2022 Ford Maverick is here, plus the next Toyota Land Cruiser | Autoblog Podcast #682

In this episode of the #AutoblogPodcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by News Editor Joel Stocksdale. This week they cover the hottest car news, particularly the #2022FordMaverick, plus the new #ToyotaLandCruiser and #KiaSportage. They also discuss cars they've driven (the Kia Rio and Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid) and a car one of them rode in (the new Toyota GR 86). Finally, they reach into the mailbag and help a listener with a fairly complex and open-ended car buying decision. 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. Joining me today is news editor Joel Stocksdale. What's going on man?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Not too much. Well, other than, you know, the big news-- the Ford Maverick.

GREG MIGLIORE: Ford Maverick. There's a Land Cruiser, but it's not exactly what you think. And there are some Corvette updates. So we've got a great show for you today. We'll talk about some of the things we've been driving. I drove a Kia Rio. Joel drove a Porsche, the Panamera S E Turbo. So you get a little bit of a discrepancy there in price points. And then we will spend your money.

So let's just get right into it. We talked about just the Maverick name last week on the show. But this week, we know everything about it. It's going to be on sale, I believe, September or early fall, if you will. Price point is-- they're saying it's, like, under 20. But really, with destination, it's about 21.

Hybrid optional turbo four, which sounds like it could be pretty fun to drive with 250 horsepower. It can tow up to 4,000 pounds with the tow package. And it's a pickup truck that sort of replaces the Focus and just that sort of small car customer in the Ford lineup.

I like it. One of the cool things about this business is sort of getting to see the new, cool things. And we've had quite a few of them in the last couple of years. So for me, this is a very intriguing truck. What do you think, Joel?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. I am blown away by just how attractive a package this is, not just-- I mean, it's a fairly handsome truck, too, I think. But just it's really affordable. And with the hybrid, it gets great fuel economy. It's 37 miles per gallon combined. And in the city, it's targeting 40 miles per gallon.

And it's a four-door, five passenger vehicle with a bed in the back so you can carry a whole bunch of stuff. It's just kind of amazing what you get for the money.

GREG MIGLIORE: It-- I think it could bring in new customers for Ford if you were looking for something smaller. And this isn't, like, a very diminutive vehicle. But it's a little on the smaller side. It's considerably smaller than the Ranger or the F-150. It's a real successor to the old Ranger, really, like a compact pickup truck, something we haven't seen too much of in North America in quite some time.

I think it looks cool. It reminds me sort of of a Bronco Sport with a bed, you know? Like, that's fair. You get a lot of stuff on it, too, like LED headlights, bucket seats. There's stuff there. I think it's pretty good value for what you pay for. And the options are, I think, reasonable, if you will.

Like, what we were specing ours out for the configurator posts, how you would spec out your truck, Joel and I each did one. Most of the staff did. I think we're all pretty excited. And I went pretty simple. And I was still like, hey, this is a pretty good amount of stuff on here.

I had to go with the Area 51 paint, though, just because, you know, why not? It's called Area 51.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. The one that I built, I think, came out to just under $24,000. And that was an XL and it had-- and I was able to add, like, a sunroof and sliding rear window and blind spot monitoring. I will say, though, I think I didn't realize this when I first suspected how-- I think I would actually, instead of the XL, I would move up to the XLT, mainly because cruise control is not available on the XL, which is-- which seems to me like a really big oversight.

The good news--

GREG MIGLIORE: For some people, yeah.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: The good news is that the XLT is, I don't know, maybe $1,000 to $2,000 more than the base one. And so it still starts under $25,000. And I mean, you're still getting a lot for your money.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think the options are spread out enough that you can get a lot of a la carte things. When I was specing it out, I went with a folding, soft tonneau cover, because for me, would I use this for hauling stuff? Sure. But would I actually kind of like a little bit of a trunk too? Yeah. So to me, that's sort of splitting the difference.

You know, and there's a variety of things. And each trim level, I think, is fairly distinctive. I like the base trim because you actually get the 17 inch steel wheels. I really like those. Those are the ones I would get. Like, I don't want the upgraded ones. So it's a very attractive vehicle.

There's a little bit of kind of a nuance with all wheel drive. It's front wheel drive right now. All wheel drive comes later. And I believe it's not available on-- what is it, the hybrid right away? Did I get that right, Joel?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. Hybrid does not get all wheel drive.

