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Consumer auto reports accurate?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by xfarfuldog, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. xfarfuldog

    xfarfuldog

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    I'm looking to buy a new (probably used) car. I have a new CR magazine and the only reliable cars seem to be Toyota, Honda and Subaru.

    I have owned over 30 cars during my lifetime. Almost all were GM and most of them muscle cars. I started out with a 1964 GTO convertible at age 16. I have had Z/28's, Trans Ams, Corvettes, Grand Nationals etc.

    My last car was a 2000 GMC Jimmy 2 door 4X4. I purchased it 8 years ago as a certified used car. I put a little over 60,000 miles on it before selling it. It was always garaged, babied and anything that was wrong with it I fixed.

    I loved it and still miss it now. The body and interior are still excellent. When I sold it at 98,000 miles I could not stand the cost of repairs or the 16 mpg. In the last year I had to spend over $ 2500.00 to repair the AC, a new radiator etc. Two years before that I replaced the transmission for $2000.00 at Aamco. After the transmission broke down 4 more times within 2 months, I went to my GMC dealer and spent another $ 2500.00.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg on the Jimmy. Although a dyed in the wool GM fan, I am looking at mostly Japaneese cars. I am presently driving my mothers 2006 Saturn with 19,000 miles. She is in a nursing home and will never drive again I am not crazy about the Toyotas etc but I do like their gas mileage numbers and their reliability.

    I am seeking suggestions on cars as well as input on some of you who have had good luck with GM's and other cars. My only non GM cars I have owned were 2 Fords, a Nissan, a Fiat, and a Jeep.
     
  2. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    Basically, all car makes are selling the best cars they've ever produced. And the most safe.

    I had a 2002 4x4 Tahoe that now has ~230K and it still runs like a top. With more or less no non-consumable repairs.

    It was by far the best car I've ever owned for any length of time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

  3. chr_edw

    chr_edw Holster Maker

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    Been a few years since I was in the car business. But somethings never change **opinions from writers are like A$5 H01E$ everyone has one ** But it's somewhere to start. I thought you were asking about services like car fax when I opened the thread which are pretty much useless since and extremely small percentage gets reported to them.
     
  4. VANWALL

    VANWALL

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    I agree with the statement that it would be a good starting point.

    I know from experience looking at the car ratings you will find Honda, Toyota near the top which matches what a lot of the GNG members state.

    You can go to car specific forums to get more information but keep in mind that more people will post with problems than people with no issues. You will find items to check when buying a specific car.

    Consumers reports will also provide specs on most cars which is nice for comparisons.
     
  5. xfarfuldog

    xfarfuldog

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    I had always thought that if I bought a good used car, didn't abuse it, and kept up with maintenance, it would last me a lifetime. The experience with my Jimmy soured me on that.
    I am really asking if I can rely on the Consumer Reports articles. Was my experience with my beloved but unreliable Jimmy a fluke?

    I really like the looks of the Chevy Cruize. According to CR it is a POS. The Toyota RAV4 is very expensive. Same with the CRV. CR recommends you buy a several year old Toyota etc over a new GM car??

    Thanks for your input.
     
  6. 686Owner

    686Owner NRA Life Member

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    Just look at the numbers. The cars with more repairs have more repairs, but the cars with less repairs have repairs as well. You can increase your odds with a more reliable car, but you can't guarantee a good one.
     
  7. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    Me thinks you need to find a new mechanic. :faint:
     
  8. vikingsoftpaw

    vikingsoftpaw DEPLORABLE ME!

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    Domestics cars designed after 1997 took a big bit quality and style-wise. That was the year of a national UAW contract. As long as the Big 2.5 were selling $45K+ trucks and SUV everything was great.

    Generally speaking, Honda and Toyota are the best long term reliably. This is so, as they are not as hamstrung cost wise, as the Big 2.5 union manufacturers. They can afford to put more of an emphasis into quality parts.

    Everything mass produced is subject to mechanical failure. One needed to look for patterns of failure. An example is Ford and their transmissions.
     
  9. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    I would have no problem buying a higher end American car, but in the smaller cars I wouldn't touch one with a ten foot pole. American car manufacturers don't respect that market. They are still lazy, they want to sell big expensive vehicles with a lot of markup, mostly sold by styling and marketing. They don't want to sell econoboxes to everyman sold on value.

    I bought one of those books in 1982 and ended up with the worst car I ever owned as a result. Best car in the subcompact catagory. What a crock. Should have bought a VW Rabbit, I'd still be driving it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  10. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Since you have a car... It sounds like a fairly useable one? You know you will take a hit on trade in? So find out value, pay siblings their share and drive.
     
  11. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Grumpy Old Guy Silver Member

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    If the Saturn is good then buy from your MOM and drive it. Cheapest solution.
    I have a 2008 Pontiac Vibe (Toyota Matrix in drag). For the small car it is I like it extremely well. :supergrin:
     
  12. xfarfuldog

    xfarfuldog

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    The Saturn is my mothers car For the last year and a half she has been a nursing home. She is 95 and broke both hips to put her in the home. She now has alzheimers and is unable to take care of herself. I made the payments on the Saturn for the last 2 years for her.

    She is in the nursing home thanks to medicaid. My sister and I purchased a recliner and a big screen tv to lower her savings down below the $ 1500.00 limit. Of the $ 1200.00+ she receives from social security each month, medicaid takes it and leaves her $ 40.00 per month.

    Medicare "allows us to keep" the car to move her around, get medicine etc. We contacted an attorney when this occurred. The attorney told us to immediately put the car in my name. Medicaid told if we took the car out of her name, they would charge us $ 10,000.00 a month or throw her out of the nursing home.

    So now I drive it all the time.
     
  13. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff

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    The quality metrics say that statement is false. Overall quality of virtually all brands has been rising steadily for the past 20 years, some at greater rates than others. YEs, there are individual models and years that are turds, but in general, they are all getting better with time, and the US "big 3/2.5" have risen the most.

    Consumer reports data on repair rates for models of cars are based on surveys done primarily on CU customers. That may make the data skewed. Here is why I suspect this?:

    When they report repair rates for a model of vehicle, they often separate the vehicle by engine type, (8 cylinder vs. 6 or 6 cyl. vs. 4) In many cases, the repair rates for NON-driveline systems is reported as different between the two engine categories.

    What that means, for example, is that Nissan Maxima with a V6 is reported as having less suspension problems than the same model with a 4 cylinder engine. I find that VERY hard to believe, since they share a common suspension system. That sort of stuff makes me question the accuracy of their data when it comes to repair metrics.