In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Associate Editor Byron Hurd. They've been driving the Mercedes-Benz GLB Class, as well as the Kia EV6 and EV6 GT. In the news, the new Lexus GX and TX SUVs have been revealed, Ram previewed its compact Rampage truck, Chevy has a Panther-inspired Camaro Collector's Edition, and Volvo unveiled is EX30 city EV. Our hosts take to Reddit for car recommendations, and to the Mailbag for beer tips.
Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at: Podcast@Autoblog.com.
GREG MIGLIORE: Welcome back to the "Autoblog Podcast." I'm Greg Migliore. I've got a great show for you today. We're going to talk about a lot of wide-ranging list of subjects here from the Ram Rampage to the Camaro to some Lexus news where Associate Editor Byron Hurd will be reporting to us live from Texas. So with that, Byron, what's going on, man?
BYRON HURD: Hey, man, I am kind of confused as to where we live now. It's been warm and dry and just really pleasant. Like, I feel like I moved to Denver, and no one told me. It's been a wild couple of weeks.
GREG MIGLIORE: You know what. This is how June, I think, is supposed to be in Michigan, kind of, like, a little bit cooler, sunny, bright, sort of almost, like, the end or the start of September. But it was a desert for quite a while leading up into this much more friendly days. So--
BYRON HURD: Yeah,
GREG MIGLIORE: --it feels good.
BYRON HURD: I'll tell you what. Just give me some rain. That's all I ask. Just a little bit to actually keep the lawn alive at this point.
GREG MIGLIORE: My grass is dead. I just-- I'm, like, I'm not even going to cut it because if you do, then you just really scrape it low. And it's totally dead. So, I mean, at least that's my story. I'm not cutting it is I don't want it to die, but it's holding serve. It's greenish. And we'll see. Oh, wow, a deer just walked by. There we go, podcast listeners. The deer don't mind the grass. Let's put it that way.
BYRON HURD: Nature is healing.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, yeah, we'll see. But so yeah, big show here. But we're going to start off with what we've been driving and then wrap up with spending some other people's money, which is a lot of fun. So let's talk about we've been driving. A couple of electric things here, the EV6 and the Mercedes GLB.
I guess I'll go first. Let's talk about the EQB. Sorry, this is a really interesting vehicle, I think. To me, it kind of reminds me of, like, the spiritual successor of the GLK, only electric. I drove it last week. I liked it a lot. It's definitely got that, like, square cube on wheels vibe. It's, I believe, at least nominally, it's in the compact segment, if you will, as far as crossover.
It actually I think is-- I think it's well-laid out too. Let me put it that way. But it's not, like-- it's not quite as big as it might look. Like, from the side, you can see, Oh, hey, no, that's not that big. But from certain angles, just maybe it's even the Mercedes badge. And you know it's kind of expensive-ish. It seems bigger than it is. What you get inside, it's a little tight. But I enjoyed it a lot.
It's really, really a solid vehicle. The one I tested came in at-- see, it was a little over 50-- it was 59. It started at 52,700. And I think that kind of tracks. I think that's actually a decent value for what you're paying for. 188 horsepower, 284 pounds feet of torque. Yeah, 105 MPGE. Those are the specs, if you will, the vitals. I didn't really make much of a dent in the range. I think I kept it-- I did drive it a lot, but it just-- it seemed to have a very-- like, anecdotally, it seemed to have a very hearty battery.
I feel like other EVs I've driven really are quite parasitic and how quickly they go through things. And, you know, it came to my driveway, over 200, 220 and got it down into the mid, like, low 100s, if you will, without a ton of road trips. So I liked it. Have you have you driven this yet?
BYRON HURD: Yeah, I have. I've driven both the EQB. I had that briefly, like, either at the beginning of the year, maybe the very end of last year. And I got to play with it for a little bit. I also drove the GLB, which is the IC version. Back when it launched-- so I guess there would have been '20 or '21. And, I mean, we know we like this car. I mean, the size and how just efficiently it's spaced and packaged is really, really nice.
When I was driving the GLB, I was in my old place, which was on one of those kind of, like, compact-- we'll call it like an urban single family lot where it's only 6,000 square feet or so. And you have an offset driveway that leads into a garage that's kind of tucked behind the house and back. So you don't have a lot of maneuverability. And there weren't many three rows that I could easily thread through the driveway and into my garage. And it both fit in the garage lengthwise and was easy to fit in there. So for a three row, like, kind of like a-- let's say like a starter family vehicle because that's kind of what it is. Like--
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.
BYRON HURD: Your first foray into a three row is probably something about this size. And for that, I mean, especially the IC version is incredibly good value for money for Mercedes. And, I mean, once you go to EQB, the value proposition drops off a little bit because you're paying so much more for the electric powertrain. But it's still packaged just as efficiently. It's a really, really nice, nice package for somebody who wants a smaller family car that's utilitarian but still fits places.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I would recommend this. I haven't done-- like, we have done a ratings meeting on this, at least, with me in it. But for my vote, I would recommend this. It's solid value. I think this is one of those vehicles too where, like, we've seen pricing get kind of wacky obviously. And when the average price is creeping near 50-- and this one starts at 52,700 for a Mercedes SUV that's electric. I'd take that deal.
So it's-- I think it's definitely in a very good spot in the market. It's really interesting product. It's very nice. In the past, Mercedes, it seemed, like, even going back to the GLK, but especially with things like the CLA or even the A class, the lower end of their, like, lineups tended to feel a little more like the lower end of the lineups, unless you really started to load up with them. And that's not how this feels. Materials are good. Leather was good. Plenty of the Mercedes, like, infotainment and electronics and ambient lighting. And this one had some-- had a lot of stuff on it too. But yeah, I liked it. I liked it a lot.
All right, so that is the EQB. Again, pretty interesting. Check out the site. We've got a lot of obviously a lot of information on this. I feel like I may be the last guy to have driven it. So sometimes that's how it goes. But you've been in the EV6-- a couple of EV6's. I was looking at the cardboard, and it looks kind of like you're running an EV6, like, a chop shop or something. So--
BYRON HURD: Yeah.
GREG MIGLIORE: --you tell me. I mean, what's going on over at your house?
BYRON HURD: Yeah, we've got a kind of an EV6. That's the driveway this week. I've only-- so we have the long-term EV6 GT all-wheel drive-- I'm sorry-- the GT line all-wheel drive. And then this week, I have a brand new regular EV6 GT. And, I mean, calling it regular is kind of unfair because that's the sporty one with all the power and the fancy seats and all that.
I haven't really had a chance to drive it much. It was just dropped off. And I'm actually headed off to Toyota this week to preview some other cars that we'll talk about later. So my time with it's been a bit cramped, but I'll get some opportunity to actually take it out and play with the performance of the GT a little bit this weekend and give it more of a solid comparison to the standard EV6.
But I can already point out just from my limited driving that it's a very different car. The GT is really-- it's you have to be kind of dedicated to the idea of a high-performance EV to want to drive the EV6. And it's a little strange considering it's kind of, like, I don't know. Hot hatch seems like it's kind of pushing it. It's, like, the EV6 is not that big. And we kind of forget that because it looks-- it's proportioned kind of like a big family SUV.
But I used to have it parked next to my Matrix in the driveway. And it was basically the same size. And yeah, it's a 20-year-old Toyota hatchback. So that's a good kind of, like, context for people who are listening. But the EV6 GT, like, it feels like a lot of car. You know, that battery pack's big and heavy. And with the all-wheel drive and everything, it's about as heavy as you can make one of these things. And it feels very substantial. So I'm really excited to actually get it out where I can push it a little bit more.
But the GT line, our long-termer, which I believe is going to be going away here pretty soon. It's been with us for a year now. Still solid, a great little commuter. I really haven't had any issues with it since it's been in my care or the first time it was in my care. This is my second stint with it. Oh, it's been an excellent little car, easy to just, like, pop it in the driveway. It'll fit pretty much anywhere you want it. Plug it in when you need to and just, yeah, get in and go. So we'll see. I might actually make it all the way through both stints with the EV6 without needing to use a public charger. But I will probably-- yeah, I'll probably actually, like, set aside some time to go do it just to say it did--
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.
BYRON HURD: --just because we've had several of the people who have had this on staff don't have access to home charging or at least not convenient home charging. So a lot of their coverage has been dedicated to public charging use and actually having to deal with the mainstream infrastructure. And looking at my coverage, just kind of the alternative, like, the-- you have a level two charger at home. You can do most of your real dedicated charging without having to use public infrastructure.
So it's a little kind of yin and yang look to EV ownership. And I think I've actually convinced myself at this point that either a plug-in or an EV is pretty much the smartest move I could possibly make on my next vehicle purchase just because with this setup, it's just so easy. And you don't have to-- you don't have to think about it. You don't have to plan so much. It's just there.
GREG MIGLIORE: Would the EV6 be on your short list?
