Do you think Consumer Reports is biased towards import cars?

Discussion in 'Community' started by quagmire, Jun 23, 2005.

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  1. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #1
    I think CR is biased towards imports. They recently tested the Colorado. They drove the truck like a sports car while trailering and not. Then they complain they got 13.6 MPG. Well they drove it like a sports car. They named the Honda Ridgeline the #1 truck. Beating the Toyota Tundra, Silverado, F-150, Titan and other mid sizes. Which the Americans were far back except for the Avalanche which got 4th. Do you think they are biased?
     
  2. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #2
    No... in other comparisons they have blatantly stated that Euro cars are falling way behind domestic cars. They have no purpose to be biased; they don't have the typical sponsor/ setup.
     
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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  4. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #4
    Yes, they also have a web site. But they do objective testing of all sorts of consumer products... air purifiers, cars (probably what they are most famous for), different electronics (computers, cameras, etc) to even household items like lawnmowers, appliances... They've done reviews on diets, yogurt; you name it, I bet they've tested it! ;)
     
  5. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #5
    I'm a CR subscriber, but I don't know enough to judge if their car reviews are biased. If they are, what could be their reason?
     
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    Well there may not be any external factors (ie: money) involved, but its not hard to imagine a few people over at CR who pretty much admire everything that a company does. *looks around at other MR folk* ;)

    Its normal to be biased, and while I'm not saying they ARE biased, they probably do have their favourites. Its just that maybe they have the wrong mix of writers who mostly happen to favour Japanese cars, or Euro cars, etc.

    Or maybe American cars aren't that good. ;)

    An F-150 is only considered a "midsize"??!!! :eek:
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    The industry typically uses the terms "compact" (for P/U's like the Ranger and Colorado) and "full-size" or "light-duty" (for pickups like the F150, Ram and Silverado). That is a strange choice of terms.... They might have wanted to make a distinction between the "light" and "medium" duty pickups (sometimes the F250/F350 and similars from others are called medium duty), but those pickups are almost always the same physical size as the full-size ones, so that doesn't make any sense.

    As for the Ridgeline.... I think it's the most innovative thing in the P/U market in years, but to call it a best buy P/U at this point is insane. It's design is too revolutionary.... It does seem to be capable for some of the heavier usage pickups see, but I would really want to see how they handle in the real world for a few years before I went and replaced a traditional pickup with one in any kind of mission critical work. Not because it's foreign -- going for a Titan would be fine -- but because it's unibody....
     
  8. anonymous161 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    CR is pretty fair about their testing and reporting. They have some bias (a little anti american, a little anti Mac when reviewing computers) BUT they disclose all of their methods and tests in detail and provide a wide variety of data so that you can compare each item youself to see what is the best for your needs. Their reliability information comes from owners of the cars themselves and is very detailed and subjective as well. Overall I really like them as a source, particularly when it comes to autos.
     
  9. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #9
    Another example of Americans loving their "hugeantic" lifestyle. ;) I think that the most "biased" part of CR is that they just don't have the room or manpower to give a full article for every car. As for them being slightly against Apples, not really, Apples consistently rank high in their studies they just don't say much about them.
     
  10. quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #10

    Sorry, if I worded that wrong. I meant like the Frontier and Dakota. F-150 is full size. CR took all of the trucks and compared them.

    In design, yes. Concept no. The Ridgeline is the competitor to the Chevy Avalanche. To call the Ridgeline full-size is ridiculous( which CR did not). It has the same limits in truck capablilities as the Avalanche does. For example, the bed of the truck. It is short. See most American trucks ranked really far back. the F-150 and Avalanche is an exception. The good positions are filled mostly with Japanese cars. I also meant that about this thread. I guess I neglected the German made cars when I made this thread. I meant towards the Japanese cars. Let me say this. The Inline 5 cylinder engine in the Colorado/Canyon are great engines. Most of the V6's in the other Mid size trucks when the Colorado was introed were weaker then the Vortec 3500. Then of course, they redesigned them for 2005 and gave them more HP. The Vortec 3500 is fuel efficient and a strong engine. Don't let the 5 cylinders fool you and have you just say, " Why does a truck have a 5 cylinder engine?"

