Real Wheels Live

May 09, 2014

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.

Good morning Warren and Friends

Have any of you seen any of the concept cars from the last year? Here is a list of all the concept cars. Tell me your favorite and which one you would vote for as concept car of the year
Concept Vehicles

Audi Allroad Shooting Brake Concept

Audi Quattro Sport Concept

BMW Concept X4

BMW Active Tourer Concept

Cadillac Elmiraj

Honda Hydrogen FCEV Concept

Jaguary C-X17 Sports Crossover Concept

Kia GT4 Stinger Concept

Kia Niro Concept

Kia Provo Concept

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept

Mercedes-Benz GT6 Concept ???

MINI John Cooper Works

Nissan BladeGlider

Nissan Sport Sedan Concept

Subaru Legacy Concept

Toyota FT-1

Toyota FV2

Toyota i-Road

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept

Volkswagen GTI Concept

Volvo XC Coupe Concept


Production Preview Concepts

Acura TLX

Ford Edge Concept

Infiniti Q30 Concept

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept

Mercedes-Benz 45 AMG Concept

Nissan Sentra Concept

Volkswagen Passat 1.4L BlueMotion

Do any of you keep your car information on your smartphone? Your banking info?

I had the misfortune of losing my iphone for two days this week and it was torture.

I've never put a passcode on my phone because I thought I didn't have anything on there that would matter - till I lost it.

I had the "find my phone" app on the phone, but somehow it got turned off - just when I needed it most.

Make sure you have a passcode and that you have a "find my phone" app and that it is turned on.

Let's chat about cars

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Lou Ann Hammond

Hi. Thanks for hosting these chats. Do you believe new cars need to be "broken in"? Or is that an outdated urban legend? Also, for older cars, have you heard anything about the effectiveness about after-market back-up cameras? Thanks again.

Good Morning,

Thanks for joining the chats.

I didn't use to believe cars needed to be broken in but there is technology today that can learn your driving habits.

I haven't heard about the back up camera effectiveness and backup cameras aren't mandated as standard till 2018 so any camera that you have is better than not having a camera.

My wife is in the market for 1st vehicle and she likes the 2010 and up Equinox. Any other small SUVs we should look at in the 15k price range?

I doubt that there is much new in the15k range for midsize crossovers/suv.  You probably are looking at the Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sorento. But even that puts you in the mid-20s. I would suggest shopping used inasmuch as 2.5 million vehicles are coming off-lease now. Some good deals in that bunch.

My wife and I normally shop vehicle makes/models and dealerships. We are willing to pay a little extra for the vehicle purchase if the dealership has a high customer satisfaction service and purchase experience rating. Are you aware of any web site(s) that rate dealerships for a geographical region? We live in Central Kentucky and haven't been able to find such a site.

Yes., Try those.

When is the 2015 Legacy likely to be out? Any test drives scheduled?

Early summer 2014, according to my product-release schedule.

Now that the new WRX (street legal rally race car?) is out, what are your thoughts on that? Is is fun driving as a daily commute car and for the occasional driving on roads meant for the car?

My next door neighbor, Tim, 13 years old, has $2,000 in the bank from birthdays and allowances. He is saving up for a down payment on a WRX. I was talking to Bill at Auburn Racquet club yesterday. He has a legacy and will drive that thing into the ground but his dream car would be the WRX.

It is a reason to get up and go to work in the morning.

It is fun, as are all "street-legal race cars." But there are not many legal places to fully exploit them.

Warren, I believe you have driven both the BMW 3 and 4 series. Putting aside the diferences between a coupe and 4 door, do you consider the increased cost of the 4 series worth it in terms of driving experience? And I suspect someone will also ask you a similar question between the new 2 series and the 3 :) Thank you

No. Not along as BMW keeps nickle-and-diming consumers on options that should come as standard equipment, considering the cost of its cars.

A friend would like a small hatchback that's zippy and fun to drive. She doesn't want a tiny subcompact, but one step up in size. I suggested the VW golf, or the GTI for more zip. That's fine but she says she wants a Japanese model, since she has had good experiences with family sedans there. What are the best choices?

Also check out the new/revised Audi A3 hatchback. Should be out this summer or early fall.

Lou Ann here:

Honda Fit
Nissna Versa Note
Nissan Cube
Honda Accent
Mazda 2

The convertible Fiat 500/Abarth has a sort of unusual design where the top folds back but there are still rails at the top of the windows between the A and C pillars. With this design, does it really give the full convertible feeling, or is it more like a big sunroof. I was just wondering if the extra expense of the convertible was worth it, given this design.

The "convertible" Fiat 500 was born as a farm implement. You stuck long-handled rakes in the back/front, and they poked through the roof.

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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