Last post on Dec 30, 2011 at 9:54 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Toyota ECHO, Chevrolet Aveo, Kia Rio, Nissan Sentra, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Yaris, Kia Spectra, Suzuki Forenza, Sedan
Oct 28, 2001 (3:34 pm)
There was some discussion sometime back in either this thread or the Echo vs. ??? thread that I created about whether or not you could compare the overall rating for the Toyota Echo given by Consumer Reports with other small sedans given that Consumer Reports grouped the Echo with fuel-efficient cars and not small sedans in their new car guide.
I have found evidence that suggests you can.
I have the December 2000 issue where Consumer Reports rated fuel efficient cars. The story was about the Echo, the Toyota Prius, the Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI, and the Honda Insight.
However, Consumer Reports also showed the ratings for other less fuel-efficient small sedans such as the Ford Focus, Mazda Protege ES, Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0, Toyota Corolla LE, Nissan Sentra GXE, and Saturn SL2. The only distinction they made was between models with an automatic transmission and those with a manual transmission.
They did NOT say you could not compare the ratings of any of these cars with the others.
Looking at those ratings, at the time of publication, Consumer Reports gave the Toyota Echo a higher overall rating then the Honda Insight, Saturn SL2, Nissan Sentra GXE, Toyota Corolla LE, and the Volkswagen Jetta GLS 2.0.
The Echo tied the rating for the Mazda Protege 2.0 and got a lower rating than the Volkswagen Golf GLS TDI, Toyota Prius, and the Ford Focus ZTS.
Pretty good showing I think.
#996 of 3871 Comparing Consumer Reports ratings
Oct 28, 2001 (4:46 pm)
I recall reading in CR a few years ago that their car ratings, i.e. the "bar" that runs from Poor to Excellent, is a single scale with which they rate all cars they test. Also, each individual category such as braking and front seat comfort is a single scale for all cars. That means that, technically, we can rate the ECHO and in fact any car that CR tests against any other car they have tested.
It's also why we will probably never see the best economy cars get the highest possible rating from CR, because there will be more expensive cars that will test out better in some areas. CR just reviewed luxury sedans and said the BMW 530i is the highest rated car they have ever tested, and in fact its overall rating "bar" is all the way over to the right (Excellent), meaning I guess that CR doesn't think any car can get much better than that.
The ECHO's high rating by CR is I believe a reflection of CR's criteria for testing cars, which does NOT include totally subjective criteria such as styling. I know a lot of people on these boards don't think much of CR, but I happen to think they provide valuable information and a more scientific approach to testing cars than most (all?) auto mags.
P.S. I went to church Saturday afternoon to avoid any chance of showing up early (and for other reasons). But I also remembered to set my clocks back last night. Except on my Elantra. So as I was driving my 13-year-old son home from his campout today, he reached over without a word and reset the clock.
#997 of 3871 RE: Comparing Consumer Reports
Oct 29, 2001 (5:13 am)
Backy, you would be incorrect that you can rate any car that Consumer Reports tests with any other. The specifically say that they are rated within categories.
If I had not found my issue dealing with the Echo and the fuel-efficient cars, I would not have known for sure they were also in the category of small sedans and could be compared against other small sedans. The rating for the Echo cannot be compared against the rating for the BMW 5-series for example.
Sorry for not making that clear.
#998 of 3871 Side impact crash tests
Oct 29, 2001 (5:22 am)
Remember that I wrote to someone at the NHTSA about side impact crash test results and the comparability between cars of vastly different weight. Well, I got a shock this morning. I already got a response.
The man I wrote to is named Jeff Guiseppe and he indicated that side impact crash test results CAN be compared between cars of vastly different weight.
HOWEVER, the weight, that is crashed into the side of the vehicle, is at the ride height of a passenger vehicle. This means the test does not simulate getting hit in the side by a vehicle such as an SUV. Mr. Guiseppe said that typically the higher up you are in a side impact crash test, the better you are.
So, in summation, this means a three star rating for side impact crash protection is a three star rating is a three star rating.
Oct 29, 2001 (6:21 am)
You never told us how you came out in the game of Life.