GREG MIGLIORE: Doesn't get it. Yeah.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: If you want all wheel drive, you need to move up to the turbocharged four cylinder. We don't have fuel economy numbers for that. But we do have horsepower numbers. And it's a peppy engine. It's 250 horsepower. So I could actually see the turbo one being probably pretty fun to drive.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think so. 250 horsepower. And you can get all wheel drive with that? That's retro. I mean, we haven't seen a little truck like that in quite some time. So I think that could be-- I could even see the enthusiast community getting into that and working on some mods for it and making a little go-fast truck. I think that would be a great thing.

It's tricky, because you know, my head says, you want the hybrid. That's what you would be doing right now. It's I'm sure it's plenty powerful. There's probably a bit of torque there, too. It's everything you need. But then it's like, well, wait a minute. What sounds fun to drive here?

250 horsepower-- I think it's, like, 277 pound feet of torque, all wheel drive, turbo four, well, jeez, all right. That's a very interesting proposition. I mean, maybe I'm overselling it. But you know, the Jeep Wrangler, the turbo four, didn't really end up doing all that much for me. It's fun, but it probably isn't the one I would necessarily get.

So yeah, we'll see. It's a very-- both are very compelling powertrain options, though, for sure.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: And it's cool that you can get either of those powertrains on any of the trim levels. So it's not like you have to spring for the Lariat luxury package to get the turbocharge four cylinder. You can get it on the base trim. And you can get it with all wheel drive on the base trim.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. We'll see what kind of options and ways they maybe stratify this truck. I could see them adding another-- like, more of a luxurious trim level at the top, or premium or sporty. Sporty, to me, is more like the play for this, because they don't want it to get too expensive to sort of creep up on the Ranger, which already, in size and price, does start to overlap with the F-150. So we'll see. We'll see how they play it.

But a lot of people early on were saying, hey, Ford has the truck credibility here that could help carry this, as well. So we'll see.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. Speaking of overlap, one of the things that we talked a little bit about in our office person-to-person chat was that with how low priced the Maverick is going to be, like, the closest thing in the Ford showroom to that price is the Echo Sport.

And it's one of those things where it's like, I can't imagine how anybody could walk into a Ford showroom and pick an Echo Sport over the Maverick, because the Echo Sport is less powerful, less efficient, less spacious, and in the times that I've driven it-- well, I guess we haven't driven a Maverick, so I can't say for sure.

However, I feel confident in saying that the Echo Sport is probably not going to be as nice to drive, either, because it rides really stiff. And I'm guessing the Maverick is probably going to be a bit more comfortable.

GREG MIGLIORE: The Echo Sport, you know, they haven't said a whole lot about it recently. And they sell some of them. I was looking at the sales charts for Ford a while ago-- a couple of days ago. I can't recall exactly. But they sold more than I thought they would sell of it, but still not a huge number.

It's certainly like a subcompact. I guess you can call it a crossover, if they-- that's what they do. I actually kind of liked it when I first saw it. I thought it was kind of cute looking. I liked the ride positioning as opposed to the Fiesta, which is the same thing just lower and-- same size lower and more of a traditional hatch.

But I mean, the last time I drove an Echo Sport, I was like, yeah, this is-- you know, you're starting to really tow the line of almost like what's the acceptable car for the modern American car buyer? Because it's very underpowered. It's not particularly nice.

And it's not particularly cheap for what all the things you don't get on it. It's not like it's some great value play. You know, it's priced accordingly, if you will, and barely that. So it's easy to sort of, you know, complain about the small cheap cars. But you know, the Echo Sport is the particularly good one.

And the Maverick, which would be a little bit bigger, but it's priced in that same ballpark, is, I think we both agree, is going to be much better and much cooler.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And I know that you talked about in your op ed about the Maverick, that this really is going to be kind of the new, like, entry level car for Ford, kind of replacing the Focus.

And I really agree with that. Like, I really think that this is going to be the kind of thing that somebody that was maybe considering like a Civic hatchback or like kind of a base trim to a RAV-4 is going to be like, oh, wait. I could get as good or better fuel economy for the same price, or maybe even better, from this little pickup truck. I think it really can get those buyers.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. That's interesting, because it's almost like years later the light bulb, I think, goes off more broadly. Ford was like-- they were killing cars. But they weren't giving up on those market segments. But they also weren't really clear on what they were going to do. It didn't make a ton of sense, to be honest.

I wrote, hey, they're just-- looks like they're giving up market share, because people do want smaller, cheaper cars. Or in the case of the Fusion, they still sold a lot of Fusions. They may still, actually. There's always ghost cars that show up on the sales charts.

