THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #327

OEMs are making it increasingly difficult to decide on a favorite car – they’re all so well designed! Our experts reveal their top contenders for 2018, and we get an update on new TV episodes and helpful apps that gearheads will love. We kick off the hour with the host of Velocity’s ‘Wheeler Dealers‘, Mike Brewer. Mike previews the latest season and gives a history on how he got his start, Then, we are joined by Nathan Hecht, Founder and CEO of Honcker, an incredible car leasing app. Changing gears, Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader, talks about the rides of the New York International Auto Show that impressed him and the ‘Must Test Drive’ rides of 2018. After that, automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, reviews the 2018 Hyundai Kona. Last but not least, George Kennedy, automotive journalist for the Boston Globe, raves about Jeep’s Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, and reviews the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Join us to learn about your next dream car.


  • [00:00:00] Longest Running Car Restoration Show
  • [00:06:42] Giving the Show Back to the Viewers
  • [00:12:30] Buying a Classic Car?
  • [00:19:53] Leasing a Car Through Honcker
  • [00:28:12] Autotrader’s 2018 ‘Must Test Drive Cars’
  • [00:35:55] Toyota Camry Added Mojo
  • [00:42:15] Standouts at NYIAS
  • [00:48:46] Hyundai Kona’s Wonderful Design
  • [00:54:46] Just One Critique
  • [01:02:09] BJ Killeen’s Blogs Coming
  • [01:10:24] Jeep’s Easter Safari in Moab
  • [01:18:11] 2019 Volkswagen Jetta


Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Longest Running Car Restoration Show

Now in the 15th season, Wheeler Dealers is the longest running car restoration show in the world. With an amazing audience that tunes in every year, this show just keeps getting better and Co-Host Mike Brewer talks about how the show got its start. Mike has been on television for 20 years and after being head hunted multiple times he landed with the Discovery Channel in 2002 and has been there ever since. Along with co-host, Ant Anstead, the new season will feature a 1969 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio, International Harvester Scout, and more. They will be looking at cars from all over the world, making sure to appeal to the shows international audience. In the U.S., you can watch the show on the Velocity Channel (soon to be Motor Trend) and everywhere else on the Discovery Channel. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new episodes.

[00:06:42] Giving the Show Back to the Viewers

Do you have a car in your garage that is going to take a little elbow grease to get running again but you don’t know where to start? Wheeler Dealers is just the show you need to watch to get your mechanical gears turning. Mike Brewer tells us that they show will always have an eclectic mix of cars and now they are giving the show back to the viewers. Mike’s new co-host, Ant Anstead, is a phenomenal educator who is brilliant at explaining processes so the viewers can tackle these problems at home. This is one of the only hobbies that can reward you monetarily when you decided to give it up, and this show can help you make the right decisions to optimize your reward. Mike’s goal is that their show will help the viewers feel confident enough to get in their own garage and give it a go. Learn more about this regular car guy who just does what he loves.

[00:12:30] Buying a Classic Car?

There are a few things you need to know before you go and buy your dream classic car. Mike Brewer, Co-Host of Wheeler Dealers, shares some tips on the best way to go about buying a car. Knowledge is power, and Mike tells us that it’s important to fill your library before you fill your garage. Join a car club, ask other owners, and get all the insight you need to really narrow down exactly what you want. When it comes to negotiating a price, it’s important to make sure you are well informed before you jump into dealing with a seller. Buying classic cars can be tricky and it’s best to be prepared before you pay too much for something. Stock up on your knowledge now.

[00:19:53] Leasing a Car Through Honcker

Unfortunately, they can ding your credit every time a dealership checks to see your score. Finally, there is a place that won’t do that and also make it possible for you to see all leases available to you. Nathan Hecht, Founder and CEO of Honcker, joins us to talk about their revolutionary app that is making it possible for you to lease a car with just a few swipes. You simply provide your name, address, and date-of-birth and after a soft credit check, you’re ready to lease. The entire transaction, once completed, gets sent to your local dealership and then the car is delivered to your doorstep. Talk about drive-up service! This app is mutually beneficial to customers and dealerships alike. Are you ready to lease the car of your dreams from the comfort of your living room?

[00:28:12] Autotrader’s 2018 ‘Must Test Drive Cars’

Autotrader is the place to go when you need to buy, sell, or research a car but they are also so much more! Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader, shares the 2018 ‘Must Test Drive Cars’ list. He tells us that they chose these cars because they may change your mind about what you’re looking to buy and possibly even change your mind about the brand itself – in a good way! The Buick Regal TourX, Kia Stinger, Lincoln Navigator, Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupe, Range Rover Velar, Volvo XC60, and the Nissan Leaf were a few among the twelve on the list. Brian also details why the perfect balance of range and price have landed the only electric car on the list, the Nissan Leaf. Discover why you might just want to buy a car you never imagined yourself in.

