Talking Cars Episode 10: Track time with Fiat 500 Abarth and Ford Focus ST

    Published: August 15, 2013 10:30 AM

    Episode 10 of Talking Cars with Consumer Reports targets a subject that's near and dear to our hearts: driving hot hatchbacks on the track. Director of Auto Testing Jake Fisher and Senior Engineer Tom Mutchler are joined by Auto Test Technician Joe Veselak to talk cars.

    The show starts off with Joe telling us his most- and least-favorite tests at the track and the ups and downs of his racing hobby. Then we discuss at length about the Fiat 500 Abarth, which manages to entertain despite a long list of quirks. Joe shares his adventures  attending the Abarth Track Experience, a free high-performance driving event that's included with the purchase of the car. The conversation shifts to the Ford Focus ST, another track-ready hot hatchback, and we compare it to the Volkswagen GTI.

    Returning to more practical transportation, we answer a question about choosing a loaded Honda Accord or a Toyota Avalon and briefly discuss new test results for Kia Cadenza. Finally, we talk about the reaction to our announcement of the Chevrolet Impala as Consumer Reports' top-scoring sedan. Listen for why Jake might owe Joe $10,000 and see Tom get forced—again—into being the resident grown-up among the three.

    As with the other shows, this episode is also available for free through the iTunes store. Subscribe to the video or audio. The audio is also available via SoundCloud.

    Look for another episode in two weeks. We'll answer a question about whether American cars have really gotten better, as well as discussing test results for the Acura MDX and Mitsubishi Outlander. Finally, we'll take a first look at the Fiat 500L and Kia Soul.

    Also view:
    Talking Cars Episode 9 - High-scoring Impala, Ram, and Santa Fe
    Talking Cars Episode 8 - Our auto experts get fast, furious, and technical
    Talking Cars Episode 7 - Tesla battery swap, diesels, and some disappointing test results

    Talking Cars Episode 6 - Rapid-fire reader questions
    Talking Cars Episode 5 - Life with the Tesla Model S
    Talking Cars Episode 4 - Roadsters and the latest test cars, plus answer reader questions
    Talking Cars Episode 3 - Tesla, small SUVs, and a sideways track tour
    Talking Cars Episode 2 - Highlights from the New York Auto Show
    Talking Cars Episode 1 - Car buying advice

    Tom Mutchler

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