Talk to the Press

melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
From time to time, asks our users to share their stories - the good, the bad, and the ugly - with the press. If you'd like the opportunity to speak with the press, share an abbreviated version of your story here and, you may be selected to be in the limelight.


  • ludacrisludacris Member Posts: 185
    i dont get what were supposed to it a question, comment, etc.? and what publication will it be in?
  • melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
    Not really. Here's the scoop. on occassion needs to find persons that are willing to speak to the press about the car buying, owning, selling experiences. The idea is for you to share you abbreviated stories, and you may be asked to speak to the press. It could be newstory, a radio interview, etc.

    Hope that clarifies.
  • fivespeedfivespeed Member Posts: 42
    When I'm in the market for a new car, I spend some time doing research. The four major sources I use for research are:

    1. Consumer's Reports They have the most comprehensive reliability data of anyone.

    2. At their site, a wealth of information is available for new car shoppers. And, don't let me forget, used car shoppers too. I buy new so I go to their:

    A. New Vehicles section. (dealers prices and everything!)

    B. Their car reviews. (all well authored)

    C. The features like "How to negotiate.."

    D. A great place called "Town Hall"

    Also I like Edmunds automotive related advertising. It's not overdone like some vehicle related sites on the internet.

    3. My friends and acquaintenances are valuable sources too.

    4. The last place to go is to the Lot and get your "hands on demonstration" : ^ )

    I've had great results over the past few years with my new vehicle purchases. And I've been very successful selling my used ones. I owe it all to the excellent resources that I have outlined above.

    I urge you to do your homework before buying. If you don't follow my recipe, then please develope your own plan.

    (future Mercedes owner)

    ps - The Edmunds Town Hall feature has Sports Car topics, Repair topics, Truck topics, and News topics (among a few)that will interest all persons regardless if they are in the market for a car or not.
  • melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
    Good example of a potential story re: how today's shoppers go about looking for information. Once again, to clarify there isn't a topic on hand here; rather, we are looking for folks who would like to speak to the press about all things automotive from the consumer's perspective. Please ask questions so I can assist. Thanks.
  • danadana Member Posts: 36
    Does anyone here have experience researching or buying a small sports sedan (ex: BMW 3 series, Audi A4, Mercedes C class, Volvo S60, Lexus IS 300, Acura TL)? Especially...if you traded from an SUV or bigger car, we have a journalist wanting to talk to you...10 of you as a matter of fact ;-)

    If you are interested, please email me:

    [email protected].com

    Dana S. Livingston
    Manager, Community
    Town Hall
  • hiwaysanityhiwaysanity Member Posts: 216
    for a VW Passat wagon, using one of your competitor's on-line services, and had to file with the State's Attorney General's Office to force them to honor their "Guaranteed Price?
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    Has there been any study of the "road rage" phenomenon as a direct result of the increase in the popularity of SUV's?
    It seem to me that as more of these vehicles have been put into daily use as passenger cars, the incidents of aggressive and BAD driving that provoke "road rage" have increased.At least that is my obervation from the freeways of L.A. You could possibly chart the same decrease in civility that occurs with so many dorks on cell phones wreaking havoc on the street which ALSO sets people off behind the wheel. Is this a study that has ever been undertaken????
    All I can tell you is that: wed an "invincible" driver in an SUV and a cell phone to a marginal driving ability and you have a recipe for instant road rage on the part of other drivers who have been cut off, forced out of their lane,etc. and I think you have a correlation between the two.[Add a little rain in SOCAL and you have MAYHEM]. Best to all, hope I didn't missppell anything[!].
  • CarMan@Edmunds[email protected] Member Posts: 38,514
    In an effort to keep this discussion on the right track, I went back and deleted several off-topic messages. If you would like to make a post that doesn't pertain to this discussion's intended subject matter, please feel free to use the search function to find a more appropriate place to make it or to start a new discussion. Thanks.

