Talking Cars (HQ)

By Consumer Reports

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Join our experts at the Consumer Reports Test Track as they discuss cars, answer buying questions, and share insights on everything automotive.

Episode Date
#164 2018 Mazda6 Test Results; Dealer Negotiating Tips; Subaru Ascent Recall

We've finished testing our 2018 Mazda6. We discuss our final impressions on the midsized sedan and where we think it stacks up against its competitors. We answer a number of audience questions this week, including one about our best advice when negotiating the price of a car with a dealership. We also talk about the Subaru Ascent recall, and remind Volkswagen diesel owners that time is running out to file a claim for settlement compensation.


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0:18 - Volkswagen Diesel Deadline

5:32 - Subaru Ascent Recall

8:14 - Mazda6 Test Results

12:49 - Audience Questions

13:02 - Question #1: Buying a fun weekend car

18:07 - Question #2: Ford C-Max hybrid replacement

23:04 - Question #3: How to handle price negotiations when buying a new car

26:51 - Question #4: Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti or Kia Stinger GT?




Selling Back Your VW Diesel? 5 Cars to Consider:

How Volkswagen Diesels Platform in 'Cheat Mode':

2019 Subaru Ascent Quick Drive: 

2016 Mazda6 Quick Drive:

2017 Porsche 718 Boxster Quick Drive:

2014 Mazda3 First Drive: 

2013 Ford C-Max First Drive:

2017 Kia Niro Quick Drive:

2016 Toyota RAV4 Quick Drive:

2017 Chevrolet Bolt Quick Drive:

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quick Drive:

2018 Kia Stinger Quick Drive:

2019 Genesis G70 Quick Drive:

Aug 17, 2018
#163 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback; IIHS' Tesla Advanced Safety Data; How Do We Buy Cars Anonymously?

This week, we discuss data from IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) regarding advanced safety technology, and whether semi-autonomous equipped cars are providing a safety benefit to drivers. We just bought a 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback to join our testing program, and we give our initial impressions, and whether Toyota can convince buyers that a Corolla can be sporty! We also answer audience questions about a replacement for a Nissan Altima, modern convertible reliability, and how we can buy cars anonymously after all these years.


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00:28 - IIHS Safety Study on Autonomous Vehicles

04:23 - 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

11:31 - Question 1: How we keep our anonymity when buying cars

15:06 - Question 2: SUV buying recommendation

19:00 - Question 3: Upgrading from a  Nissan Altima

22:32 - Question 4: Convertible top reliability


4K Review: 2016 Tesla Model S Quick Drive


2018 Tesla Model 3 Quick Drive


New Tesla Autopilot: Better But Needs Impovements


2014 Toyota Corolla first drive


2016 Lincoln MKX Quick Drive


2015 Ford Edge Quick Drive


2016 Nissan Altima Quick Drive


2016 Nissan Maxima Quick Drive


4K Review: 2018 Honda Accord Quick Drive


4K Review: 2018 Toyota Camry Quick Drive


2016 Lexus RX Quick Drive


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Aug 10, 2018
#162 Havana Car Culture; Ram 1500; Car Prices in Canada

On this week's episode, Keith tells us about his recent trip to Havana, Cuba, and what it was like to experience classic cars from a modern mindset. Next, we give our first impression on the new Ram 1500 pickup, and whether we think it can compete in this extremely popular segment. We also take time to answer audience questions about the Chrysler 200, why Kia and Hyundai products are cheaper in Canada, and if fog lights are an important safety feature in new cars. 


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0:42 - Gabe's minor weekend injury

1:39 - Keith's trip to Havana and Cuban Car Culture

5:34 - Gabe's rare vacation cars

7:15 - Jon's honeymoon Citroen

8:38 - 2019 Ram 1500

13:32 - Audience Questions

14:03 - Question #1: What's our beef with the Chrysler 200?

18:21 - Question #2: Do fog lights increase visibility/safety?

21:53 - Question #3: Canadian minivan prices and recommendations

24:16 - Question #4: Vehicle recommendation for a growing family   



2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Ram 1500 Remains Big and Brawny:

2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Quick Drive:

2015 Chrysler 200 Review:

Night-vision Technology in Cars Protects Pedestrians:

2015 Kia Sedona Quick Drive:

2017 Toyota Sienna Quick Drive:

2018 Honda Odyssey Quick Drive:

2016 Kia Sorento Quick Drive:

2017 Toyota Highlander Quick Drive:

2016 Honda Pilot Quick Drive:


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Aug 02, 2018
#161 2019 Subaru Ascent; Our Worst Automotive Mistakes

Our 2019 Subaru Ascent is at the track and we talk about the company's re-entry into the three-row SUV segment. Plus, we share stories about our most regrettable car decisions from the past. And as always, we answer your questions on car buying and our dream daily drivers.



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00:47 Our Favorite Automotive Mistakes

10:03 2019 Subaru Ascent

15:06 Question #1: Our Dream Daily Driver

20:16 Question #2: What to replace a VW GTI with that is better?

23:23 Question #3: What to replace a VW GTI with that's more practical, reliable, and less costly?


2019 Subaru Ascent Quick Drive


2015 Volkswagen GTI first drive


VW Golf R vs. Golf GTI


4K Review: 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Quick Drive


2015 Honda Fit review


Audi A3/S3 at the Detroit Auto Show


2015 Audi A3 Review


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Jul 26, 2018
#160 2018 Lexus LS 500; Tax Credits Ending for Tesla, GM EVs

Time is running out to grab the enticing $7,500 federal tax credit for vehicles from Tesla and General Motors. What should a buyer do to take advantage of the program while it lasts? We'll share our road test results on the 2018 Lexus LS 500, and wrap the episode by answering questions on all-wheel drive systems, auto stop/start technology, and electronic shifter designs.


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00:27 Car News: Federal EV Tax Credit


04:34 At The Track: 2018 Lexus LS 500


10:35 Question 1:  Auto Stop/Start System Starter Reliability


13:24 Question 2: CR Scoring System


15:54 Question 3: Are AWD/4WD Systems Effective?


18:54 Question 4: Strange Shifter Designs



4K Review: 2018 Lexus LS Quick Drive


2017 Genesis G90 Quick Drive


2018 Tesla Model3 Quick Drive


4K Review: 2016 Tesla Model S Quick Drive


2016 Tesla Model X Quick Drive


2017 Chevrolet Bolt Quick Drive


2016 Chevrolet Volt Quick Drive


2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Review


Audi A8 Review


2016 BMW 7 Series Quick Drive


Do you really need all-wheel drive?


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Jul 19, 2018
#159 2019 Nissan Kicks; Mitsubishi Driver Incentives

Mitsubishi will begin to offer drivers perks if they opt to share their driving data. We discuss if the tradeoff is worth it. The 2019 Nissan Kicks joins our test fleet and we share our impressions. Plus, audience questions on transmissions and safety equipment. 


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0:40 - Mitsubishi Driver Incentives

4:07 - The dangers of kids in hot cars

7:50 - Rear Seat Reminders

8:45 - 2019 Nissan Kicks

13:57 - Audience Question

14:03 - Question #1, Hyundai dual-clutch transmission replacement

16:19 - Question #2, Mandating safety features on all cars

19:45 - Question #3, Why is blind-spot warning an premium option on some cars?



2017 LA Auto Show: 2019 Nissan Kicks:

2018 Hyundai Kona Quick Drive:

2018 Ford EcoSport Quick Drive:

2011 Nissan Juke First Look:

2015 Chevrolet Trax Quick Drive:

2017 Hyundai Elantra Quick Drive:

Kids Left In Hot Cars: How It Could Happen to You:

Jul 12, 2018
#158 All Questions, All The Time

We’re celebrating the Fourth of July this week with an all questions episode! We cover everything from car buying advice, infotainment systems, our seat comfort rating and three-row SUVs. Plus, we reach back into our archives to answer a question about a 27-year-old car.


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00:53 Question 1: Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Kicks

04:08 Question 2: Fun to drive car under 50K

07:31 Question 3: Our seat comfort ratings

13:01 Question 4: 3rd-row SUVs

15:42 Question 5: Volster N

17:52 Question 6: Infotainment system ratings

23:21 Question 7: 1991 Dodge Daytona


2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Acura RDX Gains Advanced Safety and More Power


2017 LA Auto Show: 2018 Nissan Kicks


2011 Nissan Juke First Look


2018 Hyundai Kona Quick Drive


4K Review: 2018 Toyota C-HR Quick Drive


2015 Subaru WRX


2014 BMW s Series Review


2017 Honda Civic Si Quick Drive


2017 Audi A4 Quick Drive


2017 BMW 330i Quick Drive


Ford Mustang Road Test


2013 Subaru BRZ First Look


2015 Volvo S60 Review


4K Review: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Quick Drive


2013 Ford Focus ST First Drive


2017 Chevrolet Bolt Quick Drive


2016 BMW X1 Quick Drive


2015 Lincoln Navigator Quick Drive


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Jul 05, 2018
#157 Tariff Trouble; 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

The President threatens to increase tariffs on foreign made cars; we talk about how it may affect consumers. The Chevrolet Blazer has returned, but it may not be the rugged off-roader you remember. Plus, we talk about the Infiniti QX50 SUV, and answer your questions on drive modes, hot cars and the Kia Niro.


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0:32 – President Trump tweet about increasing tariffs on foreign automakers

4:12 – Best Fourth of July Deals on Cars Made in America

5:41 – 2019 Chevrolet Blazer

9:27 - @ the track, Infiniti QX50

11:51 – Infiniti QX50 powertrain, variable compression ratio

15:50 - Audience Questions

16:12 - Question #1: 2017 Hyundai Sonata Limited, drive modes

18:52 - Question #2: What gets hotter, dark or light colored cars?

