Main theme: We rented the all-new Toyota Highlander three-row midsized SUV from the automaker. It's a perennially top-scoring model in our road tests, and is extremely popular with consumers. After spending a week with it, we discuss how it compares with the previous generation, and if we think that the redesign has enough updates to challenge the segment newcomers, including the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Subaru Ascent.

We also discussed child safety seats, after news broke of a six-week-old infant who was ejected from an SUV when it crashed, but was kept safe by the infant carrier child seat.

Audience questions:

  • Do your tests take into account manufacturers putting on different tires on a vehicle?
  • Is spending extra money on adding rustproofing to the underside of a car worth it?
  • Is it OK to use studdable tires on a car or SUV, even if I don't plan to put studs on the tires?
  • What cars would the panel buy if it wasn't for one major flaw?
Panelists: Ryan Pszczolkowski, Jon Linkov, Mike Monticello
Panelists: Ryan Pszczolkowski, Jon Linkov, Mike Monticello

As with other “Talking Cars” episodes, this one is available free through Apple Podcasts. (Subscribe to the audio or video.) You’ll also find the audio on Spotify (log-in required) and video on YouTube.

• Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Venue, episode 233
• Toyota Supra, Advance Safety Features, episode 232
• Live From California, episode 231
• Los Angeles Auto Show, episode 230
• CR’s Annual Auto Reliability Survey Results, episode 229

Have a Question?

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