• jerry e Posted: 11/15/2008 1:32pm PST

    What's with these Audi people complaining that Consumer Reports needs to get "real people who drive real cars" for their reviews. That's what they do. And their reliability surveys go out to MILLIONS of us "real people", not to just a handfull of "automotive journalists" (mostly unknowlegeable, opinionated blowhards out for a free lunch, a free ride!).

  • Rey Posted: 10/26/2008 1:45pm PDT

    Firstly, I would like to thank Michael for the site info, Jay for the common view of CR needing to get into the cars and doing reviews based on 'real owners', and Colin for his pragmatic approach. Secondly, again dealing with CR methodology, I would really like to see some transparency in how they get to their results. They test model X in year 200x, then include it in a model comparison two/three years later based on the same old results - how exactly is this a honest comparison? With 16 million+ unit sales/yr (avg pre-2008!), there are A LOT of opinions out there...CR has paid circulation base of about 1.4 million - of these individuals, that we KNOW NOTHING about, what percentage actually takes the time to complete the surveys that these results are based? I take their results with a grain of salt. If you want totally unbiased, accurate vehicle appraisal, check out the results of the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada Testfest. Over 70 of Canada's top automotive writers gather over a four-day period to evaluate over 180 new models, using public roads in back-to back-to back testing. Vehicles, grouped in pairings that result in apples versus apples comparisons, evaluated on the same roads, in the same weather, on the same day....CR only wish they could be so 'objective'! Website www.ajac.ca or call the ajac office @ 1-800-361-1516

  • Colin Mathews Posted: 10/25/2008 11:22am PDT

    Hey Michael - I was unaware of truedelta, I appreciate the link and I'm going to go over and check them out. I definitely think that CR's cold, hard numbers have relevance, but I also agree that the difference in quality of new vehicles is getting ever smaller. And with, I believe, CR considering items like an over-torqued lug nut a "factory defect," you have to ask if that's truly a reliability issue, or some severe nit-picking. I'd take a car that drives great but has a couple of flaws over one that is perfect yet drives like a toaster. Having said that, Ford quality really has improved markedly, and that's great news for the legions of Americans who buy Ford products en masse. Nonetheless, for my dollar, I'd by Audi over Lincoln any day of the week, regardless of differences in reliability.

  • Jay Posted: 10/24/2008 1:14pm PDT

    I agree with Michael. Ford and Chrysler have played this game before that they are rated so high on reliability etc. How many Mid-early 90's Fords do you see on the road? Not many... When you compare a Ford to an Audi or Mercedes you look like a fool! I buy Audi for all the extras, but realize that that may come with an issue or two, but the day to day joy of ownership outweighs the hassle.
    CR needs to get in the cars, do reviews based on real owners that have had the vehicle for over a year or two so we can get an overall opinion on a carmakers reliability. I mean, if a car maker can't make a car that meets the buyers reliability expectations during the 1st year of ownership, they either have serious issues or the person bought the wrong car.
    Ford uses cheap materials and cuts every penny they can in R&D and elsewhere, so please don't try and paint a rosy picture of an automaker that is just getting by...

  • Michael Karesh Posted: 10/24/2008 3:51am PDT

    What CR doesn't say, and that few people realize:
    1. The data are already about five months old, and will be over a year old when many people use them to buy a car next summer.
    2. The average problem rate isn't very high, probably around 18 problems per 100 cars for the 2008s (based on past years; they didn't have a number when asked this year). So the differences between the different "blobs" is only three or four problems per 100 cars.
    For vehicle reliability information that is promptly updated four times a year, and actual repair rates rather than just blobs: