Autos

Your inside track for new & used vehicles 112 Tire buying advice 115 _ Rating the 2010 models 126 Reviews of the 2009-10 models 149 Used cars: The best & the ones to avoid 155 Detailed auto reliability 180 Tire Ratings 102

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Your Inside Track for New & Used Vehicles

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his 88-page section is your all-in-one guide to buying a vehicle. Starting off on page 103, we detail the 5 Steps to Get the Right Car and the Best Price. Buying a car can be thrilling and terrifying at the same time, but foilowing these five easy steps can taite the advantage out of the salesperson's hands and put you in charge of the buying and negotiating process. On page 112 is our tire buying advice. With more—and better performing—tires on the market than ever before, we explain what to look for wben buying tires. Paying more money doesn't mean you will necessarily get a better tire. Turn to page 115 to see which vehicles. among I he more than 270 we recently tested, did best and worst in our Ratings. Here you can see how each ranks among its competitors in overall lesl score, realworld fuel economy. Ratings for predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, owner cost. and overall safety. the vehicle profiles, starting on page 126, are our summary reviews of vehicles, including our recommendations and predieted reliability Ratings. Consumers considering a used vehicle should turn to the best and worst used cars section on page 149. You'llfindour CR Best of the Best, models ihat bave performed well in our road tests and showed aboveaverage reliability (Used Car Verdicts) in

THE CONSUMER REPORTS DIFFERENCE
To get the right car at the best price you need to do your research. But how do you determine the quality of your information? More people turn to CONSUMER REPORTS for car-buying advice than any other publication or Web site. That's because CONSUMER REPORTS, published bv the nonprofit, independent Consumers Union, holds a special place in the world of auto information. • CR is the only publication whose staff buys its own test vehicles anonymously. We put the vehicles through the most comprehensive auto-testing program of any U.S. publication or Web site at our 327-acre Auto Test Center. More than 50 tests and evaluations are performed on every vehicle. - CR does not accept advertising, so we don't have to pull punches in our Ratings, reviews, and safety reporting. Unlike other publications that must placate advertisers. we tell you which vehicles are the best and which are the worst.

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our 2008 Annual Auto Survey, as well as the CR Worst ofthe Worst, vehicles with multiple years of much below-average reliability that yt)ü should avoid. The exclusive CR Reliability History charts start on page 155. These charts are based on responses from our 200S Annual Auto Survey, when we ask our approximately six million magazine and Web site subscribers about any serious problems they have had with their vehicles in the preceding 12 months. We dose the section on page 180 wiih Liur Ratings of tires. Fach tested tire is rated for wet, dry, and, where applicable, winter performance. In addition, CR rates lires for rolling resistance, ride comforl, road noise, and tread life. This edition's reliability data are based on more than 1.4 million vehicles. They provide you with information on 230 models, showing you how models from 2003 through 2008 are holding up in 17 trouble spots. These are comprehensive reliability data you can't get from other publications.

brands being discontinued, and lightened credit standards, and the entire process can be less fun and more frustrating. To ensure that you get the right vehicle at the best price, you need to be an informed buyer. That means investing time in research and preparation. 'Ihe car-buying process can be boiled down tofivesteps: • Get the right information to narrow your choices and make a smart decision. • Check out the cars by doing a thorough test drive. « Set a target price and learn the value ofyour Irade-in. • Shop for financing before you deal by comparing terms and interest rates, and getting preapproved for a loan. • Get the best deal by contacting dealerships, comparing offers,-and using a proven negotiating stratify.

Step 1: Get the right info
To accurately compare vehicles and determine the besl one lor your needs, gather as much information as you can about any models you're considering. Fortunately, the Internet makes tbat easy to do. But just as cars can vary greatly in quality, so can sources of information. The kt.7 is knowing what to look for andfindingthe best sources of information. Here, we list .some of tbe major areas that you should consider when comparing models.
AUTOMAKER WEB SITES

5 STEPS TO GET THE RIGHT CAR & THE BEST PRICE
Buying a new car in today's climate can be an exciting, but confusing process. Many people are intimidated by the dealership experience, including the price negotiations and the high-pressure sales tactics tbat can be used to manipulate you into spending more than you need to. Others find it confusing to try to pick the right vehicle from the more than 300 models on the market. Add in dealership closings.

Use those sites to get basic information, such as which models and trim levels are offered, available features and options, specifications, retail pricing, warranties, and local dealers. Most sites also let you compare vehicles and "build your own car," giving you a retail price for your configuration. That doesn't guarantee you'll find a vehicle confi.gured the way

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you want it on a dealership's lot. Keep in mind, too, that the main purpose of those sites is to promote their own products, so the model information is the same as advertising.
VEHICLE RATINGS CONSUMER RKPORTS' Ratings (page 115)

RELIABILITY

can help you narrow your list by giving you a quick look at how tested vehicles compare with their competitors in several areas. The Ratings charts also show you the vehicles that meet our stringent requirements to be recommended. MODEL REVIEWS Reviews give you an in-depth perspective on a vehicle's performance, comfort and convenience, and driving character, as well as insight into deficiencies thai might not be apparent on a test drive. We recommond reading a variety of reviews. But keep in mind that most are in publications or Wvb sites thai are supported by automaker advertising, and no company wants to bite the hand that feeds it. You might not find hard-^hitting analysis or insight into safety or reliability issues. Only a few reviewers do their own instrumented testing, which allows more accurate comparisons between different vehicles. (.;R conducts the most comprehensive aulo-testing program of any U.S. publication or Web site. We differ from other reviewers in several significant ways: We don't accept advertising; we buy all of our test vehicles from dealerships just like you do; and we conduct more than 50 tests and evaluations on each vehicle over several monthsand thiiusands of miles. Summary reviews of all models are included in the model profiles that begin on page 126.

A vehicle's reliability can have a huge effect on how satisfied you'll be with it over the years, and it can significantly affect its resale value. Reliability, however, is a difficult and expensive quality lo evaluate becau.se the information has to come from vehicle owners; the more, Ihe better. CR provides the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Our 2008 Annual Aulo Survey, for instance, drew responses on more than L4 million vehicles.
FUEL ECONOMY

The fuel-economy figures printed on a vehicle's windi)w slicker and in automaker advertising and brochures are estimates based on a lest created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). You can find a list of those figures at www.fuelcLOiiotTiy.gov. In CR's extensive real-world fuel economy testing, however, we've found that past I'.PA estimates were often much higher than you're likely to get in normal driving, In 2008 the EPA revised, their testing procedures to better reflect current driving conditions and the resulting mileage. While the nunibt-rs on ihe window stickers are now more realistic, Iherc are still some figures ihal are higher than you are likely lo get. CR's real-world fuel economy test results are in the Vehicle Ratings charts (starting on page 115).
SAFETY RATINGS CONSUMER REPORTS provides a single

overall safety Rating for many mtidels, basttl on a combination of government and insurance-indu-stry crash-test results and our accident-avoidance testing. A model loses full points if eleclninic stability control (KSC) is not .standard and loses partial points if this important safety feature is optional. Because

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many models lack key crash-test results, we are not able to calculate an overall satety Rating for every tested model. Several different elements affect a vehicles overall safely capability: Crash lests. Frontal- and side-impact crasb lests are conducted by tbe Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS; www.iihs.oTg) and tbe National Highway Iratfic Safety Administralion (NHTSA; www. sajerair.gov). Accident avoidance. A vehicle's ability to help you avoid an accident is just as important as ils ability to protect you in •,i cra.sh. For every accident there are numerous near misses that statistics don't reflect. Several factors contribute to a vehicle's accident-avoidance capability, wilh ihe two most important being braking and ciiicrgeiwy handling. Rollover resistance. liollovers are involved with more than a tliird ot all passenger-vebicle deaths and are of particular concern with laller vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups. To help consumers compare vehicles, the NinSA provides a five-star rating system called the Rollover Resistance Rating (R1ÍR). The RKR is calculated from two factors: a vehicle's Static Stability Factor (SSF) and a ilynamic roilo\'er test. Ihe SSV. which is determined from slalic measurements of the vehicle, essentially indicates how top-heavy it is. 'ITie dynamic test simulates a driver having lo make a series of sharp steering maneuvers, as can happen in an eniei^ency. Vehicles that tip up at any speed fait the lest. We believe tiiat a veh icie ihat tips up in this type ol situation has serious stability problems, and we will not recommend it. RRR ratings are avaibble at www.siifercar.gov. To see whether a vehicle tipped up in the dynamic test, however, you need to click on the model's name or star ratings to get more information, then scroll down to RpIIover.

Rear-impact protection. Although rearenders are usually nol lifc-lhreatening, they have a high injury rate, especially for whiplash neck injuries. 'Ihe design of a car's head restraints and seats are critical factors in how severe a whipbsh injury will
be. CONSUMER REPORTS evaluates head

reslraints for all seating positions in every tested vehicle. Any problems are noted in our road-test reports. An<tther good source for information on rear-impact protection is the IIHS Web site, www.iihs.org. The Institute conducts evaluations of head restraints and performs dynamic rear-impact tests that measure how well the seat/ head-restraint combinations in different models protect against whiplash. Blind zones. F,very year, children are injured and killed because drivers don't see them while backing up. A contributing factor is that some larger vehicles, .such as SUVs and pickups, have larger blind zones —the area behind a vehicle that the driver
can't see. CONSUMER REPORTS measures

Iheblindzoneo! every vehicle we lest and publishes ibe information free at www. ConsumerReports.org.
RECOMMENDED SAFETY FEATURES

Buyers «)tieii (tverlook important salely features Iwcause they aren't aware of them or don't understand their benefit. We recommend that you consider the following tor your vehicle: Antilock brake system (ABS). Without antilock brakes, a vehicle's wheels can lock up (stop turning) during hard braking, particularly on slippery surfaces. When thai happens, the vehicle tends to keep plowing ahead in whatever direction it is going. You can't stet-r, and locked wheels can cau.se a vehicle lo slide sideways or even spin. ABS prevents the wheelsfromlocking up, allowing the driver to retain steering

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control while braking and to maneuver the vehicle around an obstacle, if necessary. It also helps keep the vehicle from sliding. Electronic stability control (ESC). Cf >NsuMER REPORTS higiily recommends ESC, which helps keep the vehicle on its intended palh during a turn to avoid sliding or losing control. It is especially helpful in slippery conditions and accident-avoidance situations. Witb tall, top-heavy vehicles such as SUVs and pickups, it can also help keep tbe vehicle from getting into a situation where it could roll over. Each automaker tends to bave a proprietary name for its ESC system, making it confusing lor buyers to know what's whal. If in doubt whether a car bas it, find out before you buy. Head-protecting air bags. II?IS side-imp-act crash tests clearh' show tbe benefit of this feature. To date,fewvehicles tested without bead-pmtecting air bags have scored bigher than ptx)r. There are iwo types of these air bags. A standard sklc air bag deploys fri)m the seat or door trim. It typically protects a fiersons torso, but many don't do an adequate job of protecting the head. We recommend tbat you look for a dedicated head-protection bag tbat deploys from above the .side windows. Tbe most common type is a curtain air bag that covers the side windows in botb tbe front and rear, preventing occnapants from hitting tbeir beads and sbielding them from flying debris. A curtain bag can also keep people from being ejected during a rollover. Safety-belt features. Wbile tbe safety belt is arguably tbe single most important piece of safety equipment, enbanced features are helping safety belts do tbeir job more effectively. Adjustable upper ancbors belp position tbe belt across the cbest instead of the neck to prevent neck injuries. Tbey also can help keep tbe belt from pulling down on a tall person's shoulder, making it more comfortable.

Safety-belt pretensiontrs instantly retract ihe belts to take up slack during a frontal impact. This helps position iKcupants properly to take full advantage of a deploying air bag. Force limiters, a companion feature to pretensioners, manage the force thai thi^ .shoulder belt builds up on Ihe occupaiii cbest. After the pretensioners tobten it, fbrct limiters let the belt pay back out a liltle. "Smart" (rental air bags. Frt>nt air bags bave been standard in all new vehicles since 1998, but some models offer a mul tistage system Ibat can detect the presence and weighi of the person in ibe front passenger seat, the driver's seat position, and whether their safety belts are fastened. It can tben adjust tbe deployment oftbe air bags to minimize the chance of injury to occupants, including cbildren, in a crasb.

Step 2: Conduct a test drive
A lot of vehicles look gmid on paper, but tbe test drive is your best chance to see how a vebicle measures up to expectations, to see how well it "fits" you, and to evaluate its driving character, performance, and comfort. After all, you don't want any surprises after you've bought it. You should make a separate visit to the dealership ju.st tor a test drive and walkaround inspection. Don't wait until tbe day you're ready to buy or if your car breaks down. You won't bave enough time lo tborougbly evaluate the cars youre considering. It's important that you spend as much time with the vehicle as possible, with an eye on what it will be like to live with over the long haul. Here are some tips to make your dealership test drive count:
BE ORGANIZED AND THOROUGH

• Before you go to tbe dealersbip, list tbe likes and dislikes with your current car and compare these witb the vebicie you'll

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be driving, Take along a notebook so that you can jot down impre.ssions. • Test drive all the models you are considering before you make a final decision. If more Ihan one person will be driving the vehicle on a regular basis, make sure all have a chance ti> test drive it before you buy. - Before you drive, evaluate the driving piisition and interior. Set the seat in a comfortabledriving position and attach the safety belt. Make sure ihat you're at least 10 inches away from (he steering wheel and ihal you can fully depress all the pedals. Make sure that you can reach all the conirtils without straining and that ihey're easy to use and the displays are easy to see. • Don'l be rushed; take at least 30 minutes. Drive a route that includes different types of road surfaces and driving conditions. Take someone along to give you the passenger's viewpoint- If possible, take the icsl drive wilhoul a salesperson, so you can l>etter concentrate on the vehicle. " As you drive, make sure that you can see i>ul wdl, that you can judgi- the ends ofthe vehicle, and that there iire no serious blind spots. Pay attention to atl of the vehicle's < haracteristics—how it rides, handles, accel(.rales. and slops, as well a.*; road noise. Record your impressions of the vehicle's comfort, handling, and responsiveness, and compare these with others ihat you tesl drive. • If you use child-safety seats, bring ihem with you and take the time to install them properly so that you can see how easy ordifficult it is.

need are a target price on the new vehicle and the value of your current vehicle. SET A TARGET PRICE The figure on a car's window sticker is only a suggested retail price set by the auto manu facturer. Dealerships are free to sell vehicles at whatever price they want. An informed buyer, prepared with accurate price information, can often buy a vehicle for hundreds or thousands of dollars below the sticker price. That's why il's important to calculate a reasonable la r^el price liefere you go to the dealership to buy. To do this, start with a figure that's based on how much ihe dealer actually paid for the vehicle. By knowing thi.s, you'll know how much profit margin ihe dealership has to work wiih, To figure oui the dealer's real cost you need to find the dealer-invoice price, any current Ixiiind-the-sceties dealer sales incentives, and thedealer'sholdlxick amount. Dealer-invoice prices are now so common that you can find them on many Web siles and pricing guides, but you'll have to do a little more digging to find dealer incentivesand the holdlwck.
CONSUMER REPORTS' New Car Price

Step 3: Crunch the numbers
In many ways, ncgoliatiiig a good deal on a new vehicle h a game oliiumbers, I h e best way to ensure thai you aren't manipulated is lo go in armed with accurate pricing information, which lets you assess how good the offer really is. Two key figures you

Reports do ihis work for you. Fach report shows atl three factors: the dealer invoice price, the amount of any national or regional dealer sales incentives, and the holdback amount. It als« includes the CR Boltoni Line Price, which takes att of those figures into con.sideration to give a close approximation ofthe dealer's cost. For most new models, I to S percent over the Consumer Reports Bottom t Jne Price is reasonable, depending oh how popular the model is. It can ats*.) be helpful to check yijur target price against those offered by dealerships affiliated with auto-buying Web sites. On those sites, you can ask tor a price quote

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on a vehicle that's configured the way you want it, and one or more dealerships will reply by e-mail. The services are free and you aren't under any obligation to buy. You can compare those quotes against the target price range you calculated based on tbe dealer's cost. Usually, the quotes will be higher. But if, by chance, a quote is lower than yourfigure,this gives you more leverage with which to bargain. Another point of comparison could be so called transaction prices posted on some auto-buying Web sites. Those are intended to reflect the average of what other buyers are actually paying for new vehicles. Because tho.se transaction prices are an average ot nationwide sales prices, keep in mind that some actual prices were higher and some were lower. Those prices also might not be accurate for your area. By having a target price based on the dealer's cost, you might be able to do better than those transaction prices. At the very least, during your negotiating process it's comforting to know approximately how much you should be paying for the vehicle.

SHOP FOR THE RIGHT TERMS

Compare interest rates at various financial institutions, such as banks, thrifts, and credit unions. Also, call car dealerships in advance to check for any special promotions. The figure to focus on is the annual percentage rate (APR). For comparison, you can get a quick read on prevailing rates at Web sites such as Bankrate.com, E-Loan (www.eioati.com), and LendingTree (www.tendingtree. com). Try to keep loan lengths as short as possible. A three-year loan costs you far less overall than a four- orfive-yearloan at the same interest rate. But you need to balance the total cost ofthe loan a^inst a monthly payment you can afford.
PLAYING THE INCENTIVE GAME

Step 4: Find the best financing options
You might be a wbiz at getting a low price on a new car, but ifyou don't choose your financing carefully you could lose everything you saved on the vehicle's purchase price, and more. It's critical to comparison shop and prequatify for an auto loan before buying. Thai allows you to keep the financial arrangements out ofthe price n^otiations at the dealership. Otherwise, your choice of loans is restricted to what the dealership can offer you, and many dealers mark up the interest rate over what you actually qualify for. That "interest-rate bumping" can cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars more over the term of the loan.

