Car Tech Live 221: A look into the Kia Optima HybridCar Tech Live 221: Is the honeymoon over for hybrids? Ford puts SYNC apps in more cars. New Volvos may brake for animals. And we drive the Kia Optima Hybrid. (podcast)
Is the honeymoon over for hybrids and Compaq's. Ford puts sync apps in many more cars. New volvos may brake for animals. We drive the Kia optima hybrid. That's right folks -- cnet's car tech live look into it this is June 23 edition of the goal -- one to 21. Brian Cooley -- Wayne Cunningham Antuan Goodwin. Mitchell Chang at the controls and here we are let's see a lot of news about fuels and -- -- this week it's making a lot of mainstream press you may have heard the US senate. Has decided to end tax breaks for ethanol. Which it is like kind of a big change in the story like okay the -- are getting very much into CDs or something else but -- -- and in the tax breaks because now there's other parts of law. That now mandate higher use of capital once we've talked about here a number of times there's a greater push to put more more ethanol into our fuel why does ethanol -- me. Can anybody answer that is added less powerful -- again there's that. Because it's probably screwing up my vintage car fuel -- -- Not good for my carburetor gas gets -- -- like the government interference in your fuel that's I don't want the ministry in my fuel or my -- gets confusing. You know having to keep track to be fifteen he IV. And you whatever because they're ramping that up to like. 85 broadly across the country. But it's just this -- something about propping anything like this specimen it's not necessarily. Good for people that love cars that society. Has of that Big -- about I -- budgets -- you obviously there's intense budget cutting going on -- so. Subsidies to any company are being really scrutinized and I guess that -- to -- they don't need these anymore right but just sitting -- -- here these headlines folks -- or kill the tax breaks for ethanol because it was another law that makes it required. The more ethanol be purchased and used in fuels so they don't need the tax break anymore the incentive they've got the stick instead of the -- if you will so. That's what's going over that -- -- -- point that out and it listings or we have in the car tech blog this week. Of a -- study. Being number auto Pacific big research house this finds it even though we're still in the grips of the recession what three years now and fuel prices are still postal -- -- four -- -- -- a lot of places which is a pain point for most of us. The demand for compacts and hybrid seems to be quite soft compared to just a few years ago. And 2008 they found 34% of people were looking seriously at buying a hybrid or compact not said the 21%. That's a significant slot even though gas prices haven't come down much -- come down somewhat. Gas prices in that 2008 seemed to hit really hard right as -- -- -- cause panic communities and and that might have been in conduct of the recession as well. But now it's like yeah gas prices go up they go down to -- and immortalized. -- and possibly to they've they've. The hybrid in small car manufactures and kind of as many people's -- -- that need that kind of I want that kind of car. You still have plenty of people have been families that need like a minivan her as -- years something like that up or no family instilled in the enemy -- -- failure at something like that. -- -- rising fuel economy standards are starting kind of -- Internal combustion engine vehicles. Two you know. Plus forty mile per gallon range so -- most hybrids -- hand over your hovering at around forty to 44 miles per gallon anyway so if you choose between. Paying extra for. A hybrid. That they don't they are not certain of right or buying them -- what -- city crews -- which does 42 on the sticker -- but it disturbed. Regular cars holocaust last I think a -- people price they're looking at -- And I think also more of today's V six's get the economy of yesterday's. -- Not quite but they're getting closer amounts are -- today's -- eggs are -- economy yesterday's -- And so they're they're able to say okay I'm gonna buy a V6 on a middle it might devour the B. Or the economy with an ego -- getting better MPG empower nugget and yesterday's -- -- exactly repeat. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- So you're able to middle it now and say you know I'm gonna go over -- V -- and its middle ground between of the inline four. I think is for putt putts and a V8 that I can't justify anymore because it just isn't cool. And it has a big difference between fifteen miles per gallon and 25 -- forget that with the V6. -- Ford Explorer something like yet. Then you could just abide to like alien outside going to be that much more for gas that yeah and also going to be something -- -- -- a car that has enough power all of that. We just mention eco -- afford technology -- had a big conference a couple of days ago. Rolling -- -- number -- technology innovations or improvements really not dramatic innovations but among them is one that a lot of -- -- about. On our other show roadside assistance which is when will more cars from Ford -- and Lincoln's. Have the latest version of their interface to sync with my Ford touch which is the most advanced system they offer and -- finally pulled up pulled the trigger on what ten more cars now. Are going to get the system that has the latest Ford sync and happily. So ten more vehicles -- the ability for you to use pandora. And best picture with the third when they've got -- be -- -- -- -- I'd never heard of before Ford partnered with it I still have never used at the edges of the Twitter. That's apparently it's what -- -- right Twitter aggregate or guest. But so ten more cars now are going to -- verses like for Reid -- now and if they're gonna in the mustang too