Used Car Questions & Honda Civic Si | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #117

Used Car Questions & Honda Civic Si | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #117

We answer viewer
questions about used cars, give some
rear-wheel-drive picks, and talk about our
first experiences with the new Honda Civic
Si, next on Talking Cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Hey, everybody. Welcome to the show. I’m Mike Monticello. I’m Mike Quincy. And I’m not Mike. I’m Jake Fisher. That’s true. So we got a lot of response
from our last episode that dealt with used
cars, so I want to get right to viewer questions. And there’s one here that
deals directly with it. And this person
says, “I am surprised that the only used SUV
recommended was the Ford Flex. This is a huge market, are
there any other SUVs that you might recommend?” Now, actually, they did
talk about another SUV. You guys also talked
about the Acura MDX, but you guys weren’t really
doing categories of cars, you were doing more prices. So that’s one of the reasons
why you didn’t bring up SUVs, but there are a lot of
used SUVs that are good. Mike, do you want to start with
some picks that you would say would be a good used SUV? Absolutely. I mean, when I’m
thinking used cars I’m always going to err to
the side of reliability. So to take a vehicle
that maybe didn’t ace our tests all
the time but has been proven to stand up strong. So I’m thinking
about a Lexus GX. Kind of flies under the
radar, kind of truck-based. I mean, not the most refined
vehicle in terms of a ride, but it has got great
Toyota reliability. And on the same token,
the Toyota 4Runner. Again, not a vehicle that
we necessarily always love because it is truck-based. It is rear-wheel-drive
usually, unless you put it in four wheel drive. But it holds up well over time. And that, to me, is the key
part about buying a used car. Yeah. I mean, when you’re
buying a used car one of the main things is– I mean, they’re
kind of crazy picks. I mean, I’m looking at
Jake’s face, he’s like– [LAUGHS] Can you tell that? Can you see that? They are a little crazy picks. Right. And we expect that from you. We expect a little something
different from Mike Quincy. Jake, do you have anything
more mainstream that you want to recommend? Well, I completely
agree with Mike. No, I don’t. [LAUGHTER] So, I mean, Mike’s right. Those are reliable
picks, but come on. I mean, unless you’re
going up a mountain and you’ve got to go
off-roading or you’ve got to tow something
big, generally people should stay away
from those because there are lots of other reliable picks. Right? I mean, you could get– look, I mean, CRVs and RAV4s
until the cows come home, and they’re all over the place
and they’re much cheaper. But I would like to
get into the fact that– why weren’t
we recommending SUVs? I mean, we all
know everyone likes SUVs and everyone is
buying lots of new SUVs, and that’s the market. There’s a reason why. And the reason
why is because you could get a lot more for your
money in the used car market if you go to cars,
because those SUVs– because there’s such
a demand for them, they hold their value. So, I mean, some of my– I mean, I picked the Mazda 6. Why? Because it doesn’t hold
its value that well, even though it’s reliable and
it does a lot of good things. So in the used car
market sometimes you want to get that car
that wasn’t that popular, and you could get a
lot for your money. So more for your money,
you go with a car is what you’re saying. You get more for your money
when you go for the car. But, I mean, certainly– But you’re kind of
fighting against the tide. Whether or not cars are more
sensible– they certainly are. We know that. But it’s what people want. And– OK. There I’ll agree with
you, but the issue there is that if you’re looking
for a three-year-old CRV or you’re looking for
a three-year-old RAV4, you might even want to consider
a new one because the delta there, the change in
price is not that great. Whereas if you’re looking for
a three-year-old sedan, wow, they’ve really dropped
a lot, and then you get a lot more value there. Can’t argue with that. Do you guys want
to hear my picks? No. Go for it. [LAUGHTER] I’m barely here. I mean, I picked kind of some
of the ones that you touched on. Honda CRV, of course
Toyota Highlander. I mean, you really
can’t go wrong. I actually recently recommended
a Highlander– someone was buying a used SUV, they
were thinking about Highlander. I said, don’t even think. Just get it. You know? It’s– the reliability
is that good. That’s the consumer
reports advice. Don’t think. That– Don’t think, just buy it. But what Jake says,
the prices are going to be– you’re going
to pay through the nose there or it’s going to have
200,000 miles on it. I’m going to throw something
else out there that I came across when I was just
doing a little bit of research. Toyota Venza. Now, the Toyota Venza is
one of those weird vehicles. It’s not great to drive
and you’re not sure, is it an SUV, is
it a tall wagon? I mean, really, is
it a station wagon? It’s really a tall wagon. But this is a vehicle that
has really strong reliability, and you can get them
for as low as 11 grand. And a friend of mine
actually bought one. She does a lot of outdoor stuff,
so she can throw her mountain bike in there any
time she wants, and so that’s just something
that I think a lot of people– it’s not on peoples’ radar. Why the Venza is such
a cool pick, because, again, it’s that
“against the tide.” When it goes to
used cars, you want to get the car that’s
good, that isn’t in demand. And we sometimes talk about
the most-overlooked vehicles and we talk and are like, here’s
cars you’re not interested in, and no one cares what
we’re talking about. But it’s like, on
the used car market, suddenly, I mean– what are
some of the cars that we like, like the Kia Cadenza
and some of these cars that nobody really knew
about or cared about. The used car market,
they’re not worth anything and they’re a lot
