2007 Scoblecars

So, since we have three 2007 cars in our family, thought I’d write my thoughts down.

Maryam’s BMW 325i cost about $40,000. My dad’s new hybrid Toyota Camry cost about $35,000. My new Saturn Aura cost about $25,000.

Which one is best?

That’s hard to pick, because it depends on price level (it’s unfair to compare a $40,000 car with a $25,000 one).

Best headlamps? BMW and Toyota (they turn when you turn and are the new gas-based ones that are bluer in color than regular lamps and brighter, too).
Best rear seats? Saturn. Much more room than the other two and having a separate back-seat radio is killer for Patrick.
Best technology? Toyota. It’s a hybrid.
Best key? Tie between Toyota and BMW. UPDATE: my brother reminded me that the Toyota lets you start the car from outside the car, without even inserting the key, so the Toyota wins the coolest key award. The BMW key is also the FOB, Saturn’s has two separate pieces, the FOB and the key.
Best handling? BMW.
Best ride? Very hard to tell the difference. Want to have a “is HDTV sharper” debate? Heheh.
Best gas mileage? Toyota, cause of hybrid.
Best brand name? Toyota for everyday buyers, BMW for higher end.
Coolest touch? LED lights under the handles on our BMW.
Best stereo? The Saturn came with XM Satellite radio built in. The others didn’t. Sound quality wise, very hard to tell, all three cars have awesome stereos.
Car I’d choose if money were no object? BMW.
Car I’d choose if money WERE an object? Saturn.
Car I’ll probably get laughed at most when driving into Silicon Valley country club? Saturn.
Quietest inside? Toyota, due to hybrid engine, closely followed by Saturn. BMW is noiser.
Best geek car? Toyota, due to nav system and hybrid.
Best tires? BMW (no flats). At least until they wear out, then you’ll question the $400 per tire cost.
Best dashboard design? Saturn, although if you like something that makes you think of Star Trek, the Toyota is pretty cool.
Most chick appeal? BMW. Maryam says she ain’t giving hers up.
Most iPod/Zune friendly? Not sure. I haven’t found the aux input on Toyota or Saturn yet. Patrick says the back seat satellite radio rocks, though. I have a feeling he’s listening to the R-rated comedy channel.
Safest? I don’t know, but I believe both the BMW and Saturn have six airbags and anti-lock brakes.
Resale value? I bet the Toyota will be easiest to resell, Saturn hardest.
Coolest looking? BMW, hands down. Both the Camry and Aura are boring family mobiles.

Anyway, enough about cars for a while.

Oh, regarding driving, Maryam officially became a Scoble today as we got our new drivers licenses and she opted to put Scoble on hers. That’ll save everyone from asking her how she says Ghaemmaghami. ๐Ÿ™‚

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89 thoughts on “2007 Scoblecars

  1. Hybrids are great on PR, but the tech is lacking. I’ve a friend with a Diesel Jetta who will spank your hybrid on mileage, and he’s running half and half old veggie oil from BK and actual “diesel” fuel.

    He can pull off 50+ without trying hard, and 60MPG or so if he works at it.

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  2. Hybrids are great on PR, but the tech is lacking. I’ve a friend with a Diesel Jetta who will spank your hybrid on mileage, and he’s running half and half old veggie oil from BK and actual “diesel” fuel.

    He can pull off 50+ without trying hard, and 60MPG or so if he works at it.

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  3. I’m really curious about this – I never really understand why people buy new cars, especially at those prices.

    I guess it’s usually for status, but tbh I guess I didn’t have you down as a status kind of guy.

    So – how exactly do you guys justify spending $40k on a car? Or even $25k? Is the market for second hand cars in the US sucky, or something? Is the US really so pedestrian/public transport unfriendly?

    If your car was full of cool tech, maybe I’d understand it, but you just said that it wasn’t :-).

    So, $65k for 2 cars for 2 people. Is there really nothing better you can spend your money on?

    I’m serious – I’m not having a go at you; I’m genuinely curious.

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  4. I’m really curious about this – I never really understand why people buy new cars, especially at those prices.

    I guess it’s usually for status, but tbh I guess I didn’t have you down as a status kind of guy.

    So – how exactly do you guys justify spending $40k on a car? Or even $25k? Is the market for second hand cars in the US sucky, or something? Is the US really so pedestrian/public transport unfriendly?

    If your car was full of cool tech, maybe I’d understand it, but you just said that it wasn’t :-).

    So, $65k for 2 cars for 2 people. Is there really nothing better you can spend your money on?

    I’m serious – I’m not having a go at you; I’m genuinely curious.

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  5. Tim: until about two years ago I drove an Acura with 180,000 miles. Before that I didn’t have a car, I rode my bike and train to work at UserLand back in 2002.

    Why buy a new car instead of having some used car? Very easy: they are nicer. Much nicer.

