Celebrating #TalkingCars100 & Test Driving the Tesla Model S with Consumer Reports!

I am officially listing this past weekend on my 2016 highlight reel. I was invited, along with a select group of influencers to head out to Connecticut and take part in the taping of Talking Cars’ 100th Podcast episode. Talking Cars is an extremely popular podcast created by the Consumer Reports team and last Saturday enthusiasts and podcast fans flew in from all over the country for a chance to talk to the podcasts stars! How awesome is that?!

Consumer Report Test Track

Thanks to my mom, I’ve known about Consumer Reports for a while. But I didn’t know that they are a actually a nonprofit, and I also didn’t know that they buy all of the cars they test. All of them. To remove bias that might stem from media review vehicles, they purchase all of the cars that they review themselves. Because they can’t have manufacturers catch on, they’ve developed an intriguing system of purchasing cars, I can’t say much but it involves long distances and some significant dedication.

Consumer Reports Talking CarsTalking Cars 100th Episode Taping

The Talking Cars Podcast was taped in the Consumer Reports garage, which for the day was emptied of the latest cars, and filled with fans, enthusiasts, and media. The panelists were car experts Jennifer Stockburger, Jake Fisher, Tom Mutchler, and Jon Linkov. They discussed the latest trends in cars, which cars they liked the most/least, and the future of manufacturing. Honestly, it was ridiculously interesting. I’m definitely thinking about my first car purchase, and the options and experience of these folks was really invaluable – whether you’re looking for a new car, your first car, or like the 13-year-old fan who had an extensive knowledge about fuel efficient vehicles – you’re a real fan of the industry.

Afterwards they fielded questions from the audience, which was amazing to be a part of. Talking Cars has generated a genuine following and you could really tell that the fans and the experts were so excited to talk cars in real time and in person. Consumer Reports provides in-depth, independent reviews – you can count on them for thorough testing and honest opinions. They definitely have the consumer in mind, as Jennifer Stockburger said when discussing car seat options “You don’t need a $500 model, our best option so far is a $40 model.” They’re clearly not about the fanciest option – they’re about what works best for you as a consumer.

Tesla

After taping wrapped Jennifer took us out on the track to test drive the Tesla Model S. Now, I’m something of an Elon Musk fan. I find his work intriguing and I’ve long wanted to find out what a Tesla drives like. Suffice it to say, it was amazing. Ah-maze-ing. Like if I could only own one car ever, I would choose the Tesla S hands-down.

Consumer Reports Testing Tesla S

Jennifer explained the various features of the electric car, including its touch screen panel which you use to control the car. You can also quickly get a google map view of your location – which means no more getting lost. The touch screen panel can also be used to surf the web, and check your email – which you should never do while driving (in case you were wondering). Setting the car to “Insane”, we almost instantly went from 0 to 100 mph. I don’t know if ‘car euphoria’ is a real term, but I experienced it then. For me it was like those exciting moments of lift-off on an airplane, or that feeling you get when you’re on a roller coaster or a great theme park ride.

Tesla Model S InteriorTesla S Interior

Jennifer (who is a 16 year Consumer Report veteran herself) also showed us how well the car swerved to avoid hitting objects. She told us about their testing standards, how they don’t test in extreme temperatures because it affects how the car drives, how they even test how every vehicle hydroplanes, as well as how everyone at the CR Connecticut office tries each car out – which takes into account the varied consumer. Driving around in the Tesla, I wouldn’t have minded staying out on the track for hours. Even though we weren’t out there a long time, by the time we headed off the track I was in love. Honestly I don’t typically speak car, but I couldn’t stop talking about this car for days. And I might just be 1001% jealous of Jennifer and the rest of the Consumer Reports team, I envy them their jobs – minus the YouTube comment moderating they mentioned.

Consumer Reports Tesla Model S

Thanks so much for having me out Consumer Reports!

Are you a Consumer Reports fan? How about Talking Cars? Catch their latest podcast here! Do you have a favorite or a dream car? I’d love to know, tell me about it in the comments or send me a tweet!

Share Your #newcarface For A Chance to Win From Cars.com!

Have you got a car loan that needs paying? Well, stick around and I’ll share how you can enter to win up to $25,000 off your car loan from cars.com! #sponsored #newcarface

New Car Face Cars.com Logo

There’s nothing quite like getting a new car. I remember being a teen and obsessing about one day having a car of my own – and quite appropriate for a motivated teen of only sixteen years, I was only determined that my first car should be sleek and super fast. I’m not entirely sure what kind of life this imagined car would have been appropriate for (maybe if I was cat woman?), but alas, now that I’m so much older I’ve become far more reasonable and think maybe something that has loads more space for those road-trips I’ve been planning.

My fondest car-buying memory took place years and years ago when my aunt was in the market for a new car. Her old car, which she lovingly referred to as her “baby”, was effectively out of commission and she out-of-the-blue asked me for advice on which car she should buy. To be fair she had narrowed it down to two cars, one a lovely navy blue and one black. I distinctly remember sitting in the black car with her as she weighed the pros and cons of the cars, with the new car smell wafting around us. Don’t you just love that smell? It’s like that new sneaker smell, it’s fairly addicting. I didn’t really give just input except asking her which car she pictured herself driving along with, and which car was most conducive to shopping – but I was just so happy to feel like a part of this important decision. She ended up going with the black car, a cool stick shift, not unlike the car of my dreams.

Do you have a car that’s your home away from home? Or a mini-van that takes your family just about everywhere? Or have you just got your hands on your very first car (congrats!)??? Well, everyone knows Cars.com takes the drama out of car shopping but now they’re taking it out of new cars by paying off someone’s car loan up to $25,000!

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To enter cars.com’s newcarface contest all you have to do is get on Facebook, twitter, and/or instagram and share a picture of your best new car face – and be sure to tag your pic with #newcarface!

sweet16

To recap, here’s how to submit an entry:

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Please note that you can only submit 1 entry per participant. To see examples of awesome #newcarface entries and for rules and further details, click here!

*Open to legal US residents (excluding MD, NJ and TN), 18+ who hold (or whose immediate family member holds) a qualifying vehicle loan or lease. Begins 7/29/14 at 8:00:00 am CST and ends 1/2/14 at 12:00:00 pm CST. Prize value up to $25k. Subject to the Official Rules at http://bit.ly/1pLUGey. See Official Rules for full details, including eligibility criteria and qualifying vehicle restrictions. Sponsor: Cars.com, a division of Classified Ventures, LLC. Please do not include any personal information, like your license plate number. A “New Car” is considered a new or used car bought or leased on or after 1/1/2012.