2022 Genesis GV70, raging at VW ID.4 tech and thoughts on a new Lexus LFA | Autoblog Podcast #696

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor James Riswick. This week, they talk about driving the Genesis GV70, VW ID.4 and VW Taos. They talk about ways Chevy could "fix" the Camaro. James ranked all the James Bond films based solely on their starring cars. Next, they reach in the mailbag and discuss the question, "Do you think Lexus will make a successor to the LFA and, if so, what do you guys think it would be like?" After ruminating on that query, they dip into the mailbag a second time to recommend a sporty crossover to a listener in this week's Spend My Money segment.

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 Senior Editor for the West Coast, the entire West Coast, James Riswick. How's it going, man?

JAMES RISWICK: Good. From Juneau, Alaska all the way down to Baja, California, it's all mine.

GREG MIGLIORE: Quite the empire you oversee.

JAMES RISWICK: Yep.

GREG MIGLIORE: Anyways, we have a great show for you today. We're going to run through the Genesis GV70. We both spent some time in that. The Volkswagen ID4-- Volkswagen's electric car-- Voltswagen, right, with a T-- too soon, maybe? I don't know. James drove that recently. I drove it a while ago, but it's always good to kind of talk about that. It's a big deal car.

We'll mention the Volkswagen Taos as well-- another important-ish car for them, we'll put it that way. A couple of interesting features that were on the site this week, we'll just touch on those-- how to fix the Chevy Camaro. We also had a list of the James Bond films ranked by the cars in them. It's a pretty interesting piece if you're listening to this on your patio or walking the dog over the weekend, something you might want to go back, check out, maybe even fire up your laptop this weekend-- a lot of cars there, a lot of films.

We have a mailbag question on what could happen following the Lexus LFA, you think there'll be another successor. We'll dive into that. Finally, we'll spend some money. If you have a question or you'd like us to spend your money, that's podcast@autoblog.com. Let's jump right in. The Genesis GV70-- I had a beautiful car, crossover, a few weeks back.

James' first drive of this pretty important vehicle for Genesis just went up. Why don't you take us through your impressions? And I think it'll be pretty easy because after reading your piece and doing a light edit on it, I think our impressions are pretty close together. This is a very important car for Genesis.

JAMES RISWICK: Yeah. The GV70 is Genesis' compact SUV-- so think Mercedes GLC, BMW X3. And the thing is it's absolutely a legitimate competitor for those-- not a budget alternative or, like, something that's larger to fill in a separate niche kind of like an Acura RDX or an Infiniti QX50-- no, they're going for it. You can see it just in the way-- just when you sit in it. The interior is absolutely beautiful.

And, yes, both of our cars had, like, the $65,000 mega package. But when you look at it, the added bits in there are just, like, fancy pleather on top of the dash. It's always on the lower part. And so, like, what you see is what you get, really, in there, even if neither of us got, like, the really cool green or the purple interior.

Then you see it just in some of the technology that's there. You have its adaptive suspension, which isn't that unusual in any sort of luxury space, or increasingly non-luxury space, but it's predictive adaptive. So it uses cameras to scan the road ahead and preemptively adjust itself for those bumps. And that's something that was introduced on the last generation Mercedes S-Class.

It was amazing technology that's also on, I was going to say, the 7-Series and then the Genesis GV80. And that's it. So this is, like, legit incredible technology that absolutely works. The ride on this car is sensational despite it having 21-inch wheels, which actually was working against it in some respects.

But you know, it's just an incredibly refined vehicle that also looks great. I had the matte Barossa burgundy car that is just sensational. It looks so good in-person, took some really great pictures with it. I drove it up to this amazing lookout of Mount St. Helens, which you can see in the photos-- it's about an hour, 45 minutes away from Portland-- really special spot, really cool road.

And as I described, it looks like a really sporty vehicle. It's based on the rear-drive platform of the G70. It's not quite that sporty. It feels quite heavy. It's more like a small GV80, really, in its feel, which is just fine. That's OK.

Smooth, sophisticated, sturdy-- that's totally cool, it's still a luxury car, everything doesn't have to go around the Nurburgring. And to that end, it still has a gigantic engine-- 375-horsepower, 391-pound feet of torque. That's in the same range as an AMG 43, an X3M 40i-- actually it's better than those. 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds all-wheel drive is standard.

So it has legit performance. And I like the fact that it doesn't come with, like, a crushing ride because it caters to someone who wants to take their SUV on a track. I don't get who that person is. So this makes more sense broadly to me. And the base model, which neither of us drove, has 300-horsepower, 311-pound feet of torque, which is also class-leading, 2.5-liter turbo inline 4-- everything else is the 2-liter turbo.

So that's interesting. But again, we didn't drive that. We have no idea what it's like. It also has a fixed suspension as opposed to the fancy adaptive, so we don't know what that's like. So with all of this being asterisks that we don't know what the volume model will drive like, the car we drove was pretty special.

