Last Updated Feb 28, 2011 1:42 PM EST Following its recent boost in sales, Ford has made the biggest gains in Consumer Reports' annual new-car ratings. But Honda and Subaru retain the top two spots on the list, and Toyota, despite its recall troubles, holds on to third place in the overall rankings. Rounding out the top 5 are Volvo, in the fourth spot, and Ford, at No. 5; Hyundai lands in sixth place. The full Consumer Reports grades - available in its annual April auto issue or at its website if you are a subscriber - combine road test scores from its staff and predicted reliability based on surveys of its readers who report on 1.3 million vehicles of different model years. What follows are some of the highlights; read on for more details on some of Consumer Reports' new picks. Ford, which now gets a coveted "recommended" status for 71% of its vehicles tested, strongly outpaces its Detroit rivals. Despite praise for some recently redesigned models, General Motors gets … [Read more...] about New Cars: Who Topped Consumer Reports Ratings?
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Last Updated Aug 2, 2011 12:05 PM EDT Honda has just gotten a big black eye from a longtime fan. The magazine's test drivers cited poorer handling and a less-appealing interior than the previous Civic, as well as a choppy ride, long stopping distances and pronounced road noise. "While other models like the Hyundai Elantra have gotten better after being redesigned, the Civic has dropped so much that it now ranks near the bottom of its category," said David Champion, senior director of the magazine's auto test center. Ouch. (The review appears in the magazine's September issue; subscribers can see it on CR's web site.) The weak review comes as insult upon injury to Honda, which yesterday announced that its quarterly profit had plunged nearly 90 percent after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan had hammered production and sales. Meanwhile, the Hyundai Elantra now tops the magazine's small-car category, with what the magazine describes as impressive fuel economy, roomy … [Read more...] about Consumer Reports Blasts New Honda Civic
Last Updated Aug 10, 2011 8:25 AM EDT For many car shoppers, Consumer Reports is the last word on auto recommendations. But since the magazine downgraded longtime favorite Honda Civic last week, readers have been writing to me to dispute its judgment on the 2012 Civic. Now professional reviewers have joined in the Civic's defense. Edmunds.com and Cars.com were quick to note that they continue to recommend the Civic for its high mileage, safety and reliability. Consumer Reports test drivers complained about mediocre handling, an unattractive interior, a choppy ride and long stopping distances. I have not yet driven the 2012 Civic, but here is what some others say in recommending it. Edmunds.com "Although the 2012 Honda Civic doesn't revolutionize the compact sedan the way it has in the past, it remains a vehicle that Edmunds.com editors would recommend to their friends," says a statement from Scott Oldham, editor-in-chief. In its road test review, Edmunds finds the Civic handling … [Read more...] about Honda Civic Fans Fight Back After Consumer Reports Beat Down
A new version of the Tesla Model S has driven to the highest score ever recorded by the engineers at Consumer Reports. The $127,820 all-wheel-drive P85D totaled 103 on a scale designed to max out at 100. After reconfiguring its scoring slightly, CR rewarded the blazing acceleration and top fuel economy of the P85D. The original Model S earned a 99-point score from the magazine in 2013. Before that, the highest score had been a 96 for the Mercedes-Benz S-550. Superlatives abounded from the often-skeptical CR test drivers. The P85D is the quickest car they ever tested, going from zero to 60 MPH in a mind-boggling 3.5 seconds. And it still delivers the electric car equivalent of 87 MPG, topping the 84 for the original Model S. "The Tesla is a shining example of how higher fuel economy standards can be achieved without sacrificing performance," says Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports. Beyond those virtues, CR praised the practicality of the P85D. It seats … [Read more...] about New Tesla scores Consumer Reports’ highest rating ever
The home is getting ever more connected. Deloitte estimates that one billion wireless Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be shipped in 2015, a 60 percent jump over last year. And while the more we put our lives online, the more we open ourselves up to hacking on the home front, companies are increasingly digitizing, automating and connecting what was once mechanical and mundane. As CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports from the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, even baking cookies takes a tablet these days. Remember when you used to have to just remember that your kid was strapped into the car seat? Not anymore. Intel's ChildMinder SoftClip attaches to the safety straps. Sensors detect whether it's clipped or open, and alerts parents via Bluetooth communication to a smartphone app if the child has been left behind in the back seat. Once you do safely carry your child from the car through the front door, your home will be heated to the perfect comfortable temp. The … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Cooking, gardening and car seats go high-tech at CES