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  1. Consumer reports listed the Escalade as one of the ten worst vehicles to buy in a recent article. What can be done to improve perception of Cadilalc vehicles? From the article; It’s easy to become enamored when a car is shiny and new, complete with a new-car smell. But over time that seemingly great choice can look like a bad decision. Here at Consumer Reports we spend a lot of time helping consumers make the best choices. But the same testing and surveys we use to make those determinations also show us, and you, products to avoid. To help you keep buyer’s remorse at bay when it comes to car shopping, we’ve assembled a list of the worst picks in 10 popular categories based on the lowest Overall Score. Our Overall Score provides a complete picture of each model, combining road-test score, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety, including government and insurance industry crash-test results. While some of these cars have their fans, we’d suggest that these stay off your shopping list. There are literally many better choices in each category. Consider one of our Top Picks, or use our new-car selector to find the models that excel in the areas that matter most to you. 1. Cadillac Escalade -Lowest Rated Luxury SUV The Escalade lacks the character of a true luxury SUV; it rides too stiffly and doesn't stop or handle with the grace of its peers. Despite casting a massive shadow, the Cadillac is not even that comfortable inside. The second-row seats are too low, and the third row is cramped. The Cue infotainment system is confounding. Reliability ranks worst in class. We consider a well-trimmed Chevrolet Suburban or GMC Yukon XL to be a smarter buy.
  2. It seemed that it would never happen, a domestic brand cracking into the top three of Consumer Reports' annual Auto Reliability Survey. But in the 2016 survey, Buick became the first domestic brand in three decades to be in the top three of reliable brands - behind Lexus and Toyota. “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers. One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing in a statement. For the 2016 survey, Consumer Reports changed up their predicted reliability score to a 0-100 scale. Brands that score between 41 to 60 were deemed to be reliable. If a brand finishes below, it is deemed to be less reliable, while those that finished above were deemed to be more reliable. Rounding out the top ten list include Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti (up 16 spots), BMW, and Honda. Chevrolet was the second highest domestic brand by finishing 15th. Ford placed 18th in the survey, still being troubled by the dual-clutch transmissions used in the Fiesta and Focus. FCA had a rough showing again with Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram Trucks finishing in the bottom three. Other notes from the 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Tesla is now part of the survey as they now have two models - Model S and X. They placed 25th. The Model S saw its reliability rating improve to average, while the Model X is toward the bottom due to numerous problems. Subaru fell out of the top 10 because of the WRX and STI getting below average reliability, and the Legacy/Outback falling to average. The recently redesigned Honda Civic is said to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to issues with the infotainment and power accessories. Source: Consumer Reports, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Buick Becomes First Domestic to Reach the Top Three New Honda Civic Plagued with Power Equipment and Infotainment Systems Problems YONKERS, NY – While Asian brands continue to dominate, Buick has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn a place in the top three most reliable brands in Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey. The findings were announced during a press conference before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit today. There was trouble, too, for one of the imports: Honda’s popular Civic model proved to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to problems with its power equipment and infotainment systems. The Civic was North American Car of the Year for 2016. Buick, General Motors’ near-luxury brand, has been hovering in the top 10 of CR’s brand reliability rankings for the past few years. But CR’s latest findings show Buick has joined Lexus and Toyota on the podium for the first time since the organization began tracking brand performance in the early 1980s. Chevrolet ranks as the second-best domestic brand and is in 15th place overall among the 29 brands covered. Consumer Reports—the world’s largest and most trusted consumer nonprofit—first published its annual brand reliability rankings in 2001. That initial analysis showed that domestic nameplate vehicles had been lagging behind Japanese and European imports for the previous 20 years. Factoring in that history makes Buick’s third-place finish the highest for any American brand in more than 35 years. “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.” All of the Asian nameplates scored among the top half of the 29 brands tested, accounting for seven of the top 10 spots. Lexus and Toyota continued their domination, finishing in first and second place for the fourth straight year. All nine Lexus models CR rated had better-than-average reliability, as would have Toyota, had it not been for the below average score of the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pickup truck. Among the other Asian brands, Infiniti made the biggest gain, while Acura was up six spots and Nissan moved up two. All Mazda models remained above average except for the new CX-3 small SUV, which came in at average. Kia and Hyundai continue to surge up the rankings, coming in at five and seven this year. No Kia or Hyundai models scored below average. Honda has continued with its erratic trajectory, making landfall at number 10 among all brands. Usually a top finisher known for reliability, the brand has been hurt by new introductions. In addition to the new Civic, the redesigned Pilot SUV was just average. Historically a strong performer, Subaru is an example of how smaller manufacturers can be helped—or hindered—by the performance of one or two models. Subaru fell out of the top 10, hurt by the 2016 Legacy and Outback falling to average, and the sporty WRX/STi dropping to below average. Reliability improvements helped some luxury brands move up. Infiniti jumped 16 spots to number eight, but the brand still runs hot and cold. The older QX50 SUV and Q70 sedan had top scores, but the newer QX60 SUV and Q50 sedan were below average. BMW also moved into the top 10, with the 5 Series, X5, and i3 improving to average. Audi has had several years of upward progress, and it continues to rank in the top five. The new Q7 and the Q3 SUVs were very reliable. Other European brands continue their inconsistency. Mercedes was one of the big movers, jumping four spots to number 17. The 2016 GLC, which replaced the reliable GLK, launched with well-above-average reliability, and the GLA and GLE SUVs were average. But the large GLS SUV was among the 20 most trouble-prone new cars in the survey, and the C- and S-Class sedans remained unreliable. Volkswagen and Volvo, however, tumbled. Aside from the Tiguan SUV, all other VW models had below average reliability. The redesigned XC90 was the big culprit in Volvo’s plunge to the bottom third ranking, with its touch-screen infotainment and climate systems being particularly problematic. Transmissions with more ratios and advanced drivetrains continue to be a challenge for a number of brands. While the Acura TLX and Jeep Cherokee have seen improvements in the reliability of their nine-speed automatics, earlier models are still problematic. Ford’s dual-clutch automatic transmission continues to afflict the Fiesta and Focus, which is one reason they are among the lowest-scoring models. Likewise, early versions of the current Nissan Pathfinder and similar Infiniti QX60 SUVs continue to suffer from problems with their continuously variable transmissions. Other GM marques did not fare as well as Buick. Chevrolet saw gains, moving up five spots since last year. It was helped in particular by the stellar reliability of the redesigned 2016 Cruze, which topped all compact cars, and the Corvette, which moved up to average. Cadillac has two models with below-average reliability—the Escalade and small ATS sedan—while the CTS and XTS sedans were average or better. GMC has dropped, hurt by its versions of the same large SUVs and pickup trucks that haunt Chevrolet. Consumer Reports requires at least two models with sufficient data in order to be included in its brand reliability rankings. With the introduction of the new Model X SUV, Tesla is now included and is ranked toward the bottom, at 25th. The Model X launched with abundant problems, including frequent malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors, water leaks, and infotainment and climate-control system problems. The Model S gained ground this year, improving to average reliability. Fiat-Chrysler continues its turbulent voyage. The Fiat 500L, the most trouble-prone new car for the past two years, is now only the seventh-most troublesome. No Fiat or Ram vehicle managed even an average reliability rating. Only the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, and Jeep Patriot SUV managed an average or better score. View full article
