Dodge Ramcharger EV and Audi TT Roadster Final Edition | Autoblog Podcast #806

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. They kick the discussion off covering some of the latest news on the Dodge Ramcharger electric truck and the Hurricane inline-six serving as a replacement for the long-running Hemi V8, the final Audi TT, controversial efforts to ban right turns on red lights, and financial results for both Lucid and Rivian.

Discussion then turns to the Tesla Cybertruck as our editors muse about its build quality and off-road capabilities after seeing photos and videos of test mules out in the public. We cover a few of our own cars, particularly Jeremy's Tesla Model 3 and Greg's classic '73 Chevy before wrapping it up with some notes on the brand-new Toyota Prius Prime.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.

Video Transcript

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GREG MIGLIORE: Welcome back to "The Autoblog Podcast." I'm Greg Migliore. We've got a great show for you this week. The Ramcharger is back. There's a lot to go on there. The Hemi is on its way out for RAM trucks. We're going to talk about the final Audi TT. Should right turns on red be banned? We're going to talk about that too.

We're also going to get into the state of the Cybertruck and what we've been driving at our long term fleets, as in our personal long term fleets. That includes a '93 Suburban, a Tesla Model 3, and '73 Chevelle. Wow, that's quite the lead in close things.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That is quite. That's a lot.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's a lot. So let's just bring in senior editor for All Things Consumer, Jeremy Korzeniewski. How are you, man?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I'm doing great. How are you doing?

GREG MIGLIORE: You're representing the first place Detroit Lions there with that hat? That's good to see.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I know. Growing up in Toledo, I've been a Lions fan for a really long time. My faith in the organization is-- or faith is the wrong word. My adherence to the organization is probably just now paying off. I'll tell you, when lived out in Seattle, I went to-- I went to the Lions-Seattle playoff game.

GREG MIGLIORE: Ooh.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Wow.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And man, I was wearing this hat. I bought this hat actually, which, man, it's been like 2015, '16, '17. I don't remember exactly. But that's when I bought this hat. I was getting heckled hardcore walking into-- walking into the stadium. But by halftime, when it was very clear that Seattle was going to dominate the game, people were like coming up, like patting me on the back and buying me beers and saying, yeah, better luck next year.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, wow.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. The mood really changed after the game started to being played. And it was like, yeah, this is-- we know how this is going to end.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, this was-- to show you how long ago, this was the quarterbacks for the two teams were Matthew Stafford for the Lions and Russell Wilson for the Seahawks?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That is exactly right.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. No, Seattle's a tough place to play. But here, like you said, the fans are actually pretty amenable when it's not like a rivalry situation.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: I give you credit. Lions, I mean, I've lived in Michigan all my life so. It's like, hey, the Lions are my team. But if I move to Seattle, I wouldn't switch teams, if you will. But I would probably start to follow the Seahawks a little bit because they've been great for a long time.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. I would-- when I lived in Seattle, I'd root for the home team. I still-- living there for a while, it's got a-- I've got a little bit of a soft spot. Before that, I lived in Arizona. I've never really developed that soft spot for the Cardinals.

GREG MIGLIORE: Nor should you.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: [LAUGHS] But yeah, Seattle, they were-- like you'd have to live in Seattle to know just how big the Seahawks are in Seattle, especially when you get into the downtown area. It's kind of hard not to get wrapped up in it. Kind of like you living in Ann Arbor and not having any at least a passing interest on the wolverines or living here in Columbus, where I do, and not hearing the constant O-H-I-Os of the Ohio State fans.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: So anywho.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. So that's today in football. Let's jump into some cars here. Let's see. So the Ramcharger. This is sort of the big story of the week. There's a couple different things going on here. There's the Ramcharger. And then Stellantis RAM also announced that the Hurricane I6 will be replacing the Hemi V8 in all of the RAM trucks. So remember that tagline, that thing got a Hemi commercial? Right now, it won't.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: No.

GREG MIGLIORE: In the future, it won't.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Nope. Absolutely. Are they going to have that thing got a hurricane?

GREG MIGLIORE: Would that be the greatest commercial right there?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It would be.

GREG MIGLIORE: If they brought those guys back? And then they're like, that thing got a Hurricane. And maybe the U. I guess you probably can't have like a Hurricane in the background of the ad. That wouldn't be good for a variety of reasons. But yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I mean, this is Dodge we're talking about. They kind of--

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: --can get away with things that other brands might not. I don't know.

GREG MIGLIORE: So that-- yeah. I mean, it's a little weird to see the Hemi go away. And it's an old school engine. When you drive it, especially like a RAM, I mean, to me, it's so red meat and potatoes. It's just like that. The feel, the rumble.

But I mean, I think I have not-- or I just-- I think the hurricane I6 is going to be a good replacement, though. So I think that's progress for now.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. The Hemi that I'm going to miss is the 6.4. The 392 Hemi.

- That's a good one.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Now, that engine, you can get it in muscle cars like the Challenger, you can get it you know in the Charger. But it really serves particularly well, I think, in RAMs heavy duty pickup trucks, the 6.4. I think it's over 400 horsepower. What is it, 410, something like that.

But it's just like-- it's the quintessential American V8 truck engine to me. That's going to be-- I'm not going to lie. I'm going to be sad to see that 6.4 naturally aspirated Hemi V8 go out of production. And I haven't really spent much solid seat time in a Hurricane I6 powered car. They're in Jeeps right now.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I've been around them. I love the natural balance of an Inline 6. It's one of the best engine formats. And all these engines, also they're forced induction engines too. So that'll be interesting to see-- Ford's been doing It's EcoBoost as it's top rung engines for a while now. GM has turbocharged four cylinders. This is going to be the first set of turbocharged engines nominal diesel in the RAM. We'll see how people react to that.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I've driven the hurricane in the GPS in a very limited fashion. So I'm cautiously optimistic that this could be a good replacement. But part of me also thinks devil's advocate, like couldn't you find a way? Like not just to single out the Hemi but for a lot of manufacturers to say, hey, we're going to make X number of V8s this year.

And it's going to be a small number, and it's not going to really be enough to mess with your, say cafe regulations or something. Do it that way for the people that might still want one. They're there for you. And then if you want to do a Ramcharger, which we should probably jump into, you could do that too.

But I kind think-- I mean, a lot of it too is these V8s are really old, like not just the but the General Motors, the Ford. Like these are old V8 engines. So some of it means they're borderline on obsolescence, and they don't want to use the money the capital to redevelop a new one, which makes sense.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Here's a good segue into Ramcharger, Greg. I'm taking your hosting duties away from you. I apologize.

