Talking Cars 320: Driving the Hyundai Santa Cruz and Nissan Frontier

We also share your “guilty pleasure” vehicle picks and explain how CR tests electric cars

Main theme: We start off this week discussing the cancellation of the New York auto show due to the pandemic. Then, as a follow-up to the popular “guilty pleasures” segment from Episode 319, we share some of the vehicles you say you love but others may shame you for. 

Driven this week: 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz and 2022 Nissan Frontier

Audience Questions

  • At what point should I throw out my 2011 Toyota 4Runner’s spare tire and get a new one?
  • Has CR created specific testing for some of the unique aspects of electric vehicles, such as range vs. efficiency or at-home charging rate vs. DC fast charging?
  • With some EVs now coming with a “skateboard” chassis design that enables better weight distribution, will this give rear-wheel-drive models comparable traction in the rain and snow to all-wheel-drive versions?
  • Why don’t you folks at CR castigate the Toyota Prius for its joystick-like electronic gear selector the way you do with so many other vehicles that have a similar setup? 
  • My wife likes the way European SUVs drive, but I find the seats in American and Japanese models to be much more agreeable with my back. Can you recommend an SUV that would make both of us happy?
Talking Cars 320
‘Talking Cars’ panelists Gabe Shenhar, Mike Monticello, and Jake Fisher.

Photo: Consumer Reports Photo: 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.

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)