21:58 - Question #3: Why shouldn’t everyone buy a Kia Niro?



2018 Infiniti QX50 Review: Upscale but Underwhelming:

Best Fourth of July Deals on Cars Made in America:

Stylish 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Brings Comforts and Technology:

2018 BMW X3 Quick Drive:

2014 BMW X5 Review:

2018 Hyundai Sonata Quick Drive:

2017 Kia Niro Quick Drive:

Toyota Prius Gets Record Setting 52 MPG:


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Jun 28, 2018
#156 Memories from the Road; 2019 Hyundai Veloster

Summer’s here and we’re ready to hit the road! We share our favorite road trip stories and talk about the cars we drove along the way. The 2019 Hyundai Veloster visits our test track and we answer your questions about new car technology and comparing used roadsters.

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0:27 – Summer Road Trips


1:05 – Mike’s college road trip


2:23 – Jake’s family and college road trips


4:44 – Jon’s college road trips


6:07 – CR Staff reserving cars for summer trips


8:42 – 2019 Hyundai Veloster


14:20 – Audience Questions


14:30 – Question #1: Engine reliability and cylinder deactivation


16:26 – Question #2: Electric cars vs. hydrogen fuel cell cars


19:55 – Question #3: Roadster buying advice






2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Hyundai Veloster Stays Quirky | Consumer Reports:

Hyundai Veloster First Look:

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Quick Drive:

Redesigned Mazda MX-5 Keeps Miata Magic Going:

2017 Porsche Boxster Quick Drive:


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Jun 21, 2018
#155 Acura RDX, Shifter 'Gaffe' in Chrysler Ad, Tesla Model 3 Recommended for Teens?

Chrysler recently released a new commercial that inadvertently shows why having a simple shifter in a car is so important. We talk about the Pacifica's confusing dial shifter, and why this is a problem throughout the auto industry. We recently bought a new 2019 Acura RDX, and discuss why one big flaw might make an otherwise pleasant car tough to live with. And we answer audience questions about IIHS crash tests, and if we would ever consider recommending the Tesla Model 3 for teen drivers.


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00:32 Chrysler Pacifica Commercial ft. Kathryn Hahn

05:12 2019 Acura RDX

10:41 Question 1:  What is "Fun to drive"

13:59  Question 2: IIHS passenger small-overlap crash test

16:45  Question 3: Tesla Model 3 making the Teen Drivers list


Chrysler Pacifica Redefines the Minivan


2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Acura RDX Gains Advanced Safety and More Power


2016 Acura RDX Quick Drive


Redesigned Mazda MX-5 Keeps Miata Magic Going


2014 Porsche 911 Review


2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee First Drive


2016 Ford Explorer Quick Drive


2018 Tesla Model 3 Quick Drive


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Jun 15, 2018
#154 Four-Cylinder Engines in a Full-Size Truck; 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Chevrolet announces a new turbo four-cylinder engine for the 2019 Silverado 1500. We discuss the new powertrain and if the engine will be 'truck-enough' for a full-size pickup. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta joins our test fleet and we give our first impression. Plus, audience questions on hot hatches and our annual member surveys.


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00:27 New Four-Cylinder Engine in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500

05:00 FCA Announces Auto Subscriptions

10:00 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

14:22 Question #1: Satisfaction vs. Reliability

18:00 Question #2: Hot Hatches

22:13 Question #3: OE Tire Warranty


2018 Ford F-150 Quick Drive


2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta


Autos Tips: Checking Tire Tread


2018's Top 5 Cars Owners Wouldn't Buy Again


Happy on the Highway: The 5 Most Satisfying New Cars


Consumer Reports 2018 Least Reliable Cars


Consumer Reports Most Reliable Car Brands


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Jun 07, 2018
#153 We Re-Test Our Tesla Model 3's Braking Performance After Over-the-Air Update

Tesla sent an over-the-air software update to all Model 3's this past weekend, which included a fix for the long stopping distances we experienced during our initial testing. We discuss our new test results, and what role over-the-air updates will play in the future of automobiles. We also discuss our first impressions of our newly purchased 2019 Kia Sorento, and answer audience questions about the Subaru Forester and the longevity of engines in hybrid vehicles.

May 31, 2018
#152 Exclusive Info from Tesla CEO Elon Musk on CR's Model 3 Braking Results

Consumer Reports has revealed that it would not be recommending the Tesla Model 3, in part due to poor braking performance. In response, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk agreed to meet with Jake Fisher, CR Auto Test Director, to talk about our findings and discuss immediate updates Tesla might make. Hear all about that exclusive conversation this week on Talking Cars.

May 23, 2018
#151 Cyclist/Motorist Etiquette, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

It's cyclists vs. motorists on this week's episode, and how we think both worlds can live in harmony with one another. We also give our first impressions of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and answer audience questions about good cars for college and how to properly break in a new car.

May 17, 2018
#150: Left Lane Hogs, Buick Regal TourX...Station Wagon??

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00:26 Left lane hogs

03:42 More American Drivers Want Electric Cars

07:36 Buick Regal TourX

09:58 Why car enthusiasts love wagons

13:18 Question 1: How CR awards its Recommended status to vehicles

17:08 Question 2: Plug-in Hybrid maintenance

21:00 Question 3: Lexus ES


More American Drivers Want Electric Cars, AAA Survey Says


Stop The Left-Lane Hogs


4K Review: 2016 Tesla Model S Quick Drive:


2017 Chevrolet Bolt Quick Drive:


2014 Buick Regal Review:


2018 Buick Regal TourX Preview:


2016 Cadillac CT6 Quick Drive:


2013 Nissan Pathfinder first drive:


2015 Kia Sedona Quick Drive:


2017 Toyota Prius Prime Quick Drive:


Lexus ES first drive:


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May 10, 2018
#149 Are Ford sedans REALLY disappearing? 2018 Mazda6

To borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of the Ford sedan have been greatly exaggerated! We discuss this surprising news, and how a lot of the media coverage has gotten the story wrong. We give our impressions of a borrowed Mazda6 we drove at our track. We wrap up this episode with viewer questions about swapping out your seasonal tires, low-speed AEB, and if there is any true replacement for the Mazda5 micro van.

May 03, 2018
#148 Car Loan Advice, Rising Fuel Prices, & Genesis G70

This week we welcome CR editor Keith Barry to the podcast, and discuss why fuel prices seem to always go up around summer time. We also break down some of the dangers to look out for when looking for a car loan, and tips to make the best choice for your budget. We talk about our experiences with the 2019 Genesis G70, and wrap with viewer questions about the new Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford F-150 transmission, and (hopefully) our last question about snow tires for the season!


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:26 Welcome Keith Barry


1:23 Nerd moment


1:43 Fuel prices


06:16 Car loan break down


10:49 2019 Genesis G70


14:57 Video Question 1:  Hyundai Santa Fe; Mazda CX-9; Ford Edge?


19:25 Video Question 2: Ford F-150 & 10 speed transmission smoothness


22:58 Video Question 3: All-weather tires vs studded tires 




How to Save Money at the Gas Pump:


Where to Shop for a Car Loan:

2019 Genesis G70 Quick


2018 Ford F-150 Quick Drive


2019 Toyota Avalon Quick Drive


2018 New York Auto Show: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe


4K Review: 2018 Kia Stinger Quick Drive


4K Review: 2016 Mazda CX-9 Quick Drive


2015 Ford Edge Quick Drive


2016 Kia Sorento Quick Drive


2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Chevrolet Silverado


2015 Jeep Renegade Quick Drive


2014 Jeep Cherokee first drive


4K Review: 2017 Toyota Sienna Quick Drive


4K Review: 2017 Toyota Highlander Quick Drive


New All-Weather Tires Outperform Some Snow Tires


2016 Toyota Prius Quick Drive





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Apr 26, 2018
#147 Tesla Production Issues, 2020 Ford Focus & Video Questions
Turns out the Tesla Model 3 needs humans after all. We discuss Tesla's production issues and what it means for the company's approach to automation. We received a number of video submissions this week, which leads to a discussion on the past, present, and future of the Ford Focus, as well as paddle shifters in minivans.
Apr 19, 2018
#146 Ram 1500, Jeep Cherokee; Used Car Buying Advice

Two new vehicles at the track this week, we discuss the shrinking sedan market and whether or not SUVs are taking over the auto industry, also we answer viewer questions about purchasing used cars.

Apr 13, 2018
#145: Special Visitor; Entry Level SUVs or Hatchbacks?

This week, a U.S. Senator visits our test track. We debate whether or not entry-level luxury SUVs are just hatchbacks in disguise. Plus, we answer viewer questions about road trips and Volkswagen's pickup truck concept.

Apr 05, 2018
#144: 2018 New York Auto Show

We're on the floor of the 2018 New York Auto Show for a live taping of Talking Cars! We discuss the cars that we think made an impact, the emerging trends in the auto industry and we answer questions from our live audience.

Mar 30, 2018
#143: Ford's Co-Pilot360 Safety Suite; Buick Regal Sportback Vs Kia Stinger

Ford announces an all new safety suite for 2020. We compare the newly released test results on our Buick Regal and Kia Stinger also answer viewer questions, and a special question about the Mikes.

Mar 22, 2018
#142: Volkswagen's Electric Lineup; 2018 Hyundai Accent

Volkswagen says 'auf wiedersehen' to the Beetle and announces new electric models. We also discuss our 2018 Hyundai Accent and answer viewer questions.

Mar 15, 2018
#141: Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model 3 Questions, All-New GMC Sierra

This week, we answer viewer questions about our Tesla Model 3 coverage. Some eagle-eyed members of our audience spotted our 2018 Nissan Leaf in our garage last week, so we give you our first impressions on Nissan's all-electric car. Finally, we discuss GMC's announcement of a new Sierra, and whether its swiss army knife of a tailgate will appeal to pickup buyers.

