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

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.