for their money. One of these things we do, the
cars that fly under the radar. Yeah. Every episode of Talking Cars. But the used car market
they get really smart. Yeah. All right. So let’s get to
another question. This person says, “guys, I
love the new look of the show.” Now, we didn’t
pick this question just because they said
something nice about us. Yeah, we did. OK. Actually, we did. so, “guys, I love the
new look of the show and I look to you
guys all the time. Question. I’m looking for a good
rear-wheel-drive car that’s both reliable and fun to drive. Any suggestions?” Now, the person didn’t
actually specify new or use or even
a price range, but I would say the
answer is always Fiat 124. [LAUGHTER] No, I’m kidding. What I was really
going to say was, the answer is
always Mazda Miata. This is a fun little car. It’s especially
good as a used car because it really has shown
to be really reliable. It’s a very small car though,
but it’s really fun to drive. Doesn’t have a lot of power
but, I mean, it’s really hard to go wrong with that car. Do you guys got some
other suggestions? Well, first of all,
I’ve got to correct you. Because it’s actually,
Miata Is Always The Answer. It’s an acronym. That’s what they actually– [LAUGHTER] I feel like I’m always
wrong with this guy. You know? Just usually. That’s why he’s the boss. [LAUGHTER] But, yeah. Miata’s– but we don’t
have enough to go on here. I mean, rear-wheel-drive. Are we talking pick-up
truck, sports car? I mean, we had a bunch of really
good rear-wheel-drive choices when we talked about used cars. Old Infinitis, right? Infiniti G. The G37, the M37. Those are good, good cars. I mean, you can go old. I mean, I don’t know. I’d probably wind up
with, like, a 90s MR2 turbo, which is
rear-wheel-drive, but it’s like–
there’s so many things. I don’t know. What do you think, Mike? Well, I didn’t know how
to take the question. Was it new? Was it used? Right. And I was thinking, reliable
and rear-wheel-drive and fun to drive? That’s a tough combination. And the first one that
I came up with, again, a car not necessarily popular
with us, but was the Lexus IS. I mean, rear-wheel-drive, great
reliability, terrible cockpit, you know, no leg
room for the driver. Terrible ergonomics. I loved the first generation. First generation, one of
my all-time favorites. The straight six and all that. It was a great car. So that kind of took care of
the reliability part of it. The more fun to drive for
rear-wheel-drive is a 3 Series. But that could be a money pit. Especially if
you’re buying used. How about a BMW 2 Series? I mean, that has shown
strong reliability, stronger than 3
Series, and that’s a really fun-to-drive
little car. Great car. You can get the 230i, or
you can get the M240i. I mean, that’s a decent car. But it’s not cheap though. That’s the only thing. You’re going to spend some
money to get that car. And you’ve got to
hand it to some of the domestic manufacturers. I mean, the Dodge Charger
still rear-wheel-drive. Cadillac ATS, you
know, excellent. Rear-wheel-drive, but
reliability nightmares. So the crowning one– and
this is a kind of a pun here– the crowning one for
rear-wheel-drive– Crown Vic. An old Crown Vic. Yes! Oh geez. [LAUGHTER] Not fun to drive. Always comes up with the
weird ones, doesn’t he? Easy to get parts. Or, if you’re feeling
crazy, a Mercury Marauder. Oh my god. Yes. OK. You’re just going
to let that go? All kinds of yes. We’re going to
move on from there. But what about–
a lot of friends that I have with
Miatas have actually switched to the Honda
S2000 because they wanted the extra power. You know? It’s a little more car. You know, instead of trying
to turbocharge your Miata, which can be a
bit of a nightmare to have it still work
properly and keep it cooled after you turbocharge it– Let’s say, the one thing about
the Miata that’s universal, it’s really reliable. Let’s throw a turbocharge in. Let’s mess that up. I did it, and it was a handful. But, you know, the S2000. I mean, that’s one of the
world’s greatest transmissions in there. Oh sure, yeah. Would you recommend
that car to someone for a fun rear-wheel-drive car? Absolutely. I mean, if you’re OK
putting up with the ride. But, I mean, you’re really
looking for something sporty, that car is amazing. Especially the early ones
that rev to 9000 RPM. I know you really liked
the first generation. It was just– But even the second
ones still rev to 8000. I mean, that’s still– It doesn’t go to nine though. Nine is more than eight. It’s all about nine. But super noisy. Yeah. Even on the highway when
you’re in the top gear. It’s a serious machine. It screams at you. I remember buying the last
one for our test program and driving it back
from the dealer, and I was just astounded
at how loud it was. I love that car though. So good. I took it to some track days
and it was just fantastic. It’s like driving, like, a
sport bike on the street. Right? It also shows you
that Honda once knew how to build really, really
interesting and cool cars. Yep. What about the Subaru BRZ and
Scion FRS or now Toyota 86? You know, the reliability
has only proven to be average but, I mean, these
are fun little cars. Yeah. They are. I mean, if you’re
looking for new, they’re not that expensive. Right. And there’s not a
whole lot of choices in that market in that price
range, unless you go for Miata. When we have track days and
an 86 or a BRZ is available, it’s always my first choice. Because you get
everything out of it. It doesn’t overwhelm you. Like a Miata, it doesn’t
overwhelm you with power, but the balance of
it is phenomenal. When it gets to its limits
it’s still controllable, and that’s what you want in
a car you take to the track. You know exactly what
you’re going to get. I think if I was
freshly-minted out of college, first car, no kids,
no house, no responsibilities, that car would be
probably top on my list. At this point, having teenage
boys in the house and dog, house, and the whole nightmare,
it doesn’t fit my life at all. But on a track, first choice. Yeah. OK. Let’s stick with
the used car theme. Here’s someone who
says, “I currently own a 2007 Honda Accord and
I’m looking at used minivans. I like all-wheel-drive so I was
looking at the Toyota Sienna. In my area it’s hard to
spend 28,000 on a used Sienna when I could just get a
Chrysler Town and Country with snow tires
for half the cost. What’s your opinion,
is the Sienna worth twice as much money? And is a minivan with
snow tires just as good in Western
Pennsylvania–” that’s where this person lives–
“as all-wheel-drive?” What do you think about that? Well, first of all,
I mean, snow tires. Right? Or winter tires. I mean, they make a big
difference in terms of safety. Right? They’re going to help you stop. They’re going to help you turn. Even if you have
all-wheel-drive. Even if you have
all-wheel-drive. It’s a really good idea. I mean, all-wheel-drive
does not help you stop. Exactly. I mean, we can’t
reiterate that enough. It doesn’t help you go around
the corner without sliding off. It helps you keep going. So snow tires are great. Minivans tend to be
really good in the snow, especially with snow tires. So don’t always
think you have to get the all-wheel-drive
on those vehicles. In terms of the costs, yeah. Absolutely. Siennas hold their value a
lot more than the Chrysler minivans. But it really comes down to how
much life is going to be left. And if you look at the
reliability information, it does appear that if you’re
looking at a used Sienna, you’re to get a whole
lot more life out of it than you would of that
equivalent Chrysler minivan. And that’s the reason
why it’s worth less. I mean, the Town and Country– our predicted reliability shows
well-below-average from 2008 to 2012 for that Chrysler
Town and Country. Right. And so you’re taking a chance
when you buy that thing. Well, and the other
way to do it– another way to look at it
is that, you could probably wind up with an older
Sienna for a similar price to that Chrysler and still get
the same cost of ownership, still get the same
amount of repairs. It would have more miles
and it would still– it has a good chance of
lasting longer anyway. That’s exactly right. When I saw this question
my first instinct was, a front-wheel-drive Sienna
with good winter tires should be fine. And a lot of times
when people bring up all-wheel-drive I start
asking them questions. Are you an emergency
room surgeon? Are you a police officer? Are you a firefighter? Do you have the
type of job where you have to be out on the
road doing your thing, regardless of the weather? And if not, forget about it. All-wheel-drive is pretty
much a waste of time because where we live, if
there’s a hint of a snow storm the schools gets canceled,
businesses shut down, and they don’t reopen
until the roads are clear. Yeah. So why are you wasting your
money on all-wheel-drive? So focus on the snow tires? Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, Mike, I think that’s
really, really good advice. And, you know, so many
people can telecommute now. So many people can just do that. And it’s like, if it’s a
situation that you cannot get out on the roads and get going
with snow tires and in front wheel drive, maybe you
shouldn’t be going out that day. And people want
more than they need. People buy more pick-up
truck usually than they need. Well, I might need it someday. So, all-wheel-drive– well,
I might need it someday. You might, but chances
are, you probably won’t. Right. OK. Let’s get to another
question here. This person says– and I think
this is actually a really interesting one– “why has Infiniti declined
slash cheapened their cars when they seem to have been on
a roll five plus years ago?” And, you know, if you
look at our current data, there’s only two Infinitis
with above-average reliability right now. And that’s the Q70 and the QX50. So Jake, what the heck is
going on with Infiniti? You’re going to
have to have Nissan. Right? So, I mean, look. Nissan is the parent
company of Infiniti. Nissan Infiniti– they made some
decisions in their products. They tried to get
less-expensive. They tried to go up in volume. They tried to figure out
how to get some cost out of the vehicles. And it’s apparent with the
reliability of Nissans, which we’ve seen for several
years where it just really has dropped to
well-below-average, even for– below-average for the
whole fleet on average. But, yeah. Infiniti. They’ve taken the cost
out of these vehicles. So in some ways they’ve kind
of upped some of the volumes, trying to make them
more cost competitive. But it’s a choice. So, I mean, if
you’re looking for– if you think about Nissan– I mean, again, go
Nissan Infiniti– you think about Nissan, the
four-door sports car, right? These old Maximas from the ’90s. Yeah. Oh my gosh. But they’re all
still on the road. That car was so good. Today’s Nissan are
not super-reliable, and today’s Infinitis are not
that real sporty experience that you used to get
with the Gs and the Ms. That’s such a shame. Yeah. You know, I think about– there hasn’t been one
automotive manufacturer over the last 10 or 15
years that has always been able to keep their edge. You know? There was a time when the
E-Class was a great sedan. We’re less enamored with
the redesigned model. There was a time when BMW made
everything that was great. The 5 Series of the early 2000s
was one of the best cars ever, and then it went down. It wasn’t as much fun. The controls got crazy. There isn’t one manufacturer– And they’re not as
fun to drive anymore. Right, yeah. Lost the steering feedback. And so Nissan is
kind of following this similar trajectory. That’s a hard word to say. Well done. Especially on camera. [LAUGHTER] I will say that I think
the road was a good effort. I think the current Q50– which we all still sometimes
refer to as the G– I think that’s a good effort. I do like that car a lot. I think Nissan is showing
some signs of life, but really they’re just not
as captivating as a brand as they used to be. So just to kind of hang on
what you’re talking about. I mean, you’re right. There’s ebbs and flows
in all these automakers. And, yeah. I mean, some of the new
Nissan products are OK, but they’re not the
top in the class. And what’s interesting about it
is that, while these cars kind of go up and down
as manufacturers, the perception of them sticks. And that’s why you got
to stay on the market. Because, I mean, we talk about
Hyundai Kia, for instance. People are still thinking
about 1985 Hyundai Excels and it’s like, no,
no, no, no, no, no. Move on. Move on. That’s a great point. They have changed. So some get better,
some get worse, but it is a moving market. Well, let’s switch
to another topic. We recently bought a
2017 Honda Civic Si. Now this is the first Si
to ever be turbocharged. So this is a big deal. No. Actually, lots of Si’s
have been turbocharged. [LAUGHTER] Just not by the factory. Exactly, yeah. So you know, we’ve already
done a first drive on it and we have a video
up that actually generated a lot of response. And it’s one of
those cars, I think, that the people who are most
passionate about these cars are the ones who have
owned them before. So Mike, I actually want
to start with you because I know you had a Honda
Civic Si years ago, and I want to start
with you to see what you think about this new car. Is it in the Si vein? My first new car ever was
a 1987 Honda Civic Si. Little three-door hatchback. Five-speed manual. I didn’t even get
air conditioning. I put my own radio in it. It was the most amazing. I loved that car. So obviously I had high
hopes for this new one. I had a chance to drive the
new Si and I got to say, I think Honda is back to
making really good engines. The 205 horsepower that
this one produces is just– it comes on seamlessly. You hardly even know
it’s turbocharged. I thought it was responsive. I liked the shifter. I liked the steering. I liked the seats. Dismayed that it’s
lost its handbrake, which is always fun in
a snowy parking lot. [CHUCKLES] Right. Right. And, of course, the
controls are horrible. Infotainment’s terrible. There’s no rotor tuning
knobs, which drives me batty. But other than– But this car’s
about the driving. Other than that,
I really like it. I like it a whole lot. And when we talk
about comparing it to the hot Focuses
and the GTI, I’m putting my money
on the Civic Si. If not only for really good fuel
economy, for probably pretty good reliability. Yeah. Now, it seems like Si’s
in the past were maybe a little more known for the
engine than their handling. This one, I think,
it’s really more about its handling
than the engine. Would you agree with that, Jake? I mean, I don’t think you–
you and I talked a little bit before the show. I don’t know if you’re quite
as high on the car as Mike is. Well, I mean, look. First of all, reliability– the
first year of the redesigned civic has been below-average. So, I mean– That’s fair. He’s always a downer. No, Jake is right. I’m Debbie Downer. That’s a fair point. You can’t just ride
on its reputation. The reputation of
Honda is great. Absolutely. But what have you
done for me lately? I mean, Honda’s been
a little bit spotty. I think they’ll
kind of work it out. I’m wouldn’t be surprised
next year if they’re going to get it together. But to me it’s like– look. The Civic really came a long
way this last generation. OK? I mean, the thing is a
much more grown-up car. Feels much more substantial. They did a lot of things
right in terms of handling. This Si, to me, is kind
of like a half-step up. It’s not– Well, that’s because you
got the Civic Type R coming. So that’s the full-step. Well, it is. And you’re exactly right. So it’s kind of almost like
the Civic Sport, you know? I mean, it’s really kind of,
like, a couple more horsepower. It doesn’t feel substantially
different from a normal Civic, whereas I think the Si–
and maybe the R is my car. I don’t know. Right. But it’s like, they
used to be more– like, usually there
was a different engine. Right. And the other thing
about Si to me– and even just Honda
what I really meant is those normally-aspirated
non-turbo engines that just revved so effortlessly. And yeah, this car’s got
a lot of usable power and it’s pretty powerful. And it’s happy revving to 6. It’s not as happy as Si. It’s not as happy
as it used to be. But it’s still pretty good. And, I mean, think about the
old Acura Integras and the GSR, and just how that thing
just revved so nice. And the old Si’s,
they just revved. And they used to
have this VTEC where it’s like, you get
these high revs, and all of a sudden
it then takes off and it feels like
a motorbike engine. It just sounds so cool. You don’t have this anymore. You kind of have
kind of normal– it’s more of a GLI than it is– I think we’re in a
new world of turbos, and unfortunately
it’s been proven that it’s hard to get a turbo
four-cylinder to sound really, really good. It can be done. But why would Honda take
something like a sweet VTEC– that whole mentality, or maybe
it’s just the label of VTEC– and kind of walk away from it? But they were very
fuel efficient. So, I mean– But they were unlike any
other four-cylinder out there. And now you don’t
really– you don’t– it’s gone. But, I mean– my take, it’s
more broad-stream appeal. OK? The Si definitely is skewing
to a bigger market, because you don’t have to rev it so high. You don’t have to work
the gears so much. It builds power from, like,
2,500 if you floor it, and it’s actually got
some power down there. Yeah. Tons. You drive around town and
you could be in third, you could be fourth,
you could be fifth. It doesn’t even matter. It used to be you
kind of had to do it. So it’s a broader-appeal
vehicle, just not as exciting when I drive. Yeah. I found it– I agree with you to some
extent on the engine, that it’s not as big
of a power difference over the regular civic as– It’s like 180 to 205. Yeah. So it’s not a lot. Right. But it does sound better