  3. It seemed that it would never happen, a domestic brand cracking into the top three of Consumer Reports' annual Auto Reliability Survey. But in the 2016 survey, Buick became the first domestic brand in three decades to be in the top three of reliable brands - behind Lexus and Toyota. “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers. One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing in a statement. For the 2016 survey, Consumer Reports changed up their predicted reliability score to a 0-100 scale. Brands that score between 41 to 60 were deemed to be reliable. If a brand finishes below, it is deemed to be less reliable, while those that finished above were deemed to be more reliable. Rounding out the top ten list include Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti (up 16 spots), BMW, and Honda. Chevrolet was the second highest domestic brand by finishing 15th. Ford placed 18th in the survey, still being troubled by the dual-clutch transmissions used in the Fiesta and Focus. FCA had a rough showing again with Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram Trucks finishing in the bottom three. Other notes from the 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Tesla is now part of the survey as they now have two models - Model S and X. They placed 25th. The Model S saw its reliability rating improve to average, while the Model X is toward the bottom due to numerous problems. Subaru fell out of the top 10 because of the WRX and STI getting below average reliability, and the Legacy/Outback falling to average. The recently redesigned Honda Civic is said to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to issues with the infotainment and power accessories. Source: Consumer Reports, Automotive News (Subscription Required) Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: Buick Becomes First Domestic to Reach the Top Three New Honda Civic Plagued with Power Equipment and Infotainment Systems Problems YONKERS, NY – While Asian brands continue to dominate, Buick has become the first domestic brand in more than three decades to earn a place in the top three most reliable brands in Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey. The findings were announced during a press conference before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit today. There was trouble, too, for one of the imports: Honda’s popular Civic model proved to have “much-worse-than-average” reliability due to problems with its power equipment and infotainment systems. The Civic was North American Car of the Year for 2016. Buick, General Motors’ near-luxury brand, has been hovering in the top 10 of CR’s brand reliability rankings for the past few years. But CR’s latest findings show Buick has joined Lexus and Toyota on the podium for the first time since the organization began tracking brand performance in the early 1980s. Chevrolet ranks as the second-best domestic brand and is in 15th place overall among the 29 brands covered. Consumer Reports—the world’s largest and most trusted consumer nonprofit—first published its annual brand reliability rankings in 2001. That initial analysis showed that domestic nameplate vehicles had been lagging behind Japanese and European imports for the previous 20 years. Factoring in that history makes Buick’s third-place finish the highest for any American brand in more than 35 years. “Buick’s achievement is commendable and sure to be a wake-up call to other manufacturers,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing. “One reason why the brand has been able to leapfrog others in the General Motors’ stable has been its limited vehicle lineup--with none of the pickups and truck-based SUVs that have negatively impacted Cadillac and Chevrolet.” All of the Asian nameplates scored among the top half of the 29 brands tested, accounting for seven of the top 10 spots. Lexus and Toyota continued their domination, finishing in first and second place for the fourth straight year. All nine Lexus models CR rated had better-than-average reliability, as would have Toyota, had it not been for the below average score of the redesigned 2016 Tacoma pickup truck. Among the other Asian brands, Infiniti made the biggest gain, while Acura was up six spots and Nissan moved up two. All Mazda models remained above average except for the new CX-3 small SUV, which came in at average. Kia and Hyundai continue to surge up the rankings, coming in at five and seven this year. No Kia or Hyundai models scored below average. Honda has continued with its erratic trajectory, making landfall at number 10 among all brands. Usually a top finisher known for reliability, the brand has been hurt by new introductions. In addition to the new Civic, the redesigned Pilot SUV was just average. Historically a strong performer, Subaru is an example of how smaller manufacturers can be helped—or hindered—by the performance of one or two models. Subaru fell out of the top 10, hurt by the 2016 Legacy and Outback falling to average, and the sporty WRX/STi dropping to below average. Reliability improvements helped some luxury brands move up. Infiniti jumped 16 spots to number eight, but the brand still runs hot and cold. The older QX50 SUV and Q70 sedan had top scores, but the newer QX60 SUV and Q50 sedan were below average. BMW also moved into the top 10, with the 5 Series, X5, and i3 improving to average. Audi has had several years of upward progress, and it continues to rank in the top five. The new Q7 and the Q3 SUVs were very reliable. Other European brands continue their inconsistency. Mercedes was one of the big movers, jumping four spots to number 17. The 2016 GLC, which replaced the reliable GLK, launched with well-above-average reliability, and the GLA and GLE SUVs were average. But the large GLS SUV was among the 20 most trouble-prone new cars in the survey, and the C- and S-Class sedans remained unreliable. Volkswagen and Volvo, however, tumbled. Aside from the Tiguan SUV, all other VW models had below average reliability. The redesigned XC90 was the big culprit in Volvo’s plunge to the bottom third ranking, with its touch-screen infotainment and climate systems being particularly problematic. Transmissions with more ratios and advanced drivetrains continue to be a challenge for a number of brands. While the Acura TLX and Jeep Cherokee have seen improvements in the reliability of their nine-speed automatics, earlier models are still problematic. Ford’s dual-clutch automatic transmission continues to afflict the Fiesta and Focus, which is one reason they are among the lowest-scoring models. Likewise, early versions of the current Nissan Pathfinder and similar Infiniti QX60 SUVs continue to suffer from problems with their continuously variable transmissions. Other GM marques did not fare as well as Buick. Chevrolet saw gains, moving up five spots since last year. It was helped in particular by the stellar reliability of the redesigned 2016 Cruze, which topped all compact cars, and the Corvette, which moved up to average. Cadillac has two models with below-average reliability—the Escalade and small ATS sedan—while the CTS and XTS sedans were average or better. GMC has dropped, hurt by its versions of the same large SUVs and pickup trucks that haunt Chevrolet. Consumer Reports requires at least two models with sufficient data in order to be included in its brand reliability rankings. With the introduction of the new Model X SUV, Tesla is now included and is ranked toward the bottom, at 25th. The Model X launched with abundant problems, including frequent malfunctions of the falcon-wing doors, water leaks, and infotainment and climate-control system problems. The Model S gained ground this year, improving to average reliability. Fiat-Chrysler continues its turbulent voyage. The Fiat 500L, the most trouble-prone new car for the past two years, is now only the seventh-most troublesome. No Fiat or Ram vehicle managed even an average reliability rating. Only the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Grand Caravan minivan, and Jeep Patriot SUV managed an average or better score.