    Here is the list.


    12 - Chevrolet Colorado

    11 - Dodge Ram

    10 - Chevrolet Silverado

    09 - Ford Explorer Sport Trac

    08 - Dodge Dakota

    07 - Nissan Titan

    06 - Toyota Tocoma

    05 - Ford F-150

    04 - Chevrolet Avalanche

    03 - Toyota Tundra

    02 - Nissan Frontier

    AND YOU GUESSED IT... THE NUMBER ONE POSITION GOES TO:

    01 - HONDA RIDGELINE
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    Could it be that the Japanese happen to make better trucks? :confused:


    Its like Oprah taking a hissy-fit when Hermes didn't open their doors to let her shop. She claims it was related to racism. I believe that they didn't let her into the store because the store was closed and they were about to do a private PR thing inside. Oh, and most people may not know who Oprah is in Paris.

    My point is that a list with the top spots being filled by Japanese cars isn't necessarily biased. It could be, but lets face it, the Japanese do build some high quality cars. Very high.
     
  12. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

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    #12
    Japanese automobiles are the highest quality in the world. If all CR cared about was horsepower and how big and brutish and masculine the truck is then the American one would win every time. But will the American truck still be on the road after 120,000 miles... probably not.
     
  13. quagmire thread starter macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #13
    I do admit the Japanese can build high quality cars. But, so do the domestics now. After they got their act together. The domestics never negelected their SUV/truck line up. The Tundra and Titan are good trucks, but not better then the old beaten up, and tested structure of the American Truck. The domestics hold a 85% market share on their trucks. While imports have 15%. In 1995, they had 13%. So in ten years GM and Ford gave 2% up. The new F-150 certainly helps proves that American trucks are still better according to the consumers. I have seen a lot of new F-150's. Come 2007, the new GMT-900's( Suburban, Tahoe, Silverado, and Avalanche) will be out and improved by a lot. The Chevy Malibu was awarded the highest quality mid size vehicle from JD Power. The current Suburban has the same award for its class. The GMT-800's maybe the oldest vehicles out of all the competition, but that platform is a proven platform. Even with the updates to the competition, the GMT-800's are still one of the best platforms. The GMT-900's are an upgraded version of the 800's. Both platforms been tested on the same testing grounds as the H1. GM is up there with Toyota and Nissan with quality. It is not fact yet that Toyota will become the biggest automaker in the world, but journalists still preach it. They take the the 291,000 Saturn L series recalled for tail light defects and trash GM with it, but Toyota recalls 768,000 trucks/SUV's that their steering could break, and the journalists just wave it off as another recall. Which it is. All cars/SUV's have defects. Toyota has defects, GM has defects in their vehicles. It is a known fact. Right now I don't like Toyota's tatics on becoming bigger then GM. They raise prices on their vehicles to avoid Japanese bashing. They give some money to GM. Which later, if GM is close to bankruptcy, and I say if, Toyota will probably call back the loan and demand it to be repaid. Their like MS in a way. Phew that was long.
     
  14. jiv3turkey748 macrumors 6502a

    jiv3turkey748

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    #14
    i htink all the car magazines like foreign cars more but hten again foreing cars do for the most parts have better looks and features.... i cant believe the honda won that thing is ugly
     
  15. Little Endian macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    As far as Quality goes Japanese "Cars" remain supreme in quality at least for Toyota, Honda, and Nissan in that particular order. Trucks on the other hand Pickup Trucks in particular are still a segement where American Auto makers have an edge. Toyota and to a lesser extent Nissan can claim to build quality Pick Up trucks and they are without a doubt great but even Toyota has still to put a dent in competing with Ford and GM in truck sales and Nissan trails even farther behind than Toyota.

