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Car Stuff Podcast


Whether you drive a car, need a car, or just occasionally bum a ride with friends, you’ve come to the right place. Join the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive as they break down everything that’s going on in the auto world. New-car reviews, shopping tips, driving green, electric cars, classic cars, and plenty of great guests. This is the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast.


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Whether you drive a car, need a car, or just occasionally bum a ride with friends, you’ve come to the right place. Join the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive as they break down everything that’s going on in the auto world. New-car reviews, shopping tips, driving green, electric cars, classic cars, and plenty of great guests. This is the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast.




Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai Kona, Discontinued Models

Jill and Tom are joined this week by long-time cohost Damon Bell, who is currently serving as Senior Research Editor at Jill and Tom opened the show arguing about the two-screen dashboard found in the current Infiniti QX50 compact crossover. Jill finds the systems dated, while Tom saw the value in having a single screen dedicated to navigation functions. Damon joined the conversation to help summarize the reveals seen at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Jill, who was in attendance at the event, noted that the press activity was especially light, as was media attendance. The trio covered the reveals of the freshened Cadillac CT5, Ford F-150, Jeep Gladiator, and all-new GMC Acadia. In the second segment Damon reviewed the all-new Hyundai Kona small crossover, noting that the vehicle has gotten larger on the outside, and roomier on the inside. Jill, Damon, and Tom went on to wrap up their “Dead Pool” lists created in way back August of 2021. There is some question as to who did the best job picking vehicles which were soon to be discontinued. Jill and Damon were subjected to Tom’s “Lancia or Listeria” quiz, which—big surprise—was decided by a question about gophers.


Loving the Nissan Ariya, Dealerships Embrace ChatGPT, Driving the Alfa Romeo Tonale

Jill and Tom opened the episode talking a little about the Detroit Auto Show which opens this week. The hosts will have complete coverage of the event next week. Tom complained a little about the Infiniti QX50 premium compact crossover. Though Tom generally likes the vehicle, he is annoyed that its much-promote high-tech VC-Turbo engine has not imbued the crossover with either standout power, or impressive fuel economy. Jill and Tom went on to review the 2023 Nissan Ariya compact electric crossover which both hosts basically love. Jill is annoyed that Nissan has done little to promoted the vehicle, which Tom suggests is part of the plan, and that Nissan may not yet be ready to deliver the Ariya in serious volume, and that stepped-up advertising is on hold for now. The duo welcome Ken Chester of the Tech Mobility Show in the second segment. Ken walked Tom and Jill through the adoption of ChatGPT by automotive dealers, and how the technology can be used, and misused, in that application. In the third segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Fun Car Engine” quiz. Jill and Tom wrapped up the show discussing the all-new Alfa Romeo Tonale small crossover, which Jill is driving this week.


GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate, UAW Plays Hardball, Chinese Cars Go West

Jill and Tom are both in studio this week. Jill talked a little about why she’s been away from the show, including a quick summary of the vehicles she’s recently seen and her time preparing for this year’s Rebelle Rally. Jill talked about her test drive of the 2024 GMC Denali 2500 Ultimate, a super-premium trim-level addition to the maker’s pickup-truck lineup. Tom talked briefly about the Fisker Alaska, an electric midsize pickup due for the 2025 model year. In the second segment the crew is joined by Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions. Sam walked Jill and Tom through a number of topics, including the UAW/Detroit 3 labor-contract negotiations, Chinese cars being exported to the West, and the Radnor Hunt Concours auto show running from September 8-10 in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Chevrolet or Oldsmobile” quiz in segment three.


Comeback of the Manual Transmission, All-New Lincoln Nautilus

Brendan Appel sits in for Jill this week, and discussed a pair of articles he wrote regarding the survival of the manual transmission. Brendan argues that carmakers have hastened the demise of stick shift by limiting availability and underestimating demand. Brendan notes the surprising popularity of stick shift on a number of new sporty offerings. In the second segment Brendan and Tom welcome Monica Gorgas, brand manager for the redesigned Lincoln Nautilus midsize crossover. Monica walked the hosts through the changes to the premium crossover, including Tom’s favorite: Digital Scenting. The new Nautilus goes on sale early next year. Brendan is subjected to Tom’s “Cars of 1980” quiz, including a bonus question regarding bad movies, such as Spanglish and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.


