Want to stir up an argument among car enthusiasts? Ask them what makes a car fun to drive—you're likely to get as many answers as there are voices in the discussion. On this episode of "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports," we're joined by Raphael Orlove, a writer for car enthusiast website Jalopnik.com. Raphael convincingly argues that automotive fun can be found in unexpected places.

Car enthusiasts typically have a rather narrow vision of what exactly a "fun car" is. It's typically something expensive with a lots of power, rear-wheel drive, and a manual transmission. But one of the tenets of finding joy in cars is the realization that the car—any car—is merely a tool, a conduit for the driver. Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center, talks about his racing experiences, and how people can take their everyday cars to the track during weekend events to learn driving skills and have fun. Then I expand the definition of fun to include meeting like-minded enthusiasts and taking road trips with my Airstream trailer.

We wrap up this episode by talking about regrets in the pursuit of automotive fun. Raphael mourns the demise of a Lexus ES, Jake misses his Toyota MR2 being in factory-fresh condition, and I muse about the fun cars I didn't buy thanks to misguided frugality. 

As with the other "Talking Cars," this episode on popular cars is also available free through the iTunes Store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube.

Share your comments on this show below, and let us know if you need any advice for choosing a car.

Annual Auto Issue & Top Picks, episode 88
Popular Cars and SUVs, episode 87
Self-Driving Cars, episode 86
2016 Detroit Auto Show, episode 85
2015 Automotive Year in Review, episode 84