YOUR SAY Our read­ers talk back

Motor Trend (USA) - - Contents -

Point

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.

Whoops

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?

DAVID NORD

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.

Lead Sled

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.

Dis­ap­pear­ing Act

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.

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