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Rising Car Battery Prices; Stressful Car Buying Situations; Replacement for Ultra High Mileage Camry

Rising Car Battery Prices; Stressful Car Buying Situations; Replacement for Ultra High Mileage Camry

This episode we answer
audience questions, including how can the car buying
experience be improved, why? have car batteries
gotten so expensive, can we pick a replacement for
a 400,000-mile Toyota Camry? Next, on Talking Cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] [PNEUMATIC WRENCH] Hi, everybody. Welcome to another episode. I’m Mike Monticello. I’m Keith Barry. And I’m Jennifer Stockberger. And back by popular demand, it’s
another all-questions episode. (SOFTLY) Yay. It’s the craze that’s
sweeping the nation. [LAUGHTER] All questions, all the time. And some from Canada, too. It’s an international craze. Sure. [LAUGHTER] Yeah. Seriously, though. We do get a backlog
of questions, so every once in a while,
we like to take an episode and dedicate it, 100%, to
answering your questions. So, we’re going
to do that today. Great. I just want to remind you,
send those questions, comments, 30-second video clips to
[email protected] So without further
ado, let’s get started, and let’s start with
video questions. Producer Tolley, why don’t you
run that first clip for us, and let’s see what
we have today? Recently, I had to replace a
battery in my 2017 Elantra, and the total for that
battery is like 230, I think. Or, it was like $250,
something high like that. Why is it so much more expensive
now than it was in the past? Another question I have is, when
I leave my USB cable plugged up or any of my chargers plugged
up to my car with it being off, is it still draining my
battery or is it turned off? OK, Jen. So, what’s going on here? Are batteries getting
more expensive? They are, and it’s a
change in battery type. So what Molick has
experienced is this change to absorbed glass mat,
AGM, types of batteries. So the good thing is,
the expense doesn’t come without some benefit. So what they are is a different
type of lead acid battery, that is better at repeated
draining and charging, and better supports
all the draw, stop-start technology,
electronic safety and convenience features,
additional power outlets, et cetera, but they
are, on NR ratings, 40% to 100% more
expensive than traditional lead acid batteries. So– That’s a hard hit on the wallet. Newer vehicles are
absolutely coming with them. We just updated battery
ratings on, and you see the top batteries
in nearly all of the sizes are in the $200 to $300 range. Wow. As Molik experienced. They are these AGM-type. As they are coming
on most new vehicles to support all this
additional power. Yeah, right. Malik was also
wondering about leaving things plugged in the car, how
much that drains his battery? If you leave a USB
cord plugged in and you have your
phone plugged in, it is going to drain the
battery for a little while, but modern cars, only
for a little while. Eventually, it’ll
shut off, and so, whether you have a phone plugged
into that USB cord or not, or even just the
USB cord on its own. It’s not going to draw. It’s not going to draw
on the battery at all. So if that’s what’s going
on, that’s not the problem. Right. And even if it does, these AGM
better support that discharge and give you longer life. So hopefully, Malik, you see
some life out of your expense. Now, you can’t also, though,
right, you can’t swap out. If your car comes
with an AGM, you can’t put in lead acid or
another type of battery, right? Right. So I was equating it to
what we say about tires. Get the type your car came with. I think the same
applies to batteries. You can’t save a
couple of bucks. Because if it needed
that electrical support, it still needs that
electrical support. We don’t want to go backwards
to its traditional lead acid. All right. Let’s go to another
video question. This one is from James. Let’s take a look. My wife and I saw a
commercial on TV the other day that said that 98% of Subarus
were still on the road after 10 years. And I thought that
was impressive. But then the more
we thought about it, we wondered how many other
car companies could say that. Anyway, what is the
average lifespan of a car? Thanks so much. Bye. OK, so what we think James
is talking about here is an ad where Subaru says 96%
of Subaru Legacy vehicles sold in the last 10 years are
still on the road today. And that number’s
based on US vehicles in operation versus
total new registrations. Right. And that seems like
a really good number. And it is a good number. And what the takeaway really
is is that Subarus generally hold their value well. So then because they
hold their value, there’s more
incentive for an owner to spend some money
to keep the car going. Yeah. And that’s part of
the reason why you’re seeing these big numbers. And also, generally, this
means that 10-year-old Subarus haven’t had a catastrophic
engine or transmission failure. So again, because when you
have that huge expense, that’s when you’re going
to get rid of the car and maybe go to the
junkyard at that point. So that’s a good
thing for Subaru. It means that they’re
holding up well. That’s a big part of why
that number is so huge. The other thing is
that keep in mind, the average age of a car on US
