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What's more appropriate to talk about on Thanksgiving Day than turkeys? Americans are set to consume a few hundred tons of the gobblers today, tomorrow and likely well into the next month as leftovers are slowly taken out of the fridge until they just can't be tolerated any longer. And that's not the only turkey that's likely to outlive its welcome. Consumer Reports has gathered up a quick list of automotive turkeys - cars, options or automaker decisions that leave us questioning their sanity. A prime example is the oft-maligned BMW iDrive, but there are a few others that seemingly deserve the right to dethrone that hated accessory.

For instance, we're wondering what Chrysler was thinking by dumping all kinds of money into the joint project to develop the 2-Mode hybrid system with its partners BMW and GM. After all that was complete, the automaker moved forward with the Durango and Aspen hybrids, which used the brand-new technology to good effect, outscoring their GM rivals in fuel efficiency and pricing. Then, the two models were unceremoniously dropped before the production line workers even got comfortable. Major turkeys, turducken even, and an obvious monumental waste of money and resources.

Also making CR's list, though not necessarily ours, is the smart fortwo, which the mag claims is too expensive given its capabilities. Also on the list are the Feds for approving a tax credit for GM's full-size hybrid 'utes. CR also comments on the poor head lamps of its Prius hybrid. Any current-gen Pirus owners out there willing to comment on their lighting performance?

[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why did Chrysler start with the hemi 2 mode hybrid SUV? Why didn't they start with a more affordable 2.4L 2 mode hybrid in the 4x2 club cab dodge dakota for fleet use? Why didn't they offer 2.4L 2 mode hybrid dodge caravan & journey for taxi & comunity transit van pool use & panel caravan for fleet use? Plus offer for fleet use propane conversion. At least for fleet use, they can make deals with companies to rent or lease the battery packs. Offering different battery packs on what the customer needs. Some companies may just want a lesser battery pack that can go 5-10 miles EV up to 30mph with plug in system. Like parts trucks at companies that 98% of the time never leave the plant. While other company parts trucks & vans may want the spendy batteries to go 40+ miles EV. At least GM will have the 2 mode hybrid Vue & Mailbu hybrid.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is consumer reports, they will never understand cars.

      The prius has the cheapest kind of HID headlamps. Single beam HID reflectors. The cutoff pattern mimics the traditional H4 (flat with the 15 degree rise-the 'ramp' they were talking about)
      CR should blame the totally obsolete headlight requirements (FMVSS108) for not requiring dynamic auto leveling with all HID systems, require all HID systems to be projector based (for better glare control), automatic cleaning system requirements.

      • 6 Years Ago
      I've got a 2007 Prius and the lighting seems fine to me. It's certainly much better than my other vehicle, a 1994 Ford Ranger that I use for hauling stuff around town.
        • 6 Years Ago
        RE: "CR also comments on the poor head lamps of its Prius hybrid. Any current-gen Pirus owners out there willing to comment on their lighting performance?"

        I've got a 08 Prius and I find that If I don't wait until the last second to turn the high beams off for a on coming car, say over the crest of a hill, then the other driver more often than not will " ouble flash" me in the unwritten rule of "please turn your High Beams off" signal. They are very bright in my opinion compared to any former car I've ever had and the low beams do have a nice "cut line" shadow tapered from the upper right to the lower left. How ever, as I've indicated, even in low beam, they must be very bright to on coming drivers.

        RE: "Communism (goverment intervention) will die when gm or lupo will put on sale a car propel forward by water."

        Being an American I certainly can't be proud of our government in recent years but in actually the "government intervention" preventing "water powered cars" from being readily available on the market is of a much higher order - that is - the one who made made the universe. All such claim's of water powered fuel cars or "high fuel mileage" cars using water as a means of getting higher MPG are based on some form of hydrogen generation via say a eletrical charge on a set of cathode and anoide plates submersed in water. The charged plates then strip off the Oxygen from the Hydrogen molecules and then the Hydrogen is then injected into the carberator.

        The basic problem with all of this is that it takes electricity (energy) to force the Oxygen to break its bond from the hydrogen molecules. So where does the electricity (energy) come from? Well it would have to be a BIG alternator driven by the engine since the car can't drive further than the length of an extension cord. So now we have electricity (Energy) splitting the hydrogen molecules off of the Oxygen molecules which makes up water ( H2O ) which is generated by a combustion engine which is at best some where a round %30 overall thermodynamic (energy) efficiency which is then creating electricity via a BIG alternator which might be %90 efficient. Humm, this is starting to sound like a perpetual motion machine doesn't it.

        Well, for certain its breaking the 3 laws of thermodynamics which are based the best observations of the physical world as we mere mortals can understand them. And just what are these Laws?

