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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.




Thoughts on the Cybertruck, Bargain EVs, Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review, Fun Model Names

Jill and Tom are both in-studio today. Tom opened the podcast by thanking the producers of the Chicago Auto Show for their special efforts to make the event accessible to Tom and his bum knee. Tom shared his thoughts on the show, including several vehicles on display, among them the Tesla Cyber Truck, the Cadillac Escalade IQ, and the GMC Hummer. Jill and Tom also discussed recently announced pricing for a pair of coming EVs, the Chevrolet Equinox EV, and the Fiat 500E. The hosts then turned their attention to the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 5 small crossover Tom recently reviewed. You can read Tom’s review by clicking here. No guest this week as Jill and Tom shared their thoughts on some of the best car model names of all time. Tom’s list includes such classics as Toronado and El Dorado, while Jill vented regarding her dislike of alphanumeric car names. In the final segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s crafty “3 or 4” quiz, which concludes with a bonus question about Korean corn dogs.


Ionna Saves Public Charging, Best of the Chicago Auto Show, The Future of Jeep

Packed episode today. Jill and Tom began with a brief Chicago Auto Show recap, news regarding Ionna—the multi-carmaker charging network created in response to the failure of public-charging companies including Electrify America—and Electrify America’s new indoor charging facility in San Francisco. Jill also reviewed the 2024 Lexus GX 550, the replacement for one of Tom’s favorite vehicles, the long-running Lexus GX 460. In the second segment the hosts welcomed to the show Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions. Same addressed the recent Stellantis/Renault merger rumor, and looked at the near- and mid-term future of the storied Jeep brand. Big changes coming for the off-road marque, including two electric vehicles for the U.S. In the third segment, Jill is subjected to Tom’s diabolical “Is it a Chrysler” quiz. Did Jill’s wining streak come to an end this week? Listen in to find out. Also, big thanks to Morkes Chocolate in Palatine, Illinois, for supplying today’s Fat Tuesday paczki.


2024 Consumer Guide Best Buys

No guest this week as Jill and Tom run down the complete list of 2024 Consumer Guide Best Buy picks. The list includes 41 vehicles in 17 different categories. If you're thinking about buying a new car in the near future, this week's show is a must-listen-to episode. You can check out the entire 2024 Consumer Guide Best Buy list by clicking here.


Chicago Auto Show Preview, Tesla Predictions, Best Cars for the Money

Jill and Tom opened the show talking about the all-new Lexus GX 550 luxury midsize SUV arriving in showrooms later this year. Also in the first segment the hosts welcome Jennifer Morand of the Chicago Auto Show. Jennifer gave an update on the Chicago Show, which opens February 10th. Tom wrapped up the segment sharing his Tesla predictions for 2024. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome John Vincent of U.S. News and World Report. John walked the hosts through the outlet’s “2024 Best Cars for the Money” list. It’s noteworthy that three brands dominated the 11-vehicle list. In the last segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Was it ever…” fake-model quiz. Did Jill win again? After the quiz Jill shared her thoughts on new-car-feature subscription fees. Per Jill, while many of the features in question are currently available at no cost to owners, use will eventually be subject to monthly charges. And, interestingly, in many cases auto makers have not yet set pricing for said features.


Cadillac Lyriq Review, Top Auto Innovations, Chevrolet Trailblazer

Jill and Tom opened the show by welcoming new listeners. The last few episodes of the Car Stuff Podcast have been very popular. Tom expressed his disappointment that Jill had selected such a boring donut for today’s episode. The hosts had stopped by Morkes Chocolate in Palatine, IL, together for donuts prior to the show. Tom discussed briefly his early but favorable impressions of the Chevrolet Trailblazer RS he is currently evaluating. Jill and Tom then reviewed Cadillac’s first EV, the Cadillac Lyriq each had extended time with. Tom noted having “one and a half” issues with the car, but both hosts were generally very impressed. Listen in for the full review, including driving-range findings. In the second segment the hosts welcomed Stanley Horaczek of Popular Science to the show. Stanley walked the hosts through the site’s new Top 5 Auto Trends for 2024 list. Jill is subjected to Tom’s conceptually flawed “NOVAS” quiz in the third segment. Did Jill score on the Billy Joel bonus question? The hosts wrapped up the show talking about the placement of some EV charging stations in poorly lit locations.


