Fauquier County Public Library

Consumer Reports April 2017: The Automobile Issue

Posted by vicky on

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

New Car Ratings

This is probably the most-used 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. This year, ratings for 245 new cars are included, based on proprietary performance and fuel-economy tests, government and insurance-industry safety data, and 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 will give you an idea of which of this year’s makes and models are performing well, and which ones are not.

Self-driving Cars

Self-driving technology continues to develop. Check out the “Driving Into the Future” article for for the latest information, and a sneak peek at what some automobile manufacturers like BMW, GM, Toyota and Volkswagen are working on.


The “New & Used Car Reliability” section charts the reliability of 180 models, from 2009 – 2016, noting possible trouble spots–engine, transmission, electrical, climate system, suspension, brakes, and more.

Used Cars

If you’re thinking about buying a used car this year, check out the “Used Car Winners & Losers” section in this month’s issue. This section rates 98 reliable models, and is arranged by size–subcompact to pickup. There is also a list of the 108 worst used cars, with worse-than-average reliability.

More in This Issue

  • Article on SUVs
  • Rating for tires
  • Information on automatic shifters
  • “Best & Worst Lists”— lists the best and worst vehicles in various categories, such as road test performance, fuel economy, reliability, price under $30,000, and more
  • “Brand Report Card”— ranks automobile manufacturers on criteria such as road-test scores, predicted reliability, and owner satisfaction
  • “10 Top Picks”— best new cars of 2017
  • “10 Cars Worth Waiting For” — new and redesigned models that are expected out later this year, including the Honda Odyssey, Toyota Camry, and Ford EcoSport

Each branch of the Fauquier County Library has the print issues of Consumer Reports from 2013 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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