Episodes
Published 05/27/22
This week, we drive the all-new fully-electric Rivian R1T pickup truck. We share our first impressions, discuss some of our favorite features and debate whether the R1T bridges the gap between being environmentally conscious and having truck-like utility.       ----------------------------------- 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 [email protected] to send a photo, video, or text...
Published 05/27/22
This week, we give our first impressions of the all-new GV60, the first fully-electric vehicle from Genesis. We discuss styling, driving dynamics, and interior storage-- and compare the GV60 to the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 which are built on the same platform. We also answer an audience question about the legality of driving with fog lights in everyday situations.        ----------------------------------- Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out...
Published 05/17/22
Mazda is channeling the Subaru Outback with its rugged-looking CX-50, and a focus towards outdoor enthusiasts. We share our first impressions of this small SUV, and what sets it apart from the CX-5. Also, how does Consumer Reports get to drive cars that aren't yet for sale? We explain our unique relationship with car manufacturers, and how we are able to maintain our unbiased testing standards while still getting a sneak peek at cars before you see them on the dealership lot.       ...
Published 05/13/22
What is considered an "affordable" car in today's marketplace? Is the 2023 Kia Sportage a bargain at its base price of $25,990? We discuss how much you'll get for your money, the car’s driving characteristics, controls, standard safety features, and whether the hybrid version might best the gas engine version. We recently found this to be the case with Hyundai Tucson and Hyundai Santa Fe hybrids. Also, is it a safe bet to buy the first model of a vehicle when many of its components are...
Published 05/06/22
This week we talk about Chevrolet's announcement of an electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette. We cover Corvette history, the evolution of car enthusiast culture and the future of powerful supercars that are entering the EV space. We also answer an audience question that asks how automated and electrified vehicles will affect the traditional driving experience as we know it. SHOW NOTES: 0:25 - Ford Lightning Announcement 0:43 - Electrified Chevrolet Corvette Announcement 7:30 - Question...
Published 04/29/22
This week we share our first impressions of the 2022 Kia Sorento hybrid, and discuss its driving characteristics, infotainment controls, powertrain performance, and whether the hybrid version is better than the gas-powered model. Also we talk about tire safety, and whether tread depth is a good indicator of when you need a replacement set.       ----------------------------------- Have a question for our experts? Leave a comment on this episode, or reach out to us directly!   From your...
Published 04/22/22
EVs, rugged trucks, and "futuristic nostalgia" were the big trends at the New York International Auto Show. We share our impressions on a number of vehicles, including the Subaru Solterra, Nissan Z, Ford Bronco Raptor, Nissan Ariya, Volkswagen ID. Buzz, Chevrolet Silverado EV, and Vietnamese startup Vinfast. We also discuss the focus on outdoor recreation, vehicles with throwback styling stuffed with cutting-edge tech, and something called the Toyota Tacozilla.       ...
Published 04/15/22
Do electric cars have a break-in period? Is it smarter to buy or lease an EV? And is it better to be stranded overnight in a gas vehicle, or an electric car? We answer these and other EV-related questions on this episode, including how hot summer temperatures affect an EV's driving range, what happens in an EV right before the battery dies, and what resources are available for those that want to learn more about electric vehicles before they take the plunge.       ...
Published 04/08/22
The market for new cars in 2022 is unlike anything that has come before; with lingering chip shortages, supply chain issues, and skyrocketing demand, dealers are selling vehicles for thousands (or more!) over sticker price, and many buyers don't know what to do. Since Consumer Reports purchases every car we test, we have felt the pain as well. In this episode, we recall our recent experiences buying cars for our test program, invite members of our audience to share their car buying stories,...
Published 04/01/22
The redesign of the new BMW 2 Series coupe goes more than skin (or steel) deep, as we discuss our first impressions of its ride, handling, powertrain, and what separates the coupe version of the 2 Series from the sedan option. We also consider whether the driver monitoring in Ford's BlueCruise and GM's Super Cruise active driving assistance systems can lead to tunnel vision behind the wheel, and potentially cause drivers to zone out on the highway.     ----------------------------------- ...
Published 03/25/22
BMW has launched their first all-electric SUV, the 2022 iX. We share our first impressions on this new EV's technological advancements, styling, controls, and what makes it stand out from competitors like Ford Mustang Mach-E, Tesla Model Y, and Hyundai Ioniq 5. We also discuss whether or not an EV is actually greener than a gas powered vehicle when taking into account how the electricity is generated.       ----------------------------------- Have a question for our experts? Leave a...
Published 03/18/22
The 2022 Tundra marks the first thorough redesign of Toyota’s full-sized pickup in 15 years. We rented the 1794 Edition, and share our first impressions of its handling around our test track. We also discuss the slick powertrain, upgraded cabin, multilink rear suspension with coil springs, and how it stacks up against competitors like the RAM 1500, Ford F-150, and Chevrolet Silverado. Also, with the variety of all-wheel drive systems on the market, we discuss what to consider when choosing a...
Published 03/11/22
Gas prices are surging in the United States, and could reach all-time highs in the near future. We share the best ways to improve fuel economy in your vehicle, backed by data from tests performed at our Auto Test Track.