Automakers may offer aggressive, lowinterest financing incentives on many models, but there are catches: • Some low rates are available only for 36-nionth loans, meaning the payments will be quite high. • Without a stellar credit record, you might not qualify. Always phone the dealership before you visit to find out what credit score qualifies a borrower for the lowest financing rate and, if you don't qualify, what the next best rate would be. • You often have to make a choice between a low interest rate and a cash rebate. Run the numbers both ways to see which offer saves you the most money. You'll find an auto-financing calculator atCotisumerReports.org/cakulators. • Low interest rates or large cash incentives are no bargain if they lead you to buy a car you're not happy with. It might make betterfinancialsense over the long term to buy a consistently reliable model at a little higher interest than an unreliable model

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Know the pros and cons before you lease
Choosing lo lease depends on your lifestyle, expectations, ana budget. Leasing usually gives you a lower monthly payment and a lower down payment, and you avoid any resale or trade-in hassles. Leasinq caii also let you drive a higher-priced, betterequipped vehicle (or the same monthly payment as buying a less-expensive model. But leasing makes sense only if you stay within the annual mileage fimit (typically 12.000 miles), keep the car until the end of the lease (to avoid early-termination penalties), maintain the car well to avoid excess wear-and-tear charges, and trade in your car every two or three years. Many people who lease end up paying more than they have to because they aren't familiar with the process and don't try to negotiate the vehicle's price. Here are some tips: 1. Negotiate the purchase price of the vehicle as if vou were going to buy it. Once youhave a firm price, then bring up your desire to lease. Z. Other negotiable elements include the mileage limit, down payment, and purchaseoption price, or how much you'll have to pay ¡t you want to buy tfie vehicle at the end of the lease. 3. Avoid lease terms that extend past the vehicle's basic warranty, 4. The four-digit "money factor" is roughly equivalent to a loan's annual percentage rate. To translate this into a percentage rate, multiply the money factor by 2,400, 5. Buy extra miles up front if there's a risk of running over the standard allotment. Excessive mileage at the lease's end is typically charged at a higher rate. 6. Protect yoursell with gap insurance. In case you have an accident that totals the car, this covers the difference between an insurance settlement and the actual payoff for the car. In some cases, gap insurance is included in the lease. If it's extra, we recommend that you shop around. Prices can vary dramatically, so get a number of guotes. If your own insurance company provides it, that could be vour best bet. 7. Understand your end-of-lease options, such as turning in the vehicle and walking away, purchasing the car, or rolling into another lease. at zero percent. Saving a few dollars each month on your payments mighl not .seem worthwhile over the long run if you don't like the vehicle. . In addition, the credit markets have tightened considerably in the past year. You may not be able lo use home equity lor il car loan, a practice that was common up until last year. l-vcn il a dealership is ofFering a special financing incentive, you should still do your homework by carefully shopping ,1 round tor the best loan offers. Tlial lets you accurately evaluate the dealership's terms so that you can make ihi- best decision, Step 5: The best deal for yoU, not the Salesperson When you go to ihe dealership, the salesperson will probably wanl lo focus on the vehicle's sticker price or on how much ota monthly payment you can afford. Don't go down ihis road. Using the monthlypayment as the focus, thesalesper.wn will lump the whole process together, including the price for the new vehicle, the

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trade-in, andfinancing,if appropriate. You wind up with a "good price" in one area while he makes up for it in another. In the end, this could cost you more overall. Instead, insist on negotiating one thing at a time. Your first priority is to settle on the lowest price you can get on the new vehicle. Only after you've locked that in should you begin to discuss a trade-in or financing.

Your price will likely be somewhere between the Iwo. Give the salesperson your rock-bottom target price. But don't di-sclose your competitive bids, which are the upper range of what's acceptable. Otherwise, the salesperson will ftxus on undercutting that higher figure by a token amount instead of working off the lower figure. For example, while the MSRP for a 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe 4Wr) LS i.s $41,975, the CR Bottom Line Price is $37,667. Since lai^e ESTABLISH THE GROUND RULES When you first meet ihe salesperson, SUVs like the Tahoe aren't in particularly you should sel the tone of your negotia- high demand, begin your negotiations with tions by politely explaining the following: a lto 3 percent markup: lielween $38,044 to • You have carefully researched the vehi- $38,797 Tell the salesperson yourfigureand ihat you want the lowest markup over that cle you want and have taken a test drive. • You know exactly what trim level and price you can get. Inch up if necessary, but options you want, haveresearchedthe price, don't go over the lowest competing bid. and know what the dealership paid for it. If the negotiations have stalled and the • You have already calculated what you salesperson lets you walk out the door, you are prepared to pay. Reassure her ihat your can reveal your lowest competing price to show he isn't yel in Ihe ballpark. Ifyou can olier will include a fair profit. • If he or she can meet your targel price agree on an acceptable price, ihen wrap up you'll be ready to buy today; if not, you the deal. If not. move on to another dealership, now armed with the price that the intend to visit other dealerships. If the salesperson asks about a trade-in, first dealership gave you. Never n^otiate under pressure. Salespeosay that you have investigated various options for selling your old car and that you ples' favorite customers are those who seem might be open lo a trade-in, but only after to be in a rush, because they tend to he the ones who don't negotiate the price and buy a you've agreed on the new vehicle's price. When asked, let Ihe salesperson know more expensive car than they planned to. In that you are prcapproved for a loan, but that addition, a salesperson might lell you that you mighl he willing to consider financing someone else is very interested in the same through the dealership—provided the rate carand is comingby later—a common sales is competitive and you can come to terms lactic. You should ne^'er feet that you have to make any deal immediately. There are on the purchase price of the new car. always other cars out there.
SET YOUR SIGHTS ON THE PRICE

When negotiating a vehicles price, you've got two arrows in your quiver: • Your target price, based on what the dealer paid for the vehicle. • Competing bids from other local dealerships or car-huying Web sites.

GET THE MOST FOR YOUR TRADE-IN

Betöre you go to ihe dealership, a.ssess the value of your vehicle, focusing on the u.sed-car wholesale price. It also helps lo take the car to a couple of used-car dealerships to see how much they'd be willing to

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Don't waste money on unnecessary extras
Dealerships often try to get you to buy extra services that are usually overpriced. Don't waste your money. What could cost the dealer about $90 can cost you Sl.OOO or more. Those extras can include: Rustprooflnq and unde.rcoating. Today's vebictes are manufactured witb good, corrosion protection. In fact, according to CR's reliability surveys, rust problems have almost vanished in modern vehicles. Fabric protection. If you buy a vebicle with clotb seats, you might want to spend a few bucks for ä can of fabric protector and apply it yourself. Paint sealant. This is little more than vastly overpriced wax. You can easily purchase a good protectant from any auto parts store and apply it yourself. VIN etchlnq. This service entails etching the vehicle identification number (VIN) into the windows to deter theft. Some states require that a dealer offer it to you, but none require that you buy it. It's not unusual to find a charge for VIN etching already printed on the purchase agreement, as if it's assumed that you will pay for this service. This has been the case for several vehicles that we've bought for testing. We recommend that you refuse this charge. Even if you decide you want VIN etching, you can have it done less expensively elsewhere, or evenjJo it yourself with a kit that costs about $25. Dealer prep fees. Inquire about any fees that the dealership is charging you for preparing the vehicle. The manufacturer pays the dealership to prepare the vehicle for you; you shotJtdn't be charged for this service. Don't accept unnecessary services and fees. If those items are on the bill of sate, put a line through them.

pay for it in a direct sale. Because appearance is important, it pays to spruce up y<iur vehicle belore you have it assessed by a dealer. Kither give itathorough cleaning yourself or take il to a professional detailer, wberc cleaning usually starts around $100. n your car needs repairs, get ibem taken care of betöre you Irade il in. And it might make sense to get small dents and scratches fixed by an auto-lwdy shop. Onceal the dealership, wait until you've settled on a price for the new car before discussing your trade-in. You should have printouts from several pricing sources to support llu- value you calculated. Tell the salesperson that you simply want what you know the car is worth and that the new-car deal isn't final unless yuu get a satisfactory

allowance on your trade-in. If you feel you're being lowballed, you can always seD your car loa used-car dealer, Or you can sell the car yourself, v/bich will probably get you a higher price. But if you need the trade-in to make your down paynienl, you'll have to sell your current car before you can purchase the new one. WEIGH EXTENDED WARRANTIES An extended warranty takes effect after yourfactory warranty expires, andean cost hundreds of dollars. Most ncv^cars today come with at least a three-year/36.000-mile factory warranty. So if you trade in your vehicle everyfiveyears or so. or if you lease your new vehicle under a typical three-year lease, buying an extended warranty would

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be a waste of money. As a generat rule, if the model you're buying has earned a very good or excellent
CONSUMER RKPORTS predicted retiabit-

ity Rating (see page 155), it's probably not worth spending the money for an extended warranty. If the modct has a below-^average record, and you ptan to keep it wetl past the factory warranty period, it m ight be worth buying the coverage. lîon't feel pressured to buy an extended warranty when you buy the vehicle. You can usually buy a ptan any time before the basic warranty expires. We suggest sticking to a plan offered by the automaker. Third-party coverage varies enormously in quatity. coverage, and price. Review the service ptan carefulty to find out what is and isn't covered, who must perform repairs, and how to fite a claim. If you're buying from a dealer, atways negotiate the price. And make sure the plan is transferable ifyou sell the car.

TIRES
GETTING STARTED

Tires have a direct impact on a car's handling, braking,ride,comfort qualities, and even fuel economy. More important, the cornering grip, braking distances, and resistance to hydroplaning atso directly affect your safety on the road, so gmxi tires that are in good shape can also save your I ife. Today's tires last tonger and perform better than those ofthe past. The typicat allseason tires that come as standard equipment on most vehicles are apt to last 40,000 miles or more before needing replacement. Luxury cars, sporty cars, and sports sedans tend to come shod with more expensive "performance" tires. Those tires

usually have a lower profile (sidewalt height) than regular all seasons, and a larger wheel rim—up to 22 inches in diameter. The new standard here is performance all season tires. Prices aren't that different from conventional all-seasons. In general, you can expect better comeriug on wet and dry roads and better braking, but sometimes lessridecomfort and a shorter tread life. Another notch up are ultra-high performance tires. More compromises come in to play here, where you may trade away some ride comfort, tread tite. and cold-weather capabilities in return for the ultimate in warm-weather performance. Winter tires are a gtx>d investment in ptaces where winters are tong and harsh. These tires incorporate a tread that stays pliable in cold weather, and are designed to cope with snow and ice. But they shoutd come off when spring temperatures arrive, as their tread doesn't give ideal traction on dry and wet roads. The most important thing you can do to keep your tires running a long time at peak performance is to make sure they are properly inflated. Keep atl tires inflated to the pressure stated on the sticker found on the car, usually on the driver's doorjamb. Avoid potholes and other road hazards.
WHEN DO YOU NEED NEW TIRES?

You shoutd reptace your tires before they wear out completely. When the tread depth gets down to I/8th of an inch, that's the time to go shopping. You can get a tread-depth gauge at an auto-parts store for a couple of dollars, but a quarter makes a perfectly serviceable substitute. Hold the quarter with Washington's head pointed down into the main tread. If the tread is shattow enough to reveal George's hairline, it s time to start shopping. Of course, if your tires are balding in spots then you need to replace your

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tires pronto. See "Early warning signs of tire failure" at ConsumerRepi.)rts.org.
WHAT TO BUY

The smartest choice is to buy tires that match, in terms of size and type, those that came witb the car wbtii il was new. Automakers take some care tofittbeir cars with tires appropriate to the car's performance capacities and requirements. Many replacement tires offer similar performance to the original-equipment tires. But aftermarket tires may also be better than original equipment tires in some respects. You mayfinda tire thai lasts longer, bandies better, rides better, is less noisy, or has belter all-weather grip than the original tires. Our Ratings can point you toward desired qualities. You may also consider getting larger dres and wheels tban those that came witb the car. In theory this can improve handling qualities. CR tests indicate that moving up one size, say from a 16-inch to a 17-inch wheel migiit improve dry and wet grip and handling, but after that you start giung up a lot—in comfort or hydroplaning resistance, and steering feeL And putting extra-grippy tires on an SUV can make it more pn)ne to rollover, so think twice about that.
WHAT YOU'LL SPEND

tween price and performance, although the very cheapest tires rarely excel in our tests. In our Ratings botlï expensive and moderatelypriced tires are scattered high and kiw on the scoring .scale. That means you don't have to spend top dollar to get a top-.scoring tire. It also means that buying the most expensive tire available is no guarantee of superiority.
HOW AND WHERE TO SHOP

You'il lind g(KHÍ selections at lire-retailer chains, large independent tire shops, and warehouse clubs and big-box stores. You can also shop online at discounters such as T irerack.com and Discounttiredirect.com. Remember that you'll pay for shipping as well as mounting and balandng when mail-order tires arrive. Ifyou have a brand and model of tire in mind, use the Yellow Pages or online shopping inquiries to locate the best deals near you.
TYPEÇ AND FEATURES ALL-SEASON

I ires are priced per tire and by size, but most of the time you'll be buying them in sets. We recommend replacing your tires all four at a time rather than just front or rear. 'lypical all-season tires generally run from $35 to $120 each. Tbe increasingly widespread performance ail-season tires are priced a littie higher, between $45 to $160. The more exotic ultra-bigh-perfbrmance tires can often cost more than $200 apiece. Winter tires generally nm $40 to $170 each. We've found no absolute correlation be-

These are tbe tires that come standard on most cars, minivan.s, and SUVs. • Best for: Year-round traction, long tread life, and a comfortable ride. But they typically lack the precise handling and grip of performance tires. • Speed ratings: None, S (112 mph) T (118 mph}. • Tread-wear warranty: None or 40,000 to 100,000 miles. • Typical wheel size: 14 to 16 inches. . Typical price: $35 to $120.
PERFORMANCE ALL-SEASON

These tires come standard on sporty cars and on some cars marketed like them. • Best tor: Improved handling and grip over all-season tires on wet and dry pavement. But they often have shorter tread wear than many all-season tires.

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- Speed ratings; H (130 mph). V (149 mph). - Tread-wear warranty: None or 40,000 to 60,000 miles. • Typical wheel size: 15 to 17 inches. . Price: $45 to $160.
ULTRA-HIGH PERFORMANCE ALL-SEASON

• Typical wheel size: 14 to 18 inches. • Price: $40 to $170.
SUV/PICKUP

These are found on high-end sports cars, sports sedans, and some lower-priced sporty models. • Best for Wet and dry Iwukingand handling. But they trade ultimate warm-weather grip for passable winter performance. • Speed ratings: Z (more than 149 mph), W (168 mph), Y (186 mph). • Tread-wear warranty: None or 30,000 to 40.000 miles. • Typical wheel size: 17 to 22 Inches. - Price: $80 to $200 or more.
ULTRA-HIGH PERFORMANCE SUMMER

Ail-season and all-terrain tires are designed for the rigors of truck use. • Best for: All-terrain models are designed for light-duty off-pavement use; all-season models are made primarily for on-road use. But some automakers recommend staying with whatever type of tire came with your vehicle. • Speed ratings: S (112 mph for many). • Tread-wear warranty: None or 40,000 lo 60.000 miles. • Typical wheel size: 15 to 20 inches. • Price: $55 to $150 or more. All tires are embossed on their sidewalls with ijiformation about size, .speed rating, load capacity, manufacturing date, and other data. For details go to ConsumerReports.org, "Deciphering tire codes."
BRANDS

Found mostly on high-performance sports cars and sports sedans. • Bestfor.Wet and dry braking and handling. But they usually don't perform well in cold weather, ice, or snow. • Speed ratings: Z (more than 149 mph), W (168 mph), Y (186 mph). • Tread wear warranty: None for most. . Typical wheel size: 17 to 22 inches, • Price: $80 to $230 or more.
WINTER TIRES

'fhese tires are specially made for use in freezing temperatures and on snow and ice. • Best for: Maintaining traction on snow and ice. But fast wear and so-so wet and dry braking make then suitahie only for cold-weather use. • Speed ratings: Q (99 mph) and higher. • Tread-wear warranty: None,

Tlie tire industry is dominated by a few giants such as Bridgestone, Goodyear. Michelin, Continental, and Pirelli, plus many smaller makers from Asia, the U.S. and Europe, Goodyear owns the Goodyear. Dunlop, ¿md Kelly--Springfield brands. Bridgestone and Firestone are made by one company. Continental and General by another. Michelin mariœts MkJidin, BFGooddch, and Uniroyal. Falken, Sumitomo, and Yokohama are )apanese brands, while Hankook and Kumho are Korean. Bui tiresfromany brand may l>e made anywhere these days. Since tire makers often use the same brand and similar mtxiel names on diflerenl tires, it can be h&rd to tell what's wliat. For instance, one Pirelli PZero tire was near the lop ot one of our Ratings groups lately, while another PZt'm Rosso finished at the bottom, Our Ratings are Iheretore a better guide than any brand's reputation.

AUTO

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RATING THE 2010 MODELS

I

ncluded here are Ratings on nearly 300 vehicles that CR has recently tested. Wiihin each category, Ihey are ranked by their overall road-test score. Recommended models (Q) must perform well in our tcsling; have average or better reliability; and, if crash-tested, pR)vide a good overall safety Rating. This Rating is a composite of accident avoidance from our testing, and crash protection, based on crash tesis administered by the Insurance Instil ule for Highway Satety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administralion. In addition, pickups and SUVs must not have lipped up in the government's rollover test or, if not tested, must be available with electronic stability control (ESC). Survey results include predicted reliability, our forecast of how well a new car
Make & model Price as tested

will likely hold up, based on data from our 200S Annual Auto Survey. Owner satisfaction also comes from our annual survey, and is based on a question where we ask subscribers if they would definitely buy or lease their vehicle again. Owner cost isa Rating of the five-year projected cost to own a vehicle, including depreciation, fuel, interest, insurance, maintenance/repair, and sales tax. Safety is an overall score based on the combination ol crash test and accident avoidance results. A model loses points if ESC is not offered and loses partial points of it's optional. Fuei economy is the overall mileage a vehicle achieved in our real world tests, based on results from several tests, and reflects a realistic mix of city, country road, and highway driving.
Owner Safety Fuel cost economy

Overall Survey road-test score results

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SUBCOMPAa HATCHBACKS ENTRY LEVEL BUDGET MODELS continued
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REVIEWS OF THE 2009-10 MODELS

T

his rundown of all the major 2009-10 models can start you on your search for a new car, minivan. SUV. or pickup. You'll find a summary of each model, often based on recent road lests that are applicable to this year's models. Most models include Consumer Reports' predicted reliability rating, an indication of how problematic we expect a model to be. It is based on our 2008 annual subscriber survey, where we asked owners about any serious problems they've had with their vehicles in the previous 12 months. These data allow us to predict how this year's models are likely to hold up. Recommended models ( ) must perform well in our testing; have avera'ge

or better reliability; and, if crash-tested, provide a good overall safety Rating. This Rating is a composite of accident avoidance from our testing and crash protection, based on crash tests administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, pickups and SUVs musl not have tipped up in the government's rollover test or, if not tested, must be available with electronic stability control (ESC). Entries include, where available, the date of the last road test for that mode!
published in CONSUMER REPORTS mag-

azine. These road-test reports are also available to subscribers of our Web site, at www.ConsumerReports.org,

Predicted reliability

Description/with last road-test date

Acura MDX

@

The MDX has a refined and powerful 300-rip V6. It is more agile and quieter than its predecessor. The third-row seat folds easily into the floor and is a better fit for kids than adults. The dashboard Is a sea of tiny, similar-looking buttons. Crash-test results are impressive.

