UPDATE: Make That $41,000 For A Single Volt

But that includes delivery charges.

(Cue crickets)

Chevy says it can make the argument that unlike the purely electric Nissan Leaf, which starts below $33,000 before tax credits, the plug-in hybrid Volt is a "real" car. And GM's working some math magic to make lease payments competitive with the Leaf despite the sticker spread.

And full credit to Edward Neidemeyer over at The Truth About Cars , who got past the price tag, hauled out the spec sheet and found the Volt's range extender (what you and I might quaintly call a "gasoline engine") requires.....

Premium fuel.


40,000 Volts Is Quite A Shock. So's One Volt For $40,000

That's the price General Motors has arrived at for its 2011 electric Chevrolet Volt, according to Automotive News (free subscription required).

The announcement comes tomorrow, and the blow will be softened somewhat by a $7,500 tax credit...but, still...$40,000? A chunk above now-retired GM product guy Bob Lutz' prediction of "the upper 20s"...and significantly higher than the Nissan Leaf's $32.780 before tax credits.

Would you? And if not you, then who?


WSJ: Feds Find Toyota Unintended Acceleration Cases Actually Driver Error

The Feds aren't going out of their way to talk about it, but the Wall Street Journal says after analyzing dozens of alleged unintended acceleration incidents, the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that the drivers were standing on the gas and never applied the brake.

The only exception...the San Diego area Lexus crash that killed a California Highway Patrolman and his family. In that one, the gas pedal was trapped under a floormat.

Yes, we did tell you so.


2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 4X4 Review

Massive. The exact first word that struck me as I walked up to the 2010 Toyota 4Runner the day it was dropped off.

What was once the prototype for compact SUVs has packed on the pounds and the new styling is like putting shoulder pads on top of all that bulk.


All that bulk goes straight to the driving experience. As Casey Kasem said in his most famous outtake, "Ponderous, man...ponderous". 270 horsepower feels no more than adequate in overcoming the inertia of this 4400 pound machine...and the EPA estimate of 17 city/22 highway?  Let me know when you see that, okay? Here at TireKicker, we get surprisingly close to, and on occasion exceed EPA estimates...but the best this one would do for us was 16 in a mix of urban streets and freeways. Without the freeways, 13-point-something or 14 would have been about it.


Even the interior is set up to convey size, heft, bulk...almost as though the idea were to transform the 4Runner into a junior version of the Land Cruiser. But we like the Land Cruiser....mainly because it is what it's supposed to be. Oh, and its EPA is 13 city/18 highway...which is about all the 4Runner will do, based on our week's test.

Ours was the SR5 4X4...base price a reasonable $30,915...optioned with an audio system upgrade ($585), backup camera (a necessity in this vehicle at $525), a convenience package including moonroof plus front and rear AC power outlets ($1050), leather and power sliding rear seats with extra airbags ($3570) and floor mats and cargo mats ($204). With $800 for destination charges, the bottom line was $37,649.

Not outrageous for this level of equipment. If it had been on the '09 4Runner, I wouldn't have batted an eye. But this strikes me as a chunk of change for a vehicle that appears to be going the wrong direction at the wrong time.