Mustang GTD, Corvette Legacy and the Future of Chevy's Sports Car

Tom and guest co-host Brendan Appel of the Sons of Speed open the show discussing the recently revealed Mustang GTD, an extreme performance version of Ford’s popular pony car. Brendan lamented the fact that, despite rumors to the contrary, the GTD is not a mid-engine car. The hosts went on to discuss an article just posted to the Consumer Guide Daily Drive Blog in which Tom attempts to correct common mispronunciations of car and car-brand names. In the second segment Tom and Brendan welcome Steve Garrett to the podcast. Steve is president of the Corvette Club of Kansas City (CCKC) and host of the popular Corvette Today podcast. Steve walked the hosts through a number of Corvette news items, including the recently introduced Z06, and the coming E-Ray hybrid ‘Vette. Steve also shared his thoughts on the rumored Corvette crossover. In the last segment, Brendan is subjected to a brutal Mercedes-Benz model quiz.


Goodbye Nissan Titan, Hello Hyundai Santa Fe, Accessorizing a Pickup Truck

This week Tim Esterdahl of Pickup Truck Plus SUV Talk subs for Tom who is still under the weather. Jill and Tim open the show by discussing the demise of the Titan, Nissan’s ill-fated and slow-selling large pickup truck. The conversation extended to the likelihood of Toyota bringing a small pickup truck to the U.S. to compete with Ford’s popular Maverick. Jill shared her thoughts on the radically redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe, which is due to arrive in showrooms next year. In the second segment Tim talked about his recent experiences modifying his own pickup. Tim has made a number of updates to his truck, most of which he installed himself. In the third segment Tim is subjected to Jill’s light-duty-truck quiz.


New Toyota Land Cruiser, Used EV Prices Plummet

Jill and guest cohost Nicole Wakelin, host of the Road Reflected podcast, opened the show talking about “sad snacks,” with Nicole arguing that most healthy and/or gluten-free treats aren’t worth the effort. Jill shared the news that industry colleague, and one-time Road America public-relations manager, Enrique Ramirez lost his battle with cancer. Enrique worked tirelessly to raise money for cancer research. The hosts went on to discuss the resurrection of the Toyota Land Cruiser, which returns soon to U.S. dealerships after a three-year hiatus. They took note of the new vehicle’s blocky design, and discussed the truck’s considerable cult following. In the second segment, Jill and Nicole are joined by Executive Analyst Karl Brauer. Karl shared research conducted by iSeeCars finding that used-electric-vehicle prices had plunged in the past year. Doe Karl think this is a good time to invest in a used EV? Listen in. Jill subjected Nicole to a “basic” car-history quiz in the last segment, including a bonus question about Italian ice. Note: Tom is taking some time off this week.


Lexus LS 500h, Corvette Crossover, and the Volvo EX30

Sitting in again for Jill is Paul Herrold of the Sons of Speed. Jill returns next week. Paul and Tom began the show correcting mistakes made last week. Both hosts were guilty of misstatements which have been begrudgingly corrected. Tom followed up on last week’s podcast, which included an interview with Don Drucker of Chicago’s famous Superdawg Drive-In. Having learned that the establishment’s tamales are meat free—and he being vegetarian—Tom sampled the tamales. Listen to his review. Paul talked about paint-protection film (PPF), and why someone might want to consider having their car treated. Paul recently had his car protected, and is a believer in the process, though it can be pricey. Tom talked briefly about the 2023 Lexus LS 500h, which he recently reviewed. Though the car is not especially space efficient, and a little difficult to get in and out of, Tom is generally a fan of the large luxury sedan. Paul and Tom welcome Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions to the show in the second segment. Sam talked about his new podcast (find the link on Car Stuff Podcast Facebook page). Sam walked the hosts through a number of topics, including the realities of a Corvette crossover, automakers developing their own charging network, and why the new Volvo EX30 electric crossover is so affordable. Paul was then subjected to Tom’s color quiz. Did Paul win? Listen in.


Driving the Maserati MC20, Car Culture and Chicago's Legendary Superdawg Drive-In

This week Paul Herrold of the Sons of Speed sits in for Jill. In the first segment, Paul shared the details of his recent trip to Italy which included a visit to the Maserati factory, and a test drive of the brand’s exotic MC20 sports car. Paul and Tom also discussed recent cuts to the price of Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck. In the second segment Paul and Tom welcomed Don Drucker, Operations Manager of Chicago’s legendary Superdawg drive-in restaurant to the Car Stuff Podcast. Don shared the institution’s history, and talked about late-night car culture. Superdawg celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. Paul is subjected to Tom’s “Which Costs More?” quiz in the final segment, and Tom talked a little about driving an affordable base-trim Jeep Grand Cherokee L.


Crash-Test Dummies, Would-Be Carjackers, and the Most American New Cars

Jill and Tom opened this week’s show quickly covering a number of topics, including Jill’s take on Toyota hybrid refinement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) potentially inadequate use of crash-test dummies, and Tom’s recent encounter with would-be carjackers. Jill also shared her take on the freshened-for-2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport midsize crossovers. In the second segment, Jill and Tom are joined by Editor-in-Chief Jennifer Newman. Jennifer shared the fundamentals of’s 2023 American Made Index. Surprises include the dearth of American-brand products near the top of the list. Jennifer noted that the country of origin of drivetrain components, such as a vehicle’s engine and transmission, can have a profound impact on a vehicle’s placement on the list. Tesla’s performance on the list was a surprise. Jennifer elected to join Jill for this week’s quiz, which focused on new-car sales during the first half of 2023.


Surprising Lexus EV, Honda’s Excellent Hybrid, Everything about the Redesigned Toyota Tacoma

Jill and Tom opened the program by discussing the show’s recognition by Feedspot as one of the must-listen-to podcasts of 2023. Tom went on to discuss how impressed he was with the 2023 Lexus RX450e, the brand’s first all-electric vehicle. Jill shared similar enthusiasm for the 2023 Honda Accord, especially in hybrid trim. The duo also spent a little time discussing industry supplier BorgWarner’s spin off of its internal-combustion unit, Phinia, which went public last week. The move, per Tom, demonstrates BorgWarner’s commitment to electrification. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcomed Sheldon Brown of Toyota to the program. Calling in from the Tacoma factory in Baja, Mexico, Sheldon shared loads of information about the redesigned midsize pickup, including intended buyer audience expectations, introduction timing, and details of the new Trailhunter off-road-ready trim level. Jill was subjected to Tom’s “Corporate Fun Facts” quiz in the third segment. After the quiz Tom talked about the likable, but somewhat pricey Ford Bronco Sport Heritage Limited, which boasts cool retro design themes.


2024 Jeep Wrangler, The Future of Internal Combustion Engines

Jill and Tom opened the show discussing an extremely sexist Mercury ad from 1967 which Tom has featured on the Consumer Guide Daily Drive blog. Jill shared her impressions of the updated-for-2024 Jeep Wrangler, which benefits from revised styling and new tech features. Jill is a big fan of the plug-in-hybrid 4Xe Wrangler variants. Tom went on to discuss the 12-speaker Bose Centerpoint audio system found in the all-new Mazda CX-90. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions. The crew discussed Sam’s recent podcast addressing the future of internal-combustion engines. Sam went on to share his take on the likelihood of various alternative-fuel sources taking hold as gas engines are phased out. Sam has a surprising take on hydrogen, and synthetic gas. In the third segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s destination-charge quiz, which includes a bonus question about Indian snack food. Tom also called the Honda Ridgline one of the most underrated vehicles currently on the market.


Driving the 2024 Mazda CX-90, Owners Ignoring Recalls, Catalytic Converter Thefts

The show opened with Tom to complaining to Jill about a woman at the donut shop individually selecting each of the 18 donuts in her order, consulting the clerk on each, and occasionally rejecting choices after they had been boxed. Pressed for time, Tom left the shop and got cannoli from a nearby European deli instead. The team would go on to discuss the all-new Mazda CX-90 midsize crossover, and its repositioning as a more-premium offering in the segment. The hosts agreed that the new ’90 is generally impressive, though Tom had a couple of complaints. Tom squeezed in a quick summary of his “Classic Car Ads: 1925 Ford Model T” blog post, which he believes includes the lowest-ever advertised price in the U.S. for a regular-production new car. Jill and Tom are joined by Patrick Olsen of Carfax in the second segment. Patrick shared news regarding a couple of pieces recently published by the Carfax editorial team, topics including the number of cars on the road in need of serious recall work, and the continued high rate of catalytic-converter theft. Links to these articles are available on the Car Stuff Podcast Facebook page, and at In the third segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s quiz on the Indian car market. Did Jill pass? Listen and find out.


Ram Gets a Small Pickup, Designing Dealerships for the Future

Paul Herrold of the Sons of Speed joined Tom this week, filling in for the traveling Jill Ciminillo. Paul and Tom covered a number of topics in the first segment, including the demise of the ultra-smooth Lexus V6, and Paul’s experience with the Hyundai Ioniq 6 electric sedan. Paul came away very impressed with the Ioniq, and took note of the vehicle’s smooth power delivery. Paul and Tom also discussed the coming Ram Rampage small truck, which is initially destined for sale only in Brazil and Argentina. Both the hosts expect that the small Ford-Maverick-sized pickup will eventually make its way to the U.S. In the second segment, Paul and Tom welcome David Piluski of RTM Engineering Consultants to the show. Dave talked about the evolution of automotive dealership design, and how carmakers are increasingly demanding common, contemporary-looking stores, though some dealers resist spending the money needed to comply with modernization programs. Dave also talked about how non-franchise makers like Tesla are setting up shops with larger service facilities, this to compensate for the smaller number of stores overall. Dave also addressed the complication of building new dealerships which will facilitate the sale and service of both gasoline-powered and electric vehicles. Dave joined Paul for the quiz, with questions about new cars in the late Seventies and Early Eighties.


Lexus Utility Onslaught, General Motors Ditches CarPlay, Ford and GM Hook Up with Tesla

Jill and Tom opened a topic-packed episode by discussing a listener’s request for more donut content. Jill later obliged with a quick take on an iced strawberry ring from a local donut shop Tom refused to name. (Long story.) Jill went on to recap the news from a Lexus event at which the all-new GX midsize SUV and TX 3-row midsize crossover were introduced. Tom shared a quick note regarding the updated 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, observing that the vehicle’s engine stop/start system is vastly improved over previous versions of the system. Jill also announced that she has been added to the Women’s World Car of the Year jury. AutoPacifc analyst Robby Degraff joined the show in the second segment. Robby explained the reasons behind General Motors’ decision to drop Apple CarPlay from future products, specifically EVs, including the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer. Robby also discussed the significance of Ford and General Motors teaming up with Tesla to provided EV owners with a more reliable and expansive fast-charging network. Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Women!” quiz, being tasked to identify the auto brands most popular with female new-car shoppers. Tom recently posted a review of the BMW X1 subcompact crossover, which he discussed briefly before wrapping up the show.


2023 Honda Accord Review, Marketing the Ram REV Electric Pickup

Jill and Tom opened the show discussing home remedies their parents and grand parents believed in. The hosts agreed that saltines and 7-Up were understood to cure almost anything. Tom noted that his dad was a firm believer in the curative power of Jägermeister. (Jill is under the weather, hence the remedy chat.) The discussion finally turned automotive, and Jill shared her thoughts on the heavily updated Honda Accord, with which she is very impressed. The new Accord features a trimmed down lineup, but more hybrid models. Jill and Tom also discussed the new Dodge Hornet compact crossover, which Jill seems to like a little more than Tom, though both agree the newest Dodge is fun to drive. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Brant Combs, Ram head of marketing, to the podcast. Brant discussed the Ram Revolution electric pickup-truck concept, which was first seen at CES in January, and the production RAM REV electric pickup. Brant talked about the RAM REV’s role in the expanding EV market place, and hinted at exciting powertrain news to come. Jill was subjected to Tom’s “1995 or 2000” quiz, after which Jill finally shared her impressions of the all-new, three-row, Toyota Grand Highlander midsize crossover.