GREG MIGLIORE: Please do it.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. So one of the classic ways that full size truck buyers rate their trucks and look at class superiority, one of the big ones is tow rating.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: The tow rating on the new Hurricane Inline 6 RAM is going to be lower than the outgoing Hemi V8 RAM. So I've got the specs pulled up here. Give me just a minute. So 2025, RAM 1500 with the high output hurricane engine is going to be 11,580 pounds towing capacity.

If you want to know the payload, that's going to be 2,300 pounds. So that is less than the outgoing 24 RAM with its gas Hemi V8 that is 12,750 and a 2,625 payload capacity. So on the hierarchy scale of where the new truck is going to fall on the old truck compared to the old truck, it's actually down a little bit.

Are people going to react poorly to that? Well, here's the segue I promise was coming. The plug-in hybrid-- well, I mean RAM is calling an electric car. But we can call it a-- we can make the case that there's a difference between a serial hybrid and an a parallel hybrid. But instead of going down that road, let's just-- let's just go with them and call it a range extended electric pickup truck.

That's going to have a tow rating of 14,000 pounds. So significantly higher than both the Hurricane Inline 6 in 2025 and still much higher than the 12,750 of the outgoing Hemi. So it's going to be the range topping tow machine with a class five hitch starting in-- once this switch over takes place. I thought that was kind of interesting.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. It reminds me a little bit of when the Volt first launched, they really split hairs between like-- to your point, what a series hybrid was, what a parallel hybrid was. And then the concept Volt was actually much more of a true, like sort of EV. And then by the time the production Volt arrived, it was just a very well executed plug-in hybrid.

So i think there was-- at the time, people were-- and frankly, journalists consumers at the time were a little not as aware of how all of these different things worked. So there was some consternation there. But that's not the case here.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: No, yeah. The engine, which interestingly, it's a 3.6 leters pentastar, not a three liter Inline 6 which-- that tells me that the pentastar is going to remain in production for a while. They wouldn't keep the production lines running just for the Ramcharger. So just kind of a little interesting detail there.

I think it would have been cool if it would have had some sort of version of the three liter Hurricane, get rid of all the forced induction because it's not going to be necessary to run the engine as a generator. But anyway, it's a 3.6 liter pentastar running as a generator. There will be no way for that combustion engine to power the wheels. The wheels are powered solely 100% with electric motors, which makes this an extended range electric vehicle, not a hybrid.

GREG MIGLIORE: And that's an important distinction there too.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. There's no way for the engine to power the wheels. That means it's not a hybrid. It is an electric vehicle. But the caveat there is it's an electric vehicle that's carrying around a big old, heavy gasoline engine generator all the time even when it's not necessary. So it's a little bit of a stop gap.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. That's a good way to look at it too.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: But also, it's the answer to all the people that are throwing their arms up, not wanting electric trucks because the range gets cut in half when towing. And the thing is, the range gets cut in half of every vehicle basically when you're towing.

It's not like a gasoline pickup truck doesn't lose range when it's got 10,000 pounds behind it. The same thing happens with those. The difference is it's a lot easier to find gas stations and fill up in 15, 20 minutes than it is to find a high output DC fast charger.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: So that's the issue. It's a stop gap. Not so much in terms of technology. Because the EV tech is there. It's a stop gap more in terms of there's not enough charging infrastructure to make towing with electricity a palatable option for the majority of buyers. So I think it's a good move.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. Did they say anything about quick charging? I was going through the materials. I would assume with the main RAM all electric, it's quick charging. So I'd assume this is. Maybe I shouldn't assume that.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I can't imagine that it wouldn't be.

GREG MIGLIORE: Right.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I don't know-- I don't know that they've said. I'm looking through our story. I don't see specifications on the charging speeds. I can't imagine that they would make it lower than-- why wouldn't they-- why wouldn't they share the charging infrastructure? I don't know if this is going to be a 400 volt electric vehicle, if it's an 800 volt electric vehicle. I don't think all that information has been disseminated quite yet.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, exactly. I think this is a good move. It's pretty unique in the marketplace right now. It's going to be interesting to see how electric vehicle buyers and RAM buyers receive it. I think it's creative. It's a very interesting approach to trying to continue to like that electric journey the transition, if you will. And actually, weird coincidence. I saw an old Ramcharger this morning.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Oh, really?

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. It was just parked in neighborhood over and looked a little battered. It was kind of red and that goldish brown patina with those old wheels on it. Look good, though. I've long advocated. I said this on the podcast a year ago. RAM should bring back like a Ramcharger. I know Stellantis has the Wrangler, and you never want to like try to compete with that. But why not?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I agree. I will also say that the Ramcharger name is absolutely perfect for this truck.

GREG MIGLIORE: It is. Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It's a RAM. It's a charger in that it's got an engine that charges. Like I mean, how perfect is that?

GREG MIGLIORE: I mean, it's pitch perfect.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Um-hmm. But yes, I agree with you. There's just so many great reasons why there should be a kind of off road oriented SUV from Stellantis.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: The Ramcharger would have been a great name for it. But I've long been advocating a GMC Jimmy as well.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yes.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: The market has clearly spoken. US consumers want throwback off road SUV vehicles. I know don't why the-- I don't know why the car companies aren't giving them what they want.

GREG MIGLIORE: I agree. I think Jimmy would be a great move. I really do. And I mean, you could argue against it for Stellantis. What's GM's problem? Like what do they have? Whereas there's no real competitive set up there. The Hummer, to me, is something entirely different than what we're discussing.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Any who.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Let's talk about the final Audi TT. It's a special edition. It's cool. Our headline is that it's a retirement edition for the US, which is kind of cool. For me, I remember how special the TT felt, especially in my earlier years in this business driving them in the press fleet. There were a lot of fun.

I remember, Audi's used them-- like it predates the R8. So this was their sports car for a while. I think it was a smart move for the company to have this type of sports car. And they've used it to debut some technology, like that virtual cockpit back in like, I think it was '13, 2013.

They showed it in like a Quattro concept. Because every Audi concept is called a Quattro. But that it showed up in one of the first, if not the first production vehicles were the TT.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. People are not going to look back at the Audi TT and mourn its impending loss like they are going to names like Camaro that are also going away. But it's still-- those of a certain age, Greg and I included, remember the first generation Audi TT probably quite fondly.

