Rising Vehicle Repair Costs; Hybrid vs. Regular Car Debate; Car Buying Advice | Talking Cars #244

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and enjoy the show. On this episode, we talk about
why fender benders are getting more expensive to repair,
we debate whether or not a Miata is a good daily
driver, and we give tips on buying a used
car sight unseen. Next on Talking Cars. Hi and welcome back. I’m Mike Quincy. I’m Mike Monticello. And I’m Ryan Pszczolkowski. So we’re always asking for your
questions, video questions, text questions at
[email protected] We’ve got a massive
backlog to get through, so we’re going to
hop right into it. We got a whole bunch
of video questions. So let’s start out. This is Justin from Switzerland. Hi, Talking Cars. So I have never purchased
a car in my life, so I’m really looking
for some tips and advice. I am looking for something all
wheel drive, something that’s very reliable, and I’d like to
have something kind of stylish, if possible. My budget, I’d like to stay
under 40k, if possible. And I don’t want to
buy anything brand new, but would like to
stay between the model years of 2017 and 2019. When I was driving, I used
to drive a ’02 Ford Explorer, so I was used to
sitting up high. I love that, but I don’t
necessarily need to do that. So looking forward
to hearing back. Enjoy the view
here in Switzerland and across the lake in France. So never bought a car before,
looking for all wheel drive. Nice scenery out
there in Switzerland. Good gig if you can get it. So Ryan, what advice
do you have for Justin? Well, you know, he said super
or very reliable, he wants. I kind of focused on that. So naturally, I started looking
towards a Toyota or Lexus. And this kind of
took me by surprise– I kind of forgot about
this car– the Lexus NX. It’s a small SUV. He also said stylish and
that’s kind of a stylish car. Other than that, I would
say maybe an Audi Q5. You know, $40,000 is a lot for
a used car, which is great. I thought that was a nice
generous amount of money he can spend on that. Yeah. So those are two to look at. I mean, I don’t know if
he’s looking for an SUV. I mean, he had that– Seemed like he was because
he mentioned Explorer. Probably likes that
sort of commanding view that the SUVs give, so I
kind of focused SUVs as well. And so my pick for Justin
was a 2019 Mazda CX-5. 2019 because that’s when they
had the optional turbo four cylinder engine
with 227 horsepower. CX-5 is a great SUV
without that engine, but when you have that turbo
four cylinder in there, it just really transforms it. Now suddenly, it’s got a whole
bunch of fun turbo power. CX-5 has a great interior. And so you have to opt for the
grand touring or the signature trim. But both of those come in
brand new at under $40,000. So you get to used 2019, you’re
going to be well under budget. I think he said, ’17, ’18,
but yeah, why wouldn’t you if you can newer for
that kind of money. With a $40,000 budget, you can
get a really nice used car. That’s a good point. And very reliable. I stuck with the program. I went with the 2016
or a newer Lexus RX. You mentioned Lexus before– Toyota. Really reliable, kind of
stylish, very comfortable, all wheel drive. Really, a pretty nice
car and pretty popular. But thinking about
when he said really haven’t bought a
car before, do we have some kind of general
buying advice for him? I’m not sure if he’s going
to buy it when he gets here. I hope so, because buying a used
car sight unseen is pretty– Risky. Radical, I’ll say. I mean, you want to check
this thing out, drive it, take a good look at it. And if you’ve never
driven that type of car, you don’t know if
you even like it. Even the two cars I said,
they drive quite differently. But your preference when you’re
spending that kind of money means something. Right. So what can you tell
Justin about just buying– it’s his first car he’s bought. Yeah. So the nice thing
is these days, you can do you know all of
your shopping online, and you can do the
bulk of even the buying and price negotiating process
via email, text, phone call. So you don’t have
to go to the dealer if you don’t want to
early on in the game. But what I would say,
though, is once you’ve gotten to where you’ve
agreed on a price, at least a tentative price for
this vehicle, whether it’s new or used, have the salesperson
email you the purchase order, because there might be
some fees in there that– especially for Justin
who hasn’t ever bought a car before, there
might be some fees in there, some dealer fees that maybe
he wasn’t counting on that is going to now be tacked on
to the overall total vehicle price, total sale
price of this vehicle. So have them send you
that purchase order so you can look at all the
little potential dealer fees. Right. And some of those
things that they might sneak in–
certainly, being a used car would be extended warranty. Exactly. $500 for that. Or a service warranty. A way to get you to bring your
car there to have all the oil changes done. And we’ve typically
suggest don’t buy those, either, the
