THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #302

Our cars play vital roles in our daily lives and when you buy a new one, you want to know that it will get you to where you need to go. In the devastating aftermath of the hurricane season, there will be many severely damaged cars to keep a wary eye out for. We chat with Kelley Blue Book’s Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, and automotive journalist, BJ Killeen about the dangers of purchasing a possibly flood damaged car. Be aware of what your new car could be hiding from you. Next, Karl and automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, give their exciting first drive impressions of the 707-HP 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Then, Steven also gives us an update on what is happening in the world of NASCAR. Last but surely not least, JoshCAR’s Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, discusses the new Mercedes G-Class, automotive sales for August, and the Logan Lucky Mustang. All of this and more! Tune in now.

  • [00:00:00] Auto Sales in Aftermath of Hurricane Season
  • [00:06:24] Hurricanes Create a Plague in Car Industry
  • [00:12:31] Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is Here
  • [00:19:52] KIA Rio Integrates Easily into Your Life
  • [00:27:43] Don’t Be Fooled – Buyer BEWARE!
  • [00:35:56] Huge Unveilings Coming Soon to Car Shows
  • [00:42:16] Answer to Power: Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  • [00:48:33] Be Careful What You Tweet NASCAR Drivers
  • [00:54:48] What Will Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Fans Do?
  • [01:02:09] Mercedes G-Class is Becoming More Luxurious
  • [01:10:23] August Auto Sales Better Than Expected
  • [01:18:12] Dodge Demon, Viper, and Logan Lucky Mustang

Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Auto Sales in the Aftermath of Hurricane Season

Sadly, the southeastern part of our country has been devastated by hurricane season, and many cars have been destroyed by flooding or debris. Kelley Blue Book’s Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, explains why it is important for us to be aware that there may be severely damaged cars sneaking into the market. Water can dry, carpets can be vacuumed and steam cleaned, and these potentially totaled cars may look just fine to the untrained eye. Upwards of 500,000 cars were estimated to be damaged from Hurricane Harvey alone, so it is time to be wary. Hear some insight about flood damage that you may not have thought about.

[00:06:24] Hurricanes Create a Plague in Car Industry

Flooded cars are an insidious thing. Karl Brauer, Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, warns us of the dangers of buying a car at this time. A good auto detailing can easily disguise water damage from an outside view, while electrical components lie in ruin. Vehicle history reporting services, such as Carfax, are most likely having an uptick in business right now due to the many totaled cars.  If you are buying a car at this time be sure to check with one of these companies. Half a million or more cars were lost to Hurricane Harvey alone, so Karl believes we will see a spike in auto sales for the remainder of the year. Neighboring dealerships are rushing to get the effected areas new vehicles as quickly as possible. Get tips on how to find the secrets of your new car before you drive off the lot.

[00:12:31] Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is Here

Finally, after all the anticipation, the first driving impressions of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk are here, and they are everything we had hoped for. Executive Publisher of Kelley Blue Book, Karl Brauer, got to climb into the driver’s seat of the 707-HP 6.2-L supercharged Hemi V8, all-wheel drive SUV that has been making waves in the world of muscle. Jeep has been claiming 0-60-mph in 3.5 seconds, and Karl gushes that he was even able to pull off 3.4 seconds. This kind of power is unmatched in an SUV at this time; the traction marries perfectly with its insane acceleration. The Trackhawk may seem like too much for a daily driver, but Jeep has gone above and beyond to make this ride comfortable. Launch Control takes this ride from family friendly to full bore beast mode when you’re ready for a heart-pounding race. Explore the primal power of the 2018 Trackhawk.

[00:19:52] Kia Rio Integrates Easily into Your Life

Okay, so maybe you don’t have $100K to spend on a new ride but you still want the latest safety and tech features. Kia has made your dreams come true; you can climb into a brand new KIA Rio for roughly $15,000. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book tells us that the wonderful thing about these cars, besides the cost, is that they are comfortable and come with a 100K mile warranty. The infotainment system is extremely user-friendly, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and mirrors your phone’s navigation. The Rio is filled with the latest safety features at a fraction of the price. Discover why a Rio should be the next car in your driveway.

[00:27:43] Don’t Be Fooled – Buyer BEWARE!