But you can now see with the price point that they really are delivering on that promise not to leave those customers. And you can also say things like, you know-- I mean, to reiterate this, the Maverick is cool. I could say see somebody saying, I need a cheap ride. This thing's $21,000.

Well, I was looking at a Civic, but wait. I can get that? OK. Let's talk about it. So it's unconventional. It's creative. And you know, it was risk taking, but it's-- you know, sometimes that's how you sort of change the paradigm, to use a cliche.

As you say, Hank, we think this buyer is going to want this. It's not what they wanted before. But we're going to try this. And so in that sense, I do give credit to Ford. They sort of figured out what the customer might want perhaps before the customer even knew it. So that's progress.

It'll be interesting to see how they replace the Fusion. These spy photos we see of this lifted crossover kind of wagon thing look pretty good. So that could be exciting, as well.

So we put up, I want to say, 13 articles on the Maverick. We have 15 videos on the Maverick. We have socialized the heck out of it. If you have any questions about it, send them to podcast@autoblog.com. That's probably the best we can do for you at this point. If you haven't read or watched it in motion enough, hey, ask us a question and maybe we can reach out to Ford or do some research and find the answer ourselves and we can provide that avenue.

But yeah, I mean, that's-- my personal thought is-- and Ford has had some issues with launches recently. And there have been some tricky situations with, like, just quality and recalls in factories and delayed launches, some of it not necessarily their fault. You know, you look at the pandemic and the chip shortage, but even before that, there were some issues, thinking back to the winter of 2020, fall of '19 with other vehicles.

If they can launch the Maverick right, to me it already-- this is as close to a home run as I think you can say without having actually driven it and then actually having seen any sales figures. But I mean, I'm pretty optimistic on this vehicle.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. No, I think it's going to be-- I think it's going to be a great truck all around.

GREG MIGLIORE: Cool, cool. Any final Maverick thoughts? And otherwise we'll run through some news-- other news.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah, I don't think I've got anything else. But yeah, we should probably talk about the other news that the Maverick has overshadowed.

GREG MIGLIORE: I mean, that's, like, everything this week is the other thing. Like, literally everything else was overshadowed by the Maverick. But there is a new Land Cruiser. Before you get super excited, it's for some international markets. It's not for the United States. Who knows what and if or when a new Land Cruiser will come here.

But they revealed it yesterday. Looks pretty good. Looks exactly like what we would expect it to look like. Joel, do you have any further insights? I mean, what do you think this really means?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: I mean, this is the new, next generation Land Cruiser. As far as we know, it's not coming to the US. And it's a bit of a bummer. But I kind of get it. Even though there are definitely people that love the Land Cruiser in the US, as far as I know, it's not a huge seller. And especially when you've got things in the US like the 4Runner and the Tacoma and the Tundra-- in fact, there probably are still some people that still buy Sequoias and really enjoy them.

So I kind of get why Toyota is maybe not planning it for the US. I was a little bit disappointed because, like you, I think it looks pretty good. I actually-- I really like the GR branded one that has the old school Toyota logo across the grill and a little bit more blacked out trim. Like, it's the kind of thing that I think totally could have been sold in the US as, like, a Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.

Or not-- sorry. Not Tundra. Toyota Land Cruiser TRD Pro. But it's got a few interesting upgrades. It no longer comes with a V8. It now comes with a twin turbo V6. And that makes 415 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque. Also available is a twin turbo 3.3 liter diesel V6, making 309 horsepower and 516 pound feet of torque.

The truck also gets a 10 speed automatic. And it uses a chassis that's sort of a combination of old school latter frame and also a large version of the Toyota next generation architecture, TNGA or sometimes, as some people call it, "tinga." Yeah, it's-- I mean, it looks like it's a cool vehicle.

It was revealed in the Middle East, which is a testament to how big a market that is for the Land Cruiser. And that is one of the markets that it will still be offered in. It also will be offered in kind of the Australia and surrounding markets. But yeah, it's probably not coming here. There's some speculation that we might get a Lexus version of it, just as we get the-- just as the Lexus LX 570 is the same as the Land Cruiser, but fancier, we may get a Lexus variant of this version.

GREG MIGLIORE: I feel like the Land Cruiser might be slipping into defender status, where it's available in other markets. And people here remember it. And then eventually maybe some day it comes back. Like, I feel like that opportunity for it to come back to the United States is starting to slip away in the foreseeable future.

