Hosted by esteemed auto industry expert Jack Nerad, America on the Road brings car-buyers and car enthusiasts behind-the-scenes insight on what is really going on inside the auto industry. From incisive road tests that get to the heart of the matter to news reporting that goes beyond the headlines to interviews with the industry's movers-and-shakers, America on the Road brings you information and entertainment you can't find anywhere else. With new episodes based on the same format that has proved successful on radio stations across the country for more than 20 years, America on the Road should be your key source on automotive information.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, 2021 Subaru Outback Wilderness, Interview with 2022 Wagoneer Chief Engineer Mike Uhlmayer
One of the biggest introductions of the year is the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Both build on the goodwill created by the nameplates several decades ago. As part of America on the Road’s extensive coverage of the two full-size sport utilities, Host Jack Nerad interviews Mike Uhlmeyer, Stellantis’s chief engineer, on the two closely related vehicles. Uhlmayer describes how the project came together and details the things he feels give the new vehicles competitive advantages versus established favorites like the Chevrolet Tahoe and the Cadillac Escalade.
Another all-new SUV is one of our vehicle reviews for the week. Co-host Chris Teague and his family try out the battery-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. Maine doesn’t have the EV infrastructure of some of the more heavily populated states, so the Mustang Mach-E had to face that reality. Could the Mach-E overcome that handicap to earn a positive review? And can the Mach-E present a good opportunity for your family?
In another vehicle review, Host Jack Nerad, who is based in Southern California, had a vehicle that might be better suited to the Maine woods — the Subaru Outback Wilderness. The new Wilderness model is the most off-road-ready models in the Outback lineup. And Nerad puts it through its paces both off-road and on Southern California’s notorious freeways.
In the news segment, Chris and Jack tell you why Tesla is delaying its Roadster and Cybertruck. Will the Cybertruck compete in the North American Truck of the Year competition? That’s a question that needs an answer.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz, Lexus RX 450h, Polaris Slingshot; Interview with Hyundai Product Planner Trevor Lai
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is a new vehicle type that is part crossover SUV, part pickup truck, and part sports sedan. It’s blazing a trail of its own although the 2022 Ford Maverick is a fast-follower in the space, and the two should duke it out in the next few years for supremacy in the segment.
In this week’s episode of America on the Road we take you behind the scenes of that confrontation in an interview with Trevor Lai, the product planner for Hyundai in charge of the development of the Santa Cruz. He tells us how the project began, the challenges it faced, and how quickly it was able to come together. And he explains the many innovative features of the Santa Cruz including its locking roll-top truck bed tonneau. With its available turbocharged engine, the Hyundai Santa Cruz offers tons of driving enjoyment, as both Host Jack Nerad and Co-Host Chris Teague can attest from their recent road tests of the vehicle.
In the news segment Mercury Insurance warns electric car owners that they should consider changing the insurance policies to reflect the special circumstances of owning an EV. Recent EV fires and a major General Motors EV recall give additional credence to that suggestion.
On the road test docket this week are the Polaris Slingshot and the Lexus RX 450h. Co-host Chris Teague put the Slingshot through its paces in a rigorous test in Maine. Summer in New England was the perfect venue for testing this open-air three-wheeler that acts more like a motorcycle than a passenger car.
On the other side of the country, Host Jack Nerad tested the hybrid-powered Lexus RX 450h crossover SUV. The Lexus RX is a market leader in the segment, and the 450h and its seamless operation did nothing to make Nerad question the overall verdict of consumers. But is the 450h the one to choose? Or does the smart money choose the RX 350 and its conventional power? We’ll have the answer.
2022 Wagoneer, 2022 Grand Wagoneer, 2021 BMW 430i Convertible, 2021 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro, Interview with Jeep VP Jim Morrison
Two legendary automotive names — Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer — are back in the news and we have all the information you need about the two exciting introductions from Stellantis. The anchor of our coverage of the two all-new models is an exclusive sit-down interview with Jeep VP President of North America Jim Morrison. In the interview, Morrison takes Host Jack Nerad through the background leading up to the introduction of these two traditional full-size SUVs. And he details the innovative technology and forward thinking that went into their creation.
In the road test segment of America on the Road, Co-Host Chris Teague will describe his weeklong test of the BMW 430i convertible. Did his lanky six-foot frame cause his head to protrude uncomfortably from the cabin? More importantly, does the 430i live up to the BMW “Ultimate Driving Machine” moniker? We’ll give you that information and more.
Also, in the road test segment Jack Nerad will describe how the off-road-oriented Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro figured into his family’s recent Texas vacation. Did it off-highway emphasis get in the way of comfortable driving on the highway? And how did the Sequoia deal with the marginal quality of some of the secondary roads near Cedar Creek Lake? He’ll also answer the question how does the Sequoia stand up as a family transport vehicle? Is it wise to opt for the TRD Pro version?
In the news, the Audi e-tron S and e-tron S Sportback will soon arrive on North American shores and Tesla better look out. These two all-electric sport SUVs have to goods to chip away at Tesla Motors’ dominance in the EV segment.
Also in the news, a fresh J.D. Power study indicates that public charging facilities for electric vehicle charging have a lot of room for improvement. Tesla Motors does continue to dominate in this area of the EV world.
The 2022 Grand Wagoneer makes an elegant statement wherever it's parked.