Nothing looked like that. It was absolutely a design icon of the 1990s and 2000. So it's a little bit bittersweet to see it go. I get that it was a smash hit, smash success, and kind of like set Audi styling tone for a good solid decade.

And then they came out with the second gen. And it lost a little bit of its first gen charm in the process of becoming a better car. Because let's call a spade a spade. The first gen Audi TT was basically a Volkswagen Golf GTI in prettier clothing.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: But it looked beautiful. It was desirable as a fashion statement, as a fashion accessory, so to speak. And there's still enough of them around if you pull up-- you bring a trailer cars and bids. I think we'll still be seeing first gen Audi TTs as kind of future collectible classic vehicles.

I do like what Audi did on this last generation or this final commemorative model. They went back to the first gen goodwood green color with a Palomino--

GREG MIGLIORE: It's a good color.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: --light brown. Yeah, it's a beautiful color. One of the classic shades of the first gen Audi TT. So it's a little bit of a throwback design, at least color palette. So sad to see it go. Not surprised to see it go. But the current Audi TT is not exactly the same vehicles that first gen was anyway, so this is kind of it. And it is what it is kind of scenario. Sorry to see it go, but it had a great run.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I mean, selling numbers aren't nothing special. And it's-- I don't-- I think if Audi wants to play in this space-- and because obviously the R8 is on the way out. Joel Stocksdale did a final drive for that at Laguna Seca. What a great trip, right, go to Pebble Beach and drive the R8 at Laguna Seca.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, that's pretty crazy.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think they need to of holistically rethink what their sports car strategy is going to be. And I think that's what they're doing.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: And a clean slate is a great place to start.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. You mentioned everything is Quattro branded. Everything also is e-tron branded. So I find it hard to believe that a vehicle in the TT's mold is not going to show up powered by electricity as opposed to gasoline.

So it might not be called a TT. It might be called something else. Hey, maybe it'll be the e-tron TT or something. Who knows. But yeah. I think it's not the last of the kind of mainstream attainable sports car that we're going to see from Audi.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. We'll see. One of those '80s inspired Quattros with all wheel drive maybe kind of blocky styling, electric powered. That sounds like a fun sport-- you could almost call it a crossover, a sporting type thing to fill out their lineup. Sign me up for that.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I mean, I think you need to fire up an email to Audi's product planners, Greg, like some--

GREG MIGLIORE: I'll just tweet them.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: We'll get on tweet. We'll LinkedIn them, X them, all that good stuff.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Here you are doing their jobs for them.

GREG MIGLIORE: There we go. All right. So banning right turns on red. This is being considered across the country, frankly. Cities are looking at it. It's something that is somewhat of a uniquely American problem at this point.

Because it's not really allowed in many other countries. Obviously, local laws may vary. But it's something we're seeing more widespread consideration and adoption here in the United States. I tend to think at the municipal level is probably the way to do it even though it isn't great for motorists. Because you don't necessarily know what the laws are maybe if you travel a lot.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Um-hmm

GREG MIGLIORE: Because every city is different. And I think every area is different. Can you probably make a right turn in far flung suburb? Sure. But if you're in a core downtown area, where there's a lot of foot traffic, that's a much different story. Perhaps it's safer to wait for the light. I don't know.

And I think you the way I look at this is, I think visibility in vehicles is different and worse than I think it's been. Because cars are big. They're wide. Many of them are high up. And the A-pillars are often so stocky that you can't see around things. We'll get to this in a minute.

But I drove the Prius Prime last week. Liked so much of it. But there were moments when I would make a turn, and I knew where I was going. But I would just be like, oh, what's going to disappear into the A-pillar right now?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Right.

GREG MIGLIORE: You know it's there. And that's not unique to the Prius. I think it was exacerbated because it's a pretty small car.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And it has very steeply raked windshield.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, man. They're like stanchions. So it was like an obstructed view at Tiger Stadium. So another reference here, baseball. So I don't know. I think there's some room for this to take place. What do you think?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It already happened in Washington DC.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Last year, the representatives got together and banned them outright. There's some states where they're-- usually, the way that it usually works, if there's no sign, then you can turn right on red. But how many times-- in fact, our story that ran on November 5 on this, it was covering the right turn on red bans and the discussion about it.

There's a picture of a vehicle turning right on a red, and there's a clear sign that says no turn on red. How many times do you go-- like the city-- the small kind of urban part of the suburb, Columbus suburb I live in, has signs up at a ton of different intersections that say no right turn on red during blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it's school hours.

So basically, that tells me-- and I've seen that a lot. I've seen that all over the place. It's not just my little area that I live in. That's because it is slightly more dangerous in areas where right turn on red is allowed. There is a measurable uptick in pedestrian deaths, people riding bikes and people walking to school or what have you.

The little town I live in has a college in it. It's got several elementary schools, et cetera, et cetera. Kids walk to school. And so they ban it during school hours. If the next step in doing that, if there's a measurable effect on pedestrian safety, especially when we're talking about kids, the next step would be to ban it outright.

So I understand where they're going with that. Anything to save lives, I think, is a step in the right direction. I don't think anyone wants to be the person who-- you can stand on your podium and declare that you don't want them to ban right on red for numerous reasons because you don't like traffic, you don't like it inconveniencing you.

But as soon as you are the one who hits somebody and it's your fault, you can't really stand on that soapbox, I don't think. So anyway, I think what's probably going to end up happening is large cities will take this up. other. Cities like Chicago and San Francisco are considering it. New York is mostly no right turn on red already, but there are signs everywhere.

If they just ban it outright entirely, that makes a lot more sense to me than doing it piecemeal. However, there's no need to ban right turn on reds in non-urban areas, I think. You get outside of major population density centers. And there's still-- there's still highways, there's still side streets that have red lights, traffic signals. There's no need to ban this as a country, I don't think. Banning it from city centers, I see that probably likely to increase.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Sounds good. So let's move along to a couple of earning reports here. Lucid ddin't do so well. Rivian did pretty well. These are the third quarter earnings that are-- it's that time of year, if you will, that we start to get the different companies and all walks of industry reporting them.

Rather than dive too deeply into the financials, I think it's just an interesting snapshot of where each company is. I think you're always wondering, especially with these-- I wouldn't totally call either of these startups at this point. But they're like newer automakers that are electric based.

You start to think, who's going to be the next Tesla? It's such a cliche to say that. Who's going to be maybe the next Lordstown Motors? Somebody who just doesn't quite launch, or like the original Fisker. So I think with all of these companies, especially these two because they have such high profile products, we're in a space where it's like-- they're still under the microscope.