than the regular Civic Turbo, which really doesn’t
sound like much of anything. You’re going to change
the exhaust anyway. True. This does need more exhaust. You can hear the engine,
you can’t hear the exhaust too much. The seats are great. The steering is really sharp. But for $25,000, I mean,
you’re getting a car with adjustable suspension. You know? You can change it. Hit the Sport button and
the suspension gets stiffer. The shocks get
stiffer, to the point that it’s actually a
little harsh to live with. But, I mean, when
you’re on a back road, that’s when the car
really sharpens up. And I think– We talked about
Honda noise before, and the new Si on the highway
is not– it calms down. I mean, to you
point, Jake, I mean, it’s definitely more mainstream. But for me, at this stage in my
life, it’s just more livable. And I had to double-check
the window sticker of the car that we bought. I thought– for about 25 grand
you’re getting heated seats, satellite radio– I thought it was a great value. And really nice
sport seats, too. Yeah. I mean, those are really
good bolsters to hold you in place through the turns. Decent shifter. It’s a little– I was all ready not
to like it, but I drove it and I was
like, I like this car. The shifter is a
little notch right now, but it seems like it’s– like you told me, it’s already
wearing in, which is good, but it’s a little
plasticky-sounding. I think with a couple
of miles it’s going to– You know what I mean? Is plasticky a word? I don’t know if that’s a word. It’s a word now. OK. But the adjustable dampers– I don’t know. Can’t you just make the
car handle and ride good? I mean, like, you hit the
button and the steering wheel gets really stiff to turn. Look, you get a Mazda–
give me a Mazda 3. Not a Mazda 3 GT or
anything special, but a normal Mazda
3, and you know what? It steers great. It handles great. It rides recently. It does it all well without the
button and all the gimmicks. Here’s what I’ll say. I was ready to not like
the car that much either. And I took it out
on some back roads, and it is really fun to drive. I mean, it’s
really– like I said, I think it’s more about
the handling right now. And that’s what this
car is all about. It’s about getting you excited
to go take it on a back road and have some fun
through the turns. And from that perspective, I
think they’ve done a good job. It’s certainly not perfect. We’ll wait and hopefully
drive the Civic Type R and see if that is the car
that you’re looking for. Which probably has less
broad-stream appeal, and I’ll complain
about the the ride. The car that Jake’s looking
for is a 10-year-old– You might hate that car. I probably will hate that car. The car Jake’s looking for is
a 10-year-old Mitsubishi Evo, so you know. Or maybe Acura Integra
Type R. I don’t know. So you talk about the value. Here is one thing
it does not have. It does not have automatic
emergency braking. It does not have forward
collision warning. Not even available
on this vehicle. Is got the stupid
Honda LaneWatch though. And right now you
can get those– you could get that
equipment, AEB and FCW, automatic emergency braking
and foreward collision warning. On the cheapest Honda Civic
you could get it on that, but you can’t get it on the Si. Let’s get to that. On that point, we got some
questions recently about that. And here’s what
some people said. They said, these are
some viewers that said, “automatic braking is impossible
in a manual only car.” And we’re going to get to your
response about this, Jake. And then another person says,
“it’s important for people to know an automaker cannot put
forward collision warning with automatic braking on a
manual transmission vehicle. This would mean, if
those systems intervened on behalf of the driver,
bringing the car to a full stop to avoid a collision,
the car would stall. This is a liability
issue for automakers since it takes steering and
throttle away from the driver since the engine
is stalled and off. Honda would love to make
these features standard, but it’s a lawsuit
waiting to happen.” And you know what? That’s just simply not true. We’ve seen it in Scion AA, which
is now the Toyota Yaris IA. When it comes standard with
automatic emergency braking, and when the system intervenes
and slows the car to stop, the car stalls. Which is better than crashing. Well, I mean, this is the
internet rumor division. Right? [LAUGHTER] And I’ve seen these before. I mean, there’s a certain
amount of people that think– the one that I
liked was, this is be the death of the
manual transmission now that we have automatic
emergency breaking. It was dying long before
automatic emergency breaking. But it’s simply not true. You can have these systems. There are cars out there
that have these systems. The truth is, the way automatic
emergency brake works– and if you’ve ever had
this operating on you– what happens when it all
of a sudden intervenes, you know what the driver does? All in. They’re all feet in. Yeah. They slam on the clutch. That’s what you do in a
manual transmission car. So realistically, it’s
not going to stall. If for some reason
it does its thing and you just are completely
unconscious, it’ll stall. But, you know, if
you’re unconscious– You’re not paying attention. And furthermore, I
mean, the whole idea of that the engine stalls it’s
like this horrible, horrible thing– well, guess what? A lot of the cars that we have
right now have engine cut offs. So when you’re idling,
the engine goes off. And some of those cars
you can’t steer so much. And then when you put some
torque on it, it restarts. It’s just not true. It will stop you. You could put it on
manual transmission cars. That’s not an excuse. Well, hopefully we’ve
cleared that up. That’s going to do
it for this episode. If you want to learn
more about the cars that we talked about today,
click on the links to the show notes below. And as always,
thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time. [MUSIC PLAYING]

