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Our experts discuss the best and worst cars of 2013

Talking Cars Episode 21: New Year’s party

Published: December 30, 2013 12:00 PM

Ford Fiesta ST

Just in time for New Year’s, our auto testing staff takes a look back at their favorites—and not-so-favorites—from 2013. It’s a very personal look at the cars that got our attention, good and bad, over the previous year.

With surprising agreement, applause goes to the Ford Fiesta ST, an inexpensive pocket rocket that takes our Senior Engineer Gabe Shenhar back to his glorious Volkswagen GTI-owning days of yore. Plenty of votes also go the efficient-and-sexy Audi A7 TDI, with debate ensuing over that car’s merits vs. the Tesla Model S. Compliments also go to the Buick Regal, Cadillac ATS, and Hyundai Santa Fe three-row SUV.

On the miss side, plenty of bricks get thrown at the quirky Fiat 500L. Sporty looks don’t keep the Scion tC from being criticized for its mundane handling, poorly-calibrated transmission, and poor visibility. Acura’s RLX flagship sedan misses for being a poor luxury car value. Despite plenty of angry YouTube comments to the contrary, we repeat our dislike of the Mercedes-Benz CLA and Lexus IS 250. Finally, the Buick Encore gets mentioned as a good idea that needs better execution—and better proportions.

Episode 22 of "Talking Cars" will be coming from the floor of the Detroit auto show, where we’ll give you Consumer Reports’ take on all of the new cars shown there.

Tune in to the show with the video above, or the links below.

As with the other shows, this episode is also available free through the iTunes store. Subscribe to the video or audio. The audio is also available via SoundCloud.

Also view:
Talking Cars Episode 20: Fancy cars
Talking Cars Episode 19: Tire talk
Talking Cars Episode 18: Sports cars
Talking Cars Episode 17 - Infiniti Q50 vs Lexus IS 250

Talking Cars Episode 16 - Car reliability
Talking Cars Episode 15 - Toyota Corolla
Talking Cars Episode 14 - GM is on a roll
Talking Cars Episode 13 - Chevrolet Silverado vs. Ram 1500
Talking Cars Episode 12 - Have American cars really gotten better?
Talking Cars Episode 11 - Ford C-Max, Mazda3, and other fuel-efficient cars
Talking Cars Episode 10 - Track time with Fiat 500 Abarth and Ford Focus ST

Tom Mutchler

   

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