    Host Smart Shoppers / FWI Message Boards
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    A major magazine is hoping to interview prospective buyers who are a) anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Nissan Titan; and/or b) comparing pricing and incentive deals on GM and Ford pickups to decide which to buy. Please respond with your daytime contact information to [email protected] by October 8. Thanks!
  • pat84pat84 Member Posts: 817
    Your above post also is off topic. :) The problem may be there is no more Hide feature.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    We don't need a study to create some goofy syndrome which is nothing more than societies acceptability of ill mannered people...

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    Is there any specific information you need?

    I know of a guy that can give you info on the import cars,if that is what you are looking for.
    Let me know what you need and I'll see if I can round up some folks to help you out.

    Thank you.
  • melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
    Thanks. We aren't really looking for specific information as much as folks who like the limelight.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastMember Posts: 1,712
    That is cool.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    OK, I'll bite. If you come by anybody looking for someone to share thoughts or experiences on any of the following they can contact me (I can provide additional information on any of these upon request):

    -Popularity of luxury sedans
    -Cars for gadget geeks
    -Marketing value of automotive safety
    -Young buyers hooked on new cars
    -Utility of in-car navigation systems
    -Distractions of in-car electronics
    -Value of stability (yaw) control systems as a safety advance
    -How a customer would change an auto manufacturer
    -How the dealer influences the ownership experience and impression of a brand

    I'm sure there are a couple of others but this should be a start. If you need additional information please send an email to [email protected] and I'll forward phone contact information.


    -Russell D. Ollie
    [email protected]
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    "Thanks. We aren't really looking for specific information as much as folks who like the limelight."

    Obviously you've found the right guy!

    Anytime they want to talk about growing up in $150 cars, I'm their guy.... There's loads of fun things to talk about other than specific models (not that they aren't fon as well). The fact that the oil change interval on a modern car was the tire change interval in the fifties.

    How about how the heck do the incredible failures get through big companies? The Edsel was always the classic business failure story and you'd think that day was long ver - but look at the Aztek! At very least GM didn't set up a whole dealer network for the Aztek! How do you feel about the guy with the Edsel dealership who cut his losses and went with Studebaker?
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
    Thanks for stepping up. Who knows you may be a Press celebrity.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    I'm always willing to throw my .02 as well; just let me know. I might not always be right, but I'll probably have an opinion...
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJMember Posts: 10,384
    That's how we all are - we are full of opinions. Some of us have been told we're full of something else, too, but always interesting to talk to!
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • pat84pat84 Member Posts: 817
    My father held a job where the press frequently tried to interview him. He had a real distrust of the press because of one interview he gave and was misquoted. It caused him a lot of trouble.
    To avoid a repeat of the same situation, when an interviewer, with TV camera rolling, would ask him a question, he would just give them obscenities and profanity, telling them what they could do with their microphone and camera. They got nothing fit to show on the news.
  • denniswadedenniswade Member Posts: 362
    would love to air such comments now -- times have certainly changed!
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Hi - I am PR Director for and often am approached by journalists looking to talk with consumers for various automotive stories. Currently, a TV reporter in LA is looking to find LA area residents who have been victims of "secret warranties," where a driver brings a vehicle in to get some service, and had work secretly done on their vehicle by a dealer who had been advised to do so by the manufacturer even though a recall notice was never sent to the owner. If that describes you, please post your story and you may have the opportunity to be interviewed on TV. (Your identity will be protected at your request.) In the past, reporters have been interested in people who left Subs to get into sports cars, and people in Michigan who purchased traction control as an option, and people who used True Market Value pricing in their per-purchase research. So, you can see the topic could be just about anything. We are hoping Town Hall users who are willing to share their stories will post some basics about their automotive situation on this discussion board, so journalists can browse through and find the stories of interest to them. Ideally, you would post the vehicle(I) you have now, the vehicle(I) you have owned in the past, your city and state of residence, and any interesting features or experiences you think could make a great automotive story. I'll start:
    I drive a Volvo S40 and live in manta Monica, CA. Previously, I owned a Honda Prelude and a VW Corrado, then worked for Volvo and enjoyed employee leases on an 850 and S90 before buying the S40 and living happily ever after at
    Thanks to those of you out there who decide to participate. I think we're going to hear some fun stories in this discussion board!
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Hi - just had another journalist ask for help finding consumers who can attest to the fact leasing is not what it used to be.
    Did you or someone you know get a great leasing deal years ago and now are back in the market and have sticker shock? Did you have to downgrade the model, or did you find other ways to cope with the significantly higher prices? If so, please respond to [email protected] with your e-mail, phone number, city and state of residence, and a brief description of your experience. The journalist is from a major NY-based publication and promises to keep you identity hidden at your request.
    Hope to hear from you soon!
  • danadana Member Posts: 36
    Hi, there is a reporter who is needing to do some interviews ASAP. Here's his post below:

