Talking Cars 299: Driving the 2021 Buick Envision

Plus, we discuss the rising rate of many new-car destination charges and the accuracy of tire gauges

Main theme: This week we discuss the steep increase we’ve seen in many new-car destination charges. A recent CR investigation found that mainstream automakers have been increasing destination charges—which is the cost of transporting a vehicle from a carmaker’s U.S. factory or port of entry to its dealerships—on average at more than twice the rate of inflation since 2011. Our panel talks about the reasons that some automakers might be jacking up their fees at a considerably faster pace than others and explains why CR feels this non-negotiable fee should be included in a vehicle’s advertised base price.

Driven this week: 2021 Buick Envision

Audience questions:

  • Can you explain why there is such a wide discrepancy between CR’s Top Picks and brand report card rankings vs. J.D. Power’s ratings for certain models?
  • Which is more accurate—my CR-recommended tire-pressure gauge or my car’s TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system)?
  • Because tire performance is greatly affected by rain, air, and ground temperature, at what temperature does CR test wet braking distances?
  • Can you suggest a smallish SUV to replace my Mazda6 that can carry bicycles and kayaks? Looking to spend around $30,000.
Talking Cars 299
Talking Cars panelists Ryan Pszczolkowski, Mike Monticello, and Jake Fisher.

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.

Car Buying and Leasing, episode 298
Driving the Volkswagen ID.4, episode 297
Driving the Ford F-150 Hybrid, episode 296
Driving the Ford Bronco Sport, episode 295
Nissan Frontier, Polestar 2, episode 294

Have a Question?

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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 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)