July 2007
Acura RDX Q The RDX uses a ttjrt)ocharged four-cylinder that provides strong acceleration, but lacks Itie refinement of a six-cylinder. Handling is agüe and secure, but the ride is stiff. The interior shows good attention to detail, but some controls could be better designed. Crash-test results are excellent. Jan. 2 0 0 7 The AWD RL is powered by a powerful V6. The powertrain Is polished, but ride and handling don't stand out. The less-expensive TL has similar interior room, and the RL's driver interaction system isn't particularly intuitive. Feb. 2 0 0 9

Acura RL

Q

Ratings Key ^Excellent @VeivgDod OGocd QFair •Poor

Recommended

THE

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Predicted reliability Acura TL 3

Description/with last road-test date The TL's slick powertiain returns a good 23 mpg overall. Handling is taut and poised, and Ihe ride compliant, but Ihe vague steering lacks feedback. Road noise stands out in the otherwise quiet interior. The rear seat is tight and ttie well-finished interior is cluttered with but-

tons. Feb. 2009
Acura TSX Q The redesigned 2009 TSX is a pleasant car with a smooth-revvinq engine, siick transmission, and sporty handling. The ride is taut yet supple. Handling is competent, bul the steering is vague. Interior fit and finish is Improved, and the cabin is a bit roomier. June 2 0 0 9 The Acura ZDX Is a four-door luxury SUV that is slyled like a coupe. It is based on the MDX SUV and will be priced above it. The ZDX is basicaily a tail ail-wheel-drive hatchback. The powertrain is the 3.7liter V6 found in the MDX, RL. and TL, but it will be mated to a sixspeed automatic Iransmission, a first for Honda. This sporty four-door hatchback has a tasteful interior. It uses a quick turbocharged 2.0-liter, lour-cyiinder engine, and the optional S-tronic automated manual transmission works well. An AWD version is available and a diesel arrives for 2010. Crash test resuits are impressive. Sep. 2 0 0 6 The redesigned A4 is now a bit iarger than before, improving the cramped rear seat. Interior fit and finish remain excellent. The 2.0T four-cylinder is smoolher and quieter than before. The steering is more direct and the ride is firm yet supple. The standard MMI driverinteraction system is complicated. June 2 0 0 9 The base AS coupe is powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharqed fourcylinder engine, while the high-performance S5 will get a new 3.0-titer supercharged V6. Both versions feature six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, and convertible versions go on sale later this year. The A5 sedan has a firm yet comfortable ride. Handling is responsive and secure. The interior is very nicely finished but the MMl controller is compiicated. A recent freshening brought a supercharged V6 called the 3.0T. Crash-test results are excellent. Sep. 2 0 0 5 ^'^^ * 8 features a strong V8. AWD, and an aluminum body. It is quiet and agile, but the ride isn't special. The interior is well-crafted. A'V12 engine is optional. The MMI driver interaction system is cumtiersome to use. Reliability has improved to average. Nov. 2 0 0 3 Audi's A4-based luxury SUV uses a smooth and refined 270-hp, 3.2-liter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Handling is aqlle and the ride is firm, yet supple. Sep. 2 0 0 9 The 07 uses a 4.2-liter VB with a six-speed automatic, and a V6 and a diesel are also available. The third-row seat is snug. It is fairiy nimble, but the low-speed ride is stiff. Braking performance is excellent. The interior is quiet and well-finished. Nov. 2 0 0 6 ' The TT has responsive but not sporty handling, but the ride is better. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine is punchy enough, and the 32-liter V6 is powerful. A 266-hp version of the four-cylinder is available in the sportier TTS. -

Acura ZDX

New

Audi A3

^

Audi A4

New

Audi AS

NA

Audi A6

Q

Audi A6

o

Audi 0 5

New

Audi Q7

0

Audi TT

0

128

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability BMW I Series NA

Description/with last road-test date The 1 Series is a small two-door coupe. A 3.0-liter six cylinder is in the !28i, whiie the I35i uses a twin-turbocharged six-cylinder. It is spectacular to drive with excellent steering. Although snug, the interior features high levels of fit and finish. Options quickly drive up the price.

Oct 2008
BMW 3 Series Q The 3 Series has agile handling, a supple ride, and smooth, six-cylinder engines. The snug interior is comfortable and luxurious. Handling is taut and agile. Crash-test results are impressive, but the convertible didn't do well in the IIHS rear-crash test, Dec. 2009 ^ ^ ^ Series has agile handing and a comfortable and quiet ride. The automatic transmission and engines are smooth. The turboCharged engine in the 535i makes the sedan quick and returns a commendable 22 mpg overall. We found the iDrive control system tedious to use. Nov. 2007 The 6 Series coupe is powered by a smooth and punchy 4.8-liter V8, Handling Is agiie for such a iarge car. The ride is a little choppy at low speeds. The interior is quiet and luxurious. A convertible and a high-performance VlO-powered M6 are available. Oct. 2006 A redesigned 7 Series debuted in early 2009 with a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 that produces 400 hp. It also has a better version of iDrive. The X3 has a 6-speed automatic, a strong 3.0-iiter, six-cylinder engine, and a nicer interior than in past models. Handling is agiie, but Ihe ride is still a bit stiff and choppy. The intenor is quiet and roomy enough. Jan. 2007 The X5 features a third-row seat that is best for kids only. The ride is still stiff and choppy, but tiandling is capabie and secure. Both the six- and eight-cylinder engines are powerful. The diesel improves fuel economy but loses some refinement. The shift lever and iDrive driverinteraction system are both needlessly compiicated. Dec. 20O9 Based on the X5 SUV, the new X6 seats only four passengers and is a coupe-like SUV, but with four doors. Mosl versions will be powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder A new 4.4-liter V8 is also offered. An even more powerful hybrid model is newly available, The redesigned Z4 is now only available as a hard-top convertible. The refined inline six-cylinder engines are impressive, providing • plenty of smooth power. The ricJe is guite civilized. Fit and tinisti is impressiv_e. This large car-based SUV has three rows of seats and can seat eight adults. It shares a platform with the Chevrolet Traverse, Satum Outlook, and GMC Acadia. All use GM's contemporary 3.6-titer V6. We found the ride comfortable and quiet, and the powertrain smooth. The interior is weil finished. July 2009 The outgoing LaCrosse was quite, with a tighl rear seat. A much improved 2010 redesign features two modern V6 engines, responsive handling, more rear seat room, and better interior fit and finish. AWD will be available, and a four-cylinder engine will arrive down the road. -

BMW 5 Series

o

BMW 6 Serfts

Q

BMW 7 Series BMW X3

New

Q

^ BMW XS

Q

BMW X6

NA

BMW ZA

New

Bulch Enclave

Q

Buick LaCross»

New

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

129

Predicted Description/with last rosd-test date reliability Buick Q The Lucerne's standard V5 ¡s coarse and thirsty; the optional 4.6Lucerne fiter V8 is more refined. Braking and handling are below par, but the ride is comlortable. Rear seat room is good. June 2007 Cadillac Q The CTS rivals the best sports sedans. Steering is direct and precise, CTS and the ride Is firm yet supple. The quiet interior is well finished but the rear seats are snug. The standard V6 is smooth and refined. The V8-powered CTS-V is sporty and quick. Wagon and coupe versions are new. Mar. 2 0 0 8 Cadlltac Q The DTS is a large front-wheel-drive sedan powered by a smooth DTS 275-hp, 4.6-liter V8. Accommodations are ample and luxurious, and the rear seat roomy and comfortable. The ride is quiet and comfortable, but handling js clumsy. Reliability has been average. Mar. 20OB Cadillac 0 The Escalade uses a powerrui 62-iiter VB engine. Acceleration is Escalade strong, even when towing, but fuel economy is poor. The plush interior Is quiet and the ride is comfortable, but handling is clumsy. Reliability has been well below average. Nov. 2006 Cadillac New A redesigned 2010 model arrives this summer with more (uelSRX efficient engines and an improvetl interior, but It won't have a thirdrow seat. It is smaller than the model that it replaces and will be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive. Our initial impressions show that it has better controls and improved interior fit and finish. Cadillac Q The rear-drive STS uses a 3.6-liter V6 or the 4.6-iiter Northstar V8. STS The V6 Is quick and responsive and both engines are smooth, AWD is optional. The ride is firm yet supple. Handling is taut and agile, and the cabin is quiet, but the rear seal is snug. Mar 2008 Chevrolet Q The Avalanche full-sized crew-cab pickup has an innovative partition Avatanche fhat can be folded down to extend the cargo bed Into the back of the cab. The ride is comfortable and quiet. The 5J-liter VS provides decent acceleration bul is thirsty. There is a very large rear blind zone. Feb. 2007 Chevrolet Q The Avec sedan and hatchback are Daewoos rebadged as Chevrolets. Aveo They handle clumsily. Acceleration and fuel economy are unimpressive for an economy car. The ride is jittery, noise is constant, and the seats are uncomfortable. Reliability is t}elow average. Mar. 2 0 0 9 Chevrolet New A modern interpretation of the classic original the Cámaro handfes Cámaro capably but its girth undermines agility, The V8 provides blistering performance and sounds good. Braking performance is excellent and the ride is taut but not punishing. Visibility is poor Oct. 2009 Chevrolet Q The Cobalt's 22-liter Four-cylinder is a bit noisy and not fuei-e(ficient. Cobalt Handling isn't agile but the ride is relatively comlortable. Overall this sedan is not competitive with the best in the class. The sporty SS model has a turbocharged engine and is fun to drive. July 2 0 0 8 Chevrolet ^ The Colorado's five-cylinder engine is unrefined and has worse fuef Colorado economy than competing V6s. Handling is sound but unexceptionaL The ride is unsettled, and the body constantly quivers. ESC is standard. Overall, it trails the competition. July ZOOS Chevrolet ^ The Corvette delivers impressive performance. The ride is comfortCorvette able, and handling is capable but less agile than other sports cars. The interior is roomy for a sports car. The sportier Z06 has a 7.0-liter, 505-hp va and much better handling. Oct. 2 0 0 5

130

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Chevrolet Cruze New

Description/with last road-test date The Cruze will replace the unimpressive Cobalt in early 2010. tt will be powered by a !.4-Iiter, turbocharqed four-cylinder or a I.e-liter four-cyiinder. Both the automatic and manual transmissions offered will be six-speed units. Standard safety gear will include side-curtain air bags and electronic stability control. The redesigned Equinox has a roomy rear seat. Ride and handling are pleasant. Access is easy. The four-cylinder gets competitive fuel economy. The V6 is more refined, but doesn't feel much faster. Both have slow to-downshitt six-speed automatics. Nov. 2 0 0 9 . The HHR has easy cabin access and a flexible cargo space. Handling is secure bul not aqlle. We got 24 mpg overall with the noisy 2.4-liter engine. Outward visibility is compromised, the driving posilion is cramped, and interior quaiity is unimpressive. Aug. 2009 The impala's 3.9-ilter \/6 manages 20 mpg overall, but sounds coarse. The optional 5.3*liter V8 is quick but easily spins the front tires. Handlinq is sound, but body lean is noticeable, interior quaiity has been improved. Rear seat room is unimpressive. Mar. 2006 The Maiibu is very competitive. II is quiet, rides weil, and has responsive and secure handling. The interior is roomy and mostly well put together. The V6 is quick and refined, and the four-cylinder gets 25 mpg with the six-speed automatic. ESC is standard. Jan. 2 0 0 9 The Chevrolet Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin are weil-rounded pickups with optionai full-time 4WD and a qenerous payioad capacity. Ride quality is decent and handling is secure. The new six-speed automatic siightly improves fuel economy and acceleration. May 2009 The Suburban can tow a heavy trailer ano swallow more cargo than most minivans. There is room tor up to nine people, but typical versions seat seven. The third-row seat sits too low and is uncomfortable. The standard 5.3-liter V8 is ¡ust adequate and returned 14 mpg overall. Aug. 2007 . The Tahoe's ride is supple, but handling and braking are so-so. Traiiertowing capability is impressive, but there is iittle cargo space behind the very cramped third-row seat. The hybrid version got 19 mpg in our tests, far better than the 14 mpg from the 5.3-liter V8. July 2006 The Chevrolet version of GM's large, car-based SUV can seat seven or eight people comfortably. Handling is responsive, ttie ride is comfortable, and the well-finished interior is quiet. The transmission sometimes hesitates to downshift. July 2009 The RWD 300 offers two V6 engines and a powerfui V8. Interior materials aren't impressive. Outward visibility is limited because of styling. Reliability of the V8 is average, but the car scores too low to recommend. A long-wheelbase version is available. Jan. 2005 The Sebring isn't competitive with most (amilj' sedans. We found the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine noisy and unrefined. The 3.5-liter V6 is better. The ride is unsettled and handling is ungainly, but secure. Interior panels are cheap and don't fit well. An optiohal retractable hard top convertible Is available, and did well in the IIHS crash tests. Mar. 2OO7

Chevrolet Equinox

New

Chevrolet HHR

Q

Chevrolet Impala

Q

Chevrolet Malibu

^

Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Chevrolet Suburban

O

Q

Chevrolet Tahoe

Q

Chevrolet "n-averse

New

Chrysler 300

Q

Chrysler Sebhnq

Q

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

131

Predicted reliability Chrysler Town & Country

Descrlption/witti last road-test date

Avenqer

Dodge Caliber

Dodge Challenger

Dodge Charger

Dodge Dakota

Dodqe Grand Caravan Dodge Journey

Dodqe Nitro

Dodge Ram 1500

Chrysler's minivans are disappointing. Handling, lit and finish, acceleration, braking, and fuel economy are all unimpressive, rtal-folding second- and third-row seats are still available, with swivelinq second-row captain's chairs optional. Jan. 2008 0 The unimpressive Avenger is Dodge's version ol the Chrysler Sebring. Avarfatile engines are a noisy 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a more refined 3.5-titer V6. Handling is ungainly and the ride ¡s stifl and unsettled. ' The styling compromises rear-seat access and visibility. F«b. 2 0 0 8 Q The Caliber is a four-door hatchback with a noisy engine and medio. ere fit and finish. Handling is lackluster but ultimately secure. Fuel economy wasn't impressive. The R/T trimline includes a 2.4-llte four-' cylinder. The SRT4 is guick but crude. Sep. 2006 New The Challenger is a comfortable cruiser with strong acceleration from its V8. but handling lacks agility. Based on the Dodge Charger/ Chrysler 300, it rides like a large sedan and is quiet inside. Braking Is unimpressive. Expect only 18 mpg from the 5.7-liter Hemi VQ: a sixcylinder is available. Oct. 2 0 0 9 Q This sedan has an optional 5.7-liter HemI V8 that is powerful. The 3.5-liter V6 is adequate but returned just 17 mpg. The ride is stiff. and the steering feels darty. Rear seat headroom is marginal. Curtain air bags are standard for 2010. The styling hurts yisibility. Mar. 2006 _ _ ^ ^ ^ The Dakota offers a V8 engine and impressive towing capacity. The ride is buoyant, the truck lacks agility, and body roll is pronounced. Interior guaiity could be better. E5C is not available. ReliatjIDty has been tjelow average. July 2005 ^ Chrysler's minivans are disappointing. Ride comfort is improved, but handling, fit and finish, acceleration, braking, and fuel economy are all unimpressive. Flat-foltJinq second- and third-row seats are still available, with swiveling second-row captain's chairs optional. Jan. 2008 New The Journey seats five passengers, and the optional third row increases seating to seven. A noisy 2.4-liter engine and four-speed automatic are standard, with a 3.5-liter V6 engine optional. AWD Is available only with the larger engine. The ride is a bit unsettled and handling lacks agility, but it is ultimately secure. Auij. 2 0 0 6 ^ The Nitro shares its platform with the Jeep Liberty. The 3.7-liter V6 engine returned 16 mpg in our testing. The ride is stiff and snappy, and can be buoyant on the highway. The foot wells are extremely narrow and visibility is poor. ESC and curtain air bags are standard. May 2007 New A 2009 redesign brought some big improvements to the Ram. The ride is comfortable and the cabin is quiet. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 has plenty of power and a subdued, pleasant sound. Handling is secure. The crew cab's rear seat is roomy, but it's slill a high climb to get in, ESC and curtain air bags are standard. May 2009

132

C O N S U M t R

R E P O R T S

B U Y Í N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Dodqe Viper NA

Description/with last road-test date The Viper features explosive acceleration Irom its loud VIO engine. but the clutch is heavy. Handling was capable but lacked finesse. Cornering limits are very high, with lots of grip, but the harsh ride, noise, poor driving position, and lack of creature comforts take their toll. Oct. 2 0 0 6 Ttie Edge uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic. AWD is available. The ride is good, Dut the strong powertrain lacks refinement. Handling is ultimately secure interior fit and finish is unimpressive. IIHS crash-test results are commendable. AU9. 2007 The Escape has a roomy interior, spacious rear seat, and good cargo space. Fit and finish is unimpressive and the engines are loud. The V6 provides strong acceleration, while the four-cylinder is adequate. The hybrid drivetrain works well, returning 26 mpg overall. May 2009 The Expedition has a decent interior and â good ride. The comlortable third-row seat lolds flat into the fioor. ESC and three-row curtain air bags are standard. The noisy V8 (elt sluggish and returned 13 mpg overall. Towing capacity Is generous. Aug. 2007 The Explorer's V6 engine returned 15 mpg and the VB got 14 mpg. Handling is secure thanks to standard ESC but the ride is stifl. The 4WD system is permanently engaged. Reliability of the V8 has been betow average, but the V6 is average. July 2 0 0 6 The Sport Trac has a stiff ride and so-so handling. The rust-proof composite bed grew larger with the last redesign, with useful storage underneath. The well calibrated electronic stability control system is standard. Our tested V6 returned jUSt 14 mpg. Feb, 2007 The freshened F-150 gained standard ESC. Acceleration from the coarse 5.4-liter V8 is improved. The cabin is very quiet with a very roomy rear seat. Handling is somewhat clumsy but secure and braking performance is vastly improved. The ride remains stiff and jumpy. May 2 0 0 9 This stylish and agile European subcompact will arrive in the U.S. in 2010 as a four-door sedan or hatchtîack. Ford says the U.S, version wili look much like the European model. The Flex's vast cabin is configured to seat seven aduits comfortably. The ride is comfortable anb tlie interior is quiet, with nice fit and finish. EKpect 17 mpg overail. A turbocharged 3.5-iiter V6 is new for 2010. The narrow footwell compromises the driving position. Nov: 2 0 0 8 The Focus is (airlv agile but handling isn't as crisp as its predecessor's. Cabin access is easy. The ride is firm yet supple but the car is noisy and interior guality is lackluster. ESC and curtain air bags are standard tor 2010.26 mpq overall is mediocre for a small sedan. July 2 0 0 8 The Fusion has sharp handling, a controlled ride, and good acceleration. The cabin is well-finished and mostly quiet. Front- and all-wheeldrive versions are available. The hybrid version gets excellent fuel economy of 34 mpg overall and can drive up to 47 mph on electric power alone. Sep. 2 0 0 9 The Mustang offers a coarse V6 or a muscular V8. Handling is nimble and the Mustang has good steering, but ride motions are frequent. interior materials have been improved for 2010 and ESC is now standanJ. The convertible is free of body shake. Oct. 2OO9

