Consumer Reports has released its first ever study of motorcycle reliability, and students of its ratings on cars might notice a suspicious similarity - Japanese brands require fewer repairs than the leading American or German brands.
Consumer Reports has just rendered its verdict on two of the more important cars to launch this year - the Mazda3 and the Jeep Cherokee. Considering the value a "Recommended" rating carries with the public and the viciously competitive markets these two cars compete in, Consumer Reports' view could have some impact on their initial success.
According to Consumer Reports, the automotive brands that stand out in the minds of car buyers are, in order: Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet. This news comes after the magazine polled its readers, asking them to take into account vehicle quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation – which are the factors that car shoppers are most influenced by.
Thanks to its poor performance in the most recent round of Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, where it received the lowest overall score in the small-overlap test, Consumer Reports has bumped the Honda Fit from its "Recommended" list. When a car gets bumped from the magazine's coveted ranks, it's usually cause for concern. This is not one of those times.
After a year of tooling around in its Tesla Model S electric luxury sedan, Consumer Reports likes the car, but says it has created "a few mild irritations." To which the Tesla-less among us say: cry us a river.
All is right again in the Toyota kingdom. The Japanese manufacturer's bread-and-butter sedan, the Camry, has been put back on Consumer Reports' "Recommended" vehicle list, following improved performance in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash testing.
Thinking about buying a Toyota Prius but can't figure if the initial purchase cost will be offset in the long run enough to make it a smart buy? Then you're probably reading these words on AutoblogGreen and not on Autoblog. But beyond that, Consumer Reports has some good news for you.
Many Toyota vehicles haven't been performing well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) small overlap frontal crash test, and the Camry is one of them. The 2012 and 2013 Camry both received "Poor" ratings, IIHS' lowest rating, in the test, which spurred Consumer Reports to take the car off its "Recommended" list. In response to the low ratings in the small overlap frontal test, and in a bid to maintain its best-seller status, Toyota will make changes to the Camry to improve its
Despite all the bad recent publicity for Tesla, it would appear that its Model S customers remain the happiest of any automaker – or at the very least, they're just likely to respond as such in satisfaction surveys. For its just-released annual owner satisfaction report, Consumer Reports surveyed more than 600 Model S owners, which resulted in the all-electric hatchback receiving a top score of 99 out of 100.
Does it seem that Consumer Reports never has anything nice to say about infotainment systems? Well, the problem could be even worse than you think. After talking to CR, Wards Auto says that problems with infotainment systems could be underreported because some customers don't use the systems to their fullest potential.
How can Consumer Reports give a car a 99 out of 100 rating, call it "the most practical electric car we've ever tested" and still not give it a "Recommended" rating? Because of how that rating gets decided. Basically, when CR tests a vehicle, it also needs more reliability data over time to assign that famous "Recommended" rating. That time has now passed, and the Tesla Model S is, indeed, recommended.
Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus, Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda, Infiniti, Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan's dominance wasn't complete, though.
Infiniti and Lexus might be a little concerned now that both of their new luxury sedans, the Q50 and IS250, were unable to net Consumer Reports vaunted "Recommended" rating during their first year on the market. In fact, not only did the two fail to earn a "Recommended" rating, they finished behind the vast majority of the competition after testing, including the BMW 328i, Mercedes-Benz C250, Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S60 T5.
Consumer Reports' Consumers Union has joined in a lawsuit filed by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Kids and Cars, Greg Gulbransen, M.D., and Susan Auriemma against the US Department of Transportation, over the department's failure to implement a rule mandating backup cameras in new cars and trucks.
Forget Corvette versus Viper. When it comes to important head-to-head comparisons, fullsize trucks are where domestic automakers really care. And until the redesigned Ford F-150 makes its debut, the Chevrolet Silverado is going to have plenty to brag about thanks to a new Consumer Reports shootout against the Ram 1500.
Our first drive of the 2014 Cadillac CTS was just published today... we really liked the Vsport version. And Consumer Reports has some even stronger words of praise for the all-new luxury sedan. We already knew that Cadillac had stepped up its game with the third-gen CTS, but CR bluntly states that the sedan drives better than its German luxury counterparts.
Consumer Reports seems to be taking on a different tactic than it did a few months ago on fuel economy. The publication took Ford and the US Environmental Protection Agency to task for overstating mileage ratings on the C-Max and Fusion hybrids in late 2012. Then, earlier this year, CR said automakers were not delivering the promised fuel economy claims on vehicles with small turbo engines. Now the emphasis seems to be on getting drivers to change their driving habits.
It's got a new design, it's got new objectives, it's got a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's a central part of what could be Chevrolet's "strongest, most competitive retail sedan lineup ever," and now the 2014 Chevrolet Impala has added Turnaround Artist to its resume, going from last to first in Consumer Reports' large sedan ratings.
Consider Consumer Reports officially juiced about the all-electric version of the Chevrolet Spark. The publication tested out the EV and found it to be far superior to its gas-powered brethren, calling the all-electric the "best version of this small hatchback."