F-150 Tremor, Detroit Auto Show Moves Again, How EV Charging Station Locations are Chosen

Jill is in studio this week. Jill opened the show sharing some sad news. Her father died over the holiday break. You can read Jill’s tribute to her dad by clicking on the link in this week’s podcast update post on the Car Stuff Podcast Facebook Page. Tom, who is driving a Cummins-diesel-powered Ram pickup this week, noted that he had forgotten about how diesel engines require some glow-plug warm-up time before starting in cold weather. Note that as the show was recorded, it was -12 degrees outside the TalkZone studio in Palatine, Illinois. The conversation turned to the Detroit Auto Show, which is returning to January for 2025. This after a three-year hiatus from that timeslot, and missing 2020 due to COVID-19. Jill shared her impressions of the 2024 Ford F-150 Tremor, a new trim level designed for off-road use. Jill spent considerable time behind the wheel of the truck, driving it from Chicago to Indianapolis during the holidays. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Jim Hurless, Global Real Estate Leader for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure at CBRE. Jim shared some fascinating insights as to how EV charging station locations are determined, how much it costs to install an EV charger, and what CBRE is doing about charger reliability. Great conversation. Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Which Sold Better in 2023” quiz in the third segment. Jill also ruined Tom’s round of guessing as to what a company called ZeroMold might do. Tom’s guesses were better than the truth.


Stellantis Pulls Out of Auto Shows, Misleading DriveTime Ads, Genesis Brand Deep Dive

Guest host Brendan Appel of the Sons of Speed and Tom opened the show talking about a couple of new “The Lap” videos now posted on The hosts then chatted briefly about the 2024 North American Car of the Year winners, which were revealed last week. Tom shared his concerns regarding misleading commercials being run by online used-car marketer DriveTime. Tom is specifically concerned about the company’s assertion that users are able to negotiate the price of the vehicle they purchasing, which is not the case. Also addressed was the news that Stellantis has opted to pull out of a number of 2024 auto shows, including CES and Chicago. Brendan and Tom went on to briefly share their impressions of the Genesis GV70 Electrified compact crossover. In the second segment the hosts welcome Genesis Manger of PR and Communications Jarred Pellat to the show. Jarred talked about the emergence of Genesis as a luxury brand, its success as an alternative premium-vehicle offering, and the brand’s accessibility to women. Jarred also addressed the brand’s EV plans moving forward. In the final segment Brendan is subjected to Tom’s horsepower quiz, which included a bonus question about Twinkies. Tom wrapped up the show with a quick review of the ride and handling balance found on his current test car, the 2024 BMW X5 M60i. Jill is spending time with her family this week, and returns next episode.


Car of the Year Finalists, Best Cars of 2023, Surviving Very Long Drives

Jill and Tom opened the show by discussing the North American Car of the Year finalists, including the last-minute substitution of the Hyundai Kona for the Volvo EX30 in the Utility category. Listen in to find out why the switch. The hosts went on to list their favorite test vehicles of 2023, and their least favorite. There are a few surprises on the lists. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Colorado State University master’s degree student Harper Appel to the show. Harper regularly makes the 1000-mile journey from Fort Collins, Colorado, to Palatine Illinois. Harper shares a few tips on surviving a 15-hour drive, and shares her picks for the best places to stop for gas and snacks. Note: The conversation includes an extended chat regarding Casey’s exclusive Mountain Dew varieties, and the chain's self-branded snacks. Harper joins Jill for this week’s quiz. Topic: Rolls-Royce Color or Cheese. The hosts wrapped up the podcast by chatting with Harper regarding her work at the Animal Friends Alliance shelter in Fort Collins.


Big Recalls, Ford F-350 King Ranch, Recapping the Biggest Stories of 2023

Jill and Tom opened this holiday episode of the podcast by discussing how the residents of Skokie, Illinois, mount huge light-up menorahs on the roofs of their cars in celebration of Hanukkah. Tom vowed to do the same next season. The hosts went on to discuss a massive Honda/Acura recall, and the echoes of the giant Takata airbag recall which still haunts the industry. Jill shared her thoughts about the massive—and massively expensive—Ford F-350 King Ranch pickup truck she recently evaluated. The review included a conversation regarding the benefits of opting for the single-rear wheel (SRW) option. In the second segment, Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions joins Jill and Tom to review the most noteworthy stories of the year. Sam recalled the UAW strike, slowing EV demand growth, growing vehicle inventories, and strong car sales. We also learned that Sam once owned a Merkur XR4Ti. In the last segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Station Wagon or Omaha Suburb” quiz, which was followed by a brief discussion of Jill’s favorite test-vehicles of 2023.


Favorite Electric Pickups, 2024 Subaru Impreza RS, Cadillac’s EV Future

Tom opened the show with a correction, this regarding the history and current ownership of European car brand Vauxhall covered last week. The hosts went on to discuss a completely unscientific poll Tom conducted on Twitter regarding electric pickup trucks. Twitter users were asked to pick their favorite EV pickup from this list: Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer, Ford F-150 Lightning, and Rivian R1T. Listen in for the surprising results. Jill shared her thoughts on the 2024 Subaru Impreza RS, which both hosts agree is fun to drive and represents great dollar value. What didn’t they like? Listen in. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcomed Cadillac Director of Marketing Tony Johnson. Tony shared Cadillac’s near- and midterm electrification plans, and shared rollout plans for the coming Lyric, Celestiq, Escalade IQ, Vistiq, and Optiq. Tony also explained the origins of Caddy’s new “IQ” model-naming scheme, and described the ordering process for the limited-production “one-of-one” ultra-luxury Celestiq sedan. In the final segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Women” quiz, which featured questions regarding the brands women most often choose when purchasing a new vehicle. Quiz questions based on a recent S&P Global report.


Volvo and Starbucks Charging Network, Most Reliable Vehicles of 2023

Jill and Tom are both in studio today for another topic-packed show. Tom opened the episode acknowledging the installation of the first EV charging station under the provisions of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Act, signed into law in 2021. The first unit went live at a Flying J gas station in Ohio earlier this week. Jill and Tom went on to discuss Jill’s evaluation of a Starbucks Coffee/Volvo joint effort. This past week Jill drove electric Volvo vehicles from Denver, Colorado to Seattle, Washington, charging the cars only at Starbucks locations along the way equipped with high-speed Volvo-sponsored chargers. Listen in for more on this unique cooperative exercise—and what Jill ordered to drink at each stop. In the second segment Jill and Tom are joined by Consumer Report’s Steven Elek. Steven gave the hosts the lowdown on the organization’s latest Auto Reliability Study. Steven shared insights into how and why electric vehicles are proving problematic for some owners, and walked Jill and Tom through top-ten list of most-reliable car brands. The list includes a few surprises. In the final segment, Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Car Sales in Europe” quiz, capped by a Kikkoman soy-sauce bonus question. Because Jill has not yet listened to last week’s episode, Tom explained to her why he was looking to shoot a water buffalo.


EVgo Failure, Jeep Drops Model, Ram's Plug-in 1500 Ramcharger

Sons of Speed Publisher Paul Herrold sits in for Jill this week. Paul and Tom opened the show talking about the discontinued Fiat 500X and related Jeep Renegade small crossovers. Tom asked Paul if he thought Jeep’s recent sales decline came—at least in part—as a result of the brand’s small, too-conventional crossovers, such as the Renegade, Compass, and Cherokee. Paul talked about four new Sons of Speed videos available for viewing at The videos feature lap time at Road America race track, and include the Toyota GR Corolla, Volkswagen GTI, BMW M2, and Toyota Supra. Following up on Jill’s EV charging issues from a week earlier, Tom shared a tale of similar frustration, including broken Evgo charging units—which were listed as operational on the provider’s app—and Electrify America’s over-hyped “Super Fast” charging. In the second segment Paul and Tom welcome Ram Communications Manager Trevor Dorchies to the show. Trevor updated the hosts on product in the Ram pipeline, including the redesigned 1500 pickup, the RAM REV electric pickup, and the extended-range plug-in-hybrid Ram Ramcharger. Also discussed is the new, ultra-luxury Ram 1500 Tungsten. In the last segment Paul is subjected to Tom’s “Best Mileage” quiz, which includes a surprising Burger King bonus question. The hosts wrapped up the show by discussing why Tom’s test vehicle, the 2024 Toyota Sequoia TRD Pro, makes Tom want to shoot a water buffalo.


Public Charging Disaster, Hyundai and Amazon Deal

Jill and Tom opened the show discussing the best things they ate Thanksgiving Day. After a shoutout to a regular listener who would like the Car Stuff Podcast back on broadcast radio, the hosts turned their attention to Jill’s holiday-week experience attempting to travel to and from Chicago and Indianapolis in an electric vehicle. While the car performed well, Jill lamented the lack of charging opportunities along that route, and was frustrated by the long wait to charge at the single level-3 public charger along the way. In the second segment, the hosts welcome Ed Kim, president of AutoPacfic, to the program. Ed weighed in on the recently announced Hyundai/ deal, by which customers will soon be able to order their Hyundai vehicles on the Amazon website. Ed also cleared up some misconceptions about the growing EV supplies, and Tesla’s recent price cuts. In the third segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Cyber Monday Auto Gifts” quiz. Jill also shared her impressions of the recently redesigned Toyota Prius Limited AWD.


North American Car of the Year Finalists, Los Angeles Auto Show Recap, Donating Your Car to Charity

Jill and Tom crammed a lot into this episode of the Car Stuff Podcast. Tom noted that he’s eating better because his grad-school daughter is home this week. Jill and Tom also discussed Jill’s lack of interest in corn-based Thanksgiving dishes. Jill ran down this year’s North American Car of the Year finalists in the Car, Truck, and Utility categories. The hosts also answered a listener question about compact crossovers. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Colin Weatherwax of Cars for Kids ( to the program. Colin walked the hosts through the auto-donation process, and talked about the benefits of donating a vehicle to charity. Colin noted that motorcycles and boats can also be donated. Note: There is still time to make a donation this year. Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Plymouth or Pennsylvania” quiz in the third segment, which features a Martha Stewart-related Thanksgiving bonus question. Jill and Tom wrapped up the show up by discussing the hybrid-only 2025 Toyota Camry, and Tom’s review of the 2023 Toyota Crown.


Favorite Automotive Tech Features, Mustang Dark Horse, Dealership Hacking Risks

Jill and Tom opened the show examining Jill’s irrational dislike of filled donuts—even jelly filled. Tom stayed off topic for a moment, noting that Google was placing surprisingly racy ads on the Consumer Guide website, including one ad for something called, “Naughty Wedding Photos.” The hosts got serious and talked about a casual poll Tom conducted on Twitter/X to determine drivers’ favorite automotive tech features. The list is very interesting. The conversation moved on to Volvo’s new electric EM90 minivan, about which there is good news and bad. The Conversation turned to the new top-tier Mustang trim level: Dark Horse. Jill recently spent a week behind the wheel of the high-performance Ford, and shares her take. In the second segment, Jill and Tom are joined by CDK Global Senior Product Manager Brenda Lynch. Brenda shared the topline results of a CDK study looking into auto-dealership vulnerability to hacking and malware. Is your personal data safe at your local dealer? Listen to this conversation. In the last segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Under $48,000” quiz. Because Tom did a poor job managing the clock this episode, the hosts got in a brief chat about pay raises at U.S. Toyota, Volkswagen, and Hyundai/Kia plants, all of which are certainly steps taken to prevent unionization of their factories.


VinFast Regroups, Volvo EX30 is a Bargain, and EV Enthusiasts are a Complex Lot

Hosts Jill and Tom opened the show discussing an error on last week’s quiz. As it turns out, poutine is available at McDonald’s locations in Canada. Tom subsequently promoted his regular appearances on the Steve and Johnnie Show heard Saturday evenings on WGN Radio in Chicago. Tom is especially excited that he has been asked to select the bumper music played during his visits. The Conversation turned to Vietnamese EV startup VinFast, which is moving away from a direct-to-customer marketing network to a traditional franchise-dealer arrangement. Tom also mentioned his Twitter/X battle with Tesla fans that took exception to his thoughts on the Cybertruck’s wheel design. Jill shared her preview review of the all-new Volvo EX30 EV, which offers impressive battery range, and is surprisingly affordable. In the second segment, Chad Kirchner of EV Pulse joined the show. Chad talked about the nature of EV enthusiasts, and how the group is not limited to just environmentalists. Chad also shared his take on the state of Tesla, and VinFast’s prospects for success. Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Fake Color!” quiz in the last segment, including a Rolling Stones album-title bonus question.