I think they might have to-- pure speculation. I could see them doing something like electric Land Cruiser or just making-- using the name Land Cruiser in an electric SUV, sort of like what GMC is doing with the Hummer. We'll see. I mean, looking at this, though-- sign me up for this one. There is like-- this is very much like staying the course, true to the ethos of what the Land Cruiser was.

I thought they actually kind of did more to the design, at least in these pictures, than I thought they would. Like, it seems a little more complicated, if you will. Like, those LED lights are really out there. Some of the different trims with the grills look kind of cool. So I don't know.

Honestly, change the headlights, it almost looks a little more like a Lexus to me at this point. But I mean yeah, on paper, I would-- give me this. You know, these V6's sound better than that old V8 that it was making do with before that was quite slow. It actually was fairly powerful. But that was a slow engine.

I like the Land Cruiser. I like the 4Runner. I would hope they find a way to keep it going here. But I mean, Toyota in the United States has been very upfront about it. They literally made a final edition Land Cruiser, like, two years ago. So they have hinted that it's coming or it's going to keep going. Like, this is what's up.

So we'll see.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: I think one of the things that makes it a hard sell in the US is that it's really expensive. The outgoing, the 2021 Land Cruiser that you can still get here, it starts at about $86,000.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: And this is a segment with full-sized SUVs like Tahoe and Armada and Expedition that all start closer to, like, $50,000. And the simple fact of the matter is is that most people really don't need all of the off-road goodies and gizmos that the Land Cruiser offers, certainly not in such a large vehicle, when you've got options.

Like, if you really want to go off-roading, you could get a 4Runner or you could get a Wrangler. Or soon you'll be able to get a Bronco. I just think the Land Cruiser as a Toyota is too hard of a sell, which is also why a Lexus version would probably be OK, because people are willing to spend that kind of money.

But yeah, for a full-sized body on frame mainstream brand, there's a lot of really good options out there that cost way, way less.

GREG MIGLIORE: You're making too much sense here, Joel. That's the problem here. You're being rational. I'm being emotional and saying, I like the name Land Cruiser. I want script Land Cruiser across the swing opening door. That's what I want.

But it doesn't make sense. I mean, 86 grand is almost ridiculous when you could get the Tahoe with, like-- take the Z71 package on it, maybe a couple other electronic upgrades, or it's 60, 65. Why would you pay another 25 grand to go to this vehicle that also is-- the interior is nice. But it's quite dated.

Like, why are you paying all this money for a vehicle that, quite frankly, is out of date? You really have to want a Land Cruiser. I would almost say at this point, you're better off going for a used one. Get a used Final Edition one, which I thought looked pretty good, actually. So we should probably go to the future here, right? Talk about the new 2022 Corvette.

Zac Palmer was out at Belle Isle ahead of this weekend's Detroit Indy Car Grand Prix-- it's back-- where Chevy-- shockingly, they're a sponsor-- they also revealed the new Corvette. The new Corvette, if you will. There's a few new colors and the engine gets some upgrades. 6.2 liter V8, that is, gets some upgrades.

But the horsepower doesn't change. So kind of what you would expect. We didn't actually expect that they were going to announce a refresh for the C8 here. So these are more like tweaks is what I would call them. But yeah, I mean, it keeps the Corvette-- keeps the Corvette current, which is good. And I think the Corvette still feels pretty fresh to me.

Yeah. I don't know. Any quick Corvette thoughts, there, Joel?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: The C8.R special edition model is pretty cool. You can get it in kind of yellow or gray with stripes, a lot like the race cars. And you know, I think that's pretty neat. I think that's fun.

They're probably going to be pretty pricey, because they're-- on top of being a limited production special addition, it's also based on the top spec three LT trim level with the performance pack. So it's going to be kind of pricey.

And the new colors are nice. They're not, like, crazy. There's kind of a soft gray color called hypersonic gray. And this is an orange called Amplify Orange tint coat. There's also an interesting metallic brown. And I really like the-- I like the name of it. It's just called Caffeine.

GREG MIGLIORE: Works for me. To be driving that car is just caffeine in general. So hey.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Oh, and I guess we should mention the new Corvette is a little bit more expensive this year. Base price is now $62,000. But honestly, at that price, it's still an amazing deal for me.

GREG MIGLIORE: Mid-engine V8 sports car that looks great, there's not much else out there like it, quite frankly, at this price point. So yeah, I had a random thought. Land Cruiser just came to me. They need to give it the Lincoln treatment. That's what I would call it.