  4. One thing you cannot call Elon Musk is a shrinking violet. The CEO of Tesla has taken to Twitter once again to defend the company. This time it deals with the results of Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey where the Model S, a vehicle which had earned the coveted Recommended rating, lost it this year due to a number of problems reported by owners. CR says the Model S likely to face a "worse-than-average" overall problem rate. Musk said in his tweets that problems outlined in CR's survey were because of early production models and that new models have these issues ironed out. Musk goes on to say "Most important, CR says 97% of owners expect their next car to be a Tesla (the acid test)." Source: Elon Musk Twitter, (2)
  5. One thing you cannot call Elon Musk is a shrinking violet. The CEO of Tesla has taken to Twitter once again to defend the company. This time it deals with the results of Consumer Reports' annual reliability survey where the Model S, a vehicle which had earned the coveted Recommended rating, lost it this year due to a number of problems reported by owners. CR says the Model S likely to face a "worse-than-average" overall problem rate. Musk said in his tweets that problems outlined in CR's survey were because of early production models and that new models have these issues ironed out. Musk goes on to say "Most important, CR says 97% of owners expect their next car to be a Tesla (the acid test)." Source: Elon Musk Twitter, (2) View full article
  6. Yesterday, Consumer Reports announced the results of their annual reliability survey for 2015. Not surprisingly, the top ten was mostly made up of Japanese and Korean automakers, with Lexus and Toyota taking the top two spots. However, Audi led the Europeans by taking the third spot. For the domestics, Buick landed at number seven on the list. The survey reports that a number of automakers are still having troubles with the infotainment system, but also with transmissions. “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. One other bit of news to come out was the Tesla Model S losing its Recommended rating from the publication. While the vehicle earned top marks when it came to the tests done by Consumer Reports, the respondents tell a slightly different story. Problems listed include pop-out door handles that don't pop out anymore, leaking sunroofs, door rattles, and failure of the electric motor. Source: Consumer Reports Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports’ 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: New Transmission Technology Problems Emerge Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and Subaru Most Reliable Brands YONKERS, NY—While problematic infotainment systems continue to be among the top issues reported by new car owners, Consumer Reports has identified an emerging trend of increased troubles with new transmission systems developed to improve fuel-economy, based on an analysis of its 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey. The findings, released today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, are collected annually from Consumer Reports’ subscribers. CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey takes into account data from more than 740,000 vehicles. This year, Acura becomes the latest brand to see its overall predicted-reliability ranking drop sharply (down 7 places from last year) due to problems with in-car electronics and transmissions for its newest RLX and TLX sedans. CR has already seen these trouble areas drag down overall scores for Ford, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler and others. “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts.” Not all new-generation transmissions are troublesome. Audi and BMW have created reliable dual-clutch transmissions, while the CVTs in Honda and Toyota hybrids have been strong performers. Among the Japanese brands, Lexus pulled off a rare feat, garnering top reliability marks for all seven vehicle lines scored in Consumer Reports survey. But it was the only strong Japanese luxury brand. Nissan’s Infiniti brand has continued its downward trajectory because of problems with its InTouch infotainment system. Although none of Honda’s vehicles rated below average, the brand has dropped a few places largely due to glitches with its infotainment system in redesigned and freshened models. Toyota, Mazda and Subaru were all in the top five. Audi, once synonymous with service problems, continued its recent upward trend leading all European brands and finishing third, just behind Lexus and Toyota. Mini, BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen all finished in the top 15. Porsche dropped from ninth to 14th place because of a declining score for the Cayman and a below-average debut for the Macan. Korean automakers, Kia and Hyundai, are considerably stronger and continue to rise in Consumer Reports rankings. The sister brands finished sixth and ninth, respectively. For the first time, Kia beat the stalwart Japanese brand Honda, and by a significant margin. The complete reliability results for all 2016 are available at www.ConsumerReports.org, today, and in the December Issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands November 1. For the second year, Buick was the only domestic brand in the top 10 coming in seventh place. Cadillac dropped seven places to near the bottom, still plagued by its CUE infotainment system. Other General Motors brands, Chevrolet and GMC finished in the bottom third of the overall rankings. Ford remains in the lower half of the rankings as well, but showed significant gains with most of its cars scoring average or better. The redesigned F-150 and Expedition SUV were bright spots, scoring above average in its first year. But the first-year Mustang had issues with its body hardware, drive shaft, and stability/traction control systems. Nine of the 13 Fords Consumer Reports scored had average or better reliability. Tesla’s Model S sedan got high marks in Consumer Reports’ 50-plus performance tests, but its predicted reliability is another matter. CR received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies. From that data, the Tesla Model S earns a worse-than-average predicted reliability score. The main problem areas are the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks. While the long-running Chrysler and Dodge minivans scraped up an average reliability score for the first time in many years, all of Fiat-Chrysler brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat) finished at or near the bottom again. View full article
  7. Yesterday, Consumer Reports announced the results of their annual reliability survey for 2015. Not surprisingly, the top ten was mostly made up of Japanese and Korean automakers, with Lexus and Toyota taking the top two spots. However, Audi led the Europeans by taking the third spot. For the domestics, Buick landed at number seven on the list. The survey reports that a number of automakers are still having troubles with the infotainment system, but also with transmissions. “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. One other bit of news to come out was the Tesla Model S losing its Recommended rating from the publication. While the vehicle earned top marks when it came to the tests done by Consumer Reports, the respondents tell a slightly different story. Problems listed include pop-out door handles that don't pop out anymore, leaking sunroofs, door rattles, and failure of the electric motor. Source: Consumer Reports Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports’ 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey: New Transmission Technology Problems Emerge Lexus, Toyota, Audi, Mazda, and Subaru Most Reliable Brands YONKERS, NY—While problematic infotainment systems continue to be among the top issues reported by new car owners, Consumer Reports has identified an emerging trend of increased troubles with new transmission systems developed to improve fuel-economy, based on an analysis of its 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey. The findings, released today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, are collected annually from Consumer Reports’ subscribers. CR’s 2015 Annual Auto Reliability Survey takes into account data from more than 740,000 vehicles. This year, Acura becomes the latest brand to see its overall predicted-reliability ranking drop sharply (down 7 places from last year) due to problems with in-car electronics and transmissions for its newest RLX and TLX sedans. CR has already seen these trouble areas drag down overall scores for Ford, Nissan, Fiat-Chrysler and others. “We’ve seen a number of brands struggle with new transmission technology,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ Director of Automotive Testing. “Whether it’s a complex system such as a dual-clutch gearbox, a continuously variable transmission, or one with eight or nine speeds. Many vehicles require repair and replacements because of rough shifting among the gears and slipping CVT belts.” Not all new-generation transmissions are troublesome. Audi and BMW have created reliable dual-clutch transmissions, while the CVTs in Honda and Toyota hybrids have been strong performers. Among the Japanese brands, Lexus pulled off a rare feat, garnering top reliability marks for all seven vehicle lines scored in Consumer Reports survey. But it was the only strong Japanese luxury brand. Nissan’s Infiniti brand has continued its downward trajectory because of problems with its InTouch infotainment system. Although none of Honda’s vehicles rated below average, the brand has dropped a few places largely due to glitches with its infotainment system in redesigned and freshened models. Toyota, Mazda and Subaru were all in the top five. Audi, once synonymous with service problems, continued its recent upward trend leading all European brands and finishing third, just behind Lexus and Toyota. Mini, BMW, Volvo, and Volkswagen all finished in the top 15. Porsche dropped from ninth to 14th place because of a declining score for the Cayman and a below-average debut for the Macan. Korean automakers, Kia and Hyundai, are considerably stronger and continue to rise in Consumer Reports rankings. The sister brands finished sixth and ninth, respectively. For the first time, Kia beat the stalwart Japanese brand Honda, and by a significant margin. The complete reliability results for all 2016 are available at www.ConsumerReports.org, today, and in the December Issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands November 1. For the second year, Buick was the only domestic brand in the top 10 coming in seventh place. Cadillac dropped seven places to near the bottom, still plagued by its CUE infotainment system. Other General Motors brands, Chevrolet and GMC finished in the bottom third of the overall rankings. Ford remains in the lower half of the rankings as well, but showed significant gains with most of its cars scoring average or better. The redesigned F-150 and Expedition SUV were bright spots, scoring above average in its first year. But the first-year Mustang had issues with its body hardware, drive shaft, and stability/traction control systems. Nine of the 13 Fords Consumer Reports scored had average or better reliability. Tesla’s Model S sedan got high marks in Consumer Reports’ 50-plus performance tests, but its predicted reliability is another matter. CR received about 1,400 survey responses from Model S owners who chronicled an array of detailed and complicated maladies. From that data, the Tesla Model S earns a worse-than-average predicted reliability score. The main problem areas are the drivetrain, power equipment, charging equipment, center console, and body and sunroof squeaks, rattles, and leaks. While the long-running Chrysler and Dodge minivans scraped up an average reliability score for the first time in many years, all of Fiat-Chrysler brands (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat) finished at or near the bottom again.
  8. Yahoo has this great video on consumers reports review of the new Tesla P85D model. https://www.yahoo.com/autos/tesla-model-s-p85d-breaks-the-consumer-reports-127707921452.html Pretty interesting to listen to them, they admit it is not a perfect car, but still blew everything away with a 103 score. Your thoughts?