Ford Edqe

Q

Ford Escape

Q

Ford Expedition

Q

Ford Explorer

Q

Ford . Explorer Sport Trac Ford F-150

Q

Q

Ford Fiesta Ford Ffex

New

New

Ford Focu5

Q

Ford Fusion

g

Ford Mustanq

Q

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

133

Ford Ranger

Ford Taurus

Ford Transit Cortnect GMC Acadia

GMC Canyon GMC Sierra 1500 GMC Terrain

GMC Vuhort

OMC Yukon XL

^ Honda Accord

Honda Accord Crosstour

Predicted Description/with last road-test date reliabilitv Q The dated Ranger has a stiff and choppy ride. The V6 engine is rough and inefficient The seats are thin and low, and despite small jump seats, the rear of the SuperCab is suitable only for cargo. July 2OO9 _^_ Q This large sedan gets a redesign for 2010, wiih a standard 3.5-liter V6 and an optional turbocharged 3,5-liter V6 in the Taurus SHO. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on the base model and standard on the SHO. The trunk is roomy and the interior is well finished. Feb 2 0 0 8 New This tall, commercial-use van is based on the Focus, It packs an impressive amount of room inside a small footprint. It steers nicely and has a commanding driving position. A rear seat is available, but the noisy, bare-bones interior limits its appeal as a people hauler, Q The Acadia is GMC's version of the GM large, car-based 3-row SUVs. it uses a refined 3,6-llter V6 mated to a six-speed automatic that can be reluctant to downshift. The ride is comfortable, the handling is responsive, and tfie interior Is quiet. July 2 0 0 9 The Canyon's five-cylinder engine Is unrefined and has worse fuei economy than competing V6s. The ride is unsettled, and the body constantly quivers. Overall, it trails the competition. July 2 0 0 5 Q THe Chevrolet Silverado and its GMC Sierra twin are well-rounded pickups witii optional full-time 4WD and a generous payload capacity. Ride quality Is decent and handling is secure. The new si):-speed automatic slightly improves fuel economy and acceleration. May 2 0 0 9 New The Terrain is based on the redesigned Chevrolet Equinox but wltti more angular stylinq. It features a 2-4-liter, four-cylinder engine, and a 3,0-liter V5 is optional. Standard safety features include electronic stability control, six air tiags, and a rear backup camera. Q Tfie Yukon has better handling, braking, ride, and interior materials tfian its predecessor. 4WD models have a selectable full-lime system that can remain engaged indefinitely. ESC is standard. A hybrid version gets 19 mpg, a big improvement over the normai 14 mpg. July 2006 Q This twin of the Chevrolet Suburban i can tow a heavy Irailer and swallow more cargo than most mlnivans. There is room for up to nine people, but typical versions seat seven. The third-row seat srts too low and is uncomfortable. Tiie standard 5.3-liter V8 is just adequate and returned 14 mpg overall, Aug. 2007. Aug. 2007 0 The Accord has a roomy cabin, agile handling, and a steady, compliant ride, it is larger than the previous generation'and the four- and six-cylinder engines are more powerfui. We got 23 mpg with the fourcylinder and 21 mpg with the V6. Visibility is impressive, but road noise remains somewhat high, Feb. 2 0 0 8 New Derived from the Accord sedan, the Crosstour is a raised version of the Accord, combining wagon and hatchtiack appearance and versatility. It will compete with Toyota's Venza. The CR-V's refined four-cylinder returned 21 mpg overall. The fivespeed automatic is very smooth and responsive, Handiing is fairly agile and secure, and the ride is firm, yet supple. Road noise has been reduced. The rear seat Is roomy and the flat floor enhances leg room. Feb. 2007

Q

Honda CR-V

134

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Honda Civic a

Description/with last road-test date The Civic has responsive handling sud a steady, compliant ride. Road noise is pronounced. The l.8-liter engine returned 28 mpq with the automatic and 31 mpg with the manual. The hybrid returned 37 mpg overall. ESC is only available on the uplevel EX-L, Hybrid, and Si. Crash-test results are imprgssive. FetK 2006 This boxy, small SUV has responsive handling, but the ride is very stiff and choppy, and road noise is pronounced. The large roof pillars compromise outward visibiiity. and the driving position is awkward. The spacious interior has a washable, plastic covered floor. Feb. 2007 ^^¡S small four-door hatchback offers easy access and very good visibility, and has an amazing amount of interior room. While not overly powerful, the Fit feels responsive, with a smooth and willing engine, and agile handling. The ride is a bit choppy. Mar. 2009 The five-passenger Insight uses Honda's mild hybrid system to get 38 mpg overall in our tests, but the car is noisy and slow. Rear seat room and access are tight. The ride is stiff and choppy, and handling can get tricky at its limits. ESC is not available on the base model. Aug. 2009 The Odyssey has a flexible interior and impressive fit and finish. Handling is agile and precise, and the ride (s steady. The V6 is smooth and quiet, but road noise is pronounced. Expect 19 mpg overall. Reliabitity improved to above average. Crash-test results are impressive. Mar. 2 0 0 5 The second generation Pilot is larger and offers seating for eight. The powertrain is smooth and ride and handiing sound. However. acceleration, braking, and interior fit and finish isn't very impressive. Road noise is very pronounced. Crash-test results are impressive. Nov. 200B This crew-cab pickup has a supple and steady ride and a.gile handling, Its 5-foot-long composite cargo bed features an all-weather, iochabie trunk. The 3.5-iiter, V6 engine is quiet, smooth, and responsive. Electronic stability control is standard. July 2 0 0 5 The Accent offers basic transportation as a sedan or a two-door hatchback. The ride is relatively quiet and compliant. It is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. Standard curtain air bags is a positive, but it may be hard to find a model with AB5, Pec. 2006 The Azera has a smooth 3,8-liter V6. The roomy interior is wellfinished and quiet, with straightforward controls. The ride is reasonably comfortaiJie and handiing is fairly responsive. IIHS side-crash-test results were only acceptable. Aug. 2006 The Elantra has a comfortable ride and low road noise, but It isn't particularly agile. Expect 27 mpg overall on the sedan. The roomy interior has very good fit and finish. ESC is standard on the SE trim and Touring wagon, which have better grip and braking. IIHS sidecrash scores are marginal- July 2 0 0 6

Honda Element

@

Honda Fit

Q

Honda Insight

New

Honda Odyssey

Q

Honda Pilot '

Q

Honda RIdqellne

&

Hyundai Accent

'

^

Hyundai Azera

Q

Hyundai Elantra

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

135

Predicted reliability Hyundai Genesis New

Description/with last road-test date I he Genesis is very impressive, especially for the price. The refined V6 deiivers quick acceleration and qets 2t mpg overaii. Handling is responsive and secure, but the ride is somewhat nervous. The roomy interior is very quiet and well-finished with a large rear seat.

Feb. 2009
HyufKlal Genesis Coupe New Despite the similar name to the Genesis sedan, the Genesis coupe is quite different. Handling is quite capable and nimbfe, and the 3.8-liter V6 is powerful. The ride is very stiff and fhe shifter and heavy ciutch are awkward, making smooth shifts difficult. The 2,0liter turbocharged engine is somewhat noisy. Oct, 2009 The pieasant Santa Fe has a refined 3.3-liter V6. Steering response is lairiy quick, and fhe interior is roomy, well-finished, and quiet. We found the ride compliant and weli-controiled. Head room is a bit tight tor tall drivers. May 2007 The Sonata has a roomy, quiet interior and lots ol features for the price. The four-cylinder returns an impressive 26 mpg overall, while the smooth, powerful V6 gets 22 mpg. Tfie ride is comfortable, but can become buoyant on highway undulations. Handling is secure but not agile. Jan. 2009 The Tucson is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The optional 2,7liter V6 delivers unimpressive fuel economy. Handling is not very agile, but standard ESC makes it secure. The rirte is comfortable and the rooniy cabin is quiet. A 2010 redesign is on the way. Aup, 2005 This seven-passenger SUV has a smooth 3.8-liter V6 engine. The ride is comfortable, but suspension noise is evident. Handling is secure but not particularly aqiie. The interior is very quiet and wellfinished. Controls are simple. Aug. 2007 The EX is essentially an Infiniti G wagon. It has agile handling, but this small pseudo-SUV is quieter and has a slightly more comfortable ride. The rear seat is very snug and the cargo area is tiny. Styling has compromised rear visibility somewhat. Crash-test results are impressive. Sep. 2008 The TX has an eager powertrain and responsive handling. The 3.5-iiter V6 provides plenty of power and 18 mpq overall. The rifle is quite stiff. Well-finished and fairly roomy, the stylish cabin is quiet. Outward visibility suffers from the styling. Cargo capacity is modest. Juty 2009 The G37 is quick, sporty, and pleasant. Handling is agile and predict able, with a taut yet compliant ride. The interior has high-quality materials and easy-to-use controls. But the cabin is a bit snug and the trunk is small. AWD is optional on both the coupe and sedan. A hardtop convertible version is new. June 2009 The M35's 3.5-liter V6 engine is strong and gutsy. Ride and handling are quite capable- Road noise is a bit pronounced. The interior is plush and well constructed. Audio and navigation functions are cohtrolled via a dash-top knob or voice activation, Nov. 2007 The Infiniti version of the Nissan Armada has a powerful V8 and a five-speed automatic. Our Armada returned 13 mpg overall. Handling of our tested Armada was quite responsive. The ride was stiff, and engine noise was pronounced. Reliability has improved to average. -

a

Hyundai Santa Fe

g

Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai TUcson

^

Hyundai Veracruz

Q

InfinttI EX

@

Infiniti FX

New

tnfintti G

@

InfinftI M

g

Infiniti OX

Q

136

C O N S U M E R

REPORT'S

B U Y I N G

G U I O E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliabilitv Jaguar XF New

Description/with last road-test öate íhe XF has agile handling, responsive steering, and a comfortable riöe. Acceleration is effortless. The snug interior is nicely trimmed, but the coupe-like styling cuts into rear-seat room and access. Many controls, like the confounding touch screen and pop-up shifter knob, are overcomplicated. Feb. 2 0 0 9 The XJ8 features an aluminum body and luxurious interior, but trails the leaders in the luxury class. The powertrain is strong, but the ride isn't luxurious. Handling is nimble, but steering is light. A longwheelbase model is available. A redesign is on the way. Nov. 2003 The XK has a powerful 4.2-liter ve and smooth six-speed automatic. Handling Í5 athletic and capable. The ride is very supple and controlled. The soft-top convertible roof is well-insulated. The control touch screen washes out in sunlight and operates very slowly. Oct. 2006 The Commander based on the Grand Cherokee, but with cramped second- and third-row seats. Rear visibility is compromised. The V6 is lackluster and the powerful Hemi VB is thirsty. Handling is secure but not agile, and the ride is unsettled over undulations. Reliability is well below average. July 2006 We got 22 mpg overail from the noisy 2.4-titer engine and CVT. Ride and handling are not impressive. Interior fit and finish is lackluster, the driving position is narrow, and visibility is compromised. Reliability is average, but the Compass scores too low to be recommended. Feb. 2007 The Grand Cherokee offers a lackluster 3.7-liter V6, and a powerful 5.7-|iter Hemi V8. Handling is secure and the ride is sound. The rear seat is too low to give adeguate support. Fit and finish is disappointing. ESC and curtain air bags are standard. A redesign based on the fvlercedes-Benz ML is due in 2010, Sep. 2 0 0 8 The Liberty has clumsy but secure handling. The noisy 3.7- liter V6 feels lethargic and returned just 16 mpg overall. We found the cabin rather narrow and access awkward. The Liberty is suitable for offroad duty and has a steadier ride than the Dodge Nitro. Aug. 2 0 0 8 The Patriot's 2.4-liter engine and CVT returned 22 mpg overall, but acceleration is slow. The ride is okay but handling lacks agility. The driving position is narrow and visibility is inhibited. It has some offroad capability, but not for serious off-roading. The Patriot scores too low to be recommended. May 2009 The Wrangler has a stiff, but steady ride, with vague steering and low cornering limits. The 3.e-liter V6 delivers just 15 mpg overall. Off-road capability is extremely impressive. Reliability has been well below average. MHS side-crash-test results without the optional side, air bags are unimpressive. Jan. 2OO7 Kia's first midsized, seven-passenger SUV has a traditional body-onframe construction. The Borrego is available with either a 3.8-liter V6 or the 4.6-liter V8. It has a stiff ride, but handling is ultimately secure. The V8 has a7,500'pound towing capacity. July 2009 Kia has replaced the Spectra with the Forte. The 2010 model went on sale this spring and has a tauter suspension than the Spectra. Antilock brakes and electronic stability control are standard, -

Jaguar XJ

NA

Jaguar XK

Q

Jeep Convrando-

0

^ Jeep Compass

Q

Je«p Grand Cherokee

0

Jeep Liberty

Q

Jeep Patriot

@

Jeep Wrangler

A

Kia Borrego

New

Kia Forte

New

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

137

Predicted reliatiility Kia Optima

Description/with last road-test date The Optima ranks among the belter family sedans. It is pleasant and a good value, with a roomy back seat and comfortable ride. Handling is not particularly agiie but is uitimateiy secure. Curtain air bags. ABS, and ESC are standard. Sep. 2009 The Rio sedan and Rio 5 hatchback have a relatively pleasant, 1.6liter, four cylinder engine. Fuel economy is good but trails the class leaders. The ride is comfortable and guiet. Handling isn't particularly agile. ABS is very hard lo find. IIHS side-crash-!est results are poor even with the standard curtain air bags. Dec. 2006 This small wagon is very roomy and has seating for seven. The standard 2.4-iiter lour-cyiinder and optional 2.7-titer V6 are shared with the Optima. Fit and Mnish is very good and the ride and handling are sound. Stability control and curtain air bags are standard. Dec. 2007 The Sedona is a pieasant minivan with generous standard equipment and a roomy, flexible interior. The 3.8-liter V6 and five-speed automatic are refined, but fuei economy is not great. Handling lacks agility but is ultimately secure. Reliability is below average. Sep. 2006 The Sorento's 3.3-liter V6 is quite spirited and returned 1Ï mpg overall. The interior is fairly roomy, with good fit and finish. The Sorento is competent off-road. Handling is clumsy, though stability control makes it ultimately secure. Aug. 2008 This small four-door hatchback packs a iot of room into a small footprint, has easy access, and spacious rear seating. The Soul rides stiffiy and is noisy, but handling is nimble. The 2.0-iiter lour-cyiinder gels the job done: the base engine is a 1.6-llter. ESC is standard. Aug. 2O09 The roomy and comfortable Sportage has a standard four-cyiinder engine with front-wheel drive. Fuel economy with the V6 AWD is i8 mpg overall. Handling is secure, but not aqile. ESC and head protection air bags are standard. Reliability has been above average. Dec. 2007 The LR2 provides good off-road ability. The ride is firm but steady and the car benefits from good steering. In our accident avoidance test, the LR2 disconcertingly lifted two wheels at its handling limits, reducing driver confidence. The controls are confusing. Sep. 2 0 0 8 The smooth V8 struggles to move the heavy LR3 and returns just 13 mpg overall. The ride is comfortable but handling is lumbering. Off-road capability is terrific. ReliatDility remains well below average. For 2010. the LR3 is renamed LR4 and gets a redesigned interior and larger engines. Nov. 2O0S The Range Rover delivers smooth, strong acceleration and a very comfortable ride, but isn't agile. The seats are very comfortable, and the wood and leather interior is upscale. Reliability has been well below average. 2010 brings a more powerful engine, said to be more fuel-eEf icient. The Sport is biased toward on-road handling, but isn't as agile as some competitors. The ride is guite stiff. The VS does the job, but works hard. 2010 brings stronger engines. Off-road capabiilty is impressive. Visibility is very good, and the rear seat is accommodating. The interlor is luxurious, but the controls are frustrating. Dec 2 0 0 6

Kla R(o

,^¿

Kla Rondo

^

Kia Sedona

Kta Sorento

Kia Soul

New

Kla Sportage

Q

Lartd Rover LR2

Land Rover LR4

Land Rover Range Rover

^

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

A

138

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Lexu5 ES Ô

Description/with last road-test date The ES 350 (S a solid and sedate sedan. The punchy powertiain delivers 23 mpg overall. The ride is very comfortabie. Handling is not sporty but is ultimately secure, nt and finish is impressive, and the car is very quiet. Rear visibility is iimited by a high rear deck. June 2007 The GS isn't as sporty or engaging as some of its competitors, A 3.5-liter V6 and 4.6-liter V8 are offered. The hybrid is quick, yet returns 23 mpg overall. The interior is quief and the ride comfortable, but (ess so in the hybrid. Passenger room is tight, and head room Is very snug. Nov. 2007 ^_ The GX is based on the Toyota 4Runner and combines comlorl, luxury, and ofi road capability. It is a bit smaller than the LX but also offers a third seat. The ride is comfortable and qijiet, but it becomes unsettled. Cornering isn't very agile, but is ultimately secure, Interior fit and finish is impressive. 2010 brings a redesigned GX. The HS hybrid is smaller than a Toyota Camry hybrid and uses its powertrain. It comes with a lot of standard equipment and has far more luxury features than the Camry hybrid or Prius, In our tests of the Camry hybrid we got 34 mpg overaii, The iS has a cramped interior that is well constructed. The 2.5-iiter V6 is refined and gets 24 mpg overall, while the 3.5 V6 is very quick. We found the ride fittery, and handling isn't very sporty. Crash-test results are impressive. A high-performance, V8-powered F model is available, as ¡s a hard-top convertible. May 2006 The LS Is luKurious and highly refined, with a comfortable and serene ride. The spacious cabin is exceptionally quiet, and controls are user-friendly. Handling has been improved, but the LS is still not an engaging driver's car. The powertrain is very smootti and responsive. A hybrid is available but costs over $100.000. Nov. 2007 This luxury SUV is based on the Toyota Land Cruiser. It uses the Toyota 5.7-liter va, making for a slick and strong powertrain. It has i3 comfortable ride and a guiet, niceiy appointed cabin. A powerfolding third-row seal is new, but it limits cargo space. The redesigned RX iS one of tfie mosl well-rounded upscale SUVs. It balances a refined powertrain and comfortable ride with a very guiet interior. The optional navigation system uses a mouse-like controller. The strong 3.5-Iiter V6 returned 21 mpg. Cargo capacity is modest. July 2009 The SC Isn't as sporty or luxurious as its competitors. The ride IS stiff and fidgety, with noticeable boby lean in corners. The power hard top folds into the trunk with a push of a button. The well-trimmed interior is tight and feels closed in. The controis are refreshingly easy to use. Reliability fias been excellent. Oct. 2006 This iarge sedan is based on the redesigned Ford Taurus and powered by a 3.7-liter V6. A turbocharged V6 and all-wheel drive is available. The interior is roomy, but the driving position is narrow and a high rear deck limits rear visibility. Handling Is secure, but ttie MKS lacks aijility. The ride is comfortable but not always settled. Feb. 2009