which has been one that a lot of people ask about. So you -- the combination of apps and my Ford touch. Yeah pretty much everything up until now was only the -- in the -- Just those they would -- on the book it was a weird mix focuses in line between those two all right I got skipped over my -- presents stories they're also. Bumping the font size -- hasn't -- -- -- The bigger -- easier to read -- Well people who drive sport that we've agreed we we -- graphic about him in our piece on a cart they're cars dot cnet.com that. That alien put up but it -- shows very simply okay yeah you know what. -- -- -- -- that -- up on the here's my concern a bold font takes a little more little more space right. There's already a horrible crowding on the -- interface -- I think we can talk about this now they didn't have this conference is done actually poured -- some mock ups -- Some new -- interfaces for my Ford touch but they're employing an improvement they've got to lot of yes those are gonna go a couple weeks ago. Yeah they've moved a bunch of stuff around. And I mean good -- really hard to explain specifically what they've done but it seems like they've taken better advantage of the real state of screen. You know -- great efforts -- -- for something that -- just -- only gonna push once every now and then. A tiny button for some that had all kinds -- written over like USB source iPod -- was the size of your of of a pencil racer. And had all that written over it was bleeding over the button and the rest of the screen yet. Are good they're gonna rectify that and -- a lot of people write and ask about this and you guys keep sand in my sport touches it got out in front of it skis will finally -- that we have some relief they have some relief for prospective for buyers so more apps and more models twelve total models now. And also. Better lay out on the screens as women and wanna telling you into a new interface is coming and also -- -- voice command making a little more one more step for making an intuitive. Yeah natural language -- what they were going for here that idea is that instead of saying a set phrase you can just something like. In I call my dad -- I wanna call that. Yeah and it should be -- -- Figure all that out but these are companies are much natural language all the time they always say we've we've improved natural language recognition -- more natural language -- Is this as far as we know free -- -- not. What's interesting is like one thing I've got a -- and talking to a couple of the he -- though we have to do -- voice -- that. They're not actually doing voice recognition. When you think your phone it's basically. Automatically creating a voice -- it stores inside -- it -- and listens for that yet but it doesn't actually know you're saying wing canning him that's -- on cue system. When it flips the the address the -- the first and last name apathy call Cunningham -- because it's not smart enough to know. Oh -- I tried I say this hinges on a price of the tank I have my memory and what I'm looking for that is just gonna sound pregnant right -- yet. Or -- that it that's looking for -- exactly there is pretty dumb I mean let's face yet so that they're stepping toward actual voice command which actually realize that you're seeing a person's name. And then looks for that sort of thing -- so therefore must understand parts of speech to some degree to know that I'm asking you to do this with this release -- to be able fill in the blank. Yeah between wouldn't and understand. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You know. Thinking now if you wanna hear the article it gonna go too far here but -- -- -- thinking if you wanna hear the artist the call on your stereo and you're screwed that might be a problem like this that brought that ultimately might infinitely and the elderly -- and -- -- Or if you stuttering you're gonna hear the a lot at that -- -- a little bit more of wait and wait a minute stop. So let's see we've also got look here are coming at this moment -- of all -- unit system you know -- there's like five or six major head units out there Honda's got -- Toyota and -- share one aren't that many completely unique head unit systems Mercedes or BMW Audi all have there's. Commitment -- this short break we're gonna tell you about what may be a brand new entrant in this area that's coming up in moments as -- -- We're back into its car tech live I'm Brian Cooley who Wayne Cunningham Antuan Goodwin Mitchell -- running the ship. And there -- distilling a moment ago about how there may be a whole new entrant in the world of head units. This is one from Fujitsu which is one of the companies they -- -- top -- provider they make a lot of things are going to your factory car that you never know they may. Directly with Denzel Panasonic which of course people can also as it continues to fill line aftermarket stereos and the eclipse planet branding and statements -- -- market two years of those clips yet I didn't know that. Parts of this is what are they doing it they're gonna put together a new a new head unit to -- on the market for aliens right ray in it you know basically you know somebody have to make the head unit for most of these aliens they'll build themselves. And this is basically -- Sort of like in dash solution. You know good image resolution and there that's very tech guy like that -- -- the buzzwords -- -- have been. -- -- called I go I Apple Leo yeah. And it basically. You navigation and voice command or if these -- and whatnot but. It's really. That -- doesn't now it doesn't it reminds me of something what does it remind me of -- system. -- -- -- -- -- Maybe -- -- river ranger over well enough when the big pluses and minuses kind of look like what you see in the Toyota Lexus that. Net system -- big buttons -- -- Green map does. If that means -- -- it to