Discussing the all-new Mini Cooper, German engineering, and GM SUVs

    And answering questions in the latest episode of "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports"

    Published: May 29, 2014 12:00 PM

    Gabe, Tom, Ryan, and Jon

    Sometimes a redesigned car is easy to spot, thanks to fresh, daring styling. Others, like the 2014 Mini Cooper, are much more subtle. "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports" Episode #33 talks about our two new Mini Cooper test cars. Even though the outside clearly screams "Mini" to the world, underneath are some significant changes including a new three-cylinder engine. Another thing that stayed the same from earlier Minis: indulging in the lengthy options list results in a hefty price tag.

    Our YouTube reader "mail bag" was plenty full, so we answer some of those questions and comments. Even though we discussed the redesigned Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon in previous episodes, a viewer asks us to clarify if GM made any real improvements here. We're happy to oblige.

    Another viewer asks us to define "German engineering," which qualifies as a cliché, slogan, or stereotype depending on your point of view. Since all four of our panelists—Gabe Shenhar, Ryan Pszczolkowski, Jon Linkov, and Tom Mutchler—have owned German cars along with testing cars for years, we feel rather qualified to answer this. Or at least try.

    Comments continue from our episode about the worst cars ever. Several viewers take offense with Jon's dislike of the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Another viewer asks some arcane trivia involving The Simpsons and the Yugo, a question that Dave Abrams, our intrepid cameraman, is all too willing to answer.

    To end the show, we celebrate a viewer who finally gets what we're going for with the Talking Cars podcast. In the process, we learn a bit too much about Tom's preferences in granola bars.

    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 32: The worst car ever
    Talking Cars Episode 31: New test cars, from big to small
    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

    Tom Mutchler

    E-mail Newsletters

    FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
    Already signed-up?
    Manage your newsletters here too.

    Cars News


    Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
    Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

    See your savings


    Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
    while you shop

    Learn more