Click & Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray:
Ive always owned an
"old lady" car (i.e. Pontiac
Bonneville, Oldsmobile 88, Buick LeSabre). But I
recently bought a 2007 Toyota Highlander. While I
love the vehicle, Im concerned about how
easily SUVs "tip" over. I know
theres a higher percentage of these
vehicles that end up in the "turtle on its
back" position. My husband assures me that
my driving skills will not tip it over; its
just the idiots who think they can do anything
because they have an SUV. Am I worrying for
nothing, or do I have to learn to drive all over
again and not take corners like I did in my
old-lady cars? - Thanks. - Cheryl
RAY: I dont think you
have to worry, Cheryl. But I think Toyota might
be concerned that its Highlander is winning the
"old lady" market!
TOM: First of all, your
Highlander is not a traditional SUV. Its
what is often called a "crossover." Not
to be confused with my brother, who is often
called a "cross-dresser."
RAY: The term
"crossover" usually refers to a vehicle
that looks like an SUV and has many of the
advantages of an SUV, but is actually built on
the underpinnings of a car. In the
Highlanders case, its based on the
chassis of the Toyota Camry.
TOM: That means its center of
gravity is lower to the ground, it handles
better, and its less likely to flip over.
Think of it more like a station wagon. Could you
flip it over? Im sure, given enough effort,
you could. But thats true of almost any
RAY: But your Highlander is
much closer to the old-lady cars than to
traditional SUVs. So, drive reasonably - which
Im sure you do, Cheryl - and youll be
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
Junior Land? Bet on Black
Q: Greg, if I remember
correctly, you predicted that Dale Earnhardt Jr.
would sign a contract and stay with Dale
Earnhardt Inc., and that you felt that would be
the best thing to happen. You were wrong and
hes leaving DEI, so what do you think will
happen now? Youve usually been right in
your predictions, so Id like to know. --
Claudia H., North Carolina
A: Claudia, let the bidding
begin! I indeed did think he would stay with DEI,
but as you see, I was wrong.
Junior will be the most
sought-after NASCAR Nextel Cup driver of
all-time, and my gut tells me hell end up
where everyone wants him to. This means
hell be driving the black No. 3 GM
Goodwrench Chevy his dad made famous. This
"prediction" is an easy one, as just
about everyone is hoping it happens.
However, a few things "hit
me" when the "amicable" DEI/Junior
Racings Kevin Harvick is now running for
Royal Dutch Petroleum as his major sponsor (Shell
gasoline, Pennzoil lubricants), while his former
major sponsor, GM Goodwrench, is "in the
background" as an associate sponsor in 2007
with Richard Childress Racing. Is this by design?
Were talking history
here, and it all lies in that black No. 3 sitting
in Childress shop right now. Junior has the
right genes and will have first "dibs"
for sure, and thats the way it should be.