    While Honda builds quallty cars they are still very very new in the truck building market so reliability and quality still wlll need time to tell. Another thing that will keep Honda less competive in the truck market is their lack of developing a V8 engine this has also kept them from being as competitve to Lexus/Infinity and both European and American Luxury Cars. I never could quite understand why Honda has never bothered to build a V8 especially since Toyota has been doing so for the past 60+ years, a lack of a V8 option in the truck market is even more detrimental that lacking one in the Car market.
     
  16. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #16
    Actually, in terms of reliability, American cars are almost indistinguishable from Japanese models (although European cars have fallen behind in recent studies). Japanese cars still lead, but US makers are right on their tails.

    As far as CR goes, I stopped reading their car reports awhile ago, but when I did read them, I too thought I perceived a foreign car bias. Back then, a lot of Japanese cars, for example, had quirky dashboard layouts and mediocre interior designs, whereas I found American cars to be more thoughtfully laid out and stylish inside. But invariably the design of the foreign cars was described as "more refined" than their supposedly crude American counterparts.

    Eh. I put that in the same category as people who look at the ease-of-use of Macs and still prefer Windows.
     
  17. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #17
    The other thing that people frequently gloss over is how large the variation between Japanese marques is. The difference between Lexus and Honda is much larger, at least by JD Power's way of measuring, than people give Toyota credit for. And some of the Japanese brands have downright terrible quality. *cough* Mitsubishi *cough* Lexus has done an amazing job of creating a quality halo for the Japanese in a way that Buick and Cadillac (which are also very high quality brands according to most believable measures) have not been able to do for the US brands.
     
  18. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    #18
    I have subscribed for years and years and years. They don't always get it right, but more often than not, they are dead on. I don't buy anything without looking it up there first.
     
  19. Huked on Fonick macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Japenese Cars are better than american cars. I bought american cars for years. got tired of stupid things that shouldent break allways breaking(common engine mounts going after 20,000 miles??? Get real..........) I will only be buying honda or toyota from now on. They are more reliable better styled and have a much nice a MUCH nicer drive and feel to them. There engine technology is way more advanced than there american counterparts who have been building bigger engines not more efficient engines like Honda(VTEC/VTEC-E) and to some degree toyota. It seems most people feel this way to judging by how honda and toyota are doing real well, while GM and Ford well arnt......the toyota taco is one of the nicest small trucks you can buy(and they freeking last FOREVER)....American Car companys need to get there act together if they want to stay around. Develop more efficient engines, cars that get better gas milage, more reliable, better styled, better construction etc.......)

    Who in there right mind would buy a ford focus over a honda civic for example. All the ford focus i know out there are junk after 4 or 5 years...Comsumerable Cars....So if u want to replace ur car ever 3-4 years sure buy an american car. If you want to keep it for 15 years buy a japenese car.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #20
    I really don't want to get into a trolling contest with you, but anyone who cares about vehicle dynamics, for instance. There is a reason that the Focus has been on the Car and Driver top ten list every single year between 2000 and 2004. Incidentally, although the Civic has graced the list a number of times, it has not been featured since 1996. People buy cars for more reasons than a long term investment.

    (FWIW, I kept my Focus for five years and approximately 120k miles and then sold it and got a Mazda6, which I have at the moment.)
     
  21. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #21
    Japanese cars have much better fit and finish and materials than American cars. Compare the soft plastics inside, notice the feel, the seams, whether they creak when you push down on them. Check out the consistency of the gaps between the body panels all the way around the car. Listen to the sound the doors make when they shut...

    American cars DON'T have the same reliability as Japanese cars, but they try to make up for it with incredible warranties. If your Honda/Toyota goes 200,000 miles, it's interesting, but no big deal. Welcome to the club. American cars might go that far, but not with their original major equipment. Something... SOMETHING is going to go BIG TIME along the way.