Lexus OS

a

Lexus GX

New

Lexus HS HybrW .< Lexus IS

New

â

Lexus LS

^

Lexus LX

NA

^____ Lexus RX

New

^ Lexus SC

â

Lincoln MKS

New

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

fi^ODELS

139

Predicted reliability Lincoln MKT New

Description/with last road-test date Lincoln's three row car-baseö SUV has a very roomy interior and offers many luxury amenities, but visibility is compromised. Base models use a 3.7-liter V6. and a turbocharqed V6 is available. An available ultrasonic-based system allows hands-free parking. This upscale version of the Ford Edge uses the same unrefined 3.5litef, V6 engine and six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is unimpressive. The ride is reasonably comfortable but handling lacks agility. Interior materials are disappointing and many buttons are difficult to read at dusk. IIHS crash'-test results are impressive. July 2007 The MKZ uses a 3.5-liter V6. Handling is sound and responsive. The ride is firm, supple, and controlled, and the cabin is very quiet. The interior is trimmed in leather and wood, but the details fall short. ESC is standard. Reliability has been above avsrage. and IIHS side-crash-test results have improved to Good. The Navigator comes in standard and long versions, the latter with increased cargo space. The V8 is sluggish and thirsty. The thtrd-row seat is power operated, folds flal into the floor, and is very comfortable. Three-row curtain air bags and ESC are standard. July 2007 This lightweight midengined roadster is super-quick. Power comes from a high-revving four-cylinder from Toyota. The interior Is spartan and the cabin is difficult to access. Cornering limits are very high, but the car is hard fo control once past them. The Exige is a more powerful coupe version. Oct. 2 0 0 5 The CX-7 has responsive handling and secure cornering, but the ride is so-so, Midrange power is ample, but there is a lag at low revs, Fuei economy is not particularly good. The interior is weil put together. but the rear seat is not very roomy and is too low. A non-turbo FWD version is new. Jan. 2007

Lincoln MKX

O

Lincoln MKZ

Q

Lincoln NavlQator

O

Lotus Elise

NA

Mazda CX-7

O

Mazda CX-9

Q

Mazda MX-5 Mlata

g

This SUV 5hares the Ford Edge platform, but is guieter. more agile, and has a nicer interior. The third-row seat fs small but easy to access. Power comes from a 3.7-liter V6, Handling is agile and the ride is firm, yet comfortable. Curtain air bags and ESC are standard. Nov. 2006 ' . The MX-5 IS fun and agile, yet lairly civilized and affordable. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and standard siK-speed manual are a joy to use, A pafldle-shifting six-speed automatic is optional. A power retractable hard top is available. Reliability has been above average.

Juna 2006
Mazda RX-8 O The RX-8 is a fun coupe that revs exceptionally smoothly, and the ride IS impressive (or a sports car. Handling is agile and the steering is communicative. The Rotary engine is smooth, but lue! economy is disappointing. The rear-hinged rear doors ease back seat access Dae. 2003 The Tribute has a roomy interior and spacious rear seat. Fit and finish is unimpressive and the car is noisy. The V6 provides strong acceleration and 19 mpg overall, while the four-cylinder gets 21 mpg overall. The hybrid's 26 mpg overall is the best of any SUV we've tested. May 2009

Mazda Tribute

0

140

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Mazda3 g

Description/with last road-test date The freshened f-1azda3's standard 2.0-liter, lour-cylinder engine is relatively quick and sparing with fuel; the new 2.5-liter is strong and refined. Handling is agite and sporty ior this class. Interior quality is very good. ESC is included on most trim lines. The hatchback version, available only with the 2.5-liter, improves cargo fiexibility. Aug. 2009 This six-passenger small minivan provides the utility of a miniuan with easy maneuverability, ail at an affordable price and with good fuel economy. The second- and thirö-row seats can be folded flat. Reiiabilitv has been average. Stability control is standard for 20)0, Jan. 2006 The Mazda6 is larger and more refined than its predecessor. The car is quite nimble, with nice steering and a supple and controlled ride. Interior fit and finish is slightly improved. The rear seat is roomier than before but access is tight. Jan. 2009 The C-Class is a capable car, with a smooth and strong 3,0-liter V6 that returned 21 mpg overall on premium fuel. The cabin is snug but quiet, and the seats are supportive. AWD is offered on the C300, The sporl suspension makes the ride a bit choppy at low speeds, and the steering is overly tight. Mar. 2 0 0 8 This coupe version of the S-Ciass luxury sedan is just as fast, com- ' fortable, and iuxurious. There is room in the back for two aduits to sit comfortably. The 5.5-iiter V8 supplies an abundance of acceleration, never mind the twin-turbocharged V12 engine in the more

UazàaS

O

Mazd«6

New

' MercedesBenz C-Class

Q

MercedesBenz CL

NA

powerfui CL600. MercedesBenz CLS a ^^^ ^LS is a four-door sedan with a swoopy roof and seating for just four passengers. Rear-seat room is tight, and the angle of the roof limits head room. The sedan is luxurious and comfortabie, with strong performance and agile handling. Reliability is below average. Oct. 2006 The old E-Ciass blended spirited acceleration and respectable fuel economy with qreat ride and handling characteristics. A powerfui and economicai diesel version got 29 mpg overall in our tests. A redesigned 2010 modei is on sale, along with a coupe version based on the C-Class. The GL is based on the M-Class. but with seating for seven. The 4.6-liter V8 returned 15 mpg. It is very quiet, with a comfortable ride and responsive handling. The third-row seat is roomy enough for adults. Some controls are overly complicated. The diesel version got 19 mpg but is sluggish off the line. D«c. 2009 The GLK is based on the C-Class and joins the ever-qrowing smaii upscale SUV class. The 3.5-liter V6 is powerful and smooth. Handling is aqile, but the steering is a bit light. The low speed ride is a bit tossy. It's quiet in the luxurious cabin, but wide door siils get in the way. Rear seat leg room is tight. Sep. 2009 ^^^ -Class has responsive handling ana a firm, yet supple ride. The smooth V6 returned only 16 mpq overall and the 7-speed automatic doesn't always shift at the appnDpriate moment. Oiesei and hybrid versions are available. Some controls can be confusing. Nov. 2005

MercedesBenz E'Ctass

New

MercedesBenz GL-Class

m

MercedesBenz GtK-ClBSS

New

Mercedes-

Q

Benz
M-Class

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

141

Predicted reliability MercedesBenz R-Ctass

Description/with last road-test date The three-row R-Class shares the same AWO p[at(orm with the M-Class. Access is easy and room for six is very good, but the long rear doors easily bump into adjacent vehicles. The ride is comfortable and quiet, but handling is not sporty. A 3.5-Iiter V6 and a diesel are available. Reliability has been well below average. Mercedes-Benz's flagship sedan is roomy, quiet, and luxurious. The S550 is powerful and athletic, with agile handling and a very comfoftable ride that is among the best we've ever tested. The controls can be complicated. Many high-tech options, like night vision, are available. A hybrid version is new. Nov. 2007 This coupe/convertible uses a power folding hard top. The V8 is smooth and powerfui, the AMG model even more so. The SL eûmes with an extensive list of safely and high-tech features. Reliability has improved to average, allowing us to recommend the SL, Oct. 2006 This roadster features a folding hard top and a strong 3.5-liter V6. The manual shifter and clutch are more user-friendly than In the first-generation SLK. Handling is more agile than the previous version, and the ride is reialively comfortable. Reliability has improved to average. Oct. 2005

Mercedes-

Benz
S-Class

MercedesBenz SL

r\

Mercedes' Benz SLK

Mercury Mariner

Q

Mercury Milan

g

Mercury Mouitalneer

Q

Mini Cooper

Q

Mitsubishi Eclipse

O

Mitsubishi Galant

NA

The Mariner has a roomy interior, spacious rear seat, and good cargo space, rit and finish is unimpressive and the engines are loud. The V6 provides strong acceleration, while the four-cylinder is adequate. The hybrid dnvetrain works well, returning 26 mpg overall. May 2009 The Milan has sharp handling, a controlled ride, and good acceleration. The cabin is weil finished and mostly guiet. Front- and aliwheel-drive versions are available. The 34-mpg hybrid version gets GJiceilent fuel economy and can drive up to 47 mph on electric power alone. Sep. 2009 The Mountaineer's base engine is an adequate, but coarse 4.0-liter V6. The noisy and stronger 4.6-liter V8 gets just 14 mpg overall. The ride is firm and controlled, and handling is sound. ESC and curtain air bags are standard. Reliability of the V6 is average, but the VS is below average. Juty 2 0 0 6 The Mini has very agile handiing, with quici^ precise steering and • little body lean, but the ride is a bit choppy. The base engines are refined and the Cooper S has a punchy turbocharged one. The rear seat is very tight and some controls are confusing. The Clubman is a small wagon. Sep. 2 0 0 8 The GT's powerful engine is the major appeal. The cockpit is very cramped, and the rear seat is unusable. Handling lacks agility. The four-cylinder engine is noisy and Ihe manual transmission is clunky. The Eclipse scored too low in our testing to be recommended. IIHS crash-test results for the convertible are impressive. May 2 0 0 6 The Galant is a sound car. We found the V6 quick and nicely trimmed, but it has too much torgue steer and fuei economy is just 20 mpg. The four-cylinder engine is spirited but noisy, and returns 23 mpg. The ride is choppy and stiff even on smooth pavement. May 2004

t42

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reiiabiiity Mitsubishi Lanwr NA

Description/with last road-test date The Lancer is a major improvement over its dowdy predecessor, and we found it much more agile in our testing. It shares its engine with Hyundai and Chrysler, and tends to moan a bit at hiqh revs. The CVT transmission works very well. Standard curtain air bags are a plus. Oct, 2007 The Outlander's smooth 3.0-liter V6 provides a lot of punch and returns 19 mpg overall, and the four-cyiinder gets 22 mpg. Handiing is fairly agile and the Outlander is secure at its iimits, due in part to its standard ESC, The ride is fairly stiff. Interior fit and finish is a bit disappointing. The lop-level V6 oflers a third-row seat. Reliability has been above average. Aug. 2006 The Aitima has a 2.5liter four-cylinder that got 25 mpg overall in our tests, and an optional 3.5-iiter V6 that got Z3 mpg overall. The Hybrid got 32 mpg In our tests, but the trunk is small. Interior quality is very good, but rear seat room is tighL Stabiiity control is not available on the 2.5 S, but it is standard on the hybrid and optional on top-trim versions of the V6. Mar. 2007 This large SUV has seating for eight. Power comes from a 5.6-liter, V8 engine mated to a five-speed automatic. Ivto- and four-wheel drive versions are avaiiable, and it features an independent rear suspension. Reliabiiity has improved to average. Mar. 2 0 0 4 The small but roomy Cube holds five passengers. Access is super easy. When mated to the CVT the 1.8-liler engine provides slow acceleration but returns 28 mpq. The Cube's small size makes it maneuverable, but handling isn't sporty and braking distances are a bit long. Wind noise is noticeable. Nov. 2009 We found Hie Frontier quick and nimble, with a stiff but tolerable ride. The powerful 4.0-liter V6 revs smoothly. Base models use a 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Rear-seat room is tight in the crew cab. Reliabiiity has been above average. Juiy 2005 The GT-R is Nissan's premium sports car that was previously known worldwide as the Skyline GT-R. It is powered by a 480-hp, twin-turbo V6 that drives ail four wheels through a six-speed sequential gearbox. Nissan's flagship sedan has a powerful 290-hp V6, it gets 22 mpg overall and has quick acceleration. The steering is oddly weighted and hurts handling. The ride is comfortabie and the cabin is quiet, but the low roofüne hurts visibility and access. Feb. 2 0 0 9 The Murano has a nice interior, standard ESC. and a comfortable ride. Its 3.5-iiter V6 is powerful and gets a respectable 19 mpg. Handling is responsive and secure. The interior is stylish and functional, but rear visibility is limited. ilHS crash-test results are impressive. Sep. 2 0 0 8 The Pathfinder fias a strong 4,0-liter V6, independent rear suspension, and third-row seal. Expect 15 mpg overall. The ride is stiff, tfiough handling is responsive. The second- and third-row seats are snug. ESC is standard. A va is optional, Reiiability has been average. Nov. 2005

Mitsubishi Outlander

Q

Nl5san Aitima

O

Nissan Armada

Q

Nissan Cube

New

Nissan Frontier

@

Nissan GT-R Nl5san Maxima

New

New

Nissan Murano

e

Nissan Pathlinder

Q

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

143

Predicted reliabilitv

Description/with last risad-test date The Quest uses Nissan's powerful V6 engine, but acceleration is only adequate, txpect 18 mpg overall. Both the second- and thirdrow seats fold flat when not in use. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission. Reliability has been below average, but crash-test results are impressive. May 2007 The small Nissan Rogue SUV is compact, pleasant, and competitive in Ihe small SUV class. The l70-hp, 2.5-llter engine gets a bit raspy at high revs, txpect 22 mpg overall. The ride is supple and handling is fairly nimble and secure, ESC and curtain air bags are standard

Nissan Ouest

Q

Nissan Rogue

Q

Aug. 2008
Nissan Sentra O The Sentf a has a 2.0-iiter four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT, and returned 26 mpg overall. Ride and handling are good and the rear seat is roomy. Bu! the Sentra tends to fishtail at its handling limits and braking distances are long. ESC is optional for 2010. Oct. 2007 The Titan is powerful and has a comfortable ride. The engine is strong but loud. Payload capacity has been improved, and a longwheelbase version is avaiiable. ESC and curtain air bags are standard for 2010. Reiiabiiity has improved to average. July 2 0 0 4 The Versa packs a relatively spacious interior in a short body The engine is civilized bul not overly powerful. The ride is comfortable and the rear seat is roomy. Handling isn't particuiariy nimble. ABS and ESC are standard on the SL for 2010. Oec. 2006 The Xterra has good off-road capability and is reiatively civilized. The 4.0-liter V6 delivers quiCk acceleration but just Î7 mpg. The 4WD system is still part-time. The interior is weii-assembled, ESC and head-protection air bags are standard. Reliability has been above average. Aug. 2005 The Z is a two-seater powered by a smootfi-revving 3,7-liter V6. The manual gearbox has short throws and is easy to use. Handling is agile, but ride comfort suffers. Interior materials are significantly improved, but the cabin is still tight. The convertible tías a power-operated ftp

Nissan Titan

O

Q

Nfssart Versa

Q

Nl5san Xterra

Q

Nissan Z

New

Oct 2009
Porsche 911 O Tlie 911 has agile handling and the ride is fairly civilized. Coupe and a convertible are offered. Both the 3.6- and 3,8-liter engines are powerful and sound good. Reliability has been average, allowing us to recommend the 911. Oct. 2 0 0 6 This roadster's handling and braking are superb, and the ride is firm but not punishing. It is relatively guich and fun to drive. The two trunks give it a bit ol practicality. The power top can be operated at low speeds. Oct. 2005 The Cayenne is a midsized, luxury car-based SUV with all-wheel drive. Low-range gearing and advanced electronics promise some off-road capability. It comes with a choice of engines and available adjustable ritJe height. Reliability has been well beiow average Oec. 2 0 0 8 Based on the Boxster, the Cayman coupe uses a midmounted, 2.9-liter, fiat-six engine that produces 265 hp. The higher-perlormance S has 320 hp. The coupe seats two passengers .ind uses a hatchback design that increases the rear storage area compared with the Boxster. -

Porsche Boxster

Q

Porsche Cayenne

0

Porsche Cayman

O

144

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U I D E

2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Saab 9-3

Description/with last road-test date The 9-3 uses a turbocharged 2,0-iiter, four-cylinder engine that ts relatively powerful and quiet. The Aero uses a smooth 2.8-iiter. turbocharged six-cylinder. Handling is secure but not sporty. The ride is stiff with road and wind noise. IIHS crash-test results are impressive. May 2006 The Saab 9-5 has very secure handling but isn't very agile The ride is stiff and unsettled. Road and wind noise are pronounced. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has spirited performance but sounds coarse. The front seats are comfortable and the rear seat is quite roomy. A long overdue redesign is in the works. June 2007 The tC coupe uses a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. It drives nicely but isn't particularly sporty. Rear seat room is generous for a coupe, and there is a lot of standard equipment for the money. We don't recommend the tC because of its unirrpressive IIHS crash-test results and the lack of available stability control. Pec. 2 0 0 5 The xB has a 2.4-liter four-cylirKJer engine but fuel economy Is 23 mpg, which is worse than the old model. Handling is responsive and the ride is less choppy. The rear seat is enormous and the cargo area is large. Visibiiity is impaired by low windows and thick roof pillars. Curtain air bags and ESC are standard. Oct. 2007 The small xD is nimble, but has a jittery, unsettled ride. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder gets 29 mpg overall with the automatic and 34 with the manual. The cabin is noisy and the driving position is awkward, particularly for taller drivers. The rear is roomy for two adults. ESC is standard for 2010, June 2006 This tiny two-seater features a 1,0-liter, three-cyiinder engine that can keep up with traffic. We measured 39 mpg overall. The ride is harsh, handling clumsy, and the automated manual transmission causes the car to lurch. ESC and side air bags are standard. Nov. 2008 The Forester's base 2.5-iiter four-cylinder returned 22 mpg, and the powerful turbocharged engine in the XT got 20 mpg. It rides and handles weli, with responsive steering. The rear seat is roomy and ESC is standard. Crash-test results are impressive. Aug. 2 0 0 6 The Impreza uses a four-cylinder and four-speed automatic, Standard AWD hurts performance and fuel economy, at just 23 mpg overall. The ride is compliant and handiing is agile. The rear seats are roomy enough, and cabin materials are acceptable. ESC is standard and crash-test scores are impressive, Oct. 2009 The redesigned 2010 Legacy has considerably more interior room than the previous Legacy. The standard engine is a bit siuggish with the CVT; the 3,6R is more powerful. The GT's turbocharged engine is now available only with a manual transmission. ESC is standard. Dec 2009 ' The 2010 Outback raised wagon has more rear seat room now. It isn't quick with the standard engine and CVT, but it is fuel efficient. The six-cylinder 3.6R has more power. Ride and handling are pleasant. Nov. 2009 _ _ ^ ^

