2021 Year in Review | Talking Cars #340

2021 Year In Review | Talking Cars #340 1

We wrap 2021 with a roundup of our favorite, and not so favorite cars that we drove at our test track. We also discuss how the car buying market has changed over the last 12 months, share some buying advice for the future and look ahead to some vehicles we hope to buy and test in the new year.

1:13 – Our least favorite cars of 2021
9:08 – Our favorite cars of 2021
18:43 – The automotive world in 2021
24:55 – Vehicle production in 2022 and beyond

First Drive: Polestar 2 Confuses and Frustrates:

First Drive: 2021 Cadillac Escalade Proves Powerful, High-Tech, and Truly Luxurious:

First Drive: Redesigned 2022 Subaru BRZ Proves Nimble and Fun:

We Finally Got Our Bronco. Here Are the 7 Things That Immediately Struck Us:

Fun to Drive Cars We’re Thankful for This Year:

General Motors Introduces ‘Ultra Cruise,’ an Expanded Hands-Free Driver Assistance System:

Global Chip Shortage Makes It Tough to Buy Certain Cars:

Some Automakers Say the Chip Shortage Is Causing the Delay of Certain Features:

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27 Comments on "2021 Year in Review | Talking Cars #340"

  1. Thank you. Happy New Year.

  2. The Polestars roofline looks like it was taken from the 2nd generation Scion TC

  3. Happy New Year CR!
    Looks like we will be keeping the RX330, ES330, and 11 Tacoma TRD Double cab a couple of years longer!

  4. Cars do get to a point where they’re not really repairable, you get to a point where the body rusts through and in a unibody vehicle, that’s it unless you want to buy a second car just for the body shell.

  5. It will be interesting to see which OEMs will stick to low dealer inventories. On the one hand, other countries do not keep large dealer inventories and have more build-to-order. On the other hand, OEMs try to keep production at optimal efficiency to reduce per-unit costs. These goals can clash when sales are slow. Have a Happy New Year!

  6. Among the cars that have been fully tested, what were the favorites? I asked this because there is a difference between say visiting a place (renting a car) and living in that place (owning the car for some time). Thanks and happy new year.

  7. As a person who buys American vehicles despite the fact that there are perhaps better versions out there, I’m particularly concerned about the ever-escalating prices of these vehicles. Have salaries really advanced to the point where a 40 thousand dollar whip is considered reasonable? This leaves a huge opportunity for a foreign manufacturer like BYD or Geely to move in with a cheap, reliable, fuel-efficient vehicle. I’m also a little disappointed that most manufacturers seem to value performance over fuel economy. The Honda CRX-HF was approaching 60 mpg way back in the 80s. You can’t tell me that automakers can’t produce a small hybrid that gets at least 60 miles a gallon. All this emphasis on luxury and high tech is nice (god knows the writers at CR seem to gravitate towards them) but there’s still a lot to be said for a small vehicle that is cheap, reliable and gets fantastic gas mileage. There has been a paradigm shift that has taken place over the last 20 years that frankly, I’m not all that impressed with. Cars have gotten bigger and more powerful (the Honda Accord looks like an Impala now). Some of us just want to get to work. When the Chinese auto invasion begins, I will almost have no choice but to consider one.

    • All these reviewers all say the same thing, more power. More power comes by the way of less gas mileage. I drove a Datsun b210 with a 4 speed and a carburetor that got over 50 mpg’s, or my Toyota pickup with 79 hp, I never remember lacking for power or having trouble getting out of someone’s way. Maybe these reviewers should focus less on power, and more on practicality.

    • Transcendent Investor Beyond Time & Space | December 31, 2021 at 3:38 PM |

      The demand for power are caused poor civil engineering and higher speed limits. People want faster cars to keep up.

  8. Happy New Year Talking Cars. I think It would be interesting for you to do a show on vehicle rusting in the states that use salt on their roads. In light of higher prices and owners potentially keeping their vehicles longer, how do certain vehicles hold up over time.

    • Agreed, I have been urging CR to properly investigate rustproofing products in an effort to help educate drivers about products that actually work. My Canadian car is in its 17th winter and it remains rust free because of the preventative maintenance product applied annually since it was new.

