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« Are You Tipping This Holiday Season and If So, How Much? | Main | Six Bad Financial Habits »

November 30, 2010


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doesn't Toyota secretly own Consumer's Reports? it sure seemed that way whenever I looked at them.

this was a few years back, but when I read their magazine, they openly criticized Toyota's small pickup in an article in the front of the magazine, but then "recommended" it back in the truck section.

glad you like your vehicle choice, though. my next vehicle purchase (probably not for a few years) will be a Ford F150.

Being in the Detroit area and my father working for GM I have never had a problem with any of the GM vehicles I have owned unlike the ratings CR gives GM. My wife had a Ford before we were married and in the matter of 10 months we put $2500 in repairs on a 60k mile car. Granted that was 20 years ago but I discount CR in that the American car makers has some of the best engineered cars around but there is such a bias against american cars at CR that it is sickening. They hate amareican car companies.

My 2010 Chevy Malibu has to be the best car I have owned in over 30 years and I never had the lemons CR reports.

So enjoy your Toyota and I will enjoy my american brand car.

And as for consumers report you can take that rag and burn it. Some of the best items I have bought they have just ragged on with poor ratings and some of the best items they praised were pieces of crap when I bought them. In my opinion they are not bias even though they say they are not.

When I was looking for midsize SUV's, I discounted the Highlander for two reasons. First, the third row seat folded in one single section. You couldn't just fold one side or the other. That limited the flexibility. Second, the third row seemed awfully close to the back window, meaning that in a rear end collision, it didn't seem like passengers would be safe. I ended up getting a Ford Taurus X (which they don't make anymore - replaced with the Ford Flex).

Regarding Matt's comments, I don't think they are biased in the sense that "let's praise Toyotas and screw GM." However, consider for a moment how we judge cars (or any item for that matter). Cars have multiple dimensions on which to judge them: acceleration, handling, safety, fuel economy, utility, braking, and probably dozens if not hundreds of other characteristics. If asked to judge a vehicle, every person would weight all of these different criteria differently. You might value handling and safety, whereas somebody else might value fuel economy and utility, whereas a third person might value acceleration and braking. What you value is going to be different than what I value or what FMF values.

CR obviously comes up with their own weightings which match the perceived weighting of their readership. However, the way that CR's editors weight things isn't going to match yours or mine exactly. It seems like the editors of CR weight practicality (safety, fuel economy, utility) over performance. Note that I didn't put reliability into the mix with CR because they rate reliability as a totally separate item on its own from their rating. Hondas and Toyota tend to be more practical to the point of being appliances, which CR tends to favor.

Now CR rates the Jeep Wrangler as one of their lowest rated vehicles. As somebody who owned one, I can understand the score totally. A Wrangler is a totally impractical vehicle for the average commuter: poor handling, lots of road noise, uncomfortable interior, back seat is an afterthought, the top is difficult to put on and off. However, in terms of offroading, there is none better. If CR were an offroad magazine, it would give the Wrangler a 100. However, they aren't based upon offroad ability alone. Even though I liked my Wrangler, I totally understand the low rating that CR gave it. I don't think they were biased. I think their criteria for juding was different than mine.

Matt seems a bit bitter....just tap into that holiday spirit a little. ;)

Anyways, glad you're loving your car so much. CR is definitely one of the publications I have developed the most trust in over the years. I don't agree with everything but generally they're reliable and provide good reference.


I did a little more research this myth that CR doesn't like American car companies is a myth. Here is what they say about your Malibu: "The Malibu is very competitive. It is quiet, rides well, and has responsive and secure handling. The interior is roomy, and mostly well put together. The V6 is quick and refined and the 4 cylinder gets 35mpg with the 6 speed automatic." The predicted reliability is Very Good for the 6 cylinder, which is higher than the Accord, Altima, and Camry (all are Average). It also gets an Excellent for safety (Camry is only Very Good).

Just so you don't think that this is an isolated example, in this past months issue, they did a comparison of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota 4Runner. They generally praised the Jeep and were critcal the Toyota. Needless to say, the Jeep came out on top in the comparison.

There are other examples where they praise American vehicles. They are gushing their praise of the Ford Fusion and Ford Flex. The Flex Limited was rated higher than the Highlander Limited (Flex wasn't recommended though because of limited reliability data). For some reason, page 72 that FMF cited doesn't include the Highlander Hybrid and the Flex Limited, which both rated higher than the Kia Sorrento, but they are both included in the CR Buyers Guide which also came out around the same time as that issue of CR.

The Chevy Traverse was recommended and it was only one point below the Highlander (contrary to what FMF posted, it was tied with the Hyundai, not below it).

The point is that this claim that CR is biased doesn't seem to hold water.

Sorry all, but my personal experiences with CR have lead me to purchase things that did not support there stellar rating and I was quite disappointed. Some of them simple while others are major. When items broke and need to be returened, I purchased replacements to what I though best and have not been disappointed. When you are looking a purchasing a $1000 cloths washer and CR rates a certian model as the best and you are really disappointed with its performance you loose trust in the CR.

I stopped using CR as a guide a year ago.


The 2011 Highlanders have 3rd rows that go down in sections (two halves.)

FMF and others that read CR, do you pay for a subscription or get it from the library, I never read it.

TR --

I do pay for a subscription since we like to save the back issues for reference. But I do look at their online info too -- free from my library:

I work as a Six Sigma Black Belt in an industry that supplies parts to many automakers. Without a doubt Toyota and Honda have superior quality to other manufacturers.

On a personal note I have owned 17 vehicles from various manufacturers (Honda, Toyota, Ford, GM, Mazda, Chrysler) and drive them until the engine fails or they rust so badly that they fail inspection. Both my Honda and Toyota had engines that never failed (drove over 300k miles each). No other vehicle has come close

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