If auto companies aren't happy with how their cars are ranked by Consumer Reports, there are a number of things they can do to improve their rankings. Their engineers can study any area in which their models fell short and work to improve those points on the car.
Additionally, companies are working to make their cars more "green" by improving the miles per gallon that their cars require. American automakers have been working hard in recent years to improve their rankings. In general, Japanese cars tend to rank higher than American cars. For example, the Japanese automaker Subaru is consistently ranked high by consumers and tests well on the road.
To catch up with Japanese automakers, American companies like Ford have been working to improve their vehicles drive quality, quietness and electrical function [source: MSNBC]. Some of their newer models, such as the Ford Flex and F-150, have begun to rank at the top of their vehicle class. But just because a car is Japanese doesn't mean that it will rank well; the Honda Element, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Toyota Yaris each scored low in Consumer Report Tests [source: Consumer Reports].
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "How We Test." Consumer Reports. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/aboutus/test/index.htm
- Murray, Charles J. "Consumer Reports Track and Test Facility." Design News. July 15, 2007. http://www.designnews.com/article/9393- Consumer_Reports_Track_and_Test_Facility_The_Mecca_of_Auto_Ratings.php
- "Consumer Reports Car Reliability FAQ." Consumer Reports.http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/auto-test/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq-8-06/overview/0608_consumer-reports-carreliability-faq_ov.htm
- "New Cars A-Z." Consumer Reports. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/types/new-a-to-z-index.htm
- "Scion tops Consumer Reports reliability study." MSNBC. October 23, 2008. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/who-makes-the-best-cars/overview/index.htm
- "Subscribe." Consumer Reports. https://ec.consumerreports.org/ec/cro/order.htm?INTKEY=I61ALT0
- "Who Makes the Best Cars?" Consumer Reports. April 2009. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/buying-advice/who-makes-the-best-cars/overview/index.htm