And right now, it seems like Rivian is in a little bit of a better place. And I would attribute that to their product portfolio for starters. I think having a truck-- kind of like a lifestyle truck with some interesting features, like an outdoorsy vibe. The same thing with the SUV, the R1S. It feels like they're kind of at the market, meeting the market where consumers want to be. So we'll see how this plays out, though.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Yeah. I'll not get on a-- I'll not get on a big soapbox here. But I'll just give a little bit of-- a little bit of commentary here. So there's been a lot of headlines lately about EV sales tanking about-- you read the comments on our site. And every time there's anything slightly negative on electric vehicles, you're going to see a whole bunch of people saying, see, I told you so. Nobody wants them. They're trying to push these things down our throats.

That's not actually what's happening when you're looking at the real numbers. It's a manufacture by manufacture issue. So Mercedes boss went out and said, oh, we're having a-- he called the EV market brutal and said that they're having a little bit of a hard time selling their high end EVs. Well, I looked up the numbers.

They're selling about 15% of their total volume in electric vehicles, which is up 1.8% from the previous quarter and up dramatically from the previous year. Over at BMW, they're singing a different tune. And they're like, oh, our EV sales are going great. We're super excited about it. We're happy.

It's the same 15% of their market. The issue is that Mercedes is having to add some discounts, and they're losing profit margin on their EVs. It's not that they can't sell them, it's that they're not as profitable as a company.

And dealerships are complaining because a lot of Mercedes EVs are very expensive. And a lot of the luxury class buyers are just opting to stick with a regular old S-class instead. That's kind of like the caveat of having the world's most recognizable gasoline powered electric-- or gasoline powered luxury nameplate, the S-class. It is the standard.

You're not going to lose those buyers immediately. And there is an EQS, but it doesn't have the cachet yet that the gas S-class does. BMW is not having to discount their cars very much or their electric vehicles very much because they do have things like the I7 that is built alongside the gasoline 7 series. But they've also got things like the I4 that are selling really well because it's the product that people want.

So I think-- and the same thing with Lucid and Rivian. Lucid had a bad quarter. Rivian had a great quarter. Lucid had to adjust their production plans down. Rivian just adjusted theirs up. It's a manufacture by manufacture thing. And a lot of it is being driven by Tesla, which is putting a lot of pricing pressure on its competitors by lowering their prices because they have the highest profit margin.

Tesla had more profit margin to restrict and still make some sort of profit than the other car companies did. So we're just-- the market is just settling. The market is stabilizing. The market's going to continue going up. The car companies are still going to continue selling more electric vehicles than they have in the past.

It's not just like, oh, my God. The sky is falling. No one wants electric cars. That's not the issue. Car companies are just figuring out how to price them, how to sell them, and how to offer the product that people want. So give it a little time. This is all still very early.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. All right. So while we're on the subject of EVs, let's kind of close out our news section with the state of the Cybertruck. I've been kind of wanting to talk about the Cybertruck for a little while here. Tesla earnings, a week or so ago, the Cybertruck was the subject of much interest.

And we didn't really get much out of Elon on that call. They did announce that they were going to do a deal with some sort of-- I think it's a Scandinavian supplier for the stainless steel panels. That came out a little bit before that. And since that time, we've seen video of it sort of struggling appearing to struggle off road, as well as a colleague of ours, Daniel Golson, saw it at a cars and coffee in Malibu with this kind of like matte wrap on it.

And the internet just kind of lost its mind. It really both of those matters. So I kind of like-- I think first of all, a truck that's different, that's electric, wedge shaped design. That sounds pretty good to me. But it seems like they're really struggling with getting it launched, with getting some of these fancy details that they've put them in themselves. Nobody said they had to do it this way, which I think, hey, you know you're trying to go up against the Detroit 3 and trucks. You better not miss. Let's put it that way.

I don't think this is truly going to be that type of a competitor exactly like the way Nissan and Toyota sort of tried and failed. So all that's just to say, what's up with the Cybertruck? I mean, even Elon Musk, he's been quoted as saying, we really put ourselves through the ringer on this one, and maybe we didn't have to. I'm paraphrasing. So I mean, what do you think?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Well, first of all, did you look at the pictures on Twitter of the wrapped truck? Oh, my gosh. To say that it was poorly assembled is-- I mean, that's doing a disservice to the term poorly assembled. It looked like a kit car project in someone's garage that they shouldn't be putting together kit cars.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Just absolutely terrible. The wrap was terrible too. Like the shoddy--

GREG MIGLIORE: I think the wrap made it look worse.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Oh, it was so bad. The worst parts to me were-- so it's got these flat stainless steel sides. And it's got these big kind of like fender flares that are affixed to the side. The fender flares and the flat body side didn't line up, like there's big huge gaps.

Is that the fender flare that is way off? Is that the body side? Like does it have-- is it like-- is it stamped poorly? I don't know. But it was alarming, to say the least. And then the back, where the tailgate came up, you could see there supposed to be a straight across horizontal line for the tail light.

And oh, my gosh. It was-- I mean, this is not a case of misaligned. This is a case of, was the thing hit? What happened here? And the fact that it was Franz von Holzhausen-- I don't know how you say his name.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: He's the head designer at Tesla, and he's the one who drove it to the event. Like was-- how does that happen? How does an executive at the company look at the truck and say, yeah, I'll show this to people. It's so bad.

And before people-- if you've got a reservation for one, or if you're like a Tesla Elon Musk fan, please know that I own a Tesla. I bought a brand new Model 3 this year. I'm not a Tesla basher. I have no love for Elon Musk specifically. But Tesla as a company, I don't have any qualms with them.

It's not like I would tell people like, oh, you should never buy a Tesla. I bought one. I'm not-- I'm not saying these things coming from a ah, gotcha. Gotcha, Elon. Gotcha, Tesla. I knew you couldn't do this. I'm not coming at it like that. I'm saying, boy, does this thing look terrible?

And so close to when they're saying it's supposed to be in customer hands. If that's a car that came off the line in pre-production, do you have any idea how much hand massaging that car would require to look at least even halfway reasonable to hand off to a customer? So the question is, is that representative of what's actually coming down the pre-production line?

