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The 2012 Automotive Report Card: Which Brands Are The Best?
AOL Autos ^ | Feb 29, 2012 | Pete Bigelow

Posted on 02/29/2012 6:06:55 PM PST by Ron C.

The results of the annual Consumer Reports automotive report card caught a lot of people by surprise when they were released Tuesday – not necessarily because of which automaker claimed top honors, but because of which automaker did not.

A wave of redesigned vehicles helped catapult Subaru into the top position for the first time. It had finished second in last year’s ranking, and buoyed by recent successes with the Outback and Impreza, it improved two points this year to finish with an overall score of 75.

Subaru’s rise to the top meant that Honda’s four-year run as the top automaker among the 13 ranked was over. Honda drifted into fourth-place overall, and the problems caused by last year’s Japanese catastrophes didn’t seem to play much of a factor.

David Champion, Consumer Reports director of research, gave a blunt assessment of the automaker’s chief problem.

“They seem to be cheapening vehicles," he told The New York Times. "It's almost like a role reversal of where the domestics were 10 to 15 years ago."

Mazda showed the most dramatic improvement in this year’s rankings, rising from seventh place to second. Toyota finished in third place.

(Excerpt) Read more at autos.aol.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cars; competition
I've seen friend's Subaru autos take a beating and keep on ticking. To see them take top-rating in this rating isn't a total shock to me.
1 posted on 02/29/2012 6:06:57 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Ron C.
PAY NO ATTENTION TO SUCH REPORTS, WE KNOW WHAT IS BEST: THE CHEVY VOLT!
2 posted on 02/29/2012 6:09:31 PM PST by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Ron C.

I’ve had an outback for 12 years now. It’s needed a new alternator and some spark plugs and spark plug wires. I’m getting ready to do the timing belt service. Not bad for 12 years of mountain driving.

I’m thinking of learning to do everything on these vehicles myself and just buy used ones.


3 posted on 02/29/2012 6:14:38 PM PST by Dogbert41 ("...or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. " -Jesus)
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To: 70times7

Dammit, you beat me to it!


4 posted on 02/29/2012 6:15:07 PM PST by dynachrome ("Our forefathers didn't bury their guns. They buried those that tried to take them.")
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To: Ron C.

Not a single S. Korean automaker on the list?

Deeply flawed survey. But its Consumer Reports, so...


5 posted on 02/29/2012 6:15:25 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: 70times7
LOL!

That is really hilarious!

I recently got an email going around the loops... it really whacked the Volt hard. Just charging the battery costs over $30 for many folks.

6 posted on 02/29/2012 6:15:34 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Responsibility2nd

Oops. My bad. Hyundai is # 7.


7 posted on 02/29/2012 6:16:22 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This mean Liberals and/or Libertarians (Same Thing) NO LIBS.))
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To: Ron C.
I remember being on the boardwalk at Ocean City, MD...

Isn't "Whack a Volt" an arcade game?

8 posted on 02/29/2012 6:19:05 PM PST by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Ron C.

I love my Outback..both of them. I bought a 2000 outback in 2002, just handed it down to the daughter. It has 170k+ miles and a leaking head gasket (about 2900 to fix). It will last awhile longer if she keeps the oil up. I bought a 2011 on New Year’s eve on a darn good deal. So far, so good. They cost a lot in maintenance but they take a lot of use in stride.


9 posted on 02/29/2012 6:23:10 PM PST by SueRae (Tale of 2 Towers - First, Isengaard (GOP-e), then 11.06.2012, the Tower of Sauron)
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To: Ron C.
I have a 1985 Toyota truck with 47K.It has Historic tags on it.

A 1998 Lexus LS400 with 160K

and a 2005 Sienna with 67K

10 posted on 02/29/2012 6:47:45 PM PST by BreezyDog (PLAN A: A Peaceful Restoration of the Republic.....PLAN B: A Restoration of the Republic)
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To: 70times7
"Isn't "Whack a Volt" an arcade game?"

