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Thread: Consumer Reports: Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

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    Default Consumer Reports: Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

    Our car brand report card this year saw some significant reshuffling as some brands rocketed up the rankings and others fell. Big moves can usually be attributed to changes in predicted reliability for individual models within a brand’s lineup. We determine reliability by asking our members in surveys to report on problems they’ve experienced with their vehicles.

    Honda showed the most improvement, increasing 10 spots into the Top 5, aided by improved reliability. (All but two Hondas now have average reliability or better.) BMW also rose this year into the Top 5. A pair of gainers—Chrysler and Buick—made it into the Top 10 because of incremental improvements in their product lines and downward movement by rivals. The luxury brands Genesis and Lincoln registered the biggest drops, each because of subpar predicted reliability.

    We compile the report card by looking at the Overall Score for each model, factoring in road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. Then we average all of them to come up with a brand Overall Score.

    Brands that rise to the top tend to have the most consistent performance across their lineup. However, it is important to research the individual models when shopping because every brand has a range of product performance.

    To be included in our report card, a brand must have at least two models that we’ve tested. Fiat, Maserati, and Ram didn’t have the minimum number this year. Fiat was the lowest ranked brand last year. Alfa Romeo now holds that last spot.

    How We Rank the Car Brands
    The Overall Score for individual models is based on four key factors: the road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

    For the Road-Test Score, we put the vehicles we buy through more than 50 tests and evaluations.

    Predicted Reliability ratings are based on the problems reported by members in 17 trouble areas in CR’s auto surveys.

    Owner Satisfaction predictions are based on whether CR members say in our surveys that they’d buy the same vehicle again, if given the chance.

    Safety includes an assessment of crash-test results and extra points awarded for vehicles that come with proven safety features standard on all trims.

    Green Choices reflect how many tested vehicles from a brand earned the Green Choice designation for being among the cleanest, lowest-emitting passenger vehicles.
    https://www.consumerreports.org/cars...best-vehicles/

    Nothing overly surprising (Italians are bad at making automobiles) although I didn't realize Mazda had cleaned up their reliability so much and it is still weird to see Acura so low as they seem to have much more issues than Hondas.
    Last edited by heavyD; 02-19-2021 at 08:22 AM.

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    .... and you actually think this is reflective of reality?

    I thought CR was in the same category as JD Power awards (i.e. complete horse shit)

    (a quick glance at their rankings and how they display data - no actual numbers except overall score and road test score - confirms to me this has a high probability of being horse shit)

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
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    https://www.consumerreports.org/cars...best-vehicles/

    Nothing overly surprising (Italians are bad at making automobiles) although I didn't realize Mazda had cleaned up their reliability so much and it is still weird to see Acura so low as they seem to have much more issues than Hondas.
    I used to get Consumer Reports and I found it frustrating how it kept telling me things that I knew weren't true. I think they are pioneers that were decades ahead of the internet in that any asshole with a keyboard can make their opinions known to a larger group and gently sway the group's opinions.
    There's just some fundamental flaws in getting feedback from groups of humans. Consider the employee survey at work. Let me guess... "We want more communication from management" so the COO starts some bullshit weekly blog on their IntraChode and then everyone turns super negative about the info they are/aren't getting and it gets shelved, until the next survey. Or, consider internet forum stickies about Ford's 5.4L Triton spark plugs. Is that problem really as bad or as chronic as the Loudest Karen screamed? Ever heard of the timing chain on a W126 Mercedes S-Class V8? I think that car was produced longer than any other model Mercedes has ever made, but if you internet, you will quickly "learn" that at 160,000.01 km the timing chain will explode while the car catches on fire and rolls over, locking all doors and windows.

    Consumer Reports said that the vehicles my parents had were the lemoniest lemons in Lemonville along with the cars my friends' parents had. How? We had zero issues. I don't question their morals. I think that they are legitimately striving to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information available. I just think that their results are accidentally skewed by Karen. Maybe Karen goes to the dealer to get her trunk hinge lubed even though it isn't squeaking and that counts as a service on a new model.
    Where's a plausible explanation why Acura could be noticeably lower than Honda. Since when was Mazda actually ever "bad" and why are they "good" today? And when will ever, ever BMW be in the top of anything for reliability?! Their history is cars that are so fun to drive that their loyalists line up for new ones and others clamour around to see what all the fuss is about, while everyone overlooks $300/month in maintenance after warranty.

    I'm also just an Asshole with a keyboard and I'm not feeling that well today, so maybe they conflict with my bias. I gotta go use my Dyson vacuum that literally doesn't work at all and actually deposits new dirt into my subfloor while I listen to Bose speakers that a 47-step test conclusively determined sound worse than a gramophone.
    *Assuming CR said either of those brands were shitty, or unreliable. I don't know.
    LoL!!
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 02-19-2021 at 09:27 AM.

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    ^ Yes all that.

    Also an example of how the data can be confounded is (at some point, idk if this is still applicable) Reliability was derived from "problems per xx vehicles". Sure, makes sense, except when you realize that a problem has the broadest, therefore most useless definition - it was any time the buyer brings the car back to the dealer for an unscheduled visit. It could be a buyer not knowing how to use the infotainment, and going to the dealer to report a "problem with the nav system".

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    That’s a lot of words TPIM.

    One note that I have with BMW, is to make the distinction between reliability and being expensive to service. BMW’s are actually quite reliable by any measure. However when a problem crops up they are incredibly expensive to fix.

    Other side of that coin IMO is Toyota... everyone likes to talk about Toyota reliability but my anecdotal experience with them has been pretty bad. But hey everything was cheap to fix.

    I think we need a new “cost of ownership matrix” to reconcile this personally which would be a much more useful guide to the actual long term costs of owning a given make or model.
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    I do feel the results are fairly reflective of reality. While neither JD Power or CR are perfect they do collect a lot of data and are very likely in the ballpark of reality. I find the people the think they are making stuff up are usually just butthurt because their brand of choice didn't fare well. I always love when posters bring out anecdotal evidence in cases like this as every single brand puts out vehicles that go problem free. There are Alfa owners on the internet that claim their Stelvio has been problem free and I believe them. I also believe that a lot of other people have issues with them.
    Last edited by heavyD; 02-19-2021 at 10:48 AM.

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    "We determine reliability by asking our members in surveys to report on problems they’ve experienced with their vehicles."

    That's all you need to read to know this is completely useless data.

    Consumer Reports isn't bad for deciding what toaster to buy or whatever, but it is not something people should be looking at for vehicles IMHO. Any time you rely on owners reporting, it doesn't hold any weight. JD Power is even worse as their ratings can be bought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    That’s a lot of words TPIM.

    One note that I have with BMW, is to make the distinction between reliability and being expensive to service. BMW’s are actually quite reliable by any measure. However when a problem crops up they are incredibly expensive to fix.

    Other side of that coin IMO is Toyota... everyone likes to talk about Toyota reliability but my anecdotal experience with them has been pretty bad. But hey everything was cheap to fix.

    I think we need a new “cost of ownership matrix” to reconcile this personally which would be a much more useful guide to the actual long term costs of owning a given make or model.
    I agree, I’ve had better luck with reliability in BMWs than most other vehicles I’ve owned. Yes some things are big money when they go wrong however.

    As for Toyota, like I always say it’s not hard to make something reliable when it’s 20 year old tech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    That’s a lot of words TPIM...
    yes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin_Cam_Turbo View Post
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    As for Toyota, like I always say it’s not hard to make something reliable when it’s 20 year old tech.
    Not only that, but it probably helps that they don't have turbo systems on most of their vehicles. They tend to keep them underpowered and as simple as possible to help protect their reliability reputation, at least that's the impression I get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
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    I do feel the results are fairly reflective of reality. While neither JD Power or CR are perfect they do collect a lot of data and are very likely in the ballpark of reality. I find the people the think they are making stuff up are usually just butthurt because their brand of choice didn't fare well. I always love when posters bring out anecdotal evidence in cases like this as every single brand puts out vehicles that go problem free. There are Alfa owners on the internet that claim their Stelvio has been problem free and I believe them. I also believe that a lot of other people have issues with them.
    Super good counterpoint! It's really hard to say, honestly.
    *Except that the Levante is obv's >> Stelvio. LoL!

    Who made the Lemon Aid books? Are those still a thing and weren't they CR? Those were hilarious.
    "All cars, all bad everything, watch out for everything!!! Don't buy!!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by killramos View Post
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    That’s a lot of words TPIM.
    Yeah but each one was better than the one that came before it. Mighty words from a mighty penis.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SKR View Post
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    Yeah but each one was better than the one that came before it. Mighty words from a mighty penis.
    Praise from Seizure.
    Last edited by ThePenIsMightier; 02-19-2021 at 12:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
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    Nothing overly surprising (Italians are bad at making automobiles) although I didn't realize Mazda had cleaned up their reliability so much and it is still weird to see Acura so low as they seem to have much more issues than Hondas.
    I thought Mazda got better since they stop being rebadged Fords.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    I thought Mazda got better since they stop being rebadged Fords.
    I think it's impossible for them to have not improved after that haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtrema View Post
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    I thought Mazda got better since they stop being rebadged Fords.
    That's been quite awhile, though, hasn't it? Maybe 2009???

    *I'll go check

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    TIL that Subaru's drive almost as good as Porsches according to CR's road test score.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A2VR6 View Post
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    TIL that Subaru's drive almost as good as Porsches according to CR's road test score.
    That's handy! Can I start obsessively vaping in Porsches?


    ^^
    *I think the Mazda engine split from Ford was later like maybe 2012 or 2014.

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    I'm a bit surprised CR still exists. Covid has probably killed off a lot of their target market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
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    I'm a bit surprised CR still exists. Covid has probably killed off a lot of their target market.
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