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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over on the big Volkswagen site, VWVortex, and in the Car Lounge, Consumer Reports is often a hotly debated topic of discussion. Some people think that CR is the Gospel Truth; the Car Shopper's Bible, while others think it is the most biased piece of crap ever printed. I was just curious to see what Volvo people think of them. I'm sure Toyota and Honda people love it. I personally question their methodology, but on the other hand, the Japanese make damn fine cars. (I still prefer European, though).......Thoughts?
 

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My personal opinion is that in regards to Volvo's they haven't been very nice. They seem biased. If you're buying an oven toaster or a dvd player or something like that they're fine. Others I'm sure will chime in.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (EuroFan)

I was browsing CR's annual car issue last night and the 2006 S40 is one of their top picks. The S60 and V70 are also recommended but not as highly. They do have some pretty bad scores for the XC90 - at least with regard to reliability.

I didn't find CR biased and the editor's note at the beginning even addressed that assertation.

If I were basing a new or used buying decision on CR, the only Volvo I'd avoid is the XC90.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (CINCYFAN)

Try the Swedespeed SEARCH for "consumer" (recent and archive) and you will find tons of input on this subject.

George Dill
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (gdill2)

Consumer Reports' ads imply that they have no bias. Their articles prove otherwise. When they say they are unbiased because they do not accept advertising, think about their logic for a moment. Is the Toyota Corolla enthusiast page unbiased because it does not have advertising?

[Regarding a comparison of the Acura TSX and Volvo S40], For example, in a one page review, they said five times that the Volvo had unacceptably tight rear legroom. This despite the fact that in the objective measurements published on the next page, the Volvo had as much legroom as any other car in the comparo (there were four) and more than most...They also call the Acura's gas mileage "good," while they call the Volvo's "acceptable." That's interesting, since they get the exact same mileage and the Volvo gets it on regular gas rather than premium like the Acura. They also ding the Volvo a couple of times for sluggish acceleration, despite the fact that it's only two-tenths slower to 60 than the Acura (which was "good" and "peppy"). Two-tenths falls well within the range of measurement error.

CR does not draw their data from the general public, only from subscribers....They have to prove that their data represents the general public, and they haven't.

Modified by w1ntson at 2:52 PM 3-23-2006
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (gdill2)

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Re: Consumer Reports guide (eurotrash) » 10:12 AM 1-21-2006

It's been pretty common knowledge for the last 25 years...when it comes to CR...if it wasn't made in Japan...CR probably won't rate it very high.
For some reason....they seem to like sushi and rice!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bob Kennedy
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Charlotte, NC
The best way to buy a Volvo???? OSD
VOLVO FOR LIFE

 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (EuroFan)

Mostley Tripe. Other then techincal(cold hard numbers) info it is useless. The articles thou amuseing are just that. But should not be used for making up ones own mind. Take the info they give you that is not subjective, and use it to make your case for the vechs you are looking at only. Then go drive that narrowed down field of one or two vechs. http://********************/smile/emthup.gif
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (EuroFan)

I think CR is good for evaluating lawn mowers and appliances and I tend to think that the hard results for used car reliability (the circles with the shaded areas) are probably somewhat accurate. I just don't agree with their subjective analyses, however.
 

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I bought 2 or 3 cars in the past that were panned by CR and I was quite happy with those cars. The problem I have is with the number of problems/repairs reported don't have a $ value on them. Some people will report burnt bulbs and nonsense like that as a problem but another car with bad transmission is just 1 problem. I'd be happier replacing 20 bulbs than a transmission or head gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: (gpaul3)

Quote, originally posted by gpaul3 »
I bought 2 or 3 cars in the past that were panned by CR and I was quite happy with those cars. The problem I have is with the number of problems/repairs reported don't have a $ value on them. Some people will report burnt bulbs and nonsense like that as a problem but another car with bad transmission is just 1 problem. I'd be happier replacing 20 bulbs than a transmission or head gasket.

Exactly. And this is why some hardcore VW enthusiasts ignore CR. Unfortunately, to the Average Joe who doesn't realize this, it tarnishes the reputations of many European cars unfairly.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (w1ntson)

Quote, originally posted by w1ntson »
[Regarding a comparison of the Acura TSX and Volvo S40], For example, in a one page review, they said five times that the Volvo had unacceptably tight rear legroom. This despite the fact that in the objective measurements published on the next page, the Volvo had as much legroom as any other car in the comparo (there were four) and more than most...]
Firstly, let me play devil's advocate so please don't flame me! There may not be a real standard regarding how manufacturers get their measurements. They may come up with very roomy numbers, but it just doesn't feel like it real life. It's like hp numbers--they say they have XX hp, but does it always feel like it?

Quote, originally posted by w1ntson »
[They also call the Acura's gas mileage "good," while they call the Volvo's "acceptable." That's interesting, since they get the exact same mileage and the Volvo gets it on regular gas rather than premium like the Acura. Modified by w1ntson at 2:52 PM 3-23-2006
Do they have the same EPA estimate or actual "real life" data? There are cases when EPA numbers are no where near real life data. One model maybe fairly accurate while another is out to lunch.
 

