Talking Cars (HQ)

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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E21_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E20_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E19_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E18_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E17_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E16_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E15_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E14_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E13_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E12_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E11_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E10_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E09_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E08_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E07_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E06_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E05_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E04_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E03_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E02_NYAS_HQ.mp4
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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.

Direct download: Talking_Cars_S01E01_Pilot_HQ.mp4
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