GREG MIGLIORE: I am pretty optimistic, actually, and would be very intrigued to drive one lower in the portfolio simply because driving dynamics were very strong. I feel like that smaller engine, plenty capable, especially for the segment. I think the vehicle looks great. I really think it's a style statement. I think-- just, you know, for me, when you get down in the range like that, especially with some of the German competitors there, that's where the interiors start to get a little, like, not quite where you think they would be for the money that you might be paying.

You have to, like, say, well, hey, this is something I would consider as a very basic feature, but it's, like, an option and I don't get that. A lot of times with, again, the German cars, those are some of the frustrations, that complaints. My sense is, again, with Genesis, they still will chase value. So I think a basic GV70 is still going to be pretty comfortable, pretty loaded. So I think that would be an interesting exercise. I'm optimistic based on their past performance.

I think the big question here, though, really is, what did you think of two dials in the center console? We can talk business cases, but two circle rotary knobs in the middle? Like, come on.

JAMES RISWICK: Yeah. So there are two rotary knobs on the center console that are virtually the same size and they are adjacent to each other. One controls the infotainment system, the other is the shifter. Both of them in a vacuum do their jobs very well.

I don't have a problem with the rotary shifter. I think it makes sense. It's fine. The problem is because they're right next to each other, and even though they have a different texture, and even though they operate with a different level of effort, they are right next to each other. They're also, if you have driven a German car regularly, as I have now with a BMW and an Audi, the shifter is basically where the i-drive or MMI knob is in most cars.

And then the infotainment one is where the shifter normally is, even if it's not a rotary. So, like, I repeatedly put the car-- I repeatedly selected XM spectrum 28 when I wanted to put the car into reverse. I think this could potentially be a problem-- potentially. But I definitely see people mixing them up, especially if you're coming from another brand.

It's weird why they did this. The GV80 and the G80 have the same kind of placement of these knobs, except for the infotainment knob is not a knob. It is flush mounted, and it's basically like an original iPod's touchpad with a wheel on the outside. And so there's no way you're ever going to mix the two up.

That doesn't work as well as an infotainment controller as the knob does, because the knob is basically just an i-drive controller. But again, usability, I could see this being an issue. Even if the units themselves are good at what they do, their placement, and their adjacent positioning, and similar size could definitely be a problem.

GREG MIGLIORE: I like those, like, rotary knobs for both infotainment and for the gearshift. I really like it. But having the both on the same vehicle at once it's just a little bit of a field too far, too steep of a hill to climb. I think, like, pick one or the other would be my humble suggestion.

It is fine. Like, by the end of the week I had with the car, I had essentially recalibrated my brain to figure it out. But yeah, on more than one occasion, I found myself wanting to go into put the car in drive and I ended up on, like, satellite 35 or something. You know, and that's not where you want to be, you know? So it's interesting. Maybe they over-thought that one a little bit, I don't know.

JAMES RISWICK: I guess the good news is I never went for satellite 28 and ended up in, like, reverse, you know? That never happened. It was always going for the-- it was the reverse. I think the solution is I like the knob. If I had to choose, I'd keep the knob and go with what Mercedes does.

Mercedes-- because, like, there's electronic shifters, and a lot of it is different for the sake of being different. But there is a functional reason for it-- it's to remove things from the center console so you can have bigger cupholders, and bins, and an i-drive controller. And I think the best solution thus far is Mercedes. It's on the stock-- up for reverse, down for drive.

People don't like it initially, but if you use the car for a week, you get into something else, and it's just second nature, and you turn on the windshield wipers of another car. Like, you just get used to it, and it's not going to be confused with anything else. That's always been my favorite alternative shifter control. And that completely frees up the center console for whatever else. So that would be my solution.

GREG MIGLIORE: That's interesting, because that one for me in press cars I find a little frustrating. I'm always flipping the wipers on or going into reverse when I want to turn the wipers on. But again, that's one that grows on you after, like, enough time in the Mercedes you're testing out-- really first world problem.

JAMES RISWICK: Exactly. Yeah, that's one that you'll like-- that's tough when you're going back and forth between cars, as we are. But this thing with Genesis, I think it's possible you could do it accidentally even after time.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sirius XM 28, that's modern hits. That's Neil Young, Dave Matthews Band.

JAMES RISWICK: No, that's Spectrum. It's the spectrum.

GREG MIGLIORE: The Spectrum?

JAMES RISWICK: The Spectrum, Yeah. You got, like, Fleetwood Mac, and Tom Petty, and then, like, some new alternative rock thing.

GREG MIGLIORE: I have been listening to some of the Lithium, which is a little bit more of a grungy version of that-- one of my favorite stations. All right, we rated this car, as we do. We gave it an editor's pick. It is it did very well as far as the scoring.

So I guess what I would say just to kind of wrap this up, I think we both agree this is very competitive in the segment against the Germans specifically. You know, it brings a lot of horsepower to the fight. It's a different looking vehicle. I would compare this as almost like an alternative to-- if one of the Volvo crossovers or kind of wagony things isn't really out there enough for you anymore, look at Genesis. That's interesting.

But I think this is very competitive. Would I crown it the absolute best in segment? I mean, I don't know. You don't necessarily need to do that anymore, because what the best car for me or you is might not be the best vehicle for whoever is buying it and spending the money-- the $64,000 in this case.