roads right now is 11.8 years. So most cars out there
are almost 12 years old. So there’s a lot of older cars
on the road, not just Subarus. Other companies used to use– I remember years
ago, Toyota would say 90% of Corollas sold since– it was, like, some
time in the ’90s, they’re still on the road. And that was when they
were really trying to push reliability there. But I wish they would
have these for cars that are a little more
obscure, so you can find out 0.001% of Ford Pintos
are still on the road. It’s a great indicator
of reliability. It really is. Resale value. Can you find them used? And like you say, how
many are still out there? It’s a great indicator. Yep. OK. Let’s go to another
video question. Hi, Consumer Reports. I wanted to share
some highlights in the lifetime of my 1997
Toyota and ask a question. I’m ready to purchase again. My idea is to get a hybrid. I want a compact or midsize
SUV that is all-wheel drive and has enough cargo space to
transport two bicycles in it at times. I’m getting around 24 miles
per gallon on the Camry now. Can any hybrid match
the comfort and power that I’ve become
accustomed to in the Camry? Thanks for all of your help
and advice through many years. OK, so Larry has a
400,000-mile Camry. God. That’s fantastic. Impressive. Kudos to Larry and the car,
for him taking care of it and for the car
taking care of him. But of course, now he
wants to replace it. So, Keith, do you have
some ideas for him? Yeah, well, first of
all, have any of you had a car with that many– I got close to 4. I got, like, 365 on a Volvo 940. And it was kind of a car
that got passed around. And then the odometer broke. My Tacoma has about 200,000. And I think I shared, my nephew
has a 4Runner over 3 now. I’ve shared that
before, I think. Not bad. Do we see a trend there? Yeah. Toyota, Toyota, Toyota. Well, aside from– well,
it was an older car. Right. Yeah, I like the idea
of the hybrid RAV not just because you’re
getting good fuel economy– 37 miles per gallon
overall is what we got– but it’s better
in every way than the car that you currently have,
other than the fact that you’ll have to pay for it. But no repairs
that might crop up. And also, I like the
hybrid RAV4 because it’s a better car than the
regular RAV4, which is– Definitely true. –kind of loud. And also, because there
are less wear and tear on parts of hybrid
vehicles, I’ve had hybrids that have
got to 200,000 miles. And your brakes, you’ll have
to have them probably changed less often, because those
regenerative brakes, they dissipate the heat better. They turn it into energy as
opposed to having that go back to the brakes. So they don’t wear
out as quickly. So I like it. It’s not a science project
that’s going to fail quickly. Look at some of the
hybrid taxis on the road. They have hundreds and
hundreds of thousands miles. Yeah. And the RAV4 Hybrid is not going
to have the power and the feel of his Camry V6 for sure. He could wait for– the Highlander Hybrid is
going to be redesigned. It’ll be on sale
next spring 2020. You could wait for that. And possibly, we’ve
heard that Honda’s been– there’s been a rumor that the
CR-V Hybrid is going to come. It’s sold in other markets. It’s rumored that
it’s going to come. We’re possibly going to
see it at the LA Auto Show this coming November, but
we can’t guarantee that. But would you say RAV4
Hybrid as well probably? So oddly, I had the RAV4 Hybrid. Oh. Shocker. Winner! But to you say, I
did some homework. Back when we tested the 1997
Camry V6 that Larry has, 8.67 seconds zero to
60, 25 miles per gallon. So he’s getting 24. That’s not bad. No. No. But RAV4 Hybrid? 7.81. It’s quicker. It’s quicker than your V6. And 37 miles per gallon. And I had exactly the same. RAV4 Hybrid. If Larry can’t fit the bikes,
if it’s not quite big enough, Highlander Hybrid. We’re all on the same page. Yeah, you could wait for
the Highlander Hybrid. Yep. OK. So let’s go to the
next video question. Jeff in Ohio. Let’s take a look. Hey, Consumer Reports. This is Jeff from
Shaker Heights, Ohio. When I look at your
ratings for snow tires, they do much worse with
braking distances and grip when the roads are just
wet or even dry, much worse than all-season tires. Most of the time, the
streets have been plowed and they’re clear. Very seldom am I actually
driving through snow. Shouldn’t I just keep my
all-seasons on my Prius and just drive more
slowly if there actually is snow on the ground, because
the all-season tires do so much better than snow tires when
the surface is just wet or even dry, even in the Snowbelt? Thank you very much. So we’re going to throw this
one to you, Jen, tire tester extraordinaire. Jeff is wondering about
the downsides of snow tires on dry pavement versus
all-season tires on snowy conditions. Right. So this is the classic– Jeff is in the classic
all-season versus winter tire dilemma, because we have the
same exact conditions here in Connecticut. Yes, we end up
driving in some snow. But most of the time,
the roads are clear. What isn’t maybe clear is
that our tire ratings are on a universal scale, meaning
that dry and wet braking, as he’s looking
specifically at, for ultra high-performance
summer tires are on the same scale
as the winter tires. So yes, when you look
at the winter tire dry and wet braking
