We often share insights about new car models based on: Consumer Reports findings. But how much do car consumers know about what’s in some of these ratings and vehicle predictions? What does the Consumer Reports team look for in their test drives? How do they assign scores and model ranks?
Let’s take a look at the processes of consumer reports for evaluating vehicles, including what they look for and how points are assigned. During the team’s rigorous testing process, some insights may be new to you. For example, did you know that Consumer Reports tests cars on a former drag strip?
How Consumer Reports defines itself and its mission
So, what does Consumer Reports do and what is the primary mission behind the group? As it describes itself online, Consumer Reports is independent of any other organization and is a not-for-profit membership service. The three pillars of service are honesty, transparency and truth in the market.
Founded in 1936, the Consumer Reports team has sought to provide authentic information to empower consumers to make their wisest purchasing decisions. Consumer Reports helps facilitate these efforts by devoting resources, time and a large number of employees to vehicle testing and evaluation. Over the years, the organization has also inspired changes in manufacturing and regulatory practices based on its findings and consumer-driven surveys.
Test drive with newly released models on a former drag strip
According to Consumer ReportsEvery vehicle the team tests goes through evaluations, including several driving simulations at the Auto Test Center in East Haddam, CT. As Fox 61 reports, many consumers don’t realize that the 4,100-foot straight road and 3,100-foot road track, which was once home to the Connecticut Dragway, was made famous by drag strip racing between 1960 and 1986. The Consumer Reports teams perform on more than 50 tests every vehicle model every year, including top speeds, braking distances and “fit and finish” touches.
In addition to the former drag strip surfacing, there are two skid pads and a two-acre paved area for testing in wet and dry conditions. Buildings and video facilities are scattered throughout the property, where the team of around 30 staff members split up to conduct their tests – a 5,000-square-foot building just for testing headlights on new model vehicles. Overall, the Consumer Reports test site spans over 327 acres.
Some of the top-performing 2022 models tested by Consumer Reports
So now that you know what’s in a Consumer Reports recommendation, including the rigorous testing on that former drag strip, you might be wondering which 2022 models the Consumer Reports team considers top performers.
Ten new models take the cake in one Consumer Reports list. The Nissan Sentra earns the highest accolade in the small car segment, the Nissan Rogue tops the subcompact SUV class and the Subaru Forester wins the small SUV competition.
The mid-size sedan segment is held by this year’s Honda Accord. In hybrid driving, the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime are still top candidates. Toyota also ranks in this Consumer Reports top 10 as the best performer in the two-row SUV category with its RAV4 Prime. The other models on the list are the Kia Telluride, the Honda Ridgeline, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the Lexus RX.
Consumer Reports will continue to be one of the leading consumer groups with their comprehensive testing and data-driven recommendations. Now all you have to do is decide which Consumer Reports approved vehicle to buy next.
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