If not, it sure ought to be. ~grin~

One thing I really do expect... there's going to be lots of "Volt-Whacking" in the near future.

11 posted on 02/29/2012 6:50:34 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Ron C.
Subaru's ONLY problem in the past was head gaskets!!...but the company stood behind them....I just gave one away with 260K on it...still running like a top and a lil tank in the snow!
12 posted on 02/29/2012 6:51:16 PM PST by M-cubed
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To: BreezyDog

I’ve got a ‘87 Toyota truck with ‘Collector’ tags as well. It’s rusty, nearly a quarter million miles on it and the mice are ready to move in, but, it still does what it was meant to do.


13 posted on 02/29/2012 6:57:42 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (I'm for Churchill in 1940!)
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To: BreezyDog
~grin~

Do you do your own engine work?

I always have in the past, but getting a bit lazy in my old-age. I'm driving the 'million mile' Crown Vic - has 155K on it, and mechanics tell me not to worry about an engine rebuild until 500K.

14 posted on 02/29/2012 6:58:45 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Ron C.

We’re on our third Outback. Never had a problem with any of them.

Wish Subaru made a minivan to rival the Sienna and Odyssey.


15 posted on 02/29/2012 6:59:15 PM PST by randita
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To: SueRae
Don't waste your money replacing the head gaskets in hi mileage Subaru's!!.

Add the $65 gasket in a can and run them forever!!!
(been there done that with 2 of em!)

16 posted on 02/29/2012 7:00:09 PM PST by M-cubed
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To: M-cubed
"I just gave one away with 260K on it"

My wife gave away her's to a friend, with about the same mileage on it, and it lasted for quite a while, finally tossing a timing chain not long ago. But, that can be fixed rather easily (I think.)

17 posted on 02/29/2012 7:02:25 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: BreezyDog

My 1992 Accord has 268K on it. It needs a new headlamp assembly that was cracked from a rock on the interstate. I’ll do that tomorrow.


18 posted on 02/29/2012 7:03:42 PM PST by eyedigress ((Old storm chaser from the west)/?)
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To: randita

I’ve had the same reports from many others - these things hold up really well. There’s one problem though - getting parts is a bit difficult, I found - while the wife still had hers.


19 posted on 02/29/2012 7:04:35 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Ron C.

Yugo,


20 posted on 02/29/2012 7:04:38 PM PST by org.whodat
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To: Ron C.

Consumer Reports? Get series.
Here are some of the worst: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-least-dependable-cars-in-america-2012-02-16


21 posted on 02/29/2012 7:06:07 PM PST by tumblindice (zero+zero=zero)
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To: Ron C.
finally tossing a timing chain not long ago. But, that can be fixed rather easily (I think.)

Maybe, maybe not if the pistons whacked into valves that had stopped being timed when the chain broke.

22 posted on 02/29/2012 7:13:36 PM PST by doorgunner69
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To: org.whodat
LOL

Really! My favorite Elvis song... "a liberal guy and a liberal gal, buy a Yugo."

23 posted on 02/29/2012 7:15:07 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Ron C.
yup..timing chain goes around 150k (catch it before that...easy fix)..head gaskets between 80k and 120k (add the best gasket sealer for less then $100...it actually lasts longer then the $1600-2000 gasket job!)
24 posted on 02/29/2012 7:16:51 PM PST by M-cubed
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To: org.whodat

Ooops - that should have been “My favorite Elvis song parody...”


25 posted on 02/29/2012 7:17:05 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: tumblindice

The JD Power survey is much more limited in scope than what’s available from Consumer Reports:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/12/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq/index.htm#1.2


How does CR’s survey compare with other reliability surveys?