  9. Read More: Autofile.ca
  10. It's that time of year when Consumer Reports announces the results of their brand report cards and for the most part, the results aren't surprising. The top ten were mostly dominated by Japanese automakers with Lexus being on top, followed by Mazda and Toyota. But if you look a little further down the list, you'll find a domestic automaker making the ten. Buick took the number seven spot on their annual reliability survey with the publication giving it an overall score of 69 and recommending 83 percent of their lineup. Buick has a reputation for large, cushy cars, and they’ve really invented themselves pretty quickly. They’re making reliable vehicles, and they’re making cars that score very well. In many ways, they’re like the new Lexus, but also sporty to drive,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing to Automotive News. Alongside Buick, two other automakers cracked the top ten. Porsche took sixth, while Kia was ninth. However for some automakers, the report cards weren't pretty. Most of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lineup were towards the bottom with Fiat having the lowest score of 32. Mercedes-Benz dropped 12 places to 21st thanks mostly in part to the CLA, while Acura dropped 9 places to 11th due to the RLX. Consumer Reports didn't rank Ram, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Tesla because it had driven too few vehicles from these brands recently. Along with their report card announcement, Consumer Reports announced their top picks. The Tesla Model S kept the best overall title for the second year running. Here are other picks. Large car: Chevrolet Impala ($39,110) Midsize sedan: Subaru Legacy ($24,837) Compact car: Subaru Impreza (sedan, $21,345) Sports sedan: Buick Regal ($34,485) Green car: Toyota Prius ($29,230) Luxury car: Audi A6 ($56,295) Small SUV: Subaru Forester ($26,814) Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander ($38,941) Minivan: Honda Odyssey ($38,055) Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Consumer Reports Press Release is on Page 2 Buick Is First Domestic to Earn A Top 10 Spot In Consumer Reports Annual Car Brand Report Cards Rankings find Kia rising, while Acura, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz plummet YONKERS, NY—With improved reliability scores for its lineup, Buick has become the first domestic brand to earn a place among the top 10 in Consumer Reports Annual Car Brand Report Cards since its inception three years ago. The findings were presented today before the Washington Automotive Press Association at the National Press Club. Sitting firmly at seventh on a list that has historically been dominated by the likes of Lexus and other Japanese brands, Buick takes top honors among all domestics for the second year in a row, and leapfrogs over Honda and BMW in the rankings for the first time. Currently, 83 percent of Buick vehicles are Consumer Reports’ Recommended. “For years domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing. “Today many domestic models can go toe-to-toe with the best imports.” To take a full measure of how the brands stack up, Consumer Reports calculates each report card score using an equally weighted composite of its road-test scores and reliability scores for each model that the organization has tested, and for which its subscribers have provided reliability data in its Annual Auto Reliability Survey. To be included in the Brand Report Card, Consumer Reports must have test and reliability data for at least two models. For the third consecutive year, Lexus is still king of all brands—earning the highest score overall (78) by a clear margin. Next up was Mazda, which improved from sixth place the year before—with a solid lineup of cars that are reliable, fun-to-drive, and deliver impressive fuel economy. The other brands rounding out the top five were Toyota, Audi and Subaru. Scores for all 28 brands included in Consumer Reports 2015 Car Brand Report Cards are available in the Annual Auto issue of Consumer Reports or by visiting Consumer Reports 2015 Autos Spotlight on ConsumerReports.org/AutosSpotlight. With 78 percent of its vehicles CR Recommended, Kia further distanced itself in the rankings from its Korean counterpart Hyundai by breaking into the top 10 at number nine just a head of BMW. Consumer Reports Reliability Survey has shown redesigned models can often come with a number of teething pains. As was reflected in this year’s Brand Report Card scores for Mercedes-Benz, Acura, and Infiniti. Mercedes-Benz was the biggest loser this year, dropping from the top 10 to 21st, due to a decline in reliability from several of its models and the low-scoring, unreliable new CLA. Acura’s once-stellar reliability had dropped in recent years and the unimpressive RLX fell short in Consumer Reports’ tests. The brand fell from its high perch at number two last year, landing outside the top 10 for the first time. Infiniti’s score was an example of how one low-scoring and unreliable new model can hurt a carmaker with a small lineup. Largely based on the poorly performing new Q50, Infiniti also falls out of the top 10 and lands at 17, just above Nissan. Currently Consumer Reports only recommends 29 percent of Infiniti models—significantly less than it did two years ago when it recommended 75 percent. Despite Buick’s leap and the slight improvements seen in Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. The bottom of the rankings included a number of domestic brands. Ford showed some incremental improvement and its infotainment systems have shown to have fewer reliability problems, but only 19 percent of its models are CR Recommended. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat brands all scored near the bottom rankings, the result of poor reliability and a variety of new or redesigned models with low road-test scores. Historically, reliability issues have plagued most models from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). And though Consumer Reports road-test ratings of FCA products have improved in the past two years, much of the competition continues to raise the bar. Only two models, both from Dodge, are currently CR Recommended. This year, Consumer Reports doesn’t have Brand Report Cards for RAM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Tesla because either the organization has too few currently tested models from those makes or it lacked sufficient reliability data. Ratings on individual models from those makers are available at www.ConsumerReports.org. The complete report and scores for all 28 brands in Consumer Reports Car Brand Report Cards for 2015 is available in the Annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports and at the 2015 Autos Spotlight on www.ConsumerReports.org starting February 24, 2015. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. Check out CR’s ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars. View full article
  11. It's that time of year when Consumer Reports announces the results of their brand report cards and for the most part, the results aren't surprising. The top ten were mostly dominated by Japanese automakers with Lexus being on top, followed by Mazda and Toyota. But if you look a little further down the list, you'll find a domestic automaker making the ten. Buick took the number seven spot on their annual reliability survey with the publication giving it an overall score of 69 and recommending 83 percent of their lineup. Buick has a reputation for large, cushy cars, and they’ve really invented themselves pretty quickly. They’re making reliable vehicles, and they’re making cars that score very well. In many ways, they’re like the new Lexus, but also sporty to drive,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of automotive testing to Automotive News. Alongside Buick, two other automakers cracked the top ten. Porsche took sixth, while Kia was ninth. However for some automakers, the report cards weren't pretty. Most of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lineup were towards the bottom with Fiat having the lowest score of 32. Mercedes-Benz dropped 12 places to 21st thanks mostly in part to the CLA, while Acura dropped 9 places to 11th due to the RLX. Consumer Reports didn't rank Ram, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Tesla because it had driven too few vehicles from these brands recently. Along with their report card announcement, Consumer Reports announced their top picks. The Tesla Model S kept the best overall title for the second year running. Here are other picks. Large car: Chevrolet Impala ($39,110) Midsize sedan: Subaru Legacy ($24,837) Compact car: Subaru Impreza (sedan, $21,345) Sports sedan: Buick Regal ($34,485) Green car: Toyota Prius ($29,230) Luxury car: Audi A6 ($56,295) Small SUV: Subaru Forester ($26,814) Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander ($38,941) Minivan: Honda Odyssey ($38,055) Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Consumer Reports Press Release is on Page 2 Buick Is First Domestic to Earn A Top 10 Spot In Consumer Reports Annual Car Brand Report Cards Rankings find Kia rising, while Acura, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz plummet YONKERS, NY—With improved reliability scores for its lineup, Buick has become the first domestic brand to earn a place among the top 10 in Consumer Reports Annual Car Brand Report Cards since its inception three years ago. The findings were presented today before the Washington Automotive Press Association at the National Press Club. Sitting firmly at seventh on a list that has historically been dominated by the likes of Lexus and other Japanese brands, Buick takes top honors among all domestics for the second year in a row, and leapfrogs over Honda and BMW in the rankings for the first time. Currently, 83 percent of Buick vehicles are Consumer Reports’ Recommended. “For years domestic automakers built lower-priced and lower-quality alternatives to imports, but those days are behind us,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing. “Today many domestic models can go toe-to-toe with the best imports.” To take a full measure of how the brands stack up, Consumer Reports calculates each report card score using an equally weighted composite of its road-test scores and reliability scores for each model that the organization has tested, and for which its subscribers have provided reliability data in its Annual Auto Reliability Survey. To be included in the Brand Report Card, Consumer Reports must have test and reliability data for at least two models. For the third consecutive year, Lexus is still king of all brands—earning the highest score overall (78) by a clear margin. Next up was Mazda, which improved from sixth place the year before—with a solid lineup of cars that are reliable, fun-to-drive, and deliver impressive fuel economy. The other brands rounding out the top five were Toyota, Audi and Subaru. Scores for all 28 brands included in Consumer Reports 2015 Car Brand Report Cards are available in the Annual Auto issue of Consumer Reports or by visiting Consumer Reports 2015 Autos Spotlight on ConsumerReports.org/AutosSpotlight. With 78 percent of its vehicles CR Recommended, Kia further distanced itself in the rankings from its Korean counterpart Hyundai by breaking into the top 10 at number nine just a head of BMW. Consumer Reports Reliability Survey has shown redesigned models can often come with a number of teething pains. As was reflected in this year’s Brand Report Card scores for Mercedes-Benz, Acura, and Infiniti. Mercedes-Benz was the biggest loser this year, dropping from the top 10 to 21st, due to a decline in reliability from several of its models and the low-scoring, unreliable new CLA. Acura’s once-stellar reliability had dropped in recent years and the unimpressive RLX fell short in Consumer Reports’ tests. The brand fell from its high perch at number two last year, landing outside the top 10 for the first time. Infiniti’s score was an example of how one low-scoring and unreliable new model can hurt a carmaker with a small lineup. Largely based on the poorly performing new Q50, Infiniti also falls out of the top 10 and lands at 17, just above Nissan. Currently Consumer Reports only recommends 29 percent of Infiniti models—significantly less than it did two years ago when it recommended 75 percent. Despite Buick’s leap and the slight improvements seen in Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC. The bottom of the rankings included a number of domestic brands. Ford showed some incremental improvement and its infotainment systems have shown to have fewer reliability problems, but only 19 percent of its models are CR Recommended. Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat brands all scored near the bottom rankings, the result of poor reliability and a variety of new or redesigned models with low road-test scores. Historically, reliability issues have plagued most models from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). And though Consumer Reports road-test ratings of FCA products have improved in the past two years, much of the competition continues to raise the bar. Only two models, both from Dodge, are currently CR Recommended. This year, Consumer Reports doesn’t have Brand Report Cards for RAM, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Smart, and Tesla because either the organization has too few currently tested models from those makes or it lacked sufficient reliability data. Ratings on individual models from those makers are available at www.ConsumerReports.org. The complete report and scores for all 28 brands in Consumer Reports Car Brand Report Cards for 2015 is available in the Annual Auto Issue of Consumer Reports and at the 2015 Autos Spotlight on www.ConsumerReports.org starting February 24, 2015. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. Check out CR’s ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars.