    <<I'm a reporter working on a story about the recent Ford Explorer and mid-sized GM SUV recalls. I'm looking for an owner of one of those vehicles to interview for a story. Please send e-mail to [email protected] if you are interested.>>

    Thanks for your help!

    Dana S. Livingston
    Manager, Community
    Town Hall
  • melissamelissa Member Posts: 27
    Our PR Director for is currently helping a major newspaper find consumers who are experiencing "gadget backlash." Did you buy a vehicle filled with exciting techno-gadgets, and wish you didn't? Have you given up trying to play a CD, set the ambient temperature or use the navigation system because the controls are just too complicated? Did you drive off the lot in your new vehicle without getting a full explanation of all the toys, figuring "how hard could it be?" and are now realizing it's more confusing than you could have imagined? What experiences have you had with the Mercedes joystick and the Volvo radio, both of which feature a lot of functionality but seem less intuitive than traditional controls?
    This story will touch on the following trends:
    the gadgets in high-end vehicles from the Lexus LS 430 and Volvo S80 to Porsches and beyond drivers in their 40s-60s buying sports cars
    driver distraction. If you have anything to add, we'd love to hear from you. Please submit your experience to Talk to the Press and/or to [email protected], including your current vehicle, daytime phone number and city and state of residence. (Your identity will be protected at your request.)
    Thanks for your consideration of this opportunity to share your story!
    Please contact:
    [email protected]
  • livetodrivelivetodrive Member Posts: 104
    I just purchased a Mercedes E-430 4-Matic loaded with gadgets. I can tell you that so far, rather that being overloaded, the gadgets have simplified our driving and made our trips more enjoyable. I have read a number of reviews criticizing the complexity of the COMAND Navigation system. My wife and I have found it, however, easy to use. In fact, our teenagers picked up the system without reading the book. It almost unnerving inputing an address, and then happily following the directions, totally oblivious of one's whereabouts, until suddenly you see your destination! Likewise, it is reassuring to be able to always ask the system to direct you "Home". The hands-off mobile phone is also a pleasure. We are using it more often than expected, especially during off-peak hours when we have unlimited air-time. Another gadget is the Parktronic system with proximity sensors on the front and rear bumpers. It is useful even when pulling into my garage at home. The car has the capability to receive Internet news, weather and stocks, but I haven't subscribed to the service. It also has a Tele-aid system, which allows us to call for roadside assistance or emergency help at the touch of a button. It is unobtrusive, but instills confidence.

    I think baby boomers, not to mention Generation X'ers and beyond are more adaptable than many give us credit for. We climb the learning curve quickly enough to enable the "gadgets" to be transformed from annoyances to useful features. Keep 'em coming!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I have a 2001 Audi A6 4.2 quattro sport with every gizmo Audi offers in the US

    I can be reached at [email protected] for comment on my experiences with gizmo laden cars.
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    This "gadget backlash" story is sparking a lot of great responses - the reporter writing the story is thrilled and looks forward to hearing more. Does anyone have anecdotes about learning how to use the gadgets, or trying to figure out what a button does? Thanks again for taking the time to share on this discussion board and/or directly to [email protected]
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    built into the onboard computer. So, besides the specially cut key, the alarm system, the deadbolt lock doors, and the electronic chip in the key that kills the electrical system, there is this code feature where you can program a 4 digit code that will lock up the engine ignition systm (even if you have the alarm remote and the key) unless the proper code is entered.