BYRON HURD: That's a good question. I mean, it's certainly be an easy one to recommend to other people. I don't know, like, I'm so far out of the current, like, mode of needing to buy a car that it's hard for me to think of it in that context. Like, I don't know what car I need or that I even need a car anytime soon. I certainly want a truck for all the work I'm doing on the house and all that kind of stuff having cargo capacity, hauling capacity would be nice. And that's one kind of ding against the EV6 is that its small stature means the cargo area is not huge.
It's plenty big for the things you need an SUV to do. But in terms of, like, vertical space for hauling, like, larger appliances or things like that, even with everything folded and kind of tucked out of the way, it's still pretty tight back there because it's just not a huge car. So for me, it would probably be on the small side or at least on the side of say the wrong end of the pragmatism spectrum for what I'm really looking for. Like, enclosed in tight space, not really what I need. I need more. I need a roof rack and a bed and that kind of thing. So it's certainly not bad, but it just wouldn't necessarily be the right fit for me.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, no, fair. I mean, I like the car a lot. For, like, my personal use, I think it would work if we also had a large crossover or SUV. And then this could be sort of the commuter car for somebody. And that's more like size versus the electric infrastructure argument.
BYRON HURD: Yeah, yeah, agreed. I mean, it really is, like, perfectly sized for people who are-- who are looking to get into their kind of first, like, a CRV, a Sportage, a Tucson, like, something in kind of that space. Like, they want that kind of compact crossover feel. But they don't either want a standard compact crossover. Or they specifically want an EV. Or they just-- I mean, they like the look.
So I think you've got-- between the EV6 and the IONIQ 5, you've got two pretty interesting options there. The Hyundai manages to look a little bit more like a hatchback, I think, than the Kia does. Like, the Kia kind of plays up the SUV angle a little bit more. But, I mean, yeah, their footprints are pretty close to each other. So you really can't go wrong with either. It's just an aesthetic choice.
GREG MIGLIORE: Indeed, indeed. All right, so that's the Review Section. Let's move over to the News Section. We got a lot of stuff going on this week. Not even sure where to start. But let's, I guess, since this is the most impactful for you personally because you're about to head to the airport. This is we are coming to you from the past as we always do because, of course, the podcast is prerecorded.
But the reveal of a couple of interesting Lexus vehicles, the TX and the GX will be-- it's-- it happened this week, if you will. Let's put it that way. And we've-- so we're telling you basically what we know now, which is everything. And by the time you listen to this, the embargo will be up. So enjoy, I guess. But, I mean, so we have the GX and the TX. Why don't we start with the GX because that is an existing model. Tell me about it.
BYRON HURD: Yeah, existing and impactful. I mean, you think about this, this is really the only 4Runner that has a future to it right now. So Toyota's not-- has not yet announced any plans to build a Next-Gen 4Runner. But we do have this GX. And all of the new Toyota stuff and Lexus stuff from this point on, we can probably expect to be based on their newer platforms. And with the GX, you're getting all the benefits of the LX platform, which we've already seen the new LX 600 which is out there. So the big Land Cruiser, luxurious, very nice.
So we get that's kind of scaled back. So you get a twin turbo 3.4 liter V6 making 349 horsepower or 479 pound feet of torque. That's your base powertrain for this car. A hybrid is coming later. So just like we've seen elsewhere in the trucks and in the SUVs, they're hybridizing with this too. But all the things you expect from a GX 4-wheel drive system. Adaptive suspension is available. It's based on a double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension setup. No solid axles here.
So it's new, nice, luxurious. And it looks quite good that if there was any kind of hesitation in Toyota and Lexus fans as to the looks of the LX, the GX kind of blows that out of the water. Like, forget all the curvy, big grille, all that kind of thing. This is a big, boxy offer Toyota. And I think it looks really classy, really sleek. This looks like a really nice setup.
8,000 pounds of towing, 14-inch infotainment system, like, this looks pretty legit. Interior looks fantastic. Like, it's not just an off-roader that someone's stuck some leather seat covers on. This looks like it's the real deal. If you're fan of the existing 4Runner/GX formula, then you kind of know what you're getting with this thing. It's that continuation with updated powertrains, new tech. Everything there looks completely solid. This is one to watch here over the next-- over the course of this year as this launches. This is going to be a big one for Lexus. And then the other one that we're getting is the TX, which we're seeing a TX in Texas, which they've already been playing up.
GREG MIGLIORE: Oh, boy.
BYRON HURD: Yeah, but, I mean, we'll break it down here. The TX is effectively what Lexus has been trying to do with the RX for several years. They're making a four-wheel three row. This one is based on the Toyota Grand Highlander, has 116-inch wheelbase. It's 200 and some odd inches long. This is a big, full-length family vehicle, still based on a mid-sized chassis because it's a Highlander underneath it all but made for big families that need lots of space.
