Are the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator still relevant?

    Talking Cars podcast discusses big, truck-based luxury SUVs

    Published: January 27, 2015 01:15 PM

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    George, Tom, and Gabe.

    Big, brash, and burly, the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator revel in lower gas prices. The near-simultaneous arrival of both in our test fleet has polarized opinions among our staff, which we dive into on the latest episode of "Talking Cars with Consumer Reports."

    Despite a thick layer of luxury, each can still earn their keep. Most of the soccer team fits inside, they can yank around a big trailer, and you won't lose them in a parking lot. But for all of their charms, these big truck-based SUVs seem a bit antiquated next to the German luxury competition. They also can cost a lot of money, with our Escalade nearly hitting $90,000.

    Next up, we chat about our new Nissan Murano test car. The third-generation two-row crossover eschews the mommy-mobile nature of most similarly-priced SUVs. Instead, it aims for a more upscale feel and look, inside and out. Early gripes focus on the steering feel, which sparks a debate over how much that matters for buyers in this class.

    Finally, we answer two viewer questions from our Detroit auto show episode. (See our complete 2015 Detroit auto show coverage, with more than 30 cars.) One asks how the Buick Avenir would fit into the brand's lineup, yet remain beneath Cadillac in GM's pecking order. The second notes the importance of the Volvo S60 Inscription and asks if other brands could overcome the reputational hurdle posed by selling Chinese-built cars in the United States

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