If you express equality between the part on the left and the part on the right with the verb sein – or some other verbs in similar context, like werden (become) – You can use es, dies or jenes without the need to consider the gender or number of the things you're talking of. But the verb still has to match.
„Dies sind Autos.“, „Dies ist ein Auto.“
The issue is that if Duolingo starts adding every English dialect into the acceptable translations then it confuses things for English learners. Where I'm from, if you started talking about Autos to me I would have to wait for the context to be sure of what you're talking about. Throw in a foreign accent and it's even worse.