[ Music ]
>> Everyone this week is saying enough to driving while
distracted. Volvo announces a plug in hybrid, while
[Inaudible] figures out where are we going to charge
these things. Chrysler gets rid of the book that
everybody wants, but nobody ever reads, and we go for a
ride in a really affordable performance car you would
have laughed at 5 or 10 years ago. It's the CNET
podcast for September 25. I'm Brian Cooley with Wayne
Cunningham, Antuan Goodwin, and this is our second live
video edition. That's why it's late. Okay everybody,
let's get to the news. Coming up we'll be On the Road
with Wayne and Antuan, and also taking some of your
e-mails, all three of us will be jumping in on that on a
little round table. But first let's get to the news,
making the top of it this week. And really, it's been a
week for news about distracted driving. Partly because
there's a summit coming up next week on the 30th and on
the first where the Department of Transportation is
going to get just about everyone together. 200
luminaries from industry, from research, from the people
who hate cars and think we're all going to be out there
killing ourselves. All of those parties coming
together, because the head of the DOT says that's it,
it's time to get something together on a consensus about
driving while distracted. Not just calling, not just
texting, not just playing your Media Player on your
phone. But the whole thing about personal digital
portables and the distraction they've created. This is
a watershed thing. This is going to be a very big part
of why next year is the year you're going to see driving
while distracted stigmatized. I can promise you that.
It's the new drunk driving. We haven't been there yet.
This is the indication that we're going to get there.
And at the same time interesting piece on MSNBC this
week, saying that it's funny that a lot of states who
are banning or at least making noises about driving
while distracted being such a bad thing are the same
states that have set up Twitter feeds and even text
alerts about traffic conditions. What do they want to
do, look at it at your house before you get in the car?
It's kind of a waste of an up-to-date alert. So there's
an interesting irony there about how some of those
services work. And of course in front of this summit
coming up in Washington about distraction, the Alliance
of Automobile Manufacturers, which is most but not all
the big names in car-making, also came out, like Ford
did last week, saying oh yeah, we're against driving
while distracted as well. We're all for laws that will
clamp down on that. Unless it makes consumers spend
less money on our technologies that we think solve the
problem. That's what Ford was all about last week when
they said yes, we're all for stopping driving while
distracted, as long as Sync can still be considered a
way around that, and people can be encouraged to buy it.
So this is the group of auto makers that include BMW,
Chrysler, Ford, GM, Jag, Landrover, Mazda, Mercedes,
Mitsubishi, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen. Not many
notables are not in there. I can see Nissan is not one
of those, there's another trade group they're a member
of. So you can see everyone's lining up here to posture
and see who's going to be the one who's out in front of
the parade. But the Department of Transportation is
clearly leading it. And another interesting tidbit came
out this week. The head of Ford, Alan Mullaly, their
CEO, is going to do the main keynote -- not the
Microsoft keynote -- but the main keynote at the CES,
the Consumer Electronics Show, which is the big tech
show every year as you probably know. Comes up in
January, top of January. We're always there en masse at
CNET. And he's going to be giving the first keynote on
the first opening day of the show, after Steve Balmer
[Phonetic] does the traditional pre-opening keynote that
they've always done. We expect they'll be rolling out
some new Sync technology that will allow you to really
dictate outgoing text messages, among other things.
Right now you can get your texts read to you by Sync and
you can reply with a variety of canned responses. But
that doesn't really satisfy most people. So they're
going to get on their phone and they're really going to
do a text reply. Therein lies the rub. So they are
going to be talking about some new, much better text --
voice to text, I should say, technology. They've sort
of given us a pre-sneak of that, us in the industry.
And we expect that to be something that they roll out at
the Consumer Electronics Show. So all this news going
on this week around driving while distraction -- while
distracted. It's clearly becoming a hot button issue,
and everyone's getting lined up to look like a hero
around it. We also have a lot of news about alternative
power trains this week. You know, BMW has been testing
a fleet of mini electronic cars. A few hundred of them
they're got out there in test market areas. And one of
the first things they learned according to their CEO
this week in Automotive News is these things are hard to
charge. I mean, you can get one of these special
chargers that runs off 240 or 220 volts. Hook it up to
your dryer circuit is usually what you use in most
homes. But the problem is the regulations to get it
attached to your home. They point out what it was like
in New Jersey for some of the test vehicles that they've
got in consumers hands there. It was a nightmare. They
had to go through three and four licensing and permit
authorities, the building people, there's some utility
people, there might be a town or township that has to
sign off separately. It took a lot of time. It made
the whole process very expensive, adds a lot of cost on
top of the box itself, which is you know, less than
$2,000. And made it very frustrating. So they said one
of the first things they've learned here is not about
anything technological, but about getting the permit
process smoothed out or consumers are just not going
find this interesting. And if you do charge a car off
the standard outlet, which requires no permit, that
takes a long time. And the electronic car out there
now, today, takes basically over night for a full charge
on 110 or 120, and that's not really practical for most
people. So these high current chargers are important,
and if you have to go through a lot of paperwork to get
one installed in your home, in your community, that
word's going get out and there's going to be a bad stink
on plug in hybrids. They know that. They're going to
be working on that, and they say it's one of the first
major lessons they've learned. Volvo's got a plug in
hybrid that they just talked about at the -- as we went
into show time today in fact. This is going to be
coming out in 2012 they say. First plug in hybrid for
Volvo. And it's going to have a Lithium ion battery,
and you can imagine. They are not yet speaking, as far
as I know, about the exact range on the charge, but
they're saying it will handle the transportation needs
of 75% of Europeans on electric only -- and never have
to go to its gas engine. When it does, though, the
combination of electric and diesel, not a gas hybrid on
this one, is going to be 7 45 miles. That's pretty
stout. That's because the diesel is so efficient at so
many of the conditions, and of course the hybrid, and
this is going to be offering very low CO2 emissions, of
course, which is a very big deal in Europe. Most
American consumers don't really care. They're much more
interested in their MPG. How does a half a billion
dollars move your company forward? You can ask Heinrich
Fiskar [Assumed spelling] that pretty soon. He got a
$528 million low cost loan from the government toward
not the Fiskar Karma, which we've been telling you about
which is this Mazarti-looking hybrid that is going to be
around $100,000, a little bit less, but instead for a
car that they're labelling Project Nina, or Nina,
actually, because it's named after one of Columbus's
ships -- little piece of trivia for you there. That car
will start a little bit under $40,000, they expect,
after tax credits. If that sounds familiar, yeah,
that's going to be like the Tesla S sedan, which is also
trying to come in at around that same price point. And
that's where most of this development money is going to
go. A little bit of it has been earmarked to get the
Karma to market, but it's very mature right now. Most
of this 528 million of government low cost loans, that's
you and me doing that, is going toward this next, more
affordable car. So if you're incensed about us helping
to fund development of a car that none of us can afford,
it's not really about that. It's about their next
generation car that at least some of us could afford.
