It's an annual tradition for “Talking Cars with Consumer Reports” to look at the test cars that stood out and the ones that we wished we could have avoided completely.

But first, no year-in-review would be complete without talking about the biggest automotive story of the year, Volkswagen's admission of cheating on Environmental Protection Agency emissions testing with its TDI diesel engines. This scandal highlighted the challenges of making modern diesel engines clean, bringing the value of diesel engines into question.

Turns out that Volkswagen offers it own alternative to its diesels with a new 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. As Consumer Reports testing of two different Jettas revealed, this refined and efficient gasoline engine further hurts the case of diesel engines in passenger cars.

We then move on to discussing the cars that stood out over the last year, mostly from our test fleet. These aren't necessarily the highest-scoring cars in our Ratings, but rather the ones that left an impression on us.

It was a good year for SUVs, with widespread approval of the Audi Q3, Ford Edge, and Kia Sorento, while the Volvo XC90 proves somewhat divisive among our testers. There was also plenty of agreement about which test cars were let-downs, with universal disdain for the Acura ILX, Fiat 500X, and Land Rover Discovery Sport.  

As with the other "Taking Cars," this episode is also available free through the iTunes Store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube.

Share your comments on this show below, and let us know if you need any advice for choosing a car.