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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Lienerts: Apple Vs. Orange

I am starting to think that Anita and Paul Lienert, the married pair of automotive writers who do reviews for the Detroit News, are nuts. Previously, Anita Lienert compared the cupholders in the Porsche Boxter to the stirrups at her gynecologist office. This week, they preview the Lincoln LT luxo-truck, and are offended that it does not share a feature with the Honda Ridgeline.

We also couldn't help but to compare the Mark LT to the vaunted 2006 Honda Ridgeline pickup, which is the first truck to come equipped with a trunk. Despite the LT's strong points -- and there were many -- it lacked a good place to hide and lock up valuables.

Why would they compare a Lincoln F-150 derivative to a Honda unit-body based on the Pilot SUV? Even a rudimentary understanding of how body-on-frame trucks are put together makes it obvious that there is no place to package an under-the-floor trunk. If someone wants to lock up valuables, any number of options exist in the aftermarket, from locking toolboxes to hard tonneau covers.

These vehicles have entirely different "DNA". One is a prettied up truck, originally designed to haul, tow, and survive abuse from contractors. The other is a truckified light-duty SUV. One is a luxury car, and has a sticker of $50,000, the other is family transportation. One comes with a truck tuned V8, the other with a V6 shared with a minivan.

What next? Will they compare a Saab car to a Saab fighter jet, and complain that the car lacks a HUD, lacks radar, and is under-powered?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

...Hona Ridgeline is a fine crossover, but it isn't a truck. That thing won't last an hour on washboard gravel.

This is essentially the problem with car reviewers reviewing trucks. A car is just a car, but a truck is something that HAS to do work. (Not everyone use it for work, but it is designed for it). Ridgeline is designed for posers doesn't really use it for anything. Sorta like the poeple that drives SUVs that doesn't really use it for anything other than to drive the kids to games and the store.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the insanity runs in the family. In his review of the Dodge Charger R/T on the Forbes Auto site, Dan Lienert (who I believe is Anita and Paul's son) gripes that the interior isn't as nice as that of the BMW 3-series.

Just because both cars cost about the same and are both RWD sedans doesn't mean they are similar automobiles. Of course that point is lost on the Lienerts :-)!

- HCE

Anonymous said...

I've always thought this about magazines when they test an F-250 through a cone slalom. Thats like denouncing a Ferrari because of its poor tow rating.
I've also heard them say "this truck will almost never see off road duty", implying that truck and suv owners are posers. When they test a Z06, they never say 'most owners we never hit 180 or 1g of cornering'.

rzklkng said...

Stop thinking like an engineer and start thinking like a consumer. There is some, but not much overlap between Pilot and Lincoln "image" buyers. And as anyone looking at the changes to pickup design can attest, the consumer market is just-as if not more important than the contractor market. How else do you justify the Dodge HiPo Hemi trucks?

Anonymous said...

I really can't stand the Leinerts. You can tell a major difference between the auto critics that are real car enthusiasts and the auto critics that responded to a want ad because they got laid off from their previous job as head obit writer. Everything about L.A. drives me crazy, but Dan Neil (L.A. Times auto critic) writes seemingly balanced reviews, and has a pretty thorough understanding of cars, which seems to be surprisingly rare with many auto critics.

The Leinerts write their reviews for ignorant soccer moms, which is fine for them. Of course, this is probably the same group that has spurred all of this interest in "rollover ratings" for SUV's. I agree with the above comments regarding the "cone slalom" for the F-250. Prime example of a dumb reviewer. I don't drive my SUV like a sports car, and I don't expect it to handle like one. Should you suddenly find yourself in your SUV heading sideways down the road at a high rate of speed, you can expect (and maybe even deserve) for it to roll over.

Don

Dublin Saab said...

Actually form the two of them I rather suspect they would complain that the fighter jets suffers poor handling characteristics due to the shared GM platforms. I'm have you ever seen the body roll on a jet when it turns? Talk about needing a sway bar.

Sparky said...

I have to concur with the posters that basically state the P. Lienert is a dolt when it comes to things automotive. The couple did a review of the then new Envoy XUV, and he had nothing good to say about it, and completely missed the point of this groundbreaking vehicle. I was never a fan of GM, and had not bought a US-made vehicle in 30+ years of driving, until the XUV. This vehicle is absolutely brilliant, bridging the gap between a pickup and an SUV, protecting the rear cargo when necessary yet still allowing the transport of a full size fridge in the necessary upright position. I once hauled a full studio upright piano from Jersey to VA in the back of my XUV. Try that in *any* other SUV! I can put a 4 x 7.5 plywood in the back and have a camping platform, with the top and tailgate closed weather tight. Try that in a pickup, without a cap.