me yeah. Yet if you're watching a video version of got a decent size clip there of what -- one screen looks like a navigation -- again these all look pretty much alike they've got the usual thing time to distance next event. -- -- -- But I do we'll keep an -- -- -- that's going to come to the European north American and Australian markets first half of next year so it's always exciting to get out completely new. Head unit at some manufacturers OEMs are gonna be using in their cars as there's -- -- might be eight. Major systems out there that cover every carmaker if you go between that is every group uses the same system yet again they probably powered -- three or four. Companies right now yeah maybe yet maybe 45 most. Policy you also does keeping -- new mobile technology digital -- is the pretty much the leader in I think if they just. Connected three wires their cars or drive themselves if they're almost there they're so close of Richard X although we get -- -- -- it's gonna be autonomous. And things like ten minutes there you know they have a lot of technologies that -- -- their cars as -- other manufactures a detect and avoid obstacles. Things that are in front of -- but we've been pretty impressed by their. -- city safe yes city safety is the one way there yeah if you're going at low -- -- speeds what they say is like -- miles per hour under. Odd girl out product automatically in -- breaks in we'll hit him hard looks good -- and stop before hitting whatever you're gonna hit to reenter and that. Bumper traffic they've also got -- pedestrian detection built into their systems but I think that system is they're talking about goes beyond. The city safety I think this is more of there are there to read our system that -- -- -- SATA headed. They call it city safety -- pedestrian detection if you have that lay here. Where you motivated to have to go through that demo one and it but that's sex doll in the park apartment and drove toward written that was lost you missed that one and Canada and America held a demo. And down we tonight's you know we hung around for one that but -- the car amazingly detects an adult size. -- person figure but they sit at the time he can't detect children or animals yet. So -- but the kind of winked and said we're working on that and pretty quickly letters have been like only 78 months since then looks at that they've got it -- were in a -- T detect animals and assume children at the of the smaller mass that was the issue yet they have to do have the system be a blue. Look at shapes and their programming basically animal shapes into it. Mostly larger animals that you know things like deer -- -- lot of -- strikes there are fatal or really dangerous yet and they also talk about that today Ian Sweden where. Visible those come from. There are a lot of -- hits every year the and that can be that can -- you. Yeah because that's bigger than your car yeah okay. Your 34500. Pound car just two to 4000 pound moves whatever was but one thing about this technology is that the city's if you take only only works at slow speeds so this is something that has to work hires be the answer highways scenario -- Yes and so it'll probably flash a warning. And maybe it won't -- -- to be able to you. You know stop the car completely -- it 55 miles an hour it will go to -- the brakes on it and he's beat. His -- -- Often the snow today he's got like seven -- to put the -- is gonna -- -- that in -- locked away anyway right -- -- its bigger new MB it's taller than your rooms the bright would have driven under. So they say -- 40000 accidents a year -- eight incidents were a car and it'll it'll in Sweden. Which is you know not that -- -- country at the high per capita rate 7000 of those 40000 -- when says with moose. News Letterman in -- intentional some people hunting with their cars for us it's that comic astute guy got a -- -- many of -- are. Okay so are we talk about self driving cars a lot around here and you know one of the first things it always comes them people send an email is -- -- and I don't trust. Anything made of software and chips to drive my car forming just too creepy so we saw a quick note here the Carnegie Mellon one of their labs there. Say they now have. Algorithms to verify that a car will not have any bugs in its software for its autonomous driving -- -- first but. -- that game. Assembled -- Italy's giant and AM you -- right. But what's happening here is. For the -- reading through the presented a paper couple days ago we've got a way to make sure there are no bugs in self driving car software -- -- the very bottom. At least on straight roads with a major limitation is curved lanes. -- -- -- that out yet. This setting anchor links you mean back roads urges. It's clearly an -- highways. And bending might be a problem economic and -- at least. Erodes the world want the car to drive itself -- -- driving from here to -- Leo one -- DeLia hustler. But -- undergone a curvy roads and a wanna have fun wanna have fun right out of every doesn't -- the -- there I'm not gonna use it there. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Landmarks and so the good good sipping whiskey and -- Antuan Goodwin never drives the sipping whiskey in his car. It's not just open in his car that SMS I. -- -- email I know I know you people are. -- -- this story here about the incursion of tablets in two rear seat entertainment I tell you my predictions gonna come through sooner than later. That they needed to -- entertainment system -- die. There you of the tablet until you die -- the tablets for a long time for the receipt I love what so I finally got a little back up there on the crazy old man there who says -- that its role in the backseat. I HSI supply to the big research -- in the car business says that by next year or early 2013 tablet PCs then click on -- PCs and tablets media to. We'll start to have an impact on rear seat entertainment system take rates take rate is how many they actually sell. So they can what do you want a car if customers don't demanded by cars equipped that way they lost to take on the actual -- -- floor. So it that there are no hard numbers here but they're pointing out that it's gonna start to kick in later next year as lot of people are buying into the next currency and want that rear seat dvd. Really want something bigger and portable which being we already own a tablet. -- -- that what 15100 bucks typically for our. See these days networks in more than one car you'll animal park and leave out one -- you give QQ did the year and whatever corridor but. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Changed the channel or whatever pertain to an average plane. Money -- -- if there there's a level of integration there that make you know. I've having spent a lot of time with these rear seat entertainment system and being illegally all collectively -- zone here in they have -- phones and and in all -- -- -- different things on three different screen yeah -- yet. Interesting but it it -- Like four times the price you know -- -- entertainment system 4500. Bucks -- 500 dollars were in a tablet. For an Apple Tablet they'll be cheaper ones increasingly from the -- I -- I think I would rather you know. By five but governor buck title in the twenty dollar pair -- industry -- back in Russia. And. And sell more of those those velcro amounts you're working on as you go to launch Goodwin -- But -- according to this article I wouldn't count on the iPad so much because even though they say at -- -- million ipads have been sold. A lot. -- nine point seven inch screen they're suggesting that sized diesel big for the car. He -- the ISI I've heard that. I don't think I want a smaller screen -- -- -- is about right at that distance was at about three feet feeling him back in the backseat look at the headrest. They also link you were making the assumption that all of these are gonna be on the head re the regional monitors are in the -- -- now. There's nowhere else put an -- you have wires to -- like a tablet you -- holding his hand and the that we would probably wanna take it down and stick it in like a backpack or. On the and comfortably wear cargo storage area -- -- on a bracket and that it is clear that. Like we just like -- went on to speak on witnessed the that doesn't look temping at all. Yeah just sitting there a tablet would be held in the hands that'll mean the bigger screen more space -- direction I mean that's the thing is we are members of. Went over -- store we talk about it being installed in the car as the as we see so often there are few mounts but it's kind of like. Not that rear -- entertainment it's -- planted by the tablet in the unit in an installed away -- entertainment just stops happening as an entity in cars -- just I have my gear I don't need RSC at all bad here's an interest in various I was questioned. That's illegal to have a screen in the front seat selling video. That's what I know you're not and cannot what is an okay that your passenger sits and there are the iPad watch in a movie instantly reliable. Bulletin technically well I mean I guess it depends -- -- can be can have anything. On the -- -- Hana will actually nothing visible. To the driver ahead of the repeat of the received packets so -- someone sitting in your in the in the passenger seat depending on how the law is interpreted and they've got an iPad in their city where the driver could be watching -- -- technically illegal. Currently get an angled right now there -- gonna get -- rate. And nened spilled because that's how diverse Canadians on how well that that doesn't actually -- that's right legally it -- it's also illegal in certain states. A blog is causing caught only to have it yelling at -- system because playing video in the front room here and I mean technically the driver could do. -- and watch -- really tall driver with a big wall or. Over there and -- -- That I doesn't always work that you -- -- often drive your car people. Wait you you're gonna be home soon enough there's Blu-ray in PlayStation you're good to you you're gonna watch it later enjoy the scenery -- -- -- not gonna enjoy apparently. This is what it is never gonna happen thought it was going to be pretty -- -- mobile DTV. Cannot get out of its own way. This is the idea of broadcast signals digital. Specially coded and distributed over transmitters -- over the air here in a way to can be picked up by a moving target either portable or in car systems -- TV for your car TV when you're on the train doesn't break up his regular HDTV signals. Don't wanna be picked up by -- moving -- -- Okay that's a mobile DTV is. First of all they had all kinds of issues with. Some -- technically they had last fall that was holding it up now the latest is many broadcasters. Don't want these sets to be sold until they have an Internet connection built in a return path for ratings. They cannot get out of their own -- in the. There are into ruling -- but that's it is exactly intuitive click here's the weird and and the reason I think -- -- never gets hold is because. Regular TV -- having problems with the Internet. More and more people are just things that I don't wanna be home every night from the -- the want to show -- just downloaded on iTunes I'll watch it on Hulu -- I -- where I want it -- -- exactly now because. You know the TVs already rooted in your house. So it's like they're losing ground but he still got a ton -- -- -- He -- never actually had a foothold in the -- begin with right so. You have people in their already tried to just its contents with their iPad to iTunes or whatever. And and it connected tablet. That it's easier you don't want to that you're not gonna