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http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2007-03-01-consumer-report-list_x.htm

Japanese brands dominate

Consumer Reports magazine's April auto issue, coming next week, is a guide for millions of auto shoppers.
Here's a look at some of this year's key rankings.

Top picks for 2007
Consumer Reports considers these the best all-around performers in each category. The magazine didn't name a top pickup because it didn't have enough time to test all new models.

Category Vehicle Price

Budget Honda Fit $14,000 to $16,000

Small sedan Honda Civic $17,000 to $23,000

Family sedan Honda Accord $20,000 to $33,000

Upscale sedan Infiniti G35 $35,000 to $39,000

Luxury sedan Infiniti M35 $42,000 to $45,000

Fun to drive Mazda MX-5 Miata $21,000 to $27,000

Small SUV Toyota RAV4 $23,000 to $27,000

Midsize SUV Toyota Highlander hybrid $35,000 to $40,000

Minivan Toyota Sienna $26,000 to $38,000

Green car Toyota Prius $23,000

Source: Consumer Reports


CR Good Bets have performed well in CR's road tests and have had several years of better-than-average reliability. Bad Bets performed much worse than average.

Good bets/ Bad bets

Acura Integra /BMW 7 Series

Acura MDX/ BMW X5 (v8)

Acura RL /Chevrolet Astro

Acura RSX (except '06) /Chevrolet Blazer

Acura TL /Chevrolet Express

Acura TSX /Chevrolet S-10 (4WD)

Buick Regal /Chevrolet Venture, Uplander

Chevrolet Prizm /Chrysler Town & Country (awd)

Honda Accord /Dodge Caravan (awd)

Honda Civic /GMC Jimmy

Honda Civic hybrid /GMC Sonoma (4wd)

Honda CR-V /GMC Safari

Honda Element /GMC Savana

HondaOdyssey /Infiniti QX56

Honda Pilot /Jaguar S-Type

Honda Prelude /Jaguar X-Type

Honda S2000 /Jeep Grand Cherokee

Infiniti FX /Kia Sedona (except '06)

Infiniti G20 /Land Rover Discovery, LR3

Infiniti G35 /Lincoln Aviator

Infiniti I30, I35 /Lincoln Navigator

Infiniti QX4 /Mercedes-Benz CLK

Lexus ES /Mercedes-Benz M-Class (v8)

Lexus GS /Mercedes-Benz S-Class (v8)

Lexus GX /Mercedes-Benz SL

Lexus IS /Nissan Armada

Lexus LS /Nissan Titan

Lexus EX /Oldsmobile Bravada

Lexus SC /Oldsmobile Cutlass

Lincoln Town Car /Oldsmobile Silhouette

Mazda Millenia /Pontiac Aztek

Mazda MX-5 Miata /Pontiac Trans Sport, Montana, Montana SV6

Mazda Protégé /Volkswagen Cabrio

Mazda3 /Volkswagen Jetta (turbo, gas)

Nissan Altima /Volkswagen Jetta (v6)

Nissan Maxima /Volkswagen New Beetle (4 cyl.)

Nissan Pathfinder /Volkswagen Touareg

Pontiac Vibe /Volvo XC90 (6-cyl.)

Scion xB

Subaru Forester

Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza WRX

Subaru Legacy

Subaru Outback

Toyota 4Runner

Toyota Avalon

Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry Solara

Toyota Celica

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Echo

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Matrix

Toyota Prius

Toyota RAV4

Toyota Sequia

Toyota Sienna

Toyota Tundra


How 'Consumer Reports' survey ranks cars
Predicted reliability of brands and where they placed last year. Bold = gained; italics = lost.