service warranty. Because if sometimes,
you add it up, the service warranty
costs more rather than if you just went
yourself, did it on your own. And the extended
warranties, we usually don’t recommend buying
those because they rarely work out in the favor,
cost wise, of the buyer. If he does buy a
super reliable car. Like a Toyota or a Lexus. He shouldn’t have any issue. You have to be what be careful
on the purchase orders, because sometimes,
it’s preprinted. If the salesperson handwrites
it, it’s one thing. But if it’s
preprinted, and if you haven’t bought a card
before, you might think, oh, I have to buy this. And my only general
buying advice, Justin, is don’t fall in love. In other words, you see one
car– oh, I have to have it, and the salesperson
knows that you are head over
heels for this car, they’re going to get
you under that car. Don’t be afraid just
walk away, right? Absolutely. Absolutely. Great question. And also, love your vacation
or maybe it’s your work spot. But anyway, Switzerland is
lovely this time of year. Moving on to the next, this
is Dr. Dave in Cleveland. Hi, Talking Cars. I love the show. I had a question about TPMS. We live here in the
suburbs of Cleveland and have decent winters
and we switch out to winter cars on
five different cars. And one annoying thing is
having to reset and pay for the reset for the TPMS. I’ve gone to all weather
tires to try to avoid this on a few of the cars. And also, my Audi– I have an A5 convertible–
doesn’t need it because it uses the rotation
of the hub instead of sensors in the wheels. So my question is,
are manufacturers moving towards more sensors
in wheels and center modules or are they moving more towards
like Audi has always done, using the hub rotation
to detect differences in spin as to whether a
tire has gone low rather than the absolute pressure? Thanks. All right, so tire pressure
monitor censoring systems, TPMS. That’s really what he’s
talking about– swapping over from summer tires or all
seasons to winter tires. Must be a pain. Yeah. I can appreciate this, though. He seems like an enthusiast. He’s got all weathers
on some cars, he’s swapping from winters. And he’s got them wrapped– he’s got the tires wrapped
up on shelves behind him in his garage. That’s awesome. Hardcore Dr. Dave. Good job. He’s serious. This is good. But to answer his
question first, though, we haven’t seen a
real trend of manufacturers going to the indirect
system, which is measuring off the wheel speed
or the hub speed, as he says. We haven’t seen a real trend. There are some
manufacturers who do that. Like Audi has been doing
that for a long time. A few have started to do that. But there’s still a lot that use
the actual sensor in the wheel, like GM, per se. So we actually like
the direct system, which has the sensors
in the wheels, because it’ll display
the actual pressure. Some vehicles will actually
display the pressure of tire. Do you mean where you can
look on your dash right and it will show the individual
tire pressure for each tire, correct? Yes. I love that. I love that. And many do. Some don’t, even if they
have that direct system with a sensor in the wheel. But we also– especially
myself, coming from the land of actually changing tires– like the indirect
system, because you don’t have to worry
about the sensors being in the wheels
breaking them. They can be expensive. Over time, the batteries
can die in these. It may take a long time, but it
be comes a maintenance issue. And then like he said,
switching from winter tires back and forth gets
expensive if you’re going to actually have to
keep the sensors in there. So there’s no really
real work around for it. It’s tough, yeah. And we haven’t seen the trend. I don’t know if it will. Going to the future,
vehicles are getting more and more complicated. And they’re talking about
the potential for smart tires and cars that are going
to drive themselves. So the sensor in the wheel now– the opportunity for other
data and information to come through that sensor,
where the indirect system is a little more primitive in the
sense that is just going off a wheel speed. Which way is it going to go? We don’t know. But the idea of having a
monitor on your instrument panel to say, once of your
tires is getting low– it’s such a good thing. It’s helpful to consumers. And it’s just
helpful to understand at different times
a year of the year, your tire pressures do change. It’s helpful to know
if one is way down or if it’s only just a couple
PSI down off of the others. Right. I’m sorry– the indirect system
has gotten better in the sense that now when you inflate
your tires the proper pressure and you have an indirect system
is going off the wheel speed, you actually calibrate the
vehicle to that pressure so it knows the actual speed. So what can happen over time– all your tires can lose
air at once, right? But it never sees just one. So it never thinks that
you have a low tire. Some of the old
systems were like that. It would take more air loss for
that to happen– for the car to recognize that. But now, you can go down
