Consumer Reports recently released their 2017 car reviews. Buick was a pleasant surprise and Tesla underperformed! Do these reviews affect your decision process of picking a car?
Yes, I look up the specs on the engine, IE the V camshaft drive belt or chain. Cars will sell cheap when they need a $2,500 camshaft and cam belt driven water pump rebuild on a car with the motor mount split into the timing belt cover.
The Oldsmobile quad 4 engine was a prime example, the DOHV cam belt driven water pump spins at excessive RPM's because it's driven by the camshaft belt (and the sucker is behind the timing cover plate). This is why they always replace the water pump when doing the labor to disassemble the timing belt and motor mount, because the labor to tear it apart again for the water pump alone will be $2000 in that scenario. There are many other bad design examples.
Yes and no. I find their online reviews of cars sometimes amusing and real. I don't always agree with them. However, if I am seriously considering a car, I will take notes on their review and focus on those for the test drive. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't. In summary, yes I consider their opinions, no I don't always agree and whether the review affects my decision depends on the situation.
One of the more recent stances CR has taken is that Emergency braking and forward collision warning need to be standard on every make, model and trim level. I think that's a good stance to take because it prevents accidents.
As others have mentioned, I prefer the layout of edmunds.com better. You also have to take their reviews with a word of caution because they will 'promote' cars – meaning they can be bought. CR cannot be bought.
Their reviews are much less biased than reviews that you might see in a car magazine, who has car companies as advertisers. Consumer Reports does not have advertising.
Yes, I use them as a part — only a part — of my research before buying a car, or tires, or TVs, or appliances.
The CR results you mention are only reliability predictions for brand new cars, based on thousands of owner survey responses. However, there's much more to buying a car than reliability. For example, the Buick in the results has older technology and safety features, which is one reason they are so reliable.
Check all of the different reports, not only Consumer Reports. Some years back it was discovered that the "independent research corporation known as Consumer Reports was actually owned in part by GM. Suddenly the fact that GM cars always seem to be "slightly better" makes sense.
I like CR, but they're not to be trusted completely. Car-buying is a tricky business, and I try to not put all my eggs in one basket, if you get what I'm saying. I trust KBB over CR, honestly because you can access both consumer reviews and expert reviews; and they just seem more realistic somehow.
For instance, CR sometimes likes to dock SUVs, Jeeps, and the like for gas-guzzling, or 'poor road handling' or whatever it may be, which I find funny. Jeeps especially, aren't meant to be classy, refined vehicles of luxury – they are purposely low on creature-comforts and they have been for generations, dammit!
Sorry. Things like that just give me a headache. 🙂
Meh, I take CR with a grain of salt.
I used to subscribe to their magazine for years, but found one thing that I could NEVER escape: They love boring, bland autos. Anything safe, "in-the-box" and boring. Camry, Accord, Corolla, Civic, etc… all loved many times over.
I stopped getting their mag about 10 years ago, and haven't looked back. I use Edmunds (which I find to be more accurate than others in their reviews).
I don't buy vehicles often – every 15-20 years, mostly because I buy Fords, but yes when I look I use all the resources I can find to help with overall decision making process as it related to quality – need to drive them to see if you like the way they are laid-out and handle.
Yes and no. Such reviews, from whatever the source might be, should be considered but their findings should not persuade you from purchasing a vehicle which suits your need and desire.
If you still want a Civic, even though CR gave them a bit of a bashing, you would still be getting a very good automobile.
Yes. If I see about half negative reviews, I look for another car.
I do pay attention to Consumer Reports but they are never the final word for me..