    • It is simple. I have lived in CT for over a decade and kept my cars for over 10 years. None rust. Why? I wash my underside of my car after every snowfall and it has melted. That keeps it rust free and easy to keep maintained. We get on average about 38 inches of snow a year. The highest in the country, Buffalo, NY gets about 90 inches every year. This works even in high snow environments. Simple preventive maintenance does the trick. That is the advice they will give you.

  9. Happy New Year. I wish I can justify buying that Cadi.

  10. That’s awesome to hear the Cadillac was a top choice. I hope to see people driving their black wings, rather than like you said garaging them. My choice would be the Bronco.

    I think covid has obviously impacted the way to purchase a vehicle but I can’t imagine people paying over MSRP is going to stay. The only people who should be nervous are the American brands. Most their vehicles are NOT worth the sticker price. They are over priced because the rebates would help them be competitive.

  11. Thanks for a great year of content, team! My two wishlist cars: BRZ and IONIQ 5

    That’s a well rounded garage 😎

  12. Finally a light in the darkness! I’ve been telling everyone not to buy a car now. Much cheaper to just keep your old car running even if you have to dump 2 grand into it to get another couple years out of it. Better than paying $5-15K over MSRP.

    • Hello, do you mean new cars, used cars or all of them? I just bought a new 2022 Camry Hybrid. The dealer I went to didn’t charge more than MSRP. That’s why I pulled the trigger now; if they charged more I never would have even shopped there. I did have to wait 3 months for the model I wanted. (Nightshade edition, but it was worth the wait)

  13. True to mission? Consumers Union/ Consumer Reports is an advocacy organization which was founded specifically to protect citizens from rampant, unrepentant corporate mendacity.
    My wish for 2022 is that Talking Cars keeps a laser-like focus on that unique mission which stands in direct contrast to the ‘marketing disguised as auto journalism’ that plagues Youtube. Happy New Year.

    • Good point! I find it interesting that after always pushing and pleading for the automakers to include every piece of safety equipment (BSM, RCTA, automatic braking, etc.) they gush over vehicles that have very poor fuel efficiency. Another viewer mentioned the Honda CRX getting 60mpg in the 1980’s, I had the DX version (16 valve, not Si) and I almost never got below 41mpg, and that was a 1988 model! I guess it won’t matter in a few years as these type of vehicles will be gone from the marketplace and efficient electric vehicles will be the norm.

  14. In 1981, I couldn’t even test drive a Honda Accord without putting down a deposit!! I never bought one, just based on principle.

  15. Great advice! this is a horrible time to buy a new car and keeping your current car running is always cheaper than buying a new one.

  16. I also paid full sticker for my new 87 Civic Si (Red). Separately, one thing that no one ever talks about is Toyota price gouging, I have visited Toyota dealers several times in the past four decades and they always ask over sticker for their cars and trucks (most recently looked at a Tacoma). They put a little “Dealer price” stickers on the vehicles that includes items like “local price adjustment”, and “Advertising Fee”; after adding thousands of dollars to the price they act like they are giving you $500 off. I have purchased many new cars and trucks but I will never buy a new Toyota because of the money grubbing dealer network.

  17. Next year will be good for electrics

  18. If they can keep the lead time of buying from manufacturer to maybe 2-3 weeks, that would be ideal, but right now it minimally takes a month to three months to get your car.

  19. Mike Quincy is on an island hating the Cadillac Escalade. He may be right but the people buying it like it, and as they even admitted, GM is going to laugh all the way to the bank on that statement. Polestar 2 sounds like a nightmare. Using Google for the interface sounds horrible. The Cadillac Blackwing from Jake is a shock – but it is am amazing car. I got to test drive it briefly and it is everything he says it is – and I never got to put it on a track. It is also very expensive – starts at $82,000 and the one CR got was probably $110,000. Like this longer video, too bad they are so short now. Acura Integra is coming out in 2023 so sticks are not done yet. Reality on smaller inventory cutting prices – it is not happening. Not now, not in the future.

  20. In addition to buying a new car for safety, I’d also upgrade if you’re having reliability problems. I drove my college car as long as I reasonably could before I sold it. It wasn’t unsafe but was breaking down every few weeks. Did an engine rebuild and replaced the clutch. Then replaced the radiator. Then the valve cover seals. Then the CV axles and fuel pump. Then the AC compressor and battery cables needed replacing. I needed reliable transportation, so I bit the bullet and bought a new car. No regrets.

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