    Now let's see: I set the code because I'm in some dangerous area. The guy comes up with a gun and gets my alarm remote and the key.... and I'm not going to give him the code when he asks?....hmm.

    Alternately, what good is it (or what good is the rest of the stuff). If all the other stuff works, they're going to have to tow the car away anyhow, and this feature won't stop them from doing that.

    Besides, I'm scared to death to try the thing out.
    If you program it and then don't enter the code right you have to have it towed to the dealer to have it unsecured...

    Not something I want to learn by doing.
  • blarg1blarg1 Member Posts: 59
    I rented a clapped out bonneville this year in detroit, er I mean destroyed.

    For two weeks I couldn't figure out why the radio would always be one click too loud of soft, and change volume while driving. I was looking through the yellow pages for a exorsist, but I chalked it up to typical pontiac crap. Coming back from niagra falls over night, the radio was consistantly too loud, don't know how the family slept through it. There were a million radio buttons on the thing, some told what the song was playing, some said news, traffic but no sound was heard on these settings.

    The red dash lights were a little too top gun for me.
    I liked the button that changed the mph to kph on the speedometer. The whole needle moves. I had it on in detroit and my wife wanted to know why ewe were going 100, 100kph=62mph. Very handy when driving in canada.

    Couldn't wait to get back to the states where my red protege was waiting for me. Radio comes on with the car and off I go.
  • sleazyridersleazyrider Member Posts: 9
    We have a 2000 chevrolet and am very happy with the car. But, like everything with a high level of functionality, in order to get the most use of that functionality, you've got to read the book.

    We spent a weekend reading the owner's manual twice and testing most of the functions with the car not moving e.g. setting all radio station presets, tinkering with different hvac (heating ventilation air conditioning) modes. The goal was to make sure I understood them well enough to operate them with only very fast glances when necessary e.g. at the hvac temperature setting.

    A boring waste of a weekend ? Not necessarily. Play a good CD, crack open a beer (remember: i said "car NOT moving"), read the book and learn.

    We own three other vehicles which happen to be small (motorcycle and two compact cars). With 98% of my fellow new car owners leading such busy corporate executive lives that they defer trying to learn this stuff until they're driving, gadgets in THEIR new vehicles really put the fear of Jesus into us.
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Hi again from your friends at PR.
    By now, many of you who shared your gadget stories have already spoken with the reporter writing that article - he indicated this morning he's really enjoyed the stories he's heard and found useful for his research, and expects the paper to run that article within the next few weeks. I'll post the details when it runs so you can check it out.
    Meanwhile, I've had another request from another top paper... this time, the focus is on "people who'd rather go without shoes than lose
    their Porsches." In other words, are you staying in an expensive lease category even if the current economy makes it impractical? I'm sure there are some diehards out there that can relate. Please remember, your identity will be protected at your request.
    Thanks for posting your anecdotes, or sending them privately to [email protected] for the reporter's use.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    I'd sleep in my Jaguar before I'd ever give it up.

    Feel free to contact me.