be your cards of the -- at the news right it's. And part of of an existing. France are resisting habit of media and I've already got a Marty using these same -- -- stories my smart one -- my tablet. And I know what I want and where I go to find it I don't need to re learn something in the -- -- it won't back -- TV games and in the car because -- -- in the car you meet halfway through one soon. -- I'm catching the first five minutes of another show and yeah yeah the car and how often I mean it does. The new news if you're gonna be in the cards courtesy of those market opportunity that is the -- twelve volt Tivo -- idea that's six realistically this is like the marketing opportunity for a mean of the mean this is where services like. Netflix to stream movies in your car. Or Hulu that lets you stream TV -- in your car. Once -- beings these sort of like -- -- on demand services arm. You know more adopted globally I mean that's gonna be -- rear seat entertainment news. -- again who want an iPad in the back -- we're gonna strip away more layers of car specific anything. And my gear this personal is gonna be what I use everywhere so good -- RSC gear. And good by special TV for the car. I don't need that I just have my stuff that's always with me -- all my devices so the -- distinction here's my car system. I have a car media system for getting a mobile DTV and and in car dvd playback all that car specialness that need to be there anymore or the specialness is good for things better driver entry level -- rested for aggravating everybody else in the car. Is fair game and they want does not give you what to -- and the restless as wanna consistent X. It's as passengers throughout -- life I got a look at the same stuff wherever I am whatever time I got my device in front. So it's -- -- -- this is some categories detected don't make sense to be -- on the -- that are going to be some planted by personal -- remember car phones. Yeah -- And the data that you guys have an installed car phone in your car new but I do remember my money spent on bank loan them at that we didn't work -- -- was plugged into the school will you don't you don't drugs no I don't like to edit excel obviously. And hold the bag up to the window for the good step and I grew up like it. Yet another -- got a really strong shoulder from -- in this I had found thing for an hour because she was talking decorate the old is -- name. The idea it's every -- as cellphones in their cars -- there's no installer deserves all our exact at the perfect example we got rid of car phones. -- -- is the all these technologies not every technology finds fertile ground some of them. You know some companies the technology we just don't need him anymore -- personal trumps all. -- tell us where we're going to drive this -- of each of -- -- -- cars don't have a great story its own next week on the show while the the best way to get your car stolen is -- -- Cadillac that's god okay and drive to Fresno California while at the formula. All the hard weekend the most stolen car. In the city with the most stolen guards. Deriving their big beast in that city which is a big beast people out of California on this list there is eked out -- -- -- -- cities -- list now. These -- okay these are the see the national insurance crime bureau. They do this every year they came up with a list of the cities that have the most stolen cars for 2010. And eight of those cities -- in California. Two are in Washington that's it we've got -- western north west lock up in America west goes dominates fervor cars that go let's go that's the gaelic you also considering liked him Cisco Oakland Fremont at lake. Three he or -- TV bitterly -- up in the -- that was like. Heavily weighted toward him but you get -- you an idea that they just did that. So that. It wouldn't be old Californian giving need to get that extra but in -- Washington on there right ahead and it will be listeners like Oakland -- and number nine and -- if you wouldn't remember. Two and actually these either apparently Census Bureau statistic areas. -- -- the census lumps people in the absence so it added up it's like palace of the that was population elegant it's. Yeah and Bakersfield Elaine oh is like considered a metro yeah. I find numbers six interesting Sacramento Arden arcade I think is a mall. This episode that -- -- -- all into city's apparent that it isn't any of our Sacramento listeners I think. Arden arcade is a shopping center is about it now you would think there would be the unit to have its own -- that -- -- The better part. A 45 and you'd -- -- here. Yet another and the community but what's interesting is we only ranked -- them. Our our -- can be heard there just Prado Los Angeles that we think would be being is like down -- when he second yeah. Yeah well who knows how they how they measure LA it means LA is so acute out of -- -- and I says yeah they call Los Angeles visitors downtown LA central LA and of that whole -- people call Alan. Anyway Fresno you're at the top of the list so a lot about this weekend folks when your when you're their home if -- 1 of our central valley California listened to their per capita. It already has yet -- getting in -- gonna be more stolen cars and -- -- there are now in separate -- to begin a he has yet to settle here -- capitalist apparatus of Fresno who's got lots of -- Boston cars. This is interesting and of the courthouse news service not one that we normally -- CNET car tech for but coming out of Florida. This item here any lawsuit woman. Blaming Toyota for her daughter's death due to carbon monoxide poisoning. No serious story. But she blames the smart key system in the Lexus. For me having a button and not a key which okay. I can understand that I guess it's like she says that when there's a button you don't remember it from the car -- is readily. But