Business & Finance
Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports April 2018

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

United States
Consumer Union
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$7.01(Incl. tax)
$33.75(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
ask cr experts all your car questions

Each week at our test-track studio, our car experts record “Talking Cars With Consumer Reports,” an audio and video podcast. CR experts discuss cars we've tested, as well as news, safety, and all manner of advice. They also answer questions from viewers. You can find the latest show and browse through the extensive archives using Apple iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube. Or you can tour the complete show directory at CR.org/talkingcars, where you'll also find an episode discussing highlights from this Annual Auto Issue.…

2 min.
a new road ahead

JUST WEEKS AFTER the first issue of Consumer Reports hit newsstands in 1936, our experts had the idea to borrow the automobiles of their trusting friends and neighbors and take them out for a spin. Since those first reviews 82 years ago, drivers have counted on our independent, evidence-based ratings to help them make smart choices every time they shop for a car. Of course, innovation has revolutionized the auto industry many times over in the decades since then, and our methods have evolved in turn. From the heyday of the Studebaker to the dawn of self-driving features, CR has been there every step of the way to gauge performance, decipher new technologies, and challenge automakers to bring better, safer cars to America’s roads. This month, we’re building on that legacy…

3 min.
a tour around cr's auto test center

Consumer Reports operates a unique and extensive vehicle evaluation program at its 327-acre Auto Test Center in central Connecticut. Each year we spend about $2.2 million to buy some 50 new cars, SUVs, and trucks, and put them through a battery of 50-plus tests designed to assess comfort, convenience, and performance. A 30-member team of automotive engineers, writers and editors, technicians, statisticians, analysts, and support staff logs about 800,000 miles a year during the evaluations. As cars have become more sophisticated, so has our testing, ensuring that we can provide the best advice possible to our readers. Here are some highlights of our program. 1. HANDLING AND ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE On our handling course, we push each vehicle to its limits around corners to determine its grip and controllability. To see how well…

3 min.
don't neglect getting your airbags fixed

IT’S THE BIGGEST auto recall in U.S. history: 49.5 million airbags from the Takata company installed by 19 automakers, totaling 37 million cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Takata airbags have faulty inflators, which are the part that deploys the airbag when a vehicle is in a crash. In the defective airbags, moisture can enter the inflator over time and affect the chemicals inside. That can create an explosive force great enough to hurl parts of the inflator’s metal casing into the vehicle cabin, seriously injuring or killing the occupants. The toll has been grim since the nationwide recall was announced in 2015. Fifteen people, NHTSA reports, have died in the U.S. because of these airbags, and at least 240 have been injured. In 2017…

4 min.
is your car under recall & you don't know it?

About one of every four recalled vehicles on U.S. roads right now hasn’t been fixed. Collectively, hundreds of autosafety recalls are issued each year, covering everything from drivetrains to powertrains. All of those problems can place the safety of vehicle occupants— and others on the road—at risk. That's why it’s crucial for owners to keep up with recall notices. And you shouldn’t assume that just because your car is several years old that it’s out of the recall woods. In December 2017, for example, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles issued a recall for faulty gear shifters that affected more than a million Ram trucks dating all the way back to the 2009 model year. To help protect you and your family, Consumer Reports has created the Car Recall Tracker (CR.org/carrecalltracker). Enter your car’s make and…

11 min.
going the distance: the race to improve fuel economy

FOR CHRISTI MULKEY, a Texas businesswoman, government fuel-economy rules are more than dry numbers and technical jargon. Money saved from the improved efficiency of her truck fleet improves her bottom line and helps pay for richer employee bonuses. As CEO of Diverse Construction, one of the state’s few female-owned communications contractors, Mulkey sweats the fuel expense for her 15 work trucks. They’re mostly big, brawny Chevrolet pickups of various sizes, some strong enough to haul 18-foot trailers fully loaded with tools and materials for building and maintaining cell towers. Mulkey has noticed fuel efficiency notching up in recent years as she rotates in new trucks. The improved efficiency saves Diverse, based in Lewisville, about 20 percent on its fuel bill. Last year, it was about $135,000, Mulkey says. A few years ago,…