YOUR SAY Our readers talk back
The April issue is the best I’ve ever read. For a (somewhat) redneck in Missouri, I’d say you have provided more content that I am interested in than any other issue in many years. Full-size SUVS, a 700-hp Jeep, the Mclaren 720S, the Ford GT, new full-size Silverado and F-150, long-term updates on the diesel F-250 and Nissan Titan XD. The Lamborghini Huracán. The Kia Stinger. I might have missed one, but for the love of Mike, I spent more time reading this issue than the past six put together! Granted, I blew right past the Jetta and the Honda HR-V. (Do these even qualify as automobiles?) I know you have to cater to tree huggers, too. But seriously, way to go, you studs. If you give me in your future issues 50 percent of what you gave me in April, I will subscribe until I get promoted to heaven. You have restored my faith in the good ol’ paper copy of the auto enthusiast magazine. For that I will be forever grateful. Your online site rocks, as well.
JASON GREENFIELD VIA EMAIL Counterpoint
It’s over. It’s not you. It’s me. I have zero interest in any SUV, truck, or $1 bazillion supercar. (I draw the line at $1 bazillion for supercars.) You’ve got to print what you’ve got to print, and I wish you well. It’s been a long relationship, but you’ve changed, and I haven’t. You may keep all the joint property except for my ’63 ’Vette.
BILL RUMSEY VIA EMAIL
Listen Up, Wall Street
I’m a retired accountant. I like cars, and that’s why I read your magazine. In your April issue, Mark Rechtin says, “Japanese automakers are overseen by bean counters,” (page 20) and Jonny Lieberman recommends “that Benz hogtie the accountants in the broom closet” (page 68). For the record, we don’t count beans, and we don’t count paperclips. We count money—who earns it, who wastes it, who saves it, and who spends it. For the most part, the decision to make a car or any product rests with the managers, vice presidents, presidents, boards of directors, CEOS, and even the CEOS’ daughters, but not the accountants. The accountants merely sort out the money and report it to those people. Because your staff gets to drive these machines at no cost to themselves, it is easy for them to recommend building a car that raises eyebrows. But what if it doesn’t raise profits? It is also significant that a high percentage of Fortune 500 CEOS started out as accountants. So although I enjoy reading your magazine, please lay off my profession. After all, an accountant is trained to freeze water with a glance.
PAUL SWANSON MILFORD, CONNECTICUT
Boy, you bean counters sure are sensitive. We of course kid, Paul. Although Mark and Jonny were joking about accountants (OK, maybe Jonny wasn’t), you nonetheless support their point: If a car isn’t likely to earn a profit, it’s doubtful any accountant will sign off. Sound fiscal move that it is, sometimes we’d prefer they forget good sense and make a great (impractical) car.—ed.
Big SUVS, Big Test
When I saw the “Beasts of Burden” article in the April issue, I decided it’s an article worth framing. Not only did Ford win, but the top three spots were also domestic brands, and Nissan and the “almighty” Toyota were at the bottom. There are a few of us readers left who root for American brand names, and it’s nice to see the home team win once in a while.
IMPULSE CONTROL OF THE MONTH “It’s like my 6-year-old grandson, who just can’t help himself.”
ETHAN ASHENBERNER VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON
Happy to hear you root for the home team, but we just want all manufacturers to make better cars, trucks, and SUVS, no matter if it’s built in Detroit or Kyushu.—ed.
I am familiar with each of the full-sized SUVS in your Big Test article in the April issue. I also agree with your conclusions, with two exceptions. First, because the GM Tahoe/yukon/escalade have live rear axles, this not only impedes rear seat comfort but also raises the load floor in the rear about 3 inches. This is a significant problem when you go to load/unload groceries, luggage, or anything else in the rear storage area. That was not noted. Also, although you correctly analyze the pluses and minuses of the Nissan Armada, I think it should have rated higher. Nobody does any off-roading in these things except maybe to a simple campsite. So that is an irrelevant factor in the grading. Most people like me want a very comfortable ride and cabin, a strong motor, and good electronics. The Armada ranks very well in these criteria unless you drive like a stock car driver. I own the exact model you tested, and my wife and I just love it.
LINDSAY SCHIEFFELIN GRANVILLE, NEW YORK
We liked the Armada a lot, too. We considered swapping it in fourth place with the Tahoe in third, but ultimately we didn’t because the Nissan has lower fuel economy and higher ownership costs. Couple that with its cramped third row, and the Nissan rightly earned its fourth-place finish.—ed.
I’m sure I’m not the only reader to note the car shown on page 19 of the April issue is in fact Dan Gurney’s 1969 Indy racer, not his 1967 Gurney-weslake F1 car. The F1 car is a timeless icon of automotive style, the Indy car not so much.
ANDREW WILSON PORTLAND, OREGON
Believe it or not, you’re the only one to make that correction. Good eye!—ed.
Is the 6.2-liter V-8 engine in the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali mentioned on page 60 of the April issue really a DOHC?
NORTH MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN
Nope. It’s an OHV 16-valve V-8, just like the one found in the Tahoe RST Performance Edition found in the same issue.—ed.
How can having more radar in cars be desirable? What happened to all the science tying radiation exposure to cancer risk? Sure, the convenience of self-driving cars will be great, until the deaths of people from microwave-caused cancer begin to manifest in a few years. I want my next car to be painted with lead to shield me from the death rays of all the other modern vehicles. Twenty-four years of active duty in the Air Force taught me a lot about the dangers of radar radiation. It is not a good thing to have around!
JERRY HAENISCH LARAMIE, WYOMING
Hey Doc—first off, thanks for your service. According to a Berkeley study, car radars are both less powerful and less concentrated than the radars found in planes. In other words, they aren’t powerful enough to affect your health.—ed.
Posthumous congratulations to Jonny Lieberman for his excellent and revealing article, “Power Mad”(april 2018), about the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. I say posthumous because I assume he has mysteriously disappeared with only a scorched spot left behind on his office chair. It now makes sense to me when he revealed that the Trackhawk weighs more than the Hellcat by 999 pounds as the fatally revealed clue by Lieberman alerts us that it is 666 when inverted! A HELLCAT engine? 666? The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when I recorded the digital story online and played it backward. An eerie backmasked voice said: “Satan wants you to buy the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk!” His final post was “dead on.” There’s a conspiracy. For my own safety, please don’t list my real address.
WILLIAM CRAFT SOMEWHERE IN MEXICO
Come to think of it, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Jonny.—ed.