R2022 Nissan Frontier, 2021 Ford Mustang GT, 2021 Toyota Avalon, interview with Nissan Product Planner Randy Dal
An all-new Nissan Frontier pickup truck is big news. The popular midsize pickup has not received a total makeover — until now. We at America on the Road are among the first journalists to drive and review the vehicle. And at the same time Host Jack Nerad had the chance for a lengthy sit-down interview with Nissan’s Randy Dale, the chief product planner for the Frontier.
In the car review segment Co-Host Chris Teague subjected the Toyota Avalon to his Down East style of vehicle testing. It turns out that Toyota is dropping the Avalon model, so this might be the last road test to be heard on America on the Road.
Also in the road test segment, Jack Nerad gives his opinions on the Ford Mustang GT. Is it the best-buy in the extensive Mustang model range? Or does the recently introduced Mach 1 model deserve that honor? Jack and Chris will answer those questions and more.
In the news, research firm AutoPacific has announced its findings in the annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey of 89,000 new car and light truck owners. Now in its 25th year, the VSAs identify the most satisfying vehicles on the market as rated by the consumer. We’ll tell you what the most satisfying vehicle is and which brands did best in their survey. Just a hint: there were several surprises.
See what we said about the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Interview with 2021 Ford Bronco Chief Engineer Eric Loeffler, Road tests of 2021 Genesis G70 sports sedan, Kia Carnival minivan
Competing with a brand that has become synonymous with off-road driving is a daunting task. But that is just the task Ford Motor Company has taken on as it introduces its Ford Bronco and Ford Bronco Sport vehicles. In this episode of America on the Road host Jack Nerad discusses the all-new Ford Bronco with its chief engineer, Eric Loeffler. He tells us all about the special efforts Ford has undertaken to give the new Bronco competitive advantages versus the legendary Jeep Wrangler.
In the road test segment co-host Chris Teague 2021 Genesis G70 sports sedan. Does it have what it takes to compete in one of the most challenging sectors in the American market? And what has Genesis done to make the G70 extra appealing to enthusiast drivers?
Also in the road test segment, host Jack Nerad gets very excited about the 2022 Kia Carnival minivan. Excited about a minivan, you might wonder. Yes, Nerad says, the Carnival gives us a lot of things to be excited about inside and out. He discusses what makes this all new minivan rise to the top of his minivan list.
In the news, Ford is teaming with an information provider called OCTO to deliver black box-derived driving telemetry to insurance companies. Is this a boon to consumers? Or should you be concerned for your privacy?
This is a special episode of America on the Road because it is our first to be carried on the SportsMap Radio Network. We will continue making a podcast version of the show available on all the top podcasting outlets. The weekly podcast will be available on Mondays beginning with this week’s episode.
Road tests of Mustang Mach 1, Volvo V60 T8 Polestar, BMW 540i; Interview with Ford Mustang Brand Manager Jim Owens
This week America on the Road will enter a new chapter when it begins to air on the nationwide SportsMap Radio Network. The first SMRN episode of America on the Road will air on Saturday, August 14, and it will be heard weekly on the network from that date forward.
America on the Road will also continue as a weekly podcast. Those episodes will be available each Monday, beginning on August 16th. This is one of our favorite previously aired episodes. A new episode will be published this coming Monday, August 16.
The Ford Mustang has a new and very hot new sub-model, the Mach 1. And we’ll get all the details about it from Jim Owens, the Ford Mustang and Shelby brand manager. The Mach 1 brings a 480-horsepower version of Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 to the performance party, and buyers have the choice of a 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching function or a sophisticated SelectShift 10-speed automatic. The specs on the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 look a lot like those of the 2020 Mustang Bullitt, but the two cars are actually quite different and we’ll describe how.
The 2021 BMW 540i adds mild-hybrid electric power to its 335-horsepower 6-cylinder powertrain.
In the news from the week, a major automaker has just announced it will build an electric full-size pickup truck, joining a throng of manufacturers that includes Ford, Tesla, Rivian, and Canoo. The Chevrolet Silverado electric pickup will be built at the company's Factory ZERO assembly plant in Detroit and Hamtramck, Michigan. The company has said it plans to invest as much as $7 billion in its effort to switch its emphasis from large internal-combustion-engine trucks, SUVs, and passenger cars to electric and autonomous vehicles.
GM said the Silverado electric pickup has been designed from the ground up to be an EV, and it will share a great deal of technology with the GMC Hummer EV pickup that will be built in the same high-tech plant.
In the road test segment of the podcast co-host Chris Teague will take a detailed look at the 2021 BMW 540i. This version of the 5-Series might not be as sharp-edged as some previous generations but there is plenty to like about this four-door with its 335-horsepower engine plus mild hybrid electric boost system.
The Volvo V60 is just the kind of performance station wagon that car writers drool over.
Host Jack Nerad examines the 2021 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar, finding it to be one of those cars that auto journalists seem to love. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain is more complicated than the pending Infrastructure bill, but Nerad was enthralled with the station wagon’s 415-horsepower and deft all-wheel-drive handling.
Hear what we say about the Ford Mustang Mach-E
What a great concept
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Jack and Chris gave candid and balanced reviews of the Volkswagen Jetta and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid they were covering, and their positioning the cars in relation to the Tesla S and the oncoming E-vehicle entries was particularly useful. Electric cars are certainly coming, but the transition from IC engines will take time, especially in more rural settings such as Teague’s. And the interview with Ms. Moreo of Nissan provided good insight into Nissan’s marketing of the new Rogue. An excellent show.