O

Saab 9-5

e
a

Scion tc

Scion xB

â

Scion xD

a

Smart ForTwo

@

Subaru Forestar Subaru lmpr«2a

O

0

Subaru Leqacy

New

Subaru Outback

New

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MODELS

145

Predicted reliability Subaru Tribeca

Description/with last road-test date Subaru's SUV is available in two- and three-row versions, but both are cramped. Power comes from a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed aulomatic. Ride and handlinq are very good. Reliability has been above average. Jan. 2 0 0 8 This is basically a rebadged Nissan Frontier. We found the Frontier quick and nimble, with a stiff, though tolerable ride. The strong 4.0liter V6 revs smoothly and feels (ike a V8, Base models are powered by a 2.5-litef, four-cylinder engine. Curtain air bags are standard and ESC are available.This car-based SUV uses a noisy and sluggish 2.4-liter four-cylinder that gets just 19 mpg. A 3.2-liter V6 is also available. Handling is reluctant but secure, and the ride is stiff and jittery. Curtain air bags and ESC are standard. Two-wheel-drive versions power the rear wheels. May 2 0 0 9 This small hatchback uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. We got 22 mpq overaii in the AWD Crossover hatchback model ano 26 mpg in the (ront-wheel-drive sedan. Curtain air bags and ABS are standard, and ESC Is optional. Access and visibiiity are excellent, but ride and noise are so-so. A CVT replaces the regular automatic for 2010. Mar. 2 0 0 9 The XL-7 is based on the old Chevrolet Equinox, but it offers sealing for up to seven passengers. Its 3.6-liter V6 returned 17 mpg. Ride and handling are better than in the old Equinox, but the turning circle IS wide. ESC and curtain air bags are standard. The XL-7 is discontinued tor 2010, May 2007 . The 4Runner is roomy and has an optional third-row seat. Fuel economy for the 4.0-!iter V6 was unimpressive at 16 mpg. A V8 is available, ano mated to full-time 4WD, Stability controi Is standard. A ?Q10 redesign is around the corner, The Avaion has a roomy rear seat and impressive interior. The ride is very comfortable but tends to »oat at highway speeds. Handling is responsive but far from sporty. The V6 with a six-speed automatic feels smooth and punchy, Crash-lest results are impressive Reliability has been above average. Sep. 2005 The Camry is quiet, comfortable, and refined. The 3.5-liter V6 returns 23 mpg overaii. A new, refined and responsive 2.5-liter four-cyiinder engine with a six-speed aulomatic improved fuel economy. The intenor is spacious. Stability controi is standard for 2010. Dec 2 0 0 9 The redesigned Corolla is a good small sedan, despite being rather bland. A 1,8-liter is the base engine, and the 2.4-iiter is found in tfie XRS trim. Eiectronic stabiiity control and curtain air bags are standard for 2010. We got a very impressive 32 mpq overall in our test of the l,B-iiter, the best for a current non-hybrid or diesel four-door sedan. July 2 0 0 8 The FJ is superb off-road, but so-so for daily use. Visibility is compromised by the thick roof pillars and small windows, and the rear doors are awkward to use. The V6 gets jusf 17 mpg. ESC is standard. Reliability has been above average. Crash-test results are excellent, but the FJ scores too low in our testing to be recommended, Jan. 2O07

SuzuRf Equator

New

Suzutii Grand Vitara

New

SuiuKl SX4

g

SuzuKi XL-7

Toyota 4Runner

New

Toyota Avalor>

Q

Toyota Camry

Q

Toyota Corolla

@

Toyota FJ Cruiser

^

146

C O N S U M E R

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2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Toyota HiQhlender ^

Description/with last road-test date The Highlander has a quiet interior, very good ride comlort, and a roomy second-row seat. Its 3.5-liter V6 delivers 18 mpg overall The hybrid model gets 24 mpg and drives similarly. Handling is sound and secure, but not particulariy agile and the steering feels vague. The third-row seat is tight and does not told in a 50/50 split. Jan. 2 0 0 8 Toyota's flagship SUV uses the poweiiul 5.7-liter V8. The Land Cruiser is guiet, comfortable, and refined, but not agile. The interior is roomy and well finished. The Land Cruiser promises good off-road ability and features a trawl mode for challenging terrain. Dec. 2008 The Matrix has easy cabin access, a roomy rear seal, and good cargo versatility. Fuei economy is impressive. Engine and road noise levels are high. The ride and handling are sound. ESC is stantJartJ for 2010. The driving position is awkward, and fit and finish is unimpressive. June 2008 [ The new Prius uses a 1.8-liter engine and is less noisy at high revs. It got 44 mpg overail in our tests. Ride and handing are competent, but the steering feels vague. The seat and driving position have been somewhat improved. Rear visibility is impaired by the split window, Reliability of previous models has been outstanding. Nov. 2009 The RAV4 has a flexible, well-designed interior. Handling is agile and secure with standard ESC. Tîie rear seat is roomy. A îiny third-row seat is optional. The optional 3.5-liter V6 is guick and returns 22 mpg. The new 2,5-liter four-cylinder gets 23 mpq overall. May 2009 The eight-passenger Seguoia has a base 4.6-liter V8 for 2010. A five-speed automatic is standard, and the 5.7-liter gets a six-speed unit. The independent rear suspension allows the third-row seat to be folded into a weil. Standard safety gear includes curtain air bags and ESC. Nov. 2 0 0 8 Our top-rated minivan rides very comfortably and Quietly. The thirdrow seat folds into Ihe floor. The 3.5-liter, V6 engine is smooth and strong, and returned Í9 mpg. The optional AWD results in 18 mpg overall and a firmer ride. Handling is secure and responsive. Crashtest results are impressive. May 2007 The Tacoma has a strong 4.0-liter V6. The ride trails some competitors and the driving position is too low. Payload capacity is small. Reliaöility has been above average. Electronic stability control and curtain air bags are standard. Crash-test results are impressive,

Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Matrix

NA

Ö

Toyota Prlus

New

Toyota RAV4

^

Toyota Se<|uoia

Q

Toyota Sienna

Q

Toyota Tacoma

Q -

July 2005
Toyota Q The Tundra offers three engines and three cab sizes. Handling is relatively responsive, but the ride with the TRD package is stiff. The 5.7-liter V8 is very powerfui. The tailgate is easy to raise and lower. Reliability of the V8 4WD models has improved to average. Sep. 2007 The Venza has easy cabin access, a guiet interior, and a roomy rear seat. The 3.5-liter V6 has plenty of power. Handling is secure but the steering is short on feedback and the ride is Jittery. Visibility is impaired by the styling. Crash-test results are impressive. June 2 0 0 9

Toyota Venza

New

THE

2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

MOOELS

147

Predicted reliabiiity Toyota Yarls

Description/with iast road-test date The Yaris is available as a hatchback or a four-door sedan. The 1.5liter four-cylinder engine returned 33 mpg with the automalic. Road noise is pronounced and the center-mounted gauges are annoying. ESC is standard for 2010. The Yaris scored too low in our testing to be recommended. Mar. 2009 This four-door coupe is lower than the Passat sedan, with compromised visibility and less convenient access. The 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is strong and gets 24 mpg. A stronger 3.6-liter V6 wllh AWD is also avaiiable. The four-person accommodations iimit the CC'S practicality. June 2009 The Eos has a folding metal hard top that offers a sunroof-only position. We got 25 mpg with the 2.0-liter turbocharged fourcylinder, A manual transmission is standard, with Volkswagen's automated manual OSG transmission optional. IiHS crash-test resuits are impressive. May 2 0 0 8 The GTi gets a freshening for 2010, but remains mostly the same. It's quick and agiie with a gutsy turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that sounds good, all of which make it fun to drive. A four door version is available. June 2006 The Jetta has a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and optional 2.0-liter turbo. We found the ride comfortable and handling agile. The interior is very roomy. MHS crash-test results are impressive. Reliability of the 2.5-liter has improved to average. The diesel version got 33 mpq overall and 47 mpg on the highway. Aug. 2009 The New Beetle rides and handles well. The fronl seats are supportive, but the rear is cramped. The power-operated convertible top is well-insLilated from wind noise. Reliability is below average and the Beetle scored a Poor in the IIHS side-crash test. The Passat's turbocharged fDur-cylincler engine has excellent performance. Handling is agile and responsive. The front seats are comforlable and supportive. Crash tests are very good for the sedan. A wagon is available. Reliability has dropped to below average. Mar. 2006 The Golf name returns for 2010, replacing Rabbit. The noisy 2.5-liter five-cylinder isn't very fuel efficient. Handling is responsive and forgiving with electronic statiility control, and the ride is compliant. The hatchback bodystyle adds versatility. June 2 0 0 6 The Routan is a Chrysler minivan with some Volkswagen styling cues and slightly better ride and steering. It uses the same 3.8- and 4.0-liter engines that we found noisy and not very fuel efficient in the Chryslers. The six-speed automatic was responsive. Electronic stability control is standard. Nov. 2009 The Tiguan uses the Rabbit piatform and seats five passengers. The Split-folding rear seat provides flexible cargo and seating room. The sole engine is the familiar 2.0-iiter turbocharged fourcylinder. Sep. 2 0 0 6 This large car-based SUV has low-range gearing and a locking center differential, making it capable off-road. The V6 is thirsty and underpowered; fhe V8 is stronger but expensive. The interior is elegant but not very roomy. Reliability has consistently been below average

New CC

Volkswaqen Eos

Q

Votkswaqen GTi

Volkswaqen Jetta

Voikswaqen New Beetle Voikswaoen Pt Q

Golf

W&lkswagen Routan

New

VoJkswaqen Tiquan

New

VoliiswBqen Touareq 2

^

Sep.2O08

148

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2 0 1 0

Predicted reliability Volvo C30 a

Descririt ion/wit h last road-test date This two-door hatchback competes with other hatchbacks such as the Audi A3 and Mazda3. Power comes from the luröocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that delivered good performance in our tested V50 wagon. Oct, 2 0 0 8 The C70 has a metal folding top thafs power-operated and works well. It comes only with a turbocharged 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Handiing is sound but unexceptional. The ride is somewhat stiff. Crash-test results are impressive. May 2 0 0 8 The S40 sedan corners fairly nimbly bat has a slifl ride. The standard 2.4-liter engine sounds raspy, A stronger turbochaiged engine powers the T5, The interior is well-finished. The front seats are supportive, but the rear seat is very tight. All-wheel drive is available, Nov. 2004 The S60 has a quiet interior and tfie front seats are comfortable. Handling is secure but not particularly agile, and the ride is stiff, Ttie rear seat is cramped. Volvo improved the confusing radio controls. Ail-wheel drive is avaiiable. Feb. 2004 The S80 offers a smooth V8 on AWD models and a six-cylinder on FWD ones. A turbocharged six-cyiinder is also available. The optional blind-spot monitoring system and active cruise control work well. The rear seat is less spacious than the previous generation. Handling has been slightly improved, but the ride remains a bit Stift. Nov. 2007 The V70 Is a wagon version of the S80 sedan. The XC70 has allWheel drive and a raised ride height. The powertrain Is a pleasant 3.2-liter six-cylinder mated to a si»-speed automatic. The XC70 delivers adequate performance, but its 18 mpg overall is ¡ust so-so. Ride and handling, and interior fit and finish is improved over the previous generation. Sep. 2 0 0 8 This small upscale SUV showcases many safety features, including one that automatically brakes to avoid low-speed rear-end collisions. The 281-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder is responsive. Handling is secure but ttie ride is rather stiff. A 3,2-liter 6-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive have just been added. S«p. 2009 This seven-seat SUV has a flat-folding third row. The slability-control system is standard. The VS engine is strong and smootti, and a new six-cylinder is standard. Reliability improved to average for all versions, Nov. 2006

Volvo C70

Q

Volvo S40

Q

Volvo 560

a

Volvo S80

»

Volvo V70/XC70

Û

Volvo XC60

New

Volvo XC90

O

THE

BEST

& WORST

USED

CARS

149

USED CARS: THE BEST & THE ONES TO AVOID

T

hese lists guide you to the most reliable vehicles for 10 model years, 1999 through 2008. and alert you to those that have been problematic. Reliable vehicles and vehicles ib avoid include all models that showed above- or below-average overall reliability (Used Car Verdicts) in our 2008 Annual Car Relibibitity Survey, which drew respon.ses on more than 1,4 million vehicles. Pay particular attention to the Best of the Best and Worst of the Worst, which

we compiled from the longer lists: They cover the models for which we have sufficient survey data for at least three years, and have either performed notably well or have been especially troublesome.
CONSUMER REPORTS considers prob-

lem.s with major engine and transmission components, engine cooling, and drive systems to be more seriou.s, and they are weighted more heavily than other areas. For detailed reliability Ratings on the six latest model years, see the charts starting on page 155.
-

Reliable Vehicles

These models earned better- or much-better-than-averaqe Used Car Verdkis in our 2008 survey (see page 155). Vehicles are listed bv price range and alphatietically by manufacturer. Price ranges (rounöed to the nearest $1,000) are approximately what you should expect to pay for a typically equipped model witti average miles. LESS THAN $4,000 Ford F-t50 <V6, 2WD) 99 Mazda B-Serles (2WD) '99 Subaru Imprexa '99 Toyota Corolla '99; Echo *00-0! $4,000-$6,000 Acura CL 99; Integra •99-00; TL '99-00 Buick Century '03 Chevrolet Prizm 99-02; Silverado 1500 (V6, 2WD) 00-01; Tracker '02 Ford Crown Victoria '99 0); F-150<V6. 2WD) 00; F-T50 (V6, 4WD) 00-01; F-^150 (Ve. 2WD) •99-01; F-150 (Va, 4WD) 00; F-250 (2W0) '99; F-250 (turbodlesel, 2WD) '99; Ranqer <2WD) 9 9 0 0 GMC Sierra 1500 (V6, 2WD) '00-01 Honda Accord '99-00; CMc '99-01; CR-V'99; Insight 00 Hyundai Accent 04-05; Elantra 04; Santa F« (V6) 01; XG350 03 Inflnltl G20 99 00, 02 Lincoln Continental 00 01 Mazda B-Serles (2WD) •00-Üt; Protege -01-02 Mercury Grand Marquis '99-01 Mitsubishi Galant VO: Lancer'02 Nissan Altlma '99; Frontier '99; Pathfinder 99 00 Subaru Legacy 99

Toyota Avalon 99; Camry '99; Camry Solara '99-00; Célica '99; Corojla '00-02; Echo '02-03; RAV4 '99; Sienna '99-00 $6,000-$8,000 Acura CL 01-02; Integra '01; RL '99-00; RSX '02; TL'Ol Buick Century 'OA Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (V6, 4WD) 00 01; Silverado 1500 iVa. 2WD) '00-01; Silverado 2500 (2WD) 00; Tracker 03 Ford Crown Victoria '0203; Escape (4-cyl.) 04; Escape (V6, FWD) '02; F-150 <V6, 2W0) 02 04;

150

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUIDE 2 0 1 0

F-150 (V6, 4WD) '02-03; F-ISO (V8, 4W0> 01; F-250 (2WD) 01; 00-01; Focus tiatchback '05; Mu5tanq (V6) 00, 0203; Mustang (V8) ^g-OI; Ranger <2WD) 01: Taurus 04 GMC Sierra 1500 <V6, 4WDÍ 00-01; Sierra 1500 (V8, 2WD) 00 01: Sferra 2500 (2WD) 00 Honda Accord 01 02; Civic 02-03; CR-V *D0: Element '03; Prelude '99-00 Hyundai Santa Fe (V6) 02; Sonata (V6) 03-04; Sonata 05; XG350 04 Infiniti 130 gg-Ol, 135 02; 0X4 99 Kia Optima 06: Spectra '06 Lexus ES '99-00 Lincoln Continental 'Q2; Town Car 00 Mazda B-Series (2W0} '03-04; MX-S Mlata '99: Protege 03; Tribute (4-cyl.) 04: Tribute (V6, FWD) 02 Mercury Grand Marquis '02-03: Sable *04 Mitsubishi Galant 03-04; Lancer 03; Ootlander '03 Nissan Frontier 00; Maxima '99. '02; Xterra '01-02 Subaru Impreza '03 Toyota 4Runner '99; Avaion '00-02: Camry "OO-Ol; Camry Solara 01-02: Ceiica 00-01; Coroila '03: Echo '04-OB; Matrix 03; Prtus 01; RAV4 00; Sienna '01; Tacoma '99-00; Tundra'00-01 $8,0OQ-$10,OOO Acura CL 03: MDX 01: RL '02:RSX-03;TL'02-03 BuicK Century 05 Chevroiet Siiverado 1500

(V8, 2W0> 02; Silverado 2500 (2WDÏ 01-02 Ford Crown Victoria 04; Escape (4-cyi.) 05; Escape <V6, AWD) 04; Escape (V6) 03; F-150 (V6, 2WD) 05; F-150 (VB) '02-03: F-250 (turbodtesei. 2WD) 02; Focus '06; Mustang IVß) 02: Ranger (2WD) 03-04; Taurus ' 0 5 0 6 GMC Sierra 1500 (V8, 2WD) 02; Sierra 2 5 0 0 (2VÍD) 01-02 Honda Accord '03; Civic Od; civic Hybrid '03: CR-V •01-02; Eiement 04; Odyssey 02; Piiot •03:Preiude'0l Hyundai Accent 07: Etantra •06: Santa Fe (V6) 03; Sonata (4-cyi.) '06: Tucson '05; XG350 '05 infinit! Í35 '03: Q45 '99; 0X4 -01-02 Kia Rondo 07; Spectra 07 Lexus ES 01-02; GS (6-cyi.) '99-00; GS (VB) '99; iS '01: LS '99; RX '99-00 Lincoin Town Car 0102 Mazda B-Series (ZWD) 05: MPV 05: MX-5 Miata '00; Tribute (V6, AWD) 04; Tribute (V6) 03; 6 sedan (4-cyi.) '03; 6 sedan '04 Mercury Grand Marquis '04: Sabie '05 Mitsubishi Endeavor 04; OutiandBf 04 Nissan Aitima 03; Aitima {V6) 02: Frontier '01-03; Maxima '03: Xterra '03 Ponttac Vibe 03-04 Scion xA 04-05; xB '04-05 Subaru Forester 03; Impreza 04; Impreza WRX/STt 03; Legacy 04 Toyota 4Runner 00; Avaion 03; Camry 02-03; Camry Sotara 03-04; Célica •02-04; Corolia '04-05;