Remember the old Navigator, like, 10 years ago? It was like a dinosaur. Then they started doing things, the interiors. They gave it a twin turbo V6. Like, this is what you got to do. Like, don't just let your flagship SUV wither away. I digress.

Let's talk about the Kia Sportage.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. Well, and I mean, that's kind of what we're thinking is going to happen is that we'll get the new Land Cruiser as the next Lexus LX model, because that's what the current Lexus LX is. It's the fancy Land Cruiser.

But yeah, back to Kia Sportage, this is probably actually one of the bigger reveals this week. Sadly, they didn't give us many details. But the new Sportage was shown and it looks way different than the outgoing one. The outgoing one had kind of almost like a happy frog look, a lot more angular and mean and--

GREG MIGLIORE: Reminds me a little of the EV6 or the-- oh, jeez. Just the new-- Kia's new design language, you know, it's a good look, I think.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And it's got more of a kind of sleek street design, as opposed to, like, the more rugged-looking Sorrento and Telluride. So I think-- I am curious, though, how it's going to fit into the lineup, because the Sorrento isn't, like, crazy large. And in fact, like, the Sorrento is on the same platform as the Hyundai Tucson, which is kind of in that size segment.

So I'll be interested to see how it all kind of fits in.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. I think it's a good segment to invest in, though, just because like we mentioned, consumers like crossovers of all shapes and sizes. And Kias have had a very nice design element, good interiors, well equipped, even sometimes fun to drive. So you know, the Sportage has been a vehicle that I've generally liked, frankly, for the better part of the last decade.

So you know, I'm cautiously optimistic on this one.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And I suppose it could be a little bit like how Ford has the Escape and the Bronco Sport. So they've got kind of a more road-oriented kind of sleeker design in the Escape. And then for somebody that wants something that looks a little bit more rugged and maybe has a little bit more ruggedness, you've got the Bronco Sport.

So that might be kind of the same strategy that Kia will employ here, where if you're looking for that active lifestyle boxier shape, you've got the Sorrento. And if you want something that has a bit more of a city dweller kind of sporty look to it, then you've got Sportage.

GREG MIGLIORE: Cool, cool. Well, why don't we stay just real quick-- because this is probably the quickest hit of our drive section-- I drove the Kia Rio a few weeks back. We'll get into the Porsche. And you rode along in the GR 86.

But just real quick-- it's been a long time since I drove a Kia Rio. I actually really enjoyed it. Small car. Handles well. Good value. It was $20,000, I want to say. Looked pretty good. Honestly, it looked a little dated, compared to some of the real, like, curved, strafed, just styled up cars you see in almost every segment. The interior was quite basic.

But I don't know. I liked it. I've always liked the Kia Rio, quite frankly. It handles well. You can see out of it. The one counterpoint to a car like the Maverick, where you're like, why? You're a truck, like the Maverick, is some people genuinely do want a small car. If you live in a downtown area that's very congested, the Maverick is still going to be tricky for you to park. You're going to want something that's even a bit smaller, like the Rio.

So you know, one thing I think you probably agree with me is, like, small cars like this-- it doesn't even matter if they're sporty, they're just small enough that dimensionally, steering them is fun. You know, and the chassis are cheap, if you will. So it's already kind of a stiff experience.

You know, I wouldn't necessarily throw an editor's pick at it or anything like that. But it's a-- like it always has been-- a competent, cheerful, cheap but cheerful small car. I want to say you did the launch of this, like, three or four years ago back in Miami, maybe. But yeah, that's the Rio.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah, I was on the launch drive for this thing. And that was a while back now. That was definitely a few years back.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: And yeah, I agree. It actually drives really pretty nicely. It's got kind of a firm suspension. It's light. It's happy to be tossed around corners. Steers pretty well. I do agree that it is looking a little dated, and especially-- actually, I even noticed this on the launch drive. Oh, I just remembered. That was in Baltimore that that drive was.

GREG MIGLIORE: Baltimore. Interesting. OK.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. Which actually was a pretty nice place for a launch. I guess if any automotive PR people are listening, it's not a bad place to go back to.

GREG MIGLIORE: I 100% agree with you. I did a Lincoln MKS launch there and had a great time. So yeah.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: But we digress.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: But even on the launch, I noticed that the really base ones that have still the incandescent tail light bulbs, they look like lights that would have looked up to date in the late '90s. And the whole car is pretty-- is pretty spartan. If you get it in a higher trim level, you do get a decent number of features.