    Because of my job and lifestyle I entertain a LOT of people in my car and I MUST be to interviews on time. I remember giving rides to many geeks in my old Acura (including Tim O’Reilly and many other famous geeks). Often times I’d get a funny look as to my choice of car. Several of them praised my buying a new car when I did (I think they were scared that the old Acura would die, or worse, while they were in it. Or maybe the cracked seats just made them itchy. Heheh).

    I also spend at least 1.25 hours in my car every day (Maryam and I often ride together) and that’s just the start. Most days you can add another hour, due to my driving to interviews. Every other weekend I need to drive to Petaluma to pick Patrick up. That’s a two hour drive each way.

    Having a really nice car makes a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of life.

    I’m getting older. I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel. My mom died at 66. I’m 42. I’ve seen lots of people die in their 40s lately.

    I made a decision to enjoy life. Having a nice car is a huge part of that.

    I could have fixed my Ford for $2,300 and had a perfectly usable car. But, the new Saturn is TONS nicer of a car. So much smoother of a ride. Tons more airbags in case something nasty happens. Better brakes. Better stereo. Better interior. More leg room for Patrick. The AC works (my Ford was getting weak). And I don’t need to worry about whether my car is going to need to be in the shop anytime soon which makes my life less stressful. Plus, anyone who rides in my car will have a better time too.

    But, it isn’t for everyone. Not having payments is a lot less stressful for many people. Having a beat-up old Acura like I used to have is a much better deal for those people.

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  6. Tim: until about two years ago I drove an Acura with 180,000 miles. Before that I didn’t have a car, I rode my bike and train to work at UserLand back in 2002.

    Why buy a new car instead of having some used car? Very easy: they are nicer. Much nicer.

    Because of my job and lifestyle I entertain a LOT of people in my car and I MUST be to interviews on time. I remember giving rides to many geeks in my old Acura (including Tim O’Reilly and many other famous geeks). Often times I’d get a funny look as to my choice of car. Several of them praised my buying a new car when I did (I think they were scared that the old Acura would die, or worse, while they were in it. Or maybe the cracked seats just made them itchy. Heheh).

    I also spend at least 1.25 hours in my car every day (Maryam and I often ride together) and that’s just the start. Most days you can add another hour, due to my driving to interviews. Every other weekend I need to drive to Petaluma to pick Patrick up. That’s a two hour drive each way.

    Having a really nice car makes a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of life.

    I’m getting older. I’m starting to see the end of the tunnel. My mom died at 66. I’m 42. I’ve seen lots of people die in their 40s lately.

    I made a decision to enjoy life. Having a nice car is a huge part of that.

    I could have fixed my Ford for $2,300 and had a perfectly usable car. But, the new Saturn is TONS nicer of a car. So much smoother of a ride. Tons more airbags in case something nasty happens. Better brakes. Better stereo. Better interior. More leg room for Patrick. The AC works (my Ford was getting weak). And I don’t need to worry about whether my car is going to need to be in the shop anytime soon which makes my life less stressful. Plus, anyone who rides in my car will have a better time too.

    But, it isn’t for everyone. Not having payments is a lot less stressful for many people. Having a beat-up old Acura like I used to have is a much better deal for those people.

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  7. I find it quite amusing that out of the cars we own (Honda Odyssey minivan, Jaguar S-series, and Chevy Colorado), I like my truck the best. That on-star, the XM Radio, and yes, I actually like NOT having leather seats. The Honda has leather, heated, the Jag does not. And DVD systems for the kids in the van amusingly put the minivan about the Jag.

    Yet I keep coming back to my truck. It retailed for 28K, I walked with it for 24K, same model year.

    Tim’s comment is interesting, since I think 60K is my personal cutoff. There’s only one car worth 100K, most everything you can get for 60-80, you can probably find for 40-60.

    Volkswagen had the funniest, they had a 70,000 luxury car: The Phaeton. If I’m gonna spend 70 on a car, it’s gonna be a Mercedes, and NOT a v-dub. Not just for brand, but the quality of MBZ is untouchable (yeah yeah your taxis, our luxury cars).

    And yes, outside of some big cities (SF bloggers are all up in MUNI, I can think of like 2 that have cars), we hate public transport. We love our cars, and barely carpool.

    Now we can talk about spending 20K on a car and adding 60K worth of technology and zazz to it, but I’m thinking this is the wrong crowd to get drooly over car culture.

    I’ll be in my garage if anyone needs me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. I find it quite amusing that out of the cars we own (Honda Odyssey minivan, Jaguar S-series, and Chevy Colorado), I like my truck the best. That on-star, the XM Radio, and yes, I actually like NOT having leather seats. The Honda has leather, heated, the Jag does not. And DVD systems for the kids in the van amusingly put the minivan about the Jag.

    Yet I keep coming back to my truck. It retailed for 28K, I walked with it for 24K, same model year.

    Tim’s comment is interesting, since I think 60K is my personal cutoff. There’s only one car worth 100K, most everything you can get for 60-80, you can probably find for 40-60.

    Volkswagen had the funniest, they had a 70,000 luxury car: The Phaeton. If I’m gonna spend 70 on a car, it’s gonna be a Mercedes, and NOT a v-dub. Not just for brand, but the quality of MBZ is untouchable (yeah yeah your taxis, our luxury cars).

