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Car Tech Live 220: Driving the undefinable Lexus CT200hCar Tech Live 220: The Volt gets cheaper, the Altima Hybrid more scarce, your government hates your car tech, and we drive the Lexus CT200h (podcast)
The Chevy Volt gets cheaper the Altima hybrid gets more stairs. -- government hates your car tech. And we drive the Lexus CT 200 H. What is that color. -- -- -- his car tech live this is episode 220 -- to Jim Brian Cooley with Wayne Cunningham and Antuan Goodwin. Mitchell -- at the controls -- let's get into it Chevy -- guys who talked a lot about how people perceive the price of its cars it too much for what it is. I -- GM was listening. The little bit. Price came down just a touch. -- -- thousand dollars which doesn't is up to the CB a little bit up 41000 which is the original retail yeah. And dad and -- but there -- gonna sell nationwide to which is we could change from their earlier sales plan yet says they're getting a nationwide sales sooner. And they have now three models so did they cut the price -- they -- offer a stripper -- is kind of a question. It sounds likely because that I think they're fully loaded mile was up 46 -- right. Of all the toys all the leather. All the niceties and the text -- -- the same will back up camera is included. Nav include settlement topic and car router number -- -- a camera that was an option even -- in the in the lower end I believe. Okay so this is way to get into the volt a little bit cheaper and interesting piece we saw this week by one of -- One of our listeners. To go to will publish in the show notes Bobble head guru dot com. Don't ask he did a really detailed. Comparison of moving from the impala he owned two of volt would cost more would it cost less would -- be a wash he went through every in the cost of the car. The cost to run the cost of insurance. Leasing costs vs purchase everything. And found out. It's basically a -- as well over compared to put together a Chevy Malibu which he was leasing currently and he says that -- -- leases the bull but it'll come out about the same now given all the money it would -- to -- into a car specially fuel. Yes -- feel better about yourself you feel good and yes. You feel you can was at a -- -- impala -- and off of it looks better than him now. Driving an invalid -- doesn't gates January just -- just gets used -- corporate but that would like eclectic and all -- a whole different thing. This is not a classic this was like you don't just an imbalance -- and for the died in the -- technique there's gonna love all those. You know in my governor electric in my driving under you know gas -- -- you know how much fuel economy getting company -- of like grown the last blocker every with the -- does is -- -- user was -- little Green people -- trees and -- user shrubbery was shrubbery -- some Brazilians. Speaking of cars that are Green the Ford C max's on the way of it's going to be only available as a hybrid. It was gonna be available arisen in the car -- its -- people mover if you're watching -- video version you see the picture there. It's what it's kinda like a Mazda five unit pictured is nothing for the scale but it. It -- about the -- -- -- five it would depend minivan but new sliding doors. Okay exactly in the minivan with regulars at the very European body styles a nice looking thing. And it's going to be now available only as a hybrid -- gonna have is a gas engine version and our hybrid adding hybrid plug in hybrid. Now they're gonna make it only in two hybrid versions standard and a plug in that's -- they called the C next energy -- So while we saw these at Detroit and now they're for real and now there are very strong energy statement by Ford more than they were going to do. Speaking of hybrids if you're gonna buy a Nissan Altima hybrid. This is -- time so it turns out the Altima hybrid current model is wrapping up production. Going away but probably not for long as the new Altima hybrid comes out with very different guts. -- the current Altima -- basically deceiving -- hybrid synergy drive it is -- it's an -- it's basically a Toyota -- with an ultimate body. -- down -- at the exact same engine -- hybrid system but now they have their own. System that they develop for the Infiniti M prospecting and something like that in the next generations the OEMs system. Okay got -- not battling that they also have the I'll leave that electric -- entire electric systems so. Nissan has to figure out -- they want -- -- electric pure electric cars that they wanted to view this advanced hybrid system which is via a next gen hybrid system yet. And this'll be their chance to really strike out on their own and say no we're not gonna be buying anything from -- it's a matter of pride as well as a matter of distinction in the marketplace. So if you're going to go -- -- Altima hybrid. Do you buy one now. Or do you wait because we don't know when the new Altima hybrids coming up that's the other issue that has yet to drop. And we don't know what it's gonna come out -- what price let alone the MPG will get because it's not on the market to be rated by the EPA yet. So it's a bit of a trapeze act. And a lot of folks ask us about the Altima hybrid in part of their questions so the said the big question mark over it. I'd bet you five dollars and India being the infinity in power train -- -- -- price point. Which is to help power train to meet you mean technically -- literally that medium -- -- let me -- the same technical underpinnings may -- less power definitely -- -- -- -- yet the him. The