But it's still not exactly a cheap ride. Lotus is know
for sports cars and racing cars primarily, or the
partnerships they do, they bring sports and performance
technology to the fore. But a division of lotus came
out with something interesting this week, which is a
three sill bar range extender engine. That's like what
the Chevy Volt has in it. It has a little gas engine
that just runs very leanly, enough to turn a generator,
recharge the batteries, which run the electric motors,
which actually move the car. And so lotus has said they
have now a design out and they're ready to take orders
from car makers who want to buy a prepackaged engine and
generator combo from Lotus. It's very efficient. This
is a 1.2 liter, only 2 valves per cylinder. Because
it's not a performance engine. You don't care about
things like that. A little single overhead cam with a
belt, not even a chain. It's a low cost, simple motor.
In fact, they almost cast this thing in one piece.
There's no separation between the head and the block.
So there's no head gasket to go out. The idea is make
it really simple, not wring a lot of performance out of
it, but make it an inexpensive thing to manufacture and
to run a generator. So they at least believe that the
series hybrid or the range extender model like the Chevy
Volt has, has some legs or they wouldn't be getting in
the business. Interesting number of comments from a
conference this week. A lot of the Silicone Valley
venture capital guys, the really heavy-duty money guys
who fund companies like Google and Yahoo, and all the
new start ups like Twitter. They all got together and
said uhh, Detroit's dead. It ain't coming back. You
can prop it up all you want, it's never coming back in
anything that resembles health. And these are guys like
Ray Lane [Assumed spelling] over at Kliner Perkins. I
believe they backed up Google in the early stage. Cosla
[Phonetic] who is a founder of Sun. Now he's a
heavy-duty guy over at Cosla ventures. Mark Vandenburg
at Vantage Point. These are all guys that know their
way around the tech industry. Now I should point out
that they're all backing some other kind of alternative
car company right now. They're either behind Fiskar or
Tesla or some of these other vehicle companies. So they
do have a bit of an axe to grind, but these are not
stupid guys. And when they talk usually, you know,
money follows them. So they're all saying that the Big
Three, because of legacy structures of how they're
built, their legacy cost with all their employee costs
from the past and benefits and all of that, they can
never get under that. It was one of the most stark
condemnations of the idea of Detroit ever getting
healthy again that I think I've read in this entire
season of death around Detroit and the economy, it's
been hurting it so hard. And they kind of point out the
fact that this is an industry that unless you're hitting
many millions of units you're just drowning in red ink.
These are car companies that cannot deal with smaller
scale, and that's one of the things that concerns them.
And again, largely because of legacy costs, as well as
the fact that they don't necessarily have the best
technology. They don't think out of the box, to use
that old phrase like a lot of these other companies do.
Navagone, little known in the U.S. for navigation, not
one of the Big Three. But they have a new piece of
software technology in their Navagone GPS devices. It's
focused especially on pedestrians. So they call it the
last mile. When you get out of your car and you've
still got to get to something which is, you know, maybe
a few blocks or a mile or two from the nearest place you
could park, this GPS won't leave you stranded. It's
really optimized toward pedestrian routing, not just
routing the car. And it also has a feature there to
help you find the parking. So they say they're putting
all the beads together on the string, if you will, of
really getting somewhere. Not just getting to the
nearest parking place near where you're going. Toyota
is talking about doing some real futuristic stuff in
Japan this week. They're going to roll out what they
say is the first onboard system where the car and the
road really talk to each other in real life. Now
they're still saying it's come soon, but they are saying
it's coming out on a current production model, and that
it's going to use a network of road side transmitters.