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Did Tom Die? I haven't seen Tom in a while after being such a centerpiece. So what did you do with him?

  2. Hey CR. What is the best muscle car you can buy/lease right now that is fun to drive, practical and offers a good amount of performance for the money?

  3. Jake fisher is a great boss. U can't ever tell that he is at a higher level because he lets others shine too. That's a leader.

  4. When they talk about Nissan notice how they FAIL to inform you the Renault influence that preceded Nissans reliability fall. The public needs to know this so that if another make/model has ties to Renault below the public radar, buyers can be informed and avoid it.

  5. Re AWD: Subies hardly cost any more now than non-AWD cars, so why not get them when they're reliable and usually show up high if not even top in the ranking? Like, the Forester is top of list for oldsters (like me), and driving in snow its AWD even with regular all-seasons bested the CRV and especially the RAV4 (video from a year or two ago). My wife drove her Prius for a number of winters with winter tires, and it was OK, but she should sure tell the difference when she got the Legacy with winter tires. (We live in a snow belt and she has a 150-mile round-trip commute.)

  6. Okay in terms of the whole internet rumors regarding manuals and AEB: isn’t the addition of systems that allow vehicles to in some way drive themselves at least in part the impetus that is motivating automakers to move away from mechanical control systems and towards things like purely electronic gear selectors?  Also since CR clearly believes in the value of safety features like FCW and AEB why haven’t they moved to make standard inclusion a requirement to receive a recommended rating?

  7. For the same money for Civic Si, you can get the Hyundai Elantra Sport which is a far better car. Elantra Sport also has better exhaust sound. Elantra Sport is also better equipped including leather seats which the Civic Si doesn't have.

  8. like the new show,
    what about honda pilot i have owned one for the last 5 years, only been in the shop once really good car and I got it used.

  9. Only the 4 banger Venza's are cheap. Or the V6's are cheap, could go back to 2009 and they have a ton of miles.

  10. as far as a RWD used cars ago, always go Infiniti G 37, you can get those used with under 100K for under $13K so about the same price as a used Miata but with over twice the power, and over FR S/BRZ

  11. Used SUV……2012 BMW X328i. About the same price as an Highlander. You only get half the life 130,000 miles vs 250,000 reliable miles. The X3 is a far far better life. Buy at 70,000 miles or less sale at 130,000 miles or less. The X3 is a cure for all the horrible driving SUVs they recommend.

  12. I love Nissan but the company has lost its edge in today's market. My family has had an '87 300ZX, '95 Maxima, '90 300ZX, '03 Infiniti G35, '07 Xterra and my '09 G37x. All were super reliable and great cars. Never had any problems. Now Nissan and Infiniti are just ok cars. But they are not great. I drove a new Q50 and don't think it's Worth trading in my G37 for.

  13. Have you thought of making a top 10 or top 5 recently used cars in certain price brackets by types of vehicles? I believe you did one video like this about 2 years ago. Keep up the good work

  14. Why is it that when cars have the auto start stop feature, the power steering is disabled? You would think that it would remain operational as it is not running off a power steering pump, instead it's using electric power steering.

  15. Many people hated the last generation Si for very low power right off the line. It was great to have the high revving, but it was only at high rpms! The new turbo delivers lots more power at low rpms, and it is a lot more pleasurable to have even power. The reason Honda didn't add Vtec plus turbo, was because they reserved that for the Type R.

  16. other places can have FEET of snow without shutting down any schools or business's, like the northwest.

  17. The hidden gem in the current Honda lineup is the 4-cyl Acoord 6MT, it's well priced, reliable, powerful enough and preserve some of the that old Honda flavor.

  18. When buying used, I have become a Buick fan. Quality of a lexus, performance of BMW (Regal), and used car price of a hyundai. No other brand gives such bang for the buck in the used car market.

  19. Is this idiot complaining about the "sport button"? really? Dude, at some point you really have to consider if you are too old to be doing this job. Seriously, get someone younger in that panel, is like watching a panel of retired beta-males talking about caterers and cholesterol medicine. Is 2017, turbo charged IS BETTER, objectively better, Variable steering/suspension IS BETTER, objectively. If the fact that you have to use technology annoys you, then you don't belong to be doing reviews of cars in 2017, 1980s might be more appropriate.

  20. Good show – very enjoyable and less scripted. Better camera angles, too. My 2¢ is get a darker table top 🙂 My EU-spec XC-60 (2014) has City Safe emergency braking and works fine with the 6-spd manual. It has only triggered once, when it decided I was approaching a French toll booth barrier a bit too fast (I have the equivalent of an EZPass). It works as designed. I've had two "high-revvers" in my time – an Integra and a Passat VR6. The Passat was more bearable as it had sort of a two-stage power delivery – Adequate and LetsGo (a lot like my Honda CB900F). The Acura was just tiring for day-to-day driving and I only kept it one year

  21. I wanted a 2011-2013 Highlander but damn still pricey……send with a 2010 AWD Sienna, more bang for ur buck.

  22. Thank you for talking about the manual + fancy automatic braking features.

    I've been saying for a long time that the car manufacturers need to give me adaptive cruise with manual transmission to get my money. Toyota is ahead of its time by offering them standard on Corolla (but not on Corolla iM). Unfortunately for them, I'm not at all interested in a Corolla. I'd have considered Corolla iM, but no, that one only has TSS-C, so no adaptive cruise.

    I've seen some ridiculous statements online about how annoying these features are, written by people who never used one, or who don't know how to use them properly. I wouldn't even consider taking a road trip on a car without adaptive cruise at this point.

  23. How about a Miata with a small block Ford V8? There are several places in Southern California that will do a turn key job for you at a reasonable price.

  24. They can figure out how to apply the brakes, but they can't figure out how to disengage the clutch. Come on. Not a problem. Maybe it just isn't cost effective to engineer a system to do it for such small quantities. But most people who drive manuals could figure out how to restart the car anyway.

    As far as the loss of power steering when the motor dies, I thought everyone was using electric steering these days. No need to hav the motor running.

  25. I learned how to drive on a 2004 Malibu MAXX, a hatchback version they made for a few years. As someone who prefers midsize or larger cars, but likes the added storage space, that car was great. Why don't we see many larger hatchback cars? Can they just cannot compete with crossovers and wagons, or is there something more to it than that?

  26. You folks need to use less obtrusive microphones … these 1940 style microphones look anachronistic

  27. Question: you guys have mentioned multiple times that Infinity "isn't what it used to be" or the Lexus IS "isn't what it was 1st gen". What other manufacturers or models have "fallen from grace"? How is this determined?

