I have read similar comments many times in newsgroups as well and it
only convinces me that there are a lot of people who like to bash CR,
but who don't actually know much about it. As even White points out;
CR doesn't accept outside advertising. This is probably the most
fundamental principle of the organization and anyone who doesn't know
this can hardly be considered an authority CR.
The subscribers want unbiased reviews of products to allow them to
make informed buying decisions. What appeals to them is objectivity
and testing skill.
CR subscribers tend to make rational, well researched buying
decisions. In the past, Toyota has ranked at the top of reliability
so it isn't surprising that more CR subscribers prefer them. As for
CR's preferences, well, read on.
Of course the survey results are not an editorial decision but rather
the experiences reported by the owners. In this case, the owners are
reporting that Toyota reliability has dropped for at least some models
and Ford has improved. CR has chosen to highlight this fact in a
special article. If their motivation is to stroke Toyota loyalists,
they must be stupid. If the goal is unbiased reporting, they are
doing their job.
This is another myth promulgated by CR bashers. CR favors cars that
deliver what they are supposed to deliver. Simple and basic may be
desirable for economy cars. For sports and luxury cars, low
performance and blandness is a ticket to the bottom of the rankings.
Really? Read on.
Then why did they trash the V6 Camry, the V8 Tundra and the AWD Lexus
Well, let's see if objective facts bear you out. Of the 21 categories
of vehicles tested by CR, here are the manufacturers of the top rated
models and the number of categories they won:
Hardly an overwhelming bias for Toyota. And considering the narrow
range of cars manufactured by Porsche, having two models at the top of
their respective categories is pretty impressive. Does Porsche make
the simple, basic, proven, unexciting, uninteresting, low performance
vehicles that you claim CR prefers?
If CR is biased toward Toyotas (because they prefer basic to
interesting or for whatever reason), how do you explain these facts:
Among Sports/Sporty cars, Scion tC ranks ninth out of ten, beating
Among Performance/Luxury Sports Cars, Lexus SC430 ranks eighth out of
Among Budget Cars in both AT and MT categories, Yaris ranks sixth out
of seven, beaten by a Kia, a Hyundai and a Ford.
Among Family Sedans, Camry ranks only fifth out of twenty.
Note that all of the above rankings are based only on CR testing. They
do not take reliability into account.
I don't believe in conspriacy theories as they apply to Consumer Reports (or
JD Powers either). However, Consumer Reports clearly has an agenda and they
clearly have opinions. Like everyone else, their opinons, biases, agendas,
etc. affect what and how they report. I am certain that CR and I do not
agree on what makes a good car. For instance, they really liked the current
Toyota RAV4. My SO has one, and I've driven it many miles. It is not a bad
vehcile, however, it has the worst , most illogical array of controls I have
ever seen - CR never mentioned the control layout. Also the seats were not
comfortable, but CR gave them high marks. Finally, I thought the 4 cylinder
engine provided more than adequate power, while CR was steering people to
the V6. Different people can have different opinions and neither position is
wrong. I like to read CR. I enjoy reading their opinions, even when I don't
sgree with them. My late Father loved CR. I can't tell you how many things
we had to buy based on what he read in CR. Some things worked out well,
somethings didn't. When he was shopping for his last new car, he was
absolutely set on buying a Toyota Highlander - right up until he test drove
one. Ten minutes driving it convniced him CR didn't always know what was
As an owner of both Toyota and Honda products, I'd put my money on the
reliability of the older 22RE over any Honda product. Better yet I still
have one with the 20R on the road. These Jap companies should just stick
to the 4-cyclinder engines that originally got them their great
reliability ratings. I wouldn't own another Honda or Toyota that didn't
have a 4 banger in it.
I've said for a long time, a 4 cylinder Honda with a manual transmission
is an absolute jewel of a drivetrain. Bulletproof, and will last
Compare that to the automatic transmissions they put on their V6 cars
during 98-04. I hope they took those beancounters out to a field and
shot them all.
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