By on February 3, 2018

(TTAC Hot Takes are video roundup posts which will occur whenever we can get Michael Accardi into hair and makeup. These posts are a mandate of our VerticalScope overlords, who are fascinated with the new video medium of YouTube. Watch our other videos here.)

There are incentives and grid girls this week, but only one of those things isn’t banned. Michael has more info:

Video Acting

Premium Select Comments

FreedMike and other commenters agreed with Jack that the best Chevrolet Spark is a used one:

I actually looked at this and a Versa for my daughter. Jack’s right on the money here – it’s a thoroughly decent little car, and it’s radically better to drive than the Versa.

If she could pick a mildly used one up for seven or eight grand, she’d have a great little commuter-mobile for her first few years of post-college employment.

After our QOTD about your worst commute, commenter Babe Ruthless had a grisly story from a massive accident in Rio de Janeiro:

This was a few years ago, 2013 if I’m not mistaken. Rio de Janeiro. The “Yellow line” is an urban highway here that restricts large truck traffic during the day. Some yahoo in a dump truck decided to drive in it anyway, except with the truck bed up to avoid a ticket from one of the automatic numberplate readers. In high speed – you know, to make this quick and further avoid detection.

Said truck rammed its bed into an elevated pedestrian walkway, sending three people plunging to their deaths in a concreted river in the middle of the highway and bringing down the pedestrian walkway. There it stood, collapsed across the road in both directions.

Now this is a major tolled highway linking Rio’s densely populated Northern and Western regions. Gridlock lasted the whole day. Thankfully I wasn’t anywhere near near the rougher neighbourhoods this road dissects, but at some point I did see people running (on foot) from trouble up ahead. You see, they abandoned their cars because gangs from said rough neighbourhoods decided to make it day and began to rob commuters, stranded in their cars, at gunpoint. Sitting ducks as it were.

The criminals didn’t come as far as the point where I was ‘parked’. You can only carry so many iPhones, laptops, wallets and purses while on foot. I did consider leaving the car behind though, when I saw elements of Rio’s notoriously trigger-happy military police, also on foot, making their way to wherever all this was going on. It’s a bad, bad idea to be a bystander in those situations and to be honest the bandits tend to be more sparing in their use of firearms.

I stood my ground though, and after several hours – maybe three and a half – city officials managed to divert my section of gridlock to a nearby exit. It was another hour before I reached a parking garage near a metro station, left the car and took a metro, bus and taxi ride home.

In 2014 I moved from a nice two-story house with a swimming pool to a small flat a block and half away from a metro station. And sold my car soon after. Wife still has a car, bless her. Not me.

Planning on purchasing a car to use in Uber service? Gtem can tell you exactly why that’s a bad idea in this thread:

I think the only context in which it makes sense is if you already have a car you’re already driving for your own purposes, and particularly if you’re already driving somewhere and just have a bit of extra time and you turn the app on. To BUY a car for the purpose of lyft driving is just insane IMO, and I actually know someone who did just that (a time bomb CVT-equipped high mileage Altima with just about every body panel resprayed of all things).

Sanjeev asked Sajeev about snow tires, and Arthur Dailey gave his perspective of several decades’ worth of driving in southern Ontario, which is a suburb of Detroit in America:

I am generally from the same demographic and have lived in the same geographic area as Mikey. Never had winter tires until my kids started to drive. So that is 30+ years of driving on ‘no seasons’ in Ontario. Would never go back. Have X-ice on my current daily driver and while they are good on ice and rain, find that they lack grip on ‘slush’.

Started by driving rear engined, air cooled VW’s. The only problems that I ever encountered in them during winter driving was that sometimes enough deep snow built up under the front end of the Type I’s that the front wheels would actually be lifted off the ground.

Then moved on to RWD V-8 domestics. Generally PLC’s. Lots of fun ‘fishtailing’ and ‘pulling donuts’. Sometimes very antsy, as the rear end would start trying to pull ahead, or move sideways. The sideways move was particularly disconcerting, when you tried to pass a car on the highway and the back end slid out a little. Also somewhat of a white knuckle experience when changing lanes or exiting a highway that had large ‘windrows’ (snow piles from plows) across the lanes.

Later moved to a full sized ‘disco’ van. The absolute worst vehicle in the winter that I have experienced. Even worse than the Corvette.

Then the revelation of FWD, with the purchase of our first Civic. Yes if you had the front tires turned at the wrong time, you would have problems. But the engine weight over the drive wheels replicated the VW experience. Watched as many RWD vehicles floundered, slipped and got stuck while our little Civics motored through everything that an Ontario winter could throw at us.

Had some AWD/4WD vehicles as well. A Grand Cherokee, a 2-door Explorer and a Realtime AWD Honda Wagovan. Never found the 2 extra drive wheels to make enough of a difference to warrant the extra cost involved.

For my money, the best vehicle that I have had for winter travel was a Pontiac SV6. Heavy front end and high enough ground clearance.

So from my experience traction and stability control are game changers. Must haves for any vehicle that I would contemplate letting my family drive/ride in. Also ground clearance does make a difference. As does vehicle weight.

Stop by next week for more Premium Selects from our commenters, and whatever else we decide to put on video.

[Image: YouTube]

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