Mar 09, 2018
#140: Tesla Model 3 First Impressions

Our Tesla Model 3 is finally here at the track, and we go in-depth on our initial impressions, including build quality, how it drives, and what we think of that big center screen.

Mar 01, 2018
#139: Our 2018 Top Picks

Each year, Consumer Reports chooses the best performing vehicles of the year in a number of categories. We discuss which cars we selected as the best of the year, automaker brand rankings, and how vehicles have evolved over the last decade.

Feb 22, 2018
#138: Recurring Recalls; Lexus RX350L

The Takata airbag recall continues and Fiat Chrysler recalls nearly 40,000 vehicles. We discuss how to track manufacturer recalls to make sure your car is safe. The Lexus RX350L joins our fleet, and we seek out the best American cars for teens.

Feb 15, 2018
#137: Super Bowl Screen Time; 2018 Ford EcoSport

This week we answer your video submitted questions first! We also talk about two car commercials from the Super Bowl and discuss our newest test vehicle, the 2018 Ford EcoSport.

Feb 09, 2018
#136: Name That Safety Feature; 2018 Honda Clarity

We recap our trip to the SAE Government/Industry meeting and talk about why the names of safety features can be confusing to consumers. The Honda Clarity joins our test fleet and as always, we answer viewer questions.

Feb 01, 2018
#135: The New Jeep Wrangler & Hyundai Elantra GT; Why Are New Cars So Expensive?

It's true; we bought a new Jeep Wrangler for our test fleet. We share our first impressions and explore why people love the original SUV. We also have a new Hyundai Elantra GT at the track. Can it compete with hot-hatches like the Volkswagen GTI? Plus, we answer viewer questions and celebrate a special anniversary.

Jan 25, 2018
#134: 2018 Detroit Auto Show

Trucks take center stage at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with redesigns from RAM, Chevy and Ford. We talk about new models from Honda, Acura and Toyota and share which cars we're most looking forward to in the coming year.

Jan 17, 2018
#133: The Future is Electric

We peek into the future of cars with news from CES in Las Vegas. The Buick Regal Sportback joins our test fleet and we give our first impressions. And, we answer viewer questions on tire ratings, starting your car in the cold and brake lights.

Jan 11, 2018
#132: The Parka Podcast

Bundle up for this week's episode as we share expert advice on how to get the most out of your car in frigid temps. Two new giant SUVs make their debut at our test track and we answer viewer questions about all-weather tires and cruise control.

Jan 04, 2018
#131: The Cars Our Engineers Loved and Hated in 2017

It's our end of the year wrap up, and we discuss our most (and least) favorite cars that we tested this year at our track. We also talk about what we're most looking forward to from the auto industry in 2018.




1:01 - Mike Quincy's favorite car of 2017

3:07 - Gabe's favorite car of 2017

4:35 - Jake's favorite car of 2017

6:12 - Jen's favorite car of 2017


7:57 - Jake's least favorite car of 2017

9:55 - Gabe's least favorite car of 2017

12:00 - Mike Quincy's least favorite car of 2017

13:53 - Jen's least favorite car of 2017


15:50 - What we're looking forward to in 2018

Dec 28, 2017
#130: Owner Satisfaction Results and Affordable Luxury Cars

This week we cover Toyota's announcement on EV’s and a new Mercedes bound for the States. Owner Satisfaction results are in, and we talk about the brands and models that left drivers wanting more. Plus, viewer questions about our test fleet and more on electronic parking brakes.

Dec 21, 2017
#129: Kia's Shot in the Arm, New IIHS Crash Tests and an E-Brake Experiment

This week two all-new cars stop by Consumer Reports' test track, the Kia Stinger and Hyundai Kona. We also talk about what it takes for your car to be a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS and why some brand new vehicles may no longer hold the ranking. Plus, we answer viewer questions on older vehicles and what happens when you pull an electronic parking brake at 40 mph.

Dec 14, 2017
#128: Lamborghini's SUV, GM's Marketplace, and the Kia Rio

This week we look at in-car convenience with the new GM Marketplace, give our take on Lamborghini’s super SUV and find out why no one wants to drive our 2018 Kia Rio. We also talk about our GMC Terrain and the tough competition it faces among small SUVs and the new Buick Enclave that's been added to our test fleet. Plus, we answer a viewer question about engine trouble with the Mazda CX-9 and invite you to be a part of the show!

Dec 07, 2017
#127: 2017 LA Auto Show

Our experts are on the West Coast for the 2017 LA Auto Show, and give their first impressions on the 3-row Subaru Ascent and Lexus RX 350L, subcompact Hyundai Kona and Nissan Kicks, as well as the redesigned Jeep Wrangler and Infiniti QX50.

Dec 01, 2017
#126: Looking Ahead to an Autonomous Future

The world seems to be speeding toward a future of autonomous vehicles. But will the reality match the visions of the automakers and innovators? In this Talking Cars special, we assembled an expert panel at our annual meeting at the CR Auto Test Center to discuss the prospect of autonomous driving.

Nov 17, 2017
#125: 2018 Reliability Survey Results

Which cars are the most reliable? And which brands have the best track record for quality? We go deep into our 2018 reliability survey to discuss who's up, who's down, and a few surprises from the over 640,000 vehicles included in our data.




:50 - How we gather our reliability data

2:50 - current reliability trends

7:14 - 2018 reliability survey highlights

15:35 - Tesla Model 3 reliability announcement

Video submission link:

Oct 19, 2017
#124: 2018 Honda Accord & Tips for Dealing with Dealers

We got our hands on the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, and give our first impressions on its driving dynamics, updated infotainment system, and styling. Did you know October is a great time to find a deal on cars and trucks? We tell you why, and show you some of the big bargains out there. Finally, buying a car from a dealer can be a high pressure experience, so we share some of our tips for buying a car without all the hassle.

Oct 05, 2017
#123: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Child Seats (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Too many people still use car seats incorrectly. That's why we're talking car seats with our two experts on the subject on this edition of the podcast. You'll learn some key facts that could help you, or let you help someone you know with children.

Sep 21, 2017
#122: What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The gang is back from their summer vacations all over the globe! They discuss how the cars they saw are different from models at home. They also talk about test results on the Toyota C-HR, and a question from the audience gets us out on our track to do some myth busting.

Sep 05, 2017
#121: Teen Driving & The Best Cars for New Drivers

Teen driving takes center stage on this episode. We talk about the cars that we learned to drive in, the best new and used cars for teens and a hands-on program that educates young drivers.

Aug 16, 2017
#120: The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, Tiguan and Questions

Volkswagen takes aim at the SUV market in the U.S. with two new three-row vehicles. We also answer viewer questions about Jeeps, bikes and the Toyota Camry.

Jul 25, 2017
#119: Your Car Questions Answered

This week's episode is entirely dedicated to viewer and listener questions. We discuss heavy duty trucks, active safety equipment, used cars and more.

Jul 11, 2017
#118: Viewer Q&A and 2018 Toyota Camry

This week we dive into the comments section and answer viewer questions on winter tire traction, auto start/stop systems, our favorite muscle cars, and the family hauler potential of commercial vans like the Ford Transit Connect and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. We also give our first impressions of the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry.

Jun 21, 2017
#117: Used Car Questions & Honda Civic Si

This week we answer questions from our audience about used cars and SUVs, and give first impressions of our newly purchased 2017 Honda Civic Si.

Jun 06, 2017
#116: Used Car Marketplace

This episode is dedicated to used cars. We talk about which used cars we'd buy in three different price ranges and answer viewer questions about trucks and all-wheel drive vehicles.

May 24, 2017
#115: Sleeper Hits, Prius Prime, and the Impact of EVs

We debut a whole new look and sound for Talking Cars this week! We discuss the best cars on the market today that no one is talking about (or buying.) Fresh out of testing, we give our overall impressions of the Toyota Prius Prime, and answer a viewer question about the environmental impact of electrical vehicles.

May 09, 2017
#114: Mazda CX-5

We give our first impressions of our new Mazda CX-5 and Jeep Compass, talk about Honda's move toward alternative fuel vehicles and answer viewer questions.

Apr 25, 2017
#113: 2017 New York Auto Show

We're at the New York Auto Show, covering new offerings from Subaru and Buick, as well as an intriguing concept from Toyota, and we discuss Dodge's powerful muscle car.

Apr 14, 2017
#112: Kia Niro and BMW 5 Series

The Kia Niro and BMW 5 Series have been added to our test fleet. We talk about the Niro's potential impact on the hybrid market, discuss the BMW 5 Series' new, smaller engine and answer viewer questions.

Mar 28, 2017
#111: Toyota C-HR and Alfa Romeo Giulia

Toyota's all-new subcompact SUV the C-HR visits our test track and we share our first impressions. We also discuss our new Alfa Romeo Giulia and field viewer questions about new car buying and advanced safety systems.

Mar 15, 2017
#110: 2017 Top Picks

On this episode of Talking Cars, our experts discuss the 10 vehicles that make up our influential Top Picks list. We explain what makes a vehicle eligible for Top Pick status, and go in-depth on why they are the best in their categories.

Feb 28, 2017
#109: Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The redesigned Honda CR-V and all-new Volkswagen Golf Alltrack are two different takes on the sport utility vehicle. We also answer questions about affordable cars with advanced safety equipment and if an older BMW is a risky maintenance and reliability bet.

Feb 22, 2017
#108: Live at University of Michigan

We take the show on the road to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute to discuss autonomous vehicle technology: where we are, where we're headed, and the challenges along the way. We also take questions from our live audience!

Feb 02, 2017
#107: 2017 Detroit Auto Show

We're on the floor of the 2017 Detroit Auto Show! We discuss our first impressions of the all-new Toyota Camry and Honda Odyssey, which announcements surprised and disappointed us, and the emerging diesel trend.

