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Consumer Reports tests cars on an old drag strip

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We often share ideas about new car models based on consumer reports results. But what do automotive consumers know about what goes into some of these vehicle ratings and predictions? What does the Consumer Reports team look for in its road tests? How do they assign model scores and rankings?

Let’s dive into Consumer Reports’ processes for rating vehicles, including what they look for and how points are awarded. During the team’s rigorous testing process, some information may be new to you. For example, did you know that Consumer Reports tests cars on an old drag strip?

How Consumer Reports defines itself and its mission

drag strip | Getty Images

So what does Consumer Reports do and what is the main mission behind the group? As he describes himself online, consumer reports is independent of any other organization and is a non-profit membership service. Its three pillars of service are fairness, transparency and market truth.

Founded in 1936, the Consumer Reports team has sought to provide authentic information to enable consumers to make their most informed purchasing decisions. Consumer Reports helps facilitate these efforts by devoting resources, time and significant manpower to test and evaluate vehicles. Over the years, the organization has also inspired changes in manufacturing and regulatory practices based on its findings and consumer surveys.

Test newly released models on an old drag strip

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According consumer reports, each vehicle tested by the team goes through evaluations, including several driving simulations at its Automotive Test Center in East Haddam, CT. As Fox 61 reports, many consumers don’t realize that the 4,100-foot straight-ahead, 3,100-foot road course, once home to the Connecticut Dragway, was made famous for drag racing between 1960 and 1986. Consumer Reports teams perform over 50 tests on every vehicle model each year, including top speeds, stopping distances and “fit and finish” touches.

In addition to the old drag strip pavement, there are two skid pads and a two-acre paved area for testing in wet and dry conditions. Buildings and video facilities dot the property, where the team of about 30 employees split up to perform their testing – a 5,000 square foot building on its own to test headlights on new vehicle models. Overall, Consumer Reports’ test property spans over 327 acres.

Some of the best performing 2022 models tested by Consumer Reports

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So now that you know what goes into a Consumer Reports recommendation, including the rigorous testing on that old drag strip, you might be wondering which 2022 models the Consumer Reports team considers the best performers. .

In a Consumer Reports list, ten new models take the cake. The Nissan Sentra takes first place in the small car segment, the Nissan Rogue tops the subcompact SUV category, and the Subaru Forester wins the small SUV category competition.

The midsize sedan segment belongs to this year’s Honda Accord. In the hybrid race, the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime are still the top contenders. Toyota also made Consumer Reports’ Top 10 list as the best performer in the two-row SUV category with its RAV4 Prime. The remaining models on the list include the Kia Telluride, Honda Ridgeline, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Lexus RX.

Consumer Reports will continue to be one of the leading consumer groups with its comprehensive testing and data-driven recommendations. Now all you have to do is decide which Consumer Reports-approved vehicle to buy next.

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