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Consumer Reports Automaker Report Cards 2012: Subaru drives into top spot as Honda slips[Apr. 16, 2012]
Riding a wave of impressive redesigned models in the last few years, Subaru for the first time has earned the top score in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012. Subaru’s score of 75, two points higher than last year, reflects better test scores for such redesigned models as the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback over the last few years. The 2012 Impreza, which Consumer Reports just tested, now tops the small-sedan class and is the Consumer Reports Top Pick in that category. Subaru’s average road-test score of 82 is the highest in Consumer Reports analysis.
Five Toyota models named Consumer Reports’ top picks; First time in nearly a decade one brand has dominated[Apr. 13, 2012]
As the competition grows stronger with each passing year, it has been increasingly difficult for a single automaker to dominate Consumer Reports’ annual Top Picks list. This year, Toyota is the first brand to earn half of the top 10 spots in nearly a decade. The redesigned Toyota Camry Hybrid, and Highlander edged out the competition to become Top Picks in Consumer Reports’ Family Sedan and Family SUV categories respectively.
Consumer Reports finds that buying a used car may be a better deal than ever[Apr. 13, 2012]
With every passing year, buying a used car becomes less of a gamble according to a new analysis by Consumer Reports. Even the least reliable car-makers are gaining ground on the perennial reliability leaders, Toyota and Honda; Volvo has made the most dramatic improvement over the last decade, but almost all automakers have improved their products in recent years.
Kia Rio tops Hyundai Accent & Chevrolet Sonic in Consumer Reports’ tests Of sub-compact sedans[Apr. 12, 2012]
With its nimble handling and well-equipped cabin, the Kia Rio EX outpointed the Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Sonic as the top rated sub-compact sedan in Consumer Reports’ latest tests. The Rio’s hatchback version scored lower, but sits firmly in third place behind the previously tested and higher-rated Honda Fit and Nissan Versa SL among the subcompact hatchbacks tested with automatic transmissions.
Honda Fit repeats at top of Consumer Reports best new-car value list[Jan. 6, 2012]
Despite the influx of new vehicles into the small- and budget-car marketplace, the Honda Fit remains on top in Consumer Reports list of best value small cars. The Fit also reemerged as the best overall value among some 200 different vehicles that were analyzed. Overwhelmingly, the best values come from Japanese automakers, including most of the top models in each category. Of the 48 best values in Consumer Reports lists, 34 are from Japanese brands. Six models come from European brands (mostly Volkswagen), five come from American ones (mostly Ford), and three are from South Korean automakers.
Consumer Reports ranks redesigned Chrysler 300 among better upscale sedans[Oct. 3, 2011]
Revamped for 2011, the Chrysler 300C scored an “Excellent” overall road test score of 80 in Consumer Reports’ latest tests of four upscale sedans, up from 64 for the previous model. The 300C now ranks midpack among the 10 upscale sedans that have been tested by CR. Previously, it had been near the bottom of the pack. It’s unusual to see a redesigned model rise so far in Consumer Reports’ ratings. CR’s engineers and editors called the new 300 “the best Chrysler sedan we’ve seen in decades.”
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.
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