  28. I do a job where I need to get to work in a bad snow storm in Minnesota and I do just fine with a 2wd truck with all season tires on it.  Awd or 4wd is nice but not worth it.

  29. If honda really wants broad appeal with the si they should put an automatic in it. I live in NY and I know a few ppl that would be customers, but people here don't want to drive stick.

  30. I don't understand at all why the Venza didn't sell well in the US. It is the very definition of a modern crossover and really the perfect family car. It's the right size, plenty of space for people and cargo, 4 and 6 cyl engine options, good looking, manouverable, and reliable. They're very popular in Canada. America simply didn't see a good thing when it was right in front of them. Now Toyota has completely given that market to the Edge and Murano.

  31. I understand that cars are a smarter choice. But I need y'all to cover more trucks and suvs in the used market. A lot of people are buying them and I understand they are more expensive but many people feel left out without yalls recommendations.

  32. Fantastic episode. You all had me gripped from the start to the end. On the next episode can compare the si with the 2018 wrx in terms of handling and livability?

  33. I have a strange question for you guys. What expensive cars today do you think will be good cars to buy after a few years have went by and depreciation has taken place? This would be a second car that wouldn't be driven all the time. For example, I'm thinking about purchasing a used 2016 Audi S6 after a few years and the price has dropped to around $30,000. Give or take $8,000.

  34. great episode. I like CR talking used cars as it relates to reliability data.  Do more of these.
      For the minivan question:  I had a FWD Sienna with winter tires in Iowa, and it was fantastic.  My son was a terrible winter driver (he had just started learning to drive when we lived in Texas), and when we got hit with our first Iowa snow, he was in our neighbor's front lawn, ended up on a sidewalk, and stuck in driveway (all in 6 days before I could change the tires).  I put winter tires on the Sienna and even when the snow got worse (and temps even lower, aka below zero) he had no problems and even got a speeding ticket.  By the way, me in a AWD RAV4 (first gen) with all season tires was able to drive in the same weather and was even able to get him unstuck (yes, the RAV4 weighed less but pulled him out of a downhill driveway)–who needs AWD? Dads.

  35. What always drove me crazy shopping for a used car was that Acura and Lexus never had fold down rear seats in their RWD sedans. Even if new buyers didn't care about it, most people on the used market probably do. My 1st car was an Acura Legend, then a Lexus LS400 (both fantastic cars), but then went with a BMW 330Ci (RWD coupe w/folding seats) and I'm on my 4th BMW now (328i, X5, Z4), and I preach BMW big time. Credit to Audi, where it's been standard for a long time. Mercedes improved on that too. Seemingly unimportant thing, but I think the long-term effects have been and will be significant.

  36. Pretty sure Honda went turbo charged on the civic and civic si because of fuel economy and emissions regulations put in place by the Obama era. It's the reason most manufacturers are downsizing their engines and turbocharging. Naturally aspirated engines unfortunately are going to be a thing of the past. We can't be mad at the manufacturers for following the laws and goals set in place for them by our government.

  37. Where I live (Windsor Ontario) Miatas are nearly impossible to find, and are impossible to find at a decent price (starting price is around $7k for a high milage early series car). Just have to give up.

  38. Why does CR keep saying AWD is useless. In my experience AWD makes a HUGE difference in winter driving. Also, here in Canada, nothing shuts down just because of a little snow….

  39. I'm gonna chime in here on 2 counts:
    1) I obviously agree with the S2000, mostly because I own one. (A first year, MY2000) But I definitely stress to people that it's just plain raw to drive. Getting slightly softer summer tires was a big improvement over the OEM Potenza SO2s for comfort, but it's still loud & stiff. But what has continued to impress me is the reliability. The car is now 17.5 yrs old and has over 108k miles on it, but it starts and drives reliably. It's still on the original clutch. I don't drive it daily, but I do drive it weekly, and it's been great. But, if people do want a balance of comfort and fun in a roadster, I do often recommend Miata and I wouldn't be sad if I had one. (Also, S2000s are getting expensive even as they get older. Remember, the newest ones are MY2009)

    2) We also have a 2011 Odyssey, and a 2008 Outback. We live in CT with some hills & snow, and I switch all 3 vehicles to winter tires. Even with the AWD Outback, I have no hesitation driving the Odyssey in the snow with the good tires on it. I like AWD, but if you don't need to drive on completely unplowed roads with 4+" of standing snow, the only reason you'd need it is for very steep hills or driveways. I know the Pittsburgh area has some steep hills, but more to the point, I think winter tires are a good idea regardless of the vehicle you get.

    Not only do they help with stopping and turning, proper winter tires also help immensely with the effectiveness of electronic aids like ABS and Stability Control (and AEB, which I don't have on my used cars).

    Unfortunately, winter tires are a lifestyle change, not a one & done purchase, so most people don't bother. A shame, since they cost less than most insurance deductibles…

  40. i thought i had a good question about used priuses posted during the last episode but you didn't answer it this episode. maybe next time??

  41. about the AWD sienna, some of us live in areas where its -10 to -30C from October to April here in Canada, plus snow. Even when it dips to -50C life goes on and nothing changes. So to come and say you really dont need AWD is depending to where you live. What do you guys think?

  42. The same people complained about Honda not turbo charging their cars to keep up with the competition, are now complaining about turbos.

  43. What is more important during winter driving ice traction or snow traction? I've noticed the latest high performance all season tires flip flopped when compared to the last generation. Improving stopping in the snow by 15% but reducing ice stopping close to 25%!

