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Silock
03-08-2007, 05:47 PM
Full story:
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/102548/best_cars_2007_-_consumer_reports





Best Cars 2007 - Consumer Reports
by Peter Valdes-Dapena
Thursday, March 8, 2007provided byCNNMoney.com

To be a 'Top Pick', a vehicle must score at or near the top of its category in Consumer Reports' testing, must have at least average reliability and must perform well in government and Insurance Institute crash tests.

BUDGET CAR, SUBCOMPACT
Honda Fit
Cost: $14,000 to $16,000

Consumer Reports calls the Fit the "best overall in a new class of fuel-efficient cars."

Fuel economy, as measured in Consumer Reports' controlled tests, was 32 mpg with an automatic transmission and 34 mpg with a manual.

"Not only is it fun to drive, but its compact dimensions pack an impressive amount of interior room and versatility," the magazine said.

The Fit got top scores in "Reliability," "Crash protection" and "Satisfaction." Its road test score was good, but not the best.


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This has become a crowded market segment with a number of good entries, said David Champion, head of auto testing for Consumer Reports.

"The Nissan Versa we thought was very good," he said. "The Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent were very good."

SEDAN, LESS THAN $20,000
Honda Civic
Cost: $17,000 to $23,000

Cosumer Reports praises the Civic for its "relatively roomy interior, comfortable ride, smooth powertrain and good handling."

It also helps that the Civic has good reliability, crash test results and fuel economy.

In Consumer Reports' tests, it got 31 mpg with a manual transmission and 28 with an automatic. The hybrid version got 37 mpg.

SEDAN, $20,000 TO $30,000
Honda Accord
Cost: $20,000 to $33,000

Like the Civic, the Accord is availaible in a hybrid version, which offers only slightly better fuel economy, however.

In Consumer Reports' testing, the Accord Hybrid got 25 mpg, while a V6 Accord got 23 mpg and the 4-cylinder version got 24.

"The Accord provides an excellent balance of comfort, roominess, ride and handling," the magazine says.

SEDAN, $30,000 TO $40,000
Infiniti G35
Cost: $35,000 to $39,000

The G35 is available in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive.

The G35 "really blows the BMW 3-series away at its own game," said David Champion, head of auto testing for Consumer Reports. "It's extremely fast - 306 horsepower, zero-to-60 in 5.4 seconds - really agile handling, great steering, reasonable amount of room inside and really easy to live with on a day-to-day basis."

Its reliability has also been excellent, Champion said, although the record for parent company Nissan has been spotty.

LUXURY SEDAN
Infiniti M35
Cost: $42,000 to $45,000

The M35 earned the highest score of any sedan in Consumer Reports' testing, according to the magazine.

"Well equipped and comfortable, it's just as capable on a twisty two-lane road as it is cruising down the highway."

Like the smaller G35 - also a Top Pick - it's available with either rear- or all-wheel-drive. The V8-power M45 costs about $55,000.

In the same class, the BMW 530i and Audi A6 are also worth considering, the magazine said.

SUV, LESS THAN $30,000
Toyota Rav4
Cost: $23,000 to $27,000

The Rav4 was redesigned for 2006, adding more room and an optional third row of seats. An optional V6 engine gives smooth performance and good power while provided just 1 mpg lower fuel economy in Consumer Reports' testing.

The Rav4 also got top marks for reliability and crash protection.

The newly redesigned Honda CR-V is another good choice, the magazine said.

SUV, MORE THAN $30,000
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Cost: 35,000 to $40,000

Although the Highlander Hybrid is a Top Pick, even Consumer Reports wouldn't advise you to buy it now. That's because the redesigned 2008 version will be available very soon.

The 2007 Highlander offers a comfortable, quiet ride and excellent quality, according to Consumer Reports. The new version will have a movable second row, to allow for more space in the third row, according to Toyota.

The Hybrid offers all the benefits of the non-hybrid Highlander with better acceleration but only slightly better fuel economy (22 mpg) in Consumer Reports' testing. The redesigned will be the same, in terms of the drivetrain, as the current version.

