Japanese automakers dominate Consumer Reports survey

Japanese automakers dominate Consumer Reports survey http://tinyurl.com/d9var2
WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor Corp. dominated Consumer Reports list of 2009
Top Picks released today, and its Prius won a new award from the magazine: Best New-Car Value.
Japanese automakers held the top four overall spots in the influential magazine's survey, based on more than 50 tests of 80 different vehicles. The winners ranked high in road tests, reliability and safety requirements.
Toyota won five of the 10 Top Picks: Best Small SUV, Toyota RAV4; Best Minivan, Toyota Sienna; Best Overall Vehicle, Lexus LS 460; Best Midsized SUV, Toyota Highlander; and Best Green Car, Toyota Prius.
Only one American vehicle cracked the Top Picks list. General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Avalanche was named Best Pickup Truck.
Rounding out the top 10 were: Best Fun to Drive, Mazda MX-5 Miata; Best Small Sedan, Hyundai Elantra SE; Best Upscale Sedan, Infiniti G37; and Best Family Sedan, Honda Accord.
American vehicles were pummeled in the magazine's April survey, with Detroit's Big Three finishing in three of the lowest four spots. Overall, the Detroit automakers fared worse than they did in the 2008 survey.
Chrysler LLC, which tied with Suzuki for last place in the 2008 survey, held the bottom rank alone this year. The magazine again didn't recommend a single Jeep, Dodge or Chrysler vehicle.
Of the 15 automakers ranked, Chrysler finished 15th, GM 14th and Ford Motor Co. 12th.
The magazine did praise new Ford vehicles like the Flex and new F-150.
"Ford continues to improve in reliability, and some of its cars now rival the best from Japan," said the magazine said, which now recommends 70 percent of Ford's vehicles it tested.
The magazine also noted that "new models from GM now rank among the best in our testing, although overall reliability, even among some of the new models, still lags behind most of the competition."
Mercedes-Benz saw its ratings improve. Consumer Reports said it now recommends two-thirds of its vehicles.
In overall reliability, GM fell below Suzuki to score second-last overall with a 57.
Ford Motor Co. had a 63 score, compared to Suzuki's 60.
Honda Motor Co. had the best overall rating with a 78, ahead of Subaru's 75 and Toyota's 54.
U.S. models accounted for 8 of the 10 worst scores in testing and reliability ratings, with the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara scoring just 17 out of 100. The Lexus LS 460L scored a 99 out of a 100 as the all-around highest.
The magazine recommends 95 percent of Honda's vehicles tested, 100 percent of Subaru's and 89 percent of Toyota's. It only recommends 17 percent of GM's and none of Chrysler's.
In light of the sagging economy, Consumer Reports introduced a new group of awards for Best Value in nine different categories, including small cars, family cars, hatchback/wagons, small SUVs and midsized SUVs.
Of 41 vehicles honored for best value, not a single one was built by a U.S. automaker. Japanese automakers picked up 35 awards, while Korean automaker Hyundai won three, including Best Value Midsize SUV for the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Just three were built by a non-Asian automakers: Best Hatchback (Volkwsagen Rabbit); Best Sporty Car (BMW AG's Mini Cooper); the Volvo C30 was a third runner up in the category.
Consumer Reports has conducted the annual survey since 1936.
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Civis Romanus Sum

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that is really shockingly bad grades for GM (chrysler not so much of a shock)- but the reliability index is curious, is that reliability meaning the parts that are failing or is it the design that leads to failure or is it poor assembly of the components ?
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No it was whatever they thought it might be LOL
wrote:

that is really shockingly bad grades for GM (chrysler not so much of a shock)- but the reliability index is curious, is that reliability meaning the parts that are failing or is it the design that leads to failure or is it poor assembly of the components ?
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nah, that's not a good answer, it is a serious question- I guess no one from gm really cares what people might be asking when talking about them
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Myself and others have dismissed the CR beauty poll as worhtless for years. It has to be one of these least statistically sound surveys that people actually pay attention to. It is about as valuable as asking a group of Republicans if they think Obama is doing a good job.
Poorly formed questions. Little actual data gathered. A self selected and biased group. yada, yada, yada. Mostly the survey results parrot the editiorial opinions of the CR auto staff. Interesting - yes. Statistically significant - no.
Ed
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I have mixed feelings about them. Supposedly these ratings are based in owner reports. Maybe it is better than nothing.
I have always said that I dont really care what buyers say right after they get the car. I want to know how they hold up as they age. Many of us refuse to trade cars every 3-4 years.
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wrote:

Your reply does make sense - however others have posted when they bought cars CR trashed to have experienced dissatisfaction with those vehicles and then being happy with a car CR gave high marks. So, understandibly, especially given variations in statistical process control the volume of cars made compared to the actual number tested leads to a very large gap in terms of reliable sampling. Still, I think a useful component would be to indicate where the reliability failure occured, design, parts or assembled components. I think some information in that vein would go a long way to determining if the car company has a future or not. Parts might be made of poor qulity materials; or the assembly was poorly done causing ill fit and interference or the design demanded more than the material propeties could provide- and since there is so much cross component/platform/ design mix in the industry a specific problem could affect more than one vehicle. the rollover/ handling problem that was identified with suvs is an example.
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That's ONE opinion but apparently American buyers do not agree with that ONE opinion of only 80 vehicles, since they still buy more GM vehicles and far more Ford F150s than the Chevrolet Avalanche LOL

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Mike Hunter turned on the Etch-A-Sketch and wrote:

Heh - that's why I like it. It is unique!
http://www.perfectreign.com/stuff/2008/av_in_sedona_1024.jpg
(That's my wife and older son peeking out of the back seat somewhere in the Coconino National Forest outside of Sedona.)
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This alone should be a clue to worthlesness of the survey. While the Avalanche may be a terrific Urban Assault Vehicle, or a terror weapon, it is a horrible pick-up truck - at least for people that actually need a pick-up truck for something other than riding around wtih an empty bed. The Avalanche is actually a reduced function Suburban. It truly qualifies as a Stupid Urban Vehicle. Only vehicle even close in term of uselessness is the Ridgeline. I suppose if you tow a boat and want an open bed to haul your gas cans, either is OK. But they are not pick-up trucks meant for people that need pick-up trucks. Most of the Avalanches I see hae hard tonneau covers over the bed....which means that they are especailly useless.
Ed
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wrote in message news:zL-

Ed, you sure are full of wind and piss today. The Avalanche is a very nice looking truck, and is much more of a truck then most of the import "trucks". At least it isn't built on a **cking car chassis.
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I pay almost no attention to what the critics say about new cars. Bill Maher -- love him or hate him -- had this to say about critics: "Yeah, listen to the music critics. The surest way to have a shitty (music) album collection is to buy what the critics recommend." Same with movies: We've ALL gone to see a movie that the critics raved about -- and we thought it sucked. Think of the neighborhood dorkwad who listens to music you hate, is really into movies you think are lame, drives a dorkwagon car you wouldn't be caught dead in but he's all proud of it... That guy is probably a professional critic of some kind. I submit that maybe the critics are a bunch of snooty snobs you wouldn't want to hang out with, who have a collection of shitty music, movies, and cars -- all of which they think is better than yours (but it isn't)... and they look down on you for it. Plus, they voted the Miata "most fun to drive" -- read: "Most Gay." I'm just sayin'... ;-)
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On Feb 27, 1:11pm, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (James Goforth) wrote:

not that there's anything wrong with it, eh ?
people have to start somewhere when purchasing a vehicle- can't go around just looking at the fancy commercials on tv as a guide
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I pay almost no attention to what the critics say about new cars. �� Bill Maher -- love him or hate him -- had this to say about critics: "Yeah, listen to the music critics. �The surest way to have a shitty (music) album collection is to buy what the critics recommend." �Same with movies: We've ALL gone to see a movie that the critics raved about -- and we thought it sucked. � Think of the neighborhood dorkwad who listens to music you hate, is really into movies you think are lame, drives a dorkwagon car you wouldn't be caught dead in but he's all proud of it... � That guy is probably a professional critic of some kind. � I submit that maybe the critics are a bunch of snooty snobs you wouldn't want to hang out with, who have a collection of shitty music, movies, and cars -- all of which they think is better than yours �(but it isn't)... �and they look down on you for it. � Plus, they voted the Miata "most fun to drive" -- read: "Most Gay." � I'm just sayin'... �;-) ******************************************* raamman wrote: "not that there's anything wrong with it, eh ? people have to start somewhere when purchasing a vehicle- can't go around just looking at the fancy commercials on tv as a guide." ******************************************** Point taken -- but what makes CR a viable starting point? As i stated above, much of their ratings are subjective -- just like the ratings of music, movies, food... you name it. If the Food Editor in the NY Times says a certain restaurant serves the best food -- but your neighbor ate there and says it's lousy... you aren't going to go there -- even though the 'expert' at the newspaper said you should. You wouldn't give a second thought to putting the opinion of your neighbor above the 'expert.' I read CR on occasion as well -- and it's interesting -- but don't put a lot of credence in what they say. But it's still just an opinion, which they are paid to generate, on a deadline.
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