    And yes, outside of some big cities (SF bloggers are all up in MUNI, I can think of like 2 that have cars), we hate public transport. We love our cars, and barely carpool.

    Now we can talk about spending 20K on a car and adding 60K worth of technology and zazz to it, but I’m thinking this is the wrong crowd to get drooly over car culture.

    I’ll be in my garage if anyone needs me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Also, I remember reading some story or post someone made about how ‘oh, well Google employees would _never_ be seen in a Mercedes convertible!’ and all I could think of is how amazing that statement was since MBZ I think is the best of the best of the best. Would they have held that if they had something as bad-ass as an Apple on four wheels raging down the freeway? Dunno. I can’t believe that techies are THAT kumbaya.

    Gimme a $100k+ Mercedes SL AMG roadster any day of the week, and I’ll see you at the finish line, alive, on time, and in style. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  10. Also, I remember reading some story or post someone made about how ‘oh, well Google employees would _never_ be seen in a Mercedes convertible!’ and all I could think of is how amazing that statement was since MBZ I think is the best of the best of the best. Would they have held that if they had something as bad-ass as an Apple on four wheels raging down the freeway? Dunno. I can’t believe that techies are THAT kumbaya.

    Gimme a $100k+ Mercedes SL AMG roadster any day of the week, and I’ll see you at the finish line, alive, on time, and in style. ๐Ÿ˜›

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  11. Eric: Patrick just got a brand new MacBookPro, so that’ll be his back-seat DVD system. He says that the back seat is a lot more comfortable in the Saturn that than it is in the BMW. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  12. Eric: Patrick just got a brand new MacBookPro, so that’ll be his back-seat DVD system. He says that the back seat is a lot more comfortable in the Saturn that than it is in the BMW. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  13. When people spend a lot of time in their cars they decide to spend some money on them.

    Second hand cars are a crap shoot in my experience. You don’t know the history, typically have next to no warranty and they certainly have no sexiness about them.

    My car cost about half my gross salary. The payment with a 6 year loan is about 10% of my take home, which equates to about 4 hours of week of my work.

    I love my car. I still get goosebumps looking at it. And it only costs 4 hours a week of my work to enjoy it. To me, it feels like a good deal.

    What else can I spend the money on? I eat well, I have a nice house, I have some investments. Why not enjoy my life? My car makes me smile every time I drive it.

    If you are not into cars then get a stripped down Honda or VW on a lease and pay next to nothing.

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  14. When people spend a lot of time in their cars they decide to spend some money on them.

    Second hand cars are a crap shoot in my experience. You don’t know the history, typically have next to no warranty and they certainly have no sexiness about them.

    My car cost about half my gross salary. The payment with a 6 year loan is about 10% of my take home, which equates to about 4 hours of week of my work.

    I love my car. I still get goosebumps looking at it. And it only costs 4 hours a week of my work to enjoy it. To me, it feels like a good deal.

    What else can I spend the money on? I eat well, I have a nice house, I have some investments. Why not enjoy my life? My car makes me smile every time I drive it.

    If you are not into cars then get a stripped down Honda or VW on a lease and pay next to nothing.

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  15. Ben makes a good point…I’m reminded of the Mercedes commercial here in LA that says “…around here, you gotta love what you drive.” I wonder how much Ben has to commute in his car, and how that factors into his equation about 4 hours of work. I drive a 15 year old Miata, which I love, bought for $18k used w/12k miles on it…it now has 112,000 miles and will go another 100k for sure…I’m getting my money out of it which relates to the earlier query that Tim made and Robert’s response…also, watch for my next podcast with OnStar’s Chet Huber….

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  16. Ben makes a good point…I’m reminded of the Mercedes commercial here in LA that says “…around here, you gotta love what you drive.” I wonder how much Ben has to commute in his car, and how that factors into his equation about 4 hours of work. I drive a 15 year old Miata, which I love, bought for $18k used w/12k miles on it…it now has 112,000 miles and will go another 100k for sure…I’m getting my money out of it which relates to the earlier query that Tim made and Robert’s response…also, watch for my next podcast with OnStar’s Chet Huber….

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  17. Ben: are you talking about your yellow car? That’s hot.

    Funny enough I also have a commute where a great handling car actually makes sense (look at HWY 92 on Google Maps sometime — between Half Moon Bay and Redwood City — it’s curvy!)

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  18. Ben: are you talking about your yellow car? That’s hot.

    Funny enough I also have a commute where a great handling car actually makes sense (look at HWY 92 on Google Maps sometime — between Half Moon Bay and Redwood City — it’s curvy!)

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  19. You probably know this already–don’t store your BMW keys side-by-side. Close proximity for hours on end will flatten their charges to a point that they won’t recharge in the ignition.

    I discovered this little issue after buying two BMWs and running each of the more than 150,000 miles. In Ireland, I can get them recharged for free. You need to recode (recharge) both of them together if you want their remote unlocking to work following this simple maintenance.