But if you get the absolute base one, you get very, very little. I think it actually might be another one of those circumstances where you don't even get cruise control on the base one.

GREG MIGLIORE: You're really into your cruise control, aren't you?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Hey, it's a good thing. Like, I've done enough long-distance road trips that it can be a lifesaver. And in fact, when I was in college and I was doing a 700 mile drive from home to college in my Miata that did not have cruise control, that-- that will wear you out. So--

GREG MIGLIORE: I would regret, probably, getting the Maverick without cruise control. I would say I don't need it. And I'd be like, I don't want to step up to-- is it the XLT model to get it? But then driving up North, which is, hey, you got a pickup truck. You want to drive four hours to go somewhere where you can go fishing or something. I would regret it.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: And it's also--

GREG MIGLIORE: So I think you're right.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: It's also one of those features that, like, it's become so-- it's been proliferated so much. It's just-- it's a standard feature on every-- it's kind of like air conditioning. It just comes on every car, in part because it's cheaper to go ahead and throw it in as opposed to, like, making variants that don't have it.

I think that's kind of how power windows got to be the case, because it was like, well, you know, instead of coming up with a whole manual window assembly, let's just use the same thing on all of them and then we don't have to worry about making these low production parts.

And so it's all-- I don't know. It's all electronic nowadays. So it's like, surely everything you need is already in the parts you're making. You're just locking out the part and not putting in the buttons. So it's also just one of those things where it's like, it can't be very expensive. And it's such a basic thing. Like, just put it in.

But that's my cruise control rant.

GREG MIGLIORE: How about you rant now on the Porsche Panamera. Tell us which one you drove.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: So I had a Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And that is the top dog Panamera in the lineup. It makes 670 horsepower. And it'll go-- I think it gave me about, like, 30 miles of electric range.


JOEL STOCKSDALE: So it's like, you get to have your crazy supercar power, but also can help save the planet if you're just commuting to and from work, which I think is--

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds reasonable.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And I think that's awesome. Like, it's something that I'd love to see other manufacturers do a little bit more of, like kind of a number of times I've talked about, it would be awesome if you could buy a Chrysler 300 with a 5.7 liter hemi, but also have it be a plug-in hybrid.

So I'm going to have V8 rumble when I want it. And I can not use gas if I don't want to.

GREG MIGLIORE: Check out my column from two months ago where I suggest that Chrysler's next 300 should be an EV with 300 miles. I digress. Go ahead.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: We've been doing a lot of digressing on this podcast.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's what's good, though. If this were-- it's got to be a casual podcast, right?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: And with the Panamera Turbo S E-- like, the power is just outrageous. And I love it. And I think one of the things I like about it is that it does build a little bit. And it's also geared such that you do go through a couple of gears before you're doing, like, dangerously illegal speeds.

It comes on really smoothly. The car feels really controllable, but also very communicative. I mean, it's what you'd expect from a Porsche. It just drives really, really, really well. And it's all wheel drive, but it definitely feels rear drive biased. It feels like when you're going around the corner. It feels like it wouldn't take much to give it just a little bit of gas and get the tail out.

It's a fabulous car. And I'll probably mention this when I get my review written up about it. I mean, it's really practical, because it is-- it's a four door with a hatchback. You can even get it with the Sport Turismo kind of wagon body style.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, that's cool.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: And as such, it's kind of like one of those ultimate-- if you have the money and you only want and need one car to do everything, this is one of those cars, with kind of like one of the rare other ones being the Mercedes Benz, the Mercedes AMG 63 S, particularly in wagon form.

Of course, the catch is the Turbo S E-Hybrid is really expensive. Oh, also, I need to correct myself. It's not 670 horsepower. It's 690 horsepower.

GREG MIGLIORE: Got to get that right.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. But yeah, the price is up there. It starts at about $190,000. And--

GREG MIGLIORE: For that kind of money, you can step into a lot of different things, let's put it that way.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: And even that Mercedes that I mentioned is significantly less expensive. Not that it's cheap, but it looks like a bargain in comparison. Let me look up real quick what that AMG would go for.

GREG MIGLIORE: Tell you what. The wagon's-- it's alluring. It's intriguing for me. But I feel like after, like, almost a decade, Porsche has finally gotten the Panamera sedan right. I think they really have-- maybe it's a little bit of that Tycon influence. But it's a really sleek-looking car now.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. It finally--


JOEL STOCKSDALE: It finally looks like sort of the slightly stretched four-door 911 that it should have been from the beginning.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yep. That's high praise, too.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. And honestly, I think the wagon version looks better than the sedan one.

