Skip to comments.The 2012 Automotive Report Card: Which Brands Are The Best?
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 years 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.
Subarus rise to the top meant that Hondas 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 years Japanese catastrophes didnt seem to play much of a factor.
David Champion, Consumer Reports director of research, gave a blunt assessment of the automakers 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 years rankings, rising from seventh place to second. Toyota finished in third place.
(Excerpt) Read more at autos.aol.com ...
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.
Dammit, you beat me to it!
Not a single S. Korean automaker on the list?
Deeply flawed survey. But its Consumer Reports, so...
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.
Oops. My bad. Hyundai is # 7.
Isn't "Whack a Volt" an arcade game?
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.
A 1998 Lexus LS400 with 160K
and a 2005 Sienna with 67K
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.
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.
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.
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.
Add the $65 gasket in a can and run them forever!!!
(been there done that with 2 of em!)
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.)
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.
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.
Consumer Reports? Get series.
Here are some of the worst: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-least-dependable-cars-in-america-2012-02-16
Maybe, maybe not if the pistons whacked into valves that had stopped being timed when the chain broke.
Really! My favorite Elvis song... "a liberal guy and a liberal gal, buy a Yugo."
Ooops - that should have been “My favorite Elvis song parody...”
The JD Power survey is much more limited in scope than what’s available from Consumer Reports:
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 yearsfrom 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.
And Subaru isn't mentioned.
Consumer Reports has been in the bag for Japanese car makers for years.
JD Power received 30,000 survey responses, compared to 1.3m from Consumer Reports, or roughly 3% of CR’s sample set:
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.
“we received responses”
You work for CR?
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.
My Hyundai Santa Fe (07) is the best car I’ve ever owned!
What is engine work?;-)
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.
Have you seen this? http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2851902/posts
It’s always something. *sigh*
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!
..... 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.
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.
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.
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.