Maker '07 '06

Toyota 1 3

Honda 2 2

Scion 3 7

Acura 4 6

Lexus 5 1

Subaru 6 5

Hyundai 7 13

Infiniti 8 28

Mitsubishi 9 4

Mercury 10 8

Mazda 11 9

Audi 12 27

Lincoln 13 30

GMC 14 25

Volvo 15 12

Ford 16 16

Kia 17 14

Buick 18 20

BMW 19 21

Pontiac 20 17

Chevrolet 21 24

Dodge 22 18

Chrysler 23 15

Nissan 24 26

Saab 25 23

Suzuki 26 10

Volkswagen 27 33

Mini 28 11

Porsche 29 36

Saturn 30 29

Cadillac 31 22

Jeep 32 19

Jaguar 33 31

Hummer 34 35

Land Rover 35 34

Mercedes-Benz 36 32

Source: Consumer Reports
 

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Toyota's vaunted Lexus luxury brand has fallen from first to fifth in Consumer Reports magazine's annual predicted reliability survey. Other luxury brands took worse drubbings. The automaker's Toyota brand and its youth-oriented Scion brand are in the top three along with Honda and its Acura, the magazine says in its April auto issue, on sale next week.

Mercedes-Benz was last among 36 brands. Other luxury brands at the bottom: Land Rover, Hummer and Jaguar.

The magazine, operated by the non-profit Consumers Union, bases the reliability rankings on responses from 965,000 subscribers covering 1.3 million vehicles. The auto issue also includes the magazine's ratings of vehicles based on its own testing.

Some luxury brands improved: Nissan's Infiniti, Volkswagen's Audi, Ford Motor's Lincoln; Honda's Acura.

David Champion, the magazine's director of automotive testing, blamed one model for Lexus' fall, the midsize GS that was redesigned last year. He said the car had problems in three areas -- body integrity, defined as rattles or poorly fitting panels; body hardware, such as locks and trunk mechanisms; and the sound system.

The model still rated average and earned a purchase recommendation. All other Lexus models were better than average.

Toyota officials looked at the bright side. "We had three of the top five. It reflects well on our products," spokesman Xavier Dominicis said.

Mercedes, DaimlerChrysler's luxury brand, tumbled four places to the cellar, "a very poor showing for a very expensive car," Champion said. Mercedes' quality is so imperiled that a 9-year-old Lexus LS 400 has potentially fewer problems than a new Mercedes ML. Champion said of Mercedes: "They perform well, have great fit and finish. But they seem to have a lot of problems with the seven-speed automatic transmission in all their products, and power accessories and electrical systems."

Mercedes disputed the findings. Today's models "are without question some of the best we have ever built," spokeswoman Donna Boland said. "If the survey doesn't reflect that, there's something wrong with the survey."

She noted that 74 percent of Mercedes models sold in the USA over the past 50 years are still on the road. A 2006 survey by R.L. Polk showed that Mercedes has the highest owner loyalty of any brand.

Mercedes had quality issues a couple of years ago, but they were fixed, she said. "We have been out-front about that. But the data we have on the new models absolutely support that the quality is right up there with people's expectations."

http://autos.aol.com/article/general/v2/_a/auto-reliability-survey/20070301102009990002
 

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Consumer reports are morons. They wouldn't know a great car if it ran them over. I can't believe people read their magazine and think it's the bible.
 

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[quote author=radioactiveman link=topic=70834.msg1247535#msg1247535 date=1173015514]
Consumer reports are morons. They wouldn't know a great car if it ran them over. I can't believe people read their magazine and think it's the bible.
[/quote]

Well believe it or not I checked out the Mazda3 in part due to their high recommendation. They rated it highest among the small hatchbacks/wagons, which after test driving other comparable makes, I concurred with. Whether you like them or not, at least you know they're not biased towards since any particular advertisers (since they accept no advertising). Based on my own experience I've found their reliability ratings to be accurate as well. My last car, a Subaru, very reliable. The one before that, a Saturn, not so much. Their independent gas mileage calculations are much more accurate as well. Anyone who drives a Mazda3 in the city knows that it certainly doesn't get the mileage shown on the window sticker.

Speaking of Consumer Reports, I noticed the reliability ratings of the 2006 3's were worse than that of the 2004/2005's. Wonder if stepped up production is causing quality to suffer. Hope the trend doesn't continue because I have a 2007 8)
 

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Consumer Reports seems to have generally liked the Mazda3. They gave it their "recommended" stamp and put the 3i in their "best vehicles under $25k" (among 20 other cars which includes three trims of the Civic.) The main negatives against the car were "small trunk" (huh???), road noise, and the poor IIHS side crash ratings w/o side air curtains. All of the ratings are so succinct and summarized that they don't seem to be of much use. I don't really need a magazine to tell me that the reliability of Volkswagen, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Suzuki vehicles is generally below average. Basically I guess people living under a rock can buy it to find cars they should definitely avoid. Consumer Reports gave recommended ratings to so many cars that it kind of muddies the line between what vehicles are great values out there and compared with those that simply get the job done.

