ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Using Consumer Reports to Understand a Car’s Reliability

Updated on April 23, 2019
motorcities profile image

Dedicated to the motor vehicles industry. We provide quality product reviews, industry insides, and latest news.

Before scrolling down the article, we need to clarify one thing - there is no simple answer as "Yes" or "No" that the Consumer Report will give you. We'll go into more details to help you understand how exactly it works below.

It's Not That Easy As "Yes" or "No"

First of all, there’s something you need to understand if you plan to use Consumer Reports to help you in your search for a new car.

That is that Consumer Reports is first and foremost a research institution. If you want a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the question, “Is this car reliable?” you’re going to have trouble, because their reports just aren’t structured that way.

Consumer report
Consumer report

The Difference In Analysis Between Newer And Older Cars

Complicating matters is the fact that you have to distinguish between new cars and cars that are several years old.

For a new car, things are often simpler – after all, there simply isn’t that much data to compile and analyze.

For older cars, however, you have to look at how they have held up in a historical perspective. Perhaps the car in question was great for the first three years but then developed severe transmission issues in about 75 percent of the five-speed automatic models.

That’s exactly the kind of thing you can find out in the Consumer Reports publications.

Understanding The Data

Consumer Reports, as the name implies, compiles reports that it gathers from its members and consumers.

That means that if something wasn’t studied – whether a model of car or a specific car system – they’ll have no information regarding it.

You need to approach Consumer Reports knowing what you’re looking for, with a willingness to search using a variety of terms.

Keep in mind also that the absence of evidence doesn’t, in and of itself, constitute evidence. For example, if Consumer Reports doesn’t have information about the transmission of a 2005 Whatzit, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t problems with it, just that Consumer Reports hasn’t yet studied and reported on it.

Analysing data
Analysing data

Example

So let’s say you’re interested in a particular car that hasn’t yet been reported on by Consumer Reports, although they have reported on other cars in that class.

You can still use Consumer Reports to determine which car is best in class. Find out why they chose that particular car as best in class and use those same criteria to evaluate the car you’re interested in.

In this way, Consumer Reports can give you tools to use in your own individual evaluations.

Think of this as being given a yardstick to use to measure your prospective car with.

How To Analyse Reliability

Reliability isn’t a single measure, so you won’t find a single report termed “reliability” in Consumer Reports.

For this reason, you have to acquaint yourself with the environment of the reports. There are different ways to approach reliability – what could be reliable in one class of cars in one area might be completely unacceptable in another class.

You have to understand what’s being discussed to be able to use the information given to its full advantage.

For example, the reliability of a truck used around the clock for work will be markedly different from the reliability of a Prius, where 24-hour run time is less of an issue.

By understanding the metrics Consumer Reports uses, as well as what’s important for the class of car you’re considering, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this great source of information.

© 2019 Motor Cities

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)