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Talking Cars (Video)

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

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#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. 

16mins

18 Nov 2014

Rank #1

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#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. 

18mins

9 Sep 2014

Rank #2

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#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.

21mins

30 Dec 2014

Rank #3

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

Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! From your iOS device, iMessage us at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team! We love to feature our viewers on the show, so submit video questions at https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-talking-cars/ Subscribe to Talking Cars on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Jr8wJRJyN9v8T6LC1fQQ6 SHOW NOTES ----------------------------------- 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 https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/more-american-drivers-want-electric-cars-aaa-survey-says/ Stop The Left-Lane Hogs http://www.courant.com/opinion/editorials/hc-ed-ct-needs-left-lane-law-20180101-story.html 4K Review: 2016 Tesla Model S Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9cT_mIff-Q 2017 Chevrolet Bolt Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIYG0NR42LU 2014 Buick Regal Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD3uqAl_MBY 2018 Buick Regal TourX Preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6Pni8Mo4dk 2016 Cadillac CT6 Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6dTwFJnkRU 2013 Nissan Pathfinder first drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ja8vDgiQnUI 2015 Kia Sedona Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Zkp1jAmKU 2017 Toyota Prius Prime Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQt6L1celr4 Lexus ES first drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOpsFg2H_S8 ----------------------------------- Check out http://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez Follow Us on Social: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IQ2w5q Twitter: http://bit.ly/1Yf5Fh2 Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1P37mM9 Instagram: http://bit.ly/1I49Bzo Google+: http://bit.ly/1Md3gfQ

24mins

10 May 2018

Rank #4

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#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.

21mins

29 Sep 2015

Rank #5

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#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.  ----------------------------------- Subscribe to Talking Cars on Apple Podcasts! Video version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-hq/id630839767?mt=2 Audio version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-mp3/id630831189?mt=2 Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! From your iOS device, iMessage us at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team! We love to feature our viewers on the show, so submit video questions at https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-talking-cars/ Subscribe to Talking Cars on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Jr8wJRJyN9v8T6LC1fQQ6 SHOW NOTES ----------------------------------- 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    LINKS ----------------------------------- 2018 Detroit Auto Show: 2019 Ram 1500 Remains Big and Brawny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46LLG4GsdY0 2016 Mercedes-Benz Metris Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lP9c44rWiqA 2015 Chrysler 200 Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PppcLoxShxc Night-vision Technology in Cars Protects Pedestrians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooXRzqfT44U 2015 Kia Sedona Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Zkp1jAmKU 2017 Toyota Sienna Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=165J4dCwUGU 2018 Honda Odyssey Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViCmxjDDLIM 2016 Kia Sorento Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9cvIuyLOGE 2017 Toyota Highlander Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic5Obebxcv8 2016 Honda Pilot Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhJBb143fho ----------------------------------- Check out http://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez Follow Us on Social: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IQ2w5q Twitter: http://bit.ly/1Yf5Fh2 Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1P37mM9 Instagram: http://bit.ly/1I49Bzo Google+: http://bit.ly/1Md3gfQ

27mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #6

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#201 2020 Jeep Gladiator First Impressions; RIP Mercedes' Smart Car Brand

We rented Jeep's all-new 2020 Gladiator and share our first impressions, discussing its place in the market, and if it has what it takes to succeed as a truck. Also, our experts weigh in on the Mercedes-Benz announcement discontinuing the Smart car brand of small vehicles in the US. Finally, we answer audience questions, including the high price for windshield replacement in cars with modern safety features, and why electric vehicle chargers aren't universal (or even cross-compatible.) ----------------------------------- Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! From your iOS device, iMessage us at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team! We love to feature our viewers on the show, so submit video questions at https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-talking-cars/ Subscribe to Talking Cars on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Jr8wJRJyN9v8T6LC1fQQ6 SHOW NOTES ----------------------------------- 00:25 - Mercedes’ Smart Car Announcement 05:55 - 2020 Jeep Gladiator 12:19 - Question 1: Increasing Windshield Prices Because of Modern Tech 15:55 - Question 2: Applying Aviation Licensing Rules to Cars With Autopilot 20:21 - Question 3: Why Electric Vehicle Chargers Aren’t Cross-compatible? 23:58 - Question 4: Is the 2020 Hyundai Venue a Good Car For Seniors Citizens? ----------------------------------- 2016 Smart Car ForTwo Quick Drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dkkK946Jss 2019 New York Auto Show: 2020 Hyundai Venue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg_FiOaMc0Y 2019 Detroit Auto Show: 2020 Jeep Gladiator https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RMnHRUBHOg 2018 LA Auto Show: 2020 Kia Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb_zoX4V6r8 2014 Kia Soul first drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWLSznNopCw 2019 Subaru Forester Quick Drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dymKOcVk7Iw ----------------------------------- Check out http://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez Follow Us on Social: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IQ2w5q Twitter: http://bit.ly/1Yf5Fh2 Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1P37mM9 Instagram: http://bit.ly/1I49Bzo Google+: http://bit.ly/1Md3gfQ

28mins

3 May 2019

Rank #7

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#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.

17mins

4 Sep 2013

Rank #8

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#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.

21mins

21 Aug 2013

Rank #9

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#189 The 'Myth' of AWD; Best 2 Row SUV; Mazda3: Will It Baby?