  12. A day after Consumer Reports released their annual reliability survey which saw four Chrysler brands; Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram finish at the bottom, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Quality Chief has stepped down. Doug Betts, FCA's 51-year-old head of quality has "left the company to pursue other interests,"according to a statement released yesterday. Betts joined Chrysler back in 2007, defecting from Nissan. Chrysler declined to comment on why Betts left when asked by Automotive News, but sources say Betts had the tendency to speak his mind. This irked FCA's CEO Sergio Marchionne a lot. Taking the place of of Betts is Matthew Lidane, who is the VP of systems and components. Lidane joined Chrysler back in 1987 and has been the chief engineer for Jeep and vehicle line boss for the compact US wide platform. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Announces Management Changes October 28, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Matthew Liddane as Head of Quality in North America. Liddane previously was Vice President – Systems and Components for Chrysler Group. The appointment is effective immediately. Liddane replaces Doug Betts who left the Company to pursue other interests. Liddane joined the former Chrysler Corporation in 1987 and has held a series of engineering positions with increasing responsibility including Chief Engineer Jeep Product Team and Vehicle Line Executive – CUSW platform. View full article
  13. A day after Consumer Reports released their annual reliability survey which saw four Chrysler brands; Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram finish at the bottom, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' Quality Chief has stepped down. Doug Betts, FCA's 51-year-old head of quality has "left the company to pursue other interests,"according to a statement released yesterday. Betts joined Chrysler back in 2007, defecting from Nissan. Chrysler declined to comment on why Betts left when asked by Automotive News, but sources say Betts had the tendency to speak his mind. This irked FCA's CEO Sergio Marchionne a lot. Taking the place of of Betts is Matthew Lidane, who is the VP of systems and components. Lidane joined Chrysler back in 1987 and has been the chief engineer for Jeep and vehicle line boss for the compact US wide platform. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Chrysler Group Announces Management Changes October 28, 2014 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC today appointed Matthew Liddane as Head of Quality in North America. Liddane previously was Vice President – Systems and Components for Chrysler Group. The appointment is effective immediately. Liddane replaces Doug Betts who left the Company to pursue other interests. Liddane joined the former Chrysler Corporation in 1987 and has held a series of engineering positions with increasing responsibility including Chief Engineer Jeep Product Team and Vehicle Line Executive – CUSW platform.
  14. Interesting but in looking through the MSN auto section, they had this video by Inside Cars where they show some cool things like Tesla battery swap process, but better yet, is that Consumer Reports who has been Anti-American on Auto's supposedly just gave Ram Trucks the coveted Recommended Buy over Ford or Toyota Trucks. They also Recommend Chevy Impala as the best buy in America. http://video.msn.com?vid=59096624-a012-4c38-3f3e-8fa37f94c12f&mkt=en-us&src=CPSmall:shareBar:permalink:search_usage&from=cp^en-us So what do you think?
  15. If you're looking a vehicle that has the best value in the marketplace, then according to Consumer Reports, you should be looking at the Toyota Prius. The publication announced the results of their annual Best New-Car Value analysis. The analysis looks at the five-year cost for a vehicle to an owner which includes such factors as maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. That cost is factored in with Consumer Reports’ road-test score and reliability rating for each vehicle. This is the second year the Prius has been named the best value in the marketplace. Consumer Reports says the Prius has a nice balance of performance, reliability, and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile. “The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested. Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. Now with there being a best, that usually means there is a worst. In this case, it happens to be the Nissan Armada. Consumer Reports says the Armada scored poorly in this year's reliability survey and gets 13 MPG combined, giving it the highest ownership cost of a $1.20 per mile. Here is a list of the best and worst for each class. Compact /Subcompact Cars: Best, Toyota Prius Four; Worst, Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L Midsized Cars: Best, Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium; Worst, Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Large Cars: Best, Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited; Worst, Ford Taurus Limited Luxury Cars: Best, Lexus ES 300h; Worst, BMW 750Li Sports Cars/Convertibles: Best: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring; Worst, Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS (V8) Wagons/Minivans: Best, Mazda5 Grand Touring; Worst, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L Small SUVs: Best, Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium; Worst, Ford Escape SE (1.6T) Midsized SUVs: Best, Nissan Murano SL; Worst, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Luxury/Large SUVs: Best, BMW X1 xDrive28i; Worst, Nissan Armada Platinum Pickups: Best, Honda Ridgeline RTS; Worst, Ford F-250 Lariat (6.7L V8) Source: Consumer Reports William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports Names Toyota Prius Best New-Car Value for Second Year in A Row Nissan Armada ranked lowest overall in CR’s annual Best- & Worst-Value Ranking YONKERS, NY— Consumer Reports finds the Toyota Prius to be the best overall value for the automotive dollar and the Nissan Armada the worst in its annual Best New-Car Value analysis. This is the second straight year that the Prius has topped CR’s best-value list, which highlights the cars that give you the most bang for your buck. The popular hybrid has the right combination of performance, reliability and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile. Last year, the Prius unseated the perennial best-value leader, the Honda Fit. The Fit had held the best new-car value title for the previous four years. The Armada, a large SUV that gets only 13 mpg overall and scored poorly in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, costs a hefty $1.20 per mile, according to CR’s analysis. Toyota and Lexus models placed at the top in three of the 10 categories that Consumer Reports analyzed—with the Prius taking top overall ranking and emerging in first place in the Compact/Subcompact Cars category. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited is the top-scoring vehicle in the Large Cars group and the Lexus ES 300h is the top model in the Luxury Cars category. Vehicles from Subaru and Mazda were also standouts in the analysis; each automaker had vehicles that topped the rankings in two categories. The Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium was the top-scoring vehicle in the Midsized Cars category and the Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium scored best among Small SUVs. The Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand ranked first overall in the Sports Cars/Convertibles category while the Mazda5 Grand Touring was best in the Wagons/Minivans group. In creating its annual Best and Worst New-Car Values list, Consumer Reports mines its performance, reliability, and owner-cost data to calculate a value score for more than 200 different vehicles ranging from small cars like the Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit to luxury sedans such as the Cadillac XTS and BMW 750Li. “The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. “Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain.” The scores were calculated based on the five-year owner cost for each vehicle, along with Consumer Reports’ road-test score and the organization’s own predicted-reliability score from the latest Annual Auto Survey. In short, the better a car performs in Consumer Reports’ road tests and reliability ratings, and the less it costs to own over time, the better its value. The five-year owner cost estimates factor in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. Depreciation is by far the largest owner-cost factor. The 10 vehicle categories Consumer Reports included in this analysis: Compact/Subcompact Cars, Midsized Cars, Large Cars, Luxury Cars, Sports Cars/Convertibles, Wagons/Minivans, Small SUVs, Midsized SUVs, Luxury/Large SUVs, and Pickups. “Just because a car is cheap to buy doesn’t mean it’s a good value. The Nissan Versa Sedan, for example, is one of the least expensive cars that Consumer Reports has tested,” Paul said. “For about $1,500 more, we’d go with a Honda Fit, which is fun to drive, cheaper to own, more reliable, and provides almost twice the value.” Here’s a look at the winners and losers in each of the categories: Compact /Subcompact Cars: Best, Toyota Prius Four; Worst, Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L Midsized Cars: Best, Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium; Worst, Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Large Cars: Best, Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited; Worst, Ford Taurus Limited Luxury Cars: Best, Lexus ES 300h; Worst, BMW 750Li Sports Cars/Convertibles: Best: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring; Worst, Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS (V8) Wagons/Minivans: Best, Mazda5 Grand Touring; Worst, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L Small SUVs: Best, Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium; Worst, Ford Escape SE (1.6T) Midsized SUVs: Best, Nissan Murano SL; Worst, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Luxury/Large SUVs: Best, BMW X1 xDrive28i; Worst, Nissan Armada Platinum Pickups: Best, Honda Ridgeline RTS; Worst, Ford F-250 Lariat (6.7L V8) View full article