Jan 11, 2017
#106: Our 2016 Favorites

In our end of the year wrap up, we discuss the cars that were our personal favorites, along with the ones we liked the least.

Dec 20, 2016
#105: Lincoln Continental and Alfa Romeo Giulia

The Lincoln Continental and Alfa Romeo Giulia both aim to redefine their respective brands. We also answer questions about fully loaded small cars, and the difference between cars that we buy and rent.

Dec 06, 2016
#104: Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza is redesigned for 2017. We discuss the car's all-new platform and new levels of refinement. We also answer questions on the Chevy Bolt, vehicle reliability, and Mazda Miata alternatives.

Nov 22, 2016
#103: Chevrolet Bolt

Turns out the first relatively affordable long-range electric car isn't from Tesla; the Chevy Bolt beats the Tesla Model 3 to market. We found the Bolt to be enjoyable and practical, but wonder if buyers will be turned off by its dowdy styling.

Nov 08, 2016
#102: 2017 New Car Reliability

Which car brands build the most - and least - reliable new cars? Which models are the most trouble-prone? What usually goes wrong with new cars? We discuss the results of Consumer Reports’ 2017 reliability survey. Exclusive reliability scores for over 300 models are available at

Oct 24, 2016
#101: Buick Cascada, SUV Questions

The Buick Cascada fills a hole in the affordable convertible marketplace, providing a well-finished open-air cruiser that isn’t special to drive. We then discuss whether SUVs will go out of style, help viewers choose among luxury and practical SUVs, and explain why the Toyota Yaris scores low.

Sep 16, 2016
#100: A Live Audience Q&A

Our 100th episode is recorded live at the track with an audience of loyal fans. We answer questions about our backgrounds, essential safety equipment, the future of fuel economy, hated test cars, best and worst parts of our jobs, the death of the manual transmission, and our fascination with "soft-touch" plastics.

Aug 24, 2016
#99: Self-Driving Cars: Image vs Reality

Cars with semi-autonomous features are becoming more common, but when does a car actually drive itself? We discuss the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90, both of which have these features. We also answer a viewer question about two Ford SUVs.

Jul 29, 2016
#98: Buick Envision and Jaguar F-Pace

Two new luxury SUVs share the spotlight: the Buick Envision and the Jaguar F-Pace. We also answer your questions about comparing the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt and whether Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is an improvement.

Jul 21, 2016
#97: Cadillac CT6, XT5, and Chevrolet Volt

The new Cadillac CT6 sedan and XT5 SUV highlight the brand's split personality. We also answer your questions about three-row SUVs, why we mention the Audi Q7 more than the Volvo XC90, and if we'll test a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Jun 28, 2016
#96: Mazda CX-9

We answer your questions about the new Mazda CX-9, the Tesla Model X, a good pickup truck choice, and a luxury SUV with serious towing capacity.

Jun 14, 2016
#95: Tesla Model X, GMC Acadia

Driving the Tesla Model X SUV feels just like a taller Model S. But many gee-whiz features reduce utility or are over-complicated, like the falcon-wing doors. GM adjusts fuel economy measurements for some SUVs and we discuss the redesigned GMC Acadia.

May 31, 2016
#94: Kia Sportage, Jaguar XF

Two new cars join the Consumer Reports test fleet, the Kia Sportage and the Jaguar XF. Both highlight the design trends of their respective manufacturers; the Kia improves on the earlier-released Hyundai Tucson, and Jaguar is rebuilding their mainstream fleet.

May 19, 2016
#93: Mitsubishi Scandal, Mini Cooper Clubman

Mitsubishi admits to incorrect fuel economy numbers, and Snapchat is criticized for having a feature that may tempt teenage drivers to speed. Chrysler recalls confusing shifters, and we discuss the Mini Clubman.

May 09, 2016
#92: Compact Trucks, Audi A4

Prompted by a viewer question, we review the compact pickup truck market and discuss our test of the updated Toyota Tacoma. We also discuss the redesigned Audi A4 and Chevrolet's new Spark and Cruze. Finally, we answer one of the most oft-asked viewer questions: what cars do we own?

Apr 19, 2016
#91: Tesla Model 3; Chrysler Pacifica

Tesla finally unveils their high-volume Model 3, but we find that plenty of unanswered questions remain. Chrysler reinvents (and renames) their Pacifica minivan, which breaks a streak of lackluster new products from the company. Finally, we answer a bunch of viewer questions about sports sedans from our New York auto show episode, discussing the Lexus IS, Jaguar XE, Audi A4, and Cadillac ATS.

Apr 06, 2016
#90: 2016 New York Auto Show

Talking Cars comes to you from the floor at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Important introductions were few and far between. Subaru brings out a new Impreza, Hyundai takes on the Prius with the Ionic, and Kia redesigns the Cadenza. Jake is impressed by the potential of a concept Genesis sports sedan, while Lincoln puts gullwing doors on a Navigator. Acura adds standard advanced safety gear to their MDX, which we applaud. Finally, Tom wants the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF, but Jake wants a real liftback.

Mar 25, 2016
#89: What Makes a Car Fun?

What exactly makes a car fun? Raphael Orlove, a writer from enthusiast car website, joins us to discuss the conventional wisdom surrounding that question. His theory: you can have fun in any car, simply by viewing it as a tool for learning and as a gateway to new experiences. We debate whether the Toyota Avalon really can be considered "fun," and we talk about our automotive regrets.

Mar 08, 2016
#88: 2016 Top Picks

It's that time again - time to unveil our annual Top Picks, the best automotive choices in 10 different categories. Consumer Reports introduces our new Overall Score, incorporating not only road test results from our track, but also reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety scoring. We discuss the changes needed to do this, and what effect it will have on scores in the future. (Hint: They'll change a lot more often.) We then run through the Top Picks, discussing why each car earned its place on our list. One car not on the list this year is the Toyota Prius, a perennial Top Pick. We discuss why the just-redesigned Prius didn't qualify to make the list yet, and reveal our first impressions of Toyota's hybrid cornerstone.

Feb 23, 2016
#87: Mid-sized Sedans: Kia Optima and Chevrolet Malibu

Even though the new default family car might be a small SUV, mid-sized sedans offer a lot for the money. We look at two redesigned entries in this mature and highly-competitive segment: the Chevrolet Malibu and Kia Optima. Proof that not all mid-sized sedans are great, we also discuss the updated Nissan Altima. Moving on, we got a lot of viewer feedback about the pros and cons of self-driving cars. Finally, as a bit of dessert to balance a rather responsible podcast, we answer a viewer question about sports cars from the last 15 years.

Feb 09, 2016
#86: Self-driving Cars; Small German SUVs

Self-driving cars have been in the news a lot recently, hot off the heels of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and the Detroit Auto Show. We discuss the latest developments in technology and policy, and how they can benefit drivers. Next we look at two new German small SUVs: the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC300. They compete in different segments, and highlight the importance of starting with a good foundation and proper tuning. We then answer viewer questions about large sports sedans and cars for teens, as well as discussing Acura's Precision Concept car from Detroit and the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

Jan 26, 2016
#85: 2016 Detroit Auto Show

Talking Cars comes to you from the floor of the 2016 International Auto Show in Detroit. Chrysler unveils the new Pacifica minivan, important to see if the company can develop clean-sheet designs after the Fiat merger. The new GMC Acadia is downsized to match mid-sized SUV competition, while the Buick Envision comes to us from China. Luxury sedans from Volvo, Genesis, Lincoln, Mercedes, and Audi fill the show floor. The stunning Buick Avista steals the show, while the Kia Telluride suggests an appealing large SUV.

Jan 13, 2016
#84: 2015: Year in Review

In what's become an annual tradition, we take a look back at the cars that stood out over the last year, both the good and the bad. But no review of 2015 would be complete without discussing the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Our testing reveals that VW themselves may have created an efficient alternative to diesels, with their new 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. Moving on, we look at the cars that most impressed us. It was a good year for SUVs, with mentions going to the Kia Sorento, Ford Edge, and Volvo XC90. We're even more in agreement about the test cars we disliked the most over the last year, including the Fiat 500X, Acura ILX, and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

Dec 29, 2015
#83: Mercedes-Benz AMG GT vs. C63 AMG

This week on the “Talking Cars with Consumer Reports” we hit the track with two spectacular Mercedes-Benz AMG models; the $140,000 AMG GT and the $80,000 C63 AMG. There's no question they're wildly different in looks, price, and practicality, but they share the same heart and intention. All of this high-powered excitement has lead us to wonder about the future of BMW. Is Mercedes-Benz considered the new "Ultimate Driving Machine”?

Dec 15, 2015
#82: New Honda Civic and Lexus RX, Owner Satisfaction

A new Honda Civic is always big news. After the misstep of the previous generation, Honda takes a big leap with this new-from-the-ground-up 10th generation. After lots of viewer inquiries, we've got Consumer Reports' first impressions. While the new Civic is a transformation, the redesigned Lexus RX sticks true to its highly successful formula, even if that's not evident at first glance. We discuss the cars that are liked least by their owners, fresh from our 2015 owner satisfaction survey. A lot hinges on meeting buyer expectations, and Nissan appears to be falling behind. Finally, we help a viewer find a safe and easy-to-drive car for his elderly mom.

Dec 01, 2015
#81: Tesla Autopilot

Jake and Tom hit the highway in our Tesla Model S P85D to discuss its Autopilot system, which can steer the car and keep it within its lane on its own. There are some advantages to the system, especially on long highway trips and in stop-and-go traffic, but this beta-level system is still working out some bugs. We also talk about the temptations posed by the technology, both for increasing distracted driving and for using it on roads where it is far from optimized. Finally, we contrast Tesla owners' willingness to purchase and try out this system, compared to the difficulty typical car buyers have in understanding the value of advanced safety systems like forward collision warning and autobraking.