a couple of PSI in one and it will recognize
it, because it knew its original wheel speed. So ultimately, we don’t
know which way it will go. It might not go away. It might just be some
people use an indirect, some use a direct system. But unfortunately
for Dr. Dave, he’s going to have to deal with it. Good thing we have Ryan here
to answer tire questions. Excellent question. The trials and tribulations
of owning a lot of cars. Right. Next up is Paul from
Walla Walla, Washington. Hi, Talking Cars. I had a question about
a 2019 Mazda Miata. I was thinking about
replacing my Subaru Crosstrek or adding Miata in
addition to my Crosstrek. And wonder what you
thought of if the Miata is a reasonable car
as a daily driver or if it really is
more of a second car. Appreciate what you think. Thanks. So we can’t get
through Talking Cars without talking about a Miata,
because we love it so much. So Miata as a daily
driver, what do you think? Well, so we looked up where
Walla Walla, Washington was, and they do get some snow there. So the first thing is you’ve
got to take that into mind. Even with winter tires– Ryan, correct me if I’m wrong,
you’re the tire expert here– but the Miata is still not
going to be a great snow car. It doesn’t have great
ground clearance for getting through any kind of deep snow. So from that perspective alone. But then just as a
daily driver, this is a car that has
a very tight cabin. There’s not a lot of
space to store anything once you’re inside the car. If you ever bring like a big
guy like you as a passenger he’s a larger guy– you’re going
to feel cramped in there a lot. Plus, it has a fair amount
of tire noise, a fair amount of wind and engine noise. This is the kind of car that
can wear on you over time. It’s busy. That said, if you have a
really fun drive to work, then maybe it could
be worth it, right? But it sounds like
maybe the best situation is keep the Subaru Crosstrek
as your daily driver and then use the Miata on the
weekends or the occasional, you know what, I really want
to have a fun drive into work today, so I’m going to do it. That way, you don’t
get bored of the car– not bored, but get
tired of having to deal with this kind of small
little car that you’re driving. Super fun. Right. That said, I’d also say if
you’re looking at a 2019 Miata, you also might look at the
Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ. All three of those
cars are very reliable and relatively inexpensive. And super fun to drive. Super fun to drive. I personally think 86
and BRZ are more fun to drive than the Miata. And roomier. But you can’t put the top down. So you can’t put the top down– the Miata has the
better shifter– but otherwise, you’ve got better
steering, better handling. It’s really pinpoint
in the 86 and the BRZ. So that my choice
would be, actually, take a look at those as well. A nice problem to have. Next up is Steve from Michigan. Hi. I really like the new 2020
Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Comparing it to a standard model
LE, you’re looking at a $3,000 price premium. Given the miles per
gallon advantage, I feel you can make
that up fairly quickly. But what about long
term maintenance costs? Could the Hybrid
model potentially have more expensive repair
bills later down the road? Thanks. So looking at the Corolla
versus the Corolla Hybrid, you’re absolutely right. It’s about a $3,000
dollar price premium to go with the Hybrid model. Both did very well in
Consumer Reports testing. Both return phenomenal
fuel economy. But when you think about the
national average for price of gallon of gasoline, it
would take between, like, eight and nine years to kind
of make up the price difference with the regular Corolla
versus the Corolla Hybrid, factoring about 12,000
miles driving a year. I would say this
isn’t necessarily about saving money as much
as it’s about saving gas. In other words, I want
to be a green car person and I want to burn less fuel. You burn less fuel
with a hybrid model compared to a non-hybrid model. So that’s kind of the
way I’m looking at this. Yeah. The hybrid versus
non-hybrid price difference and when you make that
amount up in terms of years, it’s been a problem for a while. Until you can buy a hybrid
for almost the same prices as the non-hybrid, it’s
going to be difficult. Especially with the regular
model doing very well. Right, right. The regular Corolla is a
Consumer Reports top pick. And as far as reliability
goes, actually, one of the great success
stories for our own automotive reliability data is
the Toyota Prius, which has the battery packs
and the electric motors. Has an enviable
reliability record going back almost 20 years. Incredible. I mean, we have so
much data on it. It’s not an uncomplicated car. Right. So in terms of the second
part of Steve’s question about reliability, that would
be the least of my concerns– buying a Toyota hybrid
and thinking it’s going to cost more
money down the road. Right. We’re not seeing it. We don’t have the
data to [INAUDIBLE].. The other thing that
we’ve been seeing is that in some models, such