So you could be going into a hair pin turn that looks
like it's not a hair pin, which could be tricky, and
that hair pin turn might have a transmitter in it,
telling cars that are so equipped coming up is a real
tricky turn, or if it's off camber, or it's one of those
off ramps where everybody hits the K rail and you see
black marks all over. It's like, how do you tell
drivers this is really a nasty turn? This kind of
technology would do it. And of course it could also
bring in traffic conditions, frozen ice that you can't
see, it can relay that to a car. So that's of course
the kind of thing you see in Japan first, and they say
they're getting there very soon. And Chrysler made a
decision that a lot of folks are going to say what took
so long, and a lot of folks are going to say that's
stupid. They're going to take out the paper manual, the
big old thick, owners manual, which has grown to be huge
these days, and often dominate your glove box. And
instead put a DVD in there, which of course you can't
use in the car. So the idea is you better do your
research before you get in the car or use a much shorter
few-dozen page quick-start guide they're going to put in
there. Now that makes a lot of sense. So it's going to
force them to make a very short concise mini booklet
about the car, which we'd all love to have anyone, and
some cars have a good one of those already. But
everything in detail is going to be on the DVD. I'm not
sure I'm too concerned about that, because this day and
age about a third of the user's manual is legal
liability stuff. You know, there's like 90 pages on how
to use a seatbelt and how to engage the breaks, which I
think most of us know how to do. So once you take out
all the legal insulation copy, you find of get down to a
pretty short manual which hopefully will fit in the
quick-start guide. But it's the first car maker we know
of to go all DVD, get rid of the big book, and it's
starting with all the 010 model years. It's a mid-year
thing. Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge-branded vehicles. So
it's across the board. They throw out the usually green
washing numbers, saying it will save 30 tons of paper,
20,000 trees. I don't think it's a lot of trees in the
overall scope of things, but it's certainly a help. And
they're definitely getting some good green headlines for
doing that. Let's see what's new in the CNET Car Tech
garage. We've got some new cars coming in after our
break for Frankfort. By the way, check our Frankfort
coverage. We've got a link in the show notes today.
Great stuff. Wayne was there all over the floor, lots
of great photos and slideshows. I want to thank you for
a lot of great traffic to that site, by the way. Coming
up, we have the Genisis Coupe with navigation and the
Track Pack, we've got that in for additional review, if
you've already seen the first review it's going to be
the first car we've seen of that type that has the nav
and the firmer suspension, and also the automatic
transmission. So we've got more to add over our first
Genesis review. And we'll be talking about that in just
a moment. We've also got a BMW 650i convertible coming
in, a 2010. We just had the 2009 in not long ago.
We'll see what's new on that. And the Nissan 370 Z
Roadster, which is real fresh. Wayne got a sneak-peek
on that. Check that out on cars.cnet.com. He had some
time in that just a few days ago. And we'll have that
in for a full review in just a couple of weeks. So
these are some of the cars that are currently on deck.
And looking at the fact that two out of the three are
convertibles, it's a good thing we're based in
California, since we're getting pretty close to fall at
this point. No, I think we actually are in fall,
officially. Okay, let's get to some of your e-mail and
that. We bring in the whole team. We've got Wayne
Cunningham here, of course, and Antuan Goodwin to join
me on the e-mail that we have such a good flow of every
week. And I want to start off with our first one here,
guys, which goes back to a topic we had last week which
is -- I forget which user it was said my wife's got a
Corvette, it was an '07 I think, and the GPS system, the
factory GPS has no coverage of Hawaii, and they just got
transferred there. I think he was in the military. And
he was asking us and Antuan filled us in, it's like,
well, you're not going to get it. They're not going to
retrograde that, not going to update the DVD. And so
here we have a reply from another guy. This is Pedro
from Spirit Aerosystems who says I was listening to the
podcast, I've got two things I want to say. The first
was about the guy with the Corvette who couldn't get the
GPS nav system to work. I served five years in Hawaii,
I guess he was in the military too, and as a best guess
I think that previous caller or e-mailer was stationed
on Oahu. You cannot get lost on that island. It's 50
miles by 50 miles, and very few roads to the point that
it has basically three major highways, H1, H2, and H3.
I drove a beat-up '77 Chevy Nova there, and I never got
lost. Well we happen to have a Hawaiian in the house,
Mitch Chang who is our producer on CNET Car Tech videos,
and engineers our show right here. Mitchell, you're
from Hawaii. Is it true, is Oahu impossible to get lost
>> I mean, here's the thing. Just throughout of this,
when I was back there about two weeks ago, my mom who
has never left went to do a function and she actually
called me On the Road because she couldn't find the
place that he was looking for.
>> She's from there.
>> And she's from there. And so I can see the argument
for having a GPS system, because -- and here's the
thing. Like, if you're not from Hawaii, all the roads
in Hawaii are in Hawaiian names. So it will be equally
hard to find a road that you can even pronounce,
>> That's the biggest difficulty is you can't pronounce
>> Yeah. And so --
>> And you do have a fair number of, you know, pretty
rural roads in Hawaii.
>> Yeah, you do.
>> You don't really find that in the mainland as much.
Not around the cities.
>> No, but again -- the other person who replied has a
good point. If you're going to go to town, if you're
going from one place to another, you don't really need
it. It's easy to get to the highway, but if you're
trying to find some store that's in -- outside.
>> And it's not a very big island. So --
>> So once you get to the other shore you know you went
too far. Go the other way. You'll find your way back.
All right, the other one that was here that he
mentioned, my wife has a Blackberry Pearl with nav
system and I don't know what's up with it. The service
is intermittent. Why is that? The phone cannot get a
lock on nav system satellites, or is it AT&T service
can't deliver the maps, which I guess would be over 3G.
Either way, it's costing us about $10 a month for a
service that basically doesn't work. Antuan, any
guesses on what's the problem with a Blackberry Pearl
not getting nav. Is satellite or is 3G data more likely
>> Umm, with those kind a of smart phones, it's kind of
difficult to know if you're actually using the GPS or if
you're using cell phone triangulation.
>> Oh right.
>> They kind of alternate between whenever system the --
the -- the phone feels like it's getting the best
signal. So if they -- it's not getting a direct view of
the sky, I mean, which is kind of hard enough even to do
with a portable nav device mounted to your windshield,
getting a direct view of the sky. Your cell phone is in
your hand, it's in your pocket, a lot of times when
you're in the car it's like sitting down in your center
console. A metal roof between you and the sky. So
you're not exactly getting the clearest view of the sky
to begin with to get GPS reception. So your phone, what
it's going to do is switch over to using either cell
phone triangulation or Wi-Fi triangulation, which is
hardly accurate --
>> Pretty coarse.