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  20. You probably know this already–don’t store your BMW keys side-by-side. Close proximity for hours on end will flatten their charges to a point that they won’t recharge in the ignition.

    I discovered this little issue after buying two BMWs and running each of the more than 150,000 miles. In Ireland, I can get them recharged for free. You need to recode (recharge) both of them together if you want their remote unlocking to work following this simple maintenance.

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  22. Does the BMW 3 series start without requiring key to be inserted into ignition? If it doesn’t, then the Camry definitely has the cooler key. The whole push Start button to start thing is really cool…does take some getting used to though.

    Also don’t forget that the Camry has Bluetooth in it.

    Oh and the Camry does have an XM satellite enabled radio, but you of course have to pay for the service.

    Lastly, too bad the German car manufacturers are the only ones really pushing turbo diesels as they all have much worse reliability than the Japanese manufacturers. Maybe if I was given one, I’d drive a VW, but I’d never buy one on my own.

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  23. Does the BMW 3 series start without requiring key to be inserted into ignition? If it doesn’t, then the Camry definitely has the cooler key. The whole push Start button to start thing is really cool…does take some getting used to though.

    Also don’t forget that the Camry has Bluetooth in it.

    Oh and the Camry does have an XM satellite enabled radio, but you of course have to pay for the service.

    Lastly, too bad the German car manufacturers are the only ones really pushing turbo diesels as they all have much worse reliability than the Japanese manufacturers. Maybe if I was given one, I’d drive a VW, but I’d never buy one on my own.

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  24. Alex: thanks, I didn’t know that about the Camry key. That definitely is cooler.

    All three of our cars use Bluetooth.

    Did the Camry come with the XM service turned on? My Saturn did — three months of included service. Much better user experience.

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  25. Alex: thanks, I didn’t know that about the Camry key. That definitely is cooler.

    All three of our cars use Bluetooth.

    Did the Camry come with the XM service turned on? My Saturn did — three months of included service. Much better user experience.

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  26. Interesting – I was wondering how much extra driving you did for the Podtech interviews (now you’re not limited to the MS campus :-)), and if that was a factor. The drive to Petaluma is also a big factor, I guess.

    My perspective is skewed somewhat, because I live just outside London, and the travel links to central London are pretty good, and I don’t often need to go anywhere but London for business. And driving into London is both pretty stupid and pretty selfish.

    That said, I do have a car, but I only use it to drive to friends’ houses or to visit my parents. I could use the train to visit my parents, but that tends to add about 1.5 hours to the journey, and if I want to carry much, then forget it. My car is an old Mazda, and every so often I think about getting a newer one, but I can never get past [a] the expense, and [b] the fact that I’d be (however small) creating a demand for a new car at the top of the chain, with all its associated environmental factors. Plus, these damn Japanese cars seem to keep going for ever.

    I could just be being hypocritical though, and if I had the money, I’d buy a nice car. It just seems different people have different ways of assessing how much money they have for a new car. For instance, I’d have to be earning a *lot* more than I do now to consider getting a BMW.

    Your driving habits along with the US’ general pedestrian unfriendliness* are probably a good argument – although the “I might die soon” argument is an intriguing one :-).

    “You probably know this alreadyโ€“donโ€™t store your BMW keys side-by-side. Close proximity for hours on end will flatten their charges to a point that they wonโ€™t recharge in the ignition.”

    Ah, that must be the legendary German engineering quality that BMW owners end up paying for ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (* My experience of US cities is limited to Seattle, Atlanta, and SF. Having a car seemed to be a pre-requisite for life in all 3 cities. In Atlanta, I was with 2 other Brits, and we wanted to go to a store near the hotel. We saw the mall as soon as we left the hotel, and we were all like, “Hey! Let’s walk!” *BIG* mistake ๐Ÿ™‚ I think all the people in cars thought we were homeless.)

    Oh, and as for people who give you funny looks when they get in your car – screw ’em. If they can’t see past the car you drive they’re often not worth knowing (except in a cynical sense).

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  27. Interesting – I was wondering how much extra driving you did for the Podtech interviews (now you’re not limited to the MS campus :-)), and if that was a factor. The drive to Petaluma is also a big factor, I guess.

    My perspective is skewed somewhat, because I live just outside London, and the travel links to central London are pretty good, and I don’t often need to go anywhere but London for business. And driving into London is both pretty stupid and pretty selfish.

    That said, I do have a car, but I only use it to drive to friends’ houses or to visit my parents. I could use the train to visit my parents, but that tends to add about 1.5 hours to the journey, and if I want to carry much, then forget it. My car is an old Mazda, and every so often I think about getting a newer one, but I can never get past [a] the expense, and [b] the fact that I’d be (however small) creating a demand for a new car at the top of the chain, with all its associated environmental factors. Plus, these damn Japanese cars seem to keep going for ever.

    I could just be being hypocritical though, and if I had the money, I’d buy a nice car. It just seems different people have different ways of assessing how much money they have for a new car. For instance, I’d have to be earning a *lot* more than I do now to consider getting a BMW.