[00:35:55] Toyota Camry Added Mojo

Continuing the list of Autotrader’s 2018 ‘Must Test Drive Cars’, Brian Moody explains why the Toyota Camry stepped it up. The Camry wasn’t necessarily a car that automotive journalists would put a lot of thought into but this year they had to reorient their thinking. The dramatic change of the car has really added some design and character to this once ‘vanilla’ car. Brian tells us that without a doubt, this car will change what you picture when you hear Toyota Camry. He also gives praise to the Subaru Crosstrek, which has perfectly balanced on and off-road capabilities. Lastly, he raves about the design of the Lincoln Navigator and Aviator. Could a sedan win you over?

[00:42:15] Standouts at NYIAS

Automotive journalists have a lot to think about when they go to an auto show. Brian Moody, Executive Editor of Autotrader, tells us some of his personal favorites from the New York International Auto Show. Without a doubt, the Lincoln Aviator was Brian’s favorite and that seemed to be a unanimous vote throughout the automotive world. He was also very impressed by the Cadillac CTS V-Sport, the Nissan Altima, and the Cadillac XT4. OEMs are paying attention to what their customers want and it is paying off. The key to designing a new or refreshed right is to give people something to get excited about, for their car to stand out in the crowd. Listen to Brian explain why he tips his hat to his favorites.

[00:48:46] Hyundai Kona’s Wonderful Design

Recently, Alan was joined by automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, to test drive the 2018 Hyundai Kona in Kona, Hawaii. BJ sounds off about this fun little vehicle that really has some attitude. The Kona plays into the smaller sub-compact category and it offers four trim levels – an SE, SEL, Limited and Ultimate. The 175-hp 1.6L Turbo GDI engine really gives this machine some get up and go. BJ applauds Hyundai because they really understand that the car market is going away and it was time to create something that would hold ground. It was imperative that the company got the stance of this car just right and they nailed it. Get whisked away to Ute (utility) paradise with the Hyundai Kona.

[00:54:46] Just One Critique

After test driving the Hyundai Kona, automotive journalist BJ Killeen was extremely impressed. The Ultimate trim that they drove had all the bells and whistles and they loved it. It handled amazingly in the downpours of rain that the Hawaiian Island presented and had an impressive roomy interior. Loaded with Infinity Premium Audio System, all-wheel drive, leather seat, power driver’s seat, and wireless charging, just to name a few. Most journalists did have one critique however, the passenger seat sat a little low and was not powered. The President of Hyundai announced at their luncheon that they would be making adjustments to the seat, showing that they were really listening to and appreciating the feedback. Hyundai has come a long way in the time they have been around and we are excited.

[01:02:09] BJ Killeen’s Blogs Coming

The Drive with Alan Taylor website is full of exciting podcast episodes and blogs full of the information you need on the latest rides. Automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, is a pro when it comes to reviewing a car and we are excited for the contributions she is planning for our site. Already published is her road test of the 2018 Hyundai Kona and it is filled with gorgeous photos and in-depth information on this fantastic new ride. Readers can also look forward to her blog on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta and the Lexus RX 350L. Changing paces a bit, Alan and BJ spend a few minutes praising the most amazing brakes around, Brembo brakes. Stay tuned to catch the latest from the automotive scene.

[01:10:24] Jeep’s Easter Safari in Moab

Every Jeep lover’s dream comes true when they hit the other-planet like roads of Moab, Utah for the annual Easter Safari. Over 10,000 Jeepers descend upon this epic off-road playground to put their machines to the ultimate test. Automotive journalist, George Kennedy, got to attend this event and drive some of Jeep’s newest additions. He was blown away by the Wrangler Rubicon’s ability to claw up a 45 degree angle, if not steeper. The amazing technology and excellent engineering have given these rides a truly unique capability. He also got the chance to drive the Trailhawk and really see what it could do out on the trail. George makes note of the most powerful vehicle at the event, The Sandblaster, which had a 392-HP V8 engine and was turned into a truck-dessert racer. Explore more about the Jeep Easter Safari.

[01:18:11] 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta has been a staple in the sedan community for a very long time, and the new model is refreshing. Automotive journalist, George Kennedy, reviews the 2019 VW Jetta and is delighted by it. He reports that this model is lower, wider, and they have made the interior a little more upscale. From a driving standpoint, it is very refined with its 1.4L turbo pushing 147-HP and 184 lb-ft of torque. It has a 6-speed automatic and 8-speed manual transmission – making the shifting feel a lot more exciting. In general, they’ve made this ride visually more upscale, raising it up into the Golf territory and George notes that it would be a really pleasant commuter car. Hear more about the all new Jetta now.


Explore More with Helpful Links:

Episode Credits:

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

Our Sponsors & Supported Charities:


This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, leave 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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