Consumer Reports Doesn't Fancy The New Fords
Consumer Reports announced the results of their 2011 Annual Auto Survey yesterday. Among the heroes: the oft-maligned Chrysler 200, the Chevrolet Volt, and the island nation of Japan. In the doghouse: Regal, Cruze, LaCrosse, and pretty much the entire “new lineup” of General Motors.
The biggest loser this year, however, was Ford.
The Blue Oval tumbled down CR’s charts from 10th of 28 last year to 20th of 28. Although the Fusion Hybrid and many carry-over vehicles continue to be recommended, the new Explorer, Fiesta and Focus are all rated below average, as are the Edge/MKX twins. What’s going on here? According to CR, it’s the PowerShift double-clutch transmission and MyFordTouch/MyLincolnTouch that are causing the problems.
The most reliable domestic brand, coming in at 13 of 28, was Jeep. Volvo was the top-ranked [s]Chinese[/s] European entry in 10th place, and the top dog among Japanese brands was Scion, ranking first. My friends at Porsche fell from 2nd place to 27th, based on the “terrible debut year” of the new Cayenne. Speaking as someone who used to drive a Cayenne S and a six-speed Cayenne GTS as company cars, I cannot imagine how bad the new one is if it’s worse than the old model. I’m thinking about springing for the $7.99 special issue of Consumer Reports just to find out what the new Cayenne does to its owners. With any luck, phrases like “prolonged and severe rectal trauma” will find their way into the magazine’s normally quite clinical prose.
Last and least, the two [s]Indian[/s] British super-sedans, the Jaguar XF and XJ, were “the two least reliable new cars in the survey.”
I would love to take that edsel and repaint it the same color, install my 392 hemi under the hood and slap on a set of lakes pipes and baby moons.
What is with the 5K aging minivan transmission kaputzen? Yet we hear so many CVT denouncers.. yet is not the CVT simpler - the belt being the harbinger of failure? I did not say CVT was fun-to-be-with or suitable to hitch.
For what it's worth, Ford are about to release a major software update for the Powershifts in both the Fiesta and the Focus: http://www.leftlanenews.com/fixes-to-fiesta-focus-transmission-already-underway.html Though this may have more on an impact on drivability than reliability, it's still nice that Ford seems to be taking active steps to address complaints.
Honestly, I don't know how anyone can trust CR after the whole Suzuki Samurai debacle. CR destroyed the reputation of a good vehicle (and really, an entire class of vehicles) simply because one of their editors didn't like it. It was so bad, that Suzuki sued and won, but by the time the case was settled, the damage was already done and the Samurai was gone from the market due to CR hitjob induced low sales. I mean, that's a level of bias and vitriol that not even BMW and Driver has ever displayed.