But I mean, to sum it up, I think this is very, very competitive. So that's a Genesis GV70. Check out James' drive. If you look closely, maybe you can identify which of those impressions are ones that I agree with. I don't know, if you read really closely and are familiar, you probably can't, actually.

In simple terms, we all, I think, really agreed on this one that this is a really good vehicle. So let's kick things over to what's next, which is the Volkswagen ID4. I drove this in February. John Snyder faced this off with a Ford Mustang Mach-E-- so check that one out as well, kind of referring you back to the site quite a bit here. But that's a good thing. James, you're the most recent member of "Autoblog" to get in the ID4. How are you feeling about it?

JAMES RISWICK: Oh, big, big, big-- this is a peaky car-- lots of high highs-- really high highs, a lot of low lows.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK.

JAMES RISWICK: So to drive it, it's fantastic. Recent Volkswagens have been kind of disappointing to drive. I really dislike Volkswagen steering. It's incredibly numb on center and uncommunicative. And I don't know why they think people like that, because they're the only brand remotely that offers this steering effort and feel. But it's not good.

The Taos has that, and it's, like-- it's a reason I wouldn't buy the car. The ID4, however, clearly comes from, I don't know, the European wing of the family. They're in charge of GTIs, because it's not there-- this just feels like an older, more responsive Volkswagen to drive. In addition, it is electric. Therefore, it has all that wonderful immediate torque as well as a low center of gravity.

And in his comparison, John said that the ID4 was more enjoyable to drive than the thing called the Mustang. And that raised an eyebrow for me. And I was like, seriously, dude? Really? And he was like, yeah, seriously. And he's absolutely correct.

This is kind of the sharper, more responsive car to drive. It doesn't have the performance of the Mustang-- straight line performance. But it is quite sporty, and that was really enjoyable. And you know, you do have the other electric car benefits around town-- perhaps not as much one-pedal regenerative braking as other electric cars do, but there is some there.

And in terms of space, pretty good-- it has a decent amount of cargo space, really enormous backseat, which is great. Makes it family friendly-- I can put the gigantic rear-facing car seat in there and still sit in front of it, which is pretty cool.

But the interior functionality of this car is infuriating and it made me angry every time I got into it. Let's see here. OK, so they've tried to make it ever very modern-- big screen, no buttons, because they have to have touch capacitive sliders in them. Every car that has had cut touch capacitive sliders in it-- Cadillac Q, my Lincoln Touch, MyFord Touch-- name them, they all got-- Honda-- Honda, Honda, Honda-- got horribly ripped by them by car reviewers but also by car owners who bought the car and didn't like them.

And inevitably, soon enough, those capacitive touch controls, specifically volume controls, went away and got replaced by buttons. And yet we have Volkswagen trying to do this yet again, expecting it's going to end up differently? It's not. These things are annoying to use.

Even the window controls-- on the driver's side, there are only two window up and down buttons. This is a four-door car. So what you do is there's a touch capacitive button right on top above these two window controls that says, rear. So you then have to press that word, rear, hopefully-- hopefully it works, it often doesn't-- press that, and then now those front window controls are the rear controls.

The mirrors have similar four little heads of a knob that you turn to different directions. The mirrors are also annoying to use. So you have fundamental vehicle controls that should be the simplest things on earth that we put to bed on the design front decades ago, and yet they're trying to recreate it, I don't know, because it's futuristic-- but really, to save money on buttons and switches inside of a car.

Meanwhile, the touchscreen is not the same thing that's in the Taos, that's in the Tiguan, that's in the Jetta, you name it. It's this new thing that's also in the GTI. It's infuriating Just simple radio controls-- radio controls. I know people use Apple carplay now and then that's it. That's nice.

However, the rest of the car still exists, and people still listen to the radio. How do I know this? Because satellite radio still exists. Terrestrial radio still exists. People do listen to it, it's in the car, it should work better, this car doesn't work very well.

For instance, you cannot see the radio presets at the same time as radio information. So this is like standard satellite radio and even terrestrial radio format, you see your list of radio stations, and then on the right side or somewhere adjacent to it, it says what song is playing. This is simple stuff. this. Has been going on in cars now for, like, 15 years. Volkswagen doesn't think you want this.

You're constantly going back and forth. It is a disaster. I do not like it. And I really hope that this is the last car that has it. The GTI has it, the ID4 has it, and it was absolutely infuriating. I was very annoyed by this car both from just simple stuff like changing a radio station to rolling up the back window was way too overly complicated and created problems that absolutely did not need to be there in the first place. But besides that, the car is really enjoyable to drive.

GREG MIGLIORE: A little bit of a hot take there. I like the car, but here's this one thing I don't like. I am-- I don't know if I'd say I'm a fan of the ID4, just to kind of get a little meta here. I think it's interesting-- it's an interesting crossover. Just for a variety of reasons, I would put the Mach-E slightly ahead of it-- we're comparing apples to apples here, such as they are.

It's a little understated. So some people maybe want to self-identify as an EV owner. This may not be your car. That being said, it's a good looking vehicle. I think it's one of those things that is-- obviously, it's a big step forward for Volkswagen. We all remember the Voltswagen controversy of last spring.