ratings, they’re pretty low. That’s compared to the
ultimate grip dry and wet of the UHP tires, ultra
high-performance tires. So yes, you are
going to compromise dry and wet grip
versus your all-season, but it’s not to a
dangerous level. It’s certainly something
you need to be aware of. You’re not going get
the braking distance you did with your all-season. But in my mind, if you have
to drive in snow any time, the benefits outweigh
that compromise and risk– The benefits– –for that short season. –of the braking traction– Right. –et cetera, of the winter
tire versus the all-season. Right. In snow. And it’s funny, Jeff’s still
using the word snow tire. We’ve actually opted
to go with winter tire, because there are advantages
in the rubber compounds. They stay grippier
at cold temperatures. So that’s the other benefit,
not just the biting edges for getting in the snow. So even if there isn’t
snow on the road– Correct. So there are some
benefits even outside of– They work better in
those really cold temps. Correct. Oh, OK. Correct. So yes, if you’re
someone who has to drive, the benefits outweigh
the compromise in dry and wet braking. Right. And it’s difficult, because any
time you drive in the winter, you don’t know when you’re going
to get caught in a snowstorm. So even if you plan on, if it’s
snowing today, I won’t go out, well, what about if
you were out and you didn’t know it was going to
snow or snow to that level? And how often does
that happen to us? It definitely happens a lot. A freak storm that comes up in
the middle of the afternoon. Really good question. Better safe than sorry. Yeah. Let’s move on to
our next question. This one is from Steve. Steve says, “I’ve been
shopping for my next truck and have noticed how stressed
out and unhappy customers look.” He saw us. Yeah. “I felt that way myself
trying to negotiate a lease. I remember when Saturn
changed the game by making the car buying an
ownership experience better. Why don’t manufacturers
put more effort into doing this as well?” Keith, you’ve bought
a lot of cars. So I’m going to
throw this to you. But also, when you
think about it, think about how easy it is to
buy so many items these days, except the one thing that
has kind have remained the same is buying a car. Really hasn’t changed that much
in terms of the final process of going to the dealer
and getting the car. Yeah, so a little backstory. Saturn, I’m sure
most people remember, but they started off with
this sort of no-haggle idea. And it turned out they
didn’t make as much money. And people also expected to
haggle, because even nowadays– It’s just a given. –there are some places
that have no-haggle pricing. And you do tend to
pay a little bit more than the people who
haggle at haggle dealers. They’re not going to give you
the absolute lowest price. I will say, the most
recent car that I bought, anonymously agreed on the
price, et cetera, figured out. And then when I showed up, they
said to me, oh, we’re so sorry. We made a mistake. It’s actually $1,000 more. Wow. And they expected me just
to, oh, OK, here you go. And I had to let them know. I said, well, OK, well, then I
guess I’m not buying this car. And I wasn’t– I mean, I was to my car. And the manager
ran out after me. Yeah, and why do
you have to do that? Why do you have to– and the
thing that made me so upset is that a lot of people, I’m
sure probably half of people, would just say, oh, OK, I guess. Here’s another $1,000. It is what it is. I have to do it. Yeah. $1,000. That’s a lotta money. That’s a lotta,
lotta, lotta money. So I think part of the
issue is that there’s this disconnect between– and we’ve talked
about this before, the disconnect between
carmakers and dealerships. So you’ll notice that these
dealerships now, they’ve all gotten renovated, they all
have coffee bars and places. I just go to them to hang out. No, I really– Yeah, no, you really– it’s the– Yeah, she does. –last place I want to hang out. I’m kidding. Yeah, and those are sort of
dictated by the automakers. So they made these
dealers– hey, you want to keep your whatever– Franchise? –franchise, you have to
build this fancy palace. And, oh, by the way,
you have to sell this many of this type
of cars, and then you have to pay for
building this place. So these dealerships
now basically are forced to pay
off these places. I think something that’s
very interesting is– not to bring it back the
French cars, as I tend to, but Peugeot is talking about
if they ever return to the US market that they’re not
going to force people to build these giant palaces. And dealers will
therefore be able to stock whatever they want. And maybe it’ll save them
a little money on overhead. I don’t know how much of
that is actually the problem or if that’s just they
can’t convince someone to spend a ton of money
on a Peugeot dealership. But it’s an ongoing problem. And it seems like it’s not
going to change that soon. Our perennial
advice, be prepared. And be ready to walk
if you’re not happy. And let the manager
chase you out to your– And he did. –car. That’s what he did. That’s what I mean. Yeah. And just very politely, no. No, I’m not paying that. Goodbye. See ya. I wasn’t being rude. Really good question. And if they don’t
chase after you, they’ll called you the next day. Yeah. Hopefully, things will get