Nov 16, 2015
#80: 2015 Reliability Survey Results

Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey covers more than 740,000 vehicles. The 2015 survey results are out, and we discuss the trends, highlights, and lowlights in this year's results.

Oct 20, 2015
#79: All-Wheel-Drive: What Is It Good For?

Many of the car buying questions we receive come from viewers requesting all-wheel-drive. But having four driven wheels isn't enough to ensure wintertime safety. Testing at the Consumer Reports test track found that AWD can help you get moving, but does nothing to help you corner or stop in the snow. For that, you need winter tires. We also evaluate three popular small SUVs - the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V - at our track to see how they fare in the snow, results that are also backed up by exclusive Consumer Reports survey data. Reader questions inquire about AWD sedans, Subaru manual shifters, and comparing the Mazda CX-3 and Mazda3.

Sep 29, 2015
#78: Volkswagen's Diesel Scandal

Volkswagen admits to cheating on EPA emissions testing for its TDI diesels, subjecting it to possibly billions of dollars in fines. Talking Cars digs into the issue and what it might mean for owners. If you own one of these cars, we'd love to hear how this has affected you; please visit

Sep 25, 2015
#77: So Many Questions!

Talking Cars gets lots of questions and comments; we love feedback from our loyal viewers and listeners! It's been a while since we've done a question-only episode, so we're making up for lost time. No surprise: we got lots of comments about the test results of the Tesla Model S P85D. Viewers comment on whether the Model S can be a practical only-car, the merits of home recharging, how we scored the P85D, and whether you need to be able to afford a Tesla in order to rate it. Moving on, we answer questions about sports sedans, cars for new drivers and going off to college, and replacing a well-worn Honda Odyssey minivan.

Sep 15, 2015
#76: Tesla Model S P85D: Final Test Results

It's official: the Tesla Model S P85D "broke" Consumer Reports' ratings scale. We explain why the P85D earned this distinction, and how we ultimately scored it a 100. As we discuss though, that doesn't mean the P85D is the perfect car. For starters, there's the matter of its $127,820 price tag. 

Aug 27, 2015
#75: Scionmania! New iA and iM

Scion makes a near-clean sweep of their product lineup, adding the new iA and iM. We take a look back at the genesis of Toyota's youth-oriented brand, and discuss how things didn't quite work out as expected. Although the funky xB box-on-wheels is gone, both the iA and iM prove surprisingly satsifying to drive, especially at their sub-$20,000 price tags. We also answer viewer questions about Episode #74 on tiny SUVs, including the perceived omission of the Kia Soul, Subaru XV Crosstrek, and Nissan Juke.

Aug 18, 2015
#74: The Pros and Cons of Tiny SUVs

Subcompact SUVs have become a new market niche, as automakers create SUVs to match every conceivable buyer whim and budget. We discuss what you gain - and what you give up - when you buy a super-small SUV, illustrated by our test results for the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade. This trio isn't that impressive, but we hold out hope for the promising Mazda CX-3. Moving on, we highlight Consumer Reports' research into car insurance premiums; you may be surprised by what dictates your rates. Much more information is online at Finally, we answer a viewer question, one that we hear a lot these days: how do you pick between a Subaru Outback and a Volkswagen Golf SportWagen? 

Aug 04, 2015
#73: Cars That Burn Too Much Oil

Some cars burn a lot of oil between oil changes. An extensive look through Consumer Reports' survey data highlights which engines are most likely to suffer this problem. Many German brands appear on the list, as well as Subaru. We discuss the factors behind this trend, how various automakers are responding, and what consumers can do. We then dig through the digital mailbag, answering viewer comments about choosing a sports sedan.

Jul 21, 2015
#72: Volvo XC90 & V60 Cross Country, VW Golf SportsWagen

It doesn't get more "all-new" than the Volvo XC90, as the Swedish brand redesigns their flagship SUV from the ground up. In many ways, this car is a revolution for Volvo, featuring all four-cylinder powerplants, high-tech infotainment, and a stunning interior. Two station wagons get rather different receptions from our panel. The Volvo V60 Cross Country doesn't make a convincing case, while the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen proves appealing despite quibbles over its TDI diesel engine. We then answer a reader's question about which sports sedan to purchase, only to find that giving clear advice is tougher than it seems. 

Jul 07, 2015
#71: Ford F-150 & Chevrolet Colorado Test Results

Jake and Tom talk about final test results for the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Colorado, recorded while driving around the track in our F-150 2.7-liter. While the F-150's engineering is revolutionary, the driving experience winds up being surprisingly mundane and truck-like, ultimately costing the truck points in our tests. Likewise, the Colorado finally gives the compact truck market a modern competitor, but it too has a host of flaws. How much those flaws matter to individuals winds up being a point of discussion, revolving around yet another viewer asking about buying a Mazda6. Another viewer complains about us complaining about the Mazda MX-5 Miata's seats. Finally we answer which is more enjoyable to drive: the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ or the Miata?

Jun 23, 2015
#70: Mazda MX-5 Miata and CX-3; Honda Pilot

A new Mazda MX-5 Miata doesn't come along everyday, so the new 4th generation car is big news. While so many cars grow with each redesign, the Miata fights this inevitable bloat. Jake argues that the Miata's biggest competition is the wide variety of used Miatas available at any time; Tom hopes that people keep buying new ones so he can get one used someday. Moving on, the CX-3 small SUV brings the Miata's DNA to the subcompact SUV market, a segment that really lacked a truly desirable product. Finally, the Honda Pilot finally gets redesigned for 2016. While not immune from all of Honda's recent product gaffes (like annoying audio controls,) the Pilot proves appealing at first glance.

Jun 02, 2015
#69: Ford F-150: EcoBoost vs EcoBoost

Two Ford F-150s were purchased for our test fleet, one with the familiar 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and the other with Ford's new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6. Acceleration results from our test track proved surprising. Less surprising were the fuel economy numbers from the lightweight aluminium-bodied truck; we put those into perspective. In other news, our Tesla Model S P85D suffers an early malfunction, highlighting Tesla's customer service. We then reach deep into the mailbag, answering a variety of inquiries. Vehicle collaborations that were reliable, comparing the VW GTI to the Golf R, Acura ILX hate mail, sporty small SUVs, and the forgotten Mazda CX-9 are all discussed.

May 19, 2015
#68: A Tale of Two Jeeps

Jeep sales are setting new records, driven by models like the new Renegade. These models might help Fiat-Chrysler Group’s balance sheet, but do they risk alienating traditionalists? To find out, we invited George to bring in his off-road-ready 1999 Jeep Cherokee. Other than mercilessly mocking his project Jeep’s various shortcomings, we talk about how the Renegade fits with the brand, how it matches customer expectations, and if it’s a good value or not. Next we answer some reader complaints about reliability and recommendations, particularly comparing the Jeep Cherokee and Volkswagen Golf. Finally, we look at the VW Golf R, the top-trim model of the legendary GTI hot hatch. As expected, the gang is split on the car’s appeal and value.

May 05, 2015
#67: 2016 Mazda6 and CX-5; Acura ILX

We see it all the time in the YouTube comments: questions about the Mazda6 and CX-5. Both models were updated for 2016, so Talking Cars highlights the changes. Both cars stay true to form, with sharp handling and impressive fuel economy. We discuss if Mazda was successful in reducing interior noise, long a brand shortcoming. Also updated for 2016 is the Acura ILX. Despite changes, the car doesn't reach far beyond its Honda Civic roots, making us seriously question its $30,000 price tag.

Apr 21, 2015
#66: We buy a Tesla Model S P85D!

Back in Episode #62, we asked our Talking Cars viewers if we should buy a Tesla Model S P85D, and heard a resounding "yes." Your support and interest was one reason for us to buy our most expensive test car yet. While the P85D delivers "insane" performance combined with impressive energy efficiency, that wasn't the only reason for our purchase. This latest Model S also offers Autopilot, with upcoming software updates that will make the Model S one of the first self-driving cars you can buy.

Apr 14, 2015
#65: 2015 New York Auto Show

Talking Cars hits the road, covering the 2015 New York Auto Show in an episode recorded right from the show floor. Honda surprises everyone with a 10th generation Civic. Old-school rivals Cadillac and Lincoln face-off, with the soon-to-production CT6 and the Continental concept. Lexus goes down a different road with the now-sportier RX: will it alienate previous buyers? The Chevrolet Malibu loses hundreds of pounds, yet gains four inches of needed rear seat room. While the Malibu looks way different from the previous car, it takes a much closer eye to spot the changes in the redesigned Kia Optima. The new Nissan Maxima draws on its oddly enduring brand equity. Subaru teases us with a BRZ STi while Scion outsources their iA and brings out a Corolla-based iM hatchback. Finally, the Volkswagen Golf Sportswagen Alltrack sets off a discussion about mainstream vs. enthusiast wagons.

Apr 03, 2015
#64: Tesla and the self-driving car

Other car companies promise self-driving cars, coming years in the future. Tesla just shrinked that timeframe to months, thanks to software updates to the Model S. With the technology leading legislation, this raises a bunch of questions. We discuss how the car is becoming a rolling supercomputer, how that affects vehicle design, and what this all means for driving enthusiasts. 

Mar 24, 2015
#63: Ford Edge, Lexus NX

The magic number for this episode is "two." We look at two new two-row SUVs, the Ford Edge and Lexus NX, both powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinders. While the Lexus tries to be sporty (with some success), the 2015 Edge winds up being the better "Lexus," thanks to a redesign that transforms the car. Normally Toyota does hybrids well, but the hybrid NX300h isn't as fulfilling as the turbocharged NX200t. Viewer feedback ran deep from our annual Top Picks episode, asking about the lack of a sports car pick and our small car choice. Finally, we talk about the possibility of buying a Tesla Model S P85D.

