Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #111: Toyota C-HR and Alfa Romeo Giulia

Toyota's all-new subcompact SUV the C-HR visits our test track and we share our first impressions. We also discuss our new Alfa Romeo Giulia and field viewer questions about new car buying and advanced safety systems.

2018 Toyota C-HR Quick Drive:

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Joins the Sport Sedan Race:

2018 Honda Odyssey Preview:

Ford Flex 2013-2015 Road Test:

2017 Honda Ridgeline Quick Drive:

Chrysler Pacifica Redefines the Minivan:

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Views: 21406
Runtime: 23:17
Comments: 134

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Author sergh8605 ( ago)
I like the C-HR, sad no moonroof, hope it come later. I wish they had done a moonroof like on the Nissan that was in the middle.

Author Beach Lovin ( ago)
The GMC brand has a really simple and straight forward climate controls+cruise controls+radio controls. My previous vehicles where Ford and VW, the big buttons and big nobs are a definite plus in my current GMC Canyon.

Author T T ( ago)
I was thinking that these three guys are the best for talking cars. Hope they stick with this lineup.

Author Talons X ( ago)
Everyone wears blue and dark colors, he has the ballz to break out of conformity, why does ones joy depend on someone's else's lack of conformity? It's the same for cars, or anything else.

Author Jeff Engelhardt ( ago)
Question for your next show, since we're in the world of small SUVs: My '03 Honda Element has done me incredibly well over the years. It's time for it to retire to that great used car lot in the sky, though, and I'm struggling with its replacement.

My must-haves are AWD (or 4WD), decent ground clearance, above average reliability, a decent amount of cargo space, decent fuel economy, a more powerful engine, and something that doesn't remotely resemble the average small to mid-size SUV (e.g. CR-V, Rav-4, etc.), which I hate.

Accepting that the only thing these days resembling the Element's monstrous, bulletproof interior is a truck bed I'm leaning wagon -- maybe a Volvo XC70, V60 XC, or an Audi Allroad. Thoughts?

Author monzx3 ( ago)
In many ways I think all these technological advances in today's cars are bad for people. People get spoiled and lazy.  For instance,  with GPS folks just don't wanna bother to learn their way around even in their own home town! Parallel parking? A lost art I say. I'm not anti-technology but there should be a limit to everything.

Author monzx3 ( ago)
Dude, what's up with that outfit!

Author Robert Montgomery ( ago)
You use side mirrors to merge. Learn how to set your mirrors

Author Richard DuBois ( ago)
Toyota C-HR. Fantastic look ! (and I'm a 70 yo) Poor visibility out the back. No manual transmission available in the USA. And they want us to pay extra for many safety features I just don't want. Not priced comparably with it's competitors.
Alfa. It's gonna be like a Vette. Owners will rave about it, despite it's being in the shop often. It's for those who love a real driving experience. It's not an appliance. The majority of Consumer Reports readers just don't get that and never will.

Author Joe Hammond ( ago)
Toyota needed a seriously ugly car to compete with the Juke. Aztek?

Author Eugenio A. ( ago)
carry proves of what you find wrong in cars, otherwise people could think you are PAID to discredit competitors' products.

Author Cruz er ( ago)
Mike makes a lot of sense with regards to car design. Gabe is arguing nonsense. It's a self-fulfilling, self-perpetuating escalation. The car makers create the problems and distractions so they can "solve" them with more "features". Feeding into the consumer mentality is not advocating in the best interest of the buyers. One the one hand you can say "this is reality." but then CR constantly advocates against things automakers do in the buyers' best interest. So, you can't argue out of both sides and sound credible. Car makers are pushing gadgets and software. What happens when that stuff breaks and fails? You have a lot of disposable vehicles floating around. The mentality just feeds into the disposable culture and teaches the auto buying public to do the same.

Author cadsux ( ago)
Of course Toyota was late to the game. Just look at the Lexus NX. Everyone else had a turbo 4 cylinder crossover years before.