>> Yeah. It will get you within a couple of blocks, but
I mean -- you really have a hard time locking it down to
the exact place and direction that you're heading.
>> All right. So the best advice is make sure that this
thing is up on the dash where it's got some line of
sight through the windshield, hopefully.
>> Yeah, a lot of third parties are starting to make
suction cups that you can buy a clip for, clip your
Blackberry on it. That will also keep you hands-free
while you're driving so you won't be looking down in
your lap. It will be safer, and you'll probably get a
little bit better reception.
>> Okay, so try that. That was again -- that came from
Pedro, the same guy who was talking about the GPS in
Hawaii. So Pedro, try that. The phone, if your wife's
using it and kind of keeping it on the seat next to her,
it doesn't see the sky. [Inaudible] sky, it can't pick
up the GPS readily. Sometimes it can struggle to get
some signal on a bounce. But have her put it up on the
dash, get one of those suction mounts that Antuan's
talking about. It will be safer, and it will hopefully
seat sky better. Okay, the next one here comes in for
Wayne. It's from Zachary who says love the CNET show.
It's the best. Congratulations on your new video
version all that, thank you so much. But I was
wondering how you guys pick the cars that you review and
then put up on the CNET reviews and on CNET TV. And we
get this one a lot. What's the secret.
>> Yeah, we've got this question before, and there's a
couple of -- I mean, we don't get the cars directly from
the manufacturers, not usually. Occasionally with some
of the manufacturers, they'll ship a car to us directly.
But there's a pool of cars that are reserved for
journalists, and there is a couple of press, like,
companies, in the Bay Area. And all over the country,
actually, in different major urban areas. And they
maintain these cars for the car companies. So we've got
two of these press [Inaudible] companies in the area.
One handles, like, BMW, Ford, Hyundai, companies like
that. The other one will handle Mercedes Benz, Audi,
you know, a range of other companies. And they'll send
me an inventory of cars that they currently have in.
>> And we all wait for this with baited breath, when
Wayne gets the new list. What's he got for us.
>> I know. It's like Christmas, actually. It's like
going through and I start -- okay, that looks good. I
really like the Mercedes Benz C 63 AMG. Okay, I'll --
>> Right next to the Kia Soul -- my God, crap.
>> Some cars we kind of have to review too, which -- but
you know --
>> We look for the tech in everything, but in some it's
easier than others.
>> Absolutely. And you know, some of -- you know, BMW
will always be high on the list. You know, Fords
lately, actually, have been fantastic.
>> So I always try to pick those. You know, but any
time there's a car that will seem like it has some sort
of tech interest, or if it's a completely new model too.
If it's something that we haven't seen, if anybody
hasn't seen yet. The Kia Soul is a good example. I
mean, that was a completely new model.
>> Yeah, that was actually a cool car, because it was
new and it had some interesting tech in it.
>> Yeah. It's a car we've got to check out. So we all
go through the list, send it back to the press plate
company, and they'll try to arrange a schedule for us.
The only problem is there's a bunch of other journalists
around the area that also want these cars. So we don't
necessarily get them in the order that we want them.
>> Yeah. So when someone has a request, which we get
once in a while. The Kia Soul was one, a lot of folks
say when are you going to do it. The Hyundai Genesis
was another one. When are you going to have it, when
are you going to have it, when are you going to have it.
We have a lot of those, and it's like we can't really
slot them that way.
>> Yeah. It's not quite as easy -- and actually, I have
sort of a little announcement base -- from here. Got a
new -- new schedule in that I haven't sent around to you
guys yet. We've got three Lexuses coming in.
>> Oh really?
>> Yeah. So looking forward to those.
>> A plethora of Lexora [Phonetic]. Good.
>> The convertible IS.
>> Oh nice.
>> Antuan's already driven that once.
>> That's a pretty cool little car.
>> So you guys are getting the early drop on your next
cars, even before I am. That's pretty good. All right.
So that's how'd we find our cars. We get them through a
rolling lottery pool thing that is not totally in our
control. So when you ask and request a car and we don't
have it right away, it's because it's not totally under
our control, it's the way the press, the automotive
review system works. All right, we're going to be
talking more about the Hyundai Genesis in a minute with
Antuan, that's our On the Road this week. Next one here
is for Antuan. Mark writes in my stereo in my '97
Nissan Maxima is creating weird distortions and
channel-switching, as he describes it. It's the factory
system, it's not non-Bose, it's four channel -- I think
he means four speakers -- and me and my dad are stumped
on this. Any time you turn on the volume -- or turn the
volume -- or hit a bump in the road the speakers change
in volume and the channels. It goes, like, from front
speaker only back to all the speakers, that kind of
thing. I was wondering what we can do to fix this
issue. Should we take out the stereo and swap in a new
one or try to see what's wrong with our current one,
Mark. Antuan, what can you do for him?
>> Well, it sounds like you've got some loose wires or
some frayed wires. Hopefully it's loose wires , because
loose wires can be pushed back into their sockets.
Basically what you're going to want to do is take the
stereo out and try receipting the wiring harness into
the back of the head unit itself. Give that a try for a
little bit. If that doesn't solve your problems you're
going to want to inspect those wires and make sure none
of them are frayed. And just exposing the copper --
actual interior of the wire. Because what's happening
-- what it sounds like is happening is whenever you hit
a bump or whenever you hit the volume you're actually
touching the unit with your hand so you're causing it to
move around a little bit. And what sounds like what's
happening is a couple of your wires may be touching each
other or becoming disconnected, or otherwise shorting
>> Which could even start a fire, if it was a primary
[Inaudible] which it probably isn't, but --
>> It sounds like a it's a speaker wire, looking as if
-- there probably won't be a fire. Usually not a lot of
power going through those. But it definitely makes
everything sound bad. If it is in fact a frayed wire
you're either going to want to repair those or replace
those. Because if you get a new car stereo you're going
to probably be plugging back into those exact same
wires. So the problem will still be there. It's a good
fix to go ahead and just do. And if you're not
comfortable with it just take it to a 12-volt shop.
