Consumer Reports Reports
Our brothers-in-arms over at Consumer Reports just released their not-so-creatively titled "Top Picks" for 2008. Surprises? A few. For starters, CR chose the Hyundai Elantra SE as their top Small Sedan. We'd of course pick the Mazda 3 instead– and they even admit the Mazda handles better– but CR feels you get more safety stuff for your buck. Who knew? And man, how far has the Civic fallen? Want to guess what car scored highest ever on the Consumer Reports road test? Why it's the Lexus LS 460L. Not only did the big limo score 99 out of a possible 100 points, but it's a top pick in the Luxury Sedan category. I spent some time with the hybrid version, and I'd have to give it 99 out of 100, too. If you didn't count handling. If you did include handling I'd score it 99 out of 110, as the car moves like a submarine. The Chevrolet Silverado beat out the Toyota Tundra in their Pickup Truck category. In point of fact, the Tundra scored more points, but the first-year Japanese V8 has been having reliability problems, so the Chevy got the nod. Go figure. Not so surprising is the Mazda MX-5 Miata beating out the Porsche Boxster in the Fun to Drive category. Consumer Reports reports that the Miata does everything the Boxster does, but for half the price. I agree with that, though the Boxster gets better gas mileage. And smells better. No, really.
What Mr. Solowiow said. At freeway speeds (i.e. 80 mph) the poor Miata is buzzing along at 4,000 rpm in 5th, whereas the Boxster's engine is barely turning. I did a 4-way test between 70-90 mph and returned an average of 29 mpg in ye olde standard Boxster.
Oh, so it gets better gas mileage cruising on the interstate at 80-90mph? That's great, but just how much time are you driving these cars that way? If it is a lot, I think you're kind of missing the point of the car. I don't get much of a chance to spend time in 6th gear. Hard to take 25mph corners in it without bogging the engine. :p
Jonny - CORRECTION The E39 BMW 530i received the highest score ever from Consumer Reports - 100/100.
Cretinx: That's not what they said, but I don't doubt it. Great car, though the 540i was better. And then there's that whole E39 M5 guy...