as that Toyota Rav4 and also, the Ford Escape Hybrid, we
found that the hybridization of those cars– actually, the hybrid
version, having some electric assist actually
made it a better driving vehicle. It improved your driveability. So in those two cases,
the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid and Ford Escape Hybrid, we’d
actually suggest buying them even though it costs
a little bit more, because you’re getting
a nicer driving car than the regular version
and you’re saving gas. Right. That’s an excellent point. So our next question
is from Nelson from Kerry North, Carolina. Normally, Consumer
Reports recommends not to buy a new car the
first year it’s produced. Will this logic apply
to the Honda CRV hybrid expected in the US this year? It’s already available
overseas and will be based on the existing
Honda Accord Hybrid. However, it will be
built for the first time at a plant in Indiana. Would these circumstances
require waiting a year or no? So Mike, what do
you have for Nelson? Well, so Nelson is correct. It absolutely is based on
the existing Accord Hybrid powertrain. So that’s a good thing. But we don’t normally
take into account when we’re doing our new car
predictive reliability where that car is built. That’s not
something we factor into it. We’re more concerned
about the brand overall and the specific model– its history of reliability. So in this case, what
Nelson can do is just simply look at the reliability
of the Accord and the Accord Hybrid
and the existing CRV, and then you can kind of
determine from those two cars, OK, well, because there’s
not a whole lot actually brand new on the
CRV Hybrid, it’s probably going to have
very similar reliability. And in this case, it means
about average reliability. That’s not what we’ve
gone out and said yet for our new car predictor
reliability for it, but it’s a good bet, since
both the Accord and the CRV– the CRV was redesigned
in 2017, the Accord as you redesigned in 2018– both those cars
since their redesigns have been hovering right
around average reliability. A little up and down. Kind of low for a Honda. You always think
historically high, it was at the top of the ranks. So it’s good, but not great. And that’s probably
about where the CRV Hybrid is going to be as well. So waiting a year in this case
might actually be a good idea. You know, just to see if
there are a few new car bugs transitioning that
drive train into the CRV. But probably, it’s
going to remain about average
reliability, anyway, because that’s what we’re seeing
with these other two models. Some manufacturers are worth
the risk more than others. Right. Yeah. Well, we’ll have to
see how that pans out. Next up is Angelo
from New Jersey. My wife recently bumped
her 2018 Ford Explorer XLT into a tree stump and did
some damage to the bumper. It didn’t look like much, but
the repairs cost for $4,900. Given the complexity
of modern cars, the engineers factor
in the cost of repair when designing new vehicles. You’d think that
insurance companies would be outraged at these costs
for seemingly minor incidences. That’s a great question
and it brings up what we’ve been seeing in
terms of automotive technology. I mean, sometimes, you
have you have one step up and you have one step back. So these safety features
certainly are doing their jobs. Consumer Reports is saying you
know the advanced driver assist systems, or as they
always are saying, ADAS. You hear ADAS this
and ADAS that, and that’s what it stands for. They’re making cars safer,
but what is without a doubt is because of these repairs,
because they’re so complex, you’re not just
repairing a bumper. You have to replace a sensor. You have to get the
windshield glass recalibrated, for goodness sakes. So you’re absolutely right. It is not as simple and as
inexpensive as it used to be. But the bottom line
is that if you’re seeing fewer accidents
because of this technology, it will save in
repairs in the future. Exactly. Priority in a vehicle nowadays
is probably safety, right? Right. That makes sense. The first thing is to
not get in the crash. The second thing is
you’d like it to not be that expensive to repair
if you do get in a crash. But you’re going to
solve all of that by simply not
getting in the crash. Right. Check out the story, The
Hidden Cost of Safety Features on consumerreports.org. Next up is David from Boston. My family, which
includes three teenagers, is looking to upgrade
from a Honda Pilot to a three row hybrid
or electric luxury SUV, and we’ve shortlisted
the 2020 Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid and
the Tesla Model X. What would you recommend? So Ryan, take a pick. Oh man. So if I’m going to pick
between the two of these, I’m going to pick the Volvo. I mean, the Tesla– you got to charge this thing. If you’re going on
long trips, you’ve got to factor in
all those things. And I think you’re just
better off with the Volvo for that type of vehicle. If you were going to buy a
little car or commute back and forth to work, the
electric might make sense if you had a set