MINIVAN
Toyota Sienna
Cost: $26,000 to $28,000

When Consumer Reports first started releasing "Top Picks" in 1997, the minivan chosen was the Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager.

The Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey have traded the top spot ever since. With the addition of a more powerful engine, the Sienna takes it back after two years of going to the Odyssey.

"It's a little bit quieter, a little bit more refined, little bit more comfortable than the Odyssey," said David Champion, head of Consumer Reports' auto testing.

Champion also said that, for his personal use, he would go for the Honda.

"I'm a bit more of a driver," he said. "I prefer the Odyssey. It's got a bit more of a sports car performance in a minivan."

GREEN CAR
Toyota Prius
Cost: $23,000

The Prius got 44 mpg overall in Consumer Reports' testing, the best the magazine has ever measured for a 5-passenger vehicle.

The interior is also roomy enough, for both occupants and luggage, to make the Prius a viable alternative to an ordinary family sedan.

A rearview camera is available and, the magazine says, "highly recommended."

FUN TO DRIVE
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Cost: $21,000 to $27,000

The Miata offers balanced handling, pinpoint-precise steering and a crisp six-speed manual transmission.

Its cloth top can be raised and lowered with one hand without leaving the seat. A new power-folding hard-top is available for 2007.

Reliability is fair, but that's good enough to earn a recommendation.

The Miata competes against the Pontiac Solstice and the closely-related Saturn Sky. So far, the Solstice has been outselling the Miata.

"I think [the Solstice] is going to do very well for the first couple of years," said David Champion, head of Consumer Reports' auto testing, "but I think, over the long term, this is the better sports car."

Where are the American cars?

This year's Consumer Reports Top Picks are all vehicles produced by Japanese companies. This is actually the second year in a row that that's been the case. In the 10 years that Consumer Reports has produced annual "Top Picks" lists, it's the fifth time there have been no American cars among them.

The biggest problem is that fewer American cars even make it into consideration. To be a "Top Pick," a vehicle must first earn Consumer Reports' general recommendation. That doesn't mean it's the best, but it's at least proven to be reliable, safe, it handles well and is reasonably easy to live with.

Of 23 Toyotas tested by Consumer Reports since 2000, 20 are recommended. Of 37 General Motors cars tested, only 13 are recommended. For Ford, it's eight out of 17 and, for Chrysler, four out of 20.

Besides reliability, American cars can fall down in other areas. Ford, for example, tends to do well in ride and handling, but poorly in braking performance and fuel economy, according to Consumer Reports. While GM has improved greatly in the "fit and finish" of its cars, there still tend to be problems with emergency handling and fuel economy, Consumer Reports says.

Chrysler has the second-lowest score of any automaker in Consumer Reports testing. Bad visibility, cheap interiors and noisy engines are cited as specific problems.

Things are getting better, though. New models and recently redesigned cars from Ford and GM are much more reliable and getting better test scores. The Ford Focus and Buick Lucerne, while not top-rated, are cited as two very good cars that signal a potential turnaround for Detroit products.

And in case you think Consumer Reports always likes Japanese car companies, there is one company with lower average scores than Chrysler: Suzuki.
Copyrighted, CNNMoney. All Rights Reserved.

OnTheWarpath58
03-08-2007, 05:48 PM
rexcjake to show up telling us all why CR is FOS in 3...2...1...

OnTheWarpath58
03-08-2007, 05:52 PM
The biggest problem is that fewer American cars even make it into consideration. To be a "Top Pick," a vehicle must first earn Consumer Reports' general recommendation. That doesn't mean it's the best, but it's at least proven to be reliable, safe, it handles well and is reasonably easy to live with.

Of 23 Toyotas tested by Consumer Reports since 2000, 20 are recommended. Of 37 General Motors cars tested, only 13 are recommended. For Ford, it's eight out of 17 and, for Chrysler, four out of 20.

While GM has improved greatly in the "fit and finish" of its cars, there still tend to be problems with emergency handling and fuel economy, Consumer Reports says.

Reliable, safe, emergency handling.

I'd say that's important...

