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Old 11-30-2015, 09:24 AM   #101
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There is no automotive expertise at Consumer Reports.
Quite an absolute statement, you must be personally familiar with the entire staff of automotive testing personnel at Consumer Reports, since CR states: "...the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center is home to about 30 staff members, including automotive engineers." How CR Tests Cars So I guess automotive engineers have no "automotive expertise".

It is one thing to pick individual mistakes/opinions that CR might make in drive tests, etc, but as Ray has pointed out, there is no other unbiased, non-ad based source that complies anywhere near the long term reliability data as CR. As far as their drive testing, CR tests to deliver basic information to general consumers, not auto enthusiasts.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:17 PM   #102
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Quite an absolute statement, you must be personally familiar with the entire staff of automotive testing personnel at Consumer Reports, since CR states: "...the Consumer Reports Auto Test Center is home to about 30 staff members, including automotive engineers."
Of course I should have said "there is little apparent automotive expertise at Consumer Reports, and so I would consider any one of dozens of other publications as better sources of information", but then someone would say I was being too wordy.

My guess is that if any of those engineers are both competent and have any integrity, they are quite frustrated.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:32 PM   #103
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BTW, the asterisk indicates that the model was brand new or redesigned, and "...predictions may be based on a single model year's data..."
Thanks Ray

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The repair record reports are the results of "...a comprehensive survey of owners of 740,000 vehicles. The survey asked detailed questions about 17 trouble areas covering all of a car's substantial components and systems." (Anything but anecdotal evidence.)
I wonder why they need to ask so may detailed questions - wouldn't "what has broken that you had to have fixed" kind of cover it? I hope they are just trying to categorize responses, rather than to ask owners to assess how good each component might be (which would be subjective).

That count includes all makes and models, so only a small fraction would be of a particular model/generation, and only a tiny fraction in the case of a new model. I'll note that the vast majority of people are not Consumer Reports readers - that's the only population which CR has to sample (and far from fairly sampled from the North American population), and CR is only surveying a small fraction of them. That's why their survey only covers much less than one percent of all vehicles in North America.

The next challenge: who answers? Just like the political polls which are so often so very wrong, the answers are skewed by who choses to respond to the survey. The results for any one of the newer vehicles could be based on a few dozen responses, and likely from the people who have some reason to be most interested in vehicle failures. This is certainly better than asking on buddy how his new truck is working out, but I'd say it's pretty much still anecdotal.

It is reassuring that someone at CR understands statistical sampling enough to set some minimum number of responses, as shown by the 2016 Tacoma comment.

So, it couldn't hurt to look at Consumer Reports, but I wouldn't put any faith in what they say.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:25 PM   #104
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We started with a Toyota Tacoma TRD Double Cab and our Escape 19 which worked good, averaged about 14.5 - 15 MPG. Then we bought a GMC Sierra with the 5.3 and 6 speed transmission which we averaged about 15.5 - 16 MPG. We then upgraded our 19 to a 5.0TA which we pulled with the Sierra and found our MPG dropped to about 15 at best. Then we bought a new Sierra 1500 with the 6.2 (420 HP and 460 LBS of torque) and 8 speed transmission, this truck also has the NHT package with the 3.42 gears and with this we average 17 - 17.5 MPG. These averages were calculated driving to and from the same places. We noticed the 6.2 hauled better on the flats and through the mountains no question.

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By the way the MPG I mentioned here are imperial.

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Old 11-30-2015, 05:35 PM   #105
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Maybe someone who is towing vehicle knowledgeable can figure this one out. When towing the new 19 with our 2014 Nissan Frontier(factory tow package) up in the Seattle, OR, ID area with temps at 25 high 12 low we were getting a miserable 10-11 MPG. Once we turned S on NV 93 and got below Jackpot which broke the low temps we started getting closer to 13 MPG. Below Ely to Las Vegas mileage went up over 14 MPG and back in AZ got close to 15 MPG. What's up with that??
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:43 PM   #106
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Greg - was the low mileage in the coldest weather and then better mpg in warmer weather? If so that is always the case.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:59 PM   #107
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Thanks Ray

So, it couldn't hurt to look at Consumer Reports, but I wouldn't put any faith in what they say.
OK it's down to a coin flip.
Consumers Report - 80+ years old and over 1 million subscribers that pay for their opinion?

Or the person on the Escape Forum who has an opinion on everything and says I shouldn't trust them?

My family has had CR in the magazine rack since I was born (1949) and my Mom paid for my subscription as a Christmas gift for years. Not the only information I use to make decisions but it's definitely a 'trusted' opinion for consideration.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:13 PM   #108
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I read, like, and use Consumer Reports on a lot of buying decisions but I sometimes feel they are a little to critical on a few things. Mainly on the ride of a vehicle or the seat doesn't suit the person who is sitting in it. On some pickups they feel that the ride is a little to stiff. Maybe, but where do you draw the line between ride and cargo capacity? I have rarely, if ever test driven a vehicle and I have never had a complaint about anything as far as comfort went. Repairs is a different story. Loren
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:16 PM   #109
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I agree with Klem. It's a trusted opinion but not the only one I use. They told me that I would not be happy with the reliability of the infotainment system on my new Jeep and they were right. At least I went into the purchase with my eyes open.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:17 PM   #110
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Greg
Here's a quote I found. "cold air is denser, which increases the drag on a vehicle". Do southern states get stuck with winter gas?
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