range every day. But this is a much more
of an exploring vehicle if you’re going take
your family to go places. Well, right. David doesn’t specify how
they’re going to use it, just they have
three [INAUDIBLE].. Honestly, even I would look at
some other stuff like a Lexus RX Hybrid, personally. Right. Yeah, so it’s interesting,
because the two vehicles chosen here both have
much worse than average predicted reliability. So you’re going to have to
factor that in from the get go. But I’m with Ryan. I mean, the Model X, it has
the fancy showy gull wing doors for the rear
sight doors, which it gets a lot of wow factor
when you go to a restaurant or whatever. It’s a pain. But it is kind of a pain. And like you said, there’s
been some reliability issues with that thing. A lot of reliability
issues with the Model X. I’m with you on the
charging that if you’re going to be taking a
family on a long trip, you probably don’t want to
have to be charging, even though the Model X,
depending on the model, can go over 300 miles,
which is pretty long range. But you might not
want to deal with it. But both cars have some issues. They both have a little
bit of stiff-ish ride. The Volvo has some controls
that a lot of people here aren’t big fans of. That said, it has a
very beautiful interior. It has a pretty
nice drive train. But again, with the Volvo,
it’s a plug-in hybrid, but it only has about 14
miles of electric-only range. So again, you’re not
getting a lot out of that, but you never have to worry
about being on a trip and then having to go charge
up somewhere, and wait around for
30 to 45 minutes. So when you started
giving your pick, you immediately went to
the lack of reliability in the Volvo and the Tesla. And that’s exactly what
I wrote in my notes. I started laughing. So I thought, well,
since reliability doesn’t seem to be much
of a factor here, I’m saying go with
Chrysler Pacific hybrid. Because you got the plug-in,
you’ve got the hybrid, you’ve got the green kind
of bent to this whole thing. But then talk about
three teenagers– I had two full size
boys in my house. That’s a true dad pick
right there– the minivan. Well, hello, I’m a dad. That’s what I was going with. It’s the most fuel
efficient minivan currently on the market. You get a certain amount
of electric-only miles as you’re plugging in. It drives well. It does drive really nice. It’s spacious. I will say, though. These, they’re all third row. They’re small third rows. A teenager– I
mean, that’s tight. The minivan– I don’t know if it
fits into his luxury category. Well, listen– You get the Pacifica
pretty nicely trimmed out. The rear seat of the Pacifica, I
can sit there without an issue. It’s reasonable. yeah,
You could put teenagers back there if you needed to. But it’s got a stigma. Ryan was the only one that
went the reliability route, so you got to give
him credit for that. Even the RX– the third
row in the RX is tight. Right. I think you’ll have less
issues with that car. I say move beyond
the minivan stigma and just enjoy the
practicality of it. We’re going to make
fun of for that one. Yeah, but Quince
picked it first. I just piled on. We get made fun of anyways–
it doesn’t really matter. Great question. So next up is Chris
from California. I can’t seem to
find good guidelines on what tires are best for
the San Francisco Bay Area with temperatures in the 30s
and 40s on winter mornings and up to the 90s in the summer. Do the cold mornings
rule out summer tires? Would all seasons or all
weather tires do the trick here? Well, Chris, just
so happens that Ryan knows something about tires. Yeah. Tires in San Francisco. Great question, easy answer. Regular all season tires are
going to be the best bet here. It rarely snows there. And even more rarely does
it stick to the ground. So a winter tire,
out of the question. A summer tire out
of the question also, because those
cold temperatures– obviously, you don’t really
want to be on a summer tire under 50 degrees, 40 degrees. You’re starting to push it. But a summer tire is more
performance-oriented. They don’t last as long, they’re
more expensive, blah, blah, blah. You don’t want to go that route. An all weather tire is
a glorified all season tire in the sense that it
has better snow traction, but that’s not an issue here. Temperature-wise, though,
on an all season tire– I mean, I’ve done actual
testing in subzero temperatures and on clear roads, they
still perform better than even a winter
tire in terms of grip. But the winter tire is really
for on snow performance, though. Here, easy all season tire. Check our ratings and we’ll give
you the best recommendation. It’s sort of a funky dilemma,
because in San Francisco, it could be bright, sunny. Then the fog comes in and
the temperature drops. It’s an odd city from
that perspective. But actually, that’s kind of
one of the reasons why I always enjoy going there to visit–
was because you didn’t know what the weather was going to be. And it wasn’t typically
as hot as much of the rest of especially
Southern California. So I’ve kind of always
