THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #301

We all know that there is a bit of nervousness that comes into any conversation about autonomous cars. The fact is they are here to stay; it’s time to start looking at how to adapt. We chat with automotive journalist BJ Killeen about her recent trip to test Volvo’s newest fleet. Russell Datz, National Media Relations Manager for Volvo Car USA, shares about some large promises they are making to help assure their buyers that they put safety and quality first. Changing lanes, Autoblog Editor-in-Chief, Greg Migliore, fills us in on his experience with Monterey Car Week, his thoughts on the Durango SRT, and addresses the rumor of the Jeep pickup truck. Then, Executive Editor for Autotrader, Brian Moody, tells us about great rides for man’s best friend, and the higher taxes that will come with autonomous cars. We end the hour with George Kennedy, automotive journalist for The Boston Globe, reviewing the new Toyota C-HR, which was originally designed to be a Scion. It’s time you got up to speed, listen now.

  • [00:00:00] BJ Killeen Drives New Volvo Fleet in Colorado
  • [00:06:33] 100% Responsibility for Volvo Autonomous Cars
  • [00:12:30] V90 is Bringing the Love for Wagons Back
  • [00:19:51] The Most Awarded Luxury SUV of the Century
  • [00:28:00] By 2019 All Volvo’s Will Be Somewhat Electrified
  • [00:35:53] Volvo Stands the Test of the Generations
  • [00:42:14] Durango SRT is a Muscle Car of an SUV
  • [00:47:55] Ford Ranger Raptor and Jeep Scrambler?
  • [00:54:45] Top Notch Rides for Man’s Best Friend
  • [01:02:06] Higher Taxes for Self-Driving Cars
  • [01:08:39] Toyota C-HR Has A lot of Bold Style
  • [01:18:07] What Exactly is a LeMons Race?

Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] BJ Killeen Test Drives New Volvo Fleet in Colorado

It’s been a while since we’ve had automotive journalist BJ Killeen on the show and it’s time we caught up. Alan reviews the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe and raves about its semi-autonomous features. Then we hear BJ’s thoughts about Monterey Car Week and the future of autonomous cars. Recently, BJ made a trip out to Colorado to test drive Volvo’s newest fleet and she has some inside information from the press briefing that you won’t want to miss. Tune in now.

[00:06:33] 100% Responsibility for Volvo Autonomous Cars

Autonomous cars have many people fearful because they are losing control of the car. They don’t trust the computer to keep them safe, and there is one car company that is helping to remedy that. Automotive journalist BJ Killeen tells us that at her recent test drive for Volvo, they announced a big promise. Volvo has stated that by the year 2025 they will take 100% responsibility for their autonomous vehicles. This company has always been at the top when it comes to safety, quality, and luxury. Find out why your next car should be a Volvo.

[00:12:30] V90 is Bringing the Love for Wagons Back

BJ Killeen, automotive journalist, got to test out Volvo’s newest fleet. There were so many exemplary models to drive, but her affinity towards wagons made the V90 shine. This wagon is filled to the brim with safety features, has excellent fuel efficiency, and the Drive E engine gives it 216-HP. BJ discusses its excellent handling, comfortable interior, and easy-to-use infotainment system. Do you crave the nostalgia of a classic wagon with modern enhancements? Explore the V90 now.

[00:19:51] The Most Awarded Luxury SUV of the Century

We know that people want the most bang for their buck when it comes to bringing home a new ride. SUVs are becoming increasingly popular as families seem to be diving back into the adventurous life style. Why not pick up the best SUV on the market that exudes class and conquers anything? Russell Datz, National Media Relations Manager for Volvo Cars USA, talks to us about their award winning chariot that has buyers swooning. The Volvo XC90 is the most awarded luxury SUV of the century, and it deserves all the hype. The XC90 isn’t the only thing that has consumers buzzing, Russell then explains Volvo’s Vision 20/20, a policy which promises that no one will be seriously injured in a Volvo car by the year 2020. This company is putting buyer’s lives as their top priority. Discover Volvo’s dedication to YOU!

[00:28:00] By 2019 All Volvo’s Will Be Somewhat Electrified

Electric cars can give engine enthusiasts feelings of apprehension because they will miss the growl of the engine. National Media Relations Manager for Volvo Cars USA, Russell Datz, explains why electric vehicles in the only option for the future. Volvo has stated that by 2019 their entire line up will be electrified in some way. Rest assured they are not doing away with gasoline just yet, and you will be able to buy a hybrid Volvo. Russell believes that EVs are the only responsible choice because we need to be aware of how we use energy and resources of our planet. What are your thoughts on electric cars?