You get three different powertrain options with this. There's a 2.4 liter gas engine turbocharged, 275 horsepower. There's a hybrid version of that with 366 horsepower. And then there is a V6 hybrid. That's the plug-in version, 3.5 liters, 406 horsepower. And that one's going to get 30 miles per gallon, which, I mean, considering it's a 400 horsepower three-row crossover. That is a monster.
But let's not get it twisted. This is a family vehicle. This has nothing to do with GX. None of this is going to be the, like, off-road flavor of anything like that that we want from, like, an up-- or an upscale 4Runner. This is all Highlander done up as a Lexus. So temper your expectations. It's not a sexy offering for enthusiasts. This is a practical option for people who want a premium three row.
So it's going to be built in Indiana. Like, this is bread and butter for Lexus. This is big, profitable family vehicle for them where the GX is more the enthusiast choice. The person going into it knowing exactly what they want wants the GX. The person coming into a Lexus dealer and leaving with the TX probably just needs the biggest, nicest family car they can afford.
So two very different personalities here. And we'll have a lot more on the site for you guys to check out. We'll have full rundown on both the GX and the TX. So hop in, take a look, check out the specs. And at this point, we're kind of hoping Toyota is going to do something interesting and bring us a 4Runner and kind of incorporate all this and let it trickle down a little bit. But if the worst case from this is that we have to live with the GX kind of taking that role on for both brands, then, I mean, it could be a lot worse. This thing looks really promising.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I'm impressed. Looking at the pictures of the GX in particular, that's a big step forward for them on a design front. It's different. It's different than any Toyota or Lexus vehicle I've really ever seen. I think they've created a whole new aesthetic. And I think it's going to play well. I look at it, and it manages to be both, like, embody that kind of rough and tough off-road vibe. But also, it's almost like Volvo or somebody.
It's really has kind of a sleek look going forward. It's pretty creased. Once you actually see it in real life, I'll be very curious to hear your thoughts because I think there's going to be a lot to unpack here. And both these vehicles, I think, are going to be hugely important for them. And Toyota's lineup of SUVs, whether it's on the Toyota side or the Lexus side, they've generally been complimentary even if there's a fair amount of overlap.
We're not seeing that overlap as much with the uncertainty around some of their, like, older vehicles, if you will. So, I mean, Lexus is almost becoming, like, really, a place for some of the more, like, traditional SUV people, if you will, if you're looking for a Toyota Motor co-vehicle. So yeah, I mean, flying down there in a couple of hours and back on Friday?
BYRON HURD: Yeah, yeah, it's going to be an interesting trip. We're going to cram a lot into a little period of time here. But we'll get you guys all the coverage you could possibly want and hopefully hit you some follow-ups and a little comparison action here just so you can give an idea of where these fit in both the luxury landscape and the SUV landscape.
GREG MIGLIORE: It's not a bad way to kind of do the end of the week. Like, it's already the middle of day on Wednesday. And you'd be back at home sipping beers probably on your patio Friday night, right? So, I mean, that's-- it's pretty civilized.
All right, so that is the Lexus vehicles. Shifting gears here, the Ram Rampage is a pickup truck that's sold in some global markets. It's a interesting looking thing. Let's put it that way. This is one-- I really I take this almost more like a jumping off point. You know, the subhead that one of our contributors, Ronan Glon wrote is should it be sold in the United States? And I think that's the big question here.
It's sold in Latin America. And it's interesting. Let's put it that way. The pictures, we don't have a ton of great pictures of it. But we do have some. And there's kind of a weird video too. We've been hearing rumors about a smaller thing for the Ram lineup for a long time. I think you and I have specifically discussed on this podcast and offline that they don't feel the need to fill that spot, just they just keep selling that old Ram.
Like, the last generation of Ram, they keep selling it. And that's the value play. And if you want a cheaper truck from them, you just get the old one, which is still nominally a new one. So that's a weird business practice, but I think it works. I don't know if you need to cannibalize it with something like this because they're already kind of cannibalizing themselves. But what do you think of the Rampage?
BYRON HURD: I think it's a good play, honestly. Like, that you look at what the Maverick has done for Ford and kind of prove that there is a market for a baby truck. And on top of that too, like, the entire Stellantis portfolio in the US is pretty desperate for some efficient vehicles. Like, electrification will help them, but they're not there yet. And you've got the Charger and Challenger V6's where they're, quote, unquote, "economy cars" at Dodge for a long time.
And, of course, Ram brand has Rams. So the best, most efficient vehicles they make are the little ProMaster vans and stuff like that, which are just, they're not sold in volume to the public. They're for mostly for commercial uses and stuff like that. So a high-volume, inexpensive, efficient truck would do them a lot of good, save them some money. And EPA fines and things like that if they can actually sell it. And the Maverick kind of shows that they should be able to sell it.
So I think it's a good play for them. I mean, I agree with you that for the people who actually want, like, trucks that can do big truck things, this is never going to be on their radar. But the fact that the classic exists kind of solves that problem for them. Like, if you just want to sell a cheap truck to someone who just needs a big, cheap frame with some wheels stuck on it, you've got that option for as long as you can keep it certified and safe, which company's proven that they can do that pretty effectively with most of their platforms.
So you can get 10, 15 years out of any given vehicle design. At some point, you well-crossed the threshold where it's paid for. In anything you're bringing in at that point is just pretty much free money. And so they've got all that coming in. And it's still not enough to cover all the fines they have to pay. So something like this I think makes a lot of sense if they can spin it up. And actually honestly at this point, they probably need to build it here and offer some sort of electrified powertrain option too just to kind cover all their bases.
And I feel like we're kind of in a weird holding pattern with Ford where if they hadn't launched the Maverick into the pandemic, we would probably have a plug-in hybrid Maverick and maybe-- or maybe even just like a standard all-wheel drive hybrid Maverick. Like, we would be farther along in the progression of that vehicle because I think Ford realized pretty quickly that they had a hit on their hands and needed to keep iterating. And unfortunately, they just couldn't because of the resource constraints of the pandemic.
Now, Ram, we're on the tail end of that. Supply chains have eased. And things are starting to return to whatever normal looks like now. They're in a better position probably to launch this thing, but they're also way behind if they actually plan to do it here. So I think they should, and they probably could. But whether they actually will, I guess we'll see.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I mean, same. I think they should, and they probably could. And who knows. I think that's pretty well said. This is it's a unibody set up. Unconfirmed reports say it's based on the same platform as the Tenali and the Hornet. So ostensibly you've driven this thing already, right? So, I mean, I don't know. It just Ram would be-- I would be really interested too to see their take on the segment because Ram just brings-- it's such a big, boisterous personality of a brand.
And to me, it would be just so-- I'm just so curious to see how they approach this, whereas the Maverick, it's a little quirky. It's interesting, but it's still very much a Ford truck. And then, you know, Chevy hasn't gone there yet. But, like, the Colorado, the Canyon in the mid-sized segment very much on brand for the brands. What would Ram do in something that's not the Ram? So they could have some fun with it. I think Ralph Gilles, if he could design a-- even a mid-size truck, I would love to see what he would do, you know?
BYRON HURD: Yeah.
GREG MIGLIORE: So we'll see. These, like, sort of global reveals, they tend to come out in the summer, which is good because there's, frankly, the news cycle slows down a bit. And then we can all talk about, like, wow, what's this? Or, you know, we're due for some random Lincoln or random Chrysler. And we can talk about it. And we'll see what happens. So check it out. It's definitely worth your time if you missed it this week in your Autoblog perusings. But check that out.
Yes, we'll stay domestic here for a minute and talk about the Camaro Panther edition. This is basically how they're sending out the Camaro. I've noticed some chatter online is, like, this is it. This is compared to, like, what-- I mean, Dodge has created like a whole portfolio for the Charger, the Challenger. I mean, it's like a thing. This is more, like, a very light special edition. Let's put it that way.
I mean, the cool part that caught my attention is that they're throwing it all the way back to 1967. And Panther was apparently the code name back then 56 years ago. So for the diehards, they're going to be super excited about that and maybe even try hard to get one of these. Otherwise, I mean, I don't think there's a ton of stuff here other than it's sort of a collector's edition. So we'll see.
BYRON HURD: Yeah, I'm with you on that. And I think for us for kind of the younger crowd, Panther feels like kind of a disconnect with Camaro because--
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah
BYRON HURD: --for younger enthusiasts, we've associated that with Ford platform cars--
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.
BYRON HURD: --for so long that for us, you see Panthers, like, oh, OK, sure. [LAUGHS]
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah.