enjoyed that about it. But even the all season tires,
if it did snow, he’s fine. Modest snow traction,
you’ll get by. But it’s just not
worth having those– the summer tires are
just out of the question. Yeah, it’s more of
an issue if they were going to be driving in
icy conditions or deeper snow conditions, right? Great, excellent. Next up. And actually, this
the last one we got. We got two questions
that are pretty similar. The first, Ammar writes, I want
to surprise my retired parents with a car and looking
for some recommendations. It’s hard for my dad to get in
and out of anything too low, but also something
good for my 5 foot tall mother to be
comfortable behind the wheel. And Bart adds, my 76-year-old
mom loves her 2006 Kia Sedona, but it’s so tall that it’s
getting tough for her to get in and out of these days. Any recommendations on
something lower to the ground? Thanks– and the two
Mikes are awesome. We love you, Bart. That’s the best
the best question we’ve had the whole episode. Anyhow. So recommendations for kind
of older aging parents? We get in and out of
all these vehicles, so we have a pretty good idea. The Kia Soul is– That was my pick! That was my pick! I have other choices. So I’ll start with that. But that’s only two wheel drive. It’s front wheel drive. If you want an all wheel
drive, that rules that out, but you could put
snow tires on it if you’re in a
place where you’re worried about snow traction. Or the obvious one is
the Subaru Forester. It’s all wheel drive,
it’s easy to get into. It’s a good car. All right, since Ryan
stole our thunder– because Bart likes
the Mikes– you’re going to have to
help us out here. Well, so we’re still dealing
with Ammar, though, right? Ammar and Bart. Well, OK, for
Ammar, I would say– I think that your
choices are excellent, but if you were thinking
more along a luxury vehicle, you might look at the
BMW X3, which is, again, very easy to get in and
out of and just it’s going to drive a little nicer. And if you know we’re thinking
something a little larger, maybe like a mid-sized
SUV, then maybe go with Jen Stockburger’s always
go-to choice, the Kia Sorento. Again, very easy to get in
and out of and lots of room. Now if you want to
move on to Bart, that that’s an interesting
question, because if you look at our road test of
the 2006 Kia Sedona, we actually say that it’s pretty
easy to get in and out of. So because we don’t
know how tall she is, I’m going to assume that
maybe she’s a little shorter. What I would say is actually go
with something like the Toyota Avalon, which we have
said in the road test it’s a little hard to get in and
out of because it’s low, but if she’s a shorter
person, it’s actually not going to seem that much lower. It would be different for say–
even the difference between you and me getting into a car– you’re a much taller guy. It’s going to be harder for
you to get into a low car. If she’s a little
on the smaller side, it’s not going to be
that big of a deal. And the Avalon is a great
car for an older person. It has such a smooth ride, roomy
interior, logical controls. There’s just a lot to
like about that car, and I think she’d be pretty
happy with that thing. And we have one out in
our test fleet right now– a rented one, actually– and
I just got in and out of it. And it’s not that
bad to get out of. And I thought, OK, if someone
was even smaller than me, it really wouldn’t
be a big deal. Hard to believe. In terms of sedans, it’s
actually a little higher. Usually, we leave those
jokes for John [? Lukov. ?] I know, I know. Oh my gosh. I’m just kidding. The Mikes are still awesome. You know, because we
talked about this question, and it’s always the car for
kind of elderly parents, parents that are losing some
of their mobility, we always go to the
Subaru Forester. And I just kind of
assumed that both you guys were going to be going
off about the Forester, because it’s always among the
best car for older drivers. Can I just explain the reason
why in case people don’t know– is because when you open
the door and go to sit down, it’s what we would
call chair height. The seats are right there,
so you’re not getting up, you’re not going down. And the sill is narrow,
so it’s not a far reach. And the visibility
is good all around. The controls are really easy. The reason that I went
with the Kia Soul– and certainly for Bart– is that Bart’s mom
has as a Kia Sedona. So I thought maybe she has a
relationship with a Kia dealer, she’s familiar with
Kia, she likes Kias. And I thought that
the Soul also met with Ammar was looking for
to about similar fuel economy to the Forester– a
little less expensive. But avoid the base
model of the Soul, because you need
to go to the S trim to get a forward collision
warning automatic emergency breaking. Good tip. Well, that about do
it for this episode. As always, keep those
questions coming. [email protected] And as always,
check the show notes for more information on
the vehicles on the topics that we discussed. Thanks so much for tuning in. We’ll see you next week.

