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:
- Lexus LS 460L
- Infiniti M35 X (AWD)
- BMW 135i (manual)
- Porsche 911 Carrera S (manual)
- Infiniti M35 (RWD)
And at the bottom of the list (with "1" being the worst):
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
- Hummer H2
- Hummer H3
- Jeep Liberty Sport
- 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.