Latest Talking Cars podcast highlights models to avoid by category

    Our experts say to take your hard-earned money and buy something better

    Published: March 25, 2014 12:00 PM

    Chevrolet Spark

    When you're spending your hard-earned money on a new car, we don't think you should settle for second-rate. That's why we highlighted "Models to Avoid" by vehicle category in our redesigned annual April autos issue. Consumer Reports' Auto Test director, Jake Fisher, the deputy editor Jon Linkov, and the senior engineer Tom Mutchler go through this list in episode #27 of our podcast, "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports."

    Some media outlets seized on this list without really reading the fine print, recasting it as our list of the "worst cars" you can buy. As emphasized several times during the show, that's not the case. For example, no one is saying that the BMW 7-Series is one of the worst cars you can buy. But if you're about to buy a $100,000 luxury sedan, you can do so much better–hence it's a model to avoid.

    Several cars on the list–Lexus IS, Mitsubishi Outlander, Acura RLX, Fiat 500L–have been discussed at length on earlier episodes. Other cars such as the Ford Taurus and Edge and the Nissan Armada, are long-in-tooth models that weren't really competitive in the first place, and they haven't improved with time. We also explain why supposedly inexpensive minicars such as the Smart ForTwo, Scion iQ, and Chevrolet Spark aren't really such a great deal.

    As with the other reports, this episode is also available free through the iTunes store. Subscribe to the video or audio. You'll also find the video on YouTube and the audio via SoundCloud.

    Also view:
    Talking Cars Episode 26: Benefits of fewer cylinders
    Talking Cars Episode 25: 2014 Top Picks
    Talking Cars Episode 24: Jeep Cherokee & Mazda3
    Talking Cars Episode 23: Mercedes and cars we love
    Talking Cars Episode 22: 2014 Detroit auto show
    Talking Cars Episode 21: Best and worst of 2013

    —Tom Mutchler

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