Car owners were more satisfied with independent shops for maintenance than dealerships, according to the last annual auto survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The survey found that owners of all makes were equally satisfied with the timeliness and courtesy of the maintenance service at the dealership, where the majority turned for this routine work.
The Chrysler Group is recalling 2012 Jeep Compass and 2012 Jeep Patriot SUVs due to faulty fuel tank valves, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). About 1,700 of the recalled Jeep sport-utility vehicles have damaged roll-over fuel valves, which may leak during collisions or roll-over accidents, increasing the risk of a fire.
You would assume that if an automaker poured millions of dollars into a major redesign of one of its models that the new version would be better than the old one. But more and more, that’s not the case. In fact, a lot of the slip-sliding we’re seeing here at Consumer Reports has been coming from some traditionally high-performing brands, including Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen. (See our automaker report cards.)
Our recent test of a Chrysler 300 sedan equipped with the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 left a favorable impression, as evidenced by the significant improvement in the big sedan's road test score. Like many recently updated products from Chrysler, the 300 got an extensive freshening for 2011 that included a much-improved interior and other updates, transforming it into a comfortable and refined large sedan.
Each year, the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue featuring the latest ratings, rankings and expert insights garners significant attention. The focus invariable turns to Top Picks and the automaker report cards. Both special reports given a quick snapshot of how makes and models compare, informing car buyers, as well as auto industry trivia enthusiasts. While everyone loves a winner, what about those brands that just never made the Top Pick cut?
Chrysler has issued a recall notice for nearly 210,000 Jeep Liberty SUVs sold or operated in the so-called "salt belt" states of the U.S. According to Chrysler, the rear suspension of the Jeeps may corrode and break after excessive exposure to winter road salt. Failure of the rear lower control arms may cause a loss of vehicle control and increase the risk of a collision.
Our Annual Autos Issue presents a dizzying array of facts and figures, all aimed at helping car shoppers choose the right model for their needs and budget. While we rate the automakers and present numerous best and worst lists, we haven’t offered a simple guide to the best and worst models by brand. Until now.
Following annual tradition, it’s time again for our American Top Picks list spotlighting the top-scoring domestic-branded models in Consumer Reports testing. An alternative compilation to our official 2012 Top Picks, here we show the buyer who favors buying an “American” car the many strong choices that have stood out in our tests.
Riding a wave of impressive redesigned models in the last few years, Subaru for the first time has earned the top score in Consumer Reports automaker report cards for 2012. Meanwhile, Honda, which had been the perennial winner for the past four years, slipped two points to fourth place among 13 major automakers, behind Mazda and Toyota.
Fires in older Jeep Grand Cherokees have resulted in hundreds of deaths since the SUVs rolled out in 1993, and dramatic incidents involving fire continue to occur. Since reporting last month, we have dug into the statistics, and gained more insights into the real risks.
Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota have a commanding lead in car brand awareness, as determined from interviewing car owners for the 2012 Car Brand Perception Survey.
Automakers are constantly mining their past glory for new products: Special edition this; anniversary model that sometimes it’s no more than a tape stripe or special numbered badge.
Chrysler’s mid-sized sedans--the Chrysler Sebring and its platform-mate, the Dodge Avenger--left them in a bind. The cars were woefully uncompetitive with slow sales as a result. All-new replacements from their then new-found alliance with Fiat were years away. Killing off the Sebring and Avenger would leave a line-up with no sedan smaller than the large Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. And keeping the mid-sizers on sale unchanged wasn’t much of an option.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall warning for the 2012 Fiat 500 compact car and 2012 Dodge Journey midsize SUV. Certain models of both vehicles from the Chrysler Motor Corp. may have been assembled with contaminated brake fluid which can lead to loss of stopping power.
Consumer Reports recently unveiled the results of its latest reliability survey, showing that Asian brands continue to occupy the top-tier, claiming nine of the top 10 spots in our rankings. However, the findings among the domestic brands are noteworthy, and there’s plenty of good news within each segment.
Our testers put 100s of products through their paces at our National Testing and Research Center. Learn more about how we test for: