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Discussion Starter #1
OK, my April 2007 Consumer Reports arrived in the mail today. It's a shame that they haven't been able to fully evaluate and rate an Acadia/Outlook, but here's what it says for those that don't subscribe. Lists the Acadia as "to be tested" as well as the Outlook, but not the Enclave.

GMC Acadia
The Acadia is one of three new large, car-based SUVs from General Motors that have three rows of seats. It uses a 3.6 liter, V6 engine that produces 275 hp. Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, they combine to make a smooth and refined powertrain. It will be available with front- or all-wheel drive. The Buick Enclave and Saturn Outlook share the same platform as the Acadia. Based on initial impressions of the Outlook, the ride is comfortable and the interior is quiet. The third-row seats are roomy enough to accommodate two adults when the ssecond row is moved forward.

...interesting how the Outlook description is similar yet different...
Saturn Outlook
The Saturn Outlook (along with the GMC Acadia and the Buick Enclave) is one of GM's new large car-based SUVs with three rows of seats. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is smooth and refined. A slick six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Initial impressions indicate that the Outlook has a comfortable ride and responsive handling. The interior is quiet and pleasant. Front- and all-wheel-drive models are available. The third-row seat is roomy enough for adults when the second-row is moved forward. Six air bags and a rollover-detection system are standard.

...and the Enclave...
Buick Enclave
The Enclave is a car-based SUV with three rows of seats, and will replace both the Rainier and the Rendezvous. It shares a new platform with the Saturn Outlook and GMC Acadia. All three use GM's contemporary 3.6-liter, V6 engine with variable valve timing, producing 275 hp. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Enclave will be available in front- or all-wheel-drive models. Based on initial impressions of the Outlook, we found the ride comfortable and quiet, and the powertrain smooth. The third-row seat is roomy enough for adults with the second row moved forward.


I'm guessing that if Buick will stop making the Rainier, GMC will stop making the Envoy. What that means for the Saab 9-7x and the Isuzu Ascender is anyone's guess. I could see the Saab moving to the Lambda platform, but can't imagine the Isuzu moving there, but being discontinued. Plus, Isuzu is adamant that they only make trucks.

I wish they stated in which issue the Acadia/Outlook review and rating will appear. Page 4 says that reviews of "small SUVs" (Dodge Nitro, Hyandai Santa Fe, Mitsubishi Outlander (sort of got panned in ratings), Subaru Forester, and Suziki XL-7) are "coming soon." Will be very interesting to hear what CR says about fit and finish and how GM and GMC are otherwise improving with "Professional Grade."

All in all, quite encouraging for a new car, given how tough CR is on American cars. Otherwise interesting to note that they give GM general kudos for improving quality in recent years. Can't believe that they "recommend" 54% of Fords (includes Mercury and Lincoln), but only 36% of GM vehicles. Both are a far cry better than only 21% of Chrysler vehicles (includes Dodge and Jeep).
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

if it were a Honda Acadia or Toyota Outlook, they'd be hailed as innovations and another example of the greatness of Japan Inc.


I'm sorry. Was that cynical? ;)
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

Consumer Reports articles are so biased.  I never believe anything they say in their reviews or cars.

And no, it wasn;t cynical Pelle.  100% correct
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

I would agree. I heard the chief auto guy there was a previous Nissan guy and biased towards anything imported....just what I heard.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

I think CR is a great resource as long as you use them as a resource and not let them make your decisions for you. My experience with respect to their reliability surveys is they are very accurate. For example, on 3 of my most recent vehicles they said:

'91 Dodge Spirit - Good overall reliability, but stay away from the 4-speed automatic transmission. Sure enough I bought one with the 4-speed tranny and it crapped out after 47k miles. I had no other major mechanical problems with the car in 10 years of ownership.

'97 Dodge Grand Caravan - Has rated below average overall and that has been my experience. Rated the transmission with a black dot and sure enough, it crapped out at about 81k miles.

'01 Nissan Pathfinder - Rated above average overall and that has been my experience. The only mechanical category that had the dreaded black dot rating was the fuel system. Sure enough, a fuel sensor went bad on mine. That's the only time it has been back to the dealer.

I do think they are somewhat biased against domestic cars, but let's face it - some of that has been well deserved. I could be wrong, but I bet you will see them give the Lambdas pretty good reviews when the road test comes out. One thing to keep in mind is that they will find something bad to say about every vehicle. They even complain about road noise in the Hondas that they love so much.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

They also do not know how to conduct a survey. I have an online subscription and received a survey to fill out in which they asked me what vehicles I owned... one of the questions they asked was along the lines of "Has this vehicle been in the repair shop in the past 12 months?" They did not make a difference between maintenance work and repair. If a domestic vehicle is underpowered they will rail against it. But they never say squat about a BMW 525 or a Mercedes E320 being underpowered or requiring premium gas.

