There's nothing like being told you aren't as good as you used to be. "You've changed, man. You've really changed."
In its annual automotive issue, Consumer Reports awards scores to each new car available on the market, and though you'd think that a new model would score higher than the one it replaces, that isn't always the case. In fact, CR points out six 2011 model year vehicles that received substantially lower scores under its methodology than their predecessors.
At the top of CR's list is the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta – a car that has come in for a raft of criticism from the media since its redesign launched in mid-2010 (criticism that has been summarily ignored if the Jetta's rising sales figures are anything to go by). Rounding off the rest of the list are the Honda Odyssey, Toyota 4Runner, Toyota Sienna, Mercedes-Benz E350 and BMW X5.
Consumer Reports does raise an important point, though: Earning a lower score doesn't automatically mean the car should be written off completely. In its story, CR states:
Clear disappointments? Ouch. Head over to Consumer Reports for the full story.
Some models, such as the Honda Odyssey, Mercedes-Benz E350, and Toyota Sienna, are still very good vehicles that we recommend. But they don't quite measure up to the standards set by their previous generation models. Others, such as the current BMW X5, Toyota 4Runner, and Volkswagen Jetta sedan, are clear disappointments.