Was this a hand-built prototype that was just like thrown together after throwing back several beers or-- like on a Fridays, everybody's trying to get out. And if that's the case, why would you drive it to an event and actually let people look at it? It's unfathomable to me. Could you imagine if Ford brought a lightning out like shortly before putting them in customer hands, and they brought one, and it looked this bad? Can you imagine people going like, oh, my goodness. This thing is going to be a turd. It's hard to think anything else after looking and seeing how bad it was.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, it's interesting. I think I've interviewed Franz Von Holzhausen. He was a long time designer for Mazda. I think he knows what he's doing. he was part of those-- that sort of new guard of sort of established executives that went to Tesla, Fisker, and some of the other companies almost a decade ago. And to his credit, he stuck around there.

Not many people are long term Tesla employees, especially in such a high level job like that. So I don't know. I can't speak to him. Maybe it was just a Saturday morning, and he needed to get out of the house, and he wanted some coffee. I don't know. Maybe it wasn't more than that. It's hard to say.

But I mean, just broader strokes, I'm starting to feel like the Cybertruck is-- they need to get it out. Because I think they can get it out. As long as they can somehow get these build quality issues ironed out, people are going to love it. The Tesla fan base is going to love it.

I think people like myself who are trying to be objective, I think it's cool. Like I said, wedge shaped design. It's a different take. Let's go. But they're also trending I think very close to almost becoming like Aztec territory. This things going to be a punch line. Yes.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Same-- yeah. I'm thinking the same word. Touching real briefly on the off roading. You mentioned that in the run up to this. And we're focusing so much on how bad the thing looks.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And I'm not talking about the overall design. I don't love the design. Actually, did I tell you I saw one in the real world driving down the streets of Columbus?

GREG MIGLIORE: You did. Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. And there's-- I don't know exactly what they're doing here. But I pulled up on Twitter, and I just-- I typed in Cybertruck Columbus. And there's been dozens of sightings. So it's not like there's only one of them here. They're running around. They must be doing validation or something. I don't know exactly what.

But it actually was very striking on the road. I saw it drive down. And I was like-- it's not exactly my cup of tea. I think it's pretty darn ugly personally. But it's different. And it's going to have this cool vibe to it amongst a sizable percentage of the population. As many people absolutely loathe it are going to love it.

And then there's other people that are going to be like, I don't really care. It's whatever. Anyway, so I'm not bagging on its design. It is what it is. It's not my favorite. Some people love it. I'm talking about just how poorly constructed and screwed together it was.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yes. Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And then we get to the off roading thing. That's not a concern to me at this point. I have to assume they're taking it off road and testing it. They're probably finalizing software design. It's like they have to ramp up the proper torque to the motors.

They probably-- they probably have tons of sensors on the thing that are checking for wheel slip and-- I'm not so concerned about the ones and zeros at this point. There's no reason that the vehicle should be terrible off road. You put the right tires on it, you make sure the air is way up, and you calibrate the software to give you traction.

It's not exactly rocket science. And I have to assume that's probably what they're doing. They're probably taking it on these off road trails in an effort to dial in all of their calibrations. Also, not every driver is good at driving off road.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's true. Yeah. That may not be the smoking gun that some people are making it out to be.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Exactly. I'm not super concerned about that. I figure they'll get that worked out. And I also doubt-- I doubt a sizable percentage of Cybertruck owners are going to be driving them on crazy off road trails anyway. These aren't Wranglers.

They're electric pickup trucks, and they're a statement as much as they are a vehicle. I am extremely concerned about the build quality. It's been a long-- I hate to kick Tesla over it, over, and over, and over again. It's like beating a dead horse.

But they've had build quality problems on every launch that they've had. And leading up to being this close to production launch, I think it's supposed to be this month, Greg, that they're doing initial hand offs. It is so bad.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: If this is indicative of what's actually coming off the line, they have big trouble.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I saw a Tesla-- I think it was a Model S torn apart a few years ago at a sort of a local analytics intelligence supplier type company in Metro Detroit. And I remember, their take was, this is what they do is rip apart cars and try to figure out the strengths and weaknesses. And they were like-- the EV propulsion system is like-- it's an iPhone.

It's like just-- it was so far ahead of what everybody had. This is before we really knew much about Ultium at that point. But they were like, we just don't get what they're doing here. The fit and finish was poor. They were like-- this is like '80s level of stuff. And these like, there was no reason for it to be that way.

You can hire somebody to do it that way. Like hire a whole manufacturing team, like quality people. And it wasn't the way they kind of explained it. This was Monroe, I should say. They were probably remember, we covered it a little bit.

They're like, this is fixable. And every car isn't terrible. But it's just the one they got ripped apart. They're like, oh, this is kind of subpar. So it's kind of a good segue to our long term segment. And why don't we just leave right off with your Tesla Model 3?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. That's an issue that I was concerned about when I placed the order for a Tesla Model 3. I was super-- because I'd seen several early Model 3s. I have some friends who have them, and the build quality was not great. One of them on the inside, a lot of the interior panels were not screwed together the way that you expect it to be screwed together.

Another one I saw, the trunk was shifted way over to one side, and the tail light didn't line up. I was very concerned about that when I placed my order. But I can tell you that between 2018 and 2023, because my friend has a 2018 model. Between those dates, they have fixed the issues. If my personal model 3 is anything to go by, I spent a good long time before I accepted delivery of the car, going through the body line ups, going through the interior.

I popped all the trunks. I checked all the moldings. I checked all the weather stripping. I didn't take delivery of the vehicle until I did a very thorough walk around. And I had zero issues. Zero. Absolutely none. And not to go back to Cybertruck, but that's-- we're talking about a car company-- some people say, well, yeah, it's hard to build cars. Like oh, this is a startup car company.

No, it's not. Not anymore. This is the most valuable car company in the world.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, they're here.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And, you know. So that is unacceptable. It's unacceptable that I had to be so concerned about it when I was taking my Model 3 because it's a well known issue. It'll be unacceptable if the Cybertrucks are screwed together poorly when they do the deliveries.

However, back to the car. It has been absolutely perfect. Just absolutely flawless. The ownership experience has been perfect. Literally, the one thing that kept me from driving the car is my wife drove her-- accidentally drove over a screw. So I had to extract a screw from the tire, and that is not the car's fault.

Literally, everything has been flawless. And it's great to drive. I really enjoy driving it. I've taken a lot of friends along for rides. We've driven it from Columbus to upper Michigan and back several times now relying on Tesla's supercharger network. Flawless experience. I would recommend a Model 3 to anyone who is aware of the charging infrastructure, the goods, the positive and the negative. Just absolutely perfect vehicle for my family. Super happy with the decision to bring it home.