Baby Lee
03-08-2007, 05:53 PM
They do always seem to find some criterion that pushes American cars out for obcure reasons.

This performance car gets bad gas mileage.
This fun to drive car has too small a trunk.
This otherwise solid sedan has clunky AC controls.

Only a metrosexual would pick a Miata over a Solstice or Skye.

Only a suburban wuss would pick a Camry over a Grand Prix, or even a Lucerne.

Cochise
03-08-2007, 05:54 PM
In before the "d00d CR is teh baised" post.

Baby Lee
03-08-2007, 05:58 PM
In before the "d00d CR is teh baised" post.
It's not so much biased, as assuming that everyone wants the same things out of every car, or wants those things with equal passion.


"Errr, I was gonna go with the Bentley coupe, until I saw their cup holders and trunk carryover specs. So I got the Subaru"

OnTheWarpath58
03-08-2007, 06:02 PM
I think it's fair to "assume" that everyone would like a car that:

Is proven to be reliable, safe, handles well, (and in an emergency) is easy to live with and gets good gas mileage.

recxjake
03-08-2007, 06:08 PM
This was out about a week ago... I'm not mad... GM is getting better and that's what matters to me

Fairplay
03-08-2007, 06:09 PM
Buy a Saturn product people, what is wrong with all of you!!

HemiEd
03-08-2007, 06:12 PM
They do always seem to find some criterion that pushes American cars out for obcure reasons.

This performance car gets bad gas mileage.
This fun to drive car has too small a trunk.
This otherwise solid sedan has clunky AC controls.

Only a metrosexual would pick a Miata over a Solstice or Skye.

Only a suburban wuss would pick a Camry over a Grand Prix, or even a Lucerne.

Well said, and wouldn't you agree that the very profession these people are in, lends itself to the metrosexual stereotype?
They get it in, push the go button, and go. They don't actually know a tire iron from a sparkplug.
I recently purchased this $12 POS in the airport and was laughing out loud on the airplane reading it.

Silock
03-08-2007, 07:20 PM
They do always seem to find some criterion that pushes American cars out for obcure reasons.

This performance car gets bad gas mileage.
This fun to drive car has too small a trunk.
This otherwise solid sedan has clunky AC controls.

Only a metrosexual would pick a Miata over a Solstice or Skye.

Only a suburban wuss would pick a Camry over a Grand Prix, or even a Lucerne.

Mazda really needs to get back to its roots with the Miata. The Solstice is killing the Miata in SCCA C-Stock class.

jjjayb
03-08-2007, 07:33 PM
I think it's fair to "assume" that everyone would like a car that:

Is proven to be reliable, safe, handles well, (and in an emergency) is easy to live with and gets good gas mileage.


Believe me, thats not fair to assume. You'd be surprised how many people really don't take all that into consideration. Do you really think someone driving a power car cares about gas mileage? If that was the case there would never be a Hemi sold.

Think safety is a big concern? I've dealt with a ton of people who didn't want a car because it had side airbags that would cost them an extra few hundred bucks, but gladly paid a grand extra for navigation.

Many many people still like to drive big floaty cars with poor handling because they are comfortable.

Reliable is about the only one I think everyone I've dealt with has been concerned about. I have no idea what "easy to live with" means. It doesn't hog the covers? Puts the seat down after it pees?

Frazod
03-08-2007, 07:37 PM
I like my Impala. Before that, I liked my Monte Carlo. And before that, I liked my Cutlass Supreme.

I've always had good luck with mid-sized GMs.

Phobia
03-08-2007, 07:52 PM
CR has never let me down. I've been using them to influence my buying decisions since I met my wife (she's a CR nerd) and I've never regretted a purchase. I always knew in advance what to expect (for instance less than ideal gas mileage and a bumpy ride in the Nissan Xterra). Never been burnt, not once.

In fact, CR recently made a pots & pans decision easy for us when we were looking to buy Calphalon. For about $800 less we got more pans that performed better than the Calphalon One brand at Costco. Yes, I'm serious - the Kirkland Signature set outperformed Calphalon One.

shaneo69
03-08-2007, 09:08 PM
I like my Impala. Before that, I liked my Monte Carlo. And before that, I liked my Cutlass Supreme.

