reviews


Episode #097 – Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

This week our intrepid trio has been tackling everything from mainstream to super-luxury. Rebecca went to rainy Palm Springs to sample the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and more from BMW before returning home to the 2019 Kia Forte. In between, Sam had the 2019 Mazda CX-9 and Dan drove the 2019 Lincoln Nautilus which leads into a discussion of who is doing luxury right. In the news, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fudged the numbers to show Tesla Autopilot was safer than it really was. Jaguar Land Rover debuts a new inline-six gas engine with mild hybrid capability and that leads to a response to a listener question on V6 vs I6. Finally, Dan and Sam talk with Ford Super Duty chief engineer Mike Pruitt about the new 2020 heavy duty pickups and the new 7.3-liter V8.

For automotive engineers and developers that want to develop their skills in AI and working with Nvidia processors we have a 20% discount code for the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference Silicon Valley. Check out the sessions at https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/gtc/topics/automotive-and-transportation/ and use the promo code MCXNAVIGANT when you register for the savings.

Links

NHTSA Fudges the Numbers on Tesla AutoPilot Safety

New Land Rover Inline-six cylinder engine

Episode #097 – Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

 
 
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Episode #096 – Live From Chicago

This week Sam and Rebecca call in from Chicago, home of the biggest little auto show in America. Before arriving in the windy city, they both drove the 2019 Mazda CX-5 with the new 2.5-liter turbo. Meanwhile Dan has been commuting in the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 and while we may mock it, we also acknowledge that there is a place for cars like this. Rebecca shares her thoughts on the revived Chevrolet Blazer. The crew discuss the new Ram 1500 Multi-function tailgate, the ginormous Chevrolet Silverado HD, the 30th anniversary Mazda Miata and more.

For automotive engineers and developers that want to develop their skills in AI and working with Nvidia processors we have a 20% discount code for the Nvidia GPU Technology Conference Silicon Valley. Check out the sessions at https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/gtc/topics/automotive-and-transportation/ and use the promo code MCXNAVIGANT when you register for the savings.

Links

2019 Chevrolet Blazer

2019 Ram 1500 Multifunction Tailgate

Episode #096 – Live From Chicago

 
 
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Episode #095 – Say Hello to Rebecca

This week we kick off a new era in the show by introducing a new member of the Wheel Bearings team. Veteran auto industry analyst Rebecca Lindland joins Dan and Sam to talk cars every week. For her debut, Rebecca has been tooling around Connecticut in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio while Sam has been driving the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and Dan has had the yet again refreshed Dodge Charger AWD.

Continuing the crossover theme, Rebecca and Sam both got to drive the 2019 Honda Passport in Utah and we dive into some discussion of why women (and men) seem like to crossovers so much.

Links

2019 Honda Passport first drive

Episode #095 – Say Hello to Rebecca

 
 
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Episode #094 – The Last Winter Auto Show in Detroit

image with ford mustang shelby gt500, kia forte ex, toyota avalon, volvo s60, toyota supra, cadillac xt6

The guys are back with the 2019 Kia Forte EX, 2019 Toyota Avalon, Dodge Challenger Scat Pack and the 2019 Volvo S60 sedan. We review some of the highlights of the last January outing of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, a new infotainment system for the upcoming Polestar 2 and finish up with some suggestions about the lowest power car you can have fun with for a listener.

Links

Polestar 2 HMI Preview

2020 Ford Explorer

2020 Toyota Supra

2020 Cadillac XT6

2020 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang

Episode #094 – The Last Winter Auto Show in Detroit

 
 
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Episode #092 – Gaining Weight As We Age

This week Dan is driving the new 2019 Kia Forte EX and Sam has been in the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima. The conversation then moves into whether cars are actually getting heavier, spoiler alert – Yes and No! Is a low-mileage 1994 Toyota Supra really worth $121,000? Another Alphabet moonshot project becomes its own company with a novel way to store energy from renewable sources.

Links

Are cars actually getting heavier?

How much is a low mileage 25 year old Supra worth?

Malta spins off from Alphabet

Automotive News

Automotive Engineering International

Automotive World

Episode #092 – Gaining Weight As We Age

 
 
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Episode #088 – Plugged In At The LA Auto Show

The American automotive market is more about trucks and utilities than ever before. Sam and Dan look at a couple of bookends with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and Ford EcoSport. GM CEO Mary Barra makes the tough call to end production at five factories. Meanwhile at the 2018 LA Auto Show, there was lots of new product many of them with plugs. Some highlights include the 2020 Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, 2020 Mazda3, 2020 Porsche 911, Audi e-Tron GT concept and the new Kia Soul with a battery that should go 250 miles or so.

Links

Episode #011 – Sam talks with Delphi’s Jim Zizelman about dynamic skip fire as used in the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Lincoln Aviator

Audi e-Tron GT

Porsche 911

Kia Soul

Sam talks about GM closing plants on the radio

All-weather tires

 

Episode #088 – Plugged In At The LA Auto Show

 
 

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Episode #087 – Carlos In The Clink, Driving In Winter and Charging Follies

This week Sam drives the new Volkswagen Jetta and Dan spends time with the Acura RDX and VW Golf Sportwagen.

Out in the real world, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Chairman of Nissan is arrested for alleged financial malfeasance and the future of the Alliance is in doubt. With snow and ice now on the road, it’s time again to think about winter tires. Land Rover unveils the second-generation Evoque with electrified powertrains and Tesla owners are experiencing Supercharger issues. Sam also interviews Pete Rander and Brett Browning of Argo AI.

Links

Carlos Ghosn Arrested

Winter Tires

2020 Land Rover Evoque

Supercharging issues

Episode #087 – Carlos In The Clink, Driving In Winter and Charging Follies

 
 

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Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

This time out, Sam is recording from a hotel room in Miami as we discuss the Volvo XC40 T5 and its goofy shifter design, the Audi Q5 and its surprisingly fast handwriting recognition and the marvelous Kia Stinger. Subscriptions may or may not be the future of car buying, assuming car buying even has a future in an age of automated vehicles. Faraday almost certainly has no Future and Walmart joins Ford’s automated delivery test program.

Links

2019 Volvo XC50 T5 Momentum

Cadillac closes the Book on subscriptions for now

Probably no future for Faraday

Walmart and Ford team up on automated deliveries

Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

 
 

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2019 Volvo XC40 – The New Small Swede With Surprising Value

2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum

The first-phase of the ground up revamp of the entire Volvo product portfolio is nearing completion. Like most brands, Volvo has shifted heavily toward utility vehicles such as the midsize and large XC60 and XC90 as well as the slightly higher riding car variants like the V90 Cross-country. This year Volvo finally has an entry in the fast growing compact utility segment as well with the new XC40 and it has a lot to recommend it.

Read the full review over on Forbes


Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

After a week off, we have an extended length show to make up for it. Dan drives a very expensive Ford F-150 and a sportier Acura MDX A-Spec. Sam goes from the not really a crossover Toyota C-HR to the ginormous Genesis G90. Then we dive into some discussion of sales and earnings, GM’s call for a national EV mandate in response to Trump administration moves to freeze fuel economy standards and cost cutting moves while profits are still reasonably healthy.  We also discuss Consumer Reports reliability data and answer listener questions including the Hyundai pickup truck.

Links

Toyota C-HR 

GM Calls for a national EV mandate

GM offers buyouts and cuts spending

Consumer Reports reliability survey

Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

 
 

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