    Your driving habits along with the US’ general pedestrian unfriendliness* are probably a good argument – although the “I might die soon” argument is an intriguing one :-).

    “You probably know this alreadyโ€“donโ€™t store your BMW keys side-by-side. Close proximity for hours on end will flatten their charges to a point that they wonโ€™t recharge in the ignition.”

    Ah, that must be the legendary German engineering quality that BMW owners end up paying for ๐Ÿ˜‰

    (* My experience of US cities is limited to Seattle, Atlanta, and SF. Having a car seemed to be a pre-requisite for life in all 3 cities. In Atlanta, I was with 2 other Brits, and we wanted to go to a store near the hotel. We saw the mall as soon as we left the hotel, and we were all like, “Hey! Let’s walk!” *BIG* mistake ๐Ÿ™‚ I think all the people in cars thought we were homeless.)

    Oh, and as for people who give you funny looks when they get in your car – screw ’em. If they can’t see past the car you drive they’re often not worth knowing (except in a cynical sense).

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  28. Tim: if I lived near London I probably wouldn’t own a car either. You totally nailed it. EUrope has much better public transportation systems. Here we have NONE at all. I can’t get to work using public transport.

    Yeah, I’m driving a LOT more than I used to at Microsoft.

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  29. Tim: if I lived near London I probably wouldn’t own a car either. You totally nailed it. EUrope has much better public transportation systems. Here we have NONE at all. I can’t get to work using public transport.

    Yeah, I’m driving a LOT more than I used to at Microsoft.

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  30. Better than a built-in nav system is a Garmin nuvi. I did not get the upgrade on my Toyota Prius for the nav system and I don’t regret it. The nuvi is much less expensive and you can take it in any car you own and on foot – a big plus in NYC. We’re spending January in Florida this year, and the nuvi has been indispensable for getting us around.

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  31. Better than a built-in nav system is a Garmin nuvi. I did not get the upgrade on my Toyota Prius for the nav system and I don’t regret it. The nuvi is much less expensive and you can take it in any car you own and on foot – a big plus in NYC. We’re spending January in Florida this year, and the nuvi has been indispensable for getting us around.

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  32. Actually, public transport in London (and the UK as a whole) is not a great experience at all. Pretty unreliable, and often dirty and dangerously overcrowded. And, if you want to go anywhere after midnight, you can pretty much forget it – cos the public transport system just about shuts down.

    Oh, and aside from being unreliable, and not running when you want it to, it’s *really* expensive. I drive a Porsche 911. Trust me – that is an expensive car to run. And it’s cheaper to drive a Porsche 911 somewhere than it is to go by train (taking all costs into account). And that’s with one person in the car. With two people in the car, the savings over using the train are significant.

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  33. Actually, public transport in London (and the UK as a whole) is not a great experience at all. Pretty unreliable, and often dirty and dangerously overcrowded. And, if you want to go anywhere after midnight, you can pretty much forget it – cos the public transport system just about shuts down.

    Oh, and aside from being unreliable, and not running when you want it to, it’s *really* expensive. I drive a Porsche 911. Trust me – that is an expensive car to run. And it’s cheaper to drive a Porsche 911 somewhere than it is to go by train (taking all costs into account). And that’s with one person in the car. With two people in the car, the savings over using the train are significant.

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  34. “…bluer in color and brighter, too.” So, oncoming traffic is distracted by that odd thing coming at them, and very possibly dazzled, too. And that’s a good thing?

    Behind the “theoretically better illumination”, ask yourself how much of the time are you driving in a situation where more conventional lighting is really inadequate?

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  35. “…bluer in color and brighter, too.” So, oncoming traffic is distracted by that odd thing coming at them, and very possibly dazzled, too. And that’s a good thing?

    Behind the “theoretically better illumination”, ask yourself how much of the time are you driving in a situation where more conventional lighting is really inadequate?

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  36. Couple of thoughts:

    Matt – Chrysler is now part of Daimler, not the other way around. The Germans bailed the American company out by coming in an throwing awesome prodct knowledge and technology at a company that had lost its way.

    I drive a late-model 325i (2003 that I bought this year with only 38K on it in pristine shape). Cost-wise, my payments are about the same as if I’d bought the Saturn Robert’s driving. No question in my mind which I’m happier with (even without the backseat radio).

    Robert, if you seriously aren’t sure which of the three Scoble cars handles best, we’ll take a drive on PCH next time I’m in the Bay area and I’ll show you in about 30 seconds why Maryam’s car is in a completely different class from the other two. No contest.

    David – have you ever driven down to Half Moon Bay where Robert lives? Depending on the route, it can get pretty dark/ Have you driven a car with zeon lamps? I live in the high mountain desert of New Mexico where it is pitch black once you’re out of the city and I will never drive a car without blue lamps again.

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  37. Couple of thoughts:

    Matt – Chrysler is now part of Daimler, not the other way around. The Germans bailed the American company out by coming in an throwing awesome prodct knowledge and technology at a company that had lost its way.

