Consumer Report Rankings of vehicles -

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Saw this and thought it was interesting. Argue as you will with CR's methodology and criteria, but they are pretty influential when people starting looking to
purchase a car.
From Associated Press
Japanese Cars Score Highest in Magazine
DETROIT - For the first time in nine years, all of the top picks in Consumer Reports' annual vehicle guide are made by Japanese automakers. The Honda Civic is the magazine's top small sedan, while the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the top mid-sized sport utility vehicle, according to results released Wednesday
Vehicles from Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru, a division of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., round out the top picks in 10 categories.
Asian brands also fared best in the magazine's survey of vehicle reliability. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus brand was first, while Honda was second and the Toyota brand was third. Ford Motor Co.'s Mercury brand was the only domestic nameplate to crack the top ten.
Consumer Reports' rankings are important to automakers, even though companies can't use the ratings in their advertising. Consumer Reports spokeswoman Lauren Hackett said the April auto issue is consistently the magazine's most popular, selling more than 300,000 copies at newsstands. That's twice as many copies as its second-most popular issue, the November electronics issue.
Consumer Reports named its top picks based on road and track tests, evaluations of comfort, convenience and fuel economy, crash protection ratings from the government and insurance industry and readers' reliability rankings. The magazine said it recently tested more than 200 vehicles to come up with its top picks.
Honda had the most winners, snagging top picks in five of the ten categories. Besides the redesigned Civic, the Honda Accord was the top family sedan between $20,000 and $30,000 and the Acura TL was the top upscale sedan between $30,000 and $40,000. The Honda Odyssey was the top minivan and the Honda Ridgeline, which is Honda's first entry in the pickup market, was the top pickup.
Toyota and Subaru each had two winners, including the Subaru Forester for small SUV and the Toyota Prius for "green car." Nissan had one, the M35 luxury sedan, which the magazine called "an excellent balance of performance, comfort and handling."
Reliability rankings are based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers who are asked if they have had serious problems with their vehicles in the past 12 months. The survey questions readers about 17 different trouble spots. For this year's survey, readers rated their experience with 810,000 vehicles from the 1998 through 2005 model years.
Consumer Reports said Japanese and Korean brands had 12 problems per 100 vehicles, while U.S. automakers had 18 problems and European makers had 21 problems. Asian and U.S. automakers have been improving their scores but appeared to stall in 2005, the magazine said. European automakers' ratings haven't changed substantially in the last four years, the magazine said.
After Lexus, Honda and Toyota, the brands rounding out the top ten for reliability were Mitsubishi, Subaru, Acura, Scion, Mercury, Mazda and Suzuki. The ten lowest-rated brands were Audi, Infiniti, Saturn, Lincoln, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Land Rover, Hummer and Porsche.
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And the guys & gals that got GM into the toilet are going to get them out? Sure they will.
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8G35PT86.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id 76551
http://tinyurl.com/lnlwf
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gm or the big three have to deal with this qc issue the rebate game cannot be played forever they need to get down to the fundamental nothing sell better than ( and i mean no marketing spin can beat) simple word of mouth advice ' my driving instructor has his corolla over 400K miles and still going' . i had back 18 yrs ago a new k car coming from a dealer's parking lot. i took possession during evening and i did not notice that the lower panel of driver side door was not painted. It was white anyway. i went back to the dealer and they just painted it. i asked why the hell those cleanup people did not stop that from delivering. the dealer said i should not complain as it is warranty work. they just do not get that at all
daniel
Jim Higgins wrote:

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8G35PT86.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan
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What the report really says is ALL manufactures are building great vehicle today, with a failure rate of only .018% on average. The worst among them when stated as a 'list,' rather than a percentage as it should be, has a failure rate of only .021% To top it off the rates are not even quantified as to degree of the listed failures. among the readers that replied to the survey about 118,000 vehicles out of the nearly 19,000,000 sold annually in the US. The fact that it lists a car based 'TRUCK,' that underpins the Ridgelines that is only one the market for just over a year, as the best truck should say volumes about the value of its reader opinions, in any event ;)
mike hunt

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"in my world"
I love it......
Bob, in the normal world
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> On 3/2/2006 11:03 AM ... DH wrote:

