does it compare to the CX-5?

It is smaller in a world where many people want smaller. It it also is fuel efficient, fun-to-drive, and reasonably priced, it will sell.


Lou Ann here: 

I just signed up to drive the cx-3 and mx-5 at the end of July. I will have information then. 

Honda has confirmed that they're bringing the Civic Type-R to the US, right? Does that mean any of the other models of Civic will have a hatchback option? Or are we stuck with the meh Fit for a small Honda hatchback? I still have great fondness for my old Civic Si hatchback, and the Fit doesn't do it for me. I'd love for Honda to have a dog in the GTI-Focus ST-Mazda 3 decision I'm going to make in a year or two.

Honda will respond to the market. If there is enthusiastic acceptance of this model, Honda will follow the lead of its dealers and develop other similar products. Other manufacturers will follow/respond in a similar way.

The worst. I neither liked nor understood them. Why not simply push the positive qualities of your vehicles? I've never seen a Lexus or BMW or VW ad comparing their products to GM. Embarrassing!

I don't understand the advertisements of some car manufacturers---especially GM. From the "that doesn't look like a Buick" commercials to the Chevrolet ads out now in which people marvel at the quality that seems almost Lexus-like, why would a manufacturer spend so much money with a message that is essentially "We don't make junk anymore"? I realize that advertisements need to strike different chords with different people, and sometimes they swing too far to the creative side. But just about everyone I know who has seen one of Subaru's "Dog tested, dog approved" ads has gone online to watch the series.

I agree. I watch a lot of netflix and am on the computer all the time and when I see an ad that says click here for the rest of the story --- I don't. There was nothing compelling enough for me to click. 

But sometimes I have to ask myself, and you, what would make it compelling enough to click through other than a cute dog or cat or a kid singing? 

Have you watched mad men, the show about advertising in the '60s? Past the soap opera of the office they were showing some interesting trends about advertising and what was expected of them. 

How large does Range Rover think the Poseur market is in the US? No way that anyone is going to take a fully-dressed $116K Range Rover off road.

I would not bet against that, nor would I call it a poseur market. 

My wife and I would like to purchase a mid-sized hybrid in the 30-33K range with extra safety features. We live in Wisconsin and also want a car that will work well during the winter. John Gardner

I seriously would consider a Ford Fusion hybrid in that price range.

Good Morning Wisconsin, 

My Aunt used to live in Lone Rock, WI. What lovely woman she was. We would go to visit and help her and Uncle Bill with the garden and help bay hay. I remember going to her church with her and having to wear a hat :) Beautiful place, Wisconsin. 

Can you only purchase a hybrid or would a plug-in hybrid work as well? The Chevy Volt - after tax credits - would work. The Toyota Prius gives you 50 mpg. The Honda Accord hybrid and Ford Fusion hybrid are 50mpg and 44 mpg respectively. 

But look at the phev - plug-in 

For that you have the Toyota Prius phev, Ford Fusion phev, ford c-max phev. 

I think all of those are in the price range you're looking for. 

Lou Ann, Sorry Cayenne, RX350, and GL class aren't competitors since they have no real off road capability. Toyota Land Cruiser and its Lexus counterpart maybe a competitor but neither has been updated in a a while. G class from Mercedes is a competitor but is smaller. Audi, BMW, VW et al dont make a competitor. Jeep's 2018 Grand Wagoneer might be a competitor if its reliable enough ever to leave the dealer's service department. Range Rover can go as far off road or further than a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Clifton, VA


Reminds me why I am not attracted to GM cars (except the 'vette and Camaro) They can't make the Chevy's and Buick's any more distinctive than they "look like an import"? What happened to the American auto industry? One thing is for sure, 5 years from now no one will mistake their 2015 Buick for a Lexus.

Of course, no one will mistake a Buick for a Lexus. This baffles me, that advertising approach. Why not just brag about the quALITY OF NEW BUICK AND CHEVROLET MODELS, WHICH IS GOOD?

The Subaru Dog Tested ads are very good, but not in the same league as the current commercial for GEICO motorcycle insurance, featuring a few bars of ZZ Top's "La Grange." A haw, haw, haw, haw, a haw A haw, haw, haw

I like the Subaru ads, which speak directly to the quality and lovability of the product.

And 5 years from now, plenty of Lexus owners will mistake their vehicles for 2020 Camrys.

Perhaps. But you will never see Lexus spending millions of dollars to boost Chevrolet. Dumb ads, GM.