    I drive a late-model 325i (2003 that I bought this year with only 38K on it in pristine shape). Cost-wise, my payments are about the same as if I’d bought the Saturn Robert’s driving. No question in my mind which I’m happier with (even without the backseat radio).

    Robert, if you seriously aren’t sure which of the three Scoble cars handles best, we’ll take a drive on PCH next time I’m in the Bay area and I’ll show you in about 30 seconds why Maryam’s car is in a completely different class from the other two. No contest.

    David – have you ever driven down to Half Moon Bay where Robert lives? Depending on the route, it can get pretty dark/ Have you driven a car with zeon lamps? I live in the high mountain desert of New Mexico where it is pitch black once you’re out of the city and I will never drive a car without blue lamps again.

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  38. Yeah I am talking about the yellow car ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My commute can take 10 minutes or 30 depending on the traffic, but the weather could be anything from 30 to 90 degrees in Seattle. Another factor I forgot to mention is that the more you pay for a car the better the climate control will tend to be.

    Robert – is that road that collapsed near Half Moon Bay fixed yet or is it still out of action? That looked like part of a fun (but scary) drive.

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  39. Yeah I am talking about the yellow car ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My commute can take 10 minutes or 30 depending on the traffic, but the weather could be anything from 30 to 90 degrees in Seattle. Another factor I forgot to mention is that the more you pay for a car the better the climate control will tend to be.

    Robert – is that road that collapsed near Half Moon Bay fixed yet or is it still out of action? That looked like part of a fun (but scary) drive.

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  40. Ben: Devil’s Slide is fixed. In fact, it was the first 10 miles I drove in my new car! Lots of fun, too.

    Marc: the BMW is better, but the Saturn is a lot better than you might expect. Particularly for a car that costs $15,000 less.

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  41. Ben: Devil’s Slide is fixed. In fact, it was the first 10 miles I drove in my new car! Lots of fun, too.

    Marc: the BMW is better, but the Saturn is a lot better than you might expect. Particularly for a car that costs $15,000 less.

    Like

  42. @24. The current generation of xenon lights don’t cause any significant problems (distraction, dazzle etc.) for either oncoming traffic, or traffic the car is following.

    However, for the driver of the car with xenon lights, they offer significant advantages in most night-driving conditions. The benefits of these kind of lights are not in any sense “theoretical”.

    The reason all cars don’t have these kind of lights is cost. It’s not that they don’t offer genuine benefits, as you seem to be suggesting.

    Like

  43. @24. The current generation of xenon lights don’t cause any significant problems (distraction, dazzle etc.) for either oncoming traffic, or traffic the car is following.

    However, for the driver of the car with xenon lights, they offer significant advantages in most night-driving conditions. The benefits of these kind of lights are not in any sense “theoretical”.

    The reason all cars don’t have these kind of lights is cost. It’s not that they don’t offer genuine benefits, as you seem to be suggesting.

    Like

  44. Oh, oh, another “HDTV is sharper” style argument is breaking out.

    Heheh, how to piss off a new car owner? Walk up and say “I can’t see the difference between those funky Xenon headlamps and those on cheaper cars.”

    Seriously, though. If there’s one thing that separates the BMW from the Saturn, it’s the headlamps. BWM’s rock. They turn as you turn, which GREATLY helps out going around turns (which I do a lot, since I live in Half Moon Bay and the only roads out of here are twisty, dark, ones).

    David: they help 100% of the time you drive at night. Also, signs are a lot easier to read with Xenon lamps (they reflect better).

    Like

  45. Oh, oh, another “HDTV is sharper” style argument is breaking out.

    Heheh, how to piss off a new car owner? Walk up and say “I can’t see the difference between those funky Xenon headlamps and those on cheaper cars.”

    Seriously, though. If there’s one thing that separates the BMW from the Saturn, it’s the headlamps. BWM’s rock. They turn as you turn, which GREATLY helps out going around turns (which I do a lot, since I live in Half Moon Bay and the only roads out of here are twisty, dark, ones).

    David: they help 100% of the time you drive at night. Also, signs are a lot easier to read with Xenon lamps (they reflect better).

    Like

  46. I’m still getting along very nicely with my 18-year-old Mark II Ford Orion 1.6i – cost ยฃ250 five years ago, averages about ยฃ250 a year in repairs and servicing, and goes like stink. That makes ยฃ1250 keeping it running, and I’ve covered 50,000 miles in that time for an average ยฃ25 per thousand miles (not counting other costs like insurance and fuel – it does about 40mpg on the motorway).

    Best if all, there’s no depreciation: it’s still worth ยฃ250 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  47. I’m still getting along very nicely with my 18-year-old Mark II Ford Orion 1.6i – cost ยฃ250 five years ago, averages about ยฃ250 a year in repairs and servicing, and goes like stink. That makes ยฃ1250 keeping it running, and I’ve covered 50,000 miles in that time for an average ยฃ25 per thousand miles (not counting other costs like insurance and fuel – it does about 40mpg on the motorway).

