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Old 3rd March 2012, 04:00   #1
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Default Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

The top cars for 2012 in US according to consumer reports magazine has been published. I'm not sure how many make their Auto buying decisions based on these reports but one thing is pretty sure, any negative reviews on safety could cause a serious dent in sales to a auto manufacturer. Well Toyota leads again.......

Source: Consumer Reports: Expert product reviews and product Ratings from our test labs
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A redesigned, significantly improved Camry Hybrid has helped Toyota capture five of the 10 spots on this year’s Top Picks list. The other Toyotas that made the cut are the Prius hybrid, the Highlander and RAV4 SUVs, and the Sienna minivan. This is the first time since 2003 that one brand has so dominated the list.
In addition to the Camry and Highlander, two other new picks are the Hyundai Sonata and the redesigned Subaru Impreza. The other selections are returning models: the Chevrolet Avalanche, Ford Mustang, and Infiniti G.
Toyota’s ability to maintain its competitive lead among hybrids and SUVs is a big factor in its strong presence on this year’s list. But another factor is today’s weaker minivan field. The current Sienna scored lower in our tests than its predecessor, but the front-wheel-drive version is the only minivan that didn’t have below-average reliability in our latest survey. So it’s the only minivan we recommend.

Our Top Picks are the best all-around models in their categories, chosen from the more than 260 vehicles we’ve recently tested. For car shoppers, they are a great place to start. To find out how other models stack up, see our ratings in our model overviews.
Top Picks must meet our criteria in three areas:
Road test. Each must rank at or near the top of its category in overall test score.
Reliability. Each must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.3 million vehicles in our latest Annual Auto Survey.
Safety. Top Picks must perform well if included in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or the insurance industry.
Each model’s report card shows its overall road-test and predicted-reliability Ratings, as well as its overall fuel economy in our tests. If multiple Ratings are displayed, they apply to different versions of a model. Prices reflect the sticker prices when we bought our test cars. You can find more details on all of the Top Picks in our vehicle ratings.

Family sedan

Toyota Camry Hybrid
With its 2012 redesign, the Camry Hybrid jumped to the top of the family-sedan category. One eye-opener for a car of this size is its impressive 38 mpg overall fuel economy, the best in class and even better than some smaller hybrids that lack the Camry’s performance. Other high points include a comfortable ride; a roomy, quiet cabin; fairly quick acceleration; and for 2012, a nicer interior and somewhat crisper handling (although the Camry is still no sports sedan).
Price: $29,052.

Sporty car

Ford Mustang
The heart of this iconic sports car has always been its strong acceleration and rumbling V8 power. And the 5.0-liter V8 in our GT coupe and convertible test cars doesn’t disappoint, providing scorching acceleration, a great exhaust sound, and good fuel economy for this class. Even the 3.7-liter V6 is punchy and refined, and it’s more fuel efficient than the V8. But now there’s more to the Mustang than power. Agile handling, a decent ride, comfortable front seats, and very good fit and finish make the current version an inviting package. The rear seat is tight but usable in a pinch.

Price: $28,880 to $43,880.

Affordable family sedan

Hyundai Sonata
With last year’s family-sedan pick, the Nissan Altima, due for a redesign soon, we chose the four-cylinder Sonata as a more affordable alternative to the Camry Hybrid. For less than $22,000, the Sonata provides a roomy, well-equipped cabin, supple ride, nimble handling, and thrifty 27 mpg overall. And despite its swoopy, coupelike styling, the Sonata still provides decent rear-seat room and rear visibility, unlike many other cars today.
Price: $21,800.

Small SUV

Toyota RAV4
With its inviting blend of performance, fuel economy, and versatility, the RAV4 continues to set the pace among small SUVs. It also provides a roomy interior, comfortable ride, and responsive handling, as well as excellent reliability. With a four-cylinder engine, the RAV4 delivers some of the best gas mileage in its class. The spirited V6 version accelerates as quickly as many sports sedans and gets only 1 mpg less than the four-cylinder model. Its optional third-row seat is small but useful.

A runner-up is the Subaru Forester.

Price: $25,405 to $30,328.

Family hauler

Toyota Sienna (V6)
This versatile minivan fits the bill nicely for families looking for a comfortable, roomy interior, plenty of features, and the ability to carry up to eight people. Among its high points are lively performance, decent fuel economy, and a comfortable ride, although the handling is rather lackluster. The Sienna is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive. But that version has had below-average reliability, according to our latest survey, so we recommend only the front-wheel-drive version.

Price: $35,810.

Sports sedan

Infiniti G
With its inviting blend of luxury and driving fun, the G37 stands out from the crowd. Its agile handling, blistering acceleration, and comfortable, well-crafted interior make it one of our highest-scoring sedans and have earned the G a spot on this list for the sixth straight year. This sports sedan feels at home whether tackling a twisty back road or cruising on the highway. A snug cabin and small trunk are the only notable weaknesses. The less expensive G25 model isn’t as quick, but it shares much of the G37’s inviting package and provides 3 more mpg. Both are available with rear- or all-wheel drive.