>> And they shouldn't charge much to do that.
>> I mean, it's just a check is what it is.
>> Best case scenario, you have to wrap some black
electrical tape around it. I mean --
>> Yeah. On a '97 I would hope -- it's a factory
stereo, so hopefully it hasn't been monkeyed with.
Hopefully it's not frayed wires. Because that would be
kind of unusual for a car of that -- you know, that
recent vintage. It could also be the plugs in the back.
Specific if he's in a humid climate, could have been
corroded back there. So if you take that radio out,
unplug and replug all these multi-pin connectors that
are on the back. And look at them. If they're corroded
or grimy you can go down to, like, not Radio Shack.
They don't sell anything interesting any more. But
electronics hobby shop near you. And there's like this
contact cleaner, it's this nasty chemical. But it blows
a lot of corrosion off of contacts. Plug it back in.
To take that radio out -- I'm not sure if this applies
your Nissan, but it probably does. Guys, I put a new
link in the Google doc, if you can pull that up. And
it's a radio removal tool that you might need to pull
out that and many other -- basically it's this little
tool that's kind of like two prongs that you stick into
holes on the side. A lot of Fords have this too. And
you push that in to release these little metal catches.
And then you can slide the face, the whole head unit
out. Without that, it doesn't come out easily. It's
kind of an anti theft thing. But you can make one of
these. Don't be fooled by buying one of these for 10
bucks. Get a wire coat hanger, cut it to about 8
inches, bend it into a horse shoe, and you've got a
radio removal tool.
>> Yeah. That's what I used to use.
>> So much easier. Instead of buying one of these dumb
>> All you have to do is pop the clips. That's all
you're doing is reaching in there and popping the clips.
>> Yeah. So envision them being -- there's these clips
that are on the side of the radio behind the face plate,
hanging onto the inside of that dim slot. They're
hanging on, you can't see them. You've got to get in
there and release those. That's why they make these
tools. Other cars use more of a flat-looking thing that
goes into a slot.
>> Well, I mean, I think an older Nissan -- because
actually -- I just actually did some work on a Sentra
recently. A lot of times you have to actually pop the
dash plastic off and the stereo will be held in with a
couple of hex bolts.
>> Okay, so --
>> Still very easy to do.
>> Yeah, that's easy. Just a little more -- a little
more parts to take out. But it's not hard. So
realizing you have to pop off your face plate. And they
make special, like, plastic putty knives, basically.
>> Yeah, putty knife or a plastic spade or something
>> Yeah. That'll pop that off without gouging the
>> Or a screwdriver wrapped in tape.
>> Oh, good idea. Just wrap it in that same electrical
tape you're going to need to fix your wires.
>> So when you're in there you can do that. Okay, we've
got one more e-mail before we get to our On the Road
segment with Wayne and Antuan. And this is the one that
we're going to throw it over to Wayne. It's from Brian,
a Hotmail account. He writes in, in all of your Car
Tech reviews which is the best car audio, which is the
best navigation, which is the best usability -- I think
he means interface, that has the best learning Curve and
being intuitive. This is like the big question.
>> Right. Well actually the end of every year we've
been doing our Car Tech awards. And we have several
awards for best stereo, best general tech, you know, we
kind of cover a lot of this ground in our end of the
year, you know, round up of these things in these
awards. Of course, you know, if you don't want to wait
until the end of the year, and who does, the -- in our
ratings, it actually, we really score our -- in our
ratings for cars we really weight cabin tech heavily.
We rate it even above engine and transmission tech.
>> That's our mission here, the whole tech side of
>> That's our focus. So any car that's rated really
highly is going to have good cabin tech. That's just
the way the weighting works. And actually if you're
looking at our site, you're looking at one of our
reviews, you can mouse over the rating and you'll get
the breakdown. Because there's three components to that
rating. The top component I think we call it comfort in
there. And that's actually all the cabin tech. And
anything that's, you know, 8 or above is going to be --
>> Really good.
>> Pretty good. Yeah. It's going to have nav, it's
going to have, you know, really, when we get to 9 level,
that's hard drive-based nav, that's a lot of you know,
driver-aid features, stuff like that. And then also we
have a design sub rating there too. A little less --
little less weight on that. But that also covers
usability. How easy it is to find your way around the
nav -- the systems in there. And so for example all the
old BMWs with old iDrive systems scored terrible in that
>> That's -- that reflects interface.
>> And we hated the old iDrive. Everyone did. All
right, yeah, so mouse over the stars, the red stars,
which is the CNET official editor's rating. The blue
stars are users. It's a different thing. Mouse over
the red, hover on that. And you get comfort, which we
weight less. Right?
>> Actually comfort is the highest-weighted one.
Because that includes cabin tech.
>> Oh that includes cabin tech. Okay, and we have
performance, which is the one that's a little more of
the routine stuff that we don't focus on quite as much.
>> Transmission --
>> That kind of thing. Handling, suspension.
>> And then design is the other one to look at for how
things work and how the interface is laid out.
>> And of course in the write up we always try to cover
how does that stereo sound, how well does the audio
system work with an iPod, how well does the navigation
>> So we don't have any particular -- we don't keep a
running tally of who is the highest-rated nav system or
audio rig or interface right now because people don't
buy cars really that way, we like to think so. But
people don't just say I want the best stereo, what car
do I buy. They buy cars for a lot of other reasons that
are more, you know, practical and pragmatic than that.
