Talking Cars (HQ)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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