How Consumer Reports Automotive Ratings Work

Types of Consumer Reports Automotive Ratings

When you check into a vehicle, you'll be able to drill down to many different specific parts to see how they fared in tests and surveys. Here's a list of the various vehicle areas rated by Consumer Reports:

  • Engine: major
  • Engine: minor
  • Engine: cooling
  • Transmission and clutch: major
  • Transmission and clutch: minor
  • Drive system
  • Fuel system
  • Electrical
  • Climate system
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust
  • Paint, trim and rust
  • Body integrity
  • Body hardware
  • Audio system

Consumer Reports requires a minimum sample size of 100 cars to publish auto reliability information; however, most models have much larger samples numbering into the thousands. Because of the minimum requirement of 100 cars for a sample, Consumer Reports can't publish information on every model of car. Despite this, they're reporting usually matches well with car sale trends.