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The crew is back with the Chevy Blazer, Ford Ranger and Mazda Miata RF. Sam has been driving the Audi E-Tron Quattro in northern California. Amy Marentic talks Ford Icons, Mazda is bringing back inline sixes and GM Cruise gets more cash.
Leo Laporte and Sam try out the 2019 Kia Niro EV, an impressive compact electric crossover with a 239 mile range
On this week’s edition we learn that Dan doesn’t like convertibles after driving the BMW M850i. Rebecca has a noisy seat in the Nissan Maxima and thinks the Hyundai Tucson is a great value. Sam finds that the Ford Ranger rides a lot better with 600 lbs of dirt in the back and the interior materials don’t feel up to snuff for the price of the Lariat.
In the news, with Ford finally connecting its vehicles, it’s starting to roll out new services that leverage the connectivity. We also discuss who’s to blame when a driver that knows Tesla Autopilot misbehaves, continues to use it and ends up dead.
The gang are all back in their respective homes this week as we catch up on a couple of weeks of driving. Sam has had the 2019 Cadillac XT4 and Ford Edge Titanium. Rebecca had the BMW i3 Rex and Lexus NX300 while Dan had the latest Lincoln Navigator and Lexus ES350.
This week, Dan has been locked in a closet in Boston working on proposals so Rebecca and Sam locked themselves in a 2019 Lincoln Navigator on the floor of the New York Auto Show at Javits Center. In the sanctuary of the Navigator, they discussed some of the show highlights including the new Lincoln Corsair, Genesis Mint concept, Volkswagen Torak pickup truck, Hyundai Venue, and the new Porsche 911 Speedster.
Five years ago, Lincoln was a brand that seemed to be on its last legs. The products felt uninspired and no one seemed to know why Ford was still pouring money into its last premium brand. Despite that, Ford recommitted to the brand, appointing Kumar Galhotra as president of Lincoln and the resurgence began. That continues under current Lincoln president Joy Falotico with this week’s reveal of the 2020 Corsair. Lincoln has fleshed out its SUV lineup with new or revamped products from bottom to top, leaving the MKZ and MKT for as long as they last as the only remnants of the old product lineup.(more…)
This week Sam and Rebecca both discuss their experience with the Nissan Murano. Rebecca has also been in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV while Dan drives the Honda Pilot.
In the news, four decades of tilting at mid-engine wind mills finally pays off for Don Sherman as GM confirms the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette will debut on July 18, 2019. Tesla really doesn’t want to sell any $35,000 Model 3s and the gang discuss the challenges of updating a 50 year old airplane for the 21st century.
This week Rebecca describes a road trip she took in the Buick Regal with her millennial nephew to watch some sportsball. She also samples the new generation Mazda3 sedan and we ponder the potential of Mazda to reposition itself as a more premium brand. Sam drives the BMW X4 and isn’t repulsed while Dan is less enamored with the latest Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.
In the news, Ford’s fourth-generation Escape is revealed and it’s becoming more of a city slicker. It also brings back the hybrid and adds a plug-in hybrid. The Audi e-tron Quattro has a range number and it’s disappointing and Rebecca tries out the Jeep Gladiator.
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Sam says that even with driverless cars, he’s not sure if Lyft can still make any money. There’s no networking effect. There’s no loyalty or switching costs. So the only way to make it work is to have a lot of drivers and lower fares. Also, companies like Lyft and Uber have no real hard costs or assets. They don’t own the cars, or have to maintain them, or pay for the gas. When you go driverless, suddenly you have to pay for cars and maintain them. Those hard investments and will be in the billions at first.
This week, Rebecca finishes up with the Volvo V60 and tries out the new Ram 2500 in Manhattan. Sam has also been in a big truck with the 2019 Nissan Titan Pro4X while Dan goes small with the Hyundai Kona Ultimate. In the news, Lincoln releases the first teaser image for the Corsair compact crossover while Geely ponders stepping in to save the Smart brand from oblivion. Speaking of smarts, the European Commission is moving to make a whole suite of driver assistance features mandatory including automatic speed limiting.