Consumer Reports: No to Chevy SUV, Ford crossovers, MyFord Touch

Consumer Reports: No to Chevy SUV, Ford crossovers, MyFord Touch Kuzak defends Ford's new technology Jamie LaReau Automotive News -- January 4, 2011 - 6:00 am ET
Consumer Reports magazine said today it will not recommend the Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers because of low scores in the magazine's tests, and panned Ford Motor Co.'s MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch technology.
The magazine also said it will not recommend the Infiniti QX56, a V-8 version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Porsche Cayenne. Those SUVs performed well in testing, but were too new for Consumer Reports to have adequate reliability data to recommend, it said.
The Tahoe, Edge and MKX scored too low in testing to be recommended, the magazine, published by Consumers Union, said in a press release.
"All three of these vehicles have a number of strengths, but each had some notable weaknesses that forced their testing scores to fall below our standard for a recommended SUV," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports' Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Conn.
Ford says more than 80 percent of Edge buyers are opting for MyFord Touch on their vehicles. MyLincoln Touch is standard on the MKX.
The MKX and the Edge are the fastest selling products in their respective showrooms, Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of global product development, said today.
Kuzak disagreed with Consumer Reports' review that the system is too complicated and distracting. But he said Ford would meet with Consumer Reports and consider tweaking the technology.
"All the controls are in people's hands and on the steering wheel, touch and voice control. Nothing could be simpler or safer," Kuzak said.
"Having said that, we respect Consumer Reports. They're a very respected and influential magazine and we'll work with them to understand their feedback and work to improve it based on their feedback."
The publication said it only recommends vehicles that have "performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Survey of its more than seven million print and Web subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test."
The full tests and rating for all the vehicles will appear in the February issue of the magazine, which goes on sale today.
The reports also are available to subscribers of www.ConsumerReports.org.
MyFord failings
The magazine also gave a thumbs down to the MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch technology available on the 2011 Edge and MKX.
A driver can use those control systems to operate the sound system, climate controls and navigation system by means of either an 8-inch video touch screen in the center console or voice commands.
Consumer Reports cited the technology as the main drawback to the Edge and MKX. It said the technology is "a complicated distraction while driving. In addition, first-time users might find it impossible to comprehend. The system did not always perform as promised."
The Chevy Tahoe, in turn, was downgraded for its "ungainly" handling and long stopping distances. Consumers Reports said the interior fit and finish didn't match the Tahoe LTZ's high price of $57,435 as tested.
GM spokesman Patrick Morrissey declined comment, Bloomberg reported.
"Small percentage" of software woes
In early December, Ford acknowledged that a "small percentage" of vehicles with the control system had software problems. Some problems were the result of consumers not knowing how to perform certain functions. But in other cases software flaws caused the Sirius Travel Link to function incorrectly.
Sirius Travel Link is part of the system's navigation system. It offers sports scores, movie links and other information delivered by Sirius satellite radio.
Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110104/OEM/110109980
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On Tue, 4 Jan 2011 13:48:04 -0500, "C. E. White"

Consumer Reports has never been considered a very good evaluator of vehicles. (or anything else, whatever they rate is excellent is never available in stores for example...)
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On 1/4/11 3:11 PM, PeterD wrote:

Not a correct evaluation of Consumer Reports. They are not in a particular manufacturer's pocket.
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wrote:

Most times when CR finds what they call a fault, I call a feature. I have little faith in them.
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wrote:

And if they can't find a fault to show how good they are, they'll gladly make one appear no matter what! Gotta keep selling those memberships...
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On Tue, 04 Jan 2011 17:06:42 -0500, Jim_Higgins

I did NOT say they were. Don't claim things that are not true.
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I dont think that they could've gotten away with being in anyone's pocket although this has long been claimed.
I have, however, seen them recommend items which turned out to be junk, and I really think this has to do with the short term evaluations they do. In specific, they used to recommend certain TV manufacturer's products and domestic appliances that were known in the trade to be troublesome and unreliable. And this could be perfectly honestly reported since those tests were of such short duration and were performed on new items.
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wrote in message

I don't think they are in anyone's pocket, but they sometimes have no clue what really goes on outside the labs in real life. Sometimes they are "spot on" other times they don't seem to have the same products I have. Their agenda is supposed to be helping the consumer but it seems to go beyond that.
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Well, at least not since Toyota made them look like idiots after manufacturing near-junk for years while CM was giving them "recommended buy" status without even bothering to test them in the first place.
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."...It said the technology is a complicated distraction while driving... first time users might find it impossible to operate..." ********************************* Well there certainly isn't anything hard to believe about that. For years they have been putting ever more of these gee-whiz gadgets on cars, which anyone who isn't computer- or gadget- savvy is going to find operating very aggrivating, difficult, or practically impossible. This of course includes millions of senior citizens, in fact probably the majority of them. You know that saying about teaching an old dog new tricks? It's not about dogs. And then, add to that already staggering number, another huge demographic of people, similar but younger than that, who also are not tech-savvy. The world's full of 'em. There's even all kinds of senators, doctors, you name it -- who have someone else to do all their computer stuff. Most cars, until recently, all had a HVAC you could control effortlessly by simply moving the slider for the temp to the disired position, likewise for the blower and blend door, in under two seconds -- and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, without taking your eyes off the road! Now, to do the same thing you have to basically get into the operating system and re-program it, for want of a better word. Easy peasy! Even my 1998 run-around car has a climate control which, in order to adjust it, I HAVE to take my eyes off the road -- then zero in on the correct little button; then push it again-and-again while watching the TINY icon for heat, defrost, etc... then do the same with the blower. How the hell is that safe?? I NEVER got used to it and absolutely detest it. I can only imagine what someone 65, 70 years old thinks about all these latest, additional other "improvements." It's hardly even like driving a car anymore! I love the statement one of the spokesmen used in the article: "It couldn't be any simpler." Yeah, simple after you've spend a whole bunch of time learning it -- and typically you have to actually have someone to spend a bunch of time showing and teaching you all that stuff, to actually become proficient at it. Most people aren't going to spend hours reading and digesting the literature to learn all about how to navigate it. I find it "simple" to overhaul an engine -- but I don't think my mom could ever get to that point.
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