QOTD: Did Consumer Reports Get It Right?
Venerable consumer-oriented publication Consumer Reports has its 2023 Brand Scorecard out. BMW topped it.
There's a long explainer at Autoblog, but the gist is this: CR ranks 32 brands and 10 vehicles. CR bases its scores on which brands are producing "well-performing, safe, and reliable" cars and trucks. The more consistent a brand is, the better it scores.
BMW takes the top spot, followed by Subaru and Mini. No American make is higher than Buick at 12, and Land Rover brings up the rear.
Eight of the 10 picks are new -- only Kia's Telluride and Subaru's Forester are holdovers. Add the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, Toyota Corolla Cross, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Maverick Hybrid, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid, Lexus NX350h, and Tesla Model 3.
There's a lot to unpack here. I'm curious as to what you all think: Did CR do a good job ranking brands and models?
Sound off below.
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A big part of CR's Scorecard ratings come from surveys sent to THEIR subscribers rating their experiences. IIRC, seems I read that only about 30% of their surveys are actually returned. Personally, I don't know of a single person in my circle that subscribes to CR. How many of you "car" people are CR subscribers ? I'll stick with my trouble free Rav4 and F150 and read TTAC & Car & Driver for my automotive "news".
I've owned seven BMW 3 series and currently a 4 series. All have been quite reliable. All German cars require a regular maintenance schedule that must be adhered to. If you do that, they aren't cheap, but they are reliable. The difference is BMW's are fun to drive and perform well, as opposed to just being driveable appliances that many other brands offer.
CR worships Subaru, and those that swear by CR will be highly drawn to Subaru as a result. Consequently, their members who respond to their surveys will further vernerate Subaru, and the cycle continues. Too bad Subaru is so mediocre and unreliable according everyone else's rankings. If you drink the CR, what other choice is there, really?
I've grown suspicious of CR's reviews. Case in point, CR speaks highly of Kia and its engines. CR's website does not reference the ongoing class-action lawsuit against Hyundai/Kia for their terrible Theta engines. Hyundai/Kia needed to write off $2Billion in 2022 to cover claims. My 2015 Kia Soul and 2017 Optima SXL both required new engines. CR is one data point when researching a vehicle. Other websites such as TTAC, Edmunds, True Car, and others should be referenced. My CR subscription expires in March. It's time to move on.