    Best if all, there’s no depreciation: it’s still worth ยฃ250 ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  48. Ben says: “Second hand cars are a crap shoot in my experience. You donโ€™t know the history, typically have next to no warranty and they certainly have no sexiness about them.”

    I beg to differ! I bought a Miata in 2000 (1999 model) with 9000 miles on it. It had the remainder of the factory warranty. I paid $17,300 for the car with little negotiating (hey, I was a teenager — I didn’t realize how far most used car dealers will negotiate.) That same car new was going for $24,000, so I saved $7000 by waiting a year and getting a car with 9K miles on it that still smelled new.

    I still drive that car on a daily basis and my Miata now has 130,000 miles on it. It’s been paid off since 2004; I put $12,000 down on it so I never had that much of a payment anyway. I’m very happy to not have a payment and I plan to buy my next car with mostly cash as well. I’d rather make money in the market than be paying money to others any day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Erica

    Like

  49. Ben says: “Second hand cars are a crap shoot in my experience. You donโ€™t know the history, typically have next to no warranty and they certainly have no sexiness about them.”

    I beg to differ! I bought a Miata in 2000 (1999 model) with 9000 miles on it. It had the remainder of the factory warranty. I paid $17,300 for the car with little negotiating (hey, I was a teenager — I didn’t realize how far most used car dealers will negotiate.) That same car new was going for $24,000, so I saved $7000 by waiting a year and getting a car with 9K miles on it that still smelled new.

    I still drive that car on a daily basis and my Miata now has 130,000 miles on it. It’s been paid off since 2004; I put $12,000 down on it so I never had that much of a payment anyway. I’m very happy to not have a payment and I plan to buy my next car with mostly cash as well. I’d rather make money in the market than be paying money to others any day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    -Erica

    Like

  50. Robert,

    You said:

    Car Iโ€™ll probably get laughed at most when driving into Silicon Valley country club? Saturn.

    I say:

    So what? If people judge you by the car you drive, they should be flogged as shallow-minded losers. If you let it bother you, you’re not a man confortable with himself. If you are comfortable with yourself as a man, then driving up in Fred Sanford’s truck shouldn’t bother you. People that feel the need to drive expensive cars have issues. Period.

    The smartest people I know drive the cheapest cars. The reverse is almost never true in my experience.

    Like

  51. Robert,

    You said:

    Car Iโ€™ll probably get laughed at most when driving into Silicon Valley country club? Saturn.

    I say:

    So what? If people judge you by the car you drive, they should be flogged as shallow-minded losers. If you let it bother you, you’re not a man confortable with himself. If you are comfortable with yourself as a man, then driving up in Fred Sanford’s truck shouldn’t bother you. People that feel the need to drive expensive cars have issues. Period.

    The smartest people I know drive the cheapest cars. The reverse is almost never true in my experience.

    Like

  52. Mr. Scoble… Ya know… that hybrid is worth $10K off your dad’s taxes. That’s probably worth the lack of trunk space. ‘Course he probably doesn’t have to lug a gob of recording gear around.

    Congrats on the purchase and especially the birthday. Happy 42 bud!

    Like

  53. Mr. Scoble… Ya know… that hybrid is worth $10K off your dad’s taxes. That’s probably worth the lack of trunk space. ‘Course he probably doesn’t have to lug a gob of recording gear around.

    Congrats on the purchase and especially the birthday. Happy 42 bud!

    Like

  54. Did you find the Aux input yet? On my Prius, it is way down at the bottom of the inside front of the center console/armrest. Maybe yours is in some off-the-wall place like that, too.

    I do love plugging in my Zen and listening to audio books on my commute. Now if I could just figure out how to get free podcasts and videos loaded I would be set. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  55. Did you find the Aux input yet? On my Prius, it is way down at the bottom of the inside front of the center console/armrest. Maybe yours is in some off-the-wall place like that, too.

    I do love plugging in my Zen and listening to audio books on my commute. Now if I could just figure out how to get free podcasts and videos loaded I would be set. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  56. Robert,

    Your father might be interested in visiting my brother’s websites on Hybrid cards. The most information about the hybrids can be found at http://priuschat.com and he also runs a smaller http://camrychat.com . Both are forum sites that have lots of information about the cars, and PriusChat is loaded with members that know more about the cars than most of the salespeople!

    Like

  57. Robert,

    Your father might be interested in visiting my brother’s websites on Hybrid cards. The most information about the hybrids can be found at http://priuschat.com and he also runs a smaller http://camrychat.com . Both are forum sites that have lots of information about the cars, and PriusChat is loaded with members that know more about the cars than most of the salespeople!

    Like

  58. Tim-great links! I’ll use them in future podcasts I do on the Prius or Camry for The Next Gear–thanks!

    Like

  59. Tim-great links! I’ll use them in future podcasts I do on the Prius or Camry for The Next Gear–thanks!

    Like

  60. The Aux input on the Camry (at least for the non-hybrid model) is in the bottom right corner of the flip up compartment beneath the AC controls. Once it detects something is plugged in there, then you can switch the radio to the Aux input.

