Latest Reader Question (October 18, 2017)

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply:

David asks: I like the way the Mazda 6 looks and I’m interested in getting a used 6 2015 to 2016 depending in budget which around 23,000 for a 120Km  return commute. But I was looking at the Toyota Camry hybrid, granted I would have to increase my budget to get a 2015.  But what would the fuel saving be, would make a lot of sense fuel wise.

My reply: These are both good cars, but also very different cars, even though they are both mid-sized sedans in roughly the same price bracket. The Mazda is vastly sportier and more engaging to drive; it handles and drives like the sport sedan it is; the Camry, on the other hand, is tuned to have a soft, comfortable, quiet ride. It isn’t nearly as engaging to drive – but it is very pleasant to drive. I strongly advise a test drive of both cars, ideally on the same day, to get a sense of the differences.

Ok, that said…

I doubt you will save much, if any money by going with the hybrid Camry. Not unless the cost of fuel goes up a lot, anyhow. The Mazda (assuming you get the four cylinder engine) is very fuel efficient; the hybrid’s real-world advantage is slight – and that would probably be negated by the higher cost of the Camry  vs. the Mazda6.

If fuel economy is a big issue for you, I recommend having a look at – don’t bite my head off! – a diesel-powered VW Jetta. These are superb cars – do not believe the anti-VW propaganda – and I can personally vouch for them being capable of doing better than advertised as far as mileage. I’ve driven several and they all achieved 50-plus on the highway, nearly as efficient as the Prius hybrid.

I recommend having a look.

PS: There are no issues with regard to emissions legality; you can choose to have an “affected” TDI VW “fixed” – or not. Either way, you’ll be able to register and drive it just as you would any other car. Also, because of the “cheating” scandal, you may be able to negotiate a really good deal on one of these.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. You know, several years ago there was a book that I picked up called “The Culture Code.” It’s a book written by a French sociologist, this was an interesting book where his business, his career is that he engages in surveys and focus groups.

    Coca-Cola or IBM will hire him and say, ‘OK, you go out and find the code, the one word that describes my company.’ He did that, that’s his whole career.

    He wrote this book and he spent one entire chapter on America. He surveyed all these people across the US, focus groups, asking questions. He boiled the code word for America down to one word—one word. Anybody want to guess what it is? Dream.

    We have nothing to be apologetic about as a country. We’re the best in the world. We feed the world, we power the world. And oh, by the way, when it comes to environmental stewardship, we’re better than anybody else.

    And I’ll tell you as a country, we’ve lost that a little bit. We’re a little bit more risk averse than we used to be. We don’t dream and aspire like we used to.

    Let’s not be apologetic. Let’s lead with action. And there’s much optimism, much hope ahead.

    Trump’s EPA Chief Charts a New Course: An Interview With Scott Pruitt


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