    Bill Weismann
    [email protected]
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Hi friends,
    By now, many of you have already spoken with reporters at The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Chicago Tribune and ABC-TV regarding your automotive experiences. Thanks again for taking the time to share your stories. All the other requests are still live, and today I'm adding a new one to the mix.
    Is anyone out nearing the end of your lease, or maybe even not that close to the end, but are already getting offers to buy the vehicle from the lessor? It doesn't matter if you plan to take the offer or not.
    Does this describe your situation? If so, please post your story here, or respond to me directly at [email protected] As always, your identity will be protected at your request.
    Thanks much!
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Did you opt for All-Wheel-Drive and/or side air bags in your recent vehicle purchase? Was safety a big deal in your recent shopping experience? Are you willing to talk with a reporter about it? Your identity will be protected at your request. Thanks as always for helping out!
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • jackielejackiele Member Posts: 22
    Ya, safety was the key issue for me in my very recent car purchase. I'm a newly single mom of four teenagers. Having two new drivers in my household made me very nervous. I wanted to be sure that they had as much protection as possible. They're very good drivers but it's always the other person that I worry about. If you need more info, contact me at [email protected]
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Thanks, jackiele. The reporter will be contacting you directly. Her story will appear in The New York Times on Sunday, May 27 - I'll make sure you get a copy as soon as it appears.
    Are there any other takers out there?
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Thanks for taking the time to Talk to the Press. Three of you were quoted in the below article. Please keep those anecdotes coming!