I've always had good luck with mid-sized GMs.

Yep. I had a Chevy S-10 from '96-'02, and I've had a Chevy Tracker since then which now has 103,000 miles on it. I've never had any problems with either Chevy. Over 10 years, never left stranded by either vehicle, Chevrolet scores 100% on my reliability scale.

sportsman1
03-08-2007, 09:19 PM
I'll Take my Ford Five Hundred. That car never gets any credit. Most people Havent even heard of it but I am telling you if your buying a new car it has the all around package and is the way to go. $24,000 with MSRP.

Stinger
03-08-2007, 09:22 PM
.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v250/stinger871/gmairbag.jpg

morphius
03-08-2007, 09:38 PM
They do always seem to find some criterion that pushes American cars out for obcure reasons.

This performance car gets bad gas mileage.
This fun to drive car has too small a trunk.
This otherwise solid sedan has clunky AC controls.

Only a metrosexual would pick a Miata over a Solstice or Skye.

Only a suburban wuss would pick a Camry over a Grand Prix, or even a Lucerne.
I would never buy a Grand Prix, I would take a Camry's looks over the "cheap" look that Pontiac tries to pass it off as "sporty". I thought the GTP was okay, but other then that all the others were pretty eh. I'm also not saying that the Camry is a sexy car, but looks wise I would take it over the Pontiac.

morphius
03-08-2007, 09:43 PM
I'll Take my Ford Five Hundred. That car never gets any credit. Most people Havent even heard of it but I am telling you if your buying a new car it has the all around package and is the way to go. $24,000 with MSRP.
It may be because it is in an odd range. It is above the pricing of the Camry, Altima, Accords, so it loses on price, and then the Maxima and Avalon are probably just a little bigger and have a better looking interior.

HemiEd
03-08-2007, 09:49 PM
I'll Take my Ford Five Hundred. That car never gets any credit. Most people Havent even heard of it but I am telling you if your buying a new car it has the all around package and is the way to go. $24,000 with MSRP.

I have posted on here about the Ford 500 numerous times. I love the car Value. I rented one and loved it, very roomy, good looking and smooth.

ChiefsLV
03-08-2007, 10:05 PM
I would never buy a Grand Prix, I would take a Camry's looks over the "cheap" look that Pontiac tries to pass it off as "sporty". I thought the GTP was okay, but other then that all the others were pretty eh. I'm also not saying that the Camry is a sexy car, but looks wise I would take it over the Pontiac.

I have an 04 Grand Prix. It's big and comfortable and has a sporty look to it, but it's 12 valve, lotsa engine noise, mediocre acceleration, and has become a rattlebox after just a few years. It's still got a nice ride though. Unfortuanately it feels like I have 140,000 miles on it when I only have 40,000. Prolly needs fuel injection and transmission service.

recxjake
03-09-2007, 09:52 AM
ROFL Toyota Trucks!

Link: www.wsj.com

Toyota Dealers Offer Discount On Newly Redesigned Tundra
By NORIHIKO SHIROUZU - March 9, 2007 10:06 a.m.

Toyota Motor Corp. says some of its dealers are offering as much as a $1,500 discount on the basic work truck version of Toyota's newly redesigned Tundra truck, just barely one month after it went on sale.

The discount for the Texas-built large truck reflects the intense competition in this lucrative segment, and the challenge Toyota faces in its effort to substantially expand its sales in a segment long dominated by Detroit brands.

The discount is a one-month, nationwide program that began this month and is described by Toyota as "another tool," to spur sales, in addition to relatively low APR and lease deals Toyota has already offered since the outset.

While the Tundra launch is still in its early stages, Toyota's top management in Japan is concerned about whether the company can meet a target of selling 200,000 new Tundras this year, according to senior Toyota executives who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Toyota has manufacturing capacity to build more than 300,000 Tundras between two plants in San Antonio, Texas, and Princeton, Indiana. Some company executives, one insider said, believe Toyota might have rushed too much to build up manufacturing capacity for the Tundra when rising gas prices and an uncertain U.S. economic outlook may continue to impact sales of big gas-guzzling vehicles.