But in terms of interpreting the technology, that's the
way you read our reviews. That's the way Wayne's got it
structured here in terms of really reading the tea
leaves of what's in there. And then you can dive down
into those three buckets. That's also how we break out
the actual review copy is according to those same three
buckets that go into the star rating. So that's how you
use the CNET Car Tech review and really get down to what
you're talking about. Okay folks, time for that great
part of the week, every week, when we go On the Road
with these two guys, who -- trust me, would raise your
pulse if you ever went out with either of them. As
we're going to see here. This week we go On the Road in
a car that we've actually seen before, as we mentioned
earlier. But this time we have one that has all the
tech in it, and all the track toys and still not much of
a number on the MSRP, which we think is pretty cool. So
Wayne and Antuan are going to take us now for a short
run in the Hyundai Genesis Coupe with nav and the Track
Pack as we go on On the Road. Check it out.
>> And so we're talking about the tech here.
>> Yeah, I guess we can get back to the tech now that
we're going in a straight line. I don't have to hold on
for dear life. But this is the first time we've seen
Hyundai's new navigation system. It's actually the
reason we're testing this car again. And we've got a --
kind of actually it might be a bit of a smallish LCD
here in the center stack, full color, touch-screen.
>> It's got traffic on it, which is good. But doesn't
-- I don't think there's any facility to rip CDs to a
hard drive here. So --
>> You know, the resolution doesn't look that great.
Pretty good voice command system that we were able to
test out earlier, that will allow you to speak proper
names of streets. It does a really cool thing where it
kind of puts the commands up on screen so for those
first few two or three days when you're trying to figure
out how to use it, you can always get a little cheat
sheet. And then after you learned the command you can
just hit a button and say find an address. And it will
ask you what city do you want to go to, and you just say
>> Yeah, they really modernized the audio system too.
It's got an iPod integration, which I think might be
standard. And this car, being the top of the line, has
this Infinity sound system, which has center channel,
there's a couple -- a sub woofer in a couple of the
speakers on the rear deck, a lot of speakers around us
here. We were talking a little bit earlier about the
price on this car.
>> Yeah. We were saying that it's about 34, 32 --
>> 32, actually.
>> 32. And that's for everything. You get the big 3.8
liter engine, you get the navigation system, this is the
top of the line Track Pack Genesis. I mean, that's
pretty much where you get in the door in Infinity G37.
I don't know if you really cross out these cars. I know
Hyundai actually said with their own -- in their own
materials that they were targeting the G37 as a bench
mark. So I'm holding them to their own, you know, their
own standard. But that's where you get in the door of a
G37. That's before you add anything. That's a
>> I think it's funny too, you know, that you can't
actually spend any more on this car. 32,000 is the most
you can spend on a Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
>> I'm sure I can find a way to spend more.
>> Oh yeah.
>> Oh yeah, trust me, we can find a way to spend more on
it. Just wouldn't be in the factory accessories. All
right guys, let's talk about this Genesis Coupe. The
price comes to mind right away, right? I mean, this is
a pretty scorching deal.
>> Yeah. 32,000, and that's with the automatic
transmission, which you don't want.
>> Right. So take off what, probably a grand?
>> Take off a grand for that and -- so bring it down to
31. So that's got your navigation, you've got your
Track Pack which is good. I mean, I was actually just
out blasting around in that car in the Santa Cruz
mountains out here. A lot of great corners and just
loving that Track Pack. I mine, that track suspension
makes it handle those corners so well. And I was
looking at the speedometer as I was taking these
corners, and realizing wow, I rarely go this fast around
>> Coming from Wayne, that says something. Believe me.
And this time this car we got in that has the technology
upgrade on it, Antuan was pointing out, has a G force
meter and a fuel economy gauge side by side.
>> Actually it's a torque -- it's an --
>> That's right, it's a torque thing and a fuel economy
>> Basically, it's showing you how much torque you have
available at any given time. So of course I guess kind
of if you've ever seen a dino sheet, you'll know that as
your revs go up your torque increases to a certain
point. But it's very interesting because it's -- I
don't know, it's just kind of weird. Because one of
them will go up and the other will go down.
>> You can never have both.
>> [Inaudible] set it about mid range, and you step on
the gas and it will do this number again. It's --
>> I don't know how valuable it is. Because when I was
out driving just now, sport driving, I wasn't looking at
that. There was no way I was going to be looking at
that as I was, you know, looking at the corners ahead,
you know, trying to figure out --
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> -- dipping into the torque, you least want to look at
a gauge of torque.
>> I think it's cool to have. I mean -- it's like a
cool little -- I guess they had to put something there.
And rather than filling the whole thing up with a fuel
economy gauge, which seems like their other alternative
would have been, it's kind of easier --
>> Which would be too green for that car, too nerdy.
>> -- look at.
>> Yeah. Yeah. The screen Antuan, you thought was a
little on the small side.
>> It's only 640 by 480 on the resolution. It's really
>> But at least they didn't try to make it a big screen.
Because that would look worse if it was 9 inches. So at
least they kept the real estate small so the dot pitch
wasn't too bad.
>> It looked a little crappy to me. And it didn't
really -- the whites didn't look particularly white. It
looked a little yellowish.
>> Yeah. Now I thought the -- I thought it had pretty
good response. You thought it was kind of sluggish.
You thought that the button response was pretty good.
>> The actual, like, when you tap the screen response
was good. But then you tap the screen and it would take
it a second to slide the map over.
>> Okay, okay yeah. The processing --
>> It was pulling the data down.
