Tag: Consumer Reports
Elio Motors is one of those automotive startups that raises all sorts of flags that makes some people think that it’s a scam, or at least on shaky financial ground. Almost every bit of news from Elio has been greeted with some skepticism, understandably (here, here, and here). They’re planning on selling a three wheel vehicle with a composite body that gets amazing gas mileage. Those facts alone remind people of the Dale scam, and the failed Aptera venture. Also, they’re taking deposits on a vehicle whose design has not been finalized, a year away from production, and that evokes memories of Preston Tucker, who had his own problems. Then there’s the financing plan that Elio says will allow people currently driving beaters, the working poor if you will, to get a new car with a warranty just for what they’re currently paying for gasoline. When you buy the $6,800 tandem two seater reverse trike, whatever balance there is after your trade-in and/or deposit is applied will go on a credit card. Monthly payments will be required to pay down the balance but the way Elio is pitching it, when you use that credit card to buy gasoline (and some other purchases) instead of being billed for the actual cost of the gas, you’ll be billed 3 times that amount and the difference between the actual price and the billed price will be used to pay off the car.
Why 3X the price of gas? (Read More…)
If you know how to listen and who to listen to, you have heard for weeks that Hyundai is not the only one with overenthusiastic EPA ratings, and that other car companies might soon have to restate their MPG numbers. The carmaker mentioned most often in those whispers was Ford. Today, Consumer Reports magazine said that Ford’s C-Max and Fusion hybrids fall about 20 percent short of their fuel economy claims. (Read More…)
Consumer Reports tested the latest offerings of Detroit automakers, did not like the Dodge Dart, was frustrated by the Cadillac XTS, was underwhelmed by the Lincoln MKS, and put off by the Chevrolet Spark. CR ended up recommending a Japanese Lexus ES instead. (Read More…)
Ford took a swan dive in the latest Consumer Reports reliability rankings, finishing second-to-last ahead of Jaguar in the standings. To the Blue Oval’s credt, the poor ratings don’t tell the whole story.
The best deal.
Most consumers use this phrase interchangeably with what they really want. The best car.
The question is whether they can find both at the same place.
Consumer Reports published a scathing critique of the MyFord Touch infotainment system, saying it “stinks” and even worse, is prompting competitors to come out with their own versions of the system.
“Just because a car generates a lot of buzz or is a best seller doesn’t mean that it’s a good choice for you. The five models here may be on a lot of buyers’ shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear…”
So says Consumer Reports with respect to their list of “Five popular cars to avoid”. CR says that the vehicles “…didn’t perform well in our testing or they suffer from subpar reliability,” and that’s reason enough to stay away. I’m not entirely convinced.
The factors that trigger premature ejaculations in basement-dwelling, Gran Turismo playing phantasy car buyers, namely performance, design, and technology, are also-rans. (Read More…)
Consumer Reports recently bought a Fisker Karma, which ended up breaking down in the driveway of their vehicle testing facility.
Tesla is one of the ten highest rated car brands in America, says the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey. Is that a good thing? Marketers are troubled by this development. The trouble is not that a newcomer like Tesla is rated so highly.
Overall, the halos of the top brands are fading fast. (Read More…)
Some things have been repeated so often that many people have come to accept them as facts. I tripped across one of these in Bob Lutz’s new book, Car Guys vs. Bean Counters (review on the way). Lutz offers “a curiosity I have observed several times at various stages of my career”: when the domestics rebadge an import, the resulting model has scored “way lower” in Consumer Reports reliability survey. This has been Exhibit A in the argument, also repeated by Lutz, that import owners under-report problems on surveys in order to “retroactively justify the wisdom of their purchase.” I’ve come across this claim about CR so many times in the past that it just had to be true. Then I checked.
My 2012 Honda Civic review concluded that “the design is clunky, the materials are cut-rate, and the driving experience is so dreadfully dull that even a Toyota Prius is a blast in comparison.” Could this car have inspired the owner evangelism that made Honda a major industry player? Highly unlikely. Though most commenters shared my severe disappointment with the car, at least one found the “bashing” to be “amusing.” Perhaps Honda similarly shrugged off my critique. Some of the big car mags have ranked the new Civic fairly high in recent comparos, so by picking and choosing who they pay attention to Honda’s leaders might maintain the illusion that they aren’t hopelessly off course.
Well, if a TTAC review didn’t provide them with a strong enough dose of reality, perhaps this will: as recounted in the September 2011 issue, the new Civic tested so low in Consumer Report’s road test that they won’t recommend it. Among other things, they note that the redesigned car’s interior is cheap, the steering is devoid of feedback, and the ride feels unsettled. They also note that “the Civic’s sporty character is gone.”
A Civic that Consumer Reports cannot recommend? If this doesn’t provide Honda with a clue, I don’t know what will.
[UPDATE: Hit the jump for CR's press release]