I happen to think, had VW decided to, don't change the name of your company. Of course don't do that. That's ridiculous. But had they decided to maybe offer that as an option-- you can maybe-- a no-cost option, your car can say Voltswagen, get that kind of little bolt thing-- you know, hopefully GM's lawyers maybe wouldn't come after them, I don't know-- I think that would be kind of fun-- maybe a little cheeky, kind of, like, just an inside joke, you know, people do a double take on the car.

And it might have been a way to build sort of like a sense of community among ID4 for owners to say, hey, this is a Volkswagen electric vehicle. This is VW's take on it. So I actually think just, you know, that was a little bit of a missed opportunity, I think, for them. Rather than trying to trick the media, they should have maybe done something like that, you know? And I think that might have helped. It would have been a really cool marketing campaign, you know? So somewhat related to your nuanced discussion of features of the car, but I think that could have worked.

JAMES RISWICK: No, I agree. Volkswagen used to have these cheeky, fun, fairly irreverent ads, specifically like the late'90s, early thousands. And you know, someone saying, this is the new Voltswagen. Like, ID4 doesn't mean anything.

Eventually, we're going to have to get to the point where you can't just have some sort of punny name on electricity, like Mach-E, or Volt, or Bolt. You're going to run out of them. So it's not like everything-- every electric car will have some sort of name like that. But if you're trying to get attention to your vehicle, naming it just ID4, which is a movie starring Will Smith and aliens, is not necessarily the flashiest way.

So I think had they used Volkswagen as a marketing thing, I think it could have been pretty good instead of just pissing us all off by lying to us. Yeah, let's not open that up again.

GREG MIGLIORE: Right. We'll just put a little bow on that by saying a no-cost option for owners that would have liked it-- Volkswagen, hey, maybe don't trick the media, maybe listen to us. You know, don't put out lying press releases and then, I don't know, confirm them to the "Associated Press." Bad move, just saying. Like, don't do that to the people that call elections relying on the credibility of your word. Let's move on. Any other thoughts on the ID4?

JAMES RISWICK: No, I would just also say, kind of pivoting-- so all that stuff I just mentioned about the interior, it's not in the new Volkswagen Taos. That's also a brand new small SUV. It's one model year newer, and it doesn't have any of that crap in it. It's just normal Volkswagen interior stuff that works pretty well.

Zero complaints. It's completely functional. They didn't need to change a thing. So thank god they've changed everything. No, the Taos is really impressive.

It is a made for America Volkswagen. Other recent made for America Volkswagen's-- Passat, Jetta, Atlas, Tiguan. They've gone with this very simple formula that Americans just want the most gigantic thing possible, and it doesn't matter if it's kind of cheap.

I think that's pretty cynical. I don't think it's been very successful. So the cars haven't been as competitive. This bucks that trend. This, yes, it's a bit bigger than its competitors, but it's not, like, gigantic. Like, the Passat is, like, a full size sedan. It's absurd. This is a little more manageable. And the interior is genuinely, like, family friendly for this mid-compact, like, think Kia Seltos, Mazda CX30, Ford Bronco Sport.

Yes, it does have a little more space than those but it's not, like, gigantic. It's still considerably smaller than, like, compact SUVs-- Mazda CX5, Honda CR-V, et cetera-- except the interior space is actually a little better than some of those compact SUVs. At the same time, it looks pretty cool.

It's not that kind of dreary, ultra conservative thing that Volkswagen has most recently been going for. There's some character to it. And I think it's just a really sensible little vehicle with some character. It's smartly-priced, has a good warranty-- four years.

Yeah, I was very pleasantly surprised by the Taos. It's actually kind of the opposite of the ID4. I didn't really enjoy driving it that much, but at least on paper-- good power, great fuel economy. It just makes a lot of sense.

It's been added now to one of our best small SUV list. And it's an editor's pick. And it's actually a far more appealing vehicle than the Tiguan, which is the compact SUV that they have now. I think it's a more sensible size and it's far more competitive amongst small SUVs, be it compact or mid-compact-- it's kind of subset.

So I really liked it. I know John Snyder also really liked the Taos, as did Zac Palmer. So yeah, it's a smart little pleasant surprise there with that Taos. If this is what we can expect from American-intended Volkswagens, then I think they're on a smarter, less offensive path than they were before with the make it big, make it cheap mentality.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Sounds good. How about we transition over to the Chevy Camaro? This is an interesting feature we ran recently. Basically, we offer a prescription for how Chevy could fix it. A variety of opinions here, we've all actually been driving the Camaro. Most of us have been driving it since it came back, back in '08-- whether you were in the field at that time or you joined in progress, if you will.

You know, most of us have been around for a while, like yourself there, James, driven the Camaro, and a lot of its different iterations. So first of all, just tell everybody-- check this piece out, it's worth your time, spend a little more time with it if you'd like. I'll bat it over to you, though, because I think your take is interesting, and I would be inclined to agree with it. You mentioned that you think the Camaro takes itself far too seriously. What do you mean by that?