Highlander '01-02; Matrix '04: Prius 02-03: RAV4 •01-02; Sequoia '01-02; Sienna 0203; Tacoma '01: Tundra '02-03 Volvo S60 (FWD) '02 $10,000-$12,000 Acura MDX 02-03; RSX 04 BMW Z3 '99 Buick LeSabre 05 Chevrolet Mallbu (4-cyl.) '07 Ford Crown Victoria 05-06; Escape (4-cyl.) 06: Escape (V6) 05; Escaiw (V6, FWD) 06: F-150 (V6, 2WD) '0Ó: Focus '07: Mustang 04: Ranger (ZWD) 05-06; Taurus 07 HoiMta Accord 04; Civic 05; Civic Hybrid 04; CR-V •03-04; Eiement '05: Odyssey 03-04: Piiot 04: S200D 'OO-Ol Hyundai Etantra 07; Santa Fe (V6) 04-05: Sonata 07; Tucson (4-cyi.) 06 infiniti 135 04 Kia Optima 07: Sfrartage '06-07 Lexus ES '03: OS (6-cyl.) '01-02; GS <ve) '01: iS '02-03: LS '00; RX '01; SC '99 Mazda B-Series (2WD> '06; MPV 06: MX-5 Miata 01 04: Tribute (V6, FWD) 06; Tribute ÍV6X 05; 3 sedan 04; 6 sedan (4-cyl.) 06 Mercedes-Benz CLK '00 Mercury Grand Marquis 05-06: Mariner (4-cyl.) 05 06, Mariner (V6) 05 Mitsubishi Endeavor'05 Nissan Frontier 04; Pathfinder 03; Xterra '04 Pontlac Vibe 05 xB 06

THE

8EST

& WORST

USED

CARS

151

Subaru Baja '03: Forester '0-1; Impreza 05 Suzuki SX4 07 Toyota 4Runner '01-02: Avalon 04: Camry '04-05: Camry Sotara '05: Corolla •06-07; Highlander 03-04; Land Cruiser '99; Matrix '05; RAV4 •Q:Í-04: Sienna '04; Tacoma 02 03: Tundra '04: Yaris '07-08 Volvo V70 (FWD) 02

WRX/STI 04; Legacy (4-cyl.) 05: Outback 'O^^ Suzuki SX4 08 Toyota 4Runner 03; Camry '06, Corotia •08; Highlander 05; Land Cruiser 00: Matrix '06-07; Prlus '04; RAV4 05: Sequoia 04; Sienna (FWD) 05; Tacoma '04-05; Tundra '05 Volkswagen Rabbit 07-08 Volvo S60 05: S60 {FWD) '04; S80 (5-cyL) '04 $14.000-$16,000 Acura TL 04; TSX 04-05 BMW M3'02;Z4'03 Bulck LaCrosse '07; Lucerne <V8) 06 Chevrolet Mallbu (4-cyl.)
•08

WRX/STI '05; Legacy <4-cyI.) 06: Outback (4-cyl.) 05 Toyota 4Runner '04; Camry Solara 06: Highlander 06; Matrix 08; Prius '05-06; RAV4 06: Sienna (FWD) 'Ob: Tacoma '06-07; TUndra '06 Volvo S40/V50 (turbo. FWD) 05; S60 (FWD) 06; S80 {6-cyl., FWD) 04; V70 (FWD) 04 $16,000-$18,000 Acura MDX 05: RSX '06; TL 05: TSX '06 BMW 3 Series (RWD) '05; X3 '04-05: 24 '0-1-05 Bulck LaCrosse '08 ford Edge (FWD) 07; Escape (V6, FWD) 08: Escape Hybrid '06. F-150 (VS. 4WD) 07; Fusion '08: Mustang '07 Honda Accord '07; Civic Hybrid 06; Element 08; Pilot 06; RIdgelfne 07; S2000 05 Inflniti FX35 04: G35 sedan (RWD) 05 Lexu5 ES 05: GX470 '03; LS '03; LX '00; RX '04 Mazda Tribute (V6, FWD) 08 Mercury Mariner (4-cyl.) 'O8:Mlfan'O8 Nissan 350Z 05; Murano '07; Rogue '08: Xterra '08 Porsche Boxster 01 Subaru B9 Tribeca 06; Forester 07-08; Impreza WRX/STI 06: Legacy (4-cyl.) '07; Outback 06 Toyota 4Runner '05; Avalon 05 06; Camry (4-cyi.) 07; Camry Solara 07; Highlander 07: Land Cruiser 02; RAV4 '07; Slenrta (FWD) 07; Tacoma (4-cyl.> '08

$1Z,000-$t4,000 Acura MDX '04; RL "04: RSX 05 8MW 3 Series coupe & convertible 01: M3 '99; Z3 01-02 Ford Crown Victoria 07; Escape (V6, FWD) 07: Escape Hybrid OS; F-150 (V6, 2WD> 07; F-150 (V8, 2WD) 06; Focus sedan '08; Fusion 06: Ranqer (ZWD) 07 Honda Accord 05: Civtc •06-07; Civic Hybrid '05; CR-V '05; Fit 07; S2000 '02-03 Hyundai Elantra 08; Santa Fe (V6) 06; Sonata '08; Tucson •Q/ intlnltl G35 sedan '03 Lexus ES 04; GS (6'cyL} '03-0-1: LS '01; RX '02-03 Lincoln Town Car '04 Mazda B-Serles (2W0) '07; MX-5 Miata 05-06; 3 '05-07 Mercury Grand Marquis '07; Mariner (V6, FWD) 06; Milan 06 Nissan Aitlma 0506; Frontier '06: Xterra '06 Pontiac Vibe 06-07 Porsche Boxster '99 Scion tc 07: xD 08 Subaru Forester '05; Impreza 06: Impreza

Ford Escape (4-cyl.) 08; Fusion ^07 Honda Accord 06; Civic 08; CR-V 06: Element 06-07; Fit 08; Pilot 05; Rldgellne '06; S2000 '04 Hyundai Santa Fe (V6) 07 Inflnttl FX3S 03; G35 sedan (RWD) 04 Lexus GS (6-cyl.) 05: IS '04; LS '02; LX '99 Lincoln Town Car 05: Zephyr'06 Mazda MX-5 Miata 07 08; 3 '08; 5 *08; 6 Sedan (4-cyl.) 07; Tribute (4-cyl.) Oß Mercedes-Benz CLK 02-03 Mercury Mariner (V6, FWD) '07: Mlian '07 Mitsubishi Outlander 07 Nissan Frontier 07; Maxima '06: Murano 06: Pathfinder 06 Pontiac Vibe 08 Porsche Boxster '00 Scion tc 08; x8 '08 Subaru Forester '06; Impreza '07-08; Impreza

152

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING GUIDE

2010

Volvo S40/V50 07; S80 (5-cv(.| 06; V70 (FWD) '05; XC70 '05 $18,000'$20,000 Acura MDX 06; RL '05; TSX 07 BMW 3 Series coupe & convertible 05; M3 '03 Buick Lucerne (V8) 08 Chevrolet Corvette 02 Ford Edqe 08 Honda Civic Hybrid 07; CR-V '07; Odyssey '06: Pilot 07; S2000 '06 Infintti FX35 05; G3S coupe 05; G35 sedan 06 Lexus ES 06; GX470 04; RX 05; SC '02 Lincoln Town Car 07 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 05; Mariner (V6, FWD) '08 Nissan 350Z 06; Maxima '07 Porsche Boxster '03 Subaru Baja 06 Leqacy (4-cyl.} 08; Outbach '07; Outback (4-cyl.) 08 Toyota 4Runner 06; Avaion 07; FJ Cruiser '07; Pflus •07; RAV4 '08; Sienna 08 Volvo S60 (FWD) 07; XC7D 06

$20,000-$Z4,000 Acura RL 06; TL 06; TSX 08 BMW X3 '06; Z4 '06 Chevrolet Corvette 03 Ford Escape Hybrid 'OT. F-15D (V8, 2WD) 08 Honda Accord 08; Ctvic Hybrid 08; CR-V 08; Odyssey 07; Pilot 08: Ridqeilne 08; S2000 07 Hyundai Santa Fe (V6) '08 Infiniti FX3S 06; G35 coupe 06; G35 sedan '07; M35 '06 Lexus LS -04-05; RX '06; SC '03-04 Lincoln MKX (FWD) 07: MKZ 08; MKZ (FWD) '07 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 07 Nissan 3501 07; Aitima Hybrid 07-08; Aitima (V6) 08; Frontier 06 Subaru Trfbeca '08 Toyota 4Runner '07-08: Camry Hybrid 07 08; FJ Cruiser 08; Highlander 08; Hlqhiander Hybrid '06; Land Cruiser 03-04; Prius 08; Sequoia '07; Tundra (V6) 07; Tundra (VB. 2WD) 07 Voivo S80 (6-cyi.. FWD) '07; V7D (FWD) V7; XC70 07

$24,000-S 30,000
Acora RDX 07 08; RL '07; TL '07 08 BMW 3 Series (RWO) '07 Chevroiet Corvette 'OA Ford Escape Hybrid 06 intinltf EX 08; FX3S 07-08; G35 sedan 08; M35 •07-08: M45 •06-07 Lexus ES 07; GS (V6. AWD) '06; GX470 '05-06; iS '06-07; LS '06; LX 03 04; SC '05 UncolnMKX tFWD)'O8 Mercedes-Benz CLK 07 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 08 Toyota Camry Solara 08; Hiqhiander Hybrid 07-06 $30,000 AND UP Acura MDX 07 08; RL'08 BMW 3 Series (RWD) 08; 3 Series coupe and conv. '07; 6 Series 05-06 Infiniti G37 coupe 08 Lexus ES 08; GS (V6. RWD) 06-07; GS450h (hybrid) '07;GX470'08;IS'08; LS ^07 06; LX '05-06; RX •0708; SC '06 Mercedes-Benz CLK '08 Porsche Boxster '06-07 Toyota Land Cruiser '06

Vehicles to avoid
This is CR's list of unreliable vehicles based on our 2006 survey. The vehicles earned belowaveraqe Used Car Verdicts, meaning they proved worse- or much-worse-than-average for the model years listed. Audi A3 06, •OB; A4 (4-cyL) '99-05; A4 (V6) "99, •01. '03; A6 (V6) 00-03, VB; A6 Allroad '01-04; A8 '04-05; Q7 '07; S4 01; TT 01 BMW 3 Series (AWO) 'Ot. 08; 3 Scries (RWD) GO: 3 Series (turbo, AWD) 07; 5 Series {6-cyi.) '08; S Series (V8) 99 03, 07-08; 7 Series '99-01; X3 '08; XS <6-cyl.) '01 02. -07-08; X5 (V8) •01/03-04.'06-08 Buick Century 00. 02; Enclave (AWD) '08; Rendezvous 0? 03; Rendezvous (AWD) '04-06; Terraza '05-06

T H E

B E 5 T

& W O R S T

U S E D

C A R S

153

Cdiltllac CTS'03,'05-08; ' DeVllie •99-O.i: DTS 08; Eldorado '99: Escalade '07-08: Seville 01 03; SRX 04 08; STS <V6) '06 08: STS (V8) 'OS 06 Chevrolet Astro '99'05: Avalanche 03-06, Aveo •O-l-ÜS, '07: Blazer '99-04: Cobalt 5edan 06; Colorado OA: Colorado (4WD) '05-07; CarvBtte 05-08; Equinox 05, '07: Express '99-03, 05: HHR 06: impala (V6) '00-02, '05 06; Impala (V8) '06 07: Lumina '00; Maiibu (V6) '99-04: Maiibu Maxx '04-05, '07: Monte Carlo {V6Í'99 02, 04, 'Ufa; S-10 14WD) '99-04: Silverado 1SO0 (Ve, 2W0) •05, '07-08: Silverado 1500 (V6, 4WD) 05 06; ~ Silverado 1500 (V8, 4WD) 03 06: Silverado 2500 (2WD) 04; Silverado 2500 (4WD) '0:i, 08: Silverado 2500 Iturbodiesel, 4WD) '03, '07 08; Suburban '99, '03-05, '07-08; Tahoe '99. 05, 07; TrallHlazer (6-cyl,) 06; TrallBIaier (VB) 0203, 06 08; Uplander'05-07: Venture '99-03, '05 Chrysler 300 (V6) 07 08; 300 (VB) 06; Crossítrt 04, LHS '99; Pacifica 04, 07 OS; PT Cruiser (nonturbo) 02 04: PTCrulMr (turbo) 03 06; Sebrinq convertible '0104. OR: Sebrinq coupe OV, Sebrlng sedan (4-cyl.) 02. 04; Sebrinq sedan 1V6) 0102, 04, 07; Town & Country (FWD) 01-05.'07 08; Town & Country (AWD) 99 05; Voyaqer (4-cyl.) '02-03; Voyaqef(V6) 01-03 Dodqe Avenger 08, Caravan (4-cvl.t •Ü;.'-O.Í, Ofr Caravan ( V e r o i OS, 'Oi';Charqer (V6) 06: Dakota 06 07; Dakota (4WD) 01, 05; Duranqo '99 02: Grand Caravan (FWD) 'Oi-05, '07-08: Grand Caravan (AWD) '99 OS; Intrepid '99, '02, '04; Maqnum 05; Maqnum (V8) Od: Neon '99-00. '02-03;

Nttro 07-08; Ram 1500 •99-00: Ram 1500 (4WD) '0! 02, •06-07; Ram 2500 (4WD) 03 0-1: Ram Z500 (turbodiesei, 4WD) 04, '06-OB; Ram van/waqon 00 01; Stratus coupe '01; Stratus sedan (4-cy(.) '99, 02, 04; Stratus sedan (V6) '01. '02, OA Ford Econoltne 'OA. '06; Excursion '01, '03-05: Expédition '03: Explorer '0204, '06; Explorer (V6. 4WD) 05: Enpiorer (VS, 4WD)'08; Explorer Sport Trac (V8) '07: F-250 (4WD) 0506; F-250 (turbodiesei 2W0) 05: F-250 (turbodiesei 4WD) 03 08; Focus hatchback '00, 02: Focus sedan '00: Focus waqon 01-02, 'O');Fre#star'O4.'06; Mustanq (V8) 06: Ranqer (2W0)'08; Taurus'99: Thunderbird 02: Windstar '99 01. '02 GMC Acadia 07 08; Canyon 04; Canyon (4WD) 05 07; Envoy '06; Enyoy (V8) '02-03. 07-08: Jimmy '99-01; S-15 Sonoma (4W0) 99 04; Safari '99-0^>; Savana '99-03. '05: Sterra 1500 (V6, 2WD) 05, 07 08: Sierra 1500 (V6, 4WD) íYrOb: Sierra 1500 (V8, 4W0) 0 3 06: Sierra 2500 (2W0) Ü4; Sierra 2500 (4WD) •02. '08; Sierra 2500 (turbodiesei 4W0) 03, 07-08; Yukon XL '99, -03-05, •07-08; YuKon •99, -05, -07 Honda Passport '99-00, '02 Hummer H3 06-07 Hyundai Accent 01; Entouraqe 07; Sonata (4-cyl.) "02: Sonata (V6) 00; Tiburón 03; XG300 01 Isuiu Rodeo '99-00, '02: Trooper 01 Jaguar S-TVpe 00, '02 03; XJ Series 01; XK Series '07; X-iype '0?, '04 Jeep Commander 06-07; Grand Cherokee '99-08; Uberty (V6) 06-08; Wrangler '0608 Kia AnumU '04; Scdona '02-06;

Sorento '03-05: Spectra '03. '05 Land Rover Discovery '99, •03-04; LR2 '08; LR3 '05-06; Ranqs (lover '06: Range Rover Sport Ob Lincoln Aviator 03-05; LS '00, '04-05; MKX (AWD) '07; Navigator 03-05, '07 Mazda 8-Serles (2WD) 08; CX-7 -or. Mllienia 01: MPV •02; RX-8'04-05; 6 sedan (V6) 03; Mazdaspeed6 06 Mercedes-Benz C-Class (4-cyl.) 05; C-Class(V6, RWD) '01, 01. '07: CLK •05-06; CLS ^06; E-Class (turbodiesei) OS; E-Class (V6, AWD) '01 02, 06-07; E-Class (V6, RWD) 08; E-Class (V8) 03, OS, '07; GL-Clas5 08; GL-Class (VB) 07; M-Class (turbodiesei) 08; M-Ctass (V6) 01. '04 06; M-Class (VB) 06; R-Ciass 06: S-Ciass (V8) •00, ^04; SL '03, '05; SLK 06 Mercury Grand Marqiris 08: Monterey '04, '06; Mountaineer ^02 04, "06; Mountaineer (V6, 4WD) 'O'y. Mountaineer (VB, 4W0) 08: Sable '99; Viiiaqer 99 Mini Cooper convertibie 05: Cooper convertibie S '06; Cooper hatchbacK 02 03, 05; Cooper hatchback S •03, '05-06 Mitsubishi Montero 01 Nissan Armada 04-05. '07; Pathfinder 05, 08: Quest '01 02, 04-06: Titan (4WD) '04-05: Versa sedan 07 Oidsmobile Aiero '99 02, 04; Aurora 01-02; Bravada •99-00, 02; intrigue'99: Siihouette '99 03 Piymouth Breez« '99, Neon '99 00 Pontiac Aztek 01 04; Bonneviii* 00-02, 05: G6 (V6) '05-08; Grand Am '99-03, 05: Grand Prix '9903; GTO Ofj: Montana '9903. 05: Montana SV6 05 06; Solstice (nonturbo) '0607; Solstice (turbo) 07 08

Poncht 9» 04, 07;

154

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUIDE

2010

Cnyenn« '04-06, '08 Saab 9-3 '03-06; 9-3 convertible 00, '03-04,-06:9-5 '99-05 Saturci Aura XC (V6) 08: ton coup« 05, 07; L-Sertts (V61 00-01, 03-04; Outlook '07-08; Relay •05-07; Sky 07: Sky tturtw) OS, Vue (4-cyl., AWD) 'OX Vue (FWD) 03. 06; Vin (V6,

AWD) '02 06, '08; Vue Green Line (hybrid) '07 Suzuki Gr«nd Vitara '06; XL-7 '07 Toyota Camry (V6> 08 Volkswagen Cabrio '99, '0V02; Eos -07; Golf *O2-O3; GTI (turbo) -02-03, '06-07; Jrtta (4-cyl.) '99 00. 03. '05; Jettn(turt(o)'Ol 04. 06; J c t U (V6} '00-01, '03;

New Beetle '99-07; Passat (FWD) '99-04. '06-07; Passat (V6, AWD) 00-01. '07; Touareg '04-06, '08 Volvo S40/V50 06; S40/V40 (turbo) 00; S80 (e-cyl., FWD)'99-00,'03; V70 (AWD) '04: V70 (FWD) 01; XC70 '99-01, '08; XC9D (6-CVl.) 03-07; XC9D (V8) '06

CR Best of the Best & Worst of the Worst
BEST OF THE BEST These 1999-2008 models (except where noted) have perlormed well in our road test and have had several years of öetter-ttian-average reliability. WORST OF THE WORST These have had multiple years of much-worse-than-avera(}e reliability amonq 1999-2008 models. All are listed alphabetically.