BYRON HURD: But for the old Camaro guys, yeah, this should be-- this should be a hit. And, I mean, I'm with you. I think it's kind of an interesting nonevent, which feels very strange in the context of what Dodge did. And, I mean, at this point, Ford was kind of saying, like, well, we're not stopping. So we're just going to keep rolling. We don't have to do anything fancy to send off the last Mustang because we've got a new Mustang. So, you know, let's just go have fun with that. But it's-- ah, it's a choice. I would like to see something else. But I guess we're not going to get it.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I-- for what it's worth, Chevy has never done special editions with some of their outgoing models. I mean, maybe they don't kill cars off as much. So that's, like, maybe not a terrible problem to have. But they didn't do much for the Impala, which was sort of more on its last legs. And, I mean, I don't think anybody's looking for a Chevy Bolt Final Edition. But Camaro's an icon, feels like a little bit of a missed opportunity. And while Panther is definitely a nice throwback, I mean, that's a really deep cut.
Even, like, like, to your point, Panther that we would, like, associate with Ford, that's still a-- you've got to be pretty old and pretty well-read into the car business to know-- fully understand the Panther platform. Like, we do it, but not everybody does. And then to go a decade farther back and be, like, oh, no, this is actually Chevy. I don't know. I feel like that's, like, that's pretty B-side. Let's put it that way. But I don't know. Look into your crystal ball. What do you think's next for the Camaro?
BYRON HURD: I don't know. I mean, it's-- I mean, I feel like the easy answer, the cop out answer is something electric, like, we're going to do-- and honestly, maybe-- maybe this is even a hint. Maybe it's going to be the Chevy Panther. Maybe it's going to be the next generation of performance. And Chevy pony cars will get a different name just to kind of distance itself from the performance heritage of the Camaro just while they're kind of getting their feet wet and trying to figure out where they want to go with it.
I mean, every brand is doing that to some extent or another, right? I mean, we've got a VW microbus that we're calling ID. Buzz. It's a microbus, but because it's EV, and we're trying to get away from existing branding and make it so that anything we fail doing electric, we cannot taint old brand names with. It's kind of like the attitude here, I feel like.
So maybe we get a Panther concept or something like that for a Camaro replacement. And then in five years, it actually turns out to be a new Camaro. We're in a weird place right now. So I feel like anything's possible, especially when it comes to, like, "end-of-life vehicles." And I'll say that with air quotes that you can't see from here.
GREG MIGLIORE: I personally think electric makes the most sense because by the time it gets through the gestation period of something new, you're not going to really want to make the Camaro, like, V8, obviously, or even probably bother messing around with, like, Turbo 4's or Inline 6's or V6's or whatnot in 2026, '27. So I think you go electric. And I personally think rolling out something with, like, I don't know-- not retro, but give me some, like, 1980s vibes at this point.
I think that car is getting its due. I think it would strike the right chords with people who have some of the money to buy said car. It's a little bit maybe more of like a Gen X demographic. But those are the people that are going to have the greatest buying power as you get through that time and probably be most receptive to actually buying an electric car.
So I would do that. I wouldn't make it crazy retro, but, like, I mean, Mustang has done a pretty good job, especially as they've gone away from that-- 2005 was very retro to make it a little more sleek, a little more styled up in the last 15, 17 years. I do something like that. Take one of those old sketches out, smooth it out. Let's party. I think that could be a lot of fun.
BYRON HURD: And Ford's, like-- Ford's in kind of an enviable position because Mustang now is a two-generational platform at this point. You've got within the Ford powertrain hierarchy right now, you have the ability to hybridize pretty much anything you want. So, like, with-- if we were going to see a, like-- we'll call it an intermediate Camaro in between now and whatever electric version of that that may or may not make-- Chevy would have had to show it to us by now.
Like, we would already be at a point in development where it would be replacing the car that we've got. So we are either going to make the full leap to electric, or we're just not. Like, it's just either this is the end of the road, or it's getting reinvented. At least with Mustang, Ford can smooth that transition if they want to because they could do a plug-in. Or they can probably even electrify on the existing platform. It just wouldn't be very good.
So, I mean, that's an unfair prediction, like, to say that it wouldn't be very good as an assumption on my part. But just having owned this platform, Mustang, and knowing, like, the kind of the compromises they made in packaging and that the one thing it kind of has going for it is that Mustang Coyote engines are huge. And those engine bays have always been big. So at least there's some room up front. But that's not really where you want to stick a bunch of weight in a rear-wheel drive car.
So it's-- there's a huge truck back there. You could take half of that, I suppose, stick some batteries in it. But you'd run into some compromises with that platform pretty quickly. But at least they have the opportunity to play with it a little bit, whereas, with GM, they're just kind of saying, well, Camaro is dead. So that's not a thing anymore. And whatever we do in that space is going to be ground up clean sheet. And we'll see what happens. And, I mean, let's face it right now, coupes are not big sellers. So that's definitely more of an if than a when.