GREG MIGLIORE: Now, I'm curious, would you feel confident sort of recommending this to, just say your neighbor or your cousin who is asking you? Do you feel like you, as an industry expert, were able to like discern that you had a good quality vehicle and feel good about it or do you feel like you got lucky? Like I'm just curious. Because I would consider buying a Tesla.

There's some major hang ups I would have based on some of the quality issues and some of the things that Elon Musk has said had done. But just on a pure product perspective, range is good. They're attractive cars. I mean, I don't know. I mean, is it too scattershot still?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: You know what, I wouldn't-- this is difficult. It's actually a super difficult question. I would recommend it. I would absolutely recommend it, but not without caveats. I would explain, well, here's-- because I think people are-- it's still early days in EV ownership for most people.

People might not know the benefits and drawbacks of electric vehicle ownership. So I'd want-- I talk to a Uber driver who's taking me to the airport. And he hopped in his brother's Model 3 and drove from New York to Columbus. He was using his Apple iPhone for navigation. He was doing all these things.

And he drove it like a normal car, like a gas powered car. When the range got there like 10%, he's like, oh, better stop and fill up, without knowing that the right way to do that is to use the Tesla navigation system, and for it to plot your route for you and to tell you where to stop, how long to charge, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. He tried to drive it like it was a normal car.

And he was like, I'll never do that again. I hated that. It was the worst driving experience of my life. He has a tarnished experience with a good car because he didn't know the proper way to use it. And I didn't-- I didn't try to explain all that to him because he was very irritated at the entire experience. So was just like, well, I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.

But the issue-- he wouldn't have had that problem if he would have-- not use his iPhone you know for navigation, if he would have known that the car will tell him where and when to stop, how long to charge, et cetera, et cetera. He would have had a much different experience. So that tells me not everyone is ready for this sea change of driving evolution. So would I recommend it? Absolutely. But not without-- not without making sure that the person understood what they were signing up for.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK. All Right. Yeah, I think that's-- I mean, that's fair. I remember when you were considering different cars and that you-- you went through a lot, if you will, to try to figure out what would be the right move.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Well, I did-- a little more background than people need to know. I looked at everything other than a Tesla.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Now that I own one, though, my fears of poor quality and an unhappy ownership experience completely, it was a little bit of fear of the unknown. I've never ordered a car online before and gotten a date to come pick it up. I've ordered-- I've ordered cars brand new before and watched the ship--

But you still-- you go to a traditional dealership, you drive the car, and then you pick the one that you want. The Tesla, it's a very different thing. I went there. They had one Model 3 demo. And it was a performance model, not the one that I was looking at. I was looking at the standard.

I couldn't even drive a standard one before I put the order in. So I was nervous about it. I didn't like the entire idea of it, maybe a little bit more of a traditionalist. But I've been rewarded with a flawless ownership experience. About what, eight months in now, something like that. So actually super pleased with it. You could say literally couldn't be happier with it. It's just been-- it's been perfect.

GREG MIGLIORE: Nice. Nice. OK. All right. So I guess we can update something in my long term fleet. Some of you guys might know that my brother and I are working on a 1973 Chevelle. We have sort of a car builder, if you will, who's really doing all of the work for that matter.

And the project is moving along. it was originally like a family car, if you will. We sort of inherited it from my parents. And two sort of updates. If we were doing this like a long term post-- like from our regular "Autoblog" long term cars. We have new donor car. And the donor car is essentially the car, I would say.

We are-- we got like a rolling chassis, intact body, and interior. And the original '73, we're going to pull the motor, which I think is significant. The 350 is going to get on there with new cams, new headers. We're going to try to get the horsepower up to north of 300. Because originally, the 350 V8 was-- I think it was either 145 or 175 depending on the number of carbs the car that.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That had been super low compression engine.

GREG MIGLIORE: Indeed.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: There's a lot more you can do with it.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: So yeah, that's like the new one. I'm pretty psyched. I think when you talk about restoration projects, how much of the original car survives and how much is really more like an amalgamation of other cars? In this case, technically, this recent thing that we acquired will be sort of a survivor.

But I think the mix of parts is going to be about the same. Because we're going to use some interior pieces, like the IP, the motor, again, which is a big deal. And some of the fenders. So the original '73, yeah. It was rusted in some pretty critical parts, like the--

I guess it's the A, B, C pillar. Because these were the colonnade years. Things that would have made it just more cost prohibitive to do that. So I feel pretty good about where the project's going. And then just sort of breaking news, if you will. We acquired a Laguna clip.

So the original car was a Malibu. And this new thing we-- new car we acquired does have the Laguna bucket seats, which are quite rare at this point and actually add considerable sort of value to the project. So we're going to use those. And then the Laguna clip.

I think it looks sweet. If you're into like you know 1970s muscle cars, I use that term a little loosely, they started to look a little more awkward as the '70s rolled on with those big five mile an hour bumpers on a lot of the cars. This cleans it right up.

It looks in a way. It's like a throwback. It looks kind of sleeker. So that was cool. We went over to this guy's house on Sunday morning and grabbed it. My brother threw it in the back of his SUV and away we went.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: You want to explain to the readers who maybe don't know what you mean by clip?

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. That's a good point. So for most Chevelles of the 1973 to like '76 model years, they just had a standard front end grille headlights and large bumper. The Laguna for '73 and '74 specifically, and then the Laguna continued, but the clip looked a bit different.

Essentially like a-- it's polyurethane, or plastic, or rubber. It's like a rubber-like material that covers the front end of the car like a clip, like almost like a race car. And it sort of lightly covers the bumper and creates some accentuation around the headlight and grille to make it a more complete sportier look. And it's a piece of a car. It's not like some vinyl Tesla Cybertruck wrap. It's like another front end is what it is.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Exactly, yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's sort of like you would pay for an optional different appearance for the Laguna trim would be a better way to put it. And you can buy these clips if you're 50 years later trying to change the look of your car.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. So basically-- so basically, the car that you bought had the regular front clip. And by that, we mean the everything in front of the fenders. So headlights, grille, bumper, any front spoiler, that kind of thing is what we're referring to. You're going to have your guy pull off the original, replace it with the more streamlined, better looking Laguna.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, nice.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That sounds great.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. So that's the update. I was a little torn, to be honest. Because I kind of like-- it's the car I remember growing up with the big bumper and such. But it's a little bit different, taking things to a different direction.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It is better different looking than Laguna.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think most people think that. And it adds a little bit to the value. I'm seeing one on Hemmings here for about 25 grand.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Nice.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's not bad.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And so your car was an originally a 352 barrel?

