Real Wheels Live

Oct 04, 2013

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

I'd love to hear from all you. Many of you in the D.C. area are federal workers and are on furlough now.

Were you thinking of purchasing a car and have put it off? Do you think the government will reopen the government before October 17th?

Has your consumer confidence changed in the last week when it comes to the state of the economy?

I do read the comments after the show as well, so please feel free to post all week.

Let's chat about cars

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Are there any new convertibles (under $50,000) expected in the next year, other than the Miata and Mustang? Thanks

Lou Ann here

I canvased the internet and came up with a list for you for 2013 and 2014 new convertibles. Warren is right, the list is long.

Audi A5
Audi S5
Audi TT   
Audi TTS
BMW 1-Series
BMW 3-Series
Chevrolet Camaro       
Chevrolet Corvette   
Chrysler 200   
Fiat 500   
Ford Mustang
Ford Shelby GT500
Infiniti G37   
Infiniti Q60
Lexus IS250
Lexus IS350
Mazda Miata
Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
MINI Cooper       
MINI Cooper Roadster
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
Nissan 370Z
Porsche Boxster
smart fortwo
Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen Eos   
Volvo C70

There are an estimated 30 convertibles available under $50K. For a full list, please check and check "convertibles."

Warren, in your column today you wrote about the new MB cla cars. 1) Is there a turbo lag in either? 2) How would you compare the MB turbo 4 with the BMW turbo 4? 3) does the CLA have a stop/start function and if so does the car shudder the way the BMW does when the engine kicks in? Thanks

 The new M-B CLA does have start-stop. Turbo lag.? Some of my colleagues complained about "turbo lag"--essentially the turbocharger not kicking in as soon as you floor the pedal. I fault them. I had no such problems, probably because I never floor the accelerator from stop.

Hello Obama's friend! My question is if Mr. President know ride horses? Thakyou, waiting your answer. From Spain, Mark Collado.

Weird question, Mark. I suppose Preident Obama can ride a horse, It's the asses he's having trouble with.

Hello Warren, I'm Mark from Spain...My question is what car do you think is better for Mr. President Obama? Pehraphs a big green tractor?

My understanding is that the White House has Cadillacs? That right, Lou Ann?

Lou Ann here:

That would be Cadillac One, or Limo One to us plain folks :)

Hi Warren and Lou Ann, I enjoy these chats every week. I am thinking about buying a three year old used car such as an Infiniti G37. One concern I have is that a lot of cars of this age are former leases. It would seem to me that someone who is leasing a car does not have a lot of incentive to maintain the car, including periodic oil changes. Thus, although the car may seem to be in good condition, there may be a lot of premature wear on the engine. Do you believe this is a legitimate concern and, if so, what can I do to work around it?

Lease cars that have damage or extra miles have an extra  charge put against them so they maybe a little less when they are sold.

As in all cases, when you are buying a used car have your trusted mechanic look at it and if you can get a carfax report on it that would be good as well.

The Federal Government has had so many threats of shutdown over the past few years. It is surprising this is the first time in more than a decade that it actually happened. Since I work for a government contractor, we are also subject to the shutdown. We are currently working, but had been told that could change. I don't think this is a good time to spend money if you can avoid it.

You have company in that assessment. Here's hoping that the politicians spop acking like petulent children and get to work.

Why isn't this chat listed on the Washington Post home page as usual?

Hey there, Matt the show producer here. We had a bit of a glitch that I didn't catch until this morning. Basically, every week I have to create a new chat and set it for the following Friday. Last Friday when I set today's show up, I mis-typed the date. I fixed it this morning, but there's an automated process which looks for all the upcoming shows so that it can publish them on the homepage. Probably that process hasn't run again yet since I fixed the date--as far as the system knows, this chat isn't going on!


So apologies to any folks who tried to find today's show and couldn't--that was my bad.

Our sincere apology. Today's show was cut shor by technical problems. We'll fix things for next week. Please come back then. Have a great weekend, everybody.

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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