Car Reviews: Consumer Car Reviews and Road Tests

When you want to make sure you buy a car that is best suited for you, you must make sure it drives how you want as well as passed necessary tests. It’s safe to say that when you complete a thorough test drive, you must decide if it performs the way you envisioned. Return policies on cars are nonexistent in some states, so ensuring your auto functions properly is vital. Seeing pictures is one thing, but getting behind the wheel and experiencing the way it handles is a whole different ballgame. Safety factors must also get incorporated into each car’s evaluation process.

Before and after a car gets purchased, Consumer Reports scores it. Vehicles that make it on their list must excel in road tests that encompass the following factors: reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. Road-test scores are comprised of many tests and assessments to give an overall score based on a 100-point rating system.

Keep reading to learn how to conduct a proper test drive as well as how to understand a car’s Consumer Report Ranking.

Before You Drive

Test driving a car during daylight hours is wise. Before beginning the actual driving part of the test, you should evaluate the car’s exterior. Examining the vehicle’s parts is critical. Paying close attention to the wheels and tires is crucial.

During Your Drive

Whenever a car is test driven, there are key elements that require evaluation. Focusing on how well a vehicle speeds up, stops, rides, maneuvers, parks, and turns is a must.


Purchasing a car is a long-term investment. Car owners expect their cars to provide dependable transportation for a long time. Unfortunately, not all autos are as reliable as others. Consumer Reports offers an annual list of the top 10 models of cars that score the highest in a variety of areas. Reliability is one area rated. After gathering data from a series of tests, predictions get made as to which cars should encounter the fewest problems. Their survey takes an extensive look at numerous things that could go wrong with a vehicle. Areas studied range from minor issues, such as squeaky brakes, to more severe problems, such as transmission issues.

A reliability score gets calculated based on the severity of the presented issues. This test is significant for potential buyers to know if their car could potentially cause unforeseen expenses and problems.

Owner Satisfaction

Choosing the perfect car requires considerable research, as you look at cost, features, and safety. When shoppers collect data and information from test drives, it is instrumental in identifying car models that best suit their needs.

For a thorough compilation of customer satisfaction, Consumer Reports creates a list of reviewed data collected from their subscribers. Cars get rated in the following areas: how it drives, comfort, worth, features, acoustics, and temperature systems.

Understanding why people like or dislike their cars is beneficial when it is a car you are considering.


A vehicle requires a great braking system and a panic stop to help avoid collisions. Smaller and sportier vehicles tend to perform best in safety tests. Larger automobiles, such as trucks, typically do not perform as well because it takes them longer to stop and steer. Consumer Reports’ critical emergency driving tests score how quick the response of each car’s steering is.

During a maneuver test, a driver follows a set path and simulates swerving to see how well the car handles quick shifts. It is a test for safety, so drivers try and push cars to their limits so they get scored accurately. A highly-skilled team of engineers test and assess how controllable, secure, and forbearing each car is or is not.

Likewise, a series of brake tests are performed. Brakes get tested from 60 to 0 mph on different road conditions. Brakes get tested on the wet and dry street, so engineers precisely measure their performance. Test cars should have an exceedingly precise GPS-based machine that monitors the following: speeds, how long it takes to stop, and distances.

Lastly, how the pedal feels under the driver’s foot while braking gets tested as well as how easy it is to slow down without delay.

All of these safety measures are vital to making sure cars do not harm drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.


Many benefits come with conducting thorough test drives. All of the assessments performed are vital to ensure you are buying the right one for your needs.

Using reliable sources, such as Consumer Reports’ data, to help in the car buying and decision-making process is also beneficial. Automobiles undergo a series of essential tests besides test drives, so you should take full advantage of all information available.


Car Reviews: Consumer Car Reviews and Road Tests

log in

reset password

Back to
log in