mechanical yeah I would Atlanta have you about it that be the ultimate H are certainly give the lithium ion battery pack you know the same sort of system Mario significantly less power cheaper better look I want a person hybrid that our children for NASA -- -- -- driver with a B twelve and that -- And an example of putting one -- the avail. I think the last ultimate -- we drove was an -- nine is that correct. Yeah its been awhile we the united it was at the guitar like that -- -- more sporty yet feeling then that Prius through that the camera it actually does they they put in more stabilizer bars and things like that -- the -- almost system almost feels like a Turbo. As you can really stepped on it and get that extra. Bush yeah they can do those hybrids to be you know really kind of -- and -- or strictly Green and kind of -- -- -- this one is one that had some pretty good pretty good it'll do so anyway that's the word on the Altima hybrid. Your car tech is in the cross hairs of the feds this that the first time you've heard this but. The drum beats getting really loud some my testimony given by the administrator one of the administrators -- -- -- -- David Strickland who works for. The man who hates cars and that's real hood who runs DOT department of station in the US. And under some testimony he gave -- -- -- -- was -- speaking at the telemann -- conference in Detroit. Which I think was late last week. And he said interesting quotes in the Detroit Free Press. He said I'm just putting everyone on notice a car is not a mobile device. He's almost literally taken the words from -- CTO and CEO. Who've been saying the car is the world's biggest consumer electronics last mobile device. So he's saying -- It is not he goes on to say I'm not in the business of helping people -- better I'm not in the business of helping people post on FaceBook better. Whoa it's couple. But only -- he should be in the business of helping people tuned to their radios. -- and better right Boca is I mean -- to eat meat there are hints that I mean. It when you really think nobody's been a lot of time. Tearing down -- -- Get -- even an old daughter -- -- might. Heater controls. -- the fact the matter is presentations gonna be there. I mean if you need it whether your in the business of helping people do it better -- you're you're actually in the business of me in the route safer. And if that party now and then that part of it. -- so I think the idea saying we're pushing back against this stuff is. It's a little bit after the key of how horse left the bar -- -- it's out there. -- I love this quote that from another presentation at the same conference by Verizon vice president. Who said that president Janet sheen's. Said the dead American world Ricard is the most powerful computer your company or -- or your neighborhood. Yeah but it's that Verizon is saying we're gonna make it years are like a supercomputer it's trivia and it's good you're rolling hot spot from the log in 200 part of it in my practical I'll -- -- at the most of the country driven felt like epithet that so interest thing tone there -- -- -- this harshest drumbeat we've heard yet from the feds who -- on a bit of a warpath. And again have yet to pull the trigger on introducing -- if they would introduce but supporting. A federal anti distracts tool which we don't have yet the US -- all state level laws or I guess. I guess some of you display the -- state. Well there's a question of the can actually an act a federal. An antitrust inquiry into why I mean they could maybe say on the freeways or any any federally supported -- right you can do that I mean I guess they could look at the the commerce. And under governing -- -- commerce congress could potentially. Create a lot I don't think. It's by itself could actually does -- -- yet they can't write the law but they can definitely work with -- you know congressman or senator to do it the question is what would it say. I mean this is the problem within a distraction laws in the first we said go hands free -- that wasn't a problem megawatts was a small part. I think what they're gonna do residents also -- gamers down all the freeways and highways. It and will -- it -- tell you they floated a public a month or two ago we had the story about Ray LaHood saying well. We're looking at it. Group is rattling its Saber I think even kind of admitted it but he said we're looking at it were ruling nothing out. A little work wonders world via traffic reporting fifth and and get all the other two systems that are in people's cellphones and in the GPS devices the other -- edit and -- -- the window to on all the police say undercover -- to by the users cellphones constantly. -- yeah let's let's let's block them to on the highway but I get the present Strickland was not a very popular speaker at this conference keys methods have. Okay -- like give us some body guards got it out of -- quick. It's like okay a little late this on it and I'm get married here anyway so that's that's the latest enough that nothing concrete there or keeping up to date on the tone. Around this kind of stuff in Washington. We talked a lot about the Hyundai blue link we first saw at the Detroit show early this year with -- to date on the features there. They now have some pricing. And it's it's for real now coming out in some new Hyundai cars -- we haven't seen this yet in any Hyundai but I imagine one of our next ones we get. Well we've had dinner -- -- -- and in the last week I think it'll debut on the blocks there oh across Italy is coming out later on this year -- how