Consumer Reports Bumps Toyota Camry, RAV4 From Recommended List

Toyota, once the darling of Consumer Reports, has been hit hard by its recent string of subpar ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s newest small overlap front crash test. This now means that Consumer Reports is removing the “Recommended” ratings for the Toyota Camry, the Toyota Prius V, and the Toyota RAV4.

Each of these models received a “Poor” rating in the IIHS’ most stringent crash test. Consumer Reports says it was holding off on factoring in this test until enough vehicles had been tested, but now that the IIHS has put more than 60 vehicles through the test, CR is including the small overlap test in their criteria for recommending a vehicle.The Audi A4 also loses its recommended rating because of a “Poor” rating in the IIHS test. Fifteen other vehicles were recently rated “Poor” by the IIHS as well, but none of these models were previously recommended by CR.

To combat this issue, Toyota has said that it is already working on updates for the Corolla, Camry, RAV4, and Prius V to improve performance in the small overlap test. This should mean strengthening of structural components which could result in a weight increase for some of these vehicles.

In other Consumer Reports news, the results of the publication’s annual reliability survey are in, and Japanese automakers are the big winners. Lexus, Toyota, and Acura were ranked first, second, and third, respectively, and all Japanese manufacturers excluding Nissan (which dropped to 22nd out of 28 brands) were ranked in the top 11. Non-Japanese brands in the top 10 include Audi, Volvo and GMC, with every model from each of these brands scoring average or better. The Subaru Forester was rated as the most reliable car this year.

Ford and Lincoln sat at the bottom of the list this year, above only Mini in dead last. Ford and Lincoln were plagued by problems with new and redesigned models, specifically with the MyFord Touch infotainment system which has gone through numerous updates to fix bugs and glitches, as well as with EcoBoost turbocharged engines. The Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid was rated the least reliable model in this year’s survey.

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