Consumer Reports New Cars

Consumer Reports New Cars November 2019

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.
features to skip

BIGGER WHEELS AND LOW-PROFILE TIRES These often make the ride less comfortable, primarily because smaller sidewalls make tires stiffer. In addition, larger wheels and thinner tires are more susceptible to costly damage from potholes and curbs. “Don’t be fooled by how they look,” says Gene Petersen, who runs CR’s tire-testing program. “Low-profile tires and larger wheels mean there’s less rubber to absorb road bumps. You’ll definitely feel the difference, and not in a good way.” BUILT-IN NAVIGATION SYSTEMS Most are expensive and may require map updates. Instead, use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay by plugging your smartphone into your car through a USB port. Doing so allows drivers to directly tap into their phone’s map apps—such as Google Maps or Waze—and display them on the car’s screen. LANE KEEPING ASSIST Automatically steers or brakes when the…

2 min.
safety update and crash-test ratings

WHEN ASSESSING SAFETY, it’s important to compare vehicles in the same class. Models perform differently in crashes based on their size and what they hit. Even a small car with top crash-test ratings will take the brunt of an impact if hit by a larger, heavier vehicle. As safety technology progresses rapidly, we’ve begun evaluating some active safety features in our test program. As part of our Overall Score, we give additional consideration to advanced safety systems—offered as standard equipment across all trim levels of a particular model—that can help drivers avoid an accident or lessen the impact of a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts a front small-overlap crash test that replicates a 40-mph crash in which 40 percent of the front of a car hits a rigid barrier.…

5 min.
top tires for every season

Tires, standout vehicles, ratings, vehicle profiles, and testing data IT’S HARD TO overstate how important tires are to safe driving. After all, they’re the only part of the car that touches the road. That’s why so many consumers in colder climates spend the time and expense to swap winter/snow tires twice a year to ensure that their vehicles have the best grip possible. With that inconvenience of swapping in mind, manufacturers have recently introduced an all-weather tire designed not only to perform well in the snow but also year-round. Some cost more than the average price of performance all-season tires, but buyers will come out ahead by avoiding the cost and inconvenience of seasonal tire changes. “The best all-weather tires have proved to provide year-round traction that truly combines all-season and winter/snow performance,”…

4 min.
auto show secrets

CAR SHOWS ARE an excellent place for shoppers to compare and contrast the latest offerings without salespeople looking over their shoulders. Although the biggest events are in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and New York, there are over 50 other auto shows in cities across the U.S. throughout the year, where shoppers can check out cars in person while avoiding the stress of a dealership visit. Low Pressure The ability to compare cars side by side is a major benefit of going to an auto show, according to Barbara Pudney, vice president of Paragon Group, which produces auto shows in Denver, Boston, and other major U.S. cities. “You’re thinking in your mind, ‘Camry,’.” she says. “And you suddenly get to match it to Sonata and Accord, and they’re right there next to each other.” Jake Fisher,…

13 min.
what we’re testing at our track

What we're testing, top-rated SUVs under $40,000, and the latest electric cars Jeep Gladiator A pickup truck for Jeep purists is also pretty practical. JEEP IS EXPANDING its lineup by adding the Gladiator, a pickup truck version of its popular Wrangler SUV. The formula is quite simple: Stretch the wheelbase, add a 5-foot truck bed, and improve the rear suspension—but leave the brand’s ruggedness, styling, and simplicity intact. The Gladiator disrupts the midsized-truck class with some key advantages, such as a removable top and doors, and the allure of the Jeep brand. We’re in the middle of putting the new Gladiator through our tests, and we’ll have a full verdict soon. For now, these are our initial thoughts. WHAT WE LIKE … SO FAR The powertrain is a standout element: The 285-hp V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission…

6 min.
new features you should know about

New features you need, how to shop at an auto show, and top-rated car seats TODAY’S CAR BUYERS are presented with a dizzying array of jargon and acronyms describing options, packaged features, and dealer-installed accessories to choose from. There is great temptation to grab them all, but the costs quickly add up. Consumer Reports receives questions all the time from car shoppers asking what they should be looking for in today’s models. Frequently, they have some vague notions about what is available, but they’re not clear on what’s worth the added expense. To help these new-car shoppers who haven’t checked out the market in some time, CR’s experts have assembled a list of key features they should consider getting, including safety and convenience items. Just as important: We have also flagged the nonessential…