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Thanks for your your questions for Episode #181 of the Autoblog Podcast. This week,Chris, Sam, Dan and Alex take them on. News topics we cover are a little more on the shuttering of Mercury, Ed Whitacre's management bushwacking at GM, a lively gas tax discussion, Ohio cops with radar guns for optic nerves, and the dieselphiles among us just had to kibbitz about the new Range Rover diesel that was apparently originally destined for the Ford F150. We wrap it up by tearing up a particular message from one of you dear listeners, so be sure to hang out till the end.

Autoblog Podcast #181 - Mercury, Ed Whitacre, Gas Tax and Guessing Cops

In the Autoblog Garage:

Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon
Kia Sorento V6
Ford Transit Connect
Lexus ES350


Chris Shunk, Dan Roth, Sam Abuelsamid, Alex Nunez

Runtime: 1:22:10

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dan Roth is to the Autoblog Podcast what James May is to Top Gear - a personality that is absolutely necessary for my continued interest.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dan is good..
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dan is da Man!! Without him, the podcast will be very one dimensional.
      • 5 Years Ago
      You all mentioned several times that nothing sells as well as the ES and that none of the competitors are going to catch the ES in sales soon... well you guys need to check those numbers again because the Lacrosse is outselling the ES by quite a margin (34% higher than ES sales to be exact)

      May 2010
      ES: 5,115
      Lacrosse: 5,452

      April 2010
      ES: 4,396
      Lacrosse: 5,236

      March 2010
      ES: 3,860
      Lacrosse: 6,054

      February 2010
      ES: 2,349
      Lacrosse: 4,045

      January 2010
      ES: 2,923
      Lacrosse: 4,246

      ES: 18,643
      Lacrosse: 25,033
        • 5 Years Ago
        AB can you confirm these numbers?
        If this is the case than that's a huge victory for Buick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BTY Alex is the most affluent when it comes to politics, he is spot on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A judge blocked the NYC hybrid mandate 2 years ago- this podcast is incorrect about that.


      Some of the Hybrid taxi's are around because a few years ago they offered some hybrid medalions. However, some taxi drivers are switching to hybrids (approved by TLC) to reduce fuel costs .

      • 5 Years Ago
      Regarding taxes...
      See CAFR

      The roads should already be self-sustaining. It has been almost a damn century!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great podcast guys, keep up the good work and Dan you keep complaining it makes the podcast always sooo more entretaining!!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the first of these I've listened to, but this Dan guy doesn't deserve the job he has.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think what we said isn't exactly conveying what we meant. Anyway - I meant that there are two types of buyers that opt for manuals. Cheapskates that don't want to pay for autos (though in some cars, the manual is a cost-adding option), and enthusiasts. I was painting enthusiasts with the broad brush that at least 80 percent of us have overly inflated opinions of our actual skill behind the wheel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea I certainly got the auto trans fanboy vibe. I think I might be getting confused maybe it wasn't you who said this, but someone on the podcast said:

        "The caliber of person who opts for a manual trans is either cheap or theyre some kind of dummy who thinks they're an F1 car driver" and then someone else responded with something along the lines of "that sounds like what someone who doesn't know how to work a clutch would say" (giving me the impression that you, or whoever, can't even drive manual)

        But anyway, to each his own and sorry if I mixed you guys up or I just flat out interpreted that wrong.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I didn't literally mean you shouldn't have your job, that was admittedly a little harsh, but I get really frustrated with people that have no respect for manual transmissions so I took it a little too personally.

        I will say that otherwise it wasn't a bad podcast and I decided to listen because I saw you guys were going to give your opinions on the new Ohio traffic law and I agree with what you guys were saying
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think we'd need real numbers to talk more intelligently about it - the pseudo-enthusiasts are prone to take more drastic risks on the road, like driving way too fast, racing, etc., while the distracted drivers also take risks by paying attention to everything but driving.

        Who knows? How's that for a water-treading, non-committal answer?
        • 5 Years Ago
        great point Dan, thanks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        They do, and they are, but there's also that subset of enthusiasts that don't know which end of a screwdriver to use and just repeat crap they read in an internet chatroom. Those are the guys that don't have the coordination to heel-toe, yet insist on a manual.

        I don't have any numbers, but given the hoon popularity, I'd say that manual transmission cars *may* be involved in a disproportionate amount of single-vehicle incidents - leaving the road, reckless driving that ends badly, etc.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So on that basis I don't deserve to do the podcast? Did you understand I was being sardonic? No, apparently, since this is the first one you've listened to...

        Settle down. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm one of the dummies that apparently thinks he's an F1 car driver (even though I'm pretty sure F1 drivers only use the clutch to start from a stop basically) : )
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey Dan just curious, would'nt you say that the percentage of auto drivers that drive distracted (i.e. texting, talking on phone) is higher than that of manual drivers? This could be for two reasons. One is that it's simply harder to do distracting things when you have to shift and two, enthusiasts that opt for the manual are more focused and care more about driving. I could see that being a pretty good argument that auto drivers are more likely to be in an accident.
        • 5 Years Ago
        the original question was my poorly worded "logic trap" but I think they figured out that I was implying that buyer demographics play a major role in accidents.

        anywho, I'm surprised that you didn't think people buy manuals because they are more enjoyabable and engaging to drive
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I remember correctly, the self parking system on the Lexus LS was an $8k option.

      In any case, it's like the original incarnation of the iDrive. Very new, and very much not ready for prime time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Dan makes the show for me, he speaks to the curmudgeon in me...but couple points...enjoying driving ...and enjoying working on cars...ie which end of a screwdriver comment, don't necessarily have to be the same thing. And yes, you can still enjoy a manual without heel-toeing...(I suck at it, but will one day get it worked out), in the meantime I'll keep insisting on manuals....anyway, keep up the good work Dan. (side note - more cars, less politics)
      • 5 Years Ago
      When are you all gonna dump Dan Roth's bitchy ass? The guy is such a damn prick. I love the idea of the Podcast, but I have to skip through because Roth is whining, contradicting someone:

      "Uh...I dunno about that..."

      "I dunno...supercars don't do it for me..."

      "Nah, the Ferrari isn't all that great. It's fast, but I think the BMW 5 series looks better."

      What a friggin' douche. Just dump him and swear the rating will go up. There's no reason have him on there except to piss off the staff and listeners.

      I would listen if he were the subject of a scientific crash study on how fatal accidents can be funny in special cases.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The podcast would not be the same with out Dan. It would be worse.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, so because I have my own set of passionately held opinions, and I express them, I should die?

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