GREG MIGLIORE: I would disagree with you, but I wouldn't have before this most recent update.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: And yeah, so I've got the price here for the E63S wagon. That starts at $113,000. So it's not cheap, but it's a huge discount compared to the Porsche. And you're getting pretty darn close to the same amount of performance and practicality, albeit without the electric part, which is really nice.

I really like that about the Porsche, because it's like, if you're going to have kind of an outrageous car, the least you can do for yourself and the environment is to maybe leave it in electric mode on your commute to work during the week and then go--

GREG MIGLIORE: That could be the tag line, right? "Porsche hybrids-- it's the least you can do."

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. But it's also cool that the hybrid version is the top dog variant. Like, if you want the fastest one, you need the hybrid one.

GREG MIGLIORE: I like it. I think that's a smart adaptation of hybrid technology. Porsche, Lexus, the sports car makers were among the first, actually, to really take hybrid tech and make it a performance thing. So I'm-- it's good. I've no problem with that. There's a lot of different ways to save the world, and sometimes you can do it quite quickly.

How is the 86 that you got a ride along with down in Texas?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Yeah. So I got a one-lap ride along with professional driver Ken Gushi in the new GR86. And--


JOEL STOCKSDALE: --there's only so much you can glean from a ride along as opposed to an actual drive. But from the ride along, I think it's going to be great. I think it's going to be basically like the current one, but better in a few key ways. We already know that it should have a much more enjoyable power curve. The outgoing one had this really frustrating-- just like flat spot in the torque curve that-- right in the middle of the rev band, which is where you spend a lot of your time. And so it just feels really sluggish in this middle section.

That seems to be corrected. The peak torque is now around 3,700 or something. And it's more torque than it used to-- I think it's, like, 30 more pound feet of torque. And it has about, like, 20 more horsepower total. And that horsepower's still way at the top of the rev band.

And I didn't notice any flat spots. So that does seem to be truly fixed. And also in the ride along, it just-- it still has that very light kind of on-its-tiptoes kind of feel. And it's very predictable. Like, it's easy to get it to slide. And then it does so very naturally and smoothly. It's not something that's going to jump out and bite you.

There's really not a lot of body roll. There's a little bit, but I think that's-- but on a track, you're going to notice it more. I think on streets, it's going to feel extremely flat. And hopefully that little bit of give will make it fairly livable on the street, too, because there probably are a lot of people that this might be their only car. So you don't want it to be a miserable experience on the road.

And yeah, it just-- it was really eager to change directions. Like, you could tell there was not a lot of weight that it was throwing around. It just liked to bend right into the corners. And I think it's going to be really good. And I think it's going to be the-- like, the current one, but just better in some very critical areas.

Like, I know that we were all hoping for a turbo. But I kind of think that once we get a chance to drive it and once other people get the chance to drive it, I think they're going to be like, you know, this is right. Like, I don't-- I mean, there's always going to be the people that want more power. And the aftermarket is there for them.

I'm sure that if I owned one, I'd probably be eventually looking at a supercharger or turbocharger upgrade. But I think stock-- I think people will drive it and be like, oh yeah, this is really great. This is a big improvement.

GREG MIGLIORE: Check out Joel's full ride along. That went up, actually, last week. But if you can search for it, I'm sure you can find it. I'm excited about this car. I've long said the 86 or the BRZ are two cars that I would always consider putting in my garage, depending on the circumstances. But they're a lot of fun. They're pure. And I think these upgrades are going to serve it well.

So should we spend some money?


GREG MIGLIORE: All right. Let's buckle up here. A little bit of a long email here, but it's kind of fun. "Hello Autoblog crew, gearhead from Wisconsin. Loves working on cars. Looking to get a new car, maybe an SUV. Currently driving an '06 Charger." Hey, so am I, actually. It's in my garage and it hasn't moved in a while.

The Wisconsinite, however, has an RT Daytona. I don't. I have an S E. "Loved this car for about four years. It's got about 125 grand on the clock. It's a fun car. And I've done my home garage upgrades and made it my own. Looking for something different. Looking to buy a new slash used slash old car.

Budget is 25 grand. Maybe a little bit more if I sell the Daytona. And I'm looking at three different options. I mainly drive outside of the city and maybe do some off roads." So here are the three options, if you will, and a few others. A newish to used Challenger or Charger-- just basically upgrade the existing version with something that's maybe a little bit sportier than the '06 Charger.