    Not buying it Economic news slows luxury vehicle sales, for now

    By Rick Popely
    Tribune Staff Reporter
    May 14, 2001
    Sales of luxury models are dropping faster this year than new vehicles as a whole, and industry analysts lay most of the blame on the sinking stock market and shaky economy.
    With their stock portfolios suffering almost daily declines, high rollers backed away from expensive cars and sport-utility vehicles in the first four months of 2001. After years of steady sales growth, the luxury market has declined 11 percent this year versus 6.8 percent for all cars and light trucks.
    "Luxury sales in the late 1990s were largely driven by stock-market gains," said Susan Jacobs, president of industry consultant Jacobs and Associates. "These are fairly discretionary purchases, and people tend to splurge in prosperous times. We're now entering a time when we don't have as many splurge buyers.
    "We're seeing the effects of the loss of the windfall gains in the stock market. The changes in the equity markets have their greatest effects in the luxury segment of the auto industry."
    Robert A. Clark, an engineer for a technology startup in Silicon Valley, was ready to splurge last year on a $117,000 Porsche 911 Turbo as he watched his stock options rise to $250 per share from $50. By the end of the year, the stock had fallen to $40, and Clark bought a BMW 330i, a sport sedan that tops out at around $40,000.
    "The play money went away, and so did the play car," Clark recalls. "It was entirely a compromise choice, with four doors and a child seat in the back."
    Most of the big losers among luxury vehicles are $40,000-plus models, including the BMW 5- and 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Audi A6 and Acura 3.5 RL, all of which have suffered double-digit declines this year. Some luxury brands have been hit hard as well. Jaguar sales are down 13 percent, Land Rover is off 18 percent and Lincoln 20 percent. Cadillac is taking the biggest hit, 25 percent.
    The $54,000 Lexus LS430, which was redesigned for the first time in six years and received a larger engine, fresh styling and several new features, is a notable exception. LS430 sales have more than doubled this year.
    While most models more than $40,000 suffer big declines, some less-expensive merchandise is attracting more buyers. Sales of the redesigned Mercedes C-Class have risen 60 percent, and the BMW 3-Series, which has new engines this year, has gained 29 percent. The C-Class starts at around $30,000 and the 3-Series near $28,000.
    Paul Taylor, economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, says stock-market losses are the biggest cause of the drop in luxury sales.
    "The people who buy true luxury cars are the ones who depend on their portfolio for a lot of their wealth. Their compensation often is tied to the stock market in a number of ways," Taylor said. "It hits them specifically."
    While luxury vehicles suffer big declines, Taylor says modestly priced small cars have fallen 3 percent because far fewer buyers in that segment are affected by Wall Street's woes.
    Sagging consumer confidence and hand-wringing over the economy also are prompting luxury buyers to rethink their plans.
    Six months ago, Ted Gizewski, a staff attorney for a San Francisco-area software company, had his sights set on a new $55,000 BMW 540i. Then the tidal wave of dot-com closings and layoffs swept Silicon Valley.
    Gizewski still has his sights set on a 540i, but now he is looking at a 1997 model with about 45,000 miles on the odometer, a car that will cost less than $35,000.
    "It's just the potential for layoffs and the lack of stability in employment," he said of his newfound frugality. "A used model is a much better value."
    John DeVries ordered a $39,000 BMW 525i in December, but by the time it arrived in March, business wasn't as brisk for his employer, a benefits consulting company, and the stock market had "tanked in the first quarter." He bought a used 1999 Nissan Maxima instead for about $17,000.
    "The early rumblings were that things had slowed down a bit. This year just didn't start as well as last year," said DeVries, who faced a $550 monthly payment on the BMW. "A year from now I might not feel comfortable with a payment that high. It just didn't seem like the right time to make such a major financial commitment."
    Taylor says sales of vehicles priced more than $40,000 also are declining because leasing customers are finding monthly payments much higher now than the last time they leased three or four years ago.
    After losing hundreds of millions of dollars on leases in recent years, car companies and banks are writing leases with much lower and more realistic residual (or resale) values, which pushes up the monthly payment.
    The NADA estimates that cutting the residual value of a $35,000 car from 70 percent to 50 percent of the original price adds about $110 to the monthly payment on a three-year lease.
    Sales of cars and light trucks hit a record 17.4 million units last year, and luxury vehicles accounted for 2.3 million, Jacobs said, also a record. This year, she expects industry sales to drop 9 percent, to 15.8 million, and luxury vehicles to drop 11 percent, to just more than 2 million.
    "We will see the industry get closer to the replacement of vehicles on a normal cycle. We are returning to a time when people don't replace their vehicles for fashion purposes."
    Jacobs doesn't expect the stock market to quickly bounce back to 20 percent annual growth, but if it does, sales of luxury vehicles will take off with the Nasdaq index.
    "The slump in the luxury vehicle market will only last as long as the slump in the equity markets," she said.
    She expects luxury sales to stay at about 2.3 million for the next six years, and Baby Boomers will buy the bulk of them. After 2007, the luxury segment should decline as more Boomers cut back on vehicle purchases.
    "The demographics for the luxury market are very favorable through most of this decade until the Baby Boomers start retiring. They are in their high-income years, more of them will be empty nesters and they have more discretionary money," she said.
    Jacobs defines the luxury market by brand instead of price. She includes all BMWs, Audis and Infinitis, for example, some of which start at less than $30,000, but not Buick Park Avenues or Chevrolet Suburbans, which cost more than $30,000.
  • edspider1edspider1 Member Posts: 195
    I bought the Ultra Lux option because of the gadgets. I have no problem using the gadgets. I wish there were more. The only complaint I have is that the heated and cooled seat "gadget" is lame. The seats will get slightly warm or slightly cool, but that's all. Plus you have to remember to turn it off. I'd gladly switch to good old resistance heat with an auto off switch. I miss the warmth. I don't need my seats cooled.
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Thanks for writing in about your gadget experiences. The Wall Street Journal is collecting some great anecdotes from you. I'll make sure to share the story when it is published.
    Now, are there any takers for the leasing story? Again, a major financial publication is wondering if anyone leasing a vehicle has been offered the chance to buy it before ending the lease. Whether or not you seriously considered the offer, your story will be interesting to the reporter. Your identity will be protected at your request.
    Thanks as always!
  • danadana Member Posts: 36
    I'm a reporter seeking someone to talk to who owns a 2002 Ford Explorer. Please contact me at [email protected]

  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Will fuel economy be a major factor in your next vehicle purchase? Are you looking at smaller SUVs and crossovers with gasoline prices and/or environmental impact in mind? If so, please post your story or contact me directly at [email protected]
    Your identity will be protected at your request. Thanks as always for helping out!
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I own a med-large SUV (2000 Isuzu Trooper) and the fuel economy will not at all be a factor when it is time to upgrade. Hopefully the new Trooper which is rumored to have a V8 and 3 rows of seats will come out. I base my purchase of a new vehicle on: Initial Price, Warranty, and Reliability. If a vehicle is reliable, has a good warranty, and a decent price, then I'll seek it out. That is one reason I like my 2000 Trooper, 10/120K warranty, bullit-proof reliability, and $27K fully loaded +Tax, Tags. Feel free to contact me with any further questions [email protected]