  16. If you're looking a vehicle that has the best value in the marketplace, then according to Consumer Reports, you should be looking at the Toyota Prius. The publication announced the results of their annual Best New-Car Value analysis. The analysis looks at the five-year cost for a vehicle to an owner which includes such factors as maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. That cost is factored in with Consumer Reports’ road-test score and reliability rating for each vehicle. This is the second year the Prius has been named the best value in the marketplace. Consumer Reports says the Prius has a nice balance of performance, reliability, and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile. “The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested. Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. Now with there being a best, that usually means there is a worst. In this case, it happens to be the Nissan Armada. Consumer Reports says the Armada scored poorly in this year's reliability survey and gets 13 MPG combined, giving it the highest ownership cost of a $1.20 per mile. Here is a list of the best and worst for each class. Compact /Subcompact Cars: Best, Toyota Prius Four; Worst, Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L Midsized Cars: Best, Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium; Worst, Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Large Cars: Best, Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited; Worst, Ford Taurus Limited Luxury Cars: Best, Lexus ES 300h; Worst, BMW 750Li Sports Cars/Convertibles: Best: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring; Worst, Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS (V8) Wagons/Minivans: Best, Mazda5 Grand Touring; Worst, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L Small SUVs: Best, Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium; Worst, Ford Escape SE (1.6T) Midsized SUVs: Best, Nissan Murano SL; Worst, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Luxury/Large SUVs: Best, BMW X1 xDrive28i; Worst, Nissan Armada Platinum Pickups: Best, Honda Ridgeline RTS; Worst, Ford F-250 Lariat (6.7L V8) Source: Consumer Reports William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports Names Toyota Prius Best New-Car Value for Second Year in A Row Nissan Armada ranked lowest overall in CR’s annual Best- & Worst-Value Ranking YONKERS, NY— Consumer Reports finds the Toyota Prius to be the best overall value for the automotive dollar and the Nissan Armada the worst in its annual Best New-Car Value analysis. This is the second straight year that the Prius has topped CR’s best-value list, which highlights the cars that give you the most bang for your buck. The popular hybrid has the right combination of performance, reliability and low estimated five-year ownership costs of 47 cents per mile. Last year, the Prius unseated the perennial best-value leader, the Honda Fit. The Fit had held the best new-car value title for the previous four years. The Armada, a large SUV that gets only 13 mpg overall and scored poorly in Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, costs a hefty $1.20 per mile, according to CR’s analysis. Toyota and Lexus models placed at the top in three of the 10 categories that Consumer Reports analyzed—with the Prius taking top overall ranking and emerging in first place in the Compact/Subcompact Cars category. The Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited is the top-scoring vehicle in the Large Cars group and the Lexus ES 300h is the top model in the Luxury Cars category. Vehicles from Subaru and Mazda were also standouts in the analysis; each automaker had vehicles that topped the rankings in two categories. The Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium was the top-scoring vehicle in the Midsized Cars category and the Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium scored best among Small SUVs. The Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand ranked first overall in the Sports Cars/Convertibles category while the Mazda5 Grand Touring was best in the Wagons/Minivans group. In creating its annual Best and Worst New-Car Values list, Consumer Reports mines its performance, reliability, and owner-cost data to calculate a value score for more than 200 different vehicles ranging from small cars like the Hyundai Accent and Honda Fit to luxury sedans such as the Cadillac XTS and BMW 750Li. “The Prius’ 44 mpg overall is the best fuel economy of any non-plug-in car that Consumer Reports has tested,” said Consumer Reports Automotive Editor Rik Paul. “Though it’s not particularly cheap to buy, the Prius’ depreciation is so low that it costs less to own over the first five years than its initial MSRP. We call that a bargain.” The scores were calculated based on the five-year owner cost for each vehicle, along with Consumer Reports’ road-test score and the organization’s own predicted-reliability score from the latest Annual Auto Survey. In short, the better a car performs in Consumer Reports’ road tests and reliability ratings, and the less it costs to own over time, the better its value. The five-year owner cost estimates factor in depreciation, fuel, insurance premiums, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax. Depreciation is by far the largest owner-cost factor. The 10 vehicle categories Consumer Reports included in this analysis: Compact/Subcompact Cars, Midsized Cars, Large Cars, Luxury Cars, Sports Cars/Convertibles, Wagons/Minivans, Small SUVs, Midsized SUVs, Luxury/Large SUVs, and Pickups. “Just because a car is cheap to buy doesn’t mean it’s a good value. The Nissan Versa Sedan, for example, is one of the least expensive cars that Consumer Reports has tested,” Paul said. “For about $1,500 more, we’d go with a Honda Fit, which is fun to drive, cheaper to own, more reliable, and provides almost twice the value.” Here’s a look at the winners and losers in each of the categories: Compact /Subcompact Cars: Best, Toyota Prius Four; Worst, Volkswagen Beetle 2.5L Midsized Cars: Best, Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium; Worst, Nissan Altima 3.5 SL Large Cars: Best, Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited; Worst, Ford Taurus Limited Luxury Cars: Best, Lexus ES 300h; Worst, BMW 750Li Sports Cars/Convertibles: Best: Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring; Worst, Chevrolet Camaro convertible 2SS (V8) Wagons/Minivans: Best, Mazda5 Grand Touring; Worst, Chrysler Town & Country Touring-L Small SUVs: Best, Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium; Worst, Ford Escape SE (1.6T) Midsized SUVs: Best, Nissan Murano SL; Worst, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara Luxury/Large SUVs: Best, BMW X1 xDrive28i; Worst, Nissan Armada Platinum Pickups: Best, Honda Ridgeline RTS; Worst, Ford F-250 Lariat (6.7L V8)
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 28, 2013 Consumer Reports has released this year's Auto Reliability Rankings, and not surprisingly Japan is on top. The top three in the rankings are Lexus, Toyota, and Acura. Following them is Mazda in fifth, Infiniti in sixth, Honda in eighth, and Subaru in tenth. That doesn't mean there weren't any surprises. Audi jumped four places to forth, while Volvo climbed a massive thirteen spots to seventh place. GMC was the only American brand to place in the top ten with spot in ninth. Outside the top ten, America, Europe and Japan saw mixed results. Scion took a big tumble, dropping ten spots to eleventh. Nissan dropped nine spots to twenty-second. Cadillac saw massive fourteen point drop to twenty-fifth. On the positives, Buick climbed up nine places to capture twelfth. Chrysler and Ram also saw a rise in their rankings with two brands placing eighteenth and nineteenth respectively. Ford went up one place to twenty-sixth. “Automakers know how to make a transmission and engine that works well. In-car electronics, the phone connectivity, radio and navigation systems are causing the most problems in new vehicles," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports automotive test director. Source: The Detroit News, Los Angeles Times, Consumer Reports William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings: Japanese Dominance Cracks as Audi, Volvo & GMC Secure Spots in Top 10 In-Car Electronics Prove to be Achilles Heel for Many Models in Survey YONKERS, NY-Japanese brands have historically been known for building some of the most reliable vehicles in the world. But Consumer Reports 2013 Annual Auto Reliability rankings show that some other automakers-from Europe and the U.S.