>> Yeah, I noticed that with the zoom in and zoom out
too. It was a little bit of a pause once you hit that.
And I was actually testing the data to figure out if
that's actually DVD or hard drive.
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> I think it's Flash-based.
>> I actually did a little bit of research after we got
out of the car and I think it's Flash memory based.
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> Which is cool, but not performing too well. It's
>> Yeah. Well you know, a bad processor, and this was
the problem with Volkswagen for a long time, still kind
of is, is they would have these really slow processors.
And so the -- they might even have a hard drive-based
maps, but they just wouldn't refresh very fast because
they've got some cheap graphics processor in there.
>> Yeah, couldn't keep up.
>> And the maps just don't keep up with where the car
>> Yeah. We never really know what's causing these
systems to run well or badly because it's a combination,
like you say, of the CPU, the graphics subsystem, where
the data is stored, you know, a whole lot of things are
going on in there. And you know, the car makers don't
make these systems. They buy them from vendors who do
them for them, whether it's Denzo or Clairon or
Panasonic and others, Pioneer, who make these systems
who never have their name on them. So that's part of
the -- part of the difference as well. It's sometimes
hard to figure out. This car -- sorry.
>> Back to the Genesis Coupe, I was just about to say
that that navigation still does have traffic, though.
Which is nice.
>> Yeah. We saw a little snippet of that in the video.
You can overlay a list of the issues, and it will also
color the road by condition.
>> And I've gotten really to rely on that. It's hard to
drive a car without traffic on the nav because you know
there's trouble spots and you know, you just kind of
want to know about those in advance. Well especially --
because we've been in a lot of cars that have traffic in
them, and we get used to it, you know, doing what we do.
And anyone who has driven a car with traffic, once you
go away from that --
>> You're spoiled.
>> You're spoiled. You -- feels like a luxury, if
you're listening to us and you've never driven a car
that has traffic on the nav. But get used to it a
little bit, it's like -- you feel like you're driving
blind without it. It's like, I have no idea what's
ahead of me. I know where the road is, I don't know
what I'm about to drive into unless I turn the radio on
and wait for some report that's 15 minutes away. So
that's a little bit much. That car sounds really good.
>> I was just listening in our recording there, some of
that engine sound was coming through.
>> Yeah. Fantastic with the, you know, the foot on the
accelerator, listening to that engine wind up. It's a
good, meaty growl. That's the 3.8 liter V6, of course.
We haven't driven the 2.4 liter.
>> They're not putting that in the press [Inaudible] I
>> I've actually -- we've driven the 2.0 at the track.
>> Did you? I haven't driven --
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> -- at the track. And --
>> What was it like?
>> I mean, it just seemed -- it didn't seem
underpowered, but it's pretty much the same experience,
but without any torque.
>> The engine -- like, the engine noise, of course, is
that turbo transforce [Assumed spelling] kind of whine.
But the car still feels strong. It just -- it's just a
little gutless at the bottom end.
>> Yeah. Just [Inaudible] has to get spooled up.
>> It just seems like it just -- they put that car out
because they know there's a tuner market of people who
are willing -- just ready to tear that 2.0 liter engine
apart and -- that's pretty much what it seems like that
car is there for.
>> Yeah. And that brings the price down. So a lot of
the people who couldn't afford it can afford it. I
mean, it's cheap enough as it is, but when you go to the
2, with the inline 4, it's a -- what is it, a mid-20s
car -- mid --
>> It's pretty cheap.
>> I think it starts at 22, actually.
>> Yeah. I mean, it's a --
>> [Inaudible] price range at that point.
>> It's amazing. That car prints more car than a civic.
It prints, like, a substantial car.
>> Yeah, yeah. It looks kind of meaty and big.
>> It's kind of biggest.
>> Yeah. You look at the side, it's not actually -- I
was examining it closely, and the -- the proportions --
it actually looks shorter -- I think it's shorter than
it looks, actually.
>> Yeah. The lines fool you. Looks like you bought up
a class in car. Especially if we can compare it
reasonably to a Civic SI. It just looks like a
different class of car. Civic SI prints inexpensive
>> I've got to ask you guys. I don't really like the
look of that car. The lines -- I don't know, I don't
like the lines on it. I don't like that broken belt
line down the side --
>> It's a little tortured, I think.
>> Yeah. ^M00:36:30
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> I think it looks better from certain angles.
>> Yeah. That's a charitable way to put it.
>> And I don't think that angle --
>> That's a nice way to put it, right. Let's go back.
Do we have that image of that -- the Hyundai -- we had
that up here a little while ago. Let's see if we can --
we go to the Hyundai site, I think we can take a look,
because I've got to refresh my mind. I know the lines
on it look a little bit busy.
>> A lot of stuff going on.
>> Yeah. A lot of stuff going on in terms of them
trying to make it look hip, I think, and it kind of
reminded me -- it replaced the Tiburon [Assumed
spelling] didn't it?
>> Well, not really. The Tiburon was a front wheel
drive. But I guess --
>> All right. But it kind of placed it in their line
up, even though it's much more car. Yeah. There it is
there. Definitely trying to be a G, isn't it?
>> It's got those lines down the hood, which kind of
bring in the hood off of the front fenders.
>> Yeah, it's almost too much.
>> Yeah, I think it only just really gets --
>> Beats the hell of the Tiburon.
>> The Tiburon was a little silly-looking car. I mean,
I almost -- I wanted to buy one of those, but I don't
want to admit that too often.
>> I think that -- right before they cancelled it
actually looked a little -- it looked good, toward the
end, like their engine was not good. They threw that V6
in it that had no power.
>> Oh, that's right. I forgot about that. They tried
to bail it out at the last minute there. Okay, any
other thoughts on the Genesis Coupe?
