US Car Makers Show Mixed Performance On Consumer Reports
US Car Makers Has Mixed Performance On Consumer Reports Tests
by Lauren Woods
Consumer Reports recently disclosed the results of their study that focused on predicting the reliability of new vehicles for the 2007 model year. Once again, Asian car makers fared well in terms of reliability and the European brands excelled in performance. Meanwhile, US brands has received a mixed performance on the tests and studies conducted by the leading information source for consumer products.
The three big car makers in the US fared not so well. But they did not do so badly either. Ford, for example, has a good number of vehicles which garnered good reliability ratings. This fact should help Ford finish higher in the leader board of the most reliable brands in the market. But about a quarter of their vehicles received below average ratings. The end result is that Ford remained unchanged and took position in the 16th place.
General Motors, currently the biggest automobile manufacturer, also has reliable vehicles produced. The brand received average or better ratings just like the Yukon SUV from GMC. But, just like Ford, about a third of their vehicles did not fare so well in the reliability study conducted by Consumer Reports.
Chrysler, another American car maker has the lowest average test score among the big three car manufacturers which are based in the US.
In the said study, Consumer Reports found out something that will be good for the reputation of Ford Motor Company and General Motors. Engineers who tested the different cars considered in the study found out that some recent models from the two aforementioned US car makers are serious competition to Japanese and European brands. The Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, and the Cadillac CTS are cited as some of the American models which are at par with their Japanese or European counterparts.
The most notable cause of the below average rating of American made vehicles are in terms of reliability, fuel economy, braking and handling. All of these attributes are what Asian and European car makers excel at. Reliability and fuel economy are the strongest selling points of Asian brands. The Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle is one of the main reasons for the popularity of Asian brands when it comes to fuel economy. European brands, on the other hand, are known for their superiority in performance.
General Motors has 42 models considered by Consumer Reports in their study. Of that number, a handful performed great during the tests conducted by CR. The Chevrolet Avalanche and the renowned Corvette performed so well that they were almost at the top of their class. But the better-than-average ratings garnered by these models are countered by lackluster performance of many GM models which did the American car manufacturer no good at all. Outdated minivans and compact pick up trucks are some of the GM models which performed poorly on the tests CR performed on them. GM vehicles that have suffered low ratings are due to the fact that their performance in braking and handling is below par. Fuel economy is also an issue that GM needs to address in order for their vehicles to improve.
As for Ford, their lineup of vehicles showed good handling capability and ride comfort. The majority of their trucks and SUVs also received praise for their adequate space and utility provided. Their problem is in braking, refinement and fuel economy. It seems that American brands have a problem with fuel economy that is why aftermarket parts are used widely to improve a vehicles fuel efficiency, just like the Plymouth cold air intake system.
Chrysler has a lot of work to do to improve their vehicles performance. Noisy engines, bad visibility and cheap interior are what they need to work on still.
About the Author
Given her background on cars as an auto insurance director, Lauren Woods finds the world of cars to be constantly changing.