Silverado EV, UAW Strike, Electric Vehicle Demand

ill returns to the studio for a topic-packed episode. In the first segment Jill recounts for Tom the highpoints of her recent participation in the Rebelle Rally. Tom is impressed that Jill sustained no serious injuries. Jill also gave an update on the North American Car of the Year (NACTOY) voting process. NACTOY finalists should be announced during the Los Angeles Auto Show. Jill also spent some time with the all-new Chevrolet Silverado EV. Jill came away generally impressed, and noted that the truck’s key selling point is battery range. Tom discussed briefly the Mazda Iconic SP concept car, seen at the Toyota Motor Show, which may be a harbinger of the next generation of the MX-5 Miata. In the second segment Jill and Tom welcome Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions to the show. Sam shared his thoughts on a number of topics including the UAW Strike, the UAW’s inability to unionize transplant automakers, the state of the EV market, and why Tesla is cutting prices so dramatically. Sam also talked about his new webcast—found on YouTube—called “Afternoons! with Kendra and Sam.” In the last segment Jill is subjected to Tom’s “Honda or Hallmark” quiz, and Tom talked about another Tokyo Motor Show reveal, the Honda Prelude Concept. The McDonald’s Canadian menu also came up.


Understanding the EV Supply Glut, The Care and Feeding of a Ford Model A

Bredan Appel of the Sons of Speed sat in for co-host Jill this week. Jill returns next episode. In the first segment Brendan talked about the redesigned 2024 Hyundai Kona, a video review for which will be shared shortly. Brendan and Tom went on to talk about the growing glut of unsold EVs in the U.S., and the impact of massive Tesla price cuts on EV sales. Are there too many EV models on the market? Listen in. In the second segment the hosts welcome Shooting Cars host and producer Zack Pradel to the show. Zack’s popular YouTube channel features new-, used-, and classic-car reviews. Zack talked about the care and feeding of his family’s classic car, a 1931 Ford Model A. As an aside, Zack also noted his position on the rotary-dial-controlled infotainment system found in current-generation Mazda vehicles. In the final segment, Zack and Brendan are subjected to Tom’s “Octane, Yo!” quiz.


UAW Strike Update, Best and Worst Cars We've Owned, Genesis Connected Services

Jill is out this week; you can follow her progress at the 2023 Rebelle Rally by clicking on the link on our Facebook page. In studio for the entire show are Chicago late-night radio legends Steve King and Johnnie Putman. The show opened with Steve explaining the concept of “clear-channel” radio, and why WGN radio in Chicago is heard, at night, in almost 40 U.S. states and in Canada. After a quick chat about the classic films The Desk Set, and Fritz Lang’s epic Metropolis, Tom, Steve and Johnnie discussed the ongoing UAW strike, and comments made Monday by Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. We also learned from Steve what a “seat cover” is in CB-radio parlance. In the second segment Steve and Johnnie talked about their best and worst car ownership experiences. Tom also noted the love/hate relationship he had with a 1991 Saab 9000 CD. In the third segment Steve and Johnnie are subjected to Tom’s “1990!” quiz. Steve and Johnie wrapped up the show sharing some good news about Genesis Connected Services.


Lexus RC F on the Track, EV Startups and the Dealer Franchise System

Tom and guest-host Paul Herrold of the Sons of Speed opened the show discussing the Lexus RC F, a V8-powered small coupe that Paul recently spent track time with. Paul noted that though the RC F has grown dated since its 2014 introduction, the car is very capable on the street and on the track. Listen to hear Paul’s complete review. Tom and Paul also discussed technological “fads” that were introduced by automakers to great fanfare, but since amounted to little in the market place. In the second segment Tom and Paul welcome Dave Sloan of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association. Dave shared his thoughts on a number of topics, including the UAW strike, EV startup carmakers working outside the franchise dealer system, and dealership acquisitions by large, national corporations. Dave joined Paul for this week’s “Whose Brand is it Anyway” quiz.