The timeframes used in collecting data also differ among surveys. J.D. Power’s IQS is based on the first 90 days of ownership of new vehicles only, and its VDS (Vehicle Dependability Study) is exclusively based on 3-year-old vehicles. CR’s survey asks about subscribers’ experiences with their vehicles over the course of the previous 12 months and, starting with 2006, CR’s survey now covers 10 model years—from brand-new models to models that are 10 years old, providing a more complete profile of the life of a model. Our Predicted Reliability, which forecasts how well a new model is likely to hold up, is based on the cumulative experiences of owners of the three latest model years.



26 posted on 02/29/2012 7:20:39 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: tumblindice
"Here are some of the worst"

And Subaru isn't mentioned.

27 posted on 02/29/2012 7:21:05 PM PST by Ron C.
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To: Zhang Fei

Consumer Reports has been in the bag for Japanese car makers for years.


28 posted on 02/29/2012 7:23:43 PM PST by tumblindice (zero+zero=zero)
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To: tumblindice

JD Power received 30,000 survey responses, compared to 1.3m from Consumer Reports, or roughly 3% of CR’s sample set:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/12/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq/index.htm#1.3


Where is the data from?

Consumer Reports obtains its reliability data from an Annual Questionnaire that is sent to subscribers to ConsumerReports.org and Consumer Reports magazine. In all, the survey was sent to over 7 million subscribers in 2011, and we received responses on 1.3 million vehicles.



29 posted on 02/29/2012 7:25:18 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

“we received responses”

You work for CR?


30 posted on 02/29/2012 7:28:37 PM PST by tumblindice (zero+zero=zero)
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To: tumblindice
Consumer Reports has been in the bag for Japanese car makers for years.

Domestic car makers have been overpaying UAW workers and making up the difference by skimping on parts quality for decades. This is why Detroit iron breaks early and often, and brand new domestic parts fail faster than Japanese parts. There's no magic - crappy specs make for unreliable cars. Obama gave the UAW a new lease on life by screwing Detroit shareholders and bondholders, but the underlying issues remain. Without the destruction of this union, Detroit's shareholders and bondholders are merely counting the days until the next bankruptcy filing.

31 posted on 02/29/2012 7:33:29 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Responsibility2nd

My Hyundai Santa Fe (07) is the best car I’ve ever owned!


32 posted on 02/29/2012 8:01:15 PM PST by JaguarXKE
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To: M-cubed
Subaru's ONLY problem in the past was head gaskets!!...but the company stood behind them....I just gave one away with 260K on it...still running like a top and a lil tank in the snow!

People like to make fun of Subarus as being for the camping/outdoorsy types who live up north where it actually snows, and there is some truth to that, but I think people actually forget that Subaru is owned by Fuji Heavy Industries. I think that some of that rubs off on Subaru. We always liked ours when we were stationed in northern areas - durable and ran well in crappy conditions.
33 posted on 02/29/2012 8:36:00 PM PST by af_vet_rr
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To: Ron C.
Do you do your own engine work?

What is engine work?;-)

34 posted on 02/29/2012 8:41:22 PM PST by BreezyDog (PLAN A: A Peaceful Restoration of the Republic.....PLAN B: A Restoration of the Republic)
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To: tumblindice
You work for CR?

Occasional subscriber - typically when I'm in the market for new wheels. I tend to look mainly at power train or electrical issues as opposed to trim- or paint-related problems. The nice thing about CR, as opposed to JD Power, is that those issues are spelled out, as opposed to minor and major issues being grouped together in the JD Power survey. I don't know if JD Power has detailed model-by-model and year-by-year coverage available to individual consumers, but Consumer Reports definitely does.

35 posted on 02/29/2012 8:46:26 PM PST by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Dogbert41; Ron C.

Have you seen this? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2851902/posts

It’s always something. *sigh*


36 posted on 02/29/2012 9:26:50 PM PST by Pining_4_TX ( The state is the great fiction by which everybody seeks to live at the expense of everybody else. ~)
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To: Ron C.; a fool in paradise
Simca Fulgur, dude!