A few years ago they rated the VW Passat very highly. Every person that I know that owns either a jetta or passat has major electrical problems that the dealer can not isolate or fix. CR should stick with reviewing appliances.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

budi said:
They also do not know how to conduct a survey. I have an online subscription and received a survey to fill out in which they asked me what vehicles I owned... one of the questions they asked was along the lines of "Has this vehicle been in the repair shop in the past 12 months?" They did not make a difference between maintenance work and repair. If a domestic vehicle is underpowered they will rail against it. But they never say squat about a BMW 525 or a Mercedes E320 being underpowered or requiring premium gas.

A few years ago they rated the VW Passat very highly. Every person that I know that owns either a jetta or passat has major electrical problems that the dealer can not isolate or fix. CR should stick with reviewing appliances.
You obviously didn't read the whole survey if you are focusing on one question. You also need to pay attention to whether you are looking at road test ratings or reliability ratings. Reliability does not enter into their road test ratings. On the Passat, they rated it very highly in terms of the road test, but as with almost all the VW's they have rated it below average in reliability most years.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

budi said:
CR should stick with reviewing appliances.
I used to subscribe to CR online, but, like everyone else said, they are biased when it comes to automobiles. I haven't noticed it as much with, say...home appliances. Nonetheless, they claim they are objective fact finders when in reality that's just not true. I think they may be on Honda's payroll.....
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

The more you look at their reliability research, the less confidence you'll have in it.

Two of my critiques:

Shortcomings of Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports survey critique

And I'm not just being critical. Every thing I criticize about them I'm doing differently in my own research. The admin of this forum has been very supportive, even stickying a topic. As a result, 13 Acadias have signed up to help so far. There are also 20 Saturn Outlooks in the panel.

So I think I'll have initial results in May, with better results in August, and even better results in November. At which point CR will release its first results based on the same ownership period as my May results.

I really want as many Acadias as possible here. The more I have, the more people will realize that CR won't always be the only game in town.

As others point out, the road test ratings are separate. I have far fewer problems with these, the main one being that they won't divulge the formulas used to calculate the overall scores. Which limits buyers' ability to think for themselves, and is just plain silly.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

loach said:
I think CR is a great resource as long as you use them as a resource and not let them make your decisions for you. My experience with respect to their reliability surveys is they are very accurate. For example, on 3 of my most recent vehicles they said:

'91 Dodge Spirit - Good overall reliability, but stay away from the 4-speed automatic transmission. Sure enough I bought one with the 4-speed tranny and it crapped out after 47k miles. I had no other major mechanical problems with the car in 10 years of ownership.

'97 Dodge Grand Caravan - Has rated below average overall and that has been my experience. Rated the transmission with a black dot and sure enough, it crapped out at about 81k miles.

'01 Nissan Pathfinder - Rated above average overall and that has been my experience. The only mechanical category that had the dreaded black dot rating was the fuel system. Sure enough, a fuel sensor went bad on mine. That's the only time it has been back to the dealer.

I do think they are somewhat biased against domestic cars, but let's face it - some of that has been well deserved. I could be wrong, but I bet you will see them give the Lambdas pretty good reviews when the road test comes out. One thing to keep in mind is that they will find something bad to say about every vehicle. They even complain about road noise in the Hondas that they love so much.
I agree with you, but they are still biased toward Toyotas and Hondas. They don't come out and say when a flop model comes out from them such as the ugly Echo. Their reviews are solely based on value. So you can buy a Toyota which you will never "enjoy" driving but yet it is rated best buy or somewhere near it every year. There is so much more than just reliablity in a car. To me if a car runs for 3 years without any trouble is good enough versus driving something which as dead in feeling as a Toyota. Since most of the cars are covered bumper to bumper in first 3 years reliablility just becomes secondary and perfomance, safety, looks and FUEL CONSUMPTION become more important (to me at least).
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

coopermine said:
FUEL CONSUMPTION
well you can't beat Toyota there. remember, they run on hugs and smiles and actually improve the environment while you drive. or at least that's how it is "reported" in the media :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: Consumer Reports says...

SAF_ALG said:
I would agree. I heard the chief auto guy there was a previous Nissan guy and biased towards anything imported....just what I heard.
I agree, but they aren't too keen on German cars.... I'd say biased toward anything Japanese, not anything imported.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

I agree that CR has some shortcomings, but the reliability surveys are still a pretty useful tool. I have lots of tools in my toolbox when I buy cars though - CR is only one of them. Forums such as this one are another. Mkaresh's truedelta site looks very promising, and I will certainly sign up once I buy my Lambda (90% sure I'm getting one).
 