This week, it’s another all questions episode! We talk about everything from tires, crash tests, the all-wheel drive myth and the most baby-worthy car for a dad-to-be. And don't forget that you can send us your questions at TalkingCars@icloud.com! ————————————————— Subscribe to Talking Cars on Apple Podcasts! Video version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-hq/id630839767?mt=2 Audio version: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/talking-cars-mp3/id630831189?mt=2 Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! From your iOS device, iMessage us at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team! We love to feature our viewers on the show, so submit video questions at https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-talking-cars/ Subscribe to Talking Cars on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Jr8wJRJyN9v8T6LC1fQQ6 Check out http://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez Follow Us on Social: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IQ2w5q Twitter: http://bit.ly/1Yf5Fh2 Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1P37mM9 Instagram: http://bit.ly/1I49Bzo Google+: http://bit.ly/1Md3gfQ SHOW NOTES ----------------------------------- 0:42 - Video Question #1: Are trucks being used for their intended design? 2:20 - Video Question #2: Where can you get a vehicle maintenance schedule if your car doesn’t come with an owner’s manual? 4:20 - Question #3: Among two-row SUVs, is the Hyundai Santa Fe a good choice? 6:33 - Question #4: Which Subaru is best for a teenage driver’s first car? 7:58 - Question #5: Does the tire pressure on the door placard apply when you replace your vehicle’s tires? 9:00 - Question #6: Do manufacturers special tune cars that are lent to the press? 10:04 - Question #7: Does CR perpetuate the all-wheel drive myth? 12:24 - Question #8: Tires aside, what other factors affect how a vehicle performs on winter roads? 14:07 - Question #9: Will the Mazda3 or Genesis G70 baby? 16:17 - Question #10: Are trucks and SUVs in a separate category when it comes to government safety and emissions standards? 17:43 - Question #11: How will the IIHS crash test vehicles in the future? 19:00 - Question #12: How do you turn on a vehicle accessory mode when you have a push button start? 19:31 -  Question #13: Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla or Mazda3? 20:38 - Question #14: What’s the best all-weather tire for a 2018 VW Golf? LINKS ----------------------------------- 2019 Genesis G70 Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDrN5_R3Bu0 2018 LA Auto Show: 2019 Mazda3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRfZ-oO3qpM 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZYJyewVP0I 2019 Honda Passport Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hULSTAtPt_g 2019 Chevrolet Blazer Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1XFgYyH00o 2018 Subaru Crosstrek Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J005E_TMeY 2019 Subaru Forester Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dymKOcVk7Iw 2017 Subaru Impreza Quick Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bze9pGvsiY 2018 LA Auto Show: 2019 Toyota Prius AWD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uuYO8OIjl8 Do You Really Need All-Wheel Drive?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXjzYbpt9Ow AWD Showdown: Subaru Forester vs. Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-TQdIqFvZo New All-Weather Tires Outperform Some Snow Tires: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JfEcVZvQEA Essential Winter Driving Tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIWVRbr15ek

23mins

8 Feb 2019

Rank #10

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#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.

18mins

22 Feb 2018

Rank #11

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#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.

21mins

4 Jan 2018

Rank #12

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#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.

20mins

28 Jun 2016

Rank #13

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#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.

15mins

17 Sep 2014

Rank #14

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#198 2019 Mazda3 First Impressions; 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid; Is HID/LED Headlight Glare Dangerous?

New to our test fleet this week is the 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid we purchased for testing at our track. With the same hybrid system as the Prius, and built on the same platform as the well-performing Corolla Hatchback, is Toyota's new offering the best of both worlds? We also discuss IIHS' latest study on speeding's role in fatal auto accidents, and answer audience questions, including the difference between summer and all-season tires, and whether modern HID and LED headlights cause too much glare for oncoming drivers. --------------------------------- Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly! From your iOS device, iMessage us at TalkingCars@icloud.com to send a photo, video, or text directly to the Talking Cars team! We love to feature our viewers on the show, so submit video questions at https://www.consumerreports.org/cars-talking-cars/ Subscribe to Talking Cars on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4Jr8wJRJyN9v8T6LC1fQQ6 SHOW NOTES ----------------------------------- 00:56 - High Speed Limits Increase Fatal Crashes 06:11 - 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid First Impressions 11:11 - Question 1: Does Modern Technology Take Motorcycles Into Account? 14:56 - Question 2: Are Turbo Engine Less Reliable Than Non-turbo? 17:20 - Question 3: What Is The Difference Between All-season and Summer Tires? 19:37 - Question 4: Do HID/LED Headlights Cause Too Much Glare? ----------------------------------- Higher Speed Limits Led to 36,760 More Deaths, Study Shows https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/higher-speed-limits-led-to-36760-more-deaths-study-shows/ 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Quick Drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV_57znwZsA 2014 Toyota Corolla first drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu6QfFB7fDY ----------------------------------- Check out http://www.ConsumerReports.org for the latest reviews, tips, and recommendations and subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/1Nlb1Ez Follow Us on Social: Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1IQ2w5q Twitter: http://bit.ly/1Yf5Fh2 Pinterest: http://bit.ly/1P37mM9 Instagram: http://bit.ly/1I49Bzo Google+: http://bit.ly/1Md3gfQ

23mins

12 Apr 2019

Rank #15

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#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.

17mins

16 Oct 2013

Rank #16

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#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.

22mins

10 Mar 2015

Rank #17

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#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.

20mins

21 Dec 2017

Rank #18

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#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.

23mins

23 Feb 2016

Rank #19

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#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.

19mins

10 Feb 2015

Rank #20