Ask The B&B

TTAC Challenge: Here Are the Car Name Game Winners, On a Journey to Triumph and Acclaim

On Monday, we issued a challenge to the B&B to submit their best efforts in the first-ever Car Name Game Challenge. There were 26 submissions, all of which went in front of our judges for review. So now it’s time to announce your top five winners, in ascending order. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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TTAC Challenge: Let's Play 'The Car Name Game'

Today we’re going to play a little game. It’s the sort of game where all are called and few are chosen. The winner (or winners) of this game will receive lavish virtual validation from the staff at TTAC and fellow members of the B&B. And isn’t validation the best prize of all?

The title of our challenge today is The Car Name Game.

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Ask the Editor/B&B: What Should This Power-Loving Reader Buy?
TTAC reader Gerard Van Ginkel writes:I love your reviews.I drove the Golf R last week and it was nice but it didn’t compare to my RS4. I was wondering,…
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Ask the Editor/B&B: What the Heck is This Concept Car?

TTAC commenter gimmiemanual writes:

I was living in China in late 2009, and decided to take scuba classes so I could dive the Great Barrier Reef.

My open water course was done in Qiandao Lake, outside of Shanghai, and this picture was on the wall of my (terrible) local hotel room.

I offered to buy it for what everyone with me considered a ridiculous amount, but the owner absolutely refused to sell it to me. I’ve lazily looked through the internet, but have been unable to figure out what it is.

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Here Are the 'Winners' of the 'TEXAS EDITION' Badges

Last week I offered you, the man or woman in the street, a chance to own a “TEXAS EDITION” badge at my expense. I asked you to tell me what you’d do with such a badge. After an exhaustive selection process consisting of me having a couple shots of Ketel One Citroen and picking shit at random, I’ve come up with the “winners.” I’ll be contacting each one of you via email in the next week. If the email address associated with your username is no longer valid, now would be a good time to update it or to contact us via the various links to the right of this page.

I’d like to thank all of you who came up with ideas. Unfortunately for you, some of those ideas sucked and frankly I’m insulted that you’d even think that I’d give you a $2.87 badge for something as stupid as that. You must think I’m rich enough not to care just because I own four PRS Private Stock guitars and a bunch of motorcycles and rare books and stuff, when in fact those are the very reasons that I am not rich enough to not care.

Enough about the losers. As they say, winners aren’t losers. So let’s get to the winners.

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Ask the B&B: Do Bad Panel Gaps Mean Poor Vehicle Quality?

These photos are of a vehicle that recently visited my driveway for a week. I’m not going to tell you what that vehicle is — yet — but it does raise a very interesting question.

Are bad panel gaps an indicator of a poor quality product? And what “quality” are we talking about anyway?

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What's Wrong With Buick, From a Former Buick Owner

We tend to armchair quarterback what’s wrong with specific automotive brands quite a bit in the TTAC comments. Meanwhile, there are people in the real world who get caught up in what’s actually wrong with some of these brands’ products by buying them — for example: the Buick Regal GS.

Jeremy writes:

I owned a 2013 Regal GS manual, bought brand new in Jan 2014 and sold (at a loss) on December 31 2014.

This should be good.

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Ask The Best&Brightest: Is Vodka's Future Just A Mirage?

Over the past five years, my home has often resembled the fabled Island Of Misfit Toys, with various people coming and going as fate decreed. That would make me King Moonracer, then, and it has made the infamous Vodka McBigbra the island’s princess. In the near future, however, she’ll be moving out to spend more time with her family. This will reduce but not eliminate her ability to call on my fleet of random cars for backup when her well-traveled 2005 Hyundai Accent requires repair.

It’s new-car time, then. She has the ability and willingness to buy a new 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage DE with continuously variable transmission — having driven a stick-shift M35 truck during her stint in the Army, Vodka’s done with clutch pedals 4 lyfe, yo. I’m inclined to agree with her proposed purchase, John Pearley Huffman’s unfriendly Times review aside.

But surely you have other opinions.

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Ask The Best&Brightest: Decrease The Police?

It’s been suggested more than a few times on TTAC, most recently in conjunction with an incident where police shot a mentally ill man to death, that stories regarding police interaction with motorists are, or should be, outside the purview of this blog.

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What Is The Automotive Mendoza Line?

It’s not clear exactly just which weak hitting infielder named Mendoza unwillingly gave his name to baseball enthusiasts’ term for batting mediocrity or who coined the phrase. It’s also not clear if the line is Bob Uecker’s .200 on the dot, career minor-leaguer Minnie Mendoza’s .188 in 16 at bats for the Minnesota Twins in 1970, or Mario Mendoza’s .215 after nine years in the bigs. It’s most likely the latter, attributed to Hall of Famer George Brett. Either way, Wikipedia tells us that the Mendoza Line is the cutoff point below which it is hard to justify keeping even an outstanding defensive player on a Major League Baseball roster.

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Ask The B&B: Is It A Good Idea To Start A Luxury Car Dealership?

Today we inaugurate a new series: As the Best & Brightest. Many sites dispense advice, and you know what they say about the free variety. At TTAC, we unleash the massive power of our readers and commenters to answer tough questions, for which there is no easy answer.

Today, John Lunbeck asks whether his brother-in-law (and by default John’s sister) should start a luxury car dealership.

John writes:

“My pretty savvy brother-in-law has the means and ambition to become a franchisee here in the US for some luxury makes. My question is, is that wise at this point?

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  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.