GREG MIGLIORE: I would definitely not slap Camaro name on a crossover at this point. I know the Mach-E has worked, but I think they got enough names. Use the Panther name. Make that your electric crossover. They have a lot of electric crossovers. Just, Camaro could be Camaro for a while, whenever that may return as the Camaro. Let's put it that way. In devil's advocate, Tesla made a pretty good coupe out of a Lotus. So granted that-- that whole layout from the chassis to the body shell way less complicated than a Mustang. But so we'll see.
All right, so we'll close out the new section here with the Volvo EX30. Former Autoblog Managing Editor and current contributor Steven Ewing. The well-traveled Steven J. Ewing did some reporting for us. Great portfolio of stories up on the site, check it out. This is the EX30, and there's a cross country version, which I'm actually more excited about. But this is a tasty thing.
You're getting a lot of range for not a lot of money. I mean, I-- part of me is almost blown away when I was over my morning coffee looking at the stories. I mean, 36 grand, 275 miles range, OK, sign me up. I mean, this seems like it almost one ups some of the Polestar stuff as far as like what they're doing. So I'm impressed.
BYRON HURD: And our biggest beef with the C40 and the XC40 has really been the range because as I recall it, I'm not looking at the numbers right in front of me. They're around, like, 200-- I want to say, like, 215 miles or something like that. They're around the 200-mile mark, which is plenty for, I mean, as most people who have actually, like, wanted to go into EV adoption and have learned, that's for the average drive. And all the things you kind of do, that is more than enough.
But once you start to creep in on 300 miles in a small affordable EV, you're really starting to kind of crack this thing open. And that's, like, Chevy has managed to meet the Bolt cheap enough to make its limited range palatable. And Volvo is kind of following suit here beautifully. And it's a good-looking little car. And I'm not as sold on the cross-country version as everybody else is. I'm not in love with that styling. But the standard one looks great to me. And if it drives even half as well as the C40 does, then it probably going to be a winner.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I'm impressed. I think it's-- this is what happens when you invest for, like, almost a decade at this point on developing some really solid proprietary technology. And, you know, you use it throughout your lineup. And then for what it's worth, in 20 Gs-- was at 13? Volvo just was, like, we're totally flipping our styling. And they've gone through some various iterations since then. And they've brought it back a little bit.
I think this is kind of almost-- they're going back to that kind of blocky look while still being kind of futuristic. Like, you know, they had the XC90, the V90. All those vehicles were sort of, like, the new era, if you will, of Volvo design. And it was meant to be so upscale and such a big departure. And I really liked it. But now, I think this is a little bit more of a return to how some of the great Volvos were, '80s, '90s, that type of thing.
So, I mean, this is formidable. I think this is one of those things that if they can hold the line on some of these things, like, actually deliver that kind of real world driving, launch it with the quality and reliability problems that we've seen other companies like Ford have, I mean, you could have a real home run here. I mean, yeah.
BYRON HURD: Yeah, and I just pulled up the numbers on-- so the XC40, the all-wheel drive version of it gets 223 miles of range, battery only. So if you figure that against 265 for the all-wheel drive version of the X30, then, yeah, you're already ahead by almost 50 miles. That's pretty solid. The two-wheel drive versions are a little bit better. In fact, they're for a larger vehicle, it's pretty much in line with what you get with the X30. So this looks really promising. I'm really looking forward to driving this.
GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. Sounds good. All right, it's pretty-- pretty wide-ranging news segment. I like it. We went from Lexus to Ram trucks to a Camaro to an electric Volvo. Should we spend some money?
BYRON HURD: Let's do it.
GREG MIGLIORE: All right, this comes from Reddits, our cars forum. If you want to get in on the Spend My Money Segment, that's firstname.lastname@example.org, we're actually wide open. We've burned through a few of them. I think a lot of people are just kind of spending their own money right now. But if you want to get in there, we do have some space. So here it is.
"Miata is not the answer. I'm too tall for an ND, too poor to want to maintain a Porsche Boxster. And a backseat for the dogs would be ideal but not mandatory. OK, I really enjoy the wind in my hair as I drive. Is there anything that delivers some of that open cabin feel without being a convertible?
I've considered pretty much every convertible, but I want to know if I can expand my search beyond that. For example, my pickup has a rear window that opens in a sunroof letting in a considerable amount of air. Is there something with this feel that's smaller and nimbler? Must be available in a manual, otherwise, what's the point?"
All right, so my first thought here, not quite sure on the size as to how this would fit. But I'm going to go Jeep Wrangler. You can pull any part of the structural elements from the beltline up and some below off. And wind will blow it any part of you that you would like. So I think that's-- if you're interested in a jeep, and you've ever thought, hey, I want to go this route, could work.