Speaking of Consumer Reports, I noticed the reliability ratings of the 2006 3's were worse than that of the 2004/2005's. Wonder if stepped up production is causing quality to suffer. Hope the trend doesn't continue because I have a 2007
From the table it looked like the 2006 scored higher reliability in every category but "body integrity" and the "used car verdict" (how many used 2006 Mazda3s are on the market?)
 

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I think that Consumer Reports are pretty spot on. However I think that they fall under the problem of having too many reports from Honda, Toyota and Ford since they, I suppose, are big sellers.


I think that our 3's are simply lost in the shuffle and are damn fine cars. I think that the imagry of Honda and Toyota just bring those cars to the front. Its kind of like two hot sisters with their "nerdy" sister who is just as hot but just doesn't show it.
 

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[quote author=ElJay link=topic=70834.msg1260689#msg1260689 date=1173586117]
I don't really need a magazine to tell me that the reliability of Volkswagen, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Suzuki vehicles is generally below average. Basically I guess people living under a rock can buy it to find cars they should definitely avoid.
[/quote]

Well it can vary from vehicle to vehicle within a manufacturer e.g. Mazda3 versus RX-8, so it's useful for that. Plus, reliability for a manufacturer can change over time so for someone who hadn't purchased a car in a while (like myself) it's good to see where things are currently at. I think the most glaring examples of changes since my last car purchase in 1999 would be Nissan (much worse reliability) and Hyundai (much better reliability).

[quote author=ElJay link=topic=70834.msg1260689#msg1260689 date=1173586117]
Consumer Reports gave recommended ratings to so many cars that it kind of muddies the line between what vehicles are great values out there and compared with those that simply get the job done.
[/quote]

I agree that they shouldn't be the only source for any car decision. They are a good baseline to see what cars are at least in the ballpark (especially when you look at ratings within a certain category that you're interested in).

[quote author=ElJay link=topic=70834.msg1260689#msg1260689 date=1173586117]
From the table it looked like the 2006 scored higher reliability in every category but "body integrity" and the "used car verdict" (how many used 2006 Mazda3s are on the market?)
[/quote]

I guess I was referring to the overall verdict score, which dropped from 'Better than avg.' to 'Average'. That score is more of a compared to other cars on the market score, rather than year to year.
 

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I know longer hate Honda. I am an avid Toyota hater now. The corollas are the fastest selling ugly car in the United states of late. Their interior design is horrible (How can someone actually like white lighted gauges at night with green all down the middle??), and what's up with their stupid rear sill extensions? But i guess it's toyota's reliability that's winning people over these days.
 

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"But i guess it's toyota's reliability that's winning people over these days. " Thats it! Thats all!
 

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[quote author=NightRiderMZ3 link=topic=70834.msg1277558#msg1277558 date=1174353286]
I know longer hate Honda. I am an avid Toyota hater now. The corollas are the fastest selling ugly car in the United states of late. Their interior design is horrible (How can someone actually like white lighted gauges at night with green all down the middle??), and what's up with their stupid rear sill extensions? But i guess it's toyota's reliability that's winning people over these days.
[/quote]

I agree. I used to like Toyota, but I think they're focusing too much on dominating the market and not enough on moving designs forward. They've got reliability and MPG, but lack way too much in performance and fun. Toyota, please get back to basics and actually make a car that people want to DRIVE.
 

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since when is corolla and ugly car ?!?

think again.

Corolla S is nice. While not s good looking as a mazda 3 sedan, it's still a nice looking car
 

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[quote author=NightRiderMZ3 link=topic=70834.msg1277558#msg1277558 date=1174353286]
I know longer hate Honda. I am an avid Toyota hater now. The corollas are the fastest selling ugly car in the United states of late. Their interior design is horrible (How can someone actually like white lighted gauges at night with green all down the middle??), and what's up with their stupid rear sill extensions? But i guess it's toyota's reliability that's winning people over these days.
[/quote]


LOL...thats more than enough reason to buy a car. Believe it or not, some people buy a car to get them from point A to point B. If thats the case, they want a car thats reliable. Believe me, having to take your car into the shop all the time is not fun. Dealing with dealers over warranty issues is also not fun.