better at the dealers– Yeah. –hopefully soon. Sooner than later. OK, next question is from JP. JP says, I have a
2017 Mercedes Benz GLC with automatic
emergency braking, and have long wondered if
automatic emergency braking stops the vehicle
even when I’m actively pressing the gas pedal. If I press the gas with
DISTRONIC PLUS engaged, which is Mercedes’ adaptive
cruise control system, it displays that I’m
overriding the system. I realize this is not AEB,
but it uses related sensors. Just wondering if the gas
pedal overrides AEB, too. And so the way AEB
is designed is that– and we know because
we’ve tested these– if you’re driving down the
road, and you’re at steady state throttle, and let’s say
you’re looking over here, and the first thing
it’s going to do is forward collision warning. It’s going to warn you. [WARNING BELL] And then if you
don’t react, it’s going to slam on the brakes and
try and stop the car before you hit whatever you’re hitting. And in our testing,
what we found is that if we keep a steady
state throttle heading toward our target car,
a collapsible car, the system will
bring it to a stop, still with the same
throttle amount, full stop. And then after a few
seconds, it will– Give it back. –then let the car
start going again. And the throttle–
the tests are never changed at that
throttle position. So the point is, yes,
if you’re driving down the road with a regular
amount of throttle, it will override
that throttle and it will stop the car,
because that’s what it’s designed to do. And that’s across
multiple brands, right? Yeah. Yes. Now, every system works
a little differently. These are made by
suppliers typically. So every supplier does
things slightly differently. There’s different parameters. Some forward collision
warning systems react sooner than others. And I think forward
collision warning and AEB, they’re looking that
you’re still accelerating, and they’re going, hey,
hey, hey, this car’s coming, but you’re still
on the throttle. It’s part of their logic. There’s a whole lot of
logic involved there. As opposed to if you’re braking,
they go, oh, you see it, we’re not going to give you
any warning or braking– Exactly. –because you seem to
be already reacting. There’s a lot of
thought– we talk about is it reading the
intent of the driver? If they’re already
on the brakes, you might not get the
warning or the AEB. Right. So the point is if you
do have the gas on, it will override it if it feels
it needs to because you’re about to hit something. Next question is from Rick. Rick says, if I
buy an electric car with 200-plus miles
of range, will I have enough power to get home if
I drive 15 miles to the airport and leave the car
parked for two weeks? How much range will
the battery lose? I live in Western New
York where there are cold temps and lots of snow. It’s an SAT question. Yeah, exactly. If the train is approaching
at– no, I’m just kidding. Does that make you
nervous, word problems? Oh, my gosh. I’m terrible at any
kind of math tests. It’s why we’re writers. And that’s why Jen’s– We need at least one
smart person here. So maybe next episode. Ah! Oh! Ooh! No, seriously, though,
so this is a test that we haven’t
actually performed. We haven’t done the
two-week sitting out. Decay. It’s likely that, especially
with some of the earlier electric cars, you will end
up with no battery range left. But some of the newer ones– BMW i3, Tesla, Hyundai
Kona, Kia Niro– they either come standard or
have available these battery heater systems. So electric car batteries
are very sensitive to heat, both cold temps and hot temps. So they have these battery
heaters, and in some cases, coolers, to keep the battery
within the range that it likes. So these battery heaters
will use a little bit of range, a little bit of
juice to keep the battery where it needs to be, so it
doesn’t lose a ton of range. So you will lose a little
bit over those two weeks, but you should still have
more than enough to get home. In some cases, like Tesla has
something called a deep sleep mode. And what this does is if the
car’s been off for too long, it will turn the
car completely off, and then it uses no
battery whatsoever. The downside there being
when you get back in the car after it’s in that
deep sleep mode, it’s going to take
a few minutes. You won’t be able
to just drive off. It goes into hibernation. Yeah, basically. The Tesla bear. The point is, if you
get an electric car and you live in
a colder climate, if it doesn’t come
with a battery heater and it has one available,
you’re going to want to get one, because [INAUDIBLE]. We have a battery maintainer
for our traditional battery. Like, when we keep the
Mustang in over the winter, we put a little trickle
charger on that even. [INAUDIBLE] When am I going to
see that Ford Mustang? They’re working on it. It’s almost done. He just sent a text. Jen has– Yeah, it’s almost done. –a great Ford
Mustang convertible. It’s very exciting. What year is it? ’67. Ooh. Wow. I will bring it in. I haven’t seen it
on the road yet. I can’t wait. Because it has not
been on the road. That’s why it’s on
the trickle charger. That’s why in the shop. And it’ll be done soon. Next question is from Matthew. Matthew says, “We
appear to be in a trend where automakers are doing