the thing that really is outrageous is later in this thing she says. Somewhere they -- the car was engineered to run to smoothly and you would not know the engine was on reminding you to turn it off. That's like cars running to quietly. Reminded of that Lexus commercial release that the champagne glasses are -- -- English but via the -- like -- glasses on the on the running of Nvidia. And rev it up -- -- and they vibrate slightly but nothing falls down. I can -- -- NBA two engineers at some auto makers peace -- this one gets damaged heavily white for the -- and give up. So these are privately foreseeable risks to audition and on about their engine was to -- in a Lexus car and should run more -- aren't making light of her daughter's death but it's what you violet with right to everything -- like it's not even. Isn't the point of -- luxury car. But I gotta say you know one thing about the the keyless ignition systems. Is I've certainly walked away with the key in my pocket and somebody -- drove up of the car -- the -- -- later and say -- -- the -- yet LA thing right so -- either could be some better warning about you know cars running in and you -- the keys like nowhere near I do find that on iPad a couple of. Easily if you hop out of the -- I mean if you're if you're not swapping cards with someone. But usually you pop out of a car with the key in your pocket. In the engines running you'll be -- The car will be yet but that the -- won't be a part of and then you'll be mine up in nowadays they -- for everything. Yeah I mean Dell -- only -- so it may be engines yeah yeah of the differences is beep idiot things people all the times we we we've we've -- to -- that like a Karl. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And it's just like. And like I get it. This -- -- don't leave me -- up. -- -- I've your Lexus as a warning to smoothly maybe you two -- gonna go while suit are let's go get on the road now this week we take out in -- -- this because it doubled the Kia. Optima hybrid which is the sister ship. To the Hyundai Sonata hybrid but not identical not fully badge -- an identical way -- look different they're equipped somewhat differently but the same basic power train. As -- and -- take us on the road. Rose is the big sedan from -- the optima. Pretty nice overall. Build quality and looked to the car. And this hybrid versions of the says they had 2.4 liter Atkinson and -- cycle four cylinder engine. Assisted -- electric motor. Total about 206 horsepower and 195 -- -- import from that that power train. And it should Baghdad forty miles per gallon highway and 35 city which is uninteresting because usually robust hybrids like this one get a higher city. Miles per gallon then highway. But just to test of the ways Kia built up this system. Now might be partly due to the six speed automatic transmission in this thing as well interestingly -- about the hybrid architecture and the scars uses lithium ion batteries so it is really a next generation. Hybrid system and it feels like. You remedies in an ironic -- engineer -- -- quick to -- you can say lithium polymer products if they wanna make that distinction and it's not the cylindrical laptop sells. That -- used to seeing effects -- a former -- polymer that allows it to be really compact. -- takes up almost no space and it's gone about as much as duffel bag. Yet they they described it is three broad vote was notable -- -- yet. But they do is still because the content better they still allow passengers between them received the trunk. It's just that fairly narrows about a minute you need to -- squeezed through there or something like -- that the about it big bright. Yeah. You can't actually pulled down the receipts or anything like that course this is -- -- and -- -- accidentally expect that. Either. They also it's early yet interior electronic that you -- pretty good job it's not overwhelming. A ribbon navigation system -- here that. News. Mainly -- maps -- -- get your Bluetooth audio streaming and that standard. I -- and auxiliary input as you up to 35 dollar cable on and you got instant control your iPod. I was steering wheel and right there in touch screen. Am BioWare about the -- are just taking it straight up Salina but that at a real sort of American robustness -- belt. -- big and comfortable -- man and solid. Going on the street that felt like at a lot of car around right but then you also don't get that sort of like in Toyota -- we have. Almost habitation off the line which like for the first couple seconds when you're -- -- electric -- -- almost not even sure if you're moving and patent and boom all of that you take off. You come off the line with electric torch here and you can really yet. And that's electric interference. From. Point circuit that's sure what that was -- the the it electric resonance coming off an average converter can -- into our microphone. Hang in -- folks were rebuilding this very studio this weekend so a lot of things of retained anyway allocates a Kia optima hybrid. I wanted to point out. The yep I'm halfway through if you're watching that video loses big. Housing in the back to the -- this plastic docked you which I was pretty sure was there is there if you're watching -- video version. Echo this -- -- thing. And missile that's almost as bad -- black -- -- -- black -- it's mostly all battery apparatus and battery control of those felt boxes. And I'm pretty -- those they're conditioning -- for the record -- a goes into a grill that shows up on the package shelf yet that it actually pulling air from the cabin. Through the battery pack and now the vehicle okay so it goes -- that way yet but coming through out of the cabin through the battery. And and now the vehicle it still gave me concerns because is. If anything goes wrong that lithium ion battery pack which they. Cant do they've been known to run away once in awhile but often -- cars but what what would go wrong like a meltdown you know lithium -- -- -- battery -- just they always wanna run away with the -- If they have -- yet they get over voltage and they start to -- that's part like Tesla uses single sales league right to control about it this is the Sony laptop battery issue. The phones that have gone because their batteries have gotten runaway conditions. In a college he'd overrun and in the -- they really try to minimize that -- problem by for one thing. Operating on specific -- charge you recharge cycles yup so let's just charge it all the time right they don't do deep discharge on -- battery pack. The -- that power electronics set up only only. Run it down to maybe twenty or 30%. And only fill it up to maybe 80% yeah I just underdog who invent the power train into the car and. Elevated it does is not supposed to go that direction but it could -- -- it and here B thumb I mean if if you're at that point. I usually get hell out of that thing probably get bigger issue's been like. Poisonous gases coming out I don't know how the driver bigger issue -- it does get this is an idea of a battery pack that being put in 95 pound battery yet -- -- and better now that being. Is that the point where when -- if gas spewing into the cabin. It's probably gimmicks but -- it's probably going to in the -- time -- do I have poisonous gas is getting. Asked the -- under which we have plans to earn an analyst at the very -- -- never seen a power train vented into the car ever. -- -- -- -- Miller wasn't alive then but now I was ten so maybe overlook the first gen -- optimize. Camerota I don't know if this is alive and by the second -- as long as there's no -- resolves a bonus looking cabinets. He added I really like the look at the cabin at midnight -- beat the buttons are a little bit laid out a -- underneath. Button -- -- a little bit better could be put the button that news screen. -- -- the buttons don't separate their own hide. And there's a little bit of intelligence to brotherly now but it's not apparent at beginning and for the first couple of days -- maybe -- -- this car. Go wire -- -- out here it's with mismatched and and -- -- click. Indigo are okay I give up I mean I get it via one of those two installing navigation on one line and then you -- -- another area. And in a weird. Weird effectively eco score -- screens as you pull -- -- -- but in what was the globe legal okay here's the one of the -- As you drive less Green yeah you see pollution start to appear on the maps that you look closely over the United States is like a small degree -- you could barely see it. And as I -- or Green via pollution -- expects to disappear and there's more greenery -- like the euphoria of -- and -- -- officially the stupidest looking everywhere piracy at the other stupid screen of the one relieves are blowing off for the car. That I mean it's. It's like I was never -- and at uphold those screens up for the photo shoot in -- and I never went back to them. Like the -- just stayed on with his program and -- -- a few times just to looking go really. That makes NAND chips -- kept going back for disbelief they also -- eco scrutiny you know car out. Yes I can never make any progress there's like either of them and overall eco -- you can access from the -- again every instrument cluster everything to get. Eight bars on this one screen you pick up a point on another screen its its a total videogame yet. -- the guy you know those that -- screens and all that would would have been cool if this was the first hybrid on the market exactly but now they've been out forever it's like you get a hybrid -- -- yet is what could you'd feel about in her -- care Ayala. -- -- -- live there there's the there's the the Earth's screens of that than that ring of the earth turns occasionally those lines between electric and gas -- light it differently is if one of the others powering the Earth's rotation. Crazy dad -- in their right Alder hey ray and I nuclear winter -- look -- at one bar or not -- -- right. And when you said you're having trouble getting the gas in the EPA EPA range right I think we ended up averaging mid thirties and. 36 epic but I mean that the load the city -- 35 highway forty in this car and we need to make city. And I think. From bulk or record them -- -- -- car were highway. Yeah I was driving a mix of highway and city grades and flat I got 35 point seven was my average for -- -- my drive would be an app was and I just thought that was pretty good in real world yeah -- that the city in the highway or both above facts you have above it. But -- -- plumbing is selling you even know what expects to actually hit -- high water mark. Because you're not doing -- 100% highway driving yet an area almost every other car that we test unit somewhere between there. Yet I usually lowered toward city and music because most cars have city its way low even in this -- -- expectations are kind of different because they're both high. And so I of that thinking alright I got to factor that it -- -- a car doing 35 point seven that. I can't get that that that sort of prejudice I've got toward where it is between the poles -- -- more matter where is it period. I know is good palate a little disappointed as I was driving that give you a number go higher but then when I went back and looked. It's thought it that on in while we got in the Ford Fusion hybrid. We also have pretty high city and -- in -- city. It's it's it's actually city -- opposite yeah higher city -- I already won the 36 highway via and we ended up. Averaging around 3334. And that are too. Yes this -- did pretty well yet to quite -- -- -- and it seems -- in a size comparison of the Ford Fusion hybrid is ged. They seem both like pretty big and then and that's technically a midsize