Last cars and trucks on your Christmas list

Consumer reports published a list of the vehicles with the highest operating costs. The vehicles are listed within their respective categories. There is an article in today’s USA Today if you want more information. Here is the walk of shame:

•Subcompact: Fiat 500C Pop (MT)

•Compact: Fiat 500L Easy

•Luxury Compact Car: Mercedes-Benz CLA250

•Luxury Midsized/Large Car: Mercedes-Benz S550 (AWD)

•Large Car: Ford Taurus Limited (3.5, V-6)

•Sports Cars/Convertible: Infiniti Q60 convertible (base)

•Midsized Car: Nissan Altima 3.5 SL (V-6)

•Wagons (AWD): Honda Crosstour EX-L (V-6)

•Small SUV: Jeep Cherokee Latitude (4-cyl.)

•Midsized SUV: Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara

•Large SUVs: GMC Yukon SLT

•Luxury Compact SUV: Cadillac SRX Luxury

•Luxury Midsized/Large SUV: Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec

•Pickup Truck: Toyota Tacoma (V-6)

•Minivan: Chrysler Town & Country Touring L

Typical CR useless information IMHO.

Makes no sense: how could the Bugatti Veryon not trash the Infiniti Q60 in the “Spprts Car” category? Just the depreciation alone would make it unbelievably expensive per the (very few) miles driven.

The Veyron is no mere sports car. It is a supercar, and does not qualify. If you read the article, they say that “higher operating cost, poor reliability, unimpressive test score and higher price” do in the Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee Lattitude. It’s their test and their rules. At least they just love the Camry Hybrid. Several regulars should be pleased with that. I’m not suggesting that I agree with them, I have a different set of requirements, or at least a different order of preference, than CR. It looks like @insightful and @meanjoe75fan‌ don’t share CR’s auto sensibilities, either.

I wouldn’t share any of CRs sensibilities. Ever since I saw them compare computers (I work in IT) between a $600 HP laptop and a $1500 Macbook pro because they each had a 13" screen, and then declare the Macbook a winner… I mean, they don’t even run the same software.

It’d be like comparing a Ford F150 diesel and a Subaru BRZ because they both had 17" wheels. What a crazy comparison to make, based on the least relevant factor possible. Now that I’ve seen multiple people slam CR for cars also, I just stopped renewing my subscription - they just don’t know what they’re talking about, and it’s seriously misleading people.

Limited budget, voting for Vega with aluminum block, Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah, winter solstice, feast of the Son of Isis, and let me know if I missed your preference.

@Meanjoe75fan The Veyron really doesn’t deprecate. Since there is a very limited number of them and people with money are the only ones that can afford them. Used ones sell for as much or more than the new ones do. Same thing happened with the Ford GT.

The Crossrtour seems to be on the chopping block and would probably be discontinued. The Venza has not been redesigned from 2008 either so makes me wonder. I don’t think they would be unreliable though, maybe most buyers prefer the CUV over the hatch/wagon.

I can’t afford any luxury car; have one kid in college and another in line. Retirement savings are dismal too. On the unreliable list; I always keep an eye on it, sometimes I can get a good deal on a used one.

Is the Chrysler 300 on any list of cars to avoid?

I just don’t (never have, never will) give any credence to CR as a lot of their testing is subjective and CR themselves has stated that a lot of it is subjective; although they don’t advertise that fact.

Just last week one of the local TV stations here ran a consumer blurb about reliable cars and there was a spokesman for CR declaring that the 2015 Camry Hybrid is one of the most reliable cars going.

Downright amazing it just came out and already declared a winner… :wink:

My wife asked me recently what I wanted for Xmas and I told her the new 1500 Horsepower Veyron that is going to be unveiled; or unleashed. Guess that won’t happen… :frowning:

Good luck with that…

CR certainly isn’t perfect, but it does provide the most comprehensive comparison available. And the data is relatively unbiased. Note the word “relatively”.

The one I have serious issues with is JD Powers. Their awards are pathetic when you look into the criteria, and I believe it’s because their business is selling awards rather than comparing products. JD Powers makes sure they have an award for everybody willing to pay the freight.

I fully agree about JD Power. They appear to dole out an award to anyone who will pony up the fee.
Best car in the initial phase of ownership…
Best car in the first 90 days of ownership…
Best car in overall satisfaction…
The list of feel good is endless.

Some may remember that back in the late 80s or early 90s that JD Power got caught taking payola for an award. A few sacrificial lambs were fired and this was followed by business as usual.
My fuzzy memory seems to recall that the payola was being taken from Subaru.

I use CR ratings, but always take them with a grain of salt. Issues reported as problems depend strongly on expectations. The owner populations differ in many respects. A car owned mainly by older drivers who don’t drive many miles and grew up in an age when cars were much less durable will find their current cars exceptionally reliable. Younger people who expect their cars to be as reliable as their televisions and who commute long distances will be displeased by even minor issues, especially if they interfere with work and take precious time to fix.

CR ratings are sometimes useful for comparing similar cars (usually with similar owners), but only if they sell in large numbers. They are good for identifying especially troublesome cars. For differentiating cars in the great middle ground CR ratings are pretty useless. A car will show up as above average when an effectively identical car with a different badge will be below average. For a few years the hatchback of one model was recommend as better than average while the nearly identical sedan was one of the lowest rated cars (for reliability). A few years later and the two were about the same (below average) . The car hadn’t changed a bit.

Ford has been clobbered in recent years for their buggy infotainment systems and the jerky operation of their CVT. The infotainment system did have some problems, but most buyers didn’t even have it. All Ford models got dragged down by a bad option. Of course, that’s Ford’s problem and they seem committed to fixing it, but a buyer using the CR ratings might avoid some decent cars because of those ratings.

I’m surprised my 300C didn’t make the list. It’s been a reliable car, but it is just a tad thirsty :slight_smile:

Consumer reports rated two cars I owned as unsafe and unacceptable.

The first was my 1971 VW 7 passenger Bus,not because there was only a piece of sheet metal separating you from a frontal collision, but because if you took the seats out and completely and unnecessarily removed the seat bolts, exhaust fumes could enter the cabin. Since the engine and exhaust were at the rear I guess you would have to be backing down the road.

The second was My 81 Horizon. CR deemed it unsafe because if you kept it at highway speed and yanked the steering wheel hard 90 degrees AND LET GO OF IT, keeping a steady constant pressure on the gas and not touching the steering wheel again, the car would oscillate from side to side until it overturned. Car and Driver asked," what kind of idiot would do that? ".

I don’t know what to say about that CR test of the Horizon except “idiot” is too polite of a word.

Sounds like that testing years ago of Jeep CJs where the steering wheel was cranked sharply and they were proclaimed to be at “high risk of rollover”. Who would have thought…

I owned a '79 Omni for a while and it was a pretty stable car although not terribly exciting to drive.

I agree completely that CR can try too hard being consistent, failing to make any sense at all. The good part is that they do periodically change their tests, and in recent years have gotten much better at listening to industry experts before concocting their tests. The reliability ratings are entirely based on member surveys, which have their own problems. Ones CR rarely admits to, even when obvious. If you’ve been reading their ratings for long enough some of the limitations become obvious and can be avoided.

I never use their ratings for stuff like computers, cameras, and audio gear, because they fail to compare comparable items. Another noted a case where a far more expensive MacBook was rated higher than a far cheaper Dell, with screen size what determined the class. For notebooks screen size is important, but so are other factors. I do trust their reviews of appliances. All refrigerators have the same basic job, and the extras aren’t hard to figure out, either.

Cars they do better with than electronics and such, because they recognize that they come in many sizes, shapes, and prices. Their notion of what makes a car sporty is sometimes problematic as it can lump true performance cars with models that are just modestly quicker than average. I also am bugged by their bias towards bigness. In every size category there will always be cars of varying sizes, and that does not make the bigger one better, except to CR, where the smaller will be described as cramped, even if it is plenty big enough for four adults. They should find some consistent way of measuring cars and give those dimensions instead of telling me I should want a bigger car.

This is a yuppie list for those who pride logo over substance. Even the tacoma if not used for it’s intend purpose is a poor commuter with some “cool” packages and a poor buy just to have sit in your driveway. Many of the rest, especially the Jeeps are just eye candy for logo fantasizers. Though most are actually decent cars, they are some for a select few and not that practical for the average Joe.

Even thought CR isn’t perfect, I am a supporter of it.

I would be very foolish to ignore a publication that is based on tens of thousands of data points, and accepts no money for the results it publishes.

CR is just one of the resources to use when shopping for a new or used car. Each one has a different viewpoint and priorities. Most important in my view is which one works best for that consumer, my parents bought their new '07 CRV and '10 Prius before the CR tests were released based on what they felt was most important for the next car.

I read CR for the Auto reviews but also read just about every other magazine and car blog available.

Is there any car mag or publication that has as much impact on the car buying public ?