In my morning reading, I came across an article highlighting the recent release of Consumer Reports annual ”top picks” of cars for 2007. I have always held Consumer Reports in decent regard for their unbiased reporting and accurate results. With many review sites online you are never quite sure of their motives, but with Consumer Reports and you know you are getting the straight skinny. I am not a continual subscriber, but at times we have subscribed to their online service when we are researching a particularly expensive purchase.
Though I am not making a new car purchase in the foreseeable future, I’m always interested to see whether picks are and what they have chosen to base them on. You can view the summary of their results on the Consumer Reports website, or see a version of it at CNN.com. there are some decent cars, and it’s always interesting to see what is rated best for reliability, performance and particularly with today’s gas prices the most economic options.
This is a rant site, so why am I bringing up the best options for 2007 as rated by Consumer Reports? If you have already looked at the list, take a look again and see if you can show me which of the top picks come from American automakers. That’s right, none of them. As noted at the end of the CNN article, this is the second year in a row that no American-made car has made the topics list. That is not only pitiful, but it is also a sad commentary on the current state of the American automaking industry. Perhaps it is even a commentary on the current status of the American ability to produce raw goods. I am no economist, and I hate when people try to act like they are. I particularly hate when people try to blame everything on the current political leaders when there are so many other variables to consider.
Keeping focused just on the fact that no American vehicle made this list, it makes it difficult to expect people to “buy American” when the American options are not up to snuff. Having the size of family I do, having a minivan is a part of our vehicle landscape. Again CNN included in their summary the fact that once the minivan category was established, Dodge won the first spot. In every year since then, Toyota and Honda have traded the top spot. I would think he American automakers could do better than that. I personally own a Dodge Grand Caravan and enjoy it, but many people I know have chosen the Honda option simply because it is a more reliable and better-performing vehicle.
Not that my opinion matters, but the opinion of experts such as Consumer Reports should. CNN did point out that American automakers have made strides and improvements in recent years, hopefully, this is something they can continue to do and hopefully we can see them once again appearing on the best of the list.