away with sedans and wagons in favor of SUVs. What are your predictions
for vehicle trends over the next 10-plus years? Will SUVs rule
the roost forever, or could there be a shift
back to sedans and wagons? I just fear that buyers who
want an economical sedan will have little to no
options and be priced out of the SUV market.” All right, guys,
what do you think? Get out your crystal ball. What do you see going
on in the future? Who wants to go first? I have feelings about this. I have feelings, too. But– Ooh, OK. –we’ll let Keith go first. Oh, OK. You can prove me wrong. No. No. So I see that the car
market is getting to a place where it’s sort
of unsustainable. Cars are getting more
and more expensive. And part of that is
because a larger car is more expensive to build. And more things are
being put in it. Some of it is luxury equipment. Some of it is safety equipment. But a lot of it is you
can spend a little more and get that panoramic sunroof. And they’re not building
affordable entry-level cars. It’s a housing market
almost attitude. Yeah, if you can’t
buy a house that’s 1,500 square feet in
the neighborhood you want to live in, you’re going
to buy a house that’s maybe– I mean, sure, some of it’s
bad decisions, but some of it is what people are out there. Interest rates are going up. Cars are sitting in
the lot for longer. It feels like we’re
reaching a point where– and also, environmental
regulations, pedestrian and
safety regulations. I’m kind of, in some cases,
for many, many buyers, if a sedan will do, if a more
fuel efficient car will do, go with that. I think that the tide may turn
and that may be what happens. But the issue is that
we don’t necessarily– You mean, coming back. Coming back. Coming back to
sedans and wagons. Maybe. Maybe. I think so. Or at least sort of
smaller crossovers, and more affordable. The Hyundai Venues, the
Kia Souls, that sort of car might take over versus
the [INAUDIBLE].. What do you think, Jen? What do you see, Jen? So my thought was emotion, too. But what is it we’re
really longing for? Is it nostalgia
or is it function? Because you look at
the compact SUV– and I’m not talking
about the big ones, because I think safety has
driven us to bigger cars. If you have four kids, you need
four seats with seat belts. Not like us in the
boot of the LTD II. Doesn’t happen anymore. Or the Volvo wagon– So that’s an aside. –facing backwards. But what is it we’re
really missing? I am a huge wagon fan. So I just want to
say that to Matthew. Me, too. I told you. I bet you are, too. Yeah. I loved the Ford Flex. I drove that LTD II
wagon in college. Totally loved them. However, what is it
that, functionally, SUVs aren’t doing for us? I would argue, they’re
better performing. They’re a bit more
fuel efficient. The hatchback is actually easier
than the tailgate, if you will. The access is awesome. I would argue that the
shape of the current SUVs is a problem, a limitation,
versus the squarer wagon. I go back to my love
of the Ford Flex. But are we really missing
anything with compact SUVs? It’s not a sedan. They’re lower. We don’t have the rollover
or we have the ESC. I’m not sure it’s just not
nostalgia, my own included. Yeah. Well, typically, a true wagon
is going to sit a little lower. So it’s going to be a
little better handling. Quite often, they’re a
little longer, right? So they don’t have the
height in the back. They don’t have the
height of the cargo area that a wagon has. But typically, a wagon’s going
to be a little better to drive. And that’s what I care about. I totally get what
you’re saying. As would be a sedan. The compact SUV makes so much
sense for so many people. It’s so easy– it has
basically the best entry points of any vehicle that there is. It’s the easiest to
get in and out of. It checks a lot of boxes. It checks a lot of boxes. When everyone else is driving
a car that’s super tall, you want to be in a car
that you can see out of. And I get that. I get into an MX-5,
and I’m, hello! It’s like sitting behind
someone at the movies. My guess is SUVs aren’t
going away any time soon. No. They are the biggest thing
in the market right now. Americans love SUVs
and they love pickups. The market’s in flux right now. With hybrids and electric
cars continuing to build up, and more and more of these
electric cars coming out, look at what you have. Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro
basically SUVish kind of things Audi e-tron, kind
of an SUV, right? Jaguar I-PACE, kind of an SUV. So even the electrics, they’re
building those as SUVs. So these SUVs are going to– We’re demanding it. They’re going to be
here for a while. I do think someone’s
going to build– I like your hope, though. I like your hope that
wagons [INAUDIBLE].. Well, not necessarily
back to sedans, but to the idea of something
which is a little more– all the cars you mentioned
are sort of normal-sized. They’re not– You don’t need the giant
ones is what you’re saying. You don’t need the giant,
unless you have a big family. Unless you really
need a giant one. I gotcha. Someone’s going to build
a really cool wagonish, square, great visibility
wagon, and it’s going to sell like gangbusters. And maybe it’ll be an EV. Maybe it’ll be an
electric vehicle. Maybe it’ll be an EV. Yeah, absolutely. Next question is from Patrick. Patrick says, “I have