Oct 29, 2001 (8:43 am)
Mecho, there you have it.
IF the majority of Edmunds voters of the Most Wanted had safety as a primary concern, AND if those voters were highly concerned with the SIDE IMPACT safety of the REAR seat passengers, then they could possibly have chosen the Echo over Focus ZX3.
Oct 29, 2001 (11:20 am)
I don't agree with the implication that Edmunds would have/should have chosen the Focus over the Echo. That was not my point and I really don't care that they did not choose the Echo. I am not lobbying for the Echo in this regard.
My point is if Edmunds truly is concerned with safety given all the harping they do where the Echo is concerned, they have a funny way of showing it.
They pick two cars that had some pretty bad safety rating scores and they don't even mention the poor safety ratings.
I know the actual Most Wanted write ups of the two cars were brief, but I cannot see that the poor safety rating has been discussed in the any article about the two cars. I specified article because Edmunds does divulge the ratings information in that section devoted to specs and safety.
What's important to me now is determining how Edmunds developed the $13,000 ceiling. The introductory article does not make it clear.
#1002 of 3871 Most wanted questions
Oct 29, 2001 (12:40 pm)
That sounds like a good NEW topic (hint, hint) that does not have to deal specifically with sedans.
BTW thank you for writing to the NHTSA and getting an answer.
Oct 29, 2001 (5:08 pm)
If someone wants to make a "Questions about Edmunds Most Wanted Vehicles" discussion on the main Sedans board, I'll do my best to get an editor (or two, three) to respond. No promises, but what have we got to lose?
Sedans Message Board
#1004 of 3871 CR comparisons, and Life
Oct 29, 2001 (8:04 pm)
Major, I have to disagree with you on comparing CR's car ratings. I think it's a single scale. I vividly recall reading that in CR, although it was a long time ago; I remember it because it was a revelation to me, something I did not expect. Can you find the statement regarding how they are rated within categories? And does that statement apply to their regular monthly reviews or to some other comparisons they did?
Let me provide an example and see what you think. Look at the August 2001 issue (the only one I can find in the house right now; beloved wife has a bad habit of tossing out my mags). It reviews compact crew-cab pickups (sorry, out of topic--but then so are 747s). Take a look at the ratings for Ride. All the scores save one is Fair or Poor; the S-10 gets a Good for full-load ride. Then notice the comments about ride. For example, on the S-10 they say, "Though it doesn't compare with a sedan's ride, the S-10's is relatively well isolated." (There's more, but I don't want to violate the Membership policy with too long a quote.) It's clear from the reviews that the S-10 has the best ride in the group. So, can you explain why the S-10 did not get an Excellent for Ride? If the trucks are really weighted within categories, and this category is compact crew-cab pickups, and CR tested all the trucks in that category in this review (except the Sonoma, a twin of the S-10), how come the best-riding truck doesn't get an Excellent score?
Check out all the other ratings in this article. Of all the ratings, there's only 4 Excellent marks, all for either climate control system or controls and displays. The compact crew-cab pickup with the best acceleration (0-60 in 8.9 seconds, not bad for a pickup) in the category doesn't get an Excellent. The compact crew-cab pickup with the roomiest rear seat doesn't get an Excellent. The quietest compact crew-cab pickup doesn't get an Excellent. And on and on. The only explanation I have for these scores is that these trucks are being compared against vehicles that are outside of their category.
Also look at the overall ratings. The highest rated vehicle in the category, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, only makes it half-way into the Very Good Category. Three others are Good. One is Poor. So what is CR trying to say here? That they have some idealistic vision of what the perfect compact crew-cab pickup should be, and all the pickups in the category fall far short? Back to the drawing boards, Ford, GM, Daimler Chrysler, Nissan, and Toyota!
How about cars (finally!)? Don't you wonder why no car has ever scored the maximum possible rating on the Overall Rating bar until the BMW 530i did it last month? Even though CR has rated many excellent economy cars over the years and has gushed over many of them? So why would it not give these fine small cars its highest rating? Maybe because they are being compared against cars outside of their category.
P.S. The family decided to play Monopoly instead of Life. I still got the car. I won.