sedan at the optimist bigger than the fusion you added appeals big feels roomy inside a -- until the bigger than -- -- a camera. Feels yes it's another thing is like that they cabin has the very airy feel to it on it it feels like there's just a lot more Catholics speak the -- you things are pushed out I don't know what it's actual real base its actual dimensions of -- in the camera but. It does make you feel like you're comfortable -- it. It was a very it was very nice airy greenhouse and side absolutely -- a nice spacious car. Now I didn't find that it was that -- to drive you guys enjoy the power off the line that you've got to be got into it more. Because I found in regular driving I felt every DM system handing off to Everett are filled -- -- -- I -- electric in and out gas engine lean in line non lean runner -- well whatever it's doing I thought lots of transition. -- and you can hear the engine to it's actually a pretty loud engine if you -- out of that car when it actually do you know idling the engine for the -- couple minutes -- -- real but. It's a loud car. And I had a gold thing and -- and with and I wonder that just because they municipality to inject Atkinson engine or the skimp on from founded name for its but yet your unveiled its very aware of and I'm in electric now and suddenly now -- in gas yeah but. -- are also liked that it didn't. They didn't hide the power. Of the electric engine to screwed -- that transition. It and you know like you again it is -- -- -- and it in it -- for example Prius of smoother. But it also in a Prius for the first couple minutes if you're just if you're trying to -- -- electric mode the first couple of feet. If an agonizing for itself Larry it's very few people behind repeating you're like I'm going and going a -- hurt my score I got the latest step on -- and it just gives you all of its torque -- electric -- and then yet the transition a little rough. I mean I wouldn't call rough it's obvious it's obvious. But it it doesn't like -- -- math that veteran Alex smooth things now. What's also unique about this drive train is the use of six years in the transmission. As opposed to the the Toyota system -- the use the -- virtual planetary these planetary gears set which yet. Ultimately a virtual continuously variable transmission in this is a regular eight speed automatic right yet although -- -- didn't have a torque converter click situated. -- -- that it's not the jump between electric motor is in the clutch position right yeah. The in my day you might feel those -- -- little more. Then you wouldn't like CBT type of you're trying -- -- let's emphasize a continuous range of gears in the Toyota system and it is very smooth. But yet doesn't -- too much it's a different rubbing it. So for folks that want to go look at one of these know that there's a little different in techno a little different level of tech. In the sun in the optima -- the -- -- -- a little more stuff on the hybrid optima is standard in terms of tech toys in the sub article about whether the holding up the valuable thing you -- system and the navigation system where you can get one but not the other right now is that that -- Yeah you can't get -- if you if you don't get the -- system you get there you -- voice command system right which we saw at CES this year but we haven't actually had in the cards the first car to get it with both to be. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- But if you get -- the systems are compatible so you lose your voice command for. IPod integration and whatnot you get the navigation system you to keep -- -- voice command your phone system. And no voice for now no voice for an interest Erica. So as of weird -- part yeah they dominated their place in the next generation that maybe even in the next model year or so that they are making -- work it out. But there are now we have no clue what that will be the -- they have a clue what happened but right now. That we have -- acquittal -- not working right I give -- Two departments developed two different kinds of technology and -- and that's they get for use in the end and and for good reason reason that kind of plain Jane. Every car gets the same nav system very inexpensive -- got some good more profit margins -- and I'm sure but. It can't be back currently compatible with you -- Which is Microsoft -- -- folks that's our on the -- -- -- -- -- new in the CNET car tech garage just. Six short floors below us let's see we're just cranking up the sign on XB release eight. Review and video. Voodoo blue is this -- -- every year to different one last year was. That purple or -- -- it yet. Out reviews up look at them BM WM three just came in this one that's when most of what it's what we just lost a bag of Goddard -- against. Lean and mean not a lot of tech crap -- -- carbon roof option on this one so if -- into the leaner and -- the don't have all the tech toys this is gonna be the one for you and we do expect to get the new Nissan GTR next month between twelve GTR latest addition -- via coming over earth. Third GTR. Yet. Third. And this will be the new generation security rights in the C lot of changes on -- -- excellent. So that's -- -- in and coming at the CNET car tech garage and reviews and more problem forward for you next week on -- other cars coming in for review that's it for Arctic lot of folks catch us on roadside assistance as well for either of our shows go to the show notes page that's a car tech dot cnet.com. Email us car tech. At cnet.com or call us -- your thoughts comments and questions. At 866401. Scene at 8664012638. In the meantime Mosul on Twitter you don't already I'm Brian Cooley BR IA MC double OLEY. Wayne is Wayne C underscore SF but that's free drinks. And -- what does it do any anti GOO. And we will see you. Roadside assistance or right here next week.