|

How Consumer Reports’ auto information is different

Our unique tests and reliability set us apart from the competition

Last updated: February 2015

Consumer Reports has been covering cars since 1936 and now conducts the most comprehensive auto-test program of any U.S. publication or website. Here's how CR's auto information and tests differ from those of other auto reviewers:

General

  • Consumer Reports is the only major automotive-testing publication that does not accept advertising. Its independent, unbiased reviews don't pull punches to please an advertiser.
  • Our 2014 Annual Auto Survey, which went out to subscribers in the spring of 2014, yielded information on 1.1 million vehicles spanning the 2005 to 2015 model years. By looking at this for past model years, we can predict how current models are likely to hold up. The Consumer Reports National Research Center also collects data from hundreds of thousands of car owners to provide Owner Satisfaction Ratings.
  • Consumer Reports maintains a continually updated list of recommended models—one in which performance, reliability, and safety are factored in—and an easy-to-reference list of the Ratings of all tested vehicles.

Auto testing

  • Consumer Reports anonymously buys all the vehicles it tests from dealerships, just as you would. Last year, it spent $2.7 million on test vehicles. Other auto reviewers borrow test vehicles from the automakers.
  • Consumer Reports' auto tests are conducted by a full-time 20-person staff consisting of experienced auto and tire engineers and their support staff. Many tests and evaluations are performed at a dedicated, specially equipped 327-acre auto-test facility.
  • Instead of the one or two weeks of driving that is common with other reviewers, each vehicle that Consumer Reports tests is evaluated for months and typically driven about 6,000 miles.
  • More than 50 individual tests and evaluations are performed on every vehicle. Many tests, such as real-world fuel-economy, an accident-avoidance maneuver, and a specially designed antilock-brake test are not typically performed by other auto publications.
   

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

Mattresses
MATTRESS REVIEWS
Find the mattress you want at the price you wantVideo You'll find deals this weekend, but big sales aren’t limited to holidays.
CELL PHONE CARRIER REVIEWS
Choose the right cell phone plan for you and your family We compare plans from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.
NEW CAR REVIEWS
Best deals on American-made cars for July 4th You'll find a wide range of incentives at dealerships over the holiday.
Home remodeling
KITCHEN DESIGN & PLANNING GUIDE
Home remodeling: Kitchen renovation on a budget Learn how to get exactly what you want without breaking the bank.
Money
CARS NEWS
You can save big bucks on car rentals this summerVideo Rental companies frequently fail to mention mandatory extra fees.
WASHING MACHINE REVIEWS
Clean machines: Matching washers and dryers These smart-looking pairs cleaned up in our tough lab tests.

Connect

and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:

Cars

Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings

Mobile

Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more