JAMES RISWICK: Well, I guess-- well, let's go back one step and say why the Camaro needs fixing. And why we're saying that is because of sales. So its sales pale in comparison to the Dodge Challenger, which is much older. Like, it's, like, twice-- the Challenger has been around since, like, '08 with only a mid-cycle refresh that was, like, eight years ago. The Mustang, like, outsells it by, like, twice as much.

And I'd argue part of the reason is a broader appeal. You know, my wife, my mother, and my grandmother, all of their first cars were Mustangs. So you don't have to be, like, some hardcore, yeah, car guy to drive a Mustang. The Challenger definitely doesn't take itself very seriously. You can get it in colors called Hell Raisin and Gold Rush that are literally gold and purple.

There's cartoons on the fenders. There's nothing that the Dodge Challenger takes itself seriously. The Camaro takes itself very seriously. It is a serious performer. It goes around a track. And this time that's way better than Mustang, way better than Challenger-- you're a serious person if you drive a Mustang. Look, it even looks really serious.

We put this big black grille on it. It doesn't look very good, but it sure is angry, just like I'm angry, and I'm going to kick your ass on a track, and I'm very serious. This is kind of the vibe you get from the Camaro. And apologies to people who like the Camaro, but this is kind of the way it comes across.

And Chevy's marketing efforts really haven't differed from this. And it just has a whiff of monster and flat bill hat about it. The Camaro and the Mustang-- or, sorry, the Mustang and the Challenger do not have this. So even though the Camaro is, in fact, the best one of these to drive around a track, around a mountain road-- it is, without question, just the basic car has superior handling.

It is a more sophisticated vehicle to drive. I drove the Camaro 1LE V6 around a track in Nevada, and then I drove a Mustang GT-- that's the V8 one-- and the V6 Camaro smoked the V8 Mustang around the track. That's great. And if you think that's important, good. Camaro's for you.

Unfortunately, the double sales of the Mustang are not the result of people who really seek out its handling capabilities. They're just not. If you really care about that, you're not buying one of these anyway. All of them, including the Camaro, is really big. You also can't see anything out of the Camaro-- that's been the case since it was recreated a generation ago.

That was something that Zac pointed out, and I absolutely agree. Never mind that it's very difficult to park and just drive around. It's actually difficult to drive on a mountain road or track. You can't spot the car. You don't know where the fenders are because you're sitting in these gun-slit windows. So those were some of the elements that we decided that could be fixed-- kind of a styling, totally reimagination of it.

To dial back the machismo, to make it just a little more, like, practical-- like, can we see a little more out of it? Can the back seat be a little bigger. We're not talking about turning into a Challenger. We're not necessarily talking about making it a four-door, although that wouldn't necessarily be a terrible idea if you made that an option-- not replacing the Camaro with a four-door, but adding to it the family, not unlike a Mustang Mach-E.

So those are some of the ideas that we shared about fixing the Camaro. Because we don't want it to go away, you know, because that's-- if they don't fix it, then it's just going to go away. And that'd be really sad to lose another enthusiast car. So we hope it sticks around. But you know, as is, it's not really how we would go about it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah. If the Camaro goes away, that just means the Monte Carlo is coming back, right?

JAMES RISWICK: Yeah, well, you know, maybe the Camaro needs to be more like a Chevelle-- like a Chevelle SS.

GREG MIGLIORE: I wouldn't say no to a Chevelle. I could see that working. Who knows with the electric propulsion, maybe something like that could be an interesting riff on a larger car. I think, not to really, like, totally rehash what you said, but when you talk about the track-- that's a great example. We had a comparison piece five, six years ago, and our former editor-in-chief Mike Austin is a much quicker driver around a track than I am.

He races in lemons. He has a helmet. He is quite quick. So we were doing laps, and we were videoing it, and all these things, and we switched cars. Obviously, he was, like, just, you know, destroying me when he was in the Camaro and I was in the Mustang.

That being said, I'm not a total imbecile when it comes to driving on a track. I was able to basically completely catch him, if you will, on many laps. You know, I don't know maybe he was on his phone, I don't know. But I was able to make up considerable ground.

And we both came to the conclusion the Camaro is very forgiving on a track. It's very precise, it's very dialed in. If you're good, it can, frankly, make you great. So that's a story from five or six years ago that you may or may not care about, podcast listeners.

But my point is these things don't really matter when you're selling cars. The Camaro-- or excuse me, the Challenger, speaking of track experiences-- I literally spun out onto, like, the side of the Chrysler Proving Grounds once just because it was an open track day, they were letting journalists, for lack of a better way to describe it, screw around with their cars. And it was awesome.

And I literally spun this thing. You know, I was on-- it was a closed course by myself-- but you know what? It doesn't matter. It's a bigger car. There's more trunk space. There's a backseat.

Trying to bring this all together, the Challenger is a more practical car that people can use. The Camaro is this track-bred thing that is great. It has a brilliant chassis. I believe it still uses the ATS chassis-- the successor to, like, Zeta, if you will, to get into, like, GM kind of chassis terms.