Mar 10, 2015
#62: 2015 Top Picks

Coinciding with our annual April auto issue, it's time to reveal Consumer Reports' Top Picks for 2015. Selections have to be among the top-scoring cars in their category, and must have average or better reliability according to our survey data. Two big trends emerge this year: American brands are fighting back, taking three of the ten top spots. Subaru also continues to dominate, grabbing three of the other spots. We discuss each pick, why there isn't a choice for top pickup truck this year, and look at some cars that almost made the list.

Feb 24, 2015
#61: More SUVs: Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Trax

Right now, it feels like we're buying nothing but SUVs for the Consumer Reports test fleet. The two latest additions are the Kia Sorento and Chevrolet Trax. While the Sorento is a well-finished rival to rivals like the Toyota Highlander, the Trax literally comes up short - except for its optimistic price tag. We then dive into the viewer mailbag, answering questions about wintertime testing. Finally, several viewers didn't agree with us about the Cadillac Escalade, as discussed on episode #60.

Feb 10, 2015
#60: Cadillac Escalade vs. Lincoln Navigator

They're both big, plush, and expensive: the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator join the Consumer Reports test fleet. Each scores points in this skirmish in different ways, but we can't help thinking that this segment's heyday has come and gone. We also look at the new Nissan Murano, which aims for a upscale look and feel at a price point dominated by family haulers. After complaining about the Murano's steering feel, we debate how much that matters to its buyers. Finally, we answer two viewer questions from the Detroit Auto Show: Could Buick build the Avenir concept car without stepping on Cadillac's toes? And, could brands other than Volvo overcome the reputational baggage that comes with selling Chinese-built cars in America?

Jan 27, 2015
#59: 2015 Detroit Auto Show

We cover all the news from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show floor! High-performance was a theme, whether it's supercars like the Acura NSX and Ford GT, or off-road-oriented trucks like the Ford Raptor and Ram Rebel. Diesel pickups also build up speed, with a fuel-efficient version of the Ram EcoDiesel and the new Nissan Titan XD. A revised Toyota Tacoma suggests new life in the small truck market, and Hyundai shows their Santa Cruz small truck concept. Buick has a strong show, with the stunning Avenir and the Cascada ragtop. Turns out our predictions for North American Car/Truck of the Year were half right, with the Ford F-150 taking the prize for trucks, but the VW Golf topping the Mustang among cars. We also look at new stuff from Volvo, Infiniti, and Lincoln.

Jan 15, 2015
#58: CES 2015: Latest Car Tech

Maybe CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show, but the big Las Vegas event is becoming a car show in its own right. We look at the latest technology coming from the show floor, and discuss the impact when (or if) it hits the showroom. Automated or self-driving cars stole the show, with Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz showing off their latest. Alternative fuel news includes Toyota allowing other companies to use their fuel cell patents, much like Tesla did with their electric car development. Gesture controls are all the rage, but we question how much they will really reduce driver distraction. Finally, new infotainment systems look promising. Ford dumps MyFord Touch for Sync3, and Hyundai and Volkswagen debut systems that use both Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto.

Jan 08, 2015
#57: 2014's Best and Worst

Our end-of-the-year episode highlights testers’ personal highs and lows of the year. These cars don’t necessarily bracket our formal ratings, but they stand out in our collective memory. We really like cars that balance sport and practicality, with positive votes for the Porsche Macan, BMW M235i, and Volkswagen Golf/GTI. Minority votes also went to the Range Rover, Subaru Outback, and Chevrolet SS. Cars that made our least-liked list generally promised more than they delivered. Despite its storied marque, several of us dissed the Maserati Ghibli for falling short of luxury sport car expectations. Other cars earning brickbats include the Chrysler 200, Mercedes-Benz GLA and CLA, and the Infiniti Q50. Reaching beyond 2014, some of us dug up some older-introduced cars that still bug them today.

Dec 30, 2014
#56 Kia Sedona & Toyota Sienna; What makes a car fun?

Some car buyers emphasize practicality, while others prioritize driving fun. This episode of Talking Cars spans those extremes. First off, we take a look at the updated 2015 Toyota Sienna and redesigned 2015 Kia Sedona. While we applaud the space - and child-appeasing gadgetry - of minivans, we also note that SUVs are catching up or surpassing them in fuel economy. Next, we answer two viewer questions about what makes a car really fun to drive. Great steering plays an important role, but it isn't everything. Neither is the ever-increasing size of cars, despite a viewer's passionate pleas otherwise.

Dec 17, 2014
#55 Audi Q3 vs. Mercedes-Benz GLA

Two bite-sized German luxury SUVs face off in this episode of Talking Cars. While the Audi Q3 sticks to many of the brand qualities you'd expect, the Mercedes falls short in refinement. We talk about the market situations that created these cars, and how crowded the SUV market gets around this pricepoint. Next, the super-popular Honda CR-V gets an update for 2015, including a CVT and an infuriating radio. Moving on to a Canadian-themed bunch of questions, we help a viewer pick a comfy sedan. Finally, we wrap up by comparing the Volkswagen Golf and the Mazda3.

Dec 05, 2014
#54: Dodge Challenger vs. Ford Mustang

Modern-day muscle cars dominate this episode of Talking Cars, as we discuss the new 2015 Ford Mustang and updated Dodge Challenger. The gang debates who will buy which car, but everyone agrees that the Mustang has dramatically upped its game. Next, we detail the problems suffered by the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ as determined by our reliability survey data. Another viewer takes offense to Tom's frequent mentions of interior quality. A viewer question asks us to discuss the Acura TLX, but without comparing it to a Honda Accord. We try, and mostly succeed. Finally, we suggest alternatives to a BMW X3. 

Nov 18, 2014
#53: Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Ford Expedition EL

New truck news takes over this episode of Talking Cars. Ford updates the truck-based Expedition; we discuss how the extended-length EL version compares to the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL. The Ford's high point: its new EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6. Next, we sample GM's new compact truck, the GMC Canyon and its twin Chevrolet Colorado. We're impressed overall, but buyers expecting the driving experience of a car-based crossover SUV in this truck might be disappointed. (Like Tom is.) Plenty of viewers asked questions about our reliability data. One protests factoring infotainment systems into vehicle reliability, while another asks about improving reliability in a car's later model years. We answer a question about the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ vs. the Honda Civic Si. Funny how that question helps us answer another viewer's query about a reliable coupe for under $20,000. The gang struggles - only for a bit - to choose between the Honda Accord V6 and the Acura TLX. Finally, we tease next week's episode, featuring the Dodge Challenger.

Nov 05, 2014
#52: 2014 Reliability Results: The Winners and Losers

With over one million vehicles spanning back a decade, Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey gives us plenty to talk about. Once again, most reliable brand status goes to Lexus and Toyota. For a change, some good news for GM: they're the most reliable domestic automaker. Ford rebuilds after a crop of extensive - and unreliable - redesigns. Fiat-Chrysler struggles with the problematic Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Not all Japanese brands are reliable; Mazda and Subaru do well with launching reliable cars. Nissan is in a deep slump, with the Altima proving unreliable in its second year and problems at Infiniti. Audi makes the top five most reliable brand list, but Mercedes-Benz gets drug down by the CLA and S-Class. We wrap up by looking at the latest reliability info on the Tesla Model S.

Oct 27, 2014
#51: Toyota Camry & Tesla News

Once again, Tesla makes the news, this time by adding all-wheel-drive and a high-performance version of the Model S, as well as some capabilities that verge on self-driving. More important for more people, Toyota updates the 2015 Camry, but the bulk of the changes are skin-deep. A recent AAA study suggests they're distracting, and perhaps dangerous - but we suggest there's more to the question. One possible solution might be Apple's CarPlay, and we try it out at the track. Viewer questions about our wardrobes (really) and affordable used pickups come next. Finally, we ask for help with naming our online videos.

Oct 14, 2014
#50: Fifteen Questions and a Fly

We're celebrating our 50th episode of Talking Cars! This reader-question-only episode is our way of saying "thanks" to all of our fans, and even some of our naysayers. Can our talkative bunch answer 15 questions in 15 minutes? As you'd expect, topics covered are diverse: We correct our error about automatic 4wd availability in the 2015 Ford F-150, talk Ford Mustang history, discuss the state of Nissan (and our tendency to ignore them), revisit the Subaru WRX, and seriously wonder about buying a Ram 1500 diesel for New York City.

Oct 07, 2014
#49: 2015 Ford F150

Redesigning the top-selling vehicle in America is already fraught with peril. But taking a big leap in materials and engines is another thing altogether. We discuss the new 2015 Ford F150 pickup and the impact of its aluminium body and downsized engines. Ford's EcoBoost 2.7-liter turbo V6 might be half the size of rival truck engines, but with 325 hp and 375 lbft of torque in a 5,060 pound truck, it sure doesn't feel like it. We also answer viewer questions about upscale sedans, including the Volvo S60 and Buick Regal.

Sep 29, 2014
#48: BMW i8

Most electric and plug-in hybrids have an image problem, seen as earnest transportation pods. The BMW i8 shatters that stereotype, earning attention normally reserved for Italian exotics but with a particularly modern sensibility. We talk about driving this very high-tech car. Wrapping up, we answer some critical YouTube comments about our Subaru WRX review. 

Sep 23, 2014
#47: 2015 Ford Mustang with Wayne Carini

This episode features a special car - the new 2015 Ford Mustang - and a special guest, Wayne Carini from Chasing Classic Cars. Wayne and CR's Jake Fisher talk about Mustangs through the years, how the car's evolved, and how classic cars compare to today's technology-laden wonders.