B«st of the BOTt Acura Inteqra Acura MDX Acura RL Acura RSX Acura TL Acura TSX BMWM3 BMW Z3. Z4 Buick Lucerne (V8) Ford Fusion Ford Mustang (V6) Honda Accord Honda Civic Honda CR-V
LJ M
f\ri

Lexus RX Lexus SC Lincoln MKZ, Zephyr (FWD) Mazda3 Mazda Miata Mazda Protege Mercury Milan Mitsubishi Outiander Nissan 350Z Nissan Aitima Nissan Frontier (•05-08) Nissan Maxima Nissan Xterra
I UD util

Toyota Camry Solara Toyota Célica Toyota Corolla Toyota Echo Toyota Highlander Toyota Land Cruiser Toyota Matrix Toyota Prius Toyota RAV4 Toyota Sequoia Toyota Sienna Toyota Tacoma ('05-08) Toyota Tundra Volvo $60 Worst ot the Worst Audi A6 Allroad Audi A8 BMW X5 (VB) Buick Rendezvous (AWD) Cadillac SRX Chevrolet Blazer Ctievroiet Colorado (4WD) Chevrolet S-10 (4WD) Chevrolet uplander Chevrolet Venture Chrysler Pacifica Chrysler Sebring convertible

Chrysler Town & Country (AWD) Dodge Grand Caravan (AWD) GMC Canyon (4W0) GMC Jimmv GMC S-15 Sonoma (4WD) Jeep Grand Cherokee Kia Sedona Land Rover Discovery. LR3 Mazöa RX-8 Old s mobile Bravada Silhouette Pontiac Aztek Pontiac G6 <V6) Pontiac Montana. Montana SV6 Porsche Cayenne Saturn Relay Volkswagen Cabrio Volkswagen Jetta . ÍV6) Volkswagen New Beetle (turbo) Volkswagen Passat (V6, FWO) Volkswagen Touareg .Volvo XC90(6-cyt.)

Honda Pilot Honda Ridgeiine Honda S2000 Hyundai Santa Fe infiniti FX35 Infiniti G20 Intiniti G35 (sedan) Infiniti 130.135 Infiniti M35 Infiniti 0X4 Lexus ES Lexus IS Lexus LS Lexus GS (5-cyl.. RWO) Lexus GX

Pontiac Vibe Porsche Boxster Scion tc Scion xB Subaru Baja Subaru Forester Subaru Impreza Subaru Impreïa WRX/STi Subaru Outback (6-cyl.) Subaru Tribeca Toyota 4Runner Toyota Avalon Toyota Camry (except '08 V6)

AUTO

R E L I A B I L i T Y

155

DETAILED AUTO RELIABILITY

T

he charts on the following pages give you a model's complete reliability picture tor both it.s iised versions (2003 through 2008) and Ihe new one currently on sale. Ihese detailed reliability Ratings are based on our 2008 Annual Car Reliability Survey, for which we received responses on more than 1.4 million vehicles. The Annual Car Reliability Survey is sent to .subscribers of CONSUMER
REPORTS and ConsumerReports.org.

Respondents reported on any serious

problems they had with their vehicles in any of [he trouble spots, included in the following charts, during the previous 12 months. Ihese were considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime. Because high-mileage vehicles tend to have more problems than low-mileage ones, problem rates are standardized to minimize differences related lo mileage. The 2008 models were generally less than six months old at the time of ihe survey and had been driven an average of about 3,000 miles.

How to use the charts
MAJOR REDESIGNS Average Problem Rates A model y&ar in bold identi- 1MMBU 5M}TS 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 W lies the year the model was EnglM 1 î 2 2 1 1 1 <¡ *1 *1 introduced oi underwenl a EMI« 9 7 6 5 4 I 2 1 1 <I Wnw major redesign. Engins 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 I i l <1 TROUBLE SPOTS 3 3 3 3 2 1 I 1 «1 «I Tram, To assess a used car in 4 j 3 3 2 2 2 t 1 uinof OrtN more detail, looV at ttie 6 5 5 5 4 4 3 2 2 1 Sfitm Individual Ratings For each FMlSTStin 10 1! 1 9 7 5 4 3 2 t 1 of the 17 trouble spots. flKtrkil 8 7 7 6 5 4 î 2 2 1 They will pinpoint a model's CUmitf 1 9 8 7 6 4 3 1 1 1 System strengths and weaknesses. Ratings are based on the percentage of survey respondents who reported problems for Ihat trouble spot, compared wilh the average of all vehicles for that year. Modeis that score a * are not necessarily unreliable, but Ihey have a higher problem rate than the
SlHp«Mhm BtakM (ilwst F»lnt/rrlin Bed« MtcgnlV Hènhntt

average model. Similarly, models that score a e are not necessarily problemfree, but they had relatively few problems compared With other models. Because problem rates In some trouble spots are very low, we do not assign a • or e unless the model's problem rate exceeds 3 percent. If a problem rate is betow 2 percent, it will be assigned a O; below I percent, it will be assigned a©. USED CAR VEROiCTS To check the overall reliability of a used car, look at the Used Car Verdict. This Rating shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year. The verdict is calculated (rom the total number of

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156

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUiDE

2010

proDlems imported by subscribers in all trouble spots. Because problems with major emjine and transmission systems, cooling system, and drive system can be 5erious and expensive to repair, our calculations give extra weight to them.

NEW CAR PREDICTiONS To determine the New Car Prediction, we averaged a model's Used Car Verdict for the most recent three years. provitJed the vehicle did not change significantly in that time and hasn't been redesigned for 2010 or 2009. We have found that several model years' data are a better predictor than the single most recent model year. One or two years'data may be used if the model was - redesigned in 2008 or 2007, or if there were insufficient data for more years. Sometinnes we Include a prediction for a model that is new or has been redesigned, provided Its reliabiiity history or the manufacturer's track record have been consistently above average. "NA" means there were insufficient data for a prediction. WHAT THETOOUBLESPOTS INCLUDE Enqine, major: Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head. head gasket, turbo-OTsuperchiarger, timing chaia EnQine, minor Oil leaks, timing belt, accessory belts, engine

mounts, pnqine knocit or ping. Engine, cooiinq: Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating. Transmission, major Transmission rebuild or replacement. torque converter, premature clutch replacement. Transmission, minonGear selector or linkacje, coolers and lines, rough shifting, slipping transmission, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch aciiiistment, hydraulics (clutch master or slave cylinder). Drive system: Driveshaft or axle. CV loint, wheel bearingis), differential, transfer case. 4WD/ AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, stabillty control, electrical failure. F\iei system: Check engine light, sensors (includes 02 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices [includes EGR), engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel iniection system, engine computer fuel pump, (uel tank, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation. Electrtwri: Alternator, starter. battery cables, engine harness. CDit. Ignition switch, electrical ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs ano wires failure, sensors or module. Climate system: Blower (fan) motor. A/C compressor. condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, defrost, refrigerant leakage. electrical failure.

Suspension: Shocks or struts. ball joints, tie roiSs, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering, wheel balance, springs or torsion tiars, bushings, electronic or air suspension. Brakes: Premature wear, pulsation or vibration, sgueahing. master cylinder. A8S, parking brake, brake failure. Exhaust Muffler, pipes. catalytic converter, eichaust manifold leaks. Paint/trim: Paint (fading, chalking, cracking., peeling), loose exterior trtiri or moldings, rust. Body integrity: Squeaks or rattles, seals, and/or weather stripping, air or water teaks, • loose interior trim and moldings, wind noise. Body hardware: Windows. locks and fatches^iaiigate. hatch or trunk, sliding doors, mirrors, seat mechanismfs), safety belts, sunroof, convertible top, glass defect. Power equipment and accessories: Cruise control, heated or cooled seats, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior light, horn, gauges. 12V power plug, alarm or security system. backup camera/sensors. Audio system: Navigation systems, radio speakers, CD or DVD player and changer cassette player, antenna. satellite radio, video screen. communication system.

AUTO TROUBLE SPOTS •O3'M'O5O6DT'O8 Enqltií, nw)of Enqinc, minor Engine Coollnq Trans. Major Ttdnj. Minor Orive S ï i t i n ) Fuel System 'O3'04'05'06'07'08 *

RE L I A B I L I T Y

157

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GUIDE

2010

TROUBLE SPOTS

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Ratings Key ©Excellent GVerygood OGood OFair

Quick Picks
ALL SEASON TIRES T-SPEED RATED Best for three season (non-wlnter> drivinq and long tread ilfe: ; Michelin HycJroEdge i Kumho Solus KR21 Best for all weather conditions: .r HanKook Optimo H727 •a Goodyear Assurance TripleTred PERFORMANCE ALL SEASON H-SPEED RATED Best for ali weather conditions: 1 MictiGjin Primacy MXV4 3 Nokian WR G2 5 Kumho Solus KH16 Best for three seasons <non-winter) driving; 2 Faiken Ziex ZE:912 4 Yokotiama Avid H4s

1B2

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUIDE

2010

Within types, in performance order. Grov key numbtrs indicate Quick Picks. Brand fi model Overall score Three-season drivinf Winter driving Comfort

2

C

D IDO P I F I G I VGI I PERFORMANCE ALL-SEASON V SPEED RATED MklMl)n Pilot Exalto A/S Firestone Firetiawk GTV BtidgKtone Turanza.serenitv Dunlop Signature Toyo Venado LX 6 7 8 9 Yokohama Avfd V4s Continental ContlProContait Goodyear Eagle GT

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10 Bridgestone Potenza G019 Grid 11 Goodyear Eagle Re5ponseEcfge 12 KtimhofrtsaLXPiatinum

13 Pirelli P6 Four seasons 14 Hankook Optimo H4I8 15 FuztonVRI

o e © mo Q © © @© © m • • © © © o e e © © o O © o e © © © mm© © « e e © © Q e o © o e © © O o o e o © o © O o © © o e o © O e © e e © 0 © o o o

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Ratings Key ^Excellent ©Verv@»d OGood QPait #Poot

Quick Picks
PERFORMANCE ALL SEASON V-SPEEO RATED Best tor all weather conditions: > Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S 4 Dunlop Signature Best z 3 5 6 (or three seasons (non-winter) driving: rirestone firehawk GTv Bridgestone Turanza Serently Toyo Versado LX General Altimax HP

TIRES

183

Within tvpft5, In performanc« order, Brunei 8 model

hey numbers Indicate Qutck Picks. Three-season drivine Winter driving comfort

Overall score

100 F i G i VGl E ALL-SEASON UHP Falken 2iexZE9i2 NittO HPO Geti ZR

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3 Yokohama ArivanS-i
4 5 Falken Zit'x ZESl? General Fxclaim UHP Continental funiitxiremeConiaci 7 8 Michelin PiloiSporl A/S Kumho ECSTAASX Sumitomo HTR * 10 11 12 13 14 15 R a ü l ^ Key ^Excellent Oiterygood OGood Pirelli P7eio Nero M'S BridgestoiK Potenza RE960 AS Pole Position Tovo Proxes 4 Cooper Zeon Sport A/S Avon Tt'LliM55O A/S

•Poor

Quick Picks
ALL SEASON UHP TIRES Best for three season drivlnq: I Z Falken Z\e\ 2E912 Nltto Neo Cen ZR Tor more winter tr«ction: 6 9 Continental ContiExtremeContact Stjnfiitomo HTR+

164

C O N S U M E R

R E P O R T S

B U Y I N G

G U i D E 2 0 1 0

Within types, In performance order. Gr^y key numbers indicate Quick Picks. NA= Not AvaiiabI«. BnndSmodei Three-season driving

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0 SUMMER UKP
Hlchelin Pilot Spori PS? : 3 '1 ^ : 7 s 9 Pirelli PZero BFGOodridig-ForceT/A KDW2 Bridgestone Potenza RE 050 A Pole Position Michelin Pilot Exalto PE¿ Continental ContiSporîContacl 3 Dufllop 5P Sport Maxx Goodyear Eagle F! GS-D3 Kumho ECSTASPT

100 P I F U ( Vbt t

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10 Fuzion ZRi 11 ToyoProxesTlfl U 14 Falken FK452 Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval 13 Yokohama Advan Sport 15 BFGoodrkh g-Force Sport 16 Hankook ventus SI evo K07 17 Pirelli P-Zero Nero 18 Avon Tei!i M500 19 20 Nlttoinvo Nitto NT 555 Extreme ZR

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21 Pirelli P Zero Rosso

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Ratings Key ©Exceifenl ©Very good OGood OFair #Po«

Quick Picks
SUMMER UHP TIRES Best summer UKP tires overall: 1 Michelin Piiot Sport PS2 2 Pireili P-Zero Other Qood chotees: 4 Bridgestone Potenia RE 050 A F>ole Position 5 Micheiin Piiot Exalto PE2 6 Continentai ContiSportContact 3 8 Goodyear Eagie Fl GS-D3

TIRES WKhln types, in performance order. Brand s model

1S5

key numbers Indicate Oukk Picks. Overall score
^

Winter driving
O DA £

Three-season driving
bfl C

Comfort
DO Ç

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100

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P I f U I VGI Í PERFORMANCE WINTER Continental contiwiniercomati IS8I0 Bridgestone Bliz^ak LM-2S NokianWR All weather Plus DuntopSP Wmler Sporl M3 Continental ContiWJnterContact TS810S NokianWfl All Wealtier Plus Mkhelln Pilot Alpin PU 8 9 10 tt Michelin Pilot Alpin PA2 Hankook lœt)eiirW300 Pirelli Winler 210 Sonozero DuntopSP Winler Sport M3 WINTER LIGHT TRUCK HictielinLaiitiideX-lte Bridgestone Bh27cík DM Z3 3 4 Cooper Discoverer MSS WintertorceU'S V H

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Ratings Key SExcellent 6\tety(|ood OGood Qfait

Quick Picks
PERFORMANCE WINTER Best for severe winter performance: ¿ I 5 Btidqestone Blizzak LM-25 H Continental ContiWinterContact TS810 H Continental ContiWinterContact TS810S V If freczinq weather is Infrequent: WINTER LIGHT TRUCK Best for winter driving; 1 2 Michelin Latitude X-lce BrJclge5tone BiizzaK DM-Z3

186

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUiDE

2010

Within types, In performance ordtr. •. •, key numbers Indicate Quich Picks. Brand & model Overall score Winter driving ,S
c
pft

Three-season driving ,S
olí

Comfort
on

-E

Ml

S

.S

ai

S

S 5

PI I WINTER TIRES Michelin X-ice XI2 • > 4 5 6 7 8 9 u General Altimax Arctic Nokian Hakkapeliitta S Michelin Primacv Aipin PA3 Nokian Hakkapelütta R Continentat ExtremeWinterContact BridgestoReBliznikWS6O PireriiSollozem 210 Series II DunlapGraspicDS-2 Glslaved NonJfn)$t 5

100 G iVGl E

10 HankoDh Winter l'Pike 12 Toyo Observe G-02 Plus 13 Yokohama ice Guard iG2Q 14 Goodyear UUra Crip ice 15 Firestwie Winterforce 16 CooperWcatlier-HaslerS/T?

17 HankDDkkebearWBQO
Ratings Key ^Excellent @Very good OGood OFair •Poor

OuIcK Picks WINTER TiRES Best for severe winter conditions: 1 Michelin Xlce XI 2 2 General Altimax Arctic 3 Nokian Hakkapeliitta 5

TIRES Within tvpe5, in performance order, i-r.:^ hey numbers Indicate OuicK Pictis. Brand 8 model Three-season driving Winter driving Comfort

»87

m
Pi F ALL-SEASON TRUCK General Grabber HTS Continental CrossCüniaci u 3 KumhoRoatl Venture APT K ü l cooper Discoverer a s 5 6 7 8 9 to It 12 13 t4 15 16 17 18 19 20 Mkheiln ITX M/S Yokohama Geoiandar H/T-S G05t Firestone Destination LE Bridgestone Dueier H/L Alenda D i y t o n Tlml]er]ine HT II Pirelli SiorpionSTR A Goodyear Wrangler SR A Dunlop Radial Rover A/T Hankook DynaPro AS ftHOa Goodyear Forîera TripieTred Toyo open country HA Nltto Dura Grappler Higiiway Terrain Dunlop Grandtrek ATZO Uniroyal Laredo Cross Country BFGoodrich Rugged Traii T/A Falken Zie)(S/TZ-04 IVGi F

Ratings Key ^Excelient Ovferygood OGood OFair • P o o r

Quick Picks
ALL SEASON TRUCK TiRES Best for three season drivinq: 1 2 General Grabber HTS Continentai CrossContact LX For lonqcr tre«d life: 2 4 Continentai CrossContact LX Cooper Discoverer CTS

188

CONSUMER

REPORTS

BUYING

GUIDE

2010

Within types, In performance order. G^-^v key numbers Indicate Oulch Picks. Grands inodei O\f(!rall score Winter driving Three-season driving Comfort i '

2
X}

^

IO D M FI G
ALL TERRAIN TRUCK Pirelli Scorpion ATR Yokohama Geoiandar A/T-5 Briitgestone Oueler A/T Revo

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Michelin ax A/T i
Tovo Open Couniry A/T Kumho Road Venture AT KL-78 Firestone Destination AA NittD Terra Grappler All Terrain Cooper Discoverer ATR 10 U 12 u 14 FuzionXTi Kelly Safari Trex Dayton TiintierNne AT II eoodyear wrangler SilentArmor General Grabber AT 2

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Ratings Key ©Excellent ©Vefygood OGood ©Fair • P o o r

Quick Picks
ALL TERRAIN TRUCK TIRES 8est for three season drivinq: r Pirelli Scorpion ATR 3 Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo For longer tread life: 1 Pirelli Scorpion ATR

Guide to the Ratings
Overall score is based on 12 lo 14 tests, with braking, emergency handling, and tiydroplaning resistance weighed most heavily tor most tires. Braking tests on dry pavement are from 60 mph; on wet pavement, from 40 mph; and on ice, from 10 mph. Handling combines how well a tire did in wet and dry cornerirnj grip, steering feel, and an emergency tiandling maneijver. Wet handling for ultra-highperfonnance tires is evaluated t)y driving the car through a wet slalom course. Hydroplaning denotes a tire's atjilltv to resist skimming along the surface ot standing water and causing loss ol steering ability. Snow traction tests denote how far a vehicle has to travel to accelerate from S to 20 mph on flat, moderately packed snow. Ride comfort and Noise are evaluated subjectively, on rough and smooth roads. Roiling resistance, as measured on a dynamometer, is a factor in (uel economy.

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