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New test cars in our program include big GM SUVs and small German luxury cars

'Talking Cars' Episode 31 spans from big to small

Published: May 01, 2014 02:00 PM

Episode #31 of our Talking Cars with Consumer Reports video podcast discusses the flurry of new test car purchases at the Consumer Reports test track. Senior Engineers Gabe Shenhar and Tom Mutchler and Deputy Editor Jon Linkov give their first impressions.

First up are a pair of big SUVs from General Motors, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. While we bought the two Chevys, we also got a chance to drive the GMC Yukon Denali XL and Cadillac Escalade. These strong-selling SUVs are roomy and capable but they come up a bit short in driving performance and refinement, especially for their high prices.

Next we discuss two different-feeling BMW coupes with the same engine: our M235i test car and a 435i press car. One of these recaptures the verve that BMWs have traditionally been known for while the other one leaves some of us thoroughly underwhelmed. Another small German luxury car, the Audi A3, also joins our test fleet. Initial impressions are more positive for the Audi, partly thanks to its connections with the rather upscale-feeling Volkswagen Golf.

Finally we finish the show with a question for our listeners: What was the worst car ever made? Also look for Tom’s confusion over historic television shows and Jon’s concerns about getting his stripey socks dirty.

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 30: 2014 New York auto show
Talking Cars Episode 29: Midsized SUVs
Talking Cars Episode 28: GM ignition recall
Talking Cars Episode 27: Models to avoid
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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