37 posted on 02/29/2012 9:31:47 PM PST by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: Zhang Fei

I’ll put my 20 year old Crown Vic up against anything you have or will own Japanese or European for reliability, ease and price of repair and maintenance. I won’t even mention the living-room feel at 75 mph all day, for weeks at a time. (Oops, I just did).

Then, after I’ve mopped the floor with your pile of Euro-trash, we can play hit-to-pass, and then I’ll tow your pile of scrap metal while giving you a ride home. In the Crown Vic.

I really am weary of 30 year old partially true at the time of their formation memes being spouted by folks who should know better as gospel truth.

Yes, there are issues with Detroit, but to spew half-truths and innuendo you cannot support is just a bit over-the-top, don’t you think?

Consumer reports has been in the tank for ANYTHING not North American for YEARS! If it had anyting to do with any American manufacturer, CR always gave it below average ratings, often contradicting the information they printed of the test. You’d read the article, and the summary ratings would be so different than how they rated the vehicle in the article’s text you would wonder whether you were reading the right review. Even today, their reviews are so skewed against North American products it’s painful. I gave up buying their magazine 20 years ago, and would rather have teeth pulled than read it even in a doctor’s office. They are anti-capitalist communist sympathizing scum. And that’s their REDEEMING quality!


38 posted on 02/29/2012 9:33:56 PM PST by Don W (You can forget what you do for a living when your knees are in the breeze.)
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To: Pining_4_TX

Bookmark


39 posted on 02/29/2012 9:51:22 PM PST by Publius6961 (“It’s easy to make phony promises you can’t keep.” - Obama, Feb23, 2012)
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To: af_vet_rr
.....People like to make fun of Subarus as being for the camping/outdoorsy types who live up north .....

..... and for (immigrant) Texas lesbians in Austin and Houston, for whom the WRX / STi has been renamed the "Lesbaru" by certain automotive wags. Who can explain it? Diesels are dotty for Subaru snotty.

40 posted on 02/29/2012 9:52:58 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Revolting cat!
Fulgur is Latin (n., neuter, 3rd decl.) for "lightning-bolt", meaning an actual bolt rather than the thing in abstraction (fulmen), or the appearance or shine of lightning (fulgor).

Simcas were cute little toy cars brought over at the same time as the Renault Dauphine to compete with the VW Bug. A few were sold, but they didn't get much mindshare among the sudden surge of Euroskates.

41 posted on 02/29/2012 10:00:07 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Don W
I’ll put my 20 year old Crown Vic up against anything you have

Last year I thought I'd better replace my last-year-of-production Furred Thunderchicken (it had a six not an eight). I was willing to consider a Crown Vic or (going the other way) a Mouse Tang (a six-cylinder Pony).

Long story made short, the market informed me in no uncertain terms that Crown Vics and Grand Marquis(es?) were not to be had near or far -- I found three within 150 miles of me on Cars.com, and none on CarMax. Mustangs abounded, but people were hanging on to their Crown Vics. The best-looking example I could find was a 2003; later cars were not to be had.

That's data, dude. The Market Speaketh.

42 posted on 02/29/2012 10:08:23 PM PST by lentulusgracchus
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To: Ron C.

Re: Subaru parts. Probably depends on where you live.

We have one of the largest Subaru dealers in the country just miles away, so we see LOTS of Subarus on the road in this area. No problem here with repairs and parts.

But in our travels to other parts of the country, we have noticed little or no Subarus in certain regions.

So if you’re a road warrior for either business or pleasure, IMO, the safest bet is to buy American (GM or Ford) because you’re going to always have good access to repairs and parts.

We recently spent several weeks touring Idaho and were glad we were traveling in our Suburban because we had an issue and there was a shop in the little podunk town not far from where we were staying. No chance of that with a Subaru or any Japanese car for that matter.


43 posted on 03/01/2012 6:05:42 AM PST by randita
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