In June Consumer Reports knocked the Scion IQ as "slow, uncomfortable and noisy." Now it's bearing down on a few more auto brands, including some of the the most popular and even iconic nameplates in the U.S. auto industry, in its latest evaluation of vehicles that might disappoint car-buyers.
Honda Civic, Toyota Prius c, Jeep Liberty, Ford Edge and Dodge Grand Caravan are the five models evaluated by the highly regarded magazine as "popular cars to avoid." As part of its September issue look at the best and worst new cars, the magazine concedes that the vehicles, some of them among the biggest sellers now and even for decades, "may be on a lot of buyers' shopping lists, but we suggest you steer clear." The reasons: They didn't test well or have poor reliability, or both.
CR's gripes with each model:
Honda Civic: One reason the new 2012 Honda Civic didn't do well out of the gate last spring — besides the supply difficulties related to the earthquake and tsunami — was that Consumer Reports registered its disappointment with the car back then. Well, now, the magazine hasn't relented, asserting that Honda "took too many shortcuts in the latest redesign," resulting in a choppy ride, noisy cabin and other shortcomings. Yet this isn't likely to stop American consumers from flocking back to Civic now that supply is back: sales of Honda's best-selling nameplate were up by nearly one-third for the year to date through July.
Toyota's Prius c: The budget Prius c has extended the affordability and availability of Toyota's iconic hybrid technology down the financial ladder and expanded the Prius brand. But Consumer Reports apparently believes that Toyota went too far in the effort, producing a vehicle that "suffers from a stiff ride, noisy cabin, slow acceleration and cheap-looking interior trim."
Jeep Liberty: This little SUV long has suffered from poor opinions of its ride and overall quality, and the magazine gave Liberty one of its lowest scores of testing on the road. But again, the wisdom of the American buying public may give them a deaf ear toward new versions of this old critique: Liberty sales were up more than one-third for the year to date through July.
Dodge Grand Caravan: There's no doubt that the original minivan, now a nearly 30-year-old model, is getting a bit long in the tooth despite continual upgrading over the decades. The magazine tagged it for squeaks, rattles and other maladies of its old frame as well as mileage of only 17mpg in testing.
Ford Edge: This is one of the oldest of the new generation of Ford vehicles, and Consumer Reports mentions its much-worse-than-average reliability ratings. It also hangs the MyFord Touch fiasco on Edge, a problem with all Ford vehicles carrying the technology about which CR carried the banner of concern last spring.
See consumers weigh in on their auto disappointments on CR's Facebook post today.