2023 Rebelle Rally Preview (Bonus Episode)

The crew looks ahead to the women-only 2023 Rebelle Rally. Jill answers Tom's questions regarding the event, including logistics, challenges, and not showering for eight days. Jill will be participating in the event for the second time. Kudos to Hyundai for again providing Team Brute Squad (#TeamBruteSquad) with a specially upfitted Santa Cruz for the event.


Surprising Redesigned Chevrolet Trax, Automotive Subscription Services

Jill and Tom opened the show discussing the recent Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) Spring Rally, and a couple of the vehicles Jill drove at the event held annually at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Jill was most impressed by the redesigned 2024 Chevrolet Trax, which after a one-year hiatus has returned redesigned to anchor the Chevrolet lineup. Jill also spent time with the Lucid Air premium electric sedan. Jill and Tom also briefly discussed Ford’s plan for brand EV owners to access the Tesla charging network. Jill and Tom will discuss further the ramifications of this deal at a later date. In the second segment the crew welcome Jan Hansen, Vice President of Growth at FINN Automotive to the show. FINN provides vehicle “subscription” services that work something like a lease, but offer a single monthly fee for all related vehicle-operation costs, including taxes and insurance. Jan explained how a subscription might serve vehicle shoppers better than ownership or leasing. Subscriptions can be for terms as short as six months. Segment three opened with Jill being subjected to a difficult Saturn (the car brand) quiz. Afterwards Jill and Tom discussed the all-new, 3-row, Toyota Grand Highlander. Tom also talked about his latest review, a test drive of the Toyota bZ4X electric compact crossover.


Silverado EV Range, 2024 Jeep Wrangler Sneak Peek

After Tom finished complaining about his experience at Burger King earlier in the day, the hosts discussed the recently announced driving range of the coming Chevrolet Silverado EV. Jill noted that the full range—an impressive 450 miles—comes at a price. Jill and Tom went on to discuss the redesigned 2024 Toyota Tacoma, which Jill recent spent time examining, though not driving. Drive opportunities come later in the year. Jill and Tom are joined in the second segment by Jeep Senior Brand Manager Brandon Girmus. Brandon gave the crew a look ahead at the significantly updated 2024 Wrangler. The new Wrangler features a number of updates, including an all-new grille, updated cabin, and more off-road hardware. In segment three, Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Corvette, Wrangler, or Fake” color quiz. Listen in to hear if Jill wins. Also, see what Jill knows about the P.F. Chang’s dessert menu. Jill and Tom wrap up the show discussing the redesigned 2023 Lexus RX, and the passing of its ultra-refined V6 engine.


Bronco Raptor, Ranger Raptor, and the State of Automotive Electrification

Tom and guest host Brendan Appel of the Sons of Speed (Jill is traveling this week) opened the show discussing the off-road ready Ford Bronco Raptor. The hosts agreed that Raptor is pricey, and a little too wide to drive in urban environments, but found much to like about the truck. Tom and Brendan also discussed the coming 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor, the first American-market Raptor version of the midsize pickup. In the second segment the hosts are joined by Larry Nutson, Chicago Bureau Chief of The Auto Channel. Larry shared his thoughts on where the auto industry is on the path to electrification, and laid out a rough timeline for EV adoption. In the third segment Brendan was subjected to Tom’s “Maserati or Cocoa Bean” quiz. Tom also talked about the Volvo S60 Recharge, and how the S60 is a better vehicle when electrified. A review of the Volvo S60 will post at Consumer Guide later this week.