Published 03/07/22
The EV6 is Kia's first pure all-electric vehicle, based on Kia's new Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP) that also serves as the foundation for the Hyundai Ioniq 5. We share our first impressions on how the EV6 drives, and the interesting design choices made in its interior, and how it compares to the Tesla Model Y, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and others. Limited supply and historic demand have led some car dealers to demand thousands of dollars over MSRP for new vehicles. We share our advice...
Published 03/04/22
Is there any chance of hydrogen-powered vehicles becoming mainstream in the US? Toyota still thinks there's a market for fuel cell vehicles, and with our first impression of the 2022 Mirai, we discuss how the convergence  of hydrogen infrastructure and availability will make or break the Mirai, as well as the fuel cell Hyundai Nexo. We also discuss what role LIDAR mapping plays in Ford's BlueCruise driving assistance feature in the Mustang Mach-E.        ...
Published 02/25/22
We give our first impressions of the 2022 Subaru WRX, and how this rally-inspired sedan's powertrain, styling, and handling compare to previous models. Also, we discuss the differences in driving a front-wheel versus rear-wheel drive vehicle, and why so many EVs opt for the less-common rear-wheel drive approach.   SHOW NOTES: 00:00 - Introduction 00:15 - 2022 Subaru WRX First Impressions 17:02 - Question: Why so many EVs opt for the less-common rear-wheel drive approach?   LINKS: 2022...
Published 02/18/22
It’s that time of year again! We share CR’s Top Picks for 2022. Find out which 10 vehicles we think are the best according to our tests and member survey data. This year, we categorized our Top Picks by price, ranging from under $25K to $45K and beyond. We also discuss our Brand Report Card and reveal the best brands of 2022. SHOW NOTES: 2:30 - Top Electric Vehicle 4:49 - Top Picks Under $25K 6:30 - Top Picks $25K-$35K 10:20 - Top Picks $35K-$45K 18:15 - Top Picks $45K+ 22:47 - Best...
Published 02/17/22
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer has joined our test fleet, and we share our first impressions. This large, three-row SUV has a lot to offer by way of its size, towing ability and creature comforts. We discuss its viability as a do-it-all family vehicle and debate whether the Jeep brand has enough cache to sway buyers from other popular SUVs. We also answer an audience question about the cost of EV registration fees and why they are higher than fees for gas-powered vehicles. SHOW NOTES: 0:00 - 2022...
Published 02/11/22
On this episode, we give our first impressions of the 2022 Ford Maverick. We discuss everything this small pickup has to offer; from styling, functionality, and driving impressions, to the variety of available powertrains. Find out how the Maverick stacks up among competing pickups and why Ford placed QR codes on the truck itself. Plus, we answer an audience question on buying an electric vehicle. SHOW NOTES: 0:00 - 2022 Ford Maverick First Impressions 16:49 - Question: Is it worth trading...
Published 02/04/22
On this episode, we share our test results of the Hyundai Santa Cruz. We discuss where the Santa Cruz fits among competing small pickup trucks, how well it performs ‘truck’ duties and why its construction benefits its livability. We also answer a question on vehicle reliability, and how CR calculates this score from year to year. SHOW NOTES: 0:00 - Hyundai Santa Cruz 11:08 - Question: How does CR weigh and consider reliability ratings on vehicles from year to year? LINKS: Hyundai Santa...
Published 01/21/22
Consumer Reports has tested vehicles from Tesla, GM, Subaru, Ford, and others that include autonomous driving features, with many now including driver monitoring systems to ensure those behind the wheel are paying attention to the road. CR will now award additional points to those systems that perform well in our tests. The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has also announced plans to evaluate these systems. SHOW NOTES: Driver Monitoring Systems by Ford and GM Are Only Ones to...
Published 01/20/22
This week we discuss BlueCruise technology, Ford’s new hands-free active driver assist feature available on the Mustang Mach-E. We share our experiences with the system— both on our test track and public roads— we’ll talk about how it differs from other systems like GM’s Super Cruise and Tesla’s Autopilot. We also debate how useful these systems are and how driver monitoring plays a crucial role in ensuring safety behind the wheel. Plus, we answer a question about child seats for a growing...
Published 01/14/22
On this episode, we share our test results of the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4. Find out how this all-new EV stacks up against competing models from Tesla and why we think the ID.4’s redesigned controls have more flash than function. We also answer an audience question on regenerative braking and how it works on the ID.4. SHOW NOTES: 0:00 - Volkswagen ID.4 Test results 12:46 - Question: How does regenerative braking work on the VW ID.4? LINKS: Volkswagen ID4:...
Published 01/08/22
We wrap 2021 with a roundup of our favorite, and not so favorite cars that we drove at our test track. We also discuss how the car buying market has changed over the last 12 months, share some buying advice for the future and look ahead to some vehicles we hope to buy and test in the new year.   SHOW NOTES: 1:13 - Our least favorite cars of 2021 9:08 - Our favorite cars of 2021 18:43 - The Automotive world in 2021 24:55 - Vehicle production in 2022 and beyond LINKS: First Drive:...
Published 12/31/21