a 2018 Subaru Crosstrek with a 6-speed manual.” Save the manuals! People are going to get so
tired of me saying that. “I purchased it in New
Hampshire and have since moved to Colorado, where I’ve found
that it has a hard time keeping up and accelerating
when climbing 6,000 feet to the Continental Divide. I’m thinking of replacing
it with a Volkswagen Golf SportWagen–” Wagon! –wagon– “given that the turbo
engine can deal with thin air better. Do you have any
other suggestions?” Real quick, for those
of you that don’t know, so non-turbo, naturally
aspirated, regular engines, whatever you want
to call them, they don’t perform as well
at high altitudes. Because the air is thinner,
the engine’s getting less air. Engines have– it a air,
fuel, and spark mix. And so those engines
lose some power. And that’s what’s happening
with his Crosstrek. So turbo engines
perform much better. They lose barely
any power at all– There you go. –at these higher altitudes. So first of all, I’d say go
for that Golf SportWagen. But also, another thing
you could think about would be maybe a MINI
Cooper Countryman, which also comes with 3-cylinder
and 4-cylinder turbos. Would be fun. It’s kind of like a tall wagon. Also, you can get both of those
cars with a 6-speed manual. But you should get a– Yeah, get it right
away if you’re– Get the Sport. –going to get the
SportWagen, because production ends end of this year. Which is a crying shame. Yeah. But, hey, nostalgia. Yeah, nostalgia. Did this question make you
think of our adventure? We didn’t tell you. Oh, yeah, Jen and I– Last Monday– Jen and I had an adventure. –we had an adventure. And we climbed– You didn’t invite me is
what you’re trying to say. No. No, you weren’t here. You weren’t here. But– Oh. –Mike and I climbed
Mount Washington– Oh, well, I’m glad
you didn’t invite me. –in New Hampshire. 6,000 feet. Yeah, not driving. We actually hiked. We climbed. So it was very exciting. And I totally– you think of
people feeling the altitude, I did not. Maybe we’re in just
such great shape, Mike. But no, it was very
fun, but very hard. You can get the bumper sticker– bumper sticker not for your car. I got a shirt. Mike got a shirt. It says, “This Body
Climbed Mount Washington.” You know how normally the bumper
stickers say, “This Car Climbed Mount Washington.” But after that, another
colleague drove up. And they were saying, they
had posted on Facebook, like, I’m very stressful. It was very stressful
on their car both going up and coming down– Yeah. It’s stupid. –because you’re
just on the brakes. It’s so stupid. So it was very cool. It was a cool adventure. One more question. Let’s look at
Guillermo’s question. Guillermo says, “I just moved
and now my daily commute is 35 to 40 minutes long on
some traffic-free winding roads. I’m looking for a
fun, responsive car that’s safe, reliable,
has at least floor seats, and has good fuel economy. No SUVs,” he– Hey! –says. Yep. “What would you recommend?” Who wants to go first? Who’s got a good
pick for Guillermo? I have good pick. OK. I have a good pick. Well, I think it’s a good pick. So I picked the Mazda6. OK. And the turbo, because
we tested the non-turbo, but we had experienced and
said, a slightly better car. A little quicker. But we said it was
agile, less than 40K, great reliability, very
good owner satisfaction. We said it was a
little tight interior. But it sounds like most of
its commute for Guillermo, but he needs the seats
when he needs the seats. And then I had a used
A4 as an alternative. Audi A4. But I thought the 2020
Mazda6 was kind of– Yeah, it’s a fun car to drive. It’s a fun car to drive. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I’m going to
cede the floor to Jen, because your picks
were– they’re so good– I swept it. –you shut it down. Yeah, you swept it. Winner. So you want to hear my pick? Yeah. No. No, Jen’s were so good. Yeah, we really don’t. So I think Guillermo– He’s going to talk anyway. –should go with either a
Subaru BRZ or a Toyota 86. Now, I will keep in mind– Four seats. Yeah, OK, so they’re
really more two plus twos. The rear seats are not huge. I can fit back there. I’m not very tall, obviously. But it does check
almost all the boxes. It’s super fun to drive. It has amazing handling. We actually have
two Toyota 86’s– For tires, yeah. –for tire testing. And I took one out on
our track recently. And I’ve re-remembered
how balanced, how fun– those cars have such
amazing handling. They’re so forgiving,
so predictable. So you would love driving
this car on a winding road. 30 MPG overall in our testing. Above average predicted
reliability for both cars. The only spot they
really falter is that you can’t get
forward collision warning or automatic emergency
braking with those cars, which is a shame. But I think if you
buy those cars, you will have an absolute
hoot driving them. So Guillermo, if you like
your friends and passengers, get the Mazda6. If you don’t, get
a BRZ, Toyota 86. No. Well, that’s going to
do it for this episode. If you want to learn more
about the cars and topics we talked about, you can click on
the links in the show notes. Don’t forget to send
those questions, comments, 30-second video clips to
[email protected] As always, thanks for watching. And we’ll see you all next week.

