Consumer Reports is considered by many as a respected publication that (usually) uses science to rule over emotion when picking the most competent vehicle in a given segment. The advertising-free mag doles out "Recommended Buy" nods to vehicles that run CR's gauntlet of safety, efficiency, and durability. CR takes its job seriously, and sometimes it gets a bit testy when other publications create awards with less than credible criteria.

Auto Pacific's Ideal Vehicle awards are given after surveying owners of vehicles in 28 categories. Owners are asked what they would like to change about their car or truck, and winners are decided by figuring out which vehicle in a given group has owners that aren't found of changing anything on their new car. CR takes issue with Auto Pacific's awards on many levels. With 28 winners, almost everybody gets to take home a trophy. Many winners, like the Jeep Liberty, performed very poorly in CR's gauntlet, yet it was deemed "ideal" by Auto Pacific. The Suzuki Grand Vitara won an award, too, for most ideal compact SUV/off-road vehicle. Not only was it second from last in customer satisfaction in CR's tests, it's also within an inch of the Liberty's overall length. Why two like-sized off-road vehicles garner two different categories is beyond explanation.

On the surface it may look like Consumer Reports has a problem with Auto Pacific's awards merely because its results differ from their own. But after reading CR's tirade and seeing that the Escape won for large mid-size CUV, the Grand Marquee won as a large luxury vehicle, and the Kia Sorento won anything means Auto Pacific's winners should spend very little time celebrating their victories.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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