Consumer Reports Up to Their Tricks Again – Car Pro News

As I often say on the air, if Consumer Reports says something about a car, it’s probably wrong. I also like to point out that they will do ANYTHING to grab headlines. I took them to task last year for panning the Honda Civic, which is a great car and apparently people agree-it was the #1 selling compact car in America last month.
In the September 2012 issue, CR takes aim at the five models that “may be on a lot of buyers’ shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear.” Reason: They didn’t perform all that well in testing or they have lousy reliability. Or both.
Here are CR’s choices, their reasons for putting them on bad list, and my synopsis of the magazine’s criticism:
Honda Civic – CR says: Honda “took too many shortcuts in the latest redesign.” The subcompact has a choppy ride, noisy cabin, vague steering and mediocre interior. At least it’s reliable. My take: apparently, America disagrees and continues to shell out their hard earned money for the Civic. The ride and drive is not choppy, steering is fine and so is the interior. Noise level could be better, but it is on par with most imports.
Toyota Prius C – CR says: The C is the least expensive Prius hybrid, getting 43 miles per gallon in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. It’s not to be confused with the mainstay Prius that has earned Toyota its well-deserved mileage leader reputation over the past decade. The C “suffers from a stiff ride, noisy cabin, slow acceleration and cheap-looking interior trim.” Buy a Honda Fit, a non-hybrid, instead, the magazine recommends. My take: for crying out loud, this is a car that is full of technology for under $20,000. You expected a Lexus interior in it Consumer Reports? Do you really think people who buy this car want acceleration, or do you think they are more interested in fuel economy? And you didn’t get the fuel economy right either…Prius C is rated at 53 city and 46 highway and it will do it.
Jeep Liberty – CR says: the small, rugged crossover earned one of CR’s lowest road test scores. It can go off-road, but the ride suffers on pavement. It only gets 16 mpg overall. My take: it is also one of the least expensive SUVs on the road. CR doesn’t realize people actually test drive cars before they buy them. No reason for this vehicle to make this list.
Ford Edge – CR says: nice styling, but it had much-worse-than-average reliability ratings from CR readers and has the “complicated and unintuitive” MyFord Touch infotainment system. My take: CR, if you did your research, you’d know that MyTouch WAS the reason people ranked the Edge low. That problem has been fixed, making this an invalid vehicle for this list in my opinion. People love the Edge once the MyTouch was fixed. Edge is one of my top recommendations.
Dodge Grand Caravan – CR says: this venerable minivan is “versatile, comfortable and well-equipped,” but it suffers from squeaks, rattles, interior trim and sliding-door trouble. Its overall 17-mpg in testing didn’t help matters. My take: it’s not a Honda Odyssey for sure, but it is $10,000 cheaper too, so for budget-minded people, it is a great choice.
I theorize that Consumer Reports pans popular cars to peak people’s interest in reading further, thereby selling more magazines and Internet subscriptions. They grabbed headlines panning the 2012 Civic, now they are going to make them again by having Prius C on the list…and for idiotic reasons.
My advice is to take anything they say with a grain of salt when it comes to cars.

  1. Nancy Parker 6 years ago

    We have bought at least 10 cars/trucks from Jerry Reynolds in the past and trust his knowledge totally in this area.

  2. Mike Jansen 6 years ago

    Since the 1970s I have purchased cars Consumers Reports hated and rated low. In other words, I drove American cars, primarily Mercury products. Comfortable, smooth, and quiet, I could always count on reliable and inexpensive cars that regularly get over 200,000 miles trouble-free and totally safe. I have driven by many newer imports broken down along the side of the road. Many imports would not start on the cold American winters in the upper Midwest where I lived until moving to Austin. Mine always started, and I have never been stranded.

    Now I have my first Lincoln, a Town Car Signature L, since the legendary Mercury brand is unfortunately gone. Our other car is a 1998 Saturn SC2. Hope to keep both a long time.

  3. Santaanacanyon 6 years ago

    I never believe Consumer Reports, either. I have a different take: I think CR is a magazine marketed toward the more affluent and caters to their preconceived view points.

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