[00:35:53] Volvo Stands the Test of the Generations

Volvo was founded in 1927, giving them years of experience instilling excellence in their cars. This brand continues to evolve, remaining steadfast in their dedication to safety. We chat with ERN’s Jonathan Masters, a 21-year old that took a trip to Colorado to test drive Volvo’s newest fleet. While you may not predict that millennials would have an affinity for Volvo, it’s a strong choice for the tech savvy generation. Jonathan shares his excitement to drive these fantastic cars. The newer technology doesn’t scare him, although he does worry about the implications of autonomous cars. Volvo is making cars that appeal to everyone, and their semi-autonomous features are giving drivers more confidence on long trips. Jonathan really liked the twin-charged (super and turbo) 4L engines which offer ample power and excellent fuel economy. Find out why Volvo’s appeal spans the masses.

[00:42:14] Durango SRT is a Muscle Car of an SUV

Are you searching for an aggressive SUV? Look no further than the Dodge Durango SRT, which embodies Dodge’s motto, “Welcome to the brotherhood of muscle.”  Greg Migliore shares about Autoblog’s recent drive experience in this beast during Detroit’s Woodward Dream Cruise. Greg describes the Durango SRT as the muscle car of the SUV world, combining power and comfort. We also talk about the Hellcat powered Jeep Cherokee Trackhawk which is rumored to have 707-HP, but at this time all driving impressions have been embargoed. Will Dodge and Jeep continue to blow our minds?

[00:47:55] Ford Ranger Raptor and Jeep Scrambler?

Smaller trucks are becoming all the rage these days because they are more versatile. OEMs are noticing this trend and rumors are starting to fly around little pickups that we may just fall head over axels for. Autoblog Editor-in-Chief, Greg Migliore, divulges he has seen spy photos of what looks to be a Ford Ranger-Raptor, a little light truck with 500-HP. Intriguing! There is also talk of a Jeep Wrangler pickup in the works, and we can’t help but wonder if they will stick with the classic Scrambler name. The future looks bright for small trucks! The only question is – which one would you drive?

[00:54:45] Top Notch Rides for Man’s Best Friend

We all know that our dogs can be like our children and they should be kept in mind when we purchase a vehicle. Autotrader’s Executive Editor, Brian Moody, reminds us that our fluffy friends should always be secure when you’re cruising around with them. Some OEMs have taken this to heart and offer built-in components and accessories for our animals including attachable cages, tie-downs, water bowls, rear seat covers and more. Autotrader has created a list of dog-centric cars, so you can find just what you are looking for. Are you ready to make traveling with your pet a breeze?

[01:02:06] Higher Taxes for Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous cars, with their ease and convenience, are speeding into our lives quickly and there are some things we should be prepared for. Brian Moody, Executive Editor for Autotrader, gives us an inside look at what these self-driving machines may do to our pocket book. The thing about autonomous cars is that they require sensors to make their moves, and those sensors use road lines to read where the car is. This means a lot of time spent by our government workers repainting any damaged road lines, as they must remain pristine for the sensors to pick them up. The expensive, reflective paint and the man hours will undoubtedly increase our yearly taxes and this is something we should start thinking about now. How will self-driving cars affect you?

[01:08:39] Toyota C-HR Has A lot of Bold Style

Ever since Scion went out of business, Toyota has had a new design sitting in the wings and they decided they would release it as the Toyota C-HR. George Kennedy, automotive journalist for The Boston Globe, shares his recent drive impressions of the C-HR. This car has an extremely…errr…bold styling and is sort of a weird child of the back of a Honda Civic and the front of a Toyota Corolla. George found himself scratching his head at the fact that this cross-trek does not come all-wheel drive, and in this utilitarian heavy market this decision just doesn’t seem to make any sense. Surprisingly, this car did have excellent handling with very little body roll despite its higher clearance. Does the C-HR offer what you’re looking for?

[01:18:07] What Exactly is a LeMons Race?

Imagine a $500 car speeding down the race track just trying to hold its parts together? This is exactly what you would see if you attended a 24 Hours of LeMons race.  Automotive journalist and LeMons participant, George Kennedy, knows all about it and he is giving a talk at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. He will be opening everyone’s eyes to the glory of true clunker racing. These races, though they seem haphazard, are actually real GT-style endurance laps with high safety precautions for drivers. Do you have a rust bucket that needs to stretch its legs on the track?

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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner

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This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at

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