How consistent are the gas pumps when it comes to filling the tank? Sometimes, I wish there was a way to see the fill level inside the tank. I usually have a good idea how much gas I need based on how many miles I drove since the last trip to the gas station. Sometimes, when I am expecting to need 10 gallons and the pump stops after 9.5, I don't know if my calculation was off or the pump stopped early. Other times, I am only expecting 10 and it takes 11.5 gallons which would either mean I used a lot more gas sitting in traffic or the last time the tank wasn't filled to the top. If I have a 12 gallon tank and go to the gas station, what amount of gas should I assume the tank has when the pump stops?

Inconsistent. And, yes, your calculation of fuel need could be off. Generally, I seem to get less from the pump in the summer than I do in the winter, which makes sense inasmuch heat affects volume.

Lou Ann here:

Good answer by Warren. I understand the gasoline tanks that we fill from are way under ground and aren't as affected by heat/cold, but our gasoline tanks in our cars are. 

I would think 12 gallons,

Aren't gasoline stations supposed to have a blow-back (that's my term) so that when you get close and the vapors/gas hit the nozzle it turns off? You're not supposed to "top it off" 

The question would be - and if anyone out there knows the answer please chime in - how close to the top do you have to come to get 12 gallons in the tank? 

5 year old VW needs alternator. Dealer quote is $1800 (parts and labor). They gave me a loaner car while parts come in. How can an alternator cost that much?

Easily. The part is being sourced from abroad and is negatively affected --in terms of higher price--by fluctuations in monetary exchange rates. My guess, anyway.

....has improved remarkably for GM, Ford, FCA, which is why I do not understand GM's advertising strategy

Warren, I accept your expert observation, but I have been burned so many times by Ford and GM "quality", these claims will no longer open my check book. To me, quality is more than how the new car bells & whistles, smells and looks coming off the dealer's lot. I want to know what the life-cycle experience will be over ten years or more of ownership (something I NEVER reached with any of the Ford or GM cars I've owned since the 1970's, but have reached with EVERY Honda, Toyota, Infiniti and BMW, since the late 1980's).

I do think some Ford and GM cars are getting better to the point of keeping them longer, but you can't beat an old Toyota with a 22r engine in it. 

Saw an "ad" yesterday on Facebook for a contest to give away a free 2015 Camaro of your color choice, all you have to do is Share and Like. Do car companies really do that on Facebook, or is this just an advertising ploy?

It is another ploy. But, yes, car companies and everyone else does that sort of thing on Facebook. The same rule applies: If it seems too good to be true....

There in is the reason I don't click through on ads. I have seen an ad or what looks like a story about a celebrity and wondered the same thing, is that legit? I look at the comments and see that people have already clicked through and they have found out it is spam and they say so on the comments so that a lot of other people don't get sucked into giving someone a click-through to increase their rankings. 

To your question, Lou Ann, I think the one recent ad that might cause me to click through for more than amusement is also from Subaru, the "they lived" ad. It may be a pre-emptive claim about safety, but making me think about how a vehicle might save my family sticks.

I agree. Smart ad.

1. He has a girlfriend with a Corvette. 2. Jason Cammisa of Road & Track magazine agrees with Clifton that automobile lighting regulations need improvement. Mr. Cammisa's main complaint is that adaptive driving beams (ADB) are illegal here. What do you think about the ADB issue?Thanks.

Love my buddy Jason who is no longer at Road & Track, but is now the Senior Features editor at Motortrends Magazine. 

Like all other parts of the car there needs to be standardization. It's not just so that people now how to use it, but they know what to expect from a car. 


2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

(The 2016 MX-5. Photo courtesy of Mazda)

you recommend buying this fourth generation (ND) new this year, or holding off until next year to see what issues--if any--come up?

We haven't driven the 2016 yet. I will drive it at the end of July. There is such wide spread enthusiasm for this car that unless they really mangle the new car I would wait. But wait till July and I will tell you 

Can you compare the Torsen vs the Haldex AWD systems?


Thank you all for joining us today. Please return next week. Thank you Michelle Williams, Lou Ann Hammond and Ria Manglapus. Eat lunch. Stay cool.

Lou Ann here; 

And remember 

Never drive faster than your Angel can fly. 

much love, 

Lou and Warbro 

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

On Wheels Archive

Real Wheels Live Q&A Archive
Lou Ann Hammond
Lou Ann Hammond is the founder and owner of the first privately owned automobile website Recently Lou Ann has developed an automotive and energy issues related website,, that covers a broader range of subjects than solely the automotive or the energy industry.
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