Sep 17, 2014
#46: Subaru WRX and Ram 1500 diesel

Long an enthusiast favorite, the latest Subaru WRX certainly puts down the numbers in testing at the Consumer Reports track. Whether the car is a livable daily driver, or much fun out on the open road, proves to be another issue entirely. Next we discuss the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata; everyone now knows what it looks like and that it's lighter, but not much else. Reader questions about modifying engine computers to game CR tests and our non-housebroken Ford Transit Connect are answered. Lastly, we have a new top-rated pickup truck: the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. It proves satisfying for far more than just its impressive fuel economy. 

Sep 09, 2014
#45: Ford Transit Connect and other boxes on wheels

It's a decidedly practical episode of Talking Cars, talking all about boxes on wheels. First up, a viewer question asks about the Ford Transit Connect. Consumer Reports just finished testing one, so we have plenty to say. Other viewers ask about minivans, including why they don't have diesels, and why no one ever mentions the Nissan Quest. 

Sep 02, 2014
#44: Buying a Safe Car for Teen Drivers

It's one of the most frequently-asked questions that we get at Talking Cars: what's a good car to buy for a newly-licensed teen driver? We talk about the essentials, including why electronic stability control is so important. Viewer comments also point out some common concerns, opinions, and misconceptions about good cars for teens. Finally, we discuss the role of advanced driver training and where our vehicle recommendations overlap with the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety - and where they deviate.

Aug 26, 2014
#43: Honda Fit and Porsche Macan

They both have rear hatches: that's about all that the Honda Fit and Porsche Macan share. Each occupies totally different places in the value vs. practicality scale. The Honda Fit might just be the most practical car you can buy, especially given the price. But we don't all agree on the car's refinement. At the other extreme, our Porsche Macan costs over $63,000, but proves to be a rather satisfying guilty pleasure. In between, we discuss test results for the Chevrolet Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, and GMC Yukon. A lot hinges on equipping these big SUVs with one particular option: GM's magnetic ride control.

Aug 19, 2014
#42: Tesla Model S - Mo Money, Mo Problems

Sure, the electric Tesla Model S is the top-scoring car in Consumer Reports ratings, and their owners love them. But over 15,000 miles of driving, the Model S we bought has had more than a few problems. We talk about those issues, public reaction, and what it all means. Next we discuss another electric car, the BMW i3. It's unlike any BMW you've ever seen. Bringing things back to more "normal" cars, we introduce our 2015 Subaru Outback test car. Subaru's been listening, because they fixed a lot of the shortcomings in previous Outbacks. Finally, we answer whether a first-time new car buyer should get an Outback and plan ahead for kids.

Aug 13, 2014
#41: BMW M3; Do you take a Range Rover for free?

Flogging a new F80 BMW M3 around the Consumer Reports test track proves to be a good time, but the jury's out about how much fun it is on the street. A Lexus owner complains about CR's complaints about their controls, leading to an inadvertent iPad mistake that shows the dangers of complex controls when driving, or recording a podcast. A viewer asks about buying a small crossover and if buying one from an upscale brand is worth it to him. Finally, a young viewer has the chance to get a free Range Rover for his first car.

Aug 05, 2014
#40: Lexus NX

Lexus finally jumps into the upscale small SUV fray with their new NX -- we determine that it's far more than a fancy Toyota RAV4. Moving on to viewer comments and questions, our comments on the Volkswagen GTI still bring us grief. A viewer asks how to get into the auto journalism business. Finally, we talk about the seldom-mentioned Nissan Altima.

Jul 29, 2014
#39: Into the Mailbag!

Our last episode about the Volkswagen GTI ignited some controversy, so we answer follow-up questions about this important car for enthusiasts. Older GTIs appear in the questions too, as a viewer decides whether to keep his VW or get a new 2015 Ford Mustang. Turns out he's not the only viewer interested in Ford's new pony car. Another viewer wants something good for a strict $18,000 budget, and he's helped out by his fellow YouTube commenters. Finally we make a pick between a Subaru Outback and an aging Honda Odyssey for a family road trip.

Jul 22, 2014
#38: Volkswagen Golf GTI

We're car enthusiasts here at Consumer Reports, so we got rather excited by the arrival of our new 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI test car. While it's a very nice car indeed, some of us have mixed feelings about this more mature hot hatch. Moving on to YouTube questions, we finally answer a patient viewer's question about which three-row SUV to buy. Another viewer asks about buying a truck for his 18-year old son -- our answer probably won't win many popularity points. Finally, we answer a viewer's question about a good American sedan with all-wheel-drive.

Jul 15, 2014
#37: Hyundai Sonata and Genesis

Two new Hyundais join the Consumer Reports test fleet, a Genesis luxury sedan and Sonata midsized sedan. Both make for favorable first impressions but for different reasons. We then jump into a bunch of reader questions. A lot of people commented on fuel economy, eco modes, and driving behavior, so we sort that all out. Finally, two letters ask about buying sedans for sons.

Jul 08, 2014
#36: More GM recalls, Ford's CEO retires

GM recalls keep coming, with another 6.5 million cars recalled for various problems including ignition issues. We talk about how these recalls illustrate the perils of cost-cutting, and suggest that GM stop building cars with ignition keys altogether. After just a few months on the job, GM’s CEO Mary Barra probably wishes she was in Alan Mulally’s shoes. He retired today as Ford’s CEO, stepping down as a lauded hero after basically mortgaging and saving the company. We discuss the impact this had on Ford’s products in the eight years of his tenure. Finally, taking a break from industry news, we answer a viewer question about buying a BMW 3-Series as a second family car.

Jul 01, 2014
#35: Chevrolet Corvette vs Porsche 911

Two iconic sports cars square off at the Consumer Reports test track - the Chevrolet Corvette and the Porsche 911. The engineers and technicians who did the testing talk about how each car performs at the track and they name their favorites. Since a new Corvette or 911 is out of reach for most of us, we also answer a reader question about affordable rear-wheel-drive sports cars.

Jun 24, 2014
#34: Tesla Patents and Ford Fuel Economy Numbers
Jun 14, 2014
#34: Tesla Patents and Ford Fuel Economy Numbers

Fuel efficient cars and their manufacturers are all in the news this week. Tesla announces that other car companies can use their patents, hoping to spur innovation in electric cars by mainstream manufacturers. Of course it winds up being a PR coup too. Ford's PR isn't as rosy as they announce errors in calculating fuel economy for their hybrids, leading to changes in the EPA numbers on their window stickers and goodwill payments to customers. We then answer some viewer questions about buying a good mid-sized family sedan that will go the distance, plus respond to a YouTube commenter who doesn't quite get the idea of a show called "Talking Cars."

Jun 14, 2014
#33: Mini Cooper

Two new Mini Coopers join the Consumer Reports test fleet. They might look familar on the outside but the little car gets some big changes underneath, including a three-cylinder engine. Then we answer viewer comments and questions. A viewer asks if, despite our negative comments in the last two shows, GM made any improvements in the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon. They did, but they get overshadowed. We take a crack at defining "German engineering" and Jon gets flack for saying the PT Cruiser is a bad car. Ned Flanders, Yugos, granola bars, and the awesome Chevrolet SS all finish out this episode.

May 29, 2014
#32: Worst Car Ever

It's a thorny question: what is the worst car of all time? We give our answers based on personal experience and our years of testing cars at Consumer Reports. Our viewers also chime in with their picks. Unsurprisingly, the list takes on a more modern bent with several frequently named contenders: Yugo, Pontiac Aztek, and Chevrolet Vega, to name a few. We finish up responding to viewer comments about our discussion of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon.

May 15, 2014
#31: Tahoe, Suburban, BMW coupes and Audi A3

Two big new test cars join the Consumer Reports fleet: the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. We also drive the GMC Yukon Denali XL and Cadillac Escalade. First impressions are that these big SUVs might be something of a disappointment, but there's no question that they get expensive. We then tell the conflicting tales of two BMW coupes: a 435i press car and our fabulous M235i test car. Then we discuss a BMW 2-Series competitor, the Audi A3. Finally we ask our viewers to weigh in on a question: what is the worst car of all time?

May 01, 2014
#30: 2014 New York International Auto Show

From the floor of the New York Auto Show, we discuss the big introductions. The Toyota Camry goes for style while the Hyundai Sonata gets more practical. Kia rolls out the redesigned Sedona minivan and Subaru refines the Outback. Jake and Gabe agree on a favorite car of the show, the Alfa Romeo 4C, while Tom pines after the not-done-yet new Mazda Miata.

Apr 17, 2014
#29: Toyota Highlander and SUV crash tests

Test results are in for the Toyota Highlander, both in Consumer Reports tests and crash tests done by IIHS. Some midsized SUVs did poorly in the crash test, causing them to lose their recommendation. We also talk about the new Chrysler 200 and Tom rants about Jimmy Fallon's pickup truck choice.

Apr 08, 2014
#28: The GM Recall Mess

The GM ignition switch recall mess has been front page news, including Congressional hearings. Jake Fisher and Tom Mutchler discuss the issues, including cost cutting on Chevrolet Cobalt and its siblings and why safety issues should cause prompt recalls. We also discuss what it will take for GM to repair its image.

Apr 02, 2014
#27: Models to Avoid

When you're spending your hard-earned money on a car, we think you deserve a good one - and some models are better than others. This episode focuses on those models we think you should avoid, presented by category. Don't confuse this with a list of the "worst cars." Cars like the BMW 7-Series and Ford Taurus certainly aren't among the worst cars out there, but they are bad choices within their respective market segments.

Mar 25, 2014
#26: How Many Cylinders Are Enough?

A three-cylinder Ford Fiesta and four-cylinder Chevrolet Impala question how many cylinders are enough. No question that six cylinders are enough for our great-sounding Maserati Ghibli - after all, they come from Ferrari. We then talk about the new Jeep Renegade and answer viewer comments about the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model S, Subaru Outback, and (once again) the Dodge Durango.