53 comments on “Rising Vehicle Repair Costs; Hybrid vs. Regular Car Debate; Car Buying Advice | Talking Cars #244

  1. I am looking at purchasing either the 2020 Nissan Murano, 2020 Hyundai Sante Fe, or 2020 Honda CR-V. Which one of these do you think is the better buy and why?

  2. Note that the CRV hybrid has already been out for sometime in Europe. Also it uses a naturally aspirated engine so it will not be plagued with the oil dilution issue

  3. Back when I had a BRZ (2013), I bought 4 new sensors, reprogrammed the car using an ATEQ QuickSet, put the sensors into a pressure chamber made from PVC pipes, shoved it in the trunk, and didn't have to worry about it. Now, I own a Honda, which has indirect system. Mazda also uses indirect system.

  4. There is one benefit of the hybrid versus the non-hybrid Corola, assuming that the fuel tank in both is of identical capacity would be the substantial convince of a substantial longer cruising range on long interstate highway trips!

  5. There is one thing that can be done to make EV models viable for long distance interstate highway trips. Is any consideration being give for the development of standardized families of long rang range quick exchangeable power packs? This would also make feasible ownership of EV for those living in rental apartment complexes. In this case, power pack exchange stations would be the analogue of traditional fueling service stations.

  6. The Corolla hybrid is more reliable than the regular Toyota Corolla too. It has the Prius e cvt planetary gear transmission that is bulletproof. The regular Corolla has a regular CVT that doesn’t last as long. That will save about $7000 in transmission repairs.

  7. So Toyota Corolla Hybrid is supposed to be reliable. You didn't mention anything about maintenance between the hybrid and the non hybrid model, which was asked. On the other hand you spent about a minute talking about hybrid vs non hybrid which was not the question.

  8. For EVs, as of early 2020 it really depends on what part of the US you live in. Someone in California or the Northeast should never have an issue finding charging on a road trip. But if you live in North Dakota, things are much more challenging.

  9. In regards to the Miata question, I drive an NC MX-5 in the summer, and it could be my sole car if I really had to do it in a pinch, but it would be tough. The ND has even less space and less practical storage inside (ex: no glove box, bad cup holders) which would make it even less convenient.

  10. 2:05
    Justin get u a 2016 Lexus Ls600hL. It will have more features than many newer cars even though it’s on year older than your 2017 threshold.

  11. True TPMS story: Wife claims she never got any light on the dash and completely shredded a tire by driving on the highway while it was flat! Yeah, she also never heard that rim just grinding. Sigh…

  12. Key thing you all missed on the CR-V Hybrid – that will be AWD unlike the Accord. That is bound to add additional complexities (additional motor, ability to power front/rear axles separately, together etc.) – assuming it is not a mechanical AWD.

  13. A pity the otherwise nice Mazda CX-5's shortchange driver leg room (why does Mazda love large, useless center consoles?). And I'm only 5'6"!

  14. I agree about the Forester and Soul being easy to get in and out of. We bought the Forester and that was one of the reasons as well as visibility. When we went to the car show, sat in the Kia Soul and a very nice compact that is also easy to enter and exit. We favored the Subaru for the AWD as we live in Erie Pa and sometimes get buried in snow. We have added an Outback to our family, and even though it is lower than the Forester it is still quite easy to enter and exit with my bad knees. Drove the WRX, loved it, but it is to low for me. Crosstreks are also high enough to make it easier than most compact cars. I wonder with the sedans seeming to get lower, and boomers getting older, if that is one of the reasons CUVs have become so popular. I remember my grandparents AMC Hornet and later their Dodge Dart Swinger sitting higher than compacts now, like the Honda Civic. I would love to sit in one of the old 70's cars and see if they were easier to get in and out as I remember.

  15. Best answer choosing between the Volvo SC90 and Tesla Model X – neither! Both are bad in reliability as CR states. Better off if you have to have a hybrid is the Toyota SUV hybrid or Lexus hybrid.