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28 thoughts on “Rising Car Battery Prices; Stressful Car Buying Situations; Replacement for Ultra High Mileage Camry

  1. Dealers are gaming people. Saw a Civic Type R newly listed at $2500. mark down from msrp. Two days later the dealer increased the listing price $9000.00. It's a game. Insult the dealer, toy with the dealer, do not love the car. Shop and deal and walkout on them until they meet your requirements, make them twist in the wind. Financing is one way to back out of a signed deal, if the financing does not meet your wants to the letter, the contract can then be torn up. Always low ball them and it's completely unnecessary to validate your price. Who cares what kelly blue book says? That Cadillac is worth what I say it is. Being nice to a dealer as if they're doing you a favor or will do you a favor, is a waste. It's their job to be nice to you.

  2. Why are the 2011 to 2013 Chevy Suburbans soo much better than other years?? Mine has been absolutely flawless with regular maintenance.

  3. My 2007 Subaru is still on the road, albeit parked, with a busted head gasket. Thank you Subaru! What a ripoff!

  4. A replacement for a 400,000 Toyota Camry? Another Toyota, that's what.
    You want a HYBRID SUV? The RAV-4 Hybrid is really great because it eliminates the need for a center driveshaft, a spinning item that has a center support bearing that needs to be replaced after 6 to 8 years and cost $1,500 to replace the entire driveshaft just to replace that small $40 bearing. So you spend $800 more for the hybrid but you end up saving $1,500 on not having to replace that center driveshaft, so you save money in the long run, plus you save money on gas, and the Hybrid is quieter than the gasoline-powered versions.

  5. If you have a smart key equipped vehicle: DO NOT keep your smart key fob within 2 car lengths of the vehicle because if you do then the vehicle is always going to keep its systems ON and ready to start because it thinks you are inside the car and ready to go. That drains the battery really quickly. So keep all key fobs at least 30 feet from the car so the car's systems can go to sleep and the drain on the battery will decrease dramatically.

  6. My '18 CRV has AEB which can be overridden by deeply depressing the gas pedal. Good to know as AEB can be fooled by road construction metal plates etc. and erroneously slam on the brakes. Goosing it can prevent you from being rear-ended.

  7. About winter tires compared to all-season: Oh yeah, on wet pavement the all-season tires do stop a lot shorter than the winter tires! And the same thing for dry pavement too. The winter tires flex so much that they just let go of the pavement and start to slide more quickly. But under such conditions, the winter tires still stop pretty quickly. When it comes to SNOW covered roads; NOTHING works very good, everything slides for miles and miles and just a small 20% extra braking efficiency of the winter tire means a shorter stopping distance of 3 or 4 car lengths; enough to mean the difference between slamming into something or not slamming into something. So that is why you buy winter tires = a big reduction of stopping distance in winter will save your life, but in dry or wet conditions a slightly longer stopping distance is not going to make that much as it is only about half a car length longer stopping distance on winter tires compared to all-seasons. If you live in a place that does not get much snow I'd recommend getting a set of 'All-weather' tires (they are a blend of winter and all-season tires, so half-and-half). They are pretty good in the winter and you can leave them on your car in the summer months.

  8. They are regulating small and affordable vehicles out of the market is actually what is happening. Look at other countries that allow you to sacrifice some safety for a cheaper car. They sell plenty of small vehicles.