  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Thanks, Mike.
    I'm sure your posting will spark some controversy among the environmentalists out there. I have passed your info to the journalist - enjoy talking with her when she calls.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Someones got to fan the flames :) Also I need such a vehicle for off-roading, towing my boat, and even if I didn't, I love the way they ride, and the overall durability of SUVs.

  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    Remember what I said about my Jags?

    Ditto for the fuel. My XJ8 and XJR both suck it down, and I recently picked up an Escalade at the auction to play with....

    Oh,it uses a lot of fuel? Hmm...OK.

  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Are all the Prius people etc already away for Memorial Day weekend? I find it hard to believe I'm the only one responding to these friendly gas guzzlers!
    Thanks for the response, Bill. You may very well be interviewed again...
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    I'd have to say mileage has always been a factor in my car buying descisions in the past...not the most important factor, mind you, but a factor nonetheless. I've always driven 4-cylinder cars, with the exception of my high school jalopy and a short stint with a very thirsty, very poor quality full size Chevy truck (the less said about THAT truck, the better.) I've never had reason to complain about a lack of power, but of course I don't have a boat to tow, either. I'm currently in the market for a family car, as brentwoodvolvo would tell you, and I've determined that my extra cargo hauling needs can be more than filled by a wagon or even a sedan- I see no reason to buy an SUV, mostly because of the poor fuel mileage, among other factors.
  • 5speed55speed5 Member Posts: 31
    I recently sold what Car & Driver rated as "the #1 worst gas guzzler for 2000" SVT150 Lightning. It had INCREDIBLE handling and power...but at todays gas prices...fuhgedaboudit!!!! [email protected]
  • prlady1prlady1 Member Posts: 573
    Thanks for sharing your stories, lancerfixer and 5speed5. You may very well hear directly from the interested reporter, as did some other Town Hall participants who responded to post #35 and were subsequently quoted by the NY Times this weekend in the following article:

    May 27, 2001
    New York Times
    When Safety Is an Option, Sticker Prices Grow

    With a few exceptions, most automakers did little to promote their vehicles' safety features in the past, preferring to focus on style, performance or comfort — the flashier side. But safety options are all the rage these days as the industry tries to capitalize on growing concerns about traffic, vehicle rollovers and tire recalls. At few times are those concerns more prevalent than during the Memorial Day weekend, as an estimated 28.5 million Americans hit the roads.
    Just about every auto company, from Hyundai and its entry-level models to General Motors and its top-of-the-line Cadillac, is vying for customers by touting options like all-wheel drive, antilock brakes and side-impact air bags — the most widely available features today — with the same fervor once reserved for ragtops and V-8 engines. (Other options starting to take hold are stability control systems; safety belt pre-tensioners, which keep drivers secure in a crash; and "smart air bag systems," which adjust the force of deployment.)
    "The automakers have discovered that safety sells, and they're creating more types of advanced safety systems that they're using as sales points," said Rik Paul, the automotive editor of Consumer Reports.
    Yet while Mr. Paul and other industry experts applaud the trend, they have expressed concern about the cost of many safety options, which can easily drive up the price of a car by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Sometimes, they say, the features are part of a larger options package that includes extras a buyer may not need.
    By far, the hottest safety feature on the market is all-wheel drive, which is designed to provide better traction by sending power to all wheels simultaneously. By contrast, conventional front-wheel or rear-wheel drive vehicles send power primarily to the front or rear wheels.
    Available on many cars, sport utility vehicles and minivans, the popularity of all- wheel drive has been a particular boon to the Japanese automaker Subaru, whose entire lineup consists of all-wheel drive models like the Impreza, the Outback and the Legacy. Faced in the early 1990's with slumping sales, the company decided in 1994 to make all-wheel drive the Subaru hallmark. And the move has paid off: Subaru sales set company records in each of the last five years, and sales are up 12 percent so far this year, despite an industrywide slowdown.
    William Cypheres, Subaru's vice president for marketing, is not concerned to see competitors flocking to a market where Subaru, whose autos start at $18,000, has staked its claim. "When other companies like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo offer all-wheel drive, that legitimizes it," he said.
    Less upscale brands are also capitalizing on the rising demand, and that has brought the price of those vehicles closer to the luxury-car level. A Dodge Grand Caravan ES minivan with all-wheel drive costs $32,890, more than $3,000 above what it would cost without the feature. All-wheel drive adds $2,550 to the price of a Pontiac Aztek GT, pushing the sticker to $27,465.

