Who would buy a car that doesn’t come recommended?
Most car buyers get their recommendation from family or friends. Advertising inspires some, and others need no recommendation beyond their own research and experience.
Plenty of car shoppers use a combination of all the recommendations they can get, but few are more influential than the “recommended” status as given by Consumer Reports.
The stalwart of consumer protection and advice has a coveted list of cars it recommends to subscribers. Automakers love being on the list, because it gives their vehicles more credibility. Falling off that list, though, can mean trouble.
Just ask the 2012 Honda Civic, which failed to receive the publication’s recommendation for being underpowered and having too much road noise and a cheap-feeling interior. That led to a redesign for 2013 and a much better car for consumers.
This year, some surprising vehicles have lost their recommended status.
Generally, cars become more reliable each passing year within a model generation. First-year bugs tend to get sorted out as the automaker becomes more adept at assembly and addresses component shortcomings. But, this isn’t always the case.
Each year, we also find several cars that have declining reliability, bumping them off our recommended list. This can be caused by problems that emerge after cars accumulate more miles and face more seasons. Whatever the cause, dwindling reliability has led to the following models losing their Consumer Reports recommendation.
Those models are:
- BMW 328i (RWD)
- Cadillac ATS (turbo)
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Chrysler 300
- Infiniti QX60
- Mercedes-Benz M-Class (non-diesel)
- Ram 1500 (V8, 4WD)
There are some expensive cars on that list, so don’t assume that a new car is perfect just because it costs a lot of money. Cars normally lose their recommended status due to problems with reliability, poor value for the money, or questionable build quality.
While this affects new cars, it’s probably a good idea to check the recommended status of used cars while shopping, too.
Or, you know, you could just ask a friend.
Does the Consumer Reports “recommended” status affect your decision to purchase a car?