Industry executives and analysts have cautioned that the uncertain housing market could weigh on demand of large pickups from contractors. Moreover, Toyota's new truck is launching just as General Motors Corp. is accelerating the launch of its popular Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, which boast the best fuel efficiency in the large pickup segment. Ford Motor Co., the long time segment leader, and DaimlerChrysler AG's Dodge brand, are heavily promoting their rival trucks, with "Truck Month" promotions.

Still, some Toyota dealers noted the single-cab version of the Tundra has not sold well as expected, even though consumers were snapping up the double-cab version. Toyota dealers said, among other factors, the Tundra regular cab was too loaded with features and was priced too high and thus has failed to become an attractive vehicle to plumbers, contractors and other price-conscious commercial truck buyers, the very buyers it has set out to dazzle.

In some regions, the dealers also said trade-ins they are receiving are mostly Toyotas. "We are trading in mainly Toyota trucks. Practically no domestics," one dealer in the Southeast region said.

Toyota's Mr. Smith insisted attracting commercial buyers and those previously loyal to domestic big-rig trucks from Detroit, "that's our goal long term. I don't think anybody had an expectation that in the first four weeks we have a completely different buyer makeup than our current Toyota [truck] customer base."

He said of about 8,500 people who bought new Tundras Toyota has sold since last month, about 30% of them did so by trading in domestic trucks. "We're pleased with the amount of domestic trades that are coming in on the Tundra. It's increasing every week."

Toyota's new program offers dealers on average three $250 "coupons" they can use per Tundra regular cab to entice the customer.

Toyota executives say a dealer could use as many as four coupons per sale to offer the customer as much as a $1,000 discount on the truck, but the total number of coupons they use per truck will have to be three on average at the end of the month.

Taking advantage of the Toyota factory incentive program, Southeast Toyota, the independent distributor of Toyota vehicles for Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina, began offering on March 2 $1,500 dealer cash on the 2007 Tundra regular cab by supplementing the program with its own money. Southeast Toyota also will kick back $350 per Tundra sold when a dealer in its region meets the sales target it set on the big truck. It wasn't clear immediately how other regions of Toyota's U.S. market were taking advantage of the program.

Full article at link.

jjjayb
03-09-2007, 09:53 AM
I'll Take my Ford Five Hundred. That car never gets any credit. Most people Havent even heard of it but I am telling you if your buying a new car it has the all around package and is the way to go. $24,000 with MSRP.


I own a five hundred and love it. The AWD is very impressive. The CVT transmission is great. Because most people haven't heard of it, Ford has decided to rename it for the 2008 model year. The name........the Taurus. Bleh! One of the dumbest decisions Ford has made in ages. Maybe if Ford advertised it people would have heard of it.

recxjake
03-09-2007, 09:55 AM
I own a five hundred and love it. The AWD is very impressive. The CVT transmission is great. Because most people haven't heard of it, Ford has decided to rename it for the 2008 model year. The name........the Taurus. Bleh! One of the dumbest decisions Ford has made in ages. Maybe if Ford advertised it people would have heard of it.

Wrong... the worst deccision Ford ever made was to drop the Taurus name to start with.

Skip Towne
03-09-2007, 10:10 AM
Wrong... the worst deccision Ford ever made was to drop the Taurus name to start with.
Worse than the Edsel?

HemiEd
03-09-2007, 10:14 AM
Wrong... the worst deccision Ford ever made was to drop the Taurus name to start with.

I could not disagree with you more. The Taurus name carries a stigmatism, cheap, fleet, rental, poor quality.

The 500 name however, brings back fond memories of the Fairlane 500 and Galaxie 500. I would have bought a 500 but you will never see a Taurus in my drive, unless it is the house cleaner's.

Stewie
03-09-2007, 10:19 AM
I just got the latest issue of CR. They have a world map of where cars are built. It's unbelievable what passes as an "American" car and what's considered "foreign."