There is a lot of concern circulating in the aftermath of hurricane season, and the damaged cars may be incredibly difficult to spot. Automotive journalist BJ Killeen explains what you can look for while purchasing a new car to avoid a flood-damaged scam. In the case of an honest person, if the vehicle has been totaled it will have been reported to the insurance. Vehicle history reporting services can expose hidden issues; do your homework and shop smart. BJ also tells us that totaled cars can have their advantages. If you’re lucky you can salvage parts that were not water damaged for a reasonable price. Hear tips on how to spot sensible bargains or a sour deal.

[00:35:56] Huge Unveilings Coming Soon to Car Shows

Fall is on the way, and with it, the promise of a few busy months of cars shows. We chat with automotive journalist BJ Killen who is looking forward to the unveiling of the Nissan Altima, the Ferrari Portofino, a fastback version of the Kia Stinger, the compact SUV Jaguar E-Pace, and so much more. Also, BJ and Alan discuss the many models that OEMs are releasing, including compact and full-size versions of very similar rides. Are you overwhelmed or intrigued by all the options?

[00:42:16] Answer to Power: Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

There are some car lovers out there that are still thrilled by the sound of a powerful growl under the hood. Automotive journalist Steven Cole Smith sounds off on his latest test drive that just so happened to be in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. For those ‘crazy car guys’ out there, this 6.2L supercharged Hemi V8 pumps out 707-HP and pushes 645 lb-ft of torque. “A wolf in wolf’s clothing,” as Steven describes it, this ride is as aggressive as it looks. All-wheel drive causes this baby to launch with all four tires at once and screams up to 60-mph in 3.5 seconds. This chariot comes in at a base price of $93K, and it is worth every tire-screeching penny. With this kind of force, the edge of your seat isn’t even an option. Experience the power now.

[00:48:33] Be Careful What You Tweet NASCAR Drivers

The social media revolution has transformed every business under the sun, and while the exposure is good, it’s wise to be aware of how you project yourself to the world. Automotive journalist Steven Cole Smith, tells us about a recent social mishap among NASCAR drivers. After a small accident on the track, driver Cody Ware tweeted some unkind words at driver Matt DiBenedetto. Even while the driver under attack didn’t respond, the heat escalated quickly. Steven fears that may have had a negative effect on Cody’s career, and he cautions all to think about what they choose to put on the web. Social media giveth and social media taketh away.

[00:54:48] What Will Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Fans Do?

NASCAR has made some grandiose changes in the last year and it has fans filled with mixed emotions. Steven Cole Smith, automotive journalist for, updates us on the big shifts happening in NASCAR right now. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. devotees will soon have to choose another driver to admire; he is moving on, and Steven wonders what it will do for NASCAR’s viewership. Then, Steven fills us in on the Chevrolet U.S. Nationals, one of the biggest races there is. Get up to speed with us now.

[01:02:09] Mercedes G-Class is Becoming More Luxurious

The movie industry anxiously awaits the release of the new Mercedes G-Class SUV. JoshCAR’s Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, has been fielding inquiries about this luxury SUV. The G-Class has always been a big boxy thing, and most didn’t anticipate its long-lived popularity. The new version will be longer, wider, and taller yet the nostalgic design harkens back to a cool time for enthusiasts. This primal looking rig has luxury built in, and after all these years the interior is finally getting the infotainment system it deserves. Discover more about the Mercedes G-Class now.

[01:10:23] August Auto Sales Better Than Expected

Vehicle sales have been a little rough for some OEMs this year but August shined a little light on the market. Sedan purchases have decreased, we are seeing surges in SUV sales, and light cross-overs have become a favorite.  Hollywood Car Consultant for JoshCAR, Josh Hancock, attributes Maserati’s and Alfa Romeo’s market growth to the release of the Levante and Stelvio respectively. OEMs with strong offerings in the utilitarian category anticipate an increase in demand. What kind of ride are you on the hunt for?

[01:18:12] Dodge Demon, Viper, and Lucky Logan Mustang

Every once in a while a car speeds to the production line that gets gear heads chomping at the bit to own. Recently, the Dodge Demon made some huge splashes in the market and Alan found himself ordering one to sit right next to his Dodge Viper. Alan craves power and Dodge has gone and done it again. How could he not buy one? Also, JoshCAR’s Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, dishes about the Steve Soderbergh film Logan Lucky, and tells us that we have to see the Mustang that is the star of the show. Is horsepower what you’re looking for? Listen now.

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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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