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Consumer Reports, J.D. Power Rank Vehicles, Dealers

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2009 Lexus LS 460

2009 Lexus LS 460

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Consumer Reports and J.D. Power carry a lot of weight in the auto industry, and yesterday they delivered a one-two punch in their surveys of vehicles and the folks who sell 'em.

Consumer Reports focused on the autos themselves, using three evaluation criteria: road tests, reliability, and safety. Winners in the New Car category included the Chevrolet Avalanche (best pickup truck), the Toyota Rav4 (best small SUV), and the Honda Accord (best family sedan). The Lexus LS 460 took top honors, ranking as the best overall vehicle.

Looking at vehicles as a whole, beyond category restrictions, Consumer Reports' top five vehicles were:

  1. Lexus LS 460L
  2. Infiniti M35 X (AWD)
  3. BMW 135i (manual)
  4. Porsche 911 Carrera S (manual)
  5. Infiniti M35 (RWD)

And at the bottom of the list (with "1" being the worst):

  1. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
  2. Hummer H2
  3. Hummer H3
  4. Jeep Liberty Sport
  5. Smart ForTwo Passion

Anyone surprised yet?

J.D. Power's rankings, on the other hand, focused on customer satisfaction, ranking dealerships based on service quality, service initiation, the service advisor, the service facility, and vehicle pickup. Again, Lexus came in at the top of the heap, followed by Jaguar, BMW, Cadillac, and Acura. In the gutter lay Suzuki, with Mazda, Nissan, Kia, and Volkswagen piled only slightly higher.

So: are these guys in the ballpark? Or did they really muck it up? What's been your experience? Drop us an email or feel free to weigh in below.

[sources: ConsumerReports, JDPower]

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Comments (9)
  1. "Carman"

    Top and bottom are not too surprising. You pay a lot of money you better get good service. The bottom well, time for those to go away. What's really important though are the mainstream cars and trucks. Ford seems to have the big lead here. New Fusion, Fiesta and Escape. Quality and fuel efficiency equal to the best and vehicles with style. Also, best truck on the planet!

  2. "Ford"

    True. Fiesta and Fusion are good if you're looking for a nice Mexican import... I'd rather support local production even if I have to take a slight MPG hit.

  3. "Ford 2"

    Good thought Ford. but where a vehicle is "assembled" is quite a different issue than where it is produced. Where are each of these vehicles designed? Developed? Prototyped? Tested? Validated? Component-sourced? Yes, all of those elements go into producing a car and the Korean, Japanese and Germans are not performing all of those functions here. They assemble here to satisfy trade regulations....and to fool some people.

  4. "Not surprised"

    So, Jeep makes the worst vehicle sold in the country? Really? The Wrangler is one of the most enthusiast driven vehicles on the planet, yet it's somehow the worst vehicle in the country? That magazine needs to BURNED TO THE GROUND once and for all.

  5. "Ford 3"

    Yes, I'm sure our laid off assembly workers understand that they can now design, develop, prototype, test, validate, and work for a Ford supplier now.

  6. "Jeep"

    Having driven Jeeps for the past several years, I can assure you: they're not all they're cracked up to be. I love the look, and the size is good for city parking, but in a lot of other ways...well, let's just say I've seen better.
    I've stuck with 'em for the same reasons many people stick with brands they like: sentimental attachments, brand loyalty, and the pessimistic belief that no car's perfect, so why switch?
    That's not to blindly defend the Consumer Reports rankings, but c'mon: they did their research. It's not like they're just using anecdotal info and pulling stats out of a hat. I haven't driven the Unlimited Sahara, but the basic Wrangler hasn't gotten TCC's best ratings:

  7. "."

    If you look at CR ratings on something make sure you read the article that goes with CR's ratings. Some of their ratings do not make any sense if you read their story. Remember last year they had to move three Toyotas from the above average list to the below average list because they didn't test the vehicles nor did they have any facts to back up the above average ratings they originally gave the Toyotas. Facts don't always back CR's ratings. JD Powers seems to be a little more logical in their ratings.

  8. "Reliability"

    Their reviews of new cars may be imperfect but CR gives you some of the best data if you want to look at the reliability of any car. It's a consumer-based survey and quite accurate.

  9. "no surprises"

    Your right Ian no surprise Jeep and Hummer are at the bottom, but not due to some bias, but because they are sheer crap. I was really interested to see the new Hummer when it arrived, it took me less than two seconds on the inside to realise what a load of crap, not just a load of crap but an expensive load of crap. A laugh everytime Is ee someone driving one, not because of the mileage but because this poor sucker spent a mint on a rundown piece of GM drek. jeep is more sad, there was a time when you could forgive htem because they where tough and did the job, now others do a beter job at a better price and that is up to date and last.

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