Author Kris Mier ( ago)
minivans? what about KIA Sedona?

Author Evan K ( ago)
You forgot to mention/bash the Nissan Quest in the minivan topic! :-)

Author Keye T ( ago)
Check Engine Light on a NEW CAR? TRASHH... that was a car that they gave you instead of your normal secret shop yall do and y'all don't want to mark that on the reliability?? just due to the fact that it should've been perfect since they were expecting you this time... and the powertrain on that CHR is nowhere near exciting they could've offered a the turbo motor from the IS

Author Blake Swan ( ago)
wow is that Ellington about the Alfa

Author Blake Swan ( ago)
sorry the CHR is awful especially for a new entry. Fail

Author Inverter222 ( ago)
Radio? Who listens to the radio and manually tunes stations? I can't even remember the last car I was in that I tuned a station.

It's bizarre for CR to keep demanding a tuning knob. It's unsafe compared to the wheel controls and voice activation system.

But Tom's I bet THAT has a tuning knob.,

Author Robert Montgomery ( ago)

Author Robert Montgomery ( ago)
Velodter ?

Author Dave Travels ( ago)
I don't buy the Scion excuse. The C-HR was designed for Europe, where Scion never existed. The C-HR offers a wide variety of options, including nicer interior color combinations in Europe. Perhaps the argument relates to pricing structure, still the price difference is negligible, you have to remember that prices in Europe include VAT. A fully loaded Hybrid C-HR stickers for 28k Euro w/o VAT but dealers are currently offering a 17% discount, so it can actually be had for ~24k Euro w/o VAT or ~26k USD, slightly more expensive, but not that much of difference especially considering that it has a hybrid powertrain. A turbo-AWD model is $500 less.

Author Inverter222 ( ago)
Gabe, uhhh really needs, to uhhhh, try to, uhhhh, speak without, uhhh, uhhhh.

Author Paul Connolly ( ago)
Gabe @ 21:00...well said!

Author 10tenman10 ( ago)
Wish they would talk SUV SUV SUV. I almost don't care about anything else these days.

Author J P ( ago)
Where's Tom???

Author Joe Wilder ( ago)
Do you know of any statistics that show where collision avoidance systems are preventing accidents?

Author elton john ( ago)
Another reason to favour the Ford Flex is that in two years, they're down to half of their original price. If this person wants to keep costs down, an EcoBoost Flex may be a good option.

Author elton john ( ago)
I'm not sure about Jon's disco pants.

Author toyotaprius79 ( ago)
Do you guys know why Toyota hasn't offered a hybrid version (basically from the Prius) of the C-HR? Seems like a goof.

In the EU, or Ireland at least, the clear majority of new C-HRs have the little HSD badge on them. I rarely see the 1.2l or anything 'non-HSD' that are optioned for it. That's odd given how the US is much warmer to hybrids.

Author James Wheaton ( ago)
Not missing Tom, you three are doing a good job!

Author Lukas Trapp ( ago)
bring back tom !

Author headcas620 ( ago)
The CHR is shit. It's not an suv. It's not even a crossover. It's a hatchback with a higher seating position.

Author dwilsonjr78 ( ago)
If you need the room, the Honda Odyssey is a great choice. I've driven the Odyssey a few time and just like the guys at CR said, it's actually engaging to drive for a minivan. But in Ford's defense, the Flex does have available AWD if you need it and does stand out more when it comes to looks, but just like the CR guys said, the Odyssey is still a better choice overall when it comes to room and practicality.

Author Karl P ( ago)
Fiat/Alfa are physically incapable of producing a reliable car. It's been the same for the last 40 years. That's why they did the walk of shame out of America 20 years ago - no one was buying them. Nothing ever changes at Fiat group. And they've transferred their poor quality to Chrysler as well. FCA is worst for customer satisfaction and reliability according to all surveys.

Author Chris Smith ( ago)
Toyota needs to step up their game for the interior. The exterior is just plan ugly.