But I don't really think that matters as much. You know, the Mustang is trading on its heritage. If you want to go really, you know, track intense, Ford will sell you a Mustang that can do that. You know, but the basic car is just a little more well-rounded.

So I mean, my prescription would be to maybe find a way to make this car a little bit more well-rounded, a little more flexible, a little more usable on a daily basis. Because, like you said, we don't want it to go away.

JAMES RISWICK: It just seems to be an in-between, because it's like, yeah, OK, it's great on a track, but it's not like-- again, it's still very large and it's difficult to see out of. If I wanted a car for a track, a Camaro would still not be my first choice.

But as a daily driver, it's not as good as those other cars. So it's kind of in the middle here. So kind of go in one or the other direction-- maybe make it lighter, smaller, like, lighter weight Camaro. Or yeah, it just seems to be kind of in the middle and it doesn't seem to be ideally suited to either task.

GREG MIGLIORE: I think it looks good.

JAMES RISWICK: While being just, like, in terms of design, I don't think it looks-- like, they fixed that horrendous black grille face on the SS, but it's not a very good-looking car. It still has kind of that cartoony "Transformers" things going on.

But the front end is not attractive, whereas the Challenger looks really cool and the Mustang looks really cool. I can see my mother driving a Mustang. There's no way in hell, like, she's driving a Camaro. And maybe that's not a problem, but, like, again, broad appeal.

You want to sell a lot of cars. You should have different versions. Again, this isn't just, like, a Camry we're talking about. There are many different versions of a Mustang, and a Challenger, and different flavors. And you don't get that same thing with the Camaro. There's not as many different design packages and models.

You know, there are, like, 19 different trim levels on a Challenger. That's not an accident. They know what they're doing, because they're just trying-- they have this old vehicle and they've managed to market the hell out of it. Good on them.

GREG MIGLIORE: So I disagree with you. You may have heard me kind of burst in there that I like the design. I think it's kind of-- I don't know, I liked "Transformers" when I was a kid. I kind of like it. Would I rate it the third-best in the segment? I don't know if I'd rate it the third.

I would agree Mustang's at the top, simply because it's a very iconic look that just, it's timeless. I think it has the broad appeal and it's a beautiful car. Challenger, for me, is a complicated thing, because it's just a total carbon copy of the early-'70s car in much larger, beefier form. So to me, I almost-- I don't say it's, like, a no grade kind of thing, but, like, they literally just rebuilt the car.

Like, how do you give somebody a good grade for that when they did exactly what they did before? I do like it. I mean, it's a good-looking car, so there's that. I'll say this with the Camaro-- they're trying. I liked that weird grille they did for one year.

I think they should have made it an option that you could get. I'm all about options. I think they should do that. I thought it was different. I thought it was-- you know, I don't know.

I probably wouldn't have gotten it, to be completely honest. But I thought it was a very interesting take. And when people do things, I think, why not give them some points for trying? What I think they should do for the next generation of Camaro, is there is one, take a look at, you know, I think either got to go kind of retro in a different way-- like, maybe look at, like, the '80s car and take a swing at that, I don't know.

Or maybe try sort of a very sleeper generation, the 1970s. I think when you look at, like, just generations of Camaro, everybody says that first gen, like, the late-'60s, is, like, the icon. Give me the 1970 all day. I think that is a more cleaner look.

It's got that almost, like, jet-like profile. Right before the bumper standards, the, like, five-mile standards kind of got in the way of all General Motors cars-- I would say take a look at that one and see what you could do. And if not, I don't know, take a swing at one of the '80s cars. Who knows?

JAMES RISWICK: Yeah. And I mean, even the one they did add the bumper to, it still was kind of a cool car-- both it and the Firebird.

GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.

JAMES RISWICK: If you just Google 1970s Camaro, and you'll see kind of what we're talking about in terms of, like, wider appeal. So you do have just, like, an RS with wire-looking-ish wheels and bigger tires. And that was just designed for anybody. This was not, like, an SS.

This wasn't, like, a Z28 performance model, which did exist. Like, there were different Camaros for different people. That's not really the case now. It's like even the V6 looks more aggressive and serious. Diversify what your options. Come up with something that can be a little more this thing for that person, that thing for this person. So yeah. If it's not the style of the '70s, at least like the greater diversity of it would be something to consider.

GREG MIGLIORE: I'm looking at an old advertisement from the '70s and the, like, top of the copy is a sports car for the four of you. And it's marketing to someone who has, like, two Great Danes or two kids, whereas I don't really think the current Camaro is going for someone with two Great Danes and/or two kids.

JAMES RISWICK: No.

GREG MIGLIORE: So why don't we transition over to James Bond films? I know they have a special place in your heart there, James. I think I might have a Heineken later tonight. So with that, I'll kick it over to you.

JAMES RISWICK: Well, sure. As I'm in my garage sitting in a James Bond car, a BMW Z3, and I have posters for "GoldenEye," "Casino Royale," "The Living Daylights," and "Spectre" just over my right shoulder. Yes, so I'm a James Bond nerd.