-are also capable of building reliable vehicles. Audi, Volvo, and GMC captured three of the top-10 spots in the survey this year. Survey results were released at a press conference today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. Three Japanese brands, Lexus, Toyota, and Acura captured the top three spots in the survey, which was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey is believed to be the largest of its kind; findings are based on CR subscribers' experiences with 1.1 million vehicles. Consumer Reports uses the survey data to compile reliability histories on vehicles and predict how well new cars that are currently on sale will hold up. For more than a decade, Japanese brands have had a lock on most of the top spots in the survey. It's been rare for a European, Korean, or U.S. carmaker to achieve anything higher than seventh or eighth place. But Audi, which has shown steady improvement in vehicle reliability during recent years, moved up four places this year to finish fourth overall-the top European manufacturer in the survey. Three Audis, the A6 sedan, Q7 SUV and Allroad wagon, have "much better than average" reliability. Volvo jumped 13 places to seventh. GMC emerged as the top domestic brand, finishing ninth-three places higher than last year. Moreover, every model from Audi, GMC, and Volvo, for which CR has data, earned an average or better reliability score. The top predicted-reliability score went to the redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester SUV, which hadn't been on the market for very long when CR conducted the survey. The Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid got the worst score, and the regular C-Max Hybrid wasn't much better. General Motors fared better than other domestic brands. In addition to GMC, Buick climbed nine slots to 12th place over last year. All Buicks except the V6 LaCrosse were average or better. The only dark spots for Chevrolet are the Camaro and Cruze, both of which earned below-average reliability scores. Japanese brands took seven out of the 10 top spots in the survey. Nissan sank to 22nd among the 28 brands in the rankings. As a group, the nine Japanese brands in the survey still produce a remarkable number of reliable cars. Of the almost 100 models, 90 percent were average or better and almost a third ofthem received top marks. Ten of those highest scorers were Toyotas. Of the eight Lexus models in CR's survey, six got top marks. All Lexus and Acura models earned an above average reliability score while all Infiniti, Mazda, and Toyota models earned an average or better reliability score. Two popular models, the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord V6 and the 2013 Nissan Altima, scored too poorly in the survey for Consumer Reports to continue Recommending them. Last year, CR had predicted that both vehicles would have at least average reliability. Mazda slipped from fourth to fifth. The redesigned Mazda6 debuted with above-average reliability. Subaru and Scion, which also typically rank well in reliability, were torpedoed by their twin sports cars, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, which scored below average. This dropped Subaru to 10th place, from last year's fifth. Scion, for which CR had only two models with sufficient data, sank from first place to 11th this time. One of the key problem areas in Consumer Reports' survey centers on in-car electronics, including the proliferating suite of audio, navigation, communication, and connected systems in newer cars. Of the 17 problem areas CR asks about, the category including in-car electronics generated more complaints from owners of 2013 models than for any other category. In many cases, the survey revealed touch-screen infotainment systems have been buggy, with frustrating screen freezes, touch-control lag, or a reluctance to recognize a cell-phone, an MP3 device, or a voice command. Hybrids and electric cars continue to do well. The Toyota Prius, Lexus ES 300h, Toyota Prius C, and Honda CR-Z hybrids, as well as the Nissan Leaf electric car, were among the top models. Ford's CMax and Fusion hybrids were the only exceptions. The Tesla Model S electric car performed well enough in the survey to earn a Recommendation from CR for the first time. CR gathered data on more than 600 2012 and 2013 models. Owners of the 2012 model reported very few problems, although 2013 owners reported quite a few more. Problem areas included wind noise, squeaks and rattles, and body hardware (including the sunroof, doors, and locks). Of the 31 Ford models in Consumer Reports' survey, only one, the F-150 pickup with the 3.7- liter V6, was above average. Seven achieved an average score. Ford's challenges don't end with the historically problematic My-Touch systems. Several EcoBoost turbocharged V6 models have poor reliability as well. Almost two-thirds of the 34 Fords and Lincolns in our survey got scores that were much worse than average. Chrysler is still below par overall, but a bright spot is the very nice Chrysler 300 C which scores above average-last year it was the company's most troublesome vehicle. Unfortunately, some of Chrysler's most reliable models, such as the Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs, didn't score well in Consumer Reports' testing, while the better performing 2014 V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee has fallen well below average reliability. In recent years, Hyundai and Kia were beginning to challenge the Japanese at the top of Consumer Reports' reliability rankings. In 2011, they scored well ahead of Detroit and most European companies. But they slipped a bit in the 2013 survey, with Kia ranking midpack and Hyundai sliding to 21st place. BMW and Mercedes-Benz remained around midpack among all brands. Most models from those German badges are average or better, with each company having a few problem children: the BMW 335i and turbocharged six-cylinder X3, and the diesel-powered Mercedes M-Class. Volkswagen, which turned in a middling performance, was especially hampered by the trouble-prone Beetle, GTI, and Touareg. All three Minis in our survey made a very poor showing. View full article
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 28, 2013 Consumer Reports has released this year's Auto Reliability Rankings, and not surprisingly Japan is on top. The top three in the rankings are Lexus, Toyota, and Acura. Following them is Mazda in fifth, Infiniti in sixth, Honda in eighth, and Subaru in tenth. That doesn't mean there weren't any surprises. Audi jumped four places to forth, while Volvo climbed a massive thirteen spots to seventh place. GMC was the only American brand to place in the top ten with spot in ninth. Outside the top ten, America, Europe and Japan saw mixed results. Scion took a big tumble, dropping ten spots to eleventh. Nissan dropped nine spots to twenty-second. Cadillac saw massive fourteen point drop to twenty-fifth. On the positives, Buick climbed up nine places to capture twelfth. Chrysler and Ram also saw a rise in their rankings with two brands placing eighteenth and nineteenth respectively. Ford went up one place to twenty-sixth. “Automakers know how to make a transmission and engine that works well. In-car electronics, the phone connectivity, radio and navigation systems are causing the most problems in new vehicles," said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports automotive test director. Source: The Detroit News, Los Angeles Times, Consumer Reports William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings: Japanese Dominance Cracks as Audi, Volvo & GMC Secure Spots in Top 10 In-Car Electronics Prove to be Achilles Heel for Many Models in Survey YONKERS, NY-Japanese brands have historically been known for building some of the most reliable vehicles in the world. But Consumer Reports 2013 Annual Auto Reliability rankings show that some other automakers-from Europe and the U.S.