    Like

  61. The Aux input on the Camry (at least for the non-hybrid model) is in the bottom right corner of the flip up compartment beneath the AC controls. Once it detects something is plugged in there, then you can switch the radio to the Aux input.

    Like

  62. Well, this is really a comparison of three different cars. The new Camry is nice, but a total bore. The hybrid system is a plus, but as some have mentioned, doesn’t live up to the hype, yet. Word is the next Prius will use lithium-ion/polymer batteries instead of the current nickel based batts. Expect more cost, but also a lot more performance and fuel economy.

    What you’re forgetting about the BMW is the handling. You mentioned it as the best, but it really goes beyond that. The handling of the BMW is so far superior to those other cars, and with the sports package, is probably far superior to the majority of cars on the road today. It is just effortless. And don’t forget that there is more to safety than airbags. The handling of the BMW can contribute to you AVOIDING an accident, and will take better care of its occupants if you do get in to one.

    The gas-filled lights are called HID, or high intensity discharge, sometimes also called Xenon. With the curve sensing features, they really are highly superior to halogen. Just compare driving in the rain with HID’s and you will see the difference. There is some argumentation about the blinding of other drivers, but it isn’t that the lights are really that much brighter. Rather, it is the harsh cutoff that the lights produce. Whereas a halogen light will gradually fade off, the HID will abruptly transition from dark to light, causing the eye to detect it as brighter, when it actually is not.

    My 2006 MB ML has the curve sensing HIDs, and also has cornering foglamps. During low speed turns, the foglamp on the side of the car that you are turning in to will light, giving you that much more light where you need it most. When I get a loaner for service, I’m constantly checking to see whether the lights are on, since the halogens just don’t cut it.

    Like

  63. Well, this is really a comparison of three different cars. The new Camry is nice, but a total bore. The hybrid system is a plus, but as some have mentioned, doesn’t live up to the hype, yet. Word is the next Prius will use lithium-ion/polymer batteries instead of the current nickel based batts. Expect more cost, but also a lot more performance and fuel economy.

    What you’re forgetting about the BMW is the handling. You mentioned it as the best, but it really goes beyond that. The handling of the BMW is so far superior to those other cars, and with the sports package, is probably far superior to the majority of cars on the road today. It is just effortless. And don’t forget that there is more to safety than airbags. The handling of the BMW can contribute to you AVOIDING an accident, and will take better care of its occupants if you do get in to one.

    The gas-filled lights are called HID, or high intensity discharge, sometimes also called Xenon. With the curve sensing features, they really are highly superior to halogen. Just compare driving in the rain with HID’s and you will see the difference. There is some argumentation about the blinding of other drivers, but it isn’t that the lights are really that much brighter. Rather, it is the harsh cutoff that the lights produce. Whereas a halogen light will gradually fade off, the HID will abruptly transition from dark to light, causing the eye to detect it as brighter, when it actually is not.

    My 2006 MB ML has the curve sensing HIDs, and also has cornering foglamps. During low speed turns, the foglamp on the side of the car that you are turning in to will light, giving you that much more light where you need it most. When I get a loaner for service, I’m constantly checking to see whether the lights are on, since the halogens just don’t cut it.

    Like

  64. “my brother reminded me that the Toyota lets you start the car from outside the car, without even inserting the key, so the Toyota wins the coolest key award”

    Perfect for clearing out all those car-bombs..

    Like

  65. “my brother reminded me that the Toyota lets you start the car from outside the car, without even inserting the key, so the Toyota wins the coolest key award”

    Perfect for clearing out all those car-bombs..

    Like

  66. Yes, I work for GM, but I like to consider myself open-minded and objective. Glad to see you hopped on board the Saturn express, so I thought I’d offer a few tips and tricks…
    1. You can get remote start on the Saturn as an option (and I suspect it works just like the Toyota). BMW, to my knowledge, doesn’t do that particular trick (yet).
    2. Your AUX input for your Zune/iPod should be on the lower right corner of your radio faceplate.

    I’d also be interested to hear a comparison of your dealer/shopping experiences, given that’s one of the things Saturn gets a lot of press about.

    Like

  67. Yes, I work for GM, but I like to consider myself open-minded and objective. Glad to see you hopped on board the Saturn express, so I thought I’d offer a few tips and tricks…
    1. You can get remote start on the Saturn as an option (and I suspect it works just like the Toyota). BMW, to my knowledge, doesn’t do that particular trick (yet).
    2. Your AUX input for your Zune/iPod should be on the lower right corner of your radio faceplate.

    I’d also be interested to hear a comparison of your dealer/shopping experiences, given that’s one of the things Saturn gets a lot of press about.

    Like

  68. OK, I’ve owned 7 saturns and all of them suffered from extreme road noisyness… how quiet is the Aura? And which model did you purchase?

    Like

  69. OK, I’ve owned 7 saturns and all of them suffered from extreme road noisyness… how quiet is the Aura? And which model did you purchase?

    Like

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