    I feel like better ice traction is more likely to prevent gotcha crashes.

    That compound change to improve snow traction carries over for a couple % buff in wet weather traction during the rest of the year.

  44. While Tom is gone, this threesome is probably the best lineup Consumer Reports has now.

    About automatic emergency braking – it can be done on manual transmissions but the US government agrees it is harder to do. There is a recent agreement by all automakers to make it standard by 2022 but later for manual transmission cars:

    Best advice I have seen out of Consumer Reports in some time – buy a car no one cares about that is still a decent car. Some that come to mind and some of which they mention: Toyota Venza, Buick Regal, and Subaru Tribeca. All three are great used cars that you can get for a lot less money at three years old (Venza averages $16000 near me, Regal $18000, Tribeca $24,000, but hard to find).

    I do disagree a little about AWD. I live on a 650 foot mountain, and have to climb it every day even if it snows . The best snow tires on my old Honda Accord I would get stuck trying to climb the mountain. My front wheel drive Saab with snow tires was better but it still struggles. Our Subaru with snow tires gets up it, no problem. While I am not a doctor, I work in CT where CU is, and my company wants us at work daily… not at home. So AWD is needed – my job depends on it.

  45. Hi CR!

    Thanks for the great show.

    I have looked into the rear wheel drive car issue several times and every time I come up short and I was hoping you guys would answer the question, "what should I get?" I love the BRZ/86, but with a family is the back seat usable enough if it is needed in a pinch? Can I get away with the Miata's two seats and use the car as a third car once you look at a normal cost of ownership? What about if I really do need 4 seat and still want rear wheel drive? And finally, what about one that is truly reliable and fun?

    I guess I am asking, since you guys get to look at cars all the time and you drive them, would you be able to break down rear wheel drive cars into your recommendations. I.e. Best sub $30,000 new car. Best 4 Door new car. Best used car under $20,000 Best used car with 4 doors under $20,000. Best 4 door used or new that is reliable/fun. Best overall.

    Once again, thanks. I enjoy the podcast and hope to hear your thoughts on this soon.


  46. (Great new look with the high POV.) I have owned Porsches, Audis, and BMWs. Love them all but tired of initial and maintenance costs. I have been very surprised by the Elantra sport. It's decent looking, has all the grownup goodies, great handling for a FWD, enough torque, great warranty, and so inexpensive. What do you folks think?

  47. Love the show, every episode. I'm also a frequent website visitor. But nearly nothing on the vehicles I'm considering. The Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit passenger vans. Please some thoughts and data, maybe some reasons I should/n't get one for my family.

  48. With regards to your RWD fun to drive and reliable car question, I'm waiting for the Kia Stinger to come out. Hopefully, that will prove to be reliable. I'll be sure to wait for the second model year before I buy mine just to be sure.

  49. Clearly you guys live on the east coast. School and work do not shut down here in the Midwest. You need AWD if you live in the part of the country that actually goes to there job everyday

  50. You guys say the older infinitis are better. Does that include the 2004 G35 automatic sedan. Found one in good condition with 140,000 miles that I'd like to buy. Or were you talking about the slightly newer G37 series. I know you aren't a fan of the new Q series. Please respond I'd like to buy it this week.

  51. For the guy looking for a used minivan, the Odyssey is the obvious choice. He should get winter tires regardless of which van he buys and the Honda would bring joy to his life just like the Accord he has now.

  52. Automatic braking ? It's a sporty car who needs it ?. Teaching people to become less proficient drivers and more reliant on technology is not so good imo.

  53. Things were great except for the talk about AWD. Why do you often treat AWD and winter tires as if they are alternatives? Why do you still say AWD doesn't affect handling after releasing a video (a couple of years ago) comparing small SUVs in the winter saying one corners like a FWD car and another corners like an AWD car – and after highlighting the benefits of AWD in the previous Talking Cars episode?

    In Canada, many schools and businesses will not close when there is a significant snowfall. Driving any car in severe winter weather without winter tires is simply a stupid idea – especially an AWD car. I own an AWD vehicle – with winter tires – because a 2WD car with winter tires isn't always sufficient.

  54. 15:15 "loss their steering feedback". BMW THANK U for NOT keeping your steering smooth and jiggle-free. We don't want that detriment to luxury that reviewers try to polish with terms like "steering feedback".

  55. Which would the panel prefer, a 2017 Civic Si or 2017 Mazda 3 2.5L? I used to be a big Honda fan, but jumped ship for Mazda over the past decade as Honda seemingly lost their "fun to drive" dedication .

  56. I live in Canada, businesses do not shut down even with the worst of weather. We're talking 6-12 inches overnight and constant blizzards.

    I was thinking of trading my 12 civic for a used impreza. Any other AWD cars (not suv) that would be better for reliability and AWD performance?

    2017 Civic SI 205HP/192lb-ft

    2015 Civic SI 205HP/174lb-ft

  57. I've been wondering about this. Can you give a list of the manual cars that also have AB and FCW. In my research I could only find the Mazda3 (and 6 I believe) other than the scion you mentioned. You said there were some more. It's a great potential life saving feature and I wish more manual cars would have them.

  58. why is it that in Canada the Civic Si is based off the touring trim while in the States its based off the ex-t trim?

  59. Oh, so Jake is the boss? Explains a lot and why he talks over the others. Reign it in tiny, itty bitty thumb boy.

  60. Jake reminds me of that drunk uncle at a family party you paid like the plague because he drones on and on.???????

  61. Who cares about car-driving-itself crap? Automatic braking? WHO CARES??!! Pay attention when you drive! What a Pussy!

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