GREG MIGLIORE: I believe it was a two barrel, yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: So they're going to-- when you do the rebuild, you're going to put new heads on it, higher compression, probably a aftermarket-- maybe an Edelbrock aluminum. Man, are you going to go carburated or are you going to go fuel injected?

GREG MIGLIORE: It's still up for debate. Probably carburated. But we'll see.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, more classic. Yeah. Holly-- you know, Holly Edelbrock, a lot of those companies are making really nice fuel injection kits that-- know actually looked into them. The other vehicle in my current driveway is a 1993 GMC Suburban with a 454 throttle body engine. They switched to a tuned port injection-- I think a tune port injection system a little bit later.

But I've got the old throttle body. It's reliable as dirt. I mean, it's got like-- I don't know, like less processing power than a Game Boy. So I've already replaced the computer in the thing. It took a couple hundred miles and it, relearned everything and was as solid as can be. I've thought if this is something I'm going to keep for a really long time, which is also up for debate, I'd normally go through cars pretty quickly.

If I were to keep it for a long time, popping off that old throttle body injection system and replacing it with a more modern, much more electronically intelligent fuel injection system from Holley or what have you will drastically improve my efficiency. And when I say drastically, like I get like 13 miles per gallon out of the stupid thing. So yeah, it's it's terrible.

I say stupid thing in the most pleasant way possible. I don't call it stupid because dislike it. I call it stupid because it's kind of dumb to drive a '93 big block suburban around when it's not necessary. But that's why we have the Tesla, and that's what we typically drive.

Our suburban is for camping, and hauling, and towing, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And it actually doesn't get driven that much. So if I were driving it all the time, it'd probably be worth it to make that upgrade. Being that it doesn't get driven that much, maybe it doesn't-- maybe it doesn't make sense. Maybe it doesn't matter. And again, I don't-- I'd like to have-- I'd like to have a real, honest to God, pickup truck.

Because the suburban spends a lot of time hauling things in the back. I haven't had the third seat in it since basically the third month I've had it. And it's I've had it for a few years now. So it spends a lot of time hauling a pickup truck would be better for that. But when I do need to put the third row in, I can see eight human adults and still have room for luggage in the back. That's nice too. So I don't know. I don't know what the future of the Korzenowski non-electric vehicle driveway will look like. But right now and at least for the winter, it'll still be Suburban.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's a nice thing to drive around in the winter. A little bit nostalgic. I can remember going camping, and scout trips in people's parents suburbans of this vintage. A little bit older, a little bit newer. And the '90s are kind of cool again. So there's that.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. And it's pretty unstoppable in the winter. I mean, it's a legit 4x4 with a transfer-- two speed transfer case. 4L ADE transmission, which are basically unkillable. It's a sturdy, sturdy truck. Eight lug wheels. Yeah, it's not-- it's not bad. It's a really useful vehicle to have around. It just stinks that it's so inefficient.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I have-- as I was going through some specs of the '73 Chevelle, you want to take a guess at the fuel economy for that year?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Oh, gosh.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. It's better than you might think, but I don't even know.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Well, yeah. This was pre-EPA standardized, like what we consider modern fuel economy tests. They often rated cars with V8 engines and two barrels for just unbelievably good highway economy that they never ever would get in the real world. Would they rate-- I'm going to say 15 city, 22 highway.

GREG MIGLIORE: So I'm seeing 13 combined. This is what--

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: 13 combined. Oh, that's bad.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That's for the 352 barrel?

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 350 V8 with the turbo fire, manual three speed.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Is that what you guys have is it the manual?

GREG MIGLIORE: No, it's not. It's an automatic.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Three speed auto, yeah.

GREG MIGLIORE: This is just a very dense--

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Probably a turbo 350 automatic.

GREG MIGLIORE: --catalog here. Yeah, yeah. There it is the hydramatic. And that gets you to-- oh, it actually gets worse. 12.5.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Oh, that's bad.

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, my that's bad. Yeah. And you can tell apparently by the two barrel versus single barrel is apparently, it has to do with the number of exhaust pipes. So that's sort of a tell. But it does have 220 pounds feet of torque at a pretty low RPM. So that's nothing.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, they pull a stump out of the ground for you if you need it to. Just put it in first gear, and let off the brake, and see what happens.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Well, I didn't do that in the Prius Prime, but we could close things out pretty far into this with our review section on the Toyota Prius Prime. Drove it last week. Pretty nice. It was in the XSE premium trim. Total price was $42,510 including destination.

Again, it was pretty loaded up. It had the optional solar charging roof on it that was kind of cool. Digital rear view mirror. Pretty nice interior. 19-inch wheels. The seven-inch multi-information screen. The Toyota audio setup. 4G. But the big story here, really is can get up to 40 miles of electric range in addition to just the fact that it's a pretty efficient hybrid.

The overall range, I'd say I don't have that in front of me. I did a minute ago. They call it 114 miles per gallon E. That's the MPG E rating, if you will. So it's very fuel efficient. Didn't even think about filling it up. It's my first time in the new Prius.

It's up for North American car of the year, so it filtered through my personal fleet. Two big overarching thoughts. One, the Prius is cool again. I'm not sure it ever was cool. But now, it's legitimately attractive. Almost like to use a background thread here. Tesla styling, I think it looks good.

I think it's an object of desire. Like you can be like-- like driving a Prius was always sort of a status symbol in some crowds. And I think now, you can have that again and also have this very attractive car. So that was part of it. And then the efficiency, I think showing off the best of both worlds here.

40 miles of electric range, as well as just a traditional hybrid system, which the Prius is obviously very good at that. That's what it is. And I think Toyota has been very bullish about saying, hey, there's other things you could do besides going all electric. Some have criticized them for appearing to drag their feet on that front. But when you look at a car like this, you can see how it's like-- it's the best of both worlds, and it's also a set it and forget it type of thing.

So those are my two big takeaways. And also, you can't see out of the damn thing when you're making a right or a left turn with something in the way. It's got some pretty severe A-pillars, which lead to that kind of sweeping design. I was really pleased with it. I would frankly recommend this car to people who are looking for a good hybrid, especially if you want one that you could charge up yourself. I think the Prius lives. I was a little skeptical, frankly, that they were going to find a way to make this relevant in an era of just increased electrification. But Toyota did.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. I love the way it looks. I have not driven a Prime yet. So what'd you say the cost was on it? It was 42--

GREG MIGLIORE: 42, which seems a little high when you think about it. But then the average transaction price is, you know, as you well know, is like 48. So in that context, I don't know. Not a bad deal.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It's not terrible. Here's the one potential gotcha. I paid less than that for my Tesla Model 3.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: And I'm going to get $7,500 back on my tax credit. So I know that an electric car is not going to work for everybody. And for the people who are not ready to make that full switch but still do want something that will run as an EV for a solid amount of time, 113 miles per gallon E is nothing to sneeze at. And I think that's achievable because I got over 100 miles per gallon out of Chevy Volts all the time every time I drove one.