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Re: (EuroFan)

Quote, originally posted by EuroFan »


Exactly. And this is why some hardcore VW enthusiasts ignore CR. Unfortunately, to the Average Joe who doesn't realize this, it tarnishes the reputations of many European cars unfairly.
Supposedly, CR does try to put a weighting on each type of problem.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about them. I take their opinion as just another opinion, not as my spending/purchase Bible!

BTW, I DO NOT WORK for CR!!!
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (kmchow)

So are you saying CR, makes up their own set of standards,
or CR base their findings on feel.


2006 2006
Acura / Volvo S40
TSX

Passenger Volume (cu ft) 91/ 92
seating capacity 5 5
headroom front (in) 37.8 /38.9
headroom rear (in) 37.3 /37.2
hip room front (in) 54.4/ 53.7
hip room rear (in) 54.4/ 50.7
leg room front (in) 42.4/ 41.6
leg room rear (in) 34.2/ 34.4
shoulder room front (in) 55.4/ 55.2
shoulder room rear (in) 53.5 /54.1
Seating (Maximum) 5/ 5

EPA or actual, hey your guess is as good as mine. You would aasume EPA is used, as so many factors can vary gas mileage.
epa.gov site prints TSX 22 city/ 31 hwy , S40 22 city/30 hwy
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (kmchow)

Quote, originally posted by kmchow »

Firstly, let me play devil's advocate so please don't flame me! There may not be a real standard regarding how manufacturers get their measurements. They may come up with very roomy numbers, but it just doesn't feel like it real life. It's like hp numbers--they say they have XX hp, but does it always feel like it?.

CR does it own measurements, so there are apparently additional subjective elements in their passenger space ratings. Unfortunately, CR offers no explanation.

Quote, originally posted by kmchow »

Do they have the same EPA estimate or actual "real life" data? There are cases when EPA numbers are no where near real life data. One model maybe fairly accurate while another is out to lunch.

CR does its own mileage measurements - city, highway and a 250(?) mile round trip.

Inconsistencies between the ratings and descriptions are fairly common in CR reviews. The higher rated car (i.e., overall rating) is often described more glowingly even when the category score being discussed is the same or even lower than the other cars. It's either the halo effect or overreaching to justify the overall rankings.

For example, the S40 had the second highest speed in the accident avoidance maneuver, which is described as "respectable", while the lower speeds are described as "good".

The S40 had the lowest overall rating in the test group, so it gets less positive descriptions for performing the same or better in individual categories.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (Calhon)

Quote, originally posted by Calhon »
CR does it own measurements, so there are apparently additional subjective elements in their passenger space ratings. Unfortunately, CR offers no explanation.
I really must sound like I work for them. About the passenger space, even if the measurements seem to indicate a larger space, the curve/shape of the seatbacks, seatframe, doorframe/interior doorhandle could all influence why one car "feels" more roomy than another.

Quote, originally posted by Calhon »
The higher rated car (i.e., overall rating) is often described more glowingly even when the category score being discussed is the same or even lower than the other cars. It's either the halo effect or overreaching to justify the overall rankings.
That could be it.

Quote, originally posted by Calhon »
For example, the S40 had the second highest speed in the accident avoidance maneuver, which is described as "respectable", while the lower speeds are described as "good".
Alternatively, cars could get through the cones in a fast fashion, but does one model inspire more confidence than another?

CR owes me a trip to Disneyland or at least a trip to Gothenborg, for defending them so much!!
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (kmchow)

Quote, originally posted by kmchow »

About the passenger space, even if the measurements seem to indicate a larger space, the curve/shape of the seatbacks, seatframe, doorframe/interior doorhandle could all influence why one car "feels" more roomy than another.

True, but an explanation would have been nice, especially given the measurements.

Quote, originally posted by kmchow »

Alternatively, cars could get through the cones in a fast fashion, but does one model inspire more confidence than another?

CR owes me a trip to Disneyland or at least a trip to Gothenborg, for defending them so much!!

The adjectives "good" and "respectable" were used specifically to describe the speeds. The other characteristics, such as confidence, were described separately.

For what it's worth, I think you're asking reasonable questions rather than just defending CR.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (EuroFan)

I ignore their road tests. I'll use their reliability as a rough guide. I get more info on car forums.
But let's face it- if a car is reliable then CR isn't going to give it a black dot or vice versa.
 

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Re: What Does Everybody in Volvo Land Think Of Consumer Reports? (eurotrash)

Those little colored dots (and the percentages) only tell you reliability relative to the average that is usually hidden from view. They do not tell you good vs bad or reliable vs unreliable, but CR encourages that leap of logic or emotional response.

If the average is say 10 problems, cars with red dots would be unreliable. On the other hand, if the average is 1 problem, even cars with solid black dots would still be reliable.

The average from the CR data is a little over 2 serious problems/car over the first 5 years. So the solid black dot (45%+) begins at a bit over 3 problems/car, i.e., just one additional serious problem in 5 years.
 
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