-are also capable of building reliable vehicles. Audi, Volvo, and GMC captured three of the top-10 spots in the survey this year. Survey results were released at a press conference today before the Automotive Press Association in Detroit. Three Japanese brands, Lexus, Toyota, and Acura captured the top three spots in the survey, which was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey is believed to be the largest of its kind; findings are based on CR subscribers' experiences with 1.1 million vehicles. Consumer Reports uses the survey data to compile reliability histories on vehicles and predict how well new cars that are currently on sale will hold up. For more than a decade, Japanese brands have had a lock on most of the top spots in the survey. It's been rare for a European, Korean, or U.S. carmaker to achieve anything higher than seventh or eighth place. But Audi, which has shown steady improvement in vehicle reliability during recent years, moved up four places this year to finish fourth overall-the top European manufacturer in the survey. Three Audis, the A6 sedan, Q7 SUV and Allroad wagon, have "much better than average" reliability. Volvo jumped 13 places to seventh. GMC emerged as the top domestic brand, finishing ninth-three places higher than last year. Moreover, every model from Audi, GMC, and Volvo, for which CR has data, earned an average or better reliability score. The top predicted-reliability score went to the redesigned 2014 Subaru Forester SUV, which hadn't been on the market for very long when CR conducted the survey. The Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid got the worst score, and the regular C-Max Hybrid wasn't much better. General Motors fared better than other domestic brands. In addition to GMC, Buick climbed nine slots to 12th place over last year. All Buicks except the V6 LaCrosse were average or better. The only dark spots for Chevrolet are the Camaro and Cruze, both of which earned below-average reliability scores. Japanese brands took seven out of the 10 top spots in the survey. Nissan sank to 22nd among the 28 brands in the rankings. As a group, the nine Japanese brands in the survey still produce a remarkable number of reliable cars. Of the almost 100 models, 90 percent were average or better and almost a third ofthem received top marks. Ten of those highest scorers were Toyotas. Of the eight Lexus models in CR's survey, six got top marks. All Lexus and Acura models earned an above average reliability score while all Infiniti, Mazda, and Toyota models earned an average or better reliability score. Two popular models, the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord V6 and the 2013 Nissan Altima, scored too poorly in the survey for Consumer Reports to continue Recommending them. Last year, CR had predicted that both vehicles would have at least average reliability. Mazda slipped from fourth to fifth. The redesigned Mazda6 debuted with above-average reliability. Subaru and Scion, which also typically rank well in reliability, were torpedoed by their twin sports cars, the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S, which scored below average. This dropped Subaru to 10th place, from last year's fifth. Scion, for which CR had only two models with sufficient data, sank from first place to 11th this time. One of the key problem areas in Consumer Reports' survey centers on in-car electronics, including the proliferating suite of audio, navigation, communication, and connected systems in newer cars. Of the 17 problem areas CR asks about, the category including in-car electronics generated more complaints from owners of 2013 models than for any other category. In many cases, the survey revealed touch-screen infotainment systems have been buggy, with frustrating screen freezes, touch-control lag, or a reluctance to recognize a cell-phone, an MP3 device, or a voice command. Hybrids and electric cars continue to do well. The Toyota Prius, Lexus ES 300h, Toyota Prius C, and Honda CR-Z hybrids, as well as the Nissan Leaf electric car, were among the top models. Ford's CMax and Fusion hybrids were the only exceptions. The Tesla Model S electric car performed well enough in the survey to earn a Recommendation from CR for the first time. CR gathered data on more than 600 2012 and 2013 models. Owners of the 2012 model reported very few problems, although 2013 owners reported quite a few more. Problem areas included wind noise, squeaks and rattles, and body hardware (including the sunroof, doors, and locks). Of the 31 Ford models in Consumer Reports' survey, only one, the F-150 pickup with the 3.7- liter V6, was above average. Seven achieved an average score. Ford's challenges don't end with the historically problematic My-Touch systems. Several EcoBoost turbocharged V6 models have poor reliability as well. Almost two-thirds of the 34 Fords and Lincolns in our survey got scores that were much worse than average. Chrysler is still below par overall, but a bright spot is the very nice Chrysler 300 C which scores above average-last year it was the company's most troublesome vehicle. Unfortunately, some of Chrysler's most reliable models, such as the Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs, didn't score well in Consumer Reports' testing, while the better performing 2014 V6 Jeep Grand Cherokee has fallen well below average reliability. In recent years, Hyundai and Kia were beginning to challenge the Japanese at the top of Consumer Reports' reliability rankings. In 2011, they scored well ahead of Detroit and most European companies. But they slipped a bit in the 2013 survey, with Kia ranking midpack and Hyundai sliding to 21st place. BMW and Mercedes-Benz remained around midpack among all brands. Most models from those German badges are average or better, with each company having a few problem children: the BMW 335i and turbocharged six-cylinder X3, and the diesel-powered Mercedes M-Class. Volkswagen, which turned in a middling performance, was especially hampered by the trouble-prone Beetle, GTI, and Touareg. All three Minis in our survey made a very poor showing.
  19. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 The trend of automakers downsizing engines and adding turbochargers to add performance and increase fuel economy has drawn the ire of Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested eleven different vehicles and found that with rare exception, “the turbocharged cars have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger, conventional engines.” Consumer Reports highlights the Ford Fusion which can come equipped with either an optional 1.6L or 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder. In CR's testing, the 1.6L EcoBoost Fusion posted the slowest 0-60 MPH of 8.9 seconds among competitors with naturally aspirated engines: Kia Optima (8.6), Hyundai Sonata (8.4), Honda Accord (8.2), Nissan Altima (8.2) and Toyota Camry (7.7). The 1.6L EcoBoost didn't fare any better when it came time for fuel economy as it scored the lowest as-tested combined number of 25 MPG. The Nissan Altima delivered the best with 31 MPG, followed by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with 30. Similarly, the 2.0L EcoBoost Fusion posted the lowest combined fuel economy number of 22 MPG when compared to rivals with V6s: Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (26) and Nissan Altima (24). As for 0-60 run, the 2.0L posted the slowest time of 7.4 seconds. The Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord were about a second faster. CR also highlights the Chevrolet Cruze when equipped with the 1.4L turbo-four. While the 1.4 turbo is quicker than the 1.8L by about 0.8 to 60 MPH, the two got the same 26 MPG combined average during testing. Source: Consumer Reports, Los Angeles Times William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com February 5, 2013 The trend of automakers downsizing engines and adding turbochargers to add performance and increase fuel economy has drawn the ire of Consumer Reports. The publication recently tested eleven different vehicles and found that with rare exception, “the turbocharged cars have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger, conventional engines.” Consumer Reports highlights the Ford Fusion which can come equipped with either an optional 1.6L or 2.0L EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder. In CR's testing, the 1.6L EcoBoost Fusion posted the slowest 0-60 MPH of 8.9 seconds among competitors with naturally aspirated engines: Kia Optima (8.6), Hyundai Sonata (8.4), Honda Accord (8.2), Nissan Altima (8.2) and Toyota Camry (7.7). The 1.6L EcoBoost didn't fare any better when it came time for fuel economy as it scored the lowest as-tested combined number of 25 MPG. The Nissan Altima delivered the best with 31 MPG, followed by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with 30. Similarly, the 2.0L EcoBoost Fusion posted the lowest combined fuel economy number of 22 MPG when compared to rivals with V6s: Toyota Camry and Honda Accord (26) and Nissan Altima (24). As for 0-60 run, the 2.0L posted the slowest time of 7.4 seconds. The Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, and Honda Accord were about a second faster. CR also highlights the Chevrolet Cruze when equipped with the 1.4L turbo-four. While the 1.4 turbo is quicker than the 1.8L by about 0.8 to 60 MPH, the two got the same 26 MPG combined average during testing. Source: Consumer Reports, Los Angeles Times William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  21. Consumer Reports Release Their Annual Car Reliability Survey: Ford Down, Chrysler Up William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com October 27, 2011 Consumer Reports released their annual Car Reliability Survey and the results were not kind to Ford. The blue oval saw their ranking drop from 10th to 20th on the survey due to three models; the new Explorer, Focus and Fiesta. Each of the three vehicles were ranked below average in reliability during their first year on the market due to issues with MyFord Touch and the dual-clutch transmissions in the Fiesta and Focus. General Motors also saw a drop in rating with Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. Chevrolet was the only brand for GM to stay where it was at. The big shock was Chrysler which saw it, Dodge, and Jeep go up dramatically on CR’s survey. Chrysler can thank the 200, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee which all got good results. However, Consumer Reports says the big three still have their problems. Out of the 97 domestic cars in the survey, 35 cars were below average. Source: Consumer Reports

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