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Do the opinions of automotive journalists matter? For us, that may be a bit of transcendental self-examination, but for the consuming public, it's a very real question. Is a potential customer of a new family sedan going to rely completely on Consumer Reports, or are they willing to go with their own gut feelings and neighbors' recommendations?

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According to CR's blog, Notes from the test track, the hybrid article in the April issue struck a chord among CR's readership. Though Notes only provided a sample of the responses, they showed a gamut of reactions from agreement ("...the facts are in and I agree that maybe hybrids aren't the best investment...") to opposition. ("All of your hybrid car reviews are crap.") Two readers even shared contradictory experiences with their Highlander hybrids.