much later on your them. Department about the car and junior years and that his wings into the duke that I have a amigos have -- have -- -- -- race just verses Gloucester when they finally both Iraq. -- at -- into orbit and it's an easy drive new product. Our product into a talented and if you're you're and it and then you will fickle with the movies they have of the -- the -- across -- -- via Hyundai Elantra Hyundai Elantra that the while. Tough room off room so blue link has three packages kind of like OnStar which has directions and connections -- oh my god I just crashed always different levels you can buy into. The are going to have this priced out at just is an example the basic package. Assurance. Which I'm not sure knew exactly what goes into that is -- -- pathologist. Roadside assistance crash per you know. I've crashed report in okay and a thing and there's assurance and essentials which I'm sure -- -- -- and -- again at the information on bottom. -- pricing is anywhere from eighty bucks a year. To. 288 year for the one year commuter discount during multiple years so it's roughly competitive with -- OnStar right. I don't have three different levels which is the first one assurance -- -- is basically like roadside assistance crashed. Detection. The -- financials package it's things like voice text messaging remote door unlock. Other medical starts -- locations are in on FaceBook the end of the -- things like setting curfews and geo -- of for the vehicles -- teen driver we heard about that FaceBook updating through so that's in the middle package rate in the in the top package is guide and which -- turn by turn directions PO -- -- downloads. From a web site and voice activate popular search and my favorite the eco coach. -- -- -- Restaurant ratings they don't say who buy. I'm not the got this on the would have right that locked -- and whether which is kind of becoming common these days you know that's not like I don't know premium featuring a purity of that particular area and of -- yet. And you get it on and we get all this stuff when you're -- -- we can going to be dead horse and with that the pricing it's eighty to 280 a year on any single year again discounts kick in if you go and grab more than one -- at a -- okay -- Move along Nora. In one of the strangest colored cars we've had in the last year too and also -- -- -- one of the strangest in some ways that's coming up as car tech live continues. In his car tech live I'm Brian Cooley it's Wayne Cunningham and Antuan Goodwin Mitchell sang at the controls and this is our episode 220 for the sixteenth of June. Let's go -- to -- on the road segments and where we take you out in a car and then talk about what it was like. To really give you a flavor of the latest most adjusting vehicle -- garage this week we're taking on one of the most interesting -- side the least expensive Lexus. The least fuel consuming Lexus and one of the least aware and understood Lexus cars to school for right now in -- and -- in the Lexus CT 200 H. One thing I do you like about the star even though it's not all that powerful as it does handle pretty well it. They have suspension tuned pretty well to keep it flat and you can -- around corners and have a little fun with it. -- they have it. Devlin you have that advantage -- you also have much sportier -- than the Prius. Although everybody -- that was seen as gardening and the Mazda three at that we have actually seen -- departments to a -- -- three and the similarities in their profile. Almost disgusting. They're very similar to south Clayton could be like and next generation Mazda three it's got -- that a spaceship like lions. I a lot of weird curves and things like that -- it's got an interest in futuristic look. One thing that really -- Don't like this interiors very ergonomic it's got this gently sloping center console that -- easy to reach everything. But it looks like it came out of it nineties vintage Lexus. It just you know this Green monochromatic screen here -- black and white monochromatic screen. Kind of like ugly plastic but it just doesn't scream. Like sesame. Yeah and they really don't give you lot of hybrid information here to -- governments that are. In the -- yesterday do you have a monochrome. Display -- harmful information and stuff like -- so it's got some stuff but it doesn't really. Give you the real Green fielded. Some some other hybrids do -- and -- are really is. You do get good -- productive fuel economy with -- I don't know what the EPA numbers -- or seen high thirties. -- -- had topping forty driven carefully. -- be given out at 3736. Have driven hard. Right now you can also because you have this flexibility of like the -- load and then audience -- also -- that -- -- where you can. -- take advantage of better -- and every game. You don't have an easy -- you can turn -- for that last -- home. We've seen neighborhood you can. Take you know the last couple blocks and complete electric power but I haven't been able to get it -- 25 miles per -- doing that can slow. Last couple blocks. In -- they claim 62. In each -- up. I mean you may be able to get sixty to lift off and coaxed. And you even know that you're gonna all the way to six it is never sought I was like you -- 25 best I can get better. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Yeah but that it's forty miles per gallon highway and rated 43 city and we -- Got just under an Apple -- -- like idiots and we never -- stated MPG -- -- -- drives of this card to get Gatos -- like 36 average with hills and freeway in town a little -- everything -- and hard driving an easy I was really -- -- normally you know you get somewhere closer to CD which of course on a hybrid is really high but. You don't have a big -- big fall off. The real world MPG this -- was good but what I wasn't impressed by is that. These -- to sixty is that rated it and point eight seconds yet -- same as the Toyota Prius. Would inevitably appropriate the real threat to bring as an archery Indiana have the same -- and which is in England pointing yea we do it because it and it just disappointing here because this car has sport -- Visible in the market with the dark side of Green campaign. It's dark news and community that shade tree for ten seconds trying to get out from under -- that's but I noticed all of their like. Room of like there public promotional materials. Were people grabbing relief flow and being hit -- -- it. Like they had definitely darts at a Green light interview thing where they would like pick up full -- elect -- -- and India -- interviewer but they were always writing really slowly. As I mean there. Very careful -- you know and and making it looks forty did not try to pretend like -- -- lobster -- -- cool -- but at gradual speed I actually driven this car on the track it'll in the Sega. And that they handling good administered the power -- Leave things to be desired it's -- about keeping your momentum out. I'm surprised you get up and a deal on that what it was there were there toward the Rahal straightaway -- -- And it's that the pretty steep incline and a kind of power that -- -- -- it just it it'll do it. It'll take half the sixty yes it. I guess this is -- this is not a alarming that car in terms of its acceleration you'll never scare yourself you could even have your foot -- and plant the accelerator and you're gonna be okay. It doesn't have that kind of power it's -- it's like -- Prius which is not. Slug but its its a -- a leisurely -- acceleration handling Israel mines. You know and it drives more or less like -- -- it's not as big as the rest of their cars but it was you -- smooth. Quiet yet got a common on the the radio does the radio instead of the nav units of -- radio. And when you put an adult like something out of that ninety users had to go -- plastic wood Green screens -- a Green screen LCD and a when I love the layout of the console it was really -- flat Audi like lay back console while the councils are they face -- these days. This is really nice and -- your hand doesn't do any weird contortions. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Yet it comes towards you yet you open up that and you plug anything into that you can actually close the lid on their. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Russian your hand across there and fitness -- and an even if you could close if you had some -- low profile USB plug governments and exotic cable store right angle. There's no feed out for the cable there's no little channel now so let's sit endorsed is up -- a slice your elbow everything you put it down right on the edge of that little thing or -- -- off. -- was -- really better ergonomics. Really allows in the -- lives in their tunes so that's gonna get snapped off like in a week. But -- -- like -- out exterior looks -- that are I was thinking this looks like it could be the next generation month SP three of -- this is the question that. What do we think of the looks you obviously think it looks good that you like the -- the Alec hatchback you know -- designed -- is always kind of cool and want it kind of -- -- faith. I've had left from the rear quarter adding that mostly because it looked like the month that the read it also looks good from the recorder but not comedy king of get a little bit weird about -- -- -- And I mean -- a -- -- it's just purely that the kind of boring it's very Lexus in the front and yet the rear is where the real a dramatic stuff is done on this car. I did a little Twitter poll before a -- moment -- drove this car yet I knew was coming up -- not to folks is that a case CT 200 -- a link. -- -- -- -- And it was pretty tough for -- -- fog -- like people hated it. Amid -- the collar is a lot of commented on that in the same breath as the lines from the -- -- a little. You get to know what your video version what do we call -- at the wrong tone to incidental and mustard. And it's like -- mustard metallic. It's not a pretty color like it -- -- -- multi vitamin and now I'm asking for -- -- -- Natalie and legal fees become an instinct and agrifuel color. I told while ago -- the wide net valet park near you -- -- single view cars -- the colors same damn -- growth. Yet I've never pretty so that didn't do it any favors. And let's face it. He keep coming back to is this a sporty car yesterday -- is -- eight. Really Green car yesterday though is it a little people mover yes -- -- where does it fit it seems to draw on a lot of things that it. Could be -- that is just like a Prius for people who don't wanna be -- driving a Prius. -- upscale Prius yeah I mean that the a lot of them have been -- and shall all around San Francisco and it's like the same people that you would normally see in the you know I keep doing regional nations but the thing people -- normally see in a Prius -- you'll see him in this. You elect yet you can tell they're just a little bit -- in the pre. Aren't -- same because it does the same stuff it's got about the same cargo ability made Allen. Answers as if the -- probably have more -- has more yeah I want to spread this -- really impractical that rear compartment was just it's really small -- on -- but impractical is just not any benefit of having any more space on the back seats are really tight a Prius is not that tight right. Dad and this is with bits and -- that this premium small car category which is really out to the US. American buyers are not really used a trend penal law for a small car. And but you know we're seeing more and more cars in this I mean in this area in the mini you know sort of pioneered that that that area for the US. But so whether people will really take to the CT 200 -- is hard -- hard to say but the -- point it is a premium compact and has a weird thing in the US. I've I've seen way more of these in the other Lexus hybrid and a test that yes I know I can't remember the name -- have fourth I've never seen one as it knows the -- -- math team all over the place so anecdotally I think it at least doing better -- laughed yet as the VHS didn't. The HS is also a Prius and -- -- Same power train one point eight and I think it might have attended the 2.4. I had the 2.4 doesn't actually the same. Parker and is the Camry hybrid. So if you really get in a premium -- with antibodies. That's where the HS has the bigger power train and yet this -- could probably benefit from now because the images more sporting. It's weird choices there make it with slowly you know Lexus and does have a trademark for the T 308 so -- -- -- will -- one. And Tuesday says that the -- aren't so. Com overall. And what we think Alaska. You know well. Post on feels more cell yelling. The styling -- speak for the silent on the subnet is it really only just made up he's like. It's apparent lack of our meet tells that. I had a hard time getting excited about it in any given direction of analog things interesting about it but I couldn't find the theme on her directly at -- really not my brain look -- -- big. In this is -- another classic -- we talked about last week and -- -- specs don't matter you don't care about horse power street line acceleration they wanna look cool wanna feel cool. And you don't want the good miles per gallon I think this is like. And another harbinger of -- -- tenements. And the MPG was really good. So we gotta -- -- that they nailed their their stated EP and is looking at some sales numbers here it's early on this car very early. But as wanna see if we have any ability to see how it's been selling compared to the HS so I look at -- I can -- -- I can't keep up with my friends of geeky guys got a little -- for the -- speed three million cared for and have yet in my this beat three that you went home purchase if -- at an -- like doing it wrong to begin. At indefinitely you're clearly not informed enough to buy it yeah -- have been looking at a hybrid. You didn't understand the challenge and again written by -- -- -- -- Center. I. -- -- -- Well that won't go Motorola bastard not quite as has the -- but -- look cool. The of this -- brand new on the market right -- didn't it just hit showrooms like in the last month or two. A month or two yes yet that out of a couple months ago. All right so the CT has already sold from may 450 copies its first full month of sales numbered VHS it was sold to -- after a year from it and in a month after being in their -- so it's a huge hit over the -- So I give give it to Lexus they have finally got a Prius. Variant. Are on Miami variants and is -- analysts are hybrids the what do they call there's emergency basis of these variants and that is selling. Aren't so they've done much better than the HS but -- too early to say how it's done so far India. -- scissors from on the market for just -- for a few months there aren't. It's doing okay so anyway if you care more of the people care about and yet you're in your friends and neighbors -- like this week I don't like it -- but it's just a little bit and not a hauler and it's not gonna hall leaders so in both of those -- the little bit we'll that we. Our folks so that review is that up now on our site Nash had yet but tomorrow's world -- so on Friday via seventeenth if you're catching -- -- -- listen to this on the day that comes out it'll be a fresh review at cars dot CNET dot -- check see what's new and fresh downstairs in the CNET car tech. -- -- -- Latest reviews includes Hyundai Elantra G -- -- one of the new crop of -- -- is right up there with civic and in their lives corolla and a really hot category right now. Kia optima hybrid that another one from the same basic family we have got that guy in different of the few ways that a Sonata hybrid so don't just assume -- badge engineering. Very different sheet metal and some different features as well as you mention the CT 208 review gonna shortly right now we have a voodoo blue sign an expert he. In the are release eight edition of security assigns -- -- talking about tonight you'll care. And when you've got what coming in for us in the next couple of weeks -- we got nailed down right now the new Nissan Quest have been what built trying to get an 8012. Select. And -- here -- -- Fiat 500 few things and 500 organized -- -- -- -- that -- a lot of our cars coming in as we get through the summary here on CNET Carter okay folks that's it for CNET car tech live. You how to reach us the show notes or car tech dot cnet.com. Email less car tech at cnet.com. Or leave us a voicemail -- your thoughts. And that's 866401. Scene at 8664012638. And were all available for following and stalking on Twitter. I'm Brian Cooley BRI -- NC double OLEY Wayne is Wayne C underscored. SF and one is in view AT&T GOO we'll see you next week and don't miss roadside assistance also. On CNET.