And as such, I have taken it upon myself to head up our James Bond content, because "No Time to Die," the latest James Bond movie, is finally coming out in October-- on October 8. Now, we were supposed to see this movie in April of 2020. I was, in fact, going to be going to California to actually drive some of the classic James Bond cars.

So that would be the thing that COVID took away from me. So I'm going to be a bit sad about that. But the movie is finally here. So that means you're probably going to be seeing a lot of James Bond content, a lot of lists about listing all the James Bond movies best to worst, listing all the James Bond cars best to worst.

So I decided to kind of combine them into one, which is listing all the movies, ranking them by their actual car content. So that includes the coolness of the cars, how iconic they are, as well as just the action in the movie. So you can have, like, an Aston Martin DB5, the James Bond car, but if it didn't really do anything, eh, not that high of a score. Whereas you can have a movie like "Octopussy" which has no iconic James Bond cars, yet has terrific car action throughout.

So that's what I did. And so that that's up on the site now ranking all 24. As you might imagine, 24 films does make it a bit long. But thankfully, the James Bond people have put up video clips of most of these scenes that I'm talking about, and so they're embedded in the story.

And I've also included plenty of, like, behind the scenes interesting tidbits throughout just based on my own nerddom and various sources out there. So it's a pretty good read. And you know, car history and James Bond history are intertwined, obviously, because of Aston Martin.

Aston Martin would not exist today without James Bond. There's no way. Lotus, too, could probably be argued to some extent-- because of the Esprit and the two Roger Moore movies. So they are absolutely intertwined. Ford-- has been in Bond movies from the '60s films. The Mustang made its film debut in "Goldfinger." It was 1964 and a half Mustang. That movie came out before the Mustang did.

It was part of that film. Lincoln Continentals in "Goldfinger" as well, Lincoln, one of the greatest Ford Thunderbirds is in that movie. Even towards more recent films, you had, like, the Ford Mondeo, Ford Ka, Ford Edge. But then some of the Premium Automotive Group back when Land Rover was still part of Ford, they were in the movies as was Jaguar, and they continue to be in-- they set up a different product placement.

So James Bond and cars are always intertwined. So you're going to be seeing a lot of stuff, both on "Autoblog" and just out in the internet world, in the next month. The Petersen Automotive Museum in LA is doing a great James Bond exhibit featuring a lot of the cars that you'll see me reference in the list. So yeah, that's kind of what's on my mind. And hopefully the movie actually gets released and we get to see it. Even if I'm wearing a mask, I will look forward to it.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. That sounds good. One thing I've liked during the pandemic-- it giveth and it taketh away-- obviously mostly taketh away-- but some of the movies have been going, like, co-launches with, like, just straight to whatever streaming device that the studios are affiliated with. And that's been kind of an interesting way to-- I like going to the theater, I like popcorn, I like some theaters will serve you a cold beer which is kind of nice-- but I'm also at a very core kind of lazy when it comes to getting out and doing things. So I don't know if there's any streaming implications for this. But either way, I'm looking forward to this movie.

JAMES RISWICK: Yeah, there is. Because Bond was bought by Amazon.

GREG MIGLIORE: OK.

JAMES RISWICK: Not bought. It's a complicated thing, but basically, instead of having the distribution in 50-50 with MGM Studios, which was, like, that was still a thing, that was bought by Amazon finally. So that's kind of in bed now. But creative control is still resolutely in control of the same family that's been doing it from the very beginning. So that's good.

But in terms of, like, seeing a movie in the theater, you know, obviously, I watched all the old Bond movies just in home video. But then when you get to see it, like, in a really enthusiastic crowd with a lot of, like, Bond fans, that is a fundamentally different thing.

Like, the gun barrel logo shows up and people cheer. Significant, like, obvious Bondian things that happen-- there's such a more audience interaction with it. And you know, it doesn't happen every time, but a couple of the movies I've seen have been really, really special.

And if you ever get a chance to see-- be it a Bond movie you've seen a lot or any sort of old movie in a theater, do it. Because I saw "The Spy Who Loved Me" millions of times on VHS, and DVD, and the same with a lot of the other Bond movies. And then I went and I got to see them in theater when I lived in Los Angeles.

And it just it opened my eyes to things I didn't entirely appreciate before. Like, I realized how great the car chase in "The Living Daylights" is with the Aston Martin V8, which will be in "No Time to Die." You can appreciate it a little more. There is a different experience seeing something in the big screen with other people when they're not talking, and they can shut up, and don't crunch popcorn so damn much. But it is a different experience.

GREG MIGLIORE: All right, sounds good-- a different experience might be a successor to the LFA. Let's shift over to the mailbag. Imran writes, hey, guys, what's up? Been a follower of the podcast for many years, has a question for us. Do you think Lexus will make a successor to the LFA? And if so, what do you guys think it will look like?

I don't know. We haven't actually heard anything on this. Do I think they will? I would honestly say probably not in the near-term. I think they have other things to deal with. Would it make a great electric car? I do think it would be a great electric car.

I think high performance, things like the LFA in all-electric form would be good. I think it could elevate the Lexus brand and be a great halo for them. But I don't see this happening any time soon. What do you think, James?