Besides, there are other factors that help Toyota sell cars. Resale value, gas, etc. I dont care what window sticker says, the Corolla dominates Mazda3 in real world gas mileage.

Styling is obviously subjective. I LOVE my mazda3 hatch. But I know many people who hate the style. Again, you may think the Corolla is ugly while others may not.

Anyways, I'm not trying to give you a hard time. Just giving you a different point of view.
 

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Regardless, the Corolla (and countless other Toyotas) can be better. What's wrong with having reliability and higher gas mileage AND being fun to drive and own? Reliability is important, but it's not the only factor. Obviously people vote with their wallet, and they're putting Toyota on the top of the map. However, I believe that the next generation of buyers won't just settle for reliability and MPG. They'll expect that and a lot more. Just look at the success of the Scion brand. Now there's something that Toyota's doing right.
 

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[quote author=bstad1 link=topic=70834.msg1359909#msg1359909 date=1177380431]
Regardless, the Corolla (and countless other Toyotas) can be better. What's wrong with having reliability and higher gas mileage AND being fun to drive and own? Reliability is important, but it's not the only factor. Obviously people vote with their wallet, and they're putting Toyota on the top of the map. However, I believe that the next generation of buyers won't just settle for reliability and MPG. They'll expect that and a lot more. Just look at the success of the Scion brand. Now there's something that Toyota's doing right.
[/quote]

I'm not picking on you bstad1. I just wanted to high light a glaring misconception about Toyota.
The truth is - Toyota's not the be all and end all they're hyped up to be. No one seems to talk about the fact that they recalled more cars in 2006 then they sold that year (over 1 million cars recalled). This spanned across 10 model lines including the vaulted Prius.

I'm not a fan of Ford, and I'll admit they need to do much better in car design, and implementation; but when they recalled 400,000 SUVs in the late '90s to replace the Bridgestone tires (it wasn't even their fault), the press couldn't get enough!

Toyota recalls over a million cars in May 2006 for, among other things, a faulty steering column that could crack...its page 20 in the paper without even a mention on the local nightly news. Even though Toyota is known for quality, there's no equity in report defects.
 

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[quote author=Stulgs link=topic=70834.msg1342913#msg1342913 date=1176809556]
Just to add to the initial post:

Used Mazda 3 Ratings:


[/quote]

This doesn't make any sense to me. The 3 got better in all categories from 05 to 06, but the over all rating got lower. What gives?
 

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This doesn't make any sense to me. The 3 got better in all categories from 05 to 06, but the over all rating got lower. What gives?
The comparison is versus all makes and models for that year. It woud be expected that an '06 would be more reliable than an '05 because it's a year newer. Based on the numbers, I'm guessing the 3's reliability relative to all 2006 vehicles has slipped a little bit. I own a 2007, so I hope the trend doesn't continue :(.
 

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[quote author=ts-x link=topic=70834.msg1367939#msg1367939 date=1177629743]
This doesn't make any sense to me. The 3 got better in all categories from 05 to 06, but the over all rating got lower. What gives?
The comparison is versus all makes and models for that year. It woud be expected that an '06 would be more reliable than an '05 because it's a year newer. Based on the numbers, I'm guessing the 3's reliability relative to all 2006 vehicles has slipped a little bit. I own a 2007, so I hope the trend doesn't continue :(.
[/quote]

That may be true, but the 3 was literally 5 points from perfect. If that's average, i have to questions the scale these guys are rating all cars on.

Additionally, the RX8 received the same overall rating with individual area scores that pale in comparison to the 3's ratings. So this still doesn't make sense. (edit: oops, I was comparing 05 RX8 data to 06 MZ3 data, my bad)

Also if you look at the new car prediction, it shows a predicted better than average while the previous years overall rankings have been trending down. Why?

This is why CR is useless. Just a bunch of ratings with no explanation that don't make any sense when you analyze them critically.
 
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