Consumer Reports Revises Recommendations, Puts F-150 on ‘Avoid’ List

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Like ‘em or not, the musings of Consumer Reports can carry quite a bit of weight with John Q. Public when shopping for big-ticket items like a car or pickup truck. This month’s issue featured machines in numerous categories slapped with an ‘avoid’ label – including America’s best-selling vehicle.

Raising an eyebrow or two around here is CR’s assertion the 2023 Ford F-150 is a “popular full-sized pickup truck to avoid’” with an overall score of 58 apparently contributing to the unflattering label. The mag goes on to say “All the bluster doesn’t make the F-150 the best truck. Its ride, handling, and reliability come up short.” Specifically, the group says they expect the ’23 F-150 to be less reliable than the average new car based on data from the 2021 and 2022 model years. 

Nevertheless, the outlet’s own reporting also shows this pickup truck as scoring well on a CR road test (75 out of 100) and netting a 4 out of 5 result in predicted owner satisfaction. The sole truck in this class to earn a Better Choice rating was the 2023 Ram 1500, showing up for work with an 83/100 on its road test and – like the Ford – 4/5 for owner satisfaction for an overall score of 65. Note that so-called ‘better choice’ vehicles in other categories saw their total overall scores land in the mid-to-high 80s.

Elsewhere on the list, CR takes the easy route by plastering an ‘avoid’ label on the current Tacoma, knowing full well a brand-new and vastly improved model is on its way. Whilst touting the miserable Ridgeline as a ‘better choice’ in its category, the group inexplicably states “The Tacoma outsells the Ridgeline about 6 to 1, but it shouldn’t,” before touting the Honda’s engine, ride, and handling. 

CR also has nice things to say about the Kia Telluride, Toyota Corolla Hybrid, and Subaru Forester. Other vehicles getting panned in addition to the F-150 were the Hyundai Elantra, VW ID.4, and Chrysler Pacifica. In a hilarious bit of accidental theater (shown above) that underscores just how convoluted these sorts of rankings can become, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is simultaneously listed as “Recommended” but also labeled as a “Popular Small SUV to Avoid”.

We encourage you to ruminate on that in the comments.

[Images: Ford, screenshot]

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Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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3 of 49 comments
  • Jerome Gagnier Jerome Gagnier on Jun 20, 2023

    I was a GM man all my life cars and trucks .I purchase a 2013 GMC it rotted out with 130000km had trouble with it ...Then purchased 2019 silverado with 8 speed transmission ....JUNK ..... dealer wouldn't repair's gone traded it for a 2022F150 .I like this truck better on fuel ,pull and carry more weight ...purchase new cars for the wife for years .I purchased a 2012 equinox brand new ..all my vehicles were brand new this vehicle had engine rebuilt under warranty at 60000km then rotted out at 180000 gone ....purchased 2023 toyota rave 4 far nice vehicle NO MORE GM PRODUCTS FOR ME OR MY FAMILY

  • John John on Dec 08, 2023

    It is ashame that a company that evaluates toaster ovens, like consumer reports, is allowed to cast such negative press upon what is perhaps the world's best selling pickup truck, such being a classic engineering marvel like the ford f150 series. I have personally bought, lived with, and have driven these vehicles for almost half a century, and I can tell you that to me they are incredible wonderfully crafted machines that have been not only helpful in every respect a truck can be, but beautiful to drive particularly with the modern technology packages now incorporated in their systems packages. I say leave the evaluations and judgement calls to those who's knowledge of automotive engineering and design are expert to the matter in question.

  • Bob65688581 We bought zillions of German cars, despite knowing about WWII slave labor. Refusing to buy something for ideological reasons is foolish.Both the US and the EU have imposed tariffs, so the playing field is level. I'll buy the best price/quality, regardless of nationality.Another interesting question would be "Would you buy one of the many new European moderate-price EVs?" but of course they aren't sold here.Third interesting question: "Why won't Stellantis sell its best products in America?"
  • Freshblather No. Worried there will be malicious executable code built into the cars motherboard that could disable the Chinese cars in the event of hostilities between the west and China.
  • Bd2 Absolutely not - do not want to support a fascist, totalitarian regime.
  • SCE to AUX The original Capri was beautiful. The abomination from the 90s was no Capri, and neither is this.It looks good, but too similar to a Polestar. And what's with the whacked price?
  • Rover Sig Absolutely not. Ever.