Consumer Reports and Car and Driver are both known for their vehicle rankings. Often, their lists more or less coincide, but occasionally there can be quite large discrepancies between them. For example, Consumer Reports’ choice of top-rated SUV landed at the bottom of a list of cars and drivers of top-selling vehicles in auto sales. You wonder if the Consumer Reports may have made a wrong choice.
Consumer reports choose SUV as last on the list of car and driver car sales
Like every year, Consumer Reports ranked the 2022 SUVs currently on the market in different categories. In the subcompact SUV category, one vehicle came out on top: the Subaru Crosstrek.
The Crosstrek achieved a relatively high overall score. This placed the SUV well ahead of other competitors, including the Nissan Rogue Sport, which had a slightly lower overall score, and the Chevy Trailblazer directly below. At the very bottom of the list was the Fiat 500X which achieved an extremely low score.
Given Crosstrek’s apparent success in its category, it’s somewhat surprising that it’s at the very bottom of another list: Car and Driver’s 25 best-selling cars, trucks, and SUVs. It seems that consumers didn’t necessarily show the same enthusiasm for the Crosstrek as Consumer Reports did.
So which SUV scored highest on? Car and driver list? That would be the Toyota RAV4. Although sales fell by 11% overall, it still beat the competition hands down when it came to sales.
Comparison of the Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota RAV4
What aspects of the Subaru Crosstrek brought it to the top of the Consumer Reports rankings? For starters, it scored high marks in terms of fuel economy, brakes and easy-to-use controls.
The Crosstrek’s fuel economy averages 29 mpg combined or 20 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The standard 152 hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine can reach 100 km/h in 10.2 seconds. It also has a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs. The Crosstrek’s base MSRP is $22,645.
Car and driver also provide us with an overview of the RAV4, which has a significantly higher base MSRP of $34,445. It features a 203 hp, 2.5 L engine and 8-speed manual transmission. Drivers of the RAV4 can expect a total of around 28 mpg, or 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
How does Consumer Reports get its ratings?
Given the discrepancy in where the Crosstrek landed in Consumer Reports’ rankings and sales figures as reported by Car and Driver, some have questioned whether Consumer Reports made a mistake in selecting Subaru as the best subcompact SUV. Demand is also reasonable based on the differences in specs between the two vehicles.
This leads some people to wonder, how does Consumer Reports get its rankings and recommendations? As the magazine itself explains, Consumer Reports rankings are mainly based on four categories: test performance, reliability, owner satisfaction and safety. While some of this information comes from test drives of the vehicles, others come from consumer satisfaction surveys.
The information from the test drives and surveys is combined into one total score. As Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, explained, “Our overall score is the only way to get a complete picture of how a car is performing. With one score you can easily see which cars are the best and the worst. In addition, we’ve seen the industry make their cars better based on our test results and our ratings, and all consumers benefit from that work.”
Should consumer reports differ significantly from consumers when it comes to the best vehicle choices, they may want to consider re-evaluating their rating system.
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