Consumer Reports Annual Auto Report: Winners And Losers

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
consumer reports annual auto report winners and losers

Consumer Reports has released its annual auto issue and scorecard, and the results are hardly shocking. CR loves them some Toyota, Honda and Subaru, singling out the big H as building the most reliable lineup of vehicles (Element excepted). Toyota came in second, with the Prius winning top spot in CR’s new “value” ranking. Only Toyota’s Yaris and FJ Cruiser were unable to earn a “recommend” grade from the report. Mercedes has improved its reliability, reckons CR, but European brands are still lagging. On the American front, Ford is singled out as the high point among the American automakers, as “some Ford models now rival their competitors” from Japan. Too bad they’re the F150 and Flex, which compete for a shrinking market segments. Unfortunately, that’s as good as the news gets for Detroit.

Detroit only builds 19 percent of CR’s “recommended” vehicles, with efficiency and reliability lagging behind the Japanese competition. And as CR bluntly puts it, “the domestics don’t have any competitive small SUVs or small cars.” Buick Enclave, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Pontiac G8, and Saturn Outlook fared the best of GM’s models. Chevy’s Avalanche was inexplicably named a pickup “top pick.”

And Chrysler? The less said the better. After tying with Suzuki for last place last year, Chrysler has elbowed the competition out, claiming the bottom spot for itself. Not a single Chrysler, Dodge, or Jeep product was recommended by CR. Chrysler’s vehicles “have noisy, inefficient, unrefined powertrains, subpar interiors, and poor visibility,” reckons CR. All of which has the Freep’s Mark Phelan wondering where it all went wrong. “The dismal showing raises serious questions about Cerberus’ management of the automaker it acquired in 2007 and the credibility of the company’s proposals as it seeks government loans to stay in business,” says the notorious Detroit booster. “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

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  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Feb 28, 2009

    Did not know that...thanks for the tip!

  • Tedward Tedward on Mar 01, 2009

    Ferrygeist I actually don't disagree with anything you've said...I certainly won't try to defend the Hemi as technologically relevant. However, despite the valve count, this is defintiely a refined, if not efficient engine. It just dosen't belong on a list of crap product. The S2000 is one of my top 3 favorite cars so I can't argue against it, but I'd like to point out that it's making about 150lb/ft at 6500rpm. The two engines are as "apples and oranges" as two normally aspirated engines could possibly be.

  • Lou_BC What ever happened to Reid Bigland and his law suite against Ram?
  • Lou_BC This car looks a lot like my son's 2008 4 door Mercury Grand Marquis Ultimate .
  • Theflyersfan ...and then the market for large personal luxury coupes choked on a hairball right around this time as everyone lost their minds and decided that they had to get the exact same Explorer Eddie Bauer edition as four other people also had on their cul-de-sac, or worse, the woefully under-braked and scary in most manuvers Suburbans and Expeditions so they can travel in solo bliss surrounded by 5,500 pounds of unused steel and glass because 'murca dammit!!! Those were the same people who were interviewed weeping at their local Exxon station around the year 2000 when a gas price spike hit and the .75/gal gas in 1998 was now at over $2.00/gal. I look at this Lincoln, and while I wasn't a big fan of it, I did like the Thunderbirds and Cougars of that era as I thought they made a bigger statement about perceived power and wealth compared to "I drive Brayden and Ashleigh to a dozen different activities that they will dump the second they turn 13 and get tired of that stuff" crude SUVs that were becoming the rage. And I have to say the taillights of the Lincoln drove me nuts. The neon part was really cool at night - excellent effect. I recall the rest being your regular old Thomas Edison lightbulb and the look clashed royally, especially when the brakes were hit. You had an LED center brake light, incandescent brake lights, and a neon light smack in the middle. That's kind of busy.
  • Cprescott Why complain? You bought an overpriced golf cart and you know full well the company routinely plays games with its owners and has outrageous repair costs and insurance rates (which no one wants to talk about).
  • Tassos once more, TTAC is even more retarded than even the slopokes in the auto news sector who report the news a day late. TTAC reported this TWO DAYS LATE. WHY?????HAving said that, this is EARTH SHAKING NEWS. The Model 3, the ONLY successful 3 series KILLER, for less than a -stupid Camry?MIND BOGGLING.