When you-- when you factor in the full electric driving, also assuming that you're charging it at home the majority of the time like I do on my Tesla, the Prius Prime would be the exact same thing. It's very cheap. It's significantly cheaper than pumping it full of gas. So it's a cost savings.

It's convenience thing because you don't have to stop at gas stations. So yeah, I get it. I think it's a great car for someone who's not ready to make the full transition. However, its appeal to me is limited slightly just because at that cost, you could get a legit fully electric car. And as we've covered ad nauseam in this particular podcast, my ownership experience in the Model 3 has been excellent. But yeah, I like it. I love the way it looks. I actually look forward to driving one. 220 horsepower, right?

GREG MIGLIORE: Uh-huh.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That's not bad. Car and Driver did zero to 60 in 6.7 seconds.

GREG MIGLIORE: 6.7, yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. Which is pretty-- the Model 3 that I have does 5.3, I think. So it is still quicker. But 6.7 is plenty for all of your daily driving duties. So Priuses are not only attractive now, they're also able of getting out of their own way and merging onto an expressway without clutching your chest.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I mean, it's quicker than a '73 Chevelle, which was 11 seconds and some change in the 0 to 60, 11.7.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I hesitate to think what my suburban zero to 60 is.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that's like microwave a slice of pizza and come back and get it.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It's zero to 60 in sure. It'll totally-- it'll totally get there.

GREG MIGLIORE: Another good number here I think I did not mention this. 48 miles per gallon for the gasoline only for the Prius. According to the EPA, that saves you $4,500 in fuel costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle. Obviously, the car is built in Japan as all Priuses are. So you don't get that $7,500 tax credit. And really, you wouldn't anyway as this is a hybrid. You might get some based on the electric range.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Well, they did away with that, didn't they? With the the latest round. It either qualifies or doesn't qualify, right. You either get-- you get $3,750 for-- it's either $3,750 or $7,500, but it's no longer dependent on range, is it? It's solely dependent on the manufacturer, where it's built and where the battery materials come from, right?

GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, right. OK. Yeah. Well, actually it's changing.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. So I think even things like the Ford Mach-E, they they get $3,750. Because the final assembly is in America but too much of the battery components come from China.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah. So the Prius wouldn't qualify-- and it's got the plug. I don't think they care what the size of the battery pack is anymore. Maybe there's fine print on that, but I'm not remembering. So don't take this as gospel. But the last time I looked at the list, it was either yes or no in two categories, whether it qualified. The Prius wouldn't because it's made in Japan.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I don't know where its battery components come from. But that actually is-- that doesn't matter because the final assembly is not in America, which is the first checkbox.

GREG MIGLIORE: It's more of a pass/fail thing now.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. In this case, it's a fail.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. There you go.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Not the car, just whether it qualifies.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. No, it's interesting because I have some neighbors who like to look at my-- whatever's in front of my house on any given day. And many of whom are like, I'm thinking of an electric car. But then they get nervous about the infrastructure. And they start to kind of say, well, maybe what about a hybrid?

And I feel like this is something that could work for a number of people with that mindset. So it's interesting. I saw a study this morning from S&P saying receptiveness to EVs has dropped. It was something like 67%. In two years ago, it was like 86% or something. So I find that interesting.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: I do too. And I wonder, is it receptiveness to EVs or is it receptiveness to the EV charging infrastructure? Because we had that-- we had a Kia EV6 in fully electric vehicle, and we had it for a year. We had to rely on EVgo and what's the other big one? Electrify America. Is that what it is?

GREG MIGLIORE: Electrify America, yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: We had-- there's an EVgo station near me, and I had a pretty solid experience with it. But I stopped at a Tesla supercharging station in a city in Michigan that can't remember which one it was, when I was driving up to the Traverse City area in my Tesla.

They had-- right next to the Tesla superchargers, they had an Electrify America setup. And I saw people getting out, and talking to each other, and saying like, well, this charger is working really good and charging really well right now. This guy in a lightning had to wait because the one that he plugged into wasn't working at all.

And he had to wait for another person to pull out, and they were like talking. Like, oh, just give me-- I want to get 10 more miles before they go. And they're like hand-shaking to see who's going to get the charger that's working next. So I get why people would be hesitant if that's the experience they're hearing from EV owners.

And I have to say, that's where Tesla's got the magic bullet is in the supercharging network. And I totally understand why car companies are one after the other announcing, yep, we're going to change to the Tesla charging standard. Because it's not working.

What the big companies that are setting up chargers are doing right now is laughably bad, whereas what Tesla's done with the supercharger network, it just works. You mentioned iPhones earlier, the supercharger network is like the iPhone of EV Chargers. You plug it in, it goes, you don't think about it. And they need to get there. They need to be-- EV Chargers need to be as reliable as gas stations before a sizable portion of the population will consider it.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Sounds good. All right. Well, it's been a pretty good long show. It's about to snow here in Michigan.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Really?

GREG MIGLIORE: It's like 30-- yeah. it's cold. It is 38 degrees. It's raining. But it seems like it's trying to tip into snow. So that's kind of where we are here in November.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: That's funny. We're three hours, not even. We're two hours, three hours, something like that south of you. And it is going to be in the 60s today.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's interesting. I wonder if we'll get that tomorrow. It hasn't been all that cold the last few days.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: It was 66 degrees here yesterday. I took a nice walk, and we ate dinner outside.

GREG MIGLIORE: Wow. You are three hours away but a world away as far as temperatures, I guess. That usually how it rolls.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Yeah, the line must be running through Toledo or something right now.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that cold front.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Any who.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Thanks for sticking around, listeners, and hear us talk about the weather from a couple of days ago where you don't live.

GREG MIGLIORE: Indeed. Yeah. So we should probably knock this off right? Head on out?

JEREMY KORZENIEWSKI: Let's do it.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Hey, if you enjoy the show, please give us five stars at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get the show. Send us you spend my moneys if you'd rather hear us spend your money than talk about the weather. It's podcast@autoblog.com. Be safe out there, and we will see you next week.

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