        Thermodynamics is the study of the inter-relation between heat, work and internal energy of a system.

        The British scientist and author C.P. Snow had an excellent way of remembering the three laws:

        1. You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).

        2. You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).

        3. You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is unattainable).

        RE:Dan Summons, Physics Undergrad Student, UOS, Souhampton


        A more serious attempt to explane the #3 Laws of Thermodynamics in laymens terms with a nice historical perspective can be found at:

        http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae280.cfm

        The bottom line on using water as fuel? Snake oil, not government intervention.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Peru Autos Report The Peru Autos Report features the latest data and forecasts to end-2016 covering production, sales, imports and exports. Business Monitor International (BMI)'s Peru Autos Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, auto associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the automotives market in Peru. Key Benefits Benchmark BMI's independent automotives industry forecasts to end-2016 on Peru to test other views - a key input for successful budgetary and planning in the Peruvian automotives market. Target business opportunities and risks in the Peruvian automotives sector through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments in Peru. Assess the activities and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Competitive Landscape Analysis. Executive Summary Summary of BMI's key industry forecasts and views, covering production, sales and the introduction of new technology or products. Industry Overview In-depth analysis of the major cross-country investment, product and financing trends that will affect each market, supported by BMI's regional industry forecasts. Business Environment Ratings BMI's proprietary Autos Business Environment Ratings are a unique country-comparative Risk-Reward Ratings index that separately analyses the risks and rewards of operating in each market. It is aimed at investors (including manufacturers, suppliers and dealers) who seek to either identify and compare market opportunities, or evaluate country-specific operational challenges. The ratings methodology makes sophisticated use of over 40 industries, economic and demographic data points. BMI Industry Forecasts To End-2016 Historic data series and forecasts to end-2016 for all key industry indicators (see list below), supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast, including: Total production value (US$bn); total production of units; production by vehicle-type (including cars, commercial vehicles, trucks and buses); total sales value (US$bn); sales by vehicle-type, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles (vans and microbuses, pickups, trucks and buses, 4 wheel drive); total exports by value (US$bn) and by units; total imports by value (US$bn) and by units; contribution to GDP; employment in industry. http://www.bharatbook.com/market-research-reports/automotive-components-market-research-report/peru-autos-report.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      Offtopic: That's an Ostrich (Struthio camelus) in the little picture, not a turkey.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They lose money on poor sales and they lose money in unnecessary research and devellopements on hybrid?? Hybrid is 2 bad technology put together, gasoline and battery. All and all if i were the goverment i will let these compagny die but on the other hand goverment almost kill car manufacturers too with sudden price hack of gasoline price to annoy me last year when i was close to make a deal for a new car that run with water. The problem with goverment is that they charge money to give us a hard time after with that same money, so we pay to get exploited thereafter. Communism (goverment intervention) will die when gm or lupo will put on sale a car propel forward by water.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They didn't get the "turkey award" for spending all that research and development on hybrids, they got the "turkey" for applying it to big SUVs, then promptly cancelling the whole thing shortly after going to market.

        Sorry, the Government wasn't responsible for the rise in oil and gasoline prices, though it does get some blame for making it really easy for OPEC and oil speculators and oil companies to screw the rest of us.

        Are you blaming the annoyance of the "price hack" for not buying that new "water car" you've dreamed of? I'd say it was because "water cars" have never been for sale, they've always been for running scams on the gullible - the sweet talkin' "inventor" is looking for money from investors or down payments, but afterwards they deliver nothing but delays and excuses. If you accidentaly avoided that rip-off, you should give thanks for your good fortune. If you did get ripped off, you should learn from it.

        No company will ever sell a working "water car", that is bogus technology dreamed up by scammers. No, Hydrogen powered cars are not "water cars". Government intervention isn't "communism", and "Lupo" was an economy car made by VW, it isn't a car brand.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't get why the government are turkeys for giving tax credits for hybrid SUVs. The large SUVs use the most gas by far and thus the large SUV hybrids save the most gas by far.

      If an RX400h can get a tax credit, so can a Tahoe.

      The real turkeys are the people who buy these large vehicles (RX400h included) when they would do as well or better with a smaller car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The SUVs should sell themselves by lowing operating costs, not government intensives.

        Downsize cars, not up size.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Government incentives, like the ones the Prius received?

        As to the size of cars, again, there's nothing wrong with a fuel efficient large car, when it is used in place of a non-fuel efficient large car.

        Just don't be a dumbo and buy and SUV to move around one person and 3 bags of groceries.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "smart fortwo, which the mag claims is too expensive given its capabilities"

      Quite a true and accurate statement.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's good to see CR get something right.
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