Filed under: Car Buying , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Subaru , Toyota , Tesla According to Consumer Reports , the automotive brands that stand out in the minds of car buyers are, in order: Toyota , Ford , Honda and Chevrolet . This news comes after the magazine polled its readers, asking them to take into account vehicle quality, safety, performance, value, fuel economy, design/style, and technology/innovation – which are the factors that car shoppers are most influenced by. It’s important to note that this award is only about perception. In other words, it’s perceived quality, not actual quality. “Often, perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media,” said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor. The brand that made the biggest jump in perception amongst Consumer Reports readers is Tesla , which posted an impressive 47-point gain to finish in fifth place. Subaru is also notable for finishing in the top 10, despite being one of the smaller manufacturers doing business in the US. Scroll down below for all the details from Consumer Reports , if you’re so inclined. Continue reading Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey Consumer Reports says Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevy are big winners in brand perception survey originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Feb 2014 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Budget , Sedan , Safety , Toyota Many Toyota vehicles haven’t been performing well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s ( IIHS ) small overlap frontal crash test, and the Camry is one of them. The 2012 and 2013 Camry both received “Poor” ratings, IIHS’ lowest rating, in the test, which spurred Consumer Reports to take the car off its “Recommended” list. In response to the low ratings in the small overlap frontal test, and in a bid to maintain its best-seller status, Toyota will make changes to the Camry to improve its IIHS safety rating and to enhance its design, The Detroit News reports . The Camry performed well in the moderate overlap frontal, side, roof strength and head restraints and seats crash tests, receiving “Good” ratings, IIHS’ highest rating, in all four tests. That was enough for IIHS to award it a Top Safety Pick rating, just not TSP+. Bill Fay, head of Toyota’s US division, reportedly says, “It’s still a five-star car. It still does very well in all the IIHS tests. It did not in [the small overlap frontal crash test], and we’re busy making the necessary adjustments so that we can address that.” Most Toyota models haven’t been put through the small overlap frontal test, but those that have haven’t received better than a “Marginal” rating, IIHS’ third-best rating. The Corolla received a “Marginal” rating , while the midsize Prius V , along with the Camry, earned “Poor” ratings . The RAV4 compact crossover also earned a “Poor” rating in the test.
Filed under: Acura , Audi , BMW , Buick , Chrysler , Dodge , Ford , GMC , Honda , Infiniti , Jeep , Lexus , Lincoln , Mazda , Mercedes-Benz , Mini , Nissan , Scion , Subaru , Toyota , Volvo , Ram Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus , Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda , Infiniti , Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan’s dominance wasn’t complete, though. Audi’s 2014 models helped the German brand jump from eighth to fourth, while Volvo saw a massive, 13-spot improvement, to seventh overall. Even GMC got in on the action, jumping three places, to ninth. Outside of the top 10, America, Europe and Japan saw more mixed results. Scion took the biggest tumble of any brand, falling ten positions to number 11, while Subaru , though still in the top ten, dropped five spots (coincidentally, CR had nothing good to say about Subaru and Toyota’s joint venture, calling the BRZ and Scion FR-S each brand’s least reliable vehicle). Nissan fell nine places to number 22 overall. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each climbed one place, to fifteenth and thirteenth, respectively. The big earners, though, besides Volvo, included Buick , which jumped nine places to number 12.
Filed under: Etc. , Ford , Honda , Toyota It may not be fun, but we all know that slower driving speeds are a good way to maximize fuel economy on the highway. To help prove this point, Consumer Reports did a series of tests to see exactly how much better a vehicle’s fuel economy is at varying speeds. CR used five cars ( Honda Accord four-cylinder, Toyota RAV4 and three different Ford Fusion models), which were each tested at 55, 65 and 75 miles per hour to determine the variations in fuel economy. Not surprisingly, each car surpassed its fuel economy estimates at the slowest speeds. Econ for each also drops off considerably as the speeds increased. Driving the extra 20 mph will knock about an hour off of a 200-mile highway drive, but the test shows that it will also burn an extra two gallons of gas. Calculated out for a 1,000-mile road trip, we see up to 10 gallons of gasoline could be wasted. It would have been interesting to see how a diesel performed in this test, or even how Texas’ new 85-mph toll road plays into this topic. A couple interesting side notes in this tests include the four-cylinder Accord getting the same highway fuel economy at 55 mph as the Fusion Hybrid.
Filed under: Car Buying , Marketing/Advertising , Ford , Honda , Toyota Consumer Reports has released its annual Car-Brand Perception Survey, and the list looks awfully familiar. The top six brands are identical to last year’s results, with Toyota , Ford and Honda continuing to occupy the podium. All told, Toyota walked away with 133 points, putting it 15 ahead of second-place Ford. Honda jumped 26 points this year, narrowing Ford’s lead to just four points in total. Consumer Reports polls buyers from across the country on how they see multiple brands in seven categories, including quality, safety, value, performance, design/style, technology/innovation and environmentally friendly/green. Researchers then combine the findings to come up with the total brand score. While value and performance remain important to buyers, CR found quality and safety are still on top when it comes to significance. Scion and Mitsubishi found themselves at the bottom of the pack with the worst score of all, tied at just six points. Ram , Fiat and Mini filled out the lowest five with scores of seven, eight and 10 points, respectively. You can read the full press release below for more information, or head over to the Consumer Reports site .
Filed under: Car Buying , Toyota Each year, Consumer Reports compiles a list of the vehicles it expects to be the best and worst when it comes to holding their original resale value, and the list of best values for 2012 is, not surprisingly, dominated by Toyota products. Overall, the best value for 2012 is the Toyota Prius , while the worst car for the money is the BMW 750Li , according to the magazine. The Prius knocked the Honda Fit from the top spot, which was the best value four years running, and it did so despite costing $10,000 more as tested. As CR points out, a higher price does not equate to less value just as a lower price does not guarantee a higher value. A total of 15 Toyota, Scion and Lexus made the list with only one, the Lexus GS 350 , having a lower-than-average resale value. Volkswagen and Subaru pulled in an impressive amount of cars on the list, too. On the opposite end of the stick, Chrysler was hit hard with all seven of the cars listed (across the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands) rated with a below-average resale value. Scroll down to see the winners and losers for each category, but to view the full breakdown of the best and worst values on the market, a CR subscription is required. Continue reading Consumer Reports best value awards dominated by Toyota Consumer Reports best value awards dominated by Toyota originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Sedan , Japan , Safety , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury Consumer Reports has found what it says is a flaw with the emergency trunk release handles in certain Lexus models. During testing, the organization found that the federally mandated emergency handles on new Lexus ES and GS sedans can easily break if pulled toward the user (presumably a person trapped inside the vehicle’s trunk). Once broken, the handles no longer function, creating a safety hazard. CR also checked other vehicles in its fleet, but found no such similar defect. As a result, the watchdog alerted both parent Toyota , which has launched its own internal investigation, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the issue. Both the automaker and NHTSA are currently determining whether further action needs to be taken. As you may recall, this isn’t the first time Consumer Reports has blown the safety whistle on a Lexus model . In 2010, CR discovered a flaw in the stability control system of the Lexus GX SUV that lead to increased rollover risk during evasive maneuvers. In that case, Toyota quickly issued a recall, complete with a software update to take care of the problem. Watch the video below for a full explanation of the trunk release issue.