JAMES RISWICK: No, I don't think so-- and largely because I don't think the LFA really accomplished anything. Like, maybe it led to xyz technological development inside of Toyota and Lexus. But that thing was so fanciful-- that was so, like, beyond anything they really did then or today that I don't know how much it really changed things.

And, yes, like, every Lexus today is a far better car to drive than it was 10 years ago. I'd argue that has way more to do with Akio Toyota going, let's make good cars, more than , like, being inspired by the LFA. So I can't see it.

At the very least, the LC 500 is a terrific car. And it's a totally different thing than the LFA. But in terms of a two-door sleek sports car grand tourer, it's sensational. And people can actually buy one, whereas the LFA was so, like-- was even, like, beyond the scale for, like, rich people. You have to be rich and lucky to get one. So I don't see it happening.

GREG MIGLIORE: There was a trend at the early part of this century, if you will, when it seemed like the NSX was coming back. And then it's like Lexus is doing the LFA, Porsche did the 918. There were a lot of just these, like, really, like, sort of very niche cars in a variety of price points coming, and going, and serving slightly different purposes.

It doesn't seem like that's really the movement right now. It seems like car companies are focusing on other things, primarily electricity. So let's move on and spend some money. This is from Dave-- love the podcast. In 18 months, looking for a sporty crossover to replace my rock solid 2015 Lexus IS-350 F-Sport.

Car history includes a 2003 Acura RSX Type S, 2004 BMW 325i, BMW 335i-- that's a very interesting car history. He and his wife live in the Phoenix area with two small dogs who might ride in the backseat. Here's the criteria-- sporty handling, nice interior with supportive seats and current tech, some cargo space, would like it to be reliable. Would consider new or CPO.

Candidates include the Acura RDX with all-wheel drive, the BMW X340i, just the inline 6 Mazda CX5 Grand Touring turbo, Genesis GV70 sport 2.5. Hey, I think we just talked about that car and some other Genesis GV70 variants further on up in the podcast. 2019 Porsche Macan base or S model. He'd like to keep this vehicle for about five years, and the price is $55 grand or below.

Question-- is the Genesis a sporty drive? Does Macan with less weight on the front axle handle any better than the S? I'm not sure we're going to be able to tackle that one for you. I haven't driven a Macan lately. Missing anything else? General Motors and Audi are off the list. Thanks. Keep up the good work. Thanks for writing, Dave. I will toss this over to you, James.

JAMES RISWICK: Well, I think you have your Genesis GV70 answer. Yeah, look at that. And otherwise, the Porsche Macan-- I have not driven the 4-cylinder. I don't know of anybody who has. It's definitely its best-seller, but I don't recall there ever being a press event about the Macan 4-cylinder. I don't remember it being in a press fleet.

I don't think it's something they like to talk about that much. It just kind of exists. I mean, theoretically, could less weight on the front axle handle better? I guess, but, like, the S is really great. So I don't know. I think a 4-cylinder Macan kind of misses the point.

And you're paying for-- that kind of feels like a fancy Audi Q5 at that point. If you can get a used Macan S for a decent price, sure. But otherwise, yeah, the Genesis-- I think that the Mazda CX5, that's a really good idea. That car is great. Talk about, like, a budget Porsche-- every Mazda feels like a budget Porsche.

I mean, that would be, I think, my suggestion. Genesis, they're pretty different. But if you want to go that way, I think the CX5 Grand Touring turbo would be a really smart direction. And it was just updated 2022. There were updates. On "Autoblog" right now, you'll be able to check it out.

Also as you own a Lexus IS 350 F-Sport, I am driving the new Lexus NX next week. And if every recent Lexus has been any indication, it should be better to drive than the old one-- perhaps significantly. So stay tuned for that.

GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Come back to Autoblog.com for all the details there. I'm going to say, first of all, you want to look at the GV70 and decide, do you like how that looks? The answer is, yes, it's a good value, drives well, beautiful interior. I would call it sporty-ish, to answer your question, Dave, a little bit.

For a crossover, it's sporty, but it's not like-- the Mazda is probably sportier, if you will. I thought the GV70 actually handled a little bit like a wagon. And some of that, I think, is the looks sort of creeping into my opinion of it, just because it has long and low proportions.

But I will say this-- that's one worth checking out or I would take a look at the Mazda. The Mazda is a great deal. It looks great. It looks, frankly, more expensive than it is. So if you're looking to make your money go far, I would narrow it down to those two.

I mean, hey, you want to own a Porsche, check out the Macan. But like James said, I don't know if-- this 4-cylinder Macan you speak of, like, where would one go to get it? I don't know. I mean, that sort of speaks to how car companies do generally try to put higher end models in the press fleet, which is all part of it.

But you know, honestly, I can't speak intelligently on that one, to be perfectly honest. But I don't think Genesis GV70 or Mazda you're going to go wrong with either of those. Those are two good choices. All right, the search for the 4-cylinder Macan continues. With that, we'll leave it there.

Please send us your "Spend My Moneys" and your questions for the mailbag. That's podcast@autoblog.com. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave us a five-star rating on Apple podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get your podcasts. Be safe out there and we'll see you next week.

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