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Some Additional Thoughts on the latest Consumer Reports

Here are a couple of interesting things I've noted in CR's annual Auto issue that just came out...

pg. 18, middle column says, "GM has had some hits and misses... Many GM vehicles wind up with mediocre test scores because of subpar braking, emergency handling, and real-world fuel economy..."

pg. 16, report cards: GM Lows - Handling, fuel economy, brakes, rear seats, turning circles, fit and finish, noise.

They also say elsewhere that those things which GM rates low on, factor heavily into their ratings.

Well some of these items are the very ones that the new Acadia is being trumpeted for. The car-based crossover should provide better handling and better fuel economy. The turning circle, to me, seems very good. CR already said the interior is quiet, and we all know about the roomier-than-the-competition rear seats. Not to mention Stabilitrak which, I'm assuming will be a plus.

I've also noticed that as CR looks to the past, GM tends to be lower on the list. But as they look toward the future and predicted reliability, GM has jumped upwards several notches.

Yes, GM has had some hits and misses, but from what I've read and seen so far with the Acadia, I'm predicting a "hit" this go around.
 

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Re: Some Additional Thoughts on the latest Consumer Reports

I am sure their hit will still be a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
 

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Re: Some Additional Thoughts on the latest Consumer Reports

coopermine said:
I am sure their hit will still be a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
I think you're probably right. But I think it will be harder now for them to turn a blind eye to the Acadia.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

The third-row seats are roomy enough to accommodate two adults when the second row is moved forward.
I'm 5'7 and I fit in the third row seat with the 2nd row seats all the way back. Granted it only gives me barely an inch of knee room, but if the seats were even a bit forward in the 2nd row, I'd have plenty of room in the third row.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

when we were looking at the Acadia, I did the 'leg room test'.

I sat in the driver's seat and adjusted it until I was comfortable.

Then I sat in the 2nd row and adjusted it until I had enough leg room.

THEN I said in the 3rd row, and found that I had plenty of leg room.

I'm 6' tall - so draw your own conclusions about leg room in the Acadia.
 

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Re: Consumer Reports says...

loach said:
budi said:
They also do not know how to conduct a survey. I have an online subscription and received a survey to fill out in which they asked me what vehicles I owned... one of the questions they asked was along the lines of "Has this vehicle been in the repair shop in the past 12 months?" They did not make a difference between maintenance work and repair. If a domestic vehicle is underpowered they will rail against it. But they never say squat about a BMW 525 or a Mercedes E320 being underpowered or requiring premium gas.

A few years ago they rated the VW Passat very highly. Every person that I know that owns either a jetta or passat has major electrical problems that the dealer can not isolate or fix. CR should stick with reviewing appliances.
You obviously didn't read the whole survey if you are focusing on one question. You also need to pay attention to whether you are looking at road test ratings or reliability ratings. Reliability does not enter into their road test ratings. On the Passat, they rated it very highly in terms of the road test, but as with almost all the VW's they have rated it below average in reliability most years.
I read the whole survey as it was presented to me one question at a time. In fact I gave feedback that they need to ask two different questions "Did you take your car in for regular scheduled maintaintance?" "Did you have to take the car in for unscheduled maint."
Sure enough a few months later I got a new survey asking two distinct questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Re: Some Additional Thoughts on the latest Consumer Reports

Acustk5 said:
Here are a couple of interesting things I've noted in CR's annual Auto issue that just came out...

pg. 18, middle column says, "GM has had some hits and misses... Many GM vehicles wind up with mediocre test scores because of subpar braking, emergency handling, and real-world fuel economy..."

pg. 16, report cards: GM Lows - Handling, fuel economy, brakes, rear seats, turning circles, fit and finish, noise.

They also say elsewhere that those things which GM rates low on, factor heavily into their ratings.

Well some of these items are the very ones that the new Acadia is being trumpeted for. The car-based crossover should provide better handling and better fuel economy. The turning circle, to me, seems very good. CR already said the interior is quiet, and we all know about the roomier-than-the-competition rear seats. Not to mention Stabilitrak which, I'm assuming will be a plus.

I've also noticed that as CR looks to the past, GM tends to be lower on the list. But as they look toward the future and predicted reliability, GM has jumped upwards several notches.

Yes, GM has had some hits and misses, but from what I've read and seen so far with the Acadia, I'm predicting a "hit" this go around.
Thanks for the additional posting. I agree that the trend with GM has been up and up, and I, too, believe the Acadia will be a hit.

To those that dislike CR, I too, take it with a grain of salt, and it's just one of many tools. I thought everyone would be interested in what they had to say without buying the magazine.
 
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