  16. I recently was looking at a new to me car. One of the factors that narrowed it down for me was the ability to pull a small trailer (Space Trailer specifically). I was becoming frustrated that I couldn't find towing capacity numbers for hybrid cars. Why would hybrid versions of ICE cars not have a towing capacity? The engine outputs from the hybrids appeared to be similar to that of the ICE version.

  17. I work as an insurance agent, and the cost of vehicle repairs have been increasing about 3-4% over the years due to the addition of technology, which directly impacts the rate of insurance for that state as a whole. The technology is great for preventing accidents, but when an accident occurs, the cost for repairs have increased.
    I would get a regular Corolla or Corolla hatchback in a trim which has blind spot monitoring. The Corolla hybrid doesn’t have it. I’m very excited for Consumer Reports to review the AWD version of the Camry coming out this year.

  18. My favorite 3 Amigos (which also includes Jake and Jennifer in various combinations). I notice you lost the collar mikes. 👍

  19. I’m surprised that nobody brought this up: insurance companies looooove lots of sensors and safety features even though they raise the cost of repair $2k, $3k, $5k etc over the costs if those features weren’t there because that delta is WAY less than injury payouts. More airbags, advanced safety features, and high strength steel etc are all more expensive to fix, but even a $10000 repair bill is nothing compared to a broken leg.

  20. I have a question for you: What are the repair bills for various cars and SUV for a 5-year-old car and a 10-year-old car?

  21. So,…What's up Consumer Reports, with the uneven handedness?
    The engine blocks are cracking on 2010 & 2020 Toyota 4 cylinders. They had a water cooling jet fault, in Tennessee that caused Toyota to recall 44,100 Camry, RAV4, and Lexus ES vehicles made in 2019 and 2020.
    When it happened to the Honda Civic, in 2006, CR took the Civic off of its "recommended" list, but these Toyotas are still "recommended" by CR.
    What's up with that?

  22. Your economic analysis of hybrid fuel savings fails to include the miles driven per year. Retired, I still drive 20,000 miles per year and fuel savings are significant. Even our Std. Rng. Plus Model 3 has a little over 20,000 miles and in three weeks we'll have a full year.

  23. I do know that most Honda models have switched to the indirect TPMS system a few years ago with some teething problems in the beginning, but have gotten better now. The larger Honda vehicles such as the Odyssey, Pilot, Passport, and Ridgeline still use the direct TPMS sensor though.

  24. Tpms is worthless. Our car has it on and we've manually shut it off. We just check our tires manually from time to time

  25. Something to think about with the high repair costs is that car dealerships and auto makers like it because it's a significant revenue stream. With the shift to electric cars, it means less trips to the dealership service center, which is theorized why some automakers have sat on their thumbs so long in making the switch over to electrify.

  26. Hello friends, Corolla Hybrid owner here, I hope I can help. During a regular week of driving in Miami traffic, I average about 63 MPG in city driving, I drive about 1500 miles a month. Something that I want to point out is that the hybrid warranty is now 10 years 150k miles. Also a common point of headache on all cars are belts and tensiones, I’ve had to change the tensioner on my 06 corolla because it was leaking and then 3 years down the line I had to change it again (for not using oem), and all belts squeak at one point or another. The corolla hybrid has no belt, no tensioner to deal with. I believe that the engine suffers a lot less in idling as well. The Toyota hybrid system adds some complexity but it also removes a lot of it, as someone mentioned the ECVT is super reliable, it’s essentially two electric motors and a planetary gear set. Also there is no conventional starter motor or alternator in the hybrid system these two parts tend to wear out in about 10 years give or take, yes I keep my cars a very long time.

  27. How can you recommend the Kia Soul or BMW X3? Both have a headlight rating of 2! Most senior citizens need good lighting on a car. What does a headlight rating of 2 mean anyway? Is there any way to improve it?

  28. It’s kind of disappointing that you guys are still stuck in “ you gotta charge that thing”.

  29. Hybrid vs. conventional question: Another thing about hybrids (Toyota and GM anyway) is that maintenance and mechanical wear are both lower, as the electric drive handles all the strain until engine has warmed itself.

  30. As you say, the Model X has 300 miles range, but to say that "charging is a pain" shows that you have never used a Tesla. Also, most EV owners charge at home. Only on long trips do they use the very extensive (and continuosly monitored) SuperCharger network.

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