Talking Cars: How Consumer Reports Picks the Best Cars of 2018

Hear the inside story on the rigorous process behind the selection of the 10 best cars, SUVs, and trucks

Main topic: The special 2018 Autos Spotlight. At center stage is the annual Top Picks list.

Our panel shares the 10 vehicles that made the list and explains that the choices are based on the combination of performance in our tests, reliability, owner satisfaction, and availability of key safety features. This year’s list includes some repeat winners, as well as some newcomers.

Learn more about the Top Picks and other stories in our 2018 Autos Spotlight.

Talking Cars Episode 139
Panelists: Gabe Shenhar, Jen Stockburger, and Jake Fisher

Consumer Reports - Dave Abrams Consumer Reports - Dave Abrams

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 and video on YouTube.

Takata and Other Recalls, episode 138
Viewer Questions, Ford EcoSport, episode 137
Decoding Car Safety Systems, episode 136
Jeep Wrangler, Hot Wheels, episode 135
Detroit Auto Show, episode 134


Jen Stockburger

I never anticipated that engineering, the auto industry, and a few hundred tire changes and child seat installations would have brought me here: director of day-to-day operations at Consumer Report's fabulous 327-acre Auto Test Center. The bonus is that the track's location in rural Connecticut leaves me close enough to home to also enjoy my children and husband while still squeezing in time for gardening, riding horses, and hunting for antiques.