    Apple builds their computers like the Japanese build cars. American cars = Dell.

    More on American vs. Japanese (and European) design
     
  22. jayscheuerle macrumors 68020

    jayscheuerle

    #22
    People who don't have the money or "BUY AMERICAN", even though the Civic is probably manufactured in the USA...

    My girlfriend has a Focus. It's a fine car. We drive it instead of my Acura Vigor most of the time. But it's just fine, nothing more...
     
  23. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #23
    They put out a monthly magazine and books. They also offer information online about products of all kinds. They are a non-profit organization, so they are not connected to any industry. They are biased, but toward finding information about products that will help consumers.

    Like Doctor Q I'm also a member. Have been for over 25 years.




    http://www.consumerreports.org/main/content/detail_auto.jsp?WebLogicSession=QrxhGy1Xi2Wb11RVZ1T0PlgvnNdVne3L0fDPi9rDgOiNo2oMHihb|8431246247406500453/169937912/6/7005/7005/7002/7002/7005/-1|2649947845333672679/169937910/6/7005/7005/7002/7002/7005/-1&CONTENT%3C%3Ecnt_id=25035&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=333137&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=333137&bmUID=1119641883741
     
  24. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #24
    I'll keep an open mind, but I doubt it. The basis for their publication is total independence (that's why they advertise only their own publications instead of accepting any outside advertising), and if there is anything they strive for it's making sure their reviews are as impartial and factual as humanely possible. "Humanely possible" is not perfection, but I have yet to see evidence that they accept kickbacks or fail to monitor themselves to minimize personal biases.

    Their computer reviews used to be less favorable to Macs. I remember when they noted a Mac model was deficient for not having a floppy drive, instead of noting the tradeoff: Apple had you pay separately for a floppy drive if you wanted compatibility with that media format (which was increasing unreliable and undersized for backup). Of course, I was annoyed because I have a bias for Macs. In the last couple of years, they have been fairer about noting the pros and cons of Macs for the average consumer.

    They could still do better in the computer area. They now explain that a printer's total cost of ownership (initial price plus ongoing supplies) is more important than initial price alone, but they have yet to apply the TCO lesson to computers, which would swing ratings more toward Macs, for which you don't spend so much time dealing with security problems.

    If I read a CR review of MP3 players, I'd expect them to ignore one factor that sells a lot of iPods: their coolness. iPods are a status symbol. Sure, they work well, but many kids who beg their parents for one aren't comparing models and features vs. price. They want an i-P-o-d, end of story. That type of factor is not what CR reviews consider.

    Yup, biased as charged. They'd be remiss to hire me for computer reviews!
     
  25. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816

    Gizmotoy

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    #25
    I think the American brands are going to have a hard time getting over this sentiment of "low quality" products. By all accounts they are improving, but I think enough people have been burned to seriously hurt their sales for the forseeable future.

    For example, we used to buy strictly American cars. A Taurus, Firebird, Caravan, Escort ZX2. Each one had significant problems. The Taurus rusted in 2 years (and was excellently cared for. Supposedly the paint that year was particularly poor, according to the dealer), the Caravan had 4 major safety recalls and leaked a tankful of gas into the garage, and the ZX2 runs so rough you can't see out the mirrors at idle (which is normal for the year 1998, according to the dealer).

    Of course, you can't extrapolate my experiences across the country, I'm sure we've just had bad luck, but it is one example of how a family was soured through the 80s and 90s on domestic vehicles and will not purchase them again. Besides the ZX2, which we still have, the entire family's cars are Hondas and Toyotas.

    I doubt they're particularly biased, CR is usually excellent about that. Although, to be honest, the domestic lines have always prided themselves on their truck lines, so I doubt their is truly much difference between any of the trucks on that list. The Ridgeline just has so much stuff that's either innovative, or relatively new (I don't pay much attention to the truck market), that I'm not surprised it took the top spot.
     
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