Author Kyle houlihan ( ago)
All I want is a small box like my 1996 Rav4 with true 4wd and again SMALL!!! I hate these "small suvs" now a days these things are freaking huge and not easy to park at all. Closest thing I could find to my rav4 now is the first gen Volkswagen Tiguan S 4motion and it's not true 4wd from what I understand. Plus i dont know how reliable that's going to be but small is what I need.

Author john ennis ( ago)
Which company makes the best safety system in the under $30,000 car.

Author Boris Terekidi ( ago)
Completely pointless car. Costs almost as much as a RAV4, but has a look even mother wont love. Ugly, cramped. I'd be shocked if this thing sells very well.

Author G S ( ago)
Tom Mutchler is no longer with Consumer Reports.

Author HKM _ ( ago)
What happened to the two original guys? They were great! :(

Author GBraidi78 ( ago)
I think Honda should have a type pad for the stations like Hyundai. I had a 2015 Sonata and it had it but my 2016 Accord doesn't! I hope the 2018 Accord will have it! We will see!

Author Norm T ( ago)
Fix It Again Tony?

Author Jake from State Farm ( ago)
"Toyota... invents segments and sub-segments"???

What?? Like when? Other than the RAV4 -- which was really the first vehicle to be considered a "compact SUV" by today's standards -- what has Toyota done to merit such praise? They didn't even create the hybrid segment. Honda did.

Author jimmelay71 ( ago)
I am loading up on Prozac and Seroquel amidst coming to the realization that Tom may no longer be with CR. I will miss your forced nervous laughter and your tales of your Dodge Durango.

Author pedro fernandez ( ago)
That front tag on the Alfa really kills the look.

Author pedro fernandez ( ago)
Seniors will avoid this thing like Alzheimer's. The xB had great room and visibility, this monster doesn't.

Author john ennis ( ago)
where is tom ?

Author 2012bigPerm ( ago)
Subaru seems to be able to make safe cars that you can see out it can be done. I think the trends dictate the poor visibility at this point. It may have started as a result of safety with rising belt lines but I don't think it's that way anymore...

Author DevPack ( ago)
where is Tom

Author catsspat ( ago)
I've nothing against advanced safety systems. In fact, I love adaptive cruise control. However, they should be in addition to, not in replacement of, good visibility. I think Subaru does a pretty good job with good outward visibility.

Author james t Smith ( ago)
so where is Tom M? you're not ashamed to admit this is a press car, why cant you say where he is? Did he leave to work for a car company?

Author TheAirplaneMaster ( ago)
Jon: So, ____, can you tell us something about the _____?
Other person: Well, it's a nice car and-
Jon: Yeah, I think that....

Jon needs to let people answer his question. XD

Author Billz Billz ( ago)
Toyota RAV2👍

Author J Segal ( ago)
If you go all the way back to the Toyota/GM joint venture, GEO showed a coupe version concept of this car. Long time coming.

Author Linda Jamme ( ago)
I love cars and love listening to you talk about many aspects of cars I would never be able to afford to buy. I wished I worked for Consumer Reports and could take some of these babies for a spin! I own a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox FWD 2LT. I love this car and many of it's features. Most of the problems I've had with the car are electrical. My CD is stuck in the player and Chevrolet said they would have to send the whole radio part to CA to get it out. That's crazy. When I get my next SUV I was thinking between the Equinox, Ford Edge, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Murano. Any suggestions?

Author Michael Atchison ( ago)
Why do automakers keep call these vehicles SUVs? They are hatchbacks by any other name.

Author Kiss Kiss ( ago)
Was Toyota trying to reinvent the Crosstour?

Author conceptcs ( ago)
Why didn't they just include the back up camera in the main screen?

Author Luke Hoisington ( ago)
anything on a redesigned Nissan frontier?

Author Dee T ( ago)
This Car was a Toyota from the get go, it's just that Toyota North-America intended to re-badge it and sell it has a Scion in North-America.

Author trumpsixteen ( ago)
What happened to Tom M. ? He was my favorite

Author billiam S ( ago)

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