Consumer Reports New Cars

Consumer Reports New Cars November 2018

Consumer Reports New Cars will help you decide which new car, suv, minivan, or pick up truck is right for you. We buy every vehicle our engineers test and drive them like you would. We also provide exclusive, real world reliability ratings based on subscribers' experiences with more than 740,000 vehicles.

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United States
Consumer Reports, Inc.
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1 min.
how to get the most out of an auto show

> Make a plan. Narrow down the list of cars you’re interested in before you get there. A good place to start is the vehicle profiles beginning on page 56. > Collaborate. Take everyone who will drive or ride in the car with you, so they can all judge comfort and ergonomics. > Kid approved. If you have kids, see how easy it is for them to get into the car and use the seat belts. That’s especially true for models with third rows. > Check the schedule. Make sure the brands and cars you want to see will be there; they aren’t at every show. And keep in mind that weekends and holidays may be the busiest times. > Write it down. Remember to take notes and pictures of cars and features that…

3 min.
acura rdx

ACURA’S THIRD-GENERATION RDX impresses us with its powerful turbocharged engine, improved handling, quiet cabin, and standard advanced safety features. But we are far less enthusiastic about the RDX’s infotainment system, which we found distracting and confusing to operate. Prices start at $37,300 and reach $47,400, which positions the RDX about $6,000 less than comparably equipped rivals. We just bought our own RDX for our test fleet. These are our initial thoughts. How It Drives The RDX uses a new 2.0-liter, turbo four-cylinder engine that’s rated at 272 horsepower. Although that’s down 7 from last year’s model, and the V6 that powered the previous generation RDX is no longer available, Acura still brings more power to the party than its competitors. Only a handful of competitors offer turbo four-cylinder engines with more horsepower. How the new RDX…

2 min.
ram 1500

THESE DAYS, the trend is for trucks to drop weight but stay tough. That’s one reason the redesigned Ram is reportedly 225 pounds lighter than the previous model, thanks in large part to high-strength steel, composites, and aluminum. Despite shaving off pounds, the truck has grown: Its overall cab length increases 4 inches, making an already spacious interior even roomier. The 2019 Ram 1500 has two powertrain options, including a V6 and V8. Ram says it will continue to offer a diesel engine option down the road. A mild hybrid system is standard on the V6 and optional on the V8, and Ram says it can deliver about a 10 percent boost in fuel economy. Ahead of purchasing one for a full test, we rented a V8-powered crew cab Ram 1500 in mid-level…

157 min.
user’s guide to vehicle profiles

1. Recommended Vehicles These are the vehicles that meet Consumer Reports’ stringent testing, reliability, and safety standards. These vehicles must perform well in our testing, have average or better reliability, and perform adequately if included in safety tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2. Model-Line Information Base price is the range of the manufacturer’s base suggested retail price (MSRP) without options or destination charge for all versions of the model. An “E” indicates the price is estimated. Models often come in various body styles and trim lines, which are versions that differ mainly in standard equipment, available options, and price. A dash (—) means that only one trim line was available. Pickup trucks are listed by available cab configurations. Drive wheels…

2 min.
subaru ascent

THE SUBARU ASCENT is a new three-row SUV—the first the automaker has sold since 2017. Larger than the popular Subaru Forester, it takes a simple, function-based approach that merges convenience with practicality. We rented two SUVs from Subaru to sample this all-new vehicle before we purchase our own for testing. We were impressed by the Ascent’s responsive engine and comfortable ride, but wished it handled better and had more space in the third row. How It Drives The Ascent’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine may trail its chief rivals in cylinders and horsepower, but it provides plenty of power in real-world driving, and it’s quieter than a typical Subaru engine. The CVT does a good job mimicking the gear changes in a regular transmission. We liked that the Ascent cushions road imperfections without feeling floaty, with…

1 min.
behind the reliability ratings

The chart here shows the average rates of problems in each trouble spot by model year for all vehicles in CR’s Annual Auto Survey. This is the basis for the Reliability History charts. For example, in 2015, 3 percent of vehicles had In-Car Electronics problems on average. The 2015 Honda Fit (facing page), scores a (Better Than Average), because 2.4 percent of them had a problem in this area. In 2015, the average rate of problems in the Paint/Trim trouble spot was 1 percent. Since 3 percent of 2015 Fits were reported to have a problem in this category, it has a score of (Worse Than Average). Because high-mileage cars tend to encounter more problems than low-mileage cars, problem rates are standardized to minimize differences due to mileage. The 2017 models were generally less than…