  9. The problem with no haggle like at Carmax is you get stuck with a higher price that they won't budge from. I always thought Carmax was way too high. I got a brand new 2018 Ford Taurus a year ago for a little over $20k after rebates and dealer discounts. I am retired and on a fixed income and I can't afford $40k for a damn vehicle and I prefer the comfort of a car myself though I do have a 2009 Honda CRV too. That CRV uses too much gas for as small as it is but it is an SUV. It uses more gas than my Taurus. When I replace the CRV it will probably be a RAV4 unless the price is off the scale. I just prefer the comfort of a car on a trip and I only drive about 5 to 6k miles a year. I may only buy one more vehicle in my lifetime

  10. You can't beat the reliability of a Toyota Camry and they are not that expensive. Toyota and Honda seem to be staying with the Sedan market.

  11. A higher vehicle has better visibility in heavy traffic, and for an older person is easier to get in and out compared to a low car. The compact SUVs like a Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul and Mazda CX-5 are close to the price of lower cars with similar amounts of interior space. The rollover risks are much lower with the newer suspensions and newer electronics.

  12. In the last ten years the number of pedestrian fatalities has gone up 60%, but the number of pedestrian accidents only 10%. The latter you can chalk up to walking while texting, but the former to flat front higher powered vehicles, pickups and SUVs… and texting while driving.

  13. My 1997 Legacy wagon caught fire and burned to the ground at 194,000 miles. My 2001 Outback blew its head gasket for the 3rd time at 210,000 miles. My 2013 BRZ broke a valve spring in 2017 at 56k. I will never buy another Subaru. Subaru is dead to me.

  14. Below 20 F I would not leave a 200-mile range electric car unplugged for more than 7 days. In the future, there will be plugs at the airport in cold climates. Battery technology will improve and they won't be so temperature sensitive. Above 50 F on Teslas turn of wi-fi, Sentry mode and updates and you can leave the car for a month as long as you do not connect to the car with your app. When you land you can try to boot up your car a few minutes before you get to it. If you go directly to a supercharger the car will preheat the battery so it will charge at optimum efficiency and speed when you plug up.

  15. The 2012 BMW X3 and Audi Q5 could outperform almost any sedan in their price range. Both were BETER handling than the three and the A4. The 2019 Q5 is not as entertaining and engaging as the 2012 Q5. The new A4 is a far better driving machine than the Q5. The X3 has gained more size and mass. At least the 2020 X3 has better steering feel and heft than the 2012 if not better balance and road feel.

  16. Guillermo, I have owned a BRZ. Go with the Tesla 3 + or the base 36k car. It will run about the same as the Mazda turbo. The 3 handles better, more economical, safer, it is faster with far more room. It is RWD. The Tesla can easily make the 70-mile commute even in the worst of winter. It will cost you less than $2 a day to charge.

    The Base BRZ is $10,000 less to buy than the base Tesla 3 and would only cost you $6 to $ 7 a day in gas.

    That is $200 a month vs $56 a month in fuel cost. Somewhere around 4.5 years will be the break-even point. That is not including $600 in oil changes, $300 for spark pugs @ 60k miles.

  17. With all due respect the lady is wrong. I have a Sears Silver battery in my Frontier that is 14 years old and it still works fine (I live in Maine). It was $99 new. The glass mat battery is a sham designed to get more money from the consumer. Pure and simple.

  18. I went to the Honda dealership ( parts department ) last year and bought a new 100 month Battery ( 8 years and 3.3 month warranty battery ) for my Honda Accord . (4 cylinder ) It only cost 125.00 . I installed it myself … I always do that … Never have a battery to die on me … That is a great deal to me … And a genuine Honda battery ….. You can do the same with Toyota …. No so with Domestic brands ..

  19. It amazes me when people say there's less wear on hybrid vehicle, there's 2 water pumps / cooling systems and all the electronics that goes with the battery pack. The vehicle is much heavier than a regular ICE equipped vehicle. I'm not scared of the battery pack as much as all the other components. When dealerships started stocking inverters and other major components it cooled my intention of owning an hybrid. Typical inverter will cost around $6k to replace. Don't get me started on turbo engines… I owned 2, had to replace the turbo in both of them.

  20. For Tesla, if you're planning to park it for an extended period, consider turning off Sentry Mode (the dash cam for when you're parked) and turn off automatic cabin cooling (which can turn on a/c or fan to keep the cabin under 104F). With both these features turned off, my Model 3 lost 1% battery over the course of 1 week of being parked. Thanks to CR for mentioning the deep-sleep mode on the Tesla which will indeed prevent power loss.

  21. Wrong, not only are these batteries way more expensive but they don't last as long. I blame Obama. Pretty sure his EPA made some changes to make them more so-called environmentally friendly when they probably actually aren't. That's when I noticed the problem when Obama came along.

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