Originally Posted by G2Spfld
There seems to be a lot of stock put in consumer reports as an organization like they are some holy grail. My personal experience being in the A/V profession, and doing it at very high levels, is that I very rarely agree with what they claim. I guarantee I spend more time with a/v equipment than any of the "test engineers" they have there and I have what they do not, accountability. They are not held accountable for their findings or recommendations. I, however as a business owner am accountable to my clients. With regards to automotive, they had reported very poor quality and reliability with the version of corvette I had (C4). That would be the vette I put 195,000 miles on without any issues and routinely got 30+ mpg on highway and high teens in town. My Toyota tacoma's I had ( matching pair of black 4wd ex-cabs) rated very high in reliability according to CR. One of them had tranny issues ( lost 4th gear twice) and my other blew two head gaskets. Toyota finally recalled head gaskets, but point being totally opposite real world results from CR in these two examples. I think the old adage " the one with the gold makes the rules..." Applies here. I would rather take the word of ALMOST anyone on this board over any recommendation CR makes. At least I know there isn't any monetary influence here.
i agree with everything you've said to a point. i used to take CR seriously until i realized that for things i knew a lot about, i disagreed with them.
however, i do think their reliability ratings do stand for something assuming that they get enough responses from their constituents/subscribers, who each year receive a survey. i'm sure one can say that this is not a purely unbiased sampling, but it's better than nothing. it doesn't mean that something that is rated/ranked as reliable is bulletproof. it's data that based on whatever responses they have received.
this, IMHO, is actually somewhat more valuable and useful than their own ratings system, as you suggest which, while trying to unbiased, is limited to their own evaluation criteria and the skill/knowledge of their folks making those evaluations.
in short, as i've gotten older, i've grown more skeptical of reviewers and in the end decide to look carefully at what they say and try to deduce if they hold the same things valuable as me. if they do, i might rely on them. if not, then i won't.