The 2008s are done!

For nearly a year I’ve been entering pricing information for 2008 models as it became available. Last night I finally entered the 207th, the 2008 Toyota Sequoia, along with the new Subaru WRX STI (not a separate model in my count). There will be a 208th if Hyundai ever gets around to pricing the 2008 Azera. And a couple of… More →

GM’s “dual mode” hybrid premium: over $9,000

Ever since I learned the details of GM’s “dual mode” hybrid system, I’ve wondered what they’re going to charge for it. The system is more advanced and generally superior to those offered by anyone else right now, including Toyota. The fuel economy benefits are clear: with this system, fuel economy increases by about 50 percent in city driving and 10… More →

The end of free maintenance

A few years ago, many European manufacturers started including free maintenance during the warranty period. For the 2008 model year, I think only BMW does. Why did they start? Why have they stopped? And what can you do to minimize the high maintenance costs on these cars? European manufacturers started including four or so years of free maintenance for at… More →

“No significant repairs”

Every once in a while when I follow up with a participant in TrueDelta’s Vehicle Reliability Survey, I’ll be told that the car in question required “no significant repairs.” At which point I ask, what about the insignificant ones? Unlike with Consumer Reports, every repair beyond routine maintenance and wear items (which are explicitly listed) should be reported. Even if… More →

Consumer Reports’ secret scoring system strikes again

Got my latest issue of Consumer Reports today, and they tested the Toyota Highlander, Buick Enclave, Ford Taurus X, and Subaru Tribeca. I’ve discussed before how Consumer Reports refuses to divulge how scores are calculated as a matter of “policy.” Well, while their detailed impressions of these models generally match my own, their secret scoring system yields a top place finish for the Toyota,… More →