And the Challenger have gone through a lot of changes since then. I think that would at least flip the script a little bit. But it would be a familiar script. A Bronco or a Bronco Sport-- winter here can be rough. Yep, I believe that. And looking for something that can be used year round or off-roading. Option number three is a '60s or '70s sports or muscle car in decent shape.

As I said before, I'm a bit of a gearhead and love to work on cars. Has an unusual attraction to the old 1971 Lotus Europa, but he's open to almost anything. So there's a lot to unpack here. This is Mark S. Thanks for writing, by the way.

Send us your "Spend My Money's" at podcast.autoblog.com. I'll throw that in there real quick. So to me, there's almost, like, two to three different scenarios here. If you're going to sell the Charger Daytona, you can spend a little bit more. The question is, is do you want to make your new car a daily driver? How do you want your daily drive to be, because your daily drive in a '70s muscle car is going to be a lot different than in a Bronco Sport.

So there's a lot going on here. Joel, I will kick it to you. What do you think?

JOEL STOCKSDALE: So this is one of those things where it's so open, it's kind of hard to come up with something. Maybe instead of-- like, kind of squishing things together here a little bit, maybe instead of a Bronco or Bronco Sport, like a recent one, maybe an old one would be good.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's interesting. Creative.

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Or maybe, like, a K5 Blazer or a Dodge Ram Charger, because then you would have excellent offer of capability. You'd have kind of the cool, old vehicle that you could work on. It would be something kind of practical. You'd still have a V8, which would be fun.

I mean, I think you could get the Bronco maybe with the Ford straight six. But I think most of them at this point would be the V8 ones. So you'd still have that nice V8 rumble. There's huge aftermarket for those trucks. And I think with $25,000, you could actually get a pretty good one.

So that might be-- that might actually be a good way to go, or even like an old four wheel drive truck, I mean, like a Chevy K10 or Silverado, Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, any of those. And you'd still have the off-road capability. Some of those, if you get them a little bit later model, you'll have a much newer, more powerful engine.

You know, like a four wheel drive RAM 1500 from the last 20 years could be pretty fun. The 1500s could be had with the 5.7 liter engine and the 2500s could be had with the 6.4 liter engine. Granted, those 2500s are heavy. And they're solid axle front and rear. So they're not going to handle like a muscle car.

But you'd have kind of the same sound and similar power. So that might actually be kind of an interesting way to go, like an old-- like an older truck or SUV. Get that-- it's wrenchable and it's got a V8. It's got off-road and winter capabilities that are really practical. Might be kind of an interesting way to go.

GREG MIGLIORE: Nice job threading the needle there, Joel. I'm impressed. You literally took the off-road, the enthusiast, and even a little bit of sportiness and wove it all into one for somebody who lives in the cold climate. That was impressive. I will not do quite as well.

I would suggest, to riff a little bit on your points, I think one of the big Broncos-- the squared ones, if you will-- could be fun. They're starting-- they're still pretty cheap. But I think you're going to start to see them go back up in value. So that could be fun if you're looking for something that's like that off-roader thing.

An older 4Runner, sort of somewhere between collectible versus just more of a daily driver, you could try to thread the needle on that. And you could even keep the Charger Daytona if you're going to do one of these old SUVs. If you're looking to upgrade just with a one car sort of set up, maybe look at a lightly used scatpack or something. Get the 392. That could be fun.

That said, you might want to factor in all-wheel drive and just maybe get like a lightly used all wheel drive Charger or Challenger. Again, it's snowy up there. Even an all wheel drive Challenger, I think, might still be a little squirrely in the snow. But you know you like the LX platform. You might just want to sell it and get a slightly newer one.

And then maybe use some of your extra money to get one of these roughly '90s-era big boxy SUVs. And that could be like your new toy. So you know, just getting to the last decade, at least, of Charger or Challenger and then have some fun with the old SUV. So it could be one way to play it.

Let us know what you end up doing. I feel like there's a couple of different questions here. And I'll just close with, hey, if you want to go spend your money on a Lotus from the early '70s, hey, have fun. Sure. You only live once, right? I mean, that's--

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Make sure you fit.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. The Europa--

JOEL STOCKSDALE: Those Europas are tiny. I've sat in one before, and I don't even know how you operate the pedals. They're just so close together. It's a little--

GREG MIGLIORE: Well, great question, and a fun show. Good catching up with you there, Joel. Send us your questions, your "Spend My Moneys" at podcast.autoblog.com. Be safe out there. And we will see you next week.

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