This is the place where automotive enthusiasts can pose any sort of automotive-related question for me to answer.  On the first Tuesday of every month, I will answer the questions put up for me.  You can choose where to put your question up as a comment – it can be on the previous post, or on the Monthly Automotive Forum post from the previous month.  Mark your calendars.  Here are the questions that I have gotten so far:

Debating about which car to lease. I was thinking about the Audi Q5, the Acura RDX, etc.  Something in the 5 seat Hatchback SUV/Crossover type but I want the best car, best value, highest mileage, car I can get. I need to be able to transport 4 people comfortably when I take clients out, as well as have room and access for items I’m always picking up or samples to bring to customers. What gets your vote?  This question comes from Robert Weinberg.  Thanks for the question.  I have some ideas for you:  On the smaller side of the spectrum is the Mazda CX-5.  However, I think that that is a bit too small for you.  Check out the Acura RDX, Ford Edge, Lincoln MKC, and the Audi Q5.  The RDX may be a bit bland in it’s driving behaviors, but it gets the job done quietly, efficiently, and luxuriously.  The Ford Edge may not have the best looks, but it seats 5 comfortably with room for stuff in the back, and comes with a plethora of options.  The Lincoln MKC falls on the smaller side of the spectrum, but it will hopefully be a pivotal car for Lincoln when they need it.  It has gotten plenty of positive reviews, and it looks pretty dang good.  The Audi Q5 is a great little SUV, but it does not get stellar fuel economy.  That being said, it comes with plenty of bang for the buck in the segment, tons of options very few people will use, and is reliable.  Check all of them out, and see what you think.  Hope this helps!

Question: do manual transmission car drivers have fewer car accidents?

Question: what is the average age of drivers ticketed for texting and driving?  These two good questions come from Sherry.  It’s hard to tell, but I can tell you this:  Driver inattention accounts for about 25% of all accidents on the road today.  Driving a manual transmission does give some stress to drivers, as they always have to constantly pay more attention to the road ahead to shift, depress the clutch, etc.  But, studies have shown that new drivers with manual transmissions have about 1/2 the accidents of those with automatic transmissions.  It is unclear how these results were found, but it was a study done in England in 2012.  The average age of drivers ticketed for texting and driving is…wait for it…28!  Yep, believe it or not, new drivers are less prone to check their cell phone while driving.  That’s not to say that they don’t – many do, but 28-year-olds just get caught more.

Robin Levander has a couple of questions:

Hi Candler,

Thanks for a great forum idea!

OK here are two car questions. At some point we will need to replace our fleet of aging vehicles with low-mileage used vehicles (2-3 years old). What are some suggestions you have for:

1. A more comfortable car than my current Honda Accord that gets good gas mileage, is quieter, and is a hatchback?

2. A pick-up truck suggestion that is quieter, vibrates less, more car-like ride and has great repair/reliability record.

RL.  First of all, you’re welcome.  Second of all.  Check out the Mazda 3, Ford Focus, and the Subaru Impreza.  I don’t know if you want a manual transmission or not, but all of those cars come standard with a stick shift.  The Impreza comes with AWD, and is a good, reliable choice for those who need an all-weather car.  The Mazda 3 and Ford Focus are both very good cars, but get the Focus with the 5-speed manual!  You’ll thank me later.  As for the pickup truck, check out the Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier.  If you need something bigger, the Ram 1500 is a solid choice, and rides very much like a full-size sedan, thanks to an industry-first rear leaf spring suspension.  All of these trucks are quiet, reliable, and easy to drive.  Hope this helps!

This question comes from Cynthia Weissbein.  Love the idea! Question: who are the safest drivers?  I’m glad that you love the idea.  I do too.  The safest drivers are always the drivers who drive appropriately for the road conditions, are courteous to other drivers, never cut in front of anybody, and never endanger others.  Plus, they usually wave at you when you are a nice driver to them.

All righty then, that’s a wrap for our first automotive forum.  I consider it a success.  I hope that you do too!  Those who I helped with car suggestions – let me know if they work!

2 thoughts on “The Monthly Automotive Forum

    1. First year drivers cannot: Drive others under the age of 25 around until they turn 17 or have one full year of driving with a license, unless they are accompanied by somebody over the age of 25. They also cannot drive between the hours of 11PM and 5AM unaccompanied.

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