Another option, totally different segment would be the Corvette Stingray. All of them basically have a kind of like a-- Tonneau Cover is not the right word. The word where the-- the roof just kind of comes off, but it's not like a straight up convertible.
BYRON HURD: Targa top.
GREG MIGLIORE: Targa top, yes. That would be another one, but that doesn't seem like that's quite exactly the genre the writer is looking for. There's a couple there. It's a little weird to try to base a purchase decision based on the wind in your hair. But those are two that come to mind. What do you think?
BYRON HURD: Yeah, this one's tough. I mean, the convertible segment's been pretty well-decimated over the last 10 years or so. And, I mean, I was-- I've been looking at this one since you sent me this-- the briefing like yesterday. And I'm, like, man, what do we even do with this? And I honestly looking back on my ownership, I think a Challenger might actually be a pretty decent fit because you've got those big long doors with those great big windows. And the Challenger is blessedly free of aggressive turbulence when you drive it with the windows down.
So you can do that. You can have the big comfy coupe, plenty of room in the back for the dogs. The roof doesn't come off, but at least you have those nice, big windows to bring some air in and actually let it flow. And you get one in a manual transmission, so you got that part covered. And also, I mean, there are a lot of companies out there that will do convertible conversions on Challengers.
In fact, the one of the last call Challengers was a partnership where they chopped the roof off one. So it can be done. You're not going to get factory-level crash protection or roll structure from it. But, I mean, the Challenger was a 20-something year-old design fundamentally anyway. So you're not getting the latest and greatest in that regard anyway. But, I mean, if you want a performance vehicle that actually has some elbow room, and the dogs won't be miserable in, nothing wrong with that.
But most of the other smaller coupes, like any of the other fixed roof small coupes, like the Supra, terrible to drive with the window down. Like, the buffeting is just really bad. So the Challenger kind of has a leg up in that regard. I don't think I'd want-- like, you wouldn't want an 86 or a BRZ for that because they buff it pretty aggressively. Like, there's just-- they're not a lot of options out there unless you actually go for a full-blown convertible. And, I mean, Mustang convertible exists. So hey.
GREG MIGLIORE: Yeah, I agree. I mean, unless you actually want to go get like a full-on convertible that's more like a targa, like a 911 targa, you know, your options are kind of limited. So yeah, we'll see. If anybody-- you want to get into the mailbag too, that's email@example.com. Send us your thoughts on this. Maybe you have something we've missed. I don't really know.
But speaking of a mailbag, we had a reader submission this week. Think Jeremy has already responded. Let me just pull that up here. It is an IPA. And it is-- this is a tasty one. Let's see. Which one is this? Here it is. Here it is, trying to find the picture of it. And let's see. Jason writes that it is-- let's see. Shout out from Podcast 777, like the vehicles reviewed. So thanks for listening, Jason.
And then the BRC submitted summer ones are a Sweetwater Brewing Company. Don't float the mainstream. It's a haze double IPA, OK? It's kind of a citrus IPA flavor for summer. It looks pretty good. I think looks pretty solid. Then here's another one called Hopportunity Awaits. It's a hazy, pale-- it's just a hazy IPA. So it looks pretty good.
Yeah, I don't know. Here, I'll forward these to you real quick. Byron accidentally forwarded this earlier. "Just, if you're looking to get something from the corner store, this looks pretty tasty. I like hazy beers. One or two of them in the summer, especially this weather. It's not too hot. It actually got down to, like, 50 last night, which I don't know what the cosmos felt was allowed us to have that. That's just nice. You're grilling. Maybe even throw on like a sweatshirt." These are two really good suggestions. So thanks for writing, Jason.
BYRON HURD: I'm a big fan of Sweetwater. I've been to the mothership in Atlanta. It's a really cool tour. So yeah, you get my stamp of approval on anything Sweetwater.
GREG MIGLIORE: OK, wow, that sounds good. I may have to give it a try. You have an airport beer or anything you're looking forward to trying and maybe expensing my way later today?
BYRON HURD: I don't know. We're definitely, like, settling into, like, Bell's summer sampler mode here in the house. It's, like, whatever's light and hazey is definitely appealing right now.
GREG MIGLIORE: Sounds good. It sounds good. All right, so send us your Spend My Moneys. That's firstname.lastname@example.org. If you enjoy the show, five stars. Apple podcasts, Spotify, wherever you get the show, we are everywhere. Be safe out there, and we'll see you next week.