Price: $34,225 to $37,225.

Green car

Toyota Prius
In this dawning age of automotive electrification, the Prius still sets the standard for its blend of fuel efficiency, practicality, and affordability. The 44 overall mpg we measured in the hatchback is still the highest of any five-passenger, non-plug-in vehicle we’ve tested, and the 41 mpg of the new Prius V wagon easily tops its class. Moreover, its roomy interior, comfortable ride, and hatchback versatility make it easy to live with. Crash-test results are excellent. New electric cars have gotten the energy equivalent of higher mpg figures, but they’re less practical and affordable.

Price: $26,750 to $28,217.

Small car

Subaru Impreza
Redesigned for 2012, the all-wheel-drive Impreza is a well-rounded sedan with nimble handling and a compliant, absorbent ride that rivals some luxury sedans. Fuel economy of 27 mpg overall is impressive for an AWD car. The roomy interior includes a relatively spacious rear seat, simple controls, and refreshingly good visibility. The only real shortcoming is so-so noise isolation. Based on the previous Impreza, we expect above-average reliability. Last year’s pick, the Hyundai Elantra, remains an excellent alternative that costs several thousand dollars less and provides slightly better gas mileage but no AWD.

Price: $21,345.

Pickup truck

Chevrolet Avalanche
The Avalanche provides the best combination of utility and versatility of any pickup we’ve tested. Its unified bed and cab help give it a steady, comfortable ride, and the cabin is quiet. The innovative partition in the rear of the cab can be folded down, so longer cargo can extend into the back of the cab. A three-piece bed cover provides a weather-tight and lockable cargo area. We recommend getting the optional backup camera to compensate for the large rear blind zone.

Price: $47,435.

Family SUV

Toyota Highlander
The Highlander returns to our list after last year’s pick, the V6 Kia Sorento, dropped to below average in predicted reliability. This refined, comfortable, and quiet SUV has consistently ranked near the top of its class in our road-test scores and has had above-average reliability. Its interior is nicely finished and versatile, with a roomy second-row seat but a tight third row. The V6 version delivers a decent 18 mpg overall, and the hybrid model tops all SUVs at 27.

Price: $38,578 to $47,255.
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Old 15th March 2012, 19:23   #2
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

<<<I'm not sure how many make their Auto buying decisions based on these reports>>> You'd be surprised how much clout CR enjoys over to-be consumers.

(Negative) reviews by CR have actually made manufacturers make amendments to some of their vehicles, so I believe their word holds some weight.

I however refuse to believe CR's claim that they actually buy each and every product they review and then test it in detail in their so called 'lab' before penning reviews on it. That would mean they buy each and every available vehicle, microwave, gas range, thermometer, camera, dehumidifier, refrigerator, lawnmower, snow showel, drill tool, hammer, laptop, TV, ......and so on... for that model year, and then proceed to test these thousands upon thousands of products in this 'lab' environment....and I do not believe it is possible to have so much expertise under a single roof to be authoritative reviewers for so many products/applications. Something is obviously amiss about CR in that sense, but fact of the matter is that yes, CR does have the power to sway the vote
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Old 31st October 2012, 13:41   #3
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Ford drops to near-bottom of Consumer Reports' reliability study

Ford Motor Co. plunged for the second straight year in Consumer Reports' survey of auto reliability and now ranks near the bottom of the annual scorecard.


The Ford brand finished 27th out of the 28 brands rated in the latest report, after dropping to 20th from No. 10 last year. Lincoln fell to 26th from 14th.


Toyota Motor Corp.'s Scion, Toyota and Lexus brands ranked first, second and third in a list that continues to be dominated by Asian brands.


Jaguar, now owned by India's Tata Motors, was ranked last.


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Old 31st October 2012, 15:01   #4
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Interesting list and report. Shows just how impressive Japanese engineering has remained despite te bean counters taking over. Shows in the Siena minivan for example. They reckon its predecessor is better than this model.

Surprising how the Germans are not even in the top 10 picks list. Maybe they don't understand the American market or price does matter. Without a doubt the mustang is not as good as the M, and AMG versions but it is remarkably cheaper.

JLR sitting at the bottom of the pile of manufacturers is a bit surprising. Scariest for Americans is the drop in quality from American manufacturers. If that keeps up can see the big three going bankrupt again. At some point the government will need to stop bailing big companies out. Nobody is too big to fail. I just wish the Indian government would learn this lesson. Let air India go bankrupt and close them down if they can't make a profit, or pay them their dues from government use. My bad for going off topic. However, it really bugs me to see our hard earned and then paid tax payer money be frivolously spent.

Last edited by pganapathy : 31st October 2012 at 15:05.
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Old 31st October 2012, 16:30   #5
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

I would take this report with a pinch of salt. Ford has suffered because people are having trouble understanding their infotainment system (especially the older demographic). Everyone else is just introducing the touchscreen based sync and media infotainment devices on their cars as standard fitment, whereas ford has had them for the last 2-3 years across their model range. Consumer reports considers going back fro questions or doubts on Ford Sync also as a problem. So while the list may be lopsided for simpler older cars, I would disregard parts of it as an issue with the way they survey and rank.
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Old 31st October 2012, 16:51   #6
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
<<<I'm not sure how many make their Auto buying decisions based on these reports>>> You'd be surprised how much clout CR enjoys over to-be consumers.

(Negative) reviews by CR have actually made manufacturers make amendments to some of their vehicles, so I believe their word holds some weight.

I however refuse to believe CR's claim that they actually buy each and every product they review and then test it in detail in their so called 'lab' before penning reviews on it. That would mean they buy each and every available vehicle, microwave, gas range, thermometer, camera, dehumidifier, refrigerator, lawnmower, snow showel, drill tool, hammer, laptop, TV, ......and so on... for that model year, and then proceed to test these thousands upon thousands of products in this 'lab' environment....and I do not believe it is possible to have so much expertise under a single roof to be authoritative reviewers for so many products/applications. Something is obviously amiss about CR in that sense, but fact of the matter is that yes, CR does have the power to sway the vote
I dont think they will buy every available product. Also, unless the vehicle is is updated they dont buy newer ones. Same for any other stuff.

For Ford, it was not just the infotainment system, it was the dual clutch system plus other new tech that was introduced.

Last edited by srishiva : 31st October 2012 at 17:14.
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Old 31st October 2012, 16:59   #7
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Interesting list and report. Shows just how impressive Japanese engineering has remained despite te bean counters taking over. Shows in the Siena minivan for example. They reckon its predecessor is better than this model.

JLR sitting at the bottom of the pile of manufacturers is a bit surprising. Scariest for Americans is the drop in quality from American manufacturers. If that keeps up can see the big three going bankrupt again. At some point the government will need to stop bailing big companies out. Nobody is too big to fail. I just wish the Indian government would learn this lesson. Let air India go bankrupt and close them down if they can't make a profit, or pay them their dues from government use. My bad for going off topic. However, it really bugs me to see our hard earned and then paid tax payer money be frivolously spent.
Ford is almost last because of a buggy entertainment interface?? Many people feel these Consumer Reports dont tell the complete story. These reports are taken from CR subscribers who amount close to 1.2 milion,which is a small number.I can understand if a manufacture is given less points for part failure,bad design etc but loosing points because of a buggy entertainment system seem crazy.Coming to the issue of recalls, Ford has had its share of recalls( data in the Global recalls thread) but so has toyota,honda and nissan and that too quite a lot of recalls.
This news article explains well the difference between the Consumer reports and JD power reports,where ford has done way better in the vehicle dependability study but has a low score due to one major contributor, Its buggy Myford Touch system.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2012...-so-different/
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Old 31st October 2012, 18:14   #8
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
<<<I'm not sure how many make their Auto buying decisions based on these reports>>> You'd be surprised how much clout CR enjoys over to-be consumers.

(Negative) reviews by CR have actually made manufacturers make amendments to some of their vehicles, so I believe their word holds some weight.
Honda is refreshing their Civic only one year after launching because of being slammed universally by critics and for the first time ever, CR giving a not recommended rating to a Honda Civic model. However, in spite of all this, Civic is still in the top 5 selling cars as ever. So while a lot of consumers rely on CR to make car purchase decisions, that is not stopping the Civic (or even the Ford models) from flying off the shelf.
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Old 2nd November 2012, 13:21   #9
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Default Re: Top Cars for 2012 in US: Consumer Reports Magazine

Quote:
Originally Posted by pganapathy View Post
Interesting list and report. Shows just how impressive Japanese engineering has remained despite te bean counters taking over. Shows in the Siena minivan for example. They reckon its predecessor is better than this model.

Surprising how the Germans are not even in the top 10 picks list. Maybe they don't understand the American market or price does matter. Without a doubt the mustang is not as good as the M, and AMG versions but it is remarkably cheaper.

JLR sitting at the bottom of the pile of manufacturers is a bit surprising. Scariest for Americans is the drop in quality from American manufacturers. If that keeps up can see the big three going bankrupt again. At some point the government will need to stop bailing big companies out. Nobody is too big to fail. I just wish the Indian government would learn this lesson. Let air India go bankrupt and close them down if they can't make a profit, or pay them their dues from government use. My bad for going off topic. However, it really bugs me to see our hard earned and then paid tax payer money be frivolously spent.
the new Ford Mustang GT beat the M3/was neck and neck with it around a road course.
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