Behind our most anticipated automotive issue of the year lies a staff of engineers, statisticians, editors, and writers that give you the most comprehensive view of the automotive world available anywhere. The April issue is eagerly anticipated and read by millions of consumers and most everyone even remotely associated with the auto industry.
The annual auto issue contents are now available online, and the magazine is arriving at mailboxes and newsstands nationwide.
Some of the facts behind our testing:
We buy our test cars anonymously from dealers, just as you would. This past year, we spent $2.7 million on test cars. Other publishers write reviews based on free loaner cars that automakers hand pick.
Test vehicles are driven thousands of miles over several months. Most other auto reviews are based on a week or two of driving, some on only a couple of days.
Each vehicle undergoes more than 50 individual tests and evaluations. They include specialty tests such as antilock brake and accident-avoidance evaluations, real-world fuel-economy measurements, and ride-comfort evaluations.
Automotive engineers and their support staff evaluate each test car at our 327-acre Auto Test Center and while driving on a wide range of roads. (See how we do it in our video guide to testing.) Our staff and their families live with the vehicles everyday to get insights that aren’t possible from brief test drives.
Reliability Ratings are based on the problems of more than 1.4 million vehicles, as reported by Consumer Reports subscribers in our Annual Auto Survey.
Consumer Reports accepts no advertising. Our unbiased Ratings and reviews don’t pull punches to avoid upsetting advertisers such as carmakers. Our test center is in central Connecticut. All of our test cars are registered there, which is why they bear Connecticut license plates. But we have bought cars from as far away as California.
And perhaps the question we get asked most: What happens to vehicles after we test them? They’re usually sold to Consumers Union staff through a lottery, but some are used as trade-ins for new test cars. That helps us stretch our test budget.