Talking Cars 282: Car Reliability, and Driving the 2020 Land Rover Defender

Plus, the panel answers audience questions about vehicle underbody shields, child booster seats, and more

Main theme: Consumer Reports’ annual car reliability ratings were just released. We explain how we get our survey data, as well as how this information can affect each vehicle’s Overall Score in CR’s ratings. Knowing which 2021 model-year vehicles are predicted to be reliable, and which ones are not, is just another way that CR can help you make well-informed buying decisions.

Driven this week: 2020 Land Rover Defender

Audience Questions
• Why don’t all automakers put underbody shields on their vehicles?
• What would be a good choice to replace my 2003 Toyota Highlander?
• What are my best options for getting out of an uncomfortably expensive 48-month lease?
• As my child grows, when will it be safe to use the car’s three-point seat belt without a booster seat?

Talking Cars 282
Talking Cars panelists Jon Linkov, Mike Monticello, and Jen Stockburger.

Consumer Reports Consumer Reports

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.

We Answer Your Questions, episode 281
Subscription Fees, Chevrolet Suburban, episode 280
Winter Prep, Genesis G80, episode 279
GMC Hummer EV and At-Home Charging, episode 278
Volkswagen ID.4 Electric Car and Taos SUV, episode 277

Have a Question?

We’d love to include it in a future show. Upload your video questions to our Dropbox folder. Please send high-definition (1920x1080) MP4 video files with high-quality audio. Or send an iMessage question to our TalkingCars@icloud.com account.


Mike Monticello

After my dad gave me a ride on his Yamaha two-stroke motorcycle when I was 3, I was hooked on anything with an engine. I got a master’s in journalism as a means to an end: To drive cars and get paid for it, which led me to jobs at Road & Track and Edmunds.com. My most thrilling moment so far has been hurtling down the autobahn at a GPS-timed 217.1 mph in a Ruf Rt12. On weekends you can find me churning dirt on my mountain bike or doing car or motorcycle track days. Follow me on Twitter. (@MikeMonticello)