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Fiat returns to U.S. after nearly thirty years with a fun city car: the Fiat 500[Sep. 27, 2011]
After Fiat’s being out of the U.S. car market for nearly 30 years, Consumer Reports’ tests of the Fiat 500 revealed it to be a fun-to-drive car in tests of fuel-efficient vehicles in the magazine’s October issue. Although it couldn’t avoid enough shortcomings to score high enough in the magazine’s tests to be Recommended, including a tight rear seat and cargo area, testers found it to be a likable urban car.
Products from Meguiar and Nu-Finish top Consumer Reports’ ratings of car waxes[Sep. 27, 2011]
Meguiar’s NXT Generation Tech Wax 2.0, $18, and NU Finish NFP-80, $8, A CR Best Buy, topped Consumer Reports’ latest tests of 19 car waxes, for liquid and paste, respectively. CR’s tests also revealed that premium car wax brands don’t necessarily out-perform their lower-priced counterparts: Liquid or gel waxes from premium brands like Autoglym, Eagle One, Mothers, Zymol scored lower than products from Nu Finish, and 3M, although Autoglym Super Resin Polish (liquid) and Mothers California Gold Carnauba Cleaner Wax (liquid) were both Recommended. Among paste waxes, Mothers FX Engineered Synwax 20011 (Recommended), and Mothers California Gold Carnauba Cleaner Wax were outscored by Nu Finish NFP-80 and Turtle Wax Synthetic Paste Polish T-465.
Chrysler vehicles getting better, but level of improvement varies considerably[Jul. 2, 2011]
Consumer Reports’ tests of eight Chrysler vehicles revealed the automakers’ cars are getting better, but their level of improvement varies considerably. The Dodge Durango and Charger, which received significant redesigns, have improved the most. Both the V6 and V8 tested versions of the Durango SUV received “Very Good” road test scores which now makes them comparable with the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer. However, they score well below rivals like the Toyota Highlander and the Chevrolet Traverse. The Charger Rallye also received a “Very Good” road test score and now ranks close to the Ford Taurus and Buick LaCrosse.
Buick Regal Turbo, Infiniti G25 are standouts in Consumer Reports testing of four sports sedans[Jun. 13, 2011]
The Infiniti G25 and Buick Regal Turbo and scored “Excellent” and “Very Good” overall road test scores, respectively, in Consumer Reports’ testing of a group of four sports sedans, outpointing competitors from Volvo and Audi. The G25 now ranks second overall in Consumer Reports’ recent tests of 13 sports sedans, behind the larger engine Infiniti G37. The G37 was CR’s Top Pick in the sports sedan category in the Annual April Auto Issue.
Consumer Reports names the best new cars for fuel economy[Jun. 10, 2011]
With high pump prices, Consumer Reports says that the most effective way to cute your gasoline use is to buy a more fuel-efficient car. CR named the best cars for fuel economy of those recently tested by the magazine in its own real-world fuel-economy tests. Also listed are the ones that got the lowest mpg in each class.
Consumer Reports warns against rental car gimmicks[May 18, 2011]
As the weather heats up and fuel prices continue to rise, the last thing travelers want is to have pay even more when they hit the road this summer. Rental car companies used to try harder to put the consumer in the driver seat with ease, but today’s rental car companies are putting the gas on gotcha pricing, pushy pitches and costly extras. In its June issue, available online at ConsumerReports.org and on newsstands May 10, 2011, Consumer Reports outlines some costly and common car-rental hassles and how consumers can fight back.
Redesigned Kia Optima now ranks in Consumer Reports Top-Ten of four-cylinder family sedans[May 14, 2011]
The redesigned Kia Optima outpointed the high-selling Honda Accord in a face-off between the two family sedans conducted by Consumer Reports. The Optima now ranks among the top 10 of all four-cylinder family sedans tested by the organization. The Optima now ranks sixth among the four-cylinder family sedans tested by Consumer Reports, ahead of the Honda Accord and behind the Suzuki Kizashi. The Optima edged out the Accord by just one point in CR’s testing. Both vehicles achieved “Very Good” overall scores.
Consumer Reports finds new Volkswagen Jetta disappointing[Apr. 28, 2011]
The newly redesigned Volkswagen Jetta now ranks last among the 11 small sedans that have been tested by Consumer Reports. Engineers found fault with its agility, cornering grip, coarse engine, braking, interior fit and finish, and so-so fuel economy.
Most car buyers don't expect to downsize their next new car purchase[Apr. 21, 2011]
Most car buyers (56 percent) expect their next new vehicle to be the same size as the model they currently drive, but those who are looking to downsize are motivated by improved fuel economy, lower maintenance and repair costs, environmental concerns, and improved reliability, according to a new survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center.
Honda Fit tops Consumer Reports best new car value list[Mar. 14, 2011]
Consumer Reports named the Honda Fit as the small car with the best overall value in its 2011 Annual Auto Issue. The Fit also emerged as the best overall value among some 200 different vehicles analyzed, ranging from small cars to luxury sedans.
Consumer Reports Automakers Report Card 2011: Ford most improved, but Honda, Subaru still lead pack[Mar. 7, 2011]
Honda and Subaru still make the best vehicles overall, but Ford posted the largest gain, improving both its road-test and reliability scores in the past year, according to Consumer Reports annual Automakers Report Card for 2011. Ford has outpaced its cross-town rivals in reliability in recent years, and this year its average test score for all tested models rose from 66 to 70. Current offerings such as the Fusion, Flex, and Mustang have been impressive, and even the new Fiesta scores well in tests. Consumer Reports currently recommends 71 percent of the Ford vehicles it has tested.
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