Frazod
03-09-2007, 10:25 AM
I just got the latest issue of CR. They have a world map of where cars are built. It's unbelievable what passes as an "American" car and what's considered "foreign."

My '99 Monte Carlo was built in Windsor, Ontario.

Goddamn foreigners :cuss:



:D

recxjake
03-09-2007, 10:31 AM
I could not disagree with you more. The Taurus name carries a stigmatism, cheap, fleet, rental, poor quality.

The 500 name however, brings back fond memories of the Fairlane 500 and Galaxie 500. I would have bought a 500 but you will never see a Taurus in my drive, unless it is the house cleaner's.

IMO you are completely wrong....

Compare Taurus sales to 500 sales... the 500 names flopped big

recxjake
03-09-2007, 10:31 AM
I just got the latest issue of CR. They have a world map of where cars are built. It's unbelievable what passes as an "American" car and what's considered "foreign."

Thank the Unions

HemiEd
03-09-2007, 10:53 AM
IMO you are completely wrong....

Compare Taurus sales to 500 sales... the 500 names flopped big


I gave you my opinion, it can't be wrong. :D



jjjayb was right, have you seen much of a promotion on the 500? A major name change like that takes a lot of advertising to get across.

Were you around when Datsun changed to Nissan? It was on everywhere you turned, it was sickening.

Also, I read somewhere, that the majority of Taurus sales were fleet and rental. This is very low profit business just to move inventory.

morphius
03-09-2007, 11:13 AM
ROFL Toyota Trucks!

Link: www.wsj.com

Toyota Dealers Offer Discount On Newly Redesigned Tundra
By NORIHIKO SHIROUZU - March 9, 2007 10:06 a.m.

Toyota Motor Corp. says some of its dealers are offering as much as a $1,500 discount on the basic work truck version of Toyota's newly redesigned Tundra truck, just barely one month after it went on sale.

A person can stop reading that right at the "basic work truck"...

recxjake
03-09-2007, 11:16 AM
A person can stop reading that right at the "basic work truck"...

Toyota's new program offers dealers on average three $250 "coupons" they can use per Tundra regular cab to entice the customer.

Toyota executives say a dealer could use as many as four coupons per sale to offer the customer as much as a $1,000 discount on the truck, but the total number of coupons they use per truck will have to be three on average at the end of the month.

morphius
03-09-2007, 11:25 AM
Toyota's new program offers dealers on average three $250 "coupons" they can use per Tundra regular cab to entice the customer.

Toyota executives say a dealer could use as many as four coupons per sale to offer the customer as much as a $1,000 discount on the truck, but the total number of coupons they use per truck will have to be three on average at the end of the month.
reg cabs/basic work truck, basically the same thing. The money is in the extra cab...

Even you have to know that.

sportsman1
03-09-2007, 12:46 PM
Yeah but now Ford has an indenity crisis on their hands. The Taurus and Five hundred are completley different models and now it only adds further confusion. The five hundred was kind of a classier taurus and now the re-branding takes away distinction. I honestly dont see how that will turn car sales around. They need to drop the price a couple thousand if they really wanna increase sales not change the name.

jjjayb
03-09-2007, 04:28 PM
Wrong... the worst deccision Ford ever made was to drop the Taurus name to start with.


Ford sold very little retail Tauruses in the last few years. It took HUGE rebates to get them to move. Dealers wouldn't order them because we couldn't sell them. Most Taurus sales in the last few years were fleet sales.

Sure the Taurus has great name recognition. But for what? Try to get someone under 40 to buy one. If they wanted to call the 500 the taurus they should have done that from the beginning. They actually might have gotten some good press out of it. I just think Ford is going to take a beating over this. Heck, 2 months ago they Debuted the new 2008 Five Hundred at the detroit auto show. Now last month they Debuted the "new Taurus" at the Chicago auto show and it's the same frigging vehicle? We all know how much the press already loves ford. I can't wait to see the reviews on the "new" 08 taurus. I'm sure it'll go over swell. :shake:

Oh, and the Freestyle crossover (which was too similar name to the freestar to begin with) is now going to be called the "Taurus X" :rolleyes: