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Old 08-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
After reading a glowing approval of the Santa Fe as a tow vehicle, etc., in Consumr Rpts, I went to a dealer to look one over.

Started asking tow questions but either them fellas just didn't do their homework or there is less there than meets the eye, or what CR thinks is there.)
When I'm considering a new kitchen appliance, I might check Consumer Reports. For a vehicle, I don't see any point - they have no expertise in this area.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:20 PM   #42
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"...For a vehicle, I don't see any point - they have no expertise in this area."

As far as tow capabilities, seemed to me neither did the Hyundai people.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
"...For a vehicle, I don't see any point - they have no expertise in this area."

As far as tow capabilities, seemed to me neither did the Hyundai people.
I don't think that's particular to Hyundai; sales people in general (for any product) are typically good sources of price and availability information, and poor sources of technical information or knowledge of product use.

I would go to a dealership to see the vehicle, and with luck the OEM hitch and other towing provisions, but I wouldn't even bother asking staff there anything about towing other than the availability of optional or accessory equipment.

The best source of towing information for most vehicles is the owners manual. Fortunately for those shopping, manuals are increasingly available on-line. It looks like Hyundai's require a login, to their owners' site.
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Old 08-18-2013, 06:59 PM   #44
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Google "Toyota Tacoma redsign", there are several articles and photos out there...
Sure, but the first match is this: 2015 Toyota Tacoma Redesign and MPG | Future Cars 2014 It is barely in English, and contains no information about the vehicle or anything reasonably plausible indicating that there will be a new version when they say. It is illustrated with a current Tacoma photo. Here's a priceless snippet from one of the more ridiculous examples of this trash:
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The 2014 Toyota Tacoma V6 will come up with a pair of 7 liter in-line four cylinder (six-cylinder) and 260 horsepower with 260 lb-ft of torque. The direct injection and timing-head from variable-valve will produce the power up to 190 horsepower and 200 pound-rigid torque.
Other links showing a redesigned truck are very recent - they were not there when I looked a few weeks ago... and they still have no information, with photos that might be just Photoshop fantasies, or a not-for-production concept.

After a dozen junk web pages I gave up, assuming that the next-generation Tacoma is unlikely to appear for a year or more, for the 2015 model year. Too bad, since a modern automatic transmission (that is, one having at least six speeds) is overdue.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:31 PM   #45
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I have worked on trucks and cars for over 35 years as a ASE Certified Master Auto Technician specialized in Advanced Engine Performance and Repair and co-owner of an independent auto repair business. Based on my experience I would say that the Consumer Reports automotive evaluations and reliability predictions have been pretty much spot on. I am reluctant to comment on the overall reliability of domestic produced vehicles. They were our bread and butter enabling a comfortable retirement.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:13 PM   #46
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Based on my experience I would say that the Consumer Reports automotive evaluations and reliability predictions have been pretty much spot on.
So, the evaluation which said the problematic 2.8L V6 was a better engine choice in a Jeep Cherokee than the highly regarded 2.5L 4-cylinder was spot on? They didn't even drive the V6 or check its specs, just declared it better because it had more cylinders, a mistake a serious automotive publication wouldn't make.

Then there's the declaration that the Omni/Horizon was unsafe because if you suddenly turned the steering wheel half a turn and completely let go it stopped within the roadway, but not pointing straight down the road. Was this brilliant analysis? Yes, the cars were junk with interiors that fell apart, but there was no handling/stability problem.

Consumer Reports also jumped on the rollover bandwagon at least once, condemning an SUV for being too tall and narrow and ignoring worse models from other manufacturers because they didn't know anything about them.

These are just examples that I saw of the sort of biased and uninformed reporting that they claim to avoid. I'm sure they're well-intentioned; I just wouldn't put any more faith in their review than that by a random member of this forum.


The reliability predictions are just statistics, like a life insurance company guessing how long you will live or how frequently you will get in a driving collision. I don't doubt they do well at that.

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I am reluctant to comment on the overall reliability of domestic produced vehicles.
I won't ask for any opinions or assessments, but would you consider my Toyota Sienna - designed in the U.S. (although using mechanical components designed in Japan) and built exclusively in the U.S. - to be one of those "domestic produced vehicles"? There seems to be a lot of confusion between the manufacturer and the manufacturing location. Toyota and Honda seem able to get those American (and Canadian) workers to build good stuff, despite their location. Maybe it has something to do with management practices and corporate priorities?
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:28 PM   #47
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Googling "Dodge Dakota" is confusing. I thought they discontinued it, like Ford did the Ranger, for the North American markets. But then there are articles concerning a new uni-body version coming in...MY 2016?
Yes, the Dakota is gone - and was always a North American product, so it probably didn't continue anywhere else in the world, either. Wikipedia has a good summary of the three generations of this truck.

The rumours would presumably be about some sort of variant of the Durango/GrandCherokee, which would be like a Honda Ridgeline (essentially a pickup variant of the Odyssey or Pilot). At this point that's all they are: rumours and speculation.

This thread started as a spin-off of a tow vehicle sidetrack (perhaps my fault) in discussion of the new Escape 5.0. Any vehicle based on the Durango/GrandCherokee seems unlikely to have sufficient cab-to-rear-axle distance to be useful for pulling a fifth-wheel.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:00 AM   #48
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For the record... My extra two cents:

I like Consumer Repts. We subscribe to the mag and to the website because we think they provide a singular, unique, and vital service.

What I like best about them is the fact that they are, their evaluations, are, so wonderfully anal. This is a good thing. I think other than being absurdly objective they have no other axe to grind.

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Old 08-19-2013, 09:51 PM   #49
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I like Consumer Repts. We subscribe to the mag and to the website because we think they provide a singular, unique, and vital service.
Yes, they have their good points - no question.

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What I like best about them is the fact that they are, their evaluations, are, so wonderfully anal. This is a good thing. I think other than being absurdly objective they have no other axe to grind.
They're not always so thorough. The old anecdotes I listed are examples of when they did not handle the details properly.

They are not swayed by advertising or things like trips paid for by product manufacturers. Maybe they don't get to use vehicles for personal trips (although that's how auto writers get much of their real-world experience with vehicles). I have no idea what their agenda might be, or what might influence them... they are human, so something must! Seriously, I don't question the objectivity of CR, just their expertise.
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