    Experts say all-wheel drive is an expensive option many motorists may not need. For people who drive mainly in cities, or live in states with predominantly dry conditions, all-wheel drive does not make sense, said Karl Brower, executive editor of, an automotive Internet site. The extra weight also hurts gas mileage, he said.
    The system does make sense, however, for Paul and Kathy Spurgeon, who are from the Midwest. Mr. Spurgeon, 46, a vice president at a unit of the DTE Energy Company, found the all-wheel-drive system on his 1998 Audi A4 to be a godsend in maneuvering through unexpected downpours when he lived in St. Louis. After moving to Saline, Mich., a year ago, the Spurgeons decided to buy an all-wheel-drive 2001 Volkswagen Passat wagon to help Mrs. Spurgeon, 49, travel more easily on snow-laden winter roads. The option added $1,750 to the Passat's sticker price, pushing it to $32,000.
    A generally less expensive safety feature is the antilock brake system, which remains optional on about half of all car models. Antilock brakes are designed to resist locking up when applied hard, allowing a car to be steered safely on icy or wet roads. "We are staunchly pro-A.B.S., with the proviso that you get some instruction in how to use them," Mr. Brower said.
    Antilock brakes became controversial in recent years when studies showed that consumers sometimes were involved in accidents even when applying the brakes. Drivers were often taken aback by the brakes' tendency to vibrate when in use. In alarm, they removed their feet from the brake pedal, resulting in crashes that might not have occurred had they continued to brake, said Adrian Lund, chief operating officer of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
    Even so, Mr. Lund, whose organization conducts crash and other auto safety tests, considers antilock brakes to be worthwhile. "I would have A.B.S. on my car, but I would not spend a lot of money on it," he said.
    Generally, consumers do not have to. For example, antilock brakes add $600 to the base price of the Chevrolet Impala, which starts at $19,879, and the Dodge Intrepid, which starts at $23,230. On the $17,794 Hyundai Santa Fe GL, however, someone who wants them must buy a $1,545 option package that also includes power locks, cruise control and an antitheft device.
    Another relative bargain is the side-impact air bag, which complements the mandatory driver's side air bag. Generally installed in car doors to protect occupants if a vehicle is hit from the side, the systems cost $250 extra on a Honda Civic DX coupe, which starts at $14,000, and add $345 to the $18,375 price of a Ford Escape XLS.
    But here, too, there are potential risks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found there is some remote danger to youngsters riding in a car's back seat should side air bags go off unexpectedly. "Parents with small children might want to think hard before buying a car with rear- seat air bags," particularly if they are likely to squirm out of seatbelts, or fall asleep against the door of the car, Mr. Lund said.
    Industry experts recommend that consumers seek out side air bags that also provide head protection in a crash. That was what Ken Yee, 35, a computer consultant in Boston, set out to do when he went car shopping last year. "I wanted as many air bags as possible," he said. But they were not yet available on his first choice, the Mercedes M-Class sport utility.
    Mr. Yee bought that $41,000 vehicle anyway because it had many other standard safety features, incl
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