Mar 11, 2014
#25: 2014 Top Picks

We announce our Top Pick list for 2014 highlighting the best choices in ten different categories. Selected vehicles scored well in our extensive tests and have proven reliable and safe. This year's list has five new choices including the Tesla Model S. We also talk about cars that came close but didn't quite make the list. Moving on, we answer reader questions about picking a family car in snowy Minnesota and the best three-row hauler. Finally, we announce our new Maserati Ghibli test car.

Feb 25, 2014
#24: Jeep Cherokee and Mazda3

Long-awaited test results are finally in for the Jeep Cherokee and Mazda3. While the Cherokee is ultimately disappointing, labeled as "not done yet," the Mazda3 proves to be impressive. We also talk about the new Toyota Highlander and the most expensive test car we've ever bought, the Mercedes-Benz S550.

Feb 11, 2014
#23: A new #2: Mercedes-Benz E250

Quietly clattering its way into the second top-scoring spot in our Ratings, the Mercedes-Benz E250 BlueTec gets a awful lot right - until you get to the price. We then show off our new Chevrolet SS, which has a surprise or two up its sleeve. Two very different Subaru Imprezas are at the track - the XV Crosstrek Hybrid and the new high-performance WRX. We then answer a bunch of viewer questions about testing fancy cars and why Tom is so mean to Jon. Finally, we tackle a question that haunts the ages: which is more fun, the Ford Fiesta ST or the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S?

Jan 28, 2014
#22: 2014 Detroit Auto Show

We cover all the news from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show floor! Ford launches their new F-150, very big news indeed. Chrysler finally gets in the midsized sedan game with the new 200. Super-small luxury SUVs take over, including the Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA. Chevrolet gives the Corvette what it really needed (ha ha) - the more powerful Z06. And Honda rolls out a new Fit.

Jan 15, 2014
#21: 2013's Best and Worst

Wrapping up 2013, we each pick our favorites - and not-so-favorites - from the past year. Lots of votes go to the fiesty Ford Fiesta ST, Audi A7, and Tesla Model S. We also applaud the Hyundai Santa Fe, Cadillac ATS, Buick Regal, and Mercedes-Benz GL. On the flip side, the Fiat 500L, Mitsubishi Mirage and Scion tC come in for universal distain, while the Mercedes-Benz CLA, Lexus IS, and Buick Encore also get thumbs-down.

Dec 30, 2013
#20: Two Land Rovers and a Cadillac ELR

Things are getting fancy around the Consumer Reports test track with the addition of two Land Rovers to the test fleet: a Range Rover and a Range Rover Sport. But it turns out the Sport packs a wintertime surprise. We also try out the Cadillac ELR, which shares the Chevrolet Volt's electric drivetrain and has stunning styling - plus a stunning price. Then we get to viewer questions, including the status of testing the Mazda3, Jeep Cherokee, and Honda Accord Hybrid. We discuss whether the VW Golf TDI is a good first car. Finally, we help a viewer find a replacement for his Ford Mustang GT.

Dec 23, 2013
#19: All About Tires

This time around, we talk all about tires with Consumer Reports' tire engineers Gene Peterson and Jen Stockburger. Lots of questions get answered: What are the advantages of winter tires and summer tires? When are all-season tires "enough"? In general, who makes the best tires? How can you make tires last longer? They also discuss how Consumer Reports tests tires and our favorite tire test cars.

Dec 17, 2013
#18: Sports Cars - Fiesta ST, F-Type, Cayman, Corvette, and 911

We talk about fun cars, both cheap and crazy-expensive. First up, test results for our super-fun and affordable Ford Fiesta ST. Two impressive sports cars visit the track: the Jaguar F-Type, one of the best-sounding cars we've driven, and the Porsche Cayman, one of the best-handling cars out there. What's it like to buy a Chevrolet Corvette or a Porsche 911? We share our experiences shopping for our test cars. Finally, we talk about a four-door sedan that wants to be a sports car: our Cadillac CTS 3.6 test car.

Nov 26, 2013
#17: Infiniti Q50 vs. Lexus IS250

A shootout between two upscale Japanese sports sedans - the Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS250 - should be good times. But as we explain, it didn't turn out that way. We also take a first look at the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and the Honda Accord Hybrid. The stunning and sonorous Maserati Ghibli visits the track as does a new Jeep Cherokee. Finally, we help a viewer find a SUV to replace his aging BMW M3.

Nov 06, 2013
#16: 2013 Reliability Data: The Ups and Downs

Find out what cars are reliable - and which ones are a pain - as we discuss results from Consumer Reports 2013 Auto Reliability survey. This year's survey has some surprises, including an unexpected fourth place finisher for most-reliable brand. Learn how reliable the Tesla Model S is from responses for over 600 cars. Complicated infotainment systems bring down some brands, while others also struggle to launch reliable new models. We also discuss what all of this means to a buyer, and highlight a change in recommended models due to IIHS crash test results.

Oct 28, 2013
#15: Are orphan brands good deals?

Are orphan car brands like Pontiac and Saab good deals on the used car market? We answer that and discuss why the Volkswagen Passat doesn't feel all that "German" to drive. Then we look at the updated 2014 Volkswagen Jetta and redesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla. Other reader questions look at substitutes for the defunct Lincoln Town Car and Cadillac DTS, testing the diesel Audi A7 TDI, whether the Scion FRS and Subaru BR-Z are powerful enough for our tire test program, and how we purchase test cars.

Oct 16, 2013
#14: GM's on a roll!

Fresh on the heels of the high-scoring Chevy Impala and Silverado, we try out the redesigned Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and Cadillac CTS. Then the talk turns to more trucks: the Ford F-150 and Toyota Tundra. Find out how the updated Honda Odyssey did in Consumer Reports tests and get a preview of our upcoming Infiniti Q50 and Lexus IS test. Finally, the guys give advice to buyers shopping for a Dodge Dart and a Toyota Prius.

Oct 02, 2013
#13: All About Trucks

Consumer Reports' car experts referee the battle of two pickup trucks: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado vs. Ram 1500. But it turns out that picking the best truck for you isn't that simple. We also discuss the waning compact truck market and why alternative trucks, like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Avalanche, never gained traction. We answer a reader question about the best used heavy-duty truck, ending with a quick question about an unusual comparison: Audi A6 vs. Chevy Impala.

Sep 17, 2013
#12: Are American Cars Really Better Now? Plus - new SUVs and hatchbacks.

Have American cars turned the corner? Consumer Reports' car experts answer that question and give buying advice for readers who want to buy American. Plus discussion of the Acura MDX, Mitsubishi Outlander, Fiat 500L and Kia Soul.

Sep 04, 2013
#11: All About Hybrids. Plus, Mazda3

Consumer Reports' car experts answer questions about hybrids, including the Ford C-Max hybrid fuel economy controversy. They also discuss hybrid alternatives like diesels and efficient gasoline-powered cars. Plus a discussion of the new Mazda3.

Aug 21, 2013
#10: Fiat 500 Abarth and Ford Focus ST at the track

Consumer Reports' car experts talk about track-testing the Fiat 500 Abarth and Ford Focus ST. Joe talks about the Abarth Driving Experience. We also discuss how the Volkswagen GTI fits in and answer reader questions about large sedans, including the Honda Accord vs. Toyota Avalon, Kia Cadenza, and Chevrolet Impala.

Aug 07, 2013
#9: Impressive test results: Impala, Ram, Forte, Santa Fe

Consumer Reports' car experts chat about four recently tested cars - Chevrolet Impala, Ram 1500, Kia Forte, Hyundai Santa Fe. All did very well in our tests. Discussion continues on to the Chevrolet Spark EV and testing stick shift cars.

Jul 25, 2013
#8: More Questions and Answers

Consumer Reports' car experts answer reader questions about fuel economy labels, whether to keep a repaired car after a crash, annoying head restraints, the new Lexus IS, and testing off-road capability for SUVs.

Jul 10, 2013
#7: Tesla battery swaps, diesels, and recent test results

Consumer Reports' car experts discuss Tesla battery swapping and diesel economics. Recent test results are also featured, including the Acura RLX, Honda Crosstour, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Jaguar XF, and Buick Encore.

Jul 03, 2013
#6: The Lightning Round

Consumer Reports' car experts answer reader questions about the Scion FR-S, the RAV4 electric, Toyota trucks and more in a quick Q&A wrap-up.

Jun 04, 2013
#5: Tesla Model S

Consumer Reports car experts discuss their much-anticipated test of the Tesla Model S. Find out how well the innovative electric luxury hatchback did, along with a frank discussion of the car's pros and cons.

May 09, 2013
#4: Roadsters, Acura misses, and diesels

Consumer Reports car experts take questions about their recent road test of sporty German roadsters, Ford F-150 EcoBoost reliability, and if diesels will finally catch on.

May 07, 2013
#3: Small cars, SUVs, Minivans and more

Consumer Reports car experts take questions about small cars, SUVs, minivans and highlight recent road tests of everything from the Tesla to the Subaru Forester, Toyota Avalon, and Honda CR-V and many more.

Apr 30, 2013
#2: 2013 New York Auto Show

Automotive engineers Gabe Shenhar and Tom Mutchler share highlights from the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Shot on location, our experts name their favorites among the cars unveiled, and point to the surprises and disappointments.

Mar 29, 2013
#1: Pilot

In looking for a fresh way to connect with our readers, we wanted to experiment with a show format that would allow our automotive experts to offer direct advice in a candid, free-form way. Tapping the multimedia wizardry available through our CRTV department, we set up a multi-camera set in our main studio and piped in calls.

Auto Testing Director Jake Fisher, Senior Automotive Engineer Tom Mutchler, and Program Manager Gabe Shenhar discussed cars with the callers, answering buying questions and sharing insights in our test program.

Mar 19, 2013