Fauquier County Public Library

Consumer Reports April 2018: All About Automobiles

Posted by vicky on

Each April issue of Consumer Reports is all about automobiles — articles, reviews, etc.  Here are some of the highlights:

New Car RatingsInterior of car

This is probably the most popular section of the April issue. Here you will find ratings for all types of vehicles, from electric cars to pickup trucks, and everything in between. Ratings for 255 new vehicles are included with road-test data from tests performed by Consumer Reports, and satisfaction data from magazine subscriber surveys.


My favorite part of the auto issue is the “New Car Profiles” section. Each of the 260 profiles includes an overall vehicle rating based on road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety results. These profiles provide an idea of which of this year’s makes and models are performing well, and which ones are not.

Fuel Economy

Check out “Going the Distance: The Race to Improve Fuel Economy” for a discussion on fuel economy standards and a few new fuel-saving innovations, including smaller turbocharged engines and start/stop technology.


“Reliability: New & Used Cars” charts the reliability of 180 models, from 2010 – 2017, noting possible trouble spots–engine, transmission, drive system, electrical, suspension, brakes, power equipment and more.

Used Cars

If you’re thinking about buying a used car this year, “Used Car Picks & Pans” rates 131 reliable models, and is arranged by size–subcompact to pickup. There is also a list of the 109 worst used cars, with worse-than-average reliability.

Other Topics in This Issue

  • “A Tour Around CR’s Auto Test Center”–a map of the 327-acre Consumer Reports Auto Test Center in Connecticut
  • Pickup trucks
  • “Best & Worst Lists”— How vehicles stack up in various categories, such as road test performance, fuel economy, reliability, price under $30,000 (new) or $20,000 (used), and more
  • “Brands That Deliver–or Don’t”— ranks automobile manufacturers on criteria such as road-test scores, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction
  • “10 Top Picks”— best new cars of 2018
  • “10 Noteworthy Newcomers” — new 2019 models that Consumer Reports will test as they become available for purchase including the Acura RDX, Toyota Avalon and Kia Forte.

Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2014 up to the current issue. The Find It Virginia databases have an index to the issues from February 1, 1976 to the current issue, and the full-text of the reviews from January 1, 1999 to June 1, 2009. You can access Find It Virginia from any library computer, or from home with your Fauquier County Public Library card. You can also see past summaries of Consumer Reports prepared by library staff online.

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