CR lost me decades ago when they rated the Chevy Nova and Toyota (whatever) so differently. The two WERE THE EXACT SAME CAR! I learned then that the badge on the fender was all that mattered. Hardly "objective".
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The same car? Not even when Toyota first started coming here, before they learned to build a quality product and began eating GM's lunch. Toyota's market share increases and GM continues to slide toward bankruptcy because their quality is so erratic and so many are *former* GM customers with very, very long memories about getting screwed by GM.
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GM quality is so erratic? You statement does not stand up to logic. On one hand you suggest one should not judge Japanese vehicles sold today with their poor quality vehicles of yore. Why then do you suggest buyers should judge the quality of the vehicles GM builds today with what they sold years ago? Surly you realize Japanese cars are not immune to failure on occasion? If that is what you believe I suggest you look into a Toyota shop and note the engines and trannys sitting on the floor on occasion, as well ;)
mike hunt

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Those are likely made in their USA engine plant.
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have different quality levels leaving the factory. Often QC varies depending on the market served. I've worked in factories and have been involved in this QC difference.
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CR could not help but notice that they were the exact same car. If they reported them as different, they must have had a good reason. Not bias, reason. Otherwise, they'd be open to charges of bias.
Did GM complain? Assert bias?
Maybe crappy service at GM dealerships compounds problems while good service at Toyota dealerships tends to reduce ongoing trouble.
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I've seen a report since that Corollas used different parts. Same spec but the Nova was getting Delco parts. That would make a difference.

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According to CR Toyota dealerships are near the top of the list for poor customer service. Lincoln is listed as the best in customer service Actually CR never says anything is bad or good, what they do is simply list averages. Naturally in any average listing one must be on the top an other on the bottom. The fact is even if a vehicle is below average it is a far better than even the best of just several years ago. The closest CR ever comes to implying something is bad or good is when the lists those items they recommended or not recommended whatever that means. If you look at their list of vehicles you will see they ALL have MORE than on problem per vehicle, on average, in the first five years. The average is still under two problem per vehicle, on average which basically is saying 98% of all the vehicles you can buy today will be trouble free. ;)
mike hunt

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And GM's market share is still rapidly declining. There sure are a lot of former GM customers with very long memories. Downhill for GM.

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CR never did what you say. Their surveys only report what the customers report about their experience with a vehicle.
Don't blame the messenger for the message. If you think that their owner surveys are without validity, you are living in a fool's paradise. In fact, their survey results closely parallel what J.D. Power reports.
Go talk to your friends who own the cars reported on and you will find that their experience will usually parallel the survey results.

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I'm a 20+ CR subscriber and have the issue. I own no U.S. brand cars (own two Lexi and a BMW). Have owned Ford and GM.
The CR survey results are, no doubt, correct. However, the CR story says more than do the headlines about it. They also say that reliability results across the board are better than they were five years ago. Asian reliability improvements have stalled and American/European improvements may also be stalling..
Interestingly, the worst reliability is among prestige European brand Mercedes-Benz (with, to GM's eternal great, Cadillac just above it - come on Wagoner, there is NO excuse for that). The guy who ran Chrysler was dispatched to Germany to fix that.
It would be nice if the U.S. brands were as reliable as, say, Toyota, but the case should not be over-drawn. Most U.S. models are pretty good and some brands, Buick, are quite good.

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You might want to re-read CR report. It does not say any brand is unreliable. What it list is the relive reliability of one against another In any such list one will be on the top, one in the middle as the average and another on the bottom.
mike hunt

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Mike, I understand what you mean, but I beg to differ. If you look at the problem incidence bar graphs with trouble-incidents per 100 units, you will see that some brands, notably Merc and Caddy who own the bottom two positions, are quite unreliable, especially by comparison with the Asians. Now, granted, one man's "too unreliable" may be another man's "tolerably unreliable" or "forgivably unreliable" or even "reliable enough".
Owner's of some brands, BMW comes to mind, are sometimes prone to be apologists for the number of problems that their favorite brand has, excusing the problems as the cost of a high-performance car. (I own a Beemer, but am not of that school.)
- GRL

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What the report actually says is ALL brands develop problems, within the first five years, at a rate of more than one but less than two percent. The severity of those problems are not quantified, which means what ever brand you chose to buy there is a 98% probability that the one you buy will NOT have any problems in the first five years of ownership. When you consider the average new vehicle buyer in the US replaces that vehicle in three to four years, with 45K to 60K on the clock, those are fantastic odds in ones favor. Personally I have not owned a problematic vehicle, foreign or domestic in over thirty years ;)
mike hunt

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