>> Well, one thing I want to point out too, messing
around with the technology a little bit more, the cabin
tech, this has the really cool new Bluetooth phone
system that we've seen in the Kias as well. You pair
your phone up to it, it reads your address book, and
then you say, you know, call Antuan Goodwin --
>> It just knows. It's Sync -like, in that respect.
>> Exactly. Works just like Sync. It will say office,
home, or cell.
>> Even with my odd-spelled first name.
>> I know, because Antuan's not spelled the French way.
>> No, it's spelled Spanish.
[ Laughter ]
>> But the funny thing about this though, and I don't
know if this is just a glitch with the iPhone,
connecting an iPhone to, like, the Hyundai and the Kia
systems. But it does last name first.
>> Oh, that's right. I noticed that in the Kia we were
>> Yes. So actually with iPhone paired to the system,
I'd have to say Goodwin, Antuan.
>> Yeah. And if you don't know that it's going to not
find the name.
>> It will find something approximate.
>> Do you have your iPhone Synced to exchange?
>> Yeah. I do.
>> I think it might be something about --
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> There's an extra field in Outlook where it's -- what
your name is, and what your name is listed as. Then it
may be pulling that --
[ Multiple voices speaking ]
>> Yeah, it's reading the -- that might be your problem.
>> Yeah, it's kind of goofy though. I also noticed
another little issue about it today too. I had my --
well, I thought I had my iPhone paired to it. I jumped
in the car, hooked the iPhone -- the iPod connector up
as well. Driving along, listening to music. Noticed it
wasn't actually paired to the Bluetooth system. And so
I pulled over because I wanted to get the phone
functionality there too. Pulled over, paired it to the
Bluetooth system, and then suddenly the music stops.
And I'm going like, what, okay. Start messing around
with it. Eventually just had to unplug it from the iPod
connector, replug it in, music starts, the phone part's
paired up. So it worked fine.
>> I had a little bit of a bugginess using my Bold,
which has H2DP streaming. I paired it with -- under the
phone menu, which should pair everything. The
media-streaming and the hands-free. We were doing a
how-to video on how to do that. And every other time I
tried it, it would just do the phone technology and it
wouldn't pair the media playback. So I don't know if
there's a glitch there, or if we were just doing it too
many times in a row and the car got confused. But we do
have H2DP stereo wireless Bluetooth streaming in that
car also, which I guess is part of that ungraded head
unit. I don't think the non-nav car has that. That's
real nice, because then you have no cable or wire to
worry about. You are just streaming. But you are of
course not going to be able to charge your device that
way like you would with the iPhone or the iPod cable.
The last thing I want to talk about was the transmission
on that car. We had an automatic this time. Manual
last time. Remember, that car was a real -- it was real
hard -- not hard driving, but it was real firm inputs on
everything. It was a real track-feeling car, even
though it didn't have the Track Pack on it. But I mean,
the transmission was really rigid feeling and the power
got to the wheels really crisply. Did we lose a lot of
>> Well you know, actually that car reminded -- I was
thinking about it today. That car reminded me a lot of
the Corvette. The Corvette has that, you know,
excellently-engineered car, but it has that kind of real
mechanical feeling to it, where --
>> Real direct.
>> Yeah. Real direct. But also very mechanical. Where
you get into a Ferrari, and it kind of smooths over all
>> Yeah. Well it better.
>> That extra 150 grand better go somewhere.
>> Yeah. It's kind of just a little more refined
experience all around. And the Hyundai Genesis Coupe
has that same kind of brutish mechanical --
>> Yeah, you're right. Brutish. That's kind of what it
feels like. Real -- kind of like -- almost like an
>> Yeah. The automatic -- six-speed automatic kind of
smooths over that. It's got paddles on the steering
wheel so you can manually shift with those. But it's
got that torque -- torque converter softness to the
shifts which -- it was disappointing.
>> Little slippery.
>> You know, you don't get those -- I mean, I was just
wishing for a DSG or something when I was pushing those
>> It's just an automatic. Nothing special. It's not a
DSG. It's not even a terribly advanced automatic. They
don't brag much about it. They just say it's six-speed
automatic with paddles.
>> Right. Don't want to push the clutch that's your
>> I'm glad it's a six-speed automatic and not a five or
a four. Can you imagine?
>> At that price it could have been a five-speed, and
you really couldn't knock them for it. It's like, well
all right, the thing came in at 32 tops, so yeah, I
would -- cut them some slack. But a six is a relatively
advanced automatic these days. It's not an eight. But
it's not -- it's no slouch. It's not a stale gearbox.
All right folks, so that is one of the latest cars we
have in the CNET garage. It's the Hyundai Genesis Coupe
with the Track Pack and the navigation rig, which is
upgraded from the last Genesis Coupe that we had in.
And don't forget like I mentioned we've got a lot of
great cars coming in, including two very hot
convertibles, the 650i from BMW, the 2010, and we've got
the new Nissan 370 Z Roadster. If you want to get a
sneak-peak, go check over at cars.cnet.com where Wayne
got an early drive on it. But our full review and video
are still pending. And that car comes in about a
week-and-a-half, two weeks. We'll have that up for you
ASAP. That's our show for this week. Remember how to
get a hold of us. E-mail is easy. Car Tech at
cnet.com, all three of us get that at the same time.
Show notes. Car Tech dot cnet.com. It's where you can
find all of our past shows. We're all on Twitter. I'm
Brian Cooley. B-R-I-A-N C-O-O-L-E-Y -- Antuan is Antgoo
-- A-N-T-G-O-O -- don't ask, and Wayne is Waynec_sf on
Twitter. We'll see you next week. Thanks.
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