Q: What is the most quiet and comfortable midsize SUV in 2012 model?
Frank, first off, thanks for listening and taking time to write. Tell your friends, ok?! As for your question, I think I'd have to pick the Ford Explorer (love the look and it's got a great ride), the Volvo XC60 (beautiful, quiet, smart) or the Kia Sorrento (great price, built in Georgia, lots better than you might think for the price!) Hope that helps
Q: I am told I have a "long torso" and I physically do not fit in any American made or foreign motor car. Do know a trim shop that can remove the drivers seat and replace it with a lower seat that will give me 3 inches of additional head room. I really like the 2012 Chrysler hard top convertible.
Dr. Michael J. Randy
First, thanks for listening, Doc. Appreciate it. Actually since I'm up at 2 am with a toothache, I wish you were a DDS and I could ask YOU something! But anyway, on to your question. Here's the problem: Dealers are ALL going to be nervous about modifying seats, seating positions, anchors, belts, etc because when they do that, those darn LLBs start to line up with law suits if something untoward happens. Here's who I'd suggest, though. I'd call John Mayer at Berwyn Top and Trim on Ogden Avenue. He does simply exquisite interior work and probably has some experience with your anatomical challenges. And I'm not making fun of it, as I'm in the same boat. I'm 6'3" and have a 29" inseam, so most all of my height is torso, as well. It's what led me to buy the 996 Porsche--cuz it was the first 911 where the "A" pillar top wasn't the tallest part of the top. They moved it 5" rearward and voila, I finally FIT in the car I loved. I'd also pop a call to Steve Foley Jr's Cadillac and Bentley store in Northbrook, as I'm guessing he's taken care of modifying a few of his stock units for guys who are real tall and throw rubber balls in hoops for a living. (Not a real sport, mind, but still a good game) I'll give it some additional thought, too, but hope that's a good start for you.
Q: As retirees, we are considering splurging on what we intend to be our last luxury vehicle. The Lexus RX450h appeals to us because of its safety, reliability, and comfortable ride. we always keep our cars as long as possible and plan to do the same if we make this purchase. However, we have been reading that the fuel savings is negligible because of the high initial cost; we are also wondering if you could advise us about whether the battery would need to be replaced if we were to keep the car for 10-12 years. We would appreciate your thoughts as to whether this hybrid purchase would be wise. Thank you.
First, thanks for listening and writing. I genuinely appreciate everyone who is on the other end of the radio! As for your question, there's about a $6000 surcharge to go hybrid vs normal gas in this line. The non-hybrid is the RX350 that starts around $39000. So over a 10-year period, you'd be paying approx $600 per year extra for the hybrid. The question is: How long will it take in years and miles to justify the expenditure? Normally, the numbers run so that the turnaround point is at around the three year mark based on 15k miles per year. If you're going to keep it for 10 years, I'm guessing that your savings in fuel costs will far outweigh the extra you'll be paying up front--and that's based on what gasoline costs now. No one needs to be reminded that gas is on the way up. U.S. gasoline prices surged 8 percent in February alone. This past week, the price of unleaded gasoline continued its 22-day streak of rising every single day to a nationwide average of $3.73 per gallon. Gas prices are up about 14 percent in just the first two months of 2012--it already costs more than $5 a gallon to fill up in our nation's Capitol--and all of this is despite the fact that Americans are currently using less gasoline than they have in the past. With a lot of the world in a state of unrest (including here at home, unfortunately) coupled with other political problems that affect gasoline prices, no one really knows where it will level off. The higher it goes, though, the faster you'll be recouping your money. I can't answer about the battery lifespan over 10 years, though. A lot will depend on how many miles you think you'll be putting on the vehicle. I'll do some other asking around, though, and see if I can get better information from my friends at Toyota. What I do know is that you are right about Lexus quality, fit, finish, safety and great ride. I owned an ES350 for four years and all I ever did was change the oil and put gasoline in it. It ran like a champ and still looked fresh when it was given a new home! Hope this helps some.
Q: Paul, I am restoring a 1983 Pontiac Trans Am that I purchased new. Somehow, one of the 25th Anniversary Daytona 500 emblems/badge located on the front quarter panels above the Trans Am decal is missing. I have been looking for some time without any success. Help
Tom, I'd start looking in Hemmings Motor News. Also, do a Google search on Trans Am clubs and I bet you'll find exactly what you're looking for! Let me know, ok?
Q: I saw a mercedes benz model slk35 and was wondering if available in the chgo area. thanks
Yes. Go buy one. Today. Maybe two. They’re pretty cool. Enjoy.
Q: Hi Paul: I listened to you this past Saturday as I always do and heard a man talk about his son's Audi that is always in the shop. I wanted to call in and make a comment, but I had to take a phone call. I just wanted to say that my Audi (A4 2.8 Quattro) is the best car I ever had...no problems at all. My mechanic calls me "the Audi lady". I don't care if he doesn't remember my name! He can call me that any time! I change the synthetic oil probably more often than necessary and take good care of the car and the performance is superb. As for mileage, I live in Oak Brook and drove it from there to Galena/Savanna, Il and back home on one tank of gas with a bit left in the tank. Over the road performance is great. I felt bad to hear this man's son had such bad luck with his Audi. Worst car I ever had was a Fiat Pininfarina and also had a Cadillac that gave me a lot of problems. You may remember a past e-mail I sent you. I'm the lady who always puts Shell gas in her Audi. I felt bad for the guy with the Audi problems. I really love my car! Take care,
Barb, "the Audi lady"
If you take enough calls over a long enough period of time, you can find any story you like. “My XXX is great. My XXX is horrible. My XXX is this or that or isn’t this or that.” It’s enough to make your head spin! The part that gets me nuts is that if one person has a bad experience with a car, they feel compelled to shovel dung over every single car that brand has ever produced. It’s senseless, irritating, not representative of the entire brand--no matter which brand is being talked about--or really anything! It’s the difference between scientific data or research, and someone sitting around a bar with a warm Schlitz who is an expert in everything because either they owned one and it wasn’t right, or worse, “I have a friend who…..yadda yadda yadda.” Sometimes it’s just best to let someone blow off because no amount of reason, logic or reasonable conversation will quell the bloviating of such an expert. Cars are mass-produced products. Some of them are going to have problems. That’s why they come with warranties. My goodness, there are still people wandering in the mental dark about Jaguar having electrical problems, which was the first thing Ford fixed when they acquired Jag in 1991! Yet, still, they hang that rap on the car. Idiocy! I’m glad you enjoy your car. Obviously you are at odds with the caller because your Audi--like most all Audis--are exquisite automobiles. Two of their cars are on my list of all-time faves. So keep changing your oil, burning your Shell gasoline and smiling when you enjoy your drive