Edmunds car ratings- inconsistent with reviews?

usa1fanusa1fan Member Posts: 68
I'm not sure where else to put this, but it's not technically a problem with the site, so much as a bit of perplexity at the editor's inconsistency.

Basically, while perusing the new 'grades' for the cars, I compared the 'B' rated Escape's 'report card' against the 'A' rated CR-V's.

I also spend a lot of time reading the reviews.

Edmunds actually has a comparison of the two up, in which the CR-V wins (I disagree, but at least they state their reasons). In that review, I also read the captions on the photos. One of which states, succinctly, that the Escape is by far the better driving / handling of the two, with more power, etc.

The power part is the only bit consistent in the drivetrain scores of the report cards. The Honda gets an A for both steering and handling, areas where the review makes it clear that even the test staff found the Escape superior. Yet, somehow the Escape earns a 'B' for both of these categories.

Would that have been enough to swing an 'A' overall for the Escape, or conversely (if lowering the CR-V's from A to B) drop the CR-V to a 'B'?

I don't know.

What I do know is that everyone here and elsewhere agrees- while the CR-V may be the utility champ of everymoms everywhere, the Escape is easily the Ferrari of the class. The ratings don't reflect this. The Escape should be rated higher than the CR-V for areas in which it is superior.

Is this a matter of Edmunds' preference for the Honda influencing the report card? I hope not- this is supposed to be a subjective thing, allowing people to comparison shop. The article does that well enough, even if some may not place as great an emphasis on utility (while others may!), and presents the strengths and weaknesses of each clearly, allowing the reader to make a decision of which meets his or her needs and wants better.

The Ratings do not reflect the same..

I welcome feedback, especially from Edmunds.


  • tim156tim156 Member Posts: 308
    edited April 2013
    Edmund's has always in the past and will always in the future favor imports over American cars, regardless of the obvious. Look at the ads and banners, unless your in an American manufacturer specific forum or searching for an American vehicle, the majority of ads are from foreign auto makers. Sure, there's an occasional Chevy ad, but not too many. That's where their revenue comes from so they have to write positive reviews or the revenue stream will dry up. Sorry, but it's true.
  • johnnyumajohnnyuma Member Posts: 54
    Remember the people writing these reviews are not any smarter (in some cases maybe dumber) than the rest of us. I read a number of reviews before I purchased my Escape. Maybe Edmunds liked the CRV better and Motor Trend had the Escape at the top of their list but what it came down to (for me) was my personal preference.

    I test drove an Escape (both 2.0 and 1.6), Mazda CX-5, Honda CRV and Toyota RAV-4. I put the Escape AWD Titanium at the top of my list. Followed by the CX-5, 1.6 Escape, CRV and RAV-4. But that's just my opinion obviously others rank them differently.

    Specifically, I thought the CRV was unimaginative, boring to drive, inadequate HP but good basic transportation. But that's what a lot of people like (maybe even the reviewer).

    Bottom line: to each their own.
  • usa1fanusa1fan Member Posts: 68
    Which is why I didn't criticize them for providing their opinion in the article, and simply said I disagree. The article stated their objective findings, then their subjective feelings based on them. The objective part allows the reader to have the core facts at their disposal when making a purchasing decision. That's all that should be included (rated) in the 'Ratings' where they grade the cars, not subjective stuff.

    Fact- they liked the driving experience of the Escape FAR better, from handling, steering, power, etc., than the CR-V, and said so in the article, regardless of their final overall subjective choice of 'winner' (based on 'utility' and family friendliness, at least according to their reasoning).
    Fact- the Honda has more space
    Fact- the Escape doesn't do as well for fuel economy

    Of the above three things, the latter two are correctly depicted when comparing grades in the 'Ratings' for each vehicle. The first (handling and steering) are reversed from the information provided in the comparison (information echoed everywhere else that reviews and comparisons have been done).

    So there is a discrepancy that needs corrected, or I'll have to start discounting Edmunds as a useful site for unbiased information (the car 'facts' part, not the reviewer opinions, needs to be fact-based, as I may have a different set of values that will take the given facts into account).
  • johnnyumajohnnyuma Member Posts: 54
    I wasn't disagreeing with you. I'm just giving my opinion. Reviews are always going to have some fact and some fiction (or if you prefer personal opinion). I like to know a reviewer's negative opinions. Those opinions are something I'll check for myself. I don't put a lot of stock in any individual review.

    I agree with your perspective about facts vs subjectivity. Even some facts as stated in a review aren't important to me because they're easily checked. Cargo space is an example. The only thing I care about is whether or not the vehicle can hold our stuff when we take off on one of our driving vacations. That's easily checked when we go to take the vehicle on a test drive.

    However time from 0 to 60 MPH is something I'm usually interested in knowing. But I may be satisfied with a certain time when others are not - so it's still a matter of opinion.
  • usa1fanusa1fan Member Posts: 68
    I wasn't sure if you we're disagreeing, but I wanted to clarify what I meant. I agree with you totally.

    The 0-60 thing is a good point, and excellent illustration for what I mean-

    The Escape is much quicker, and if there were an area of the ratings for acceleration is graded, the Escape should be scored higher then the CR-V. The score isn't a matter of opinion, it's justnillustrating which is better in that category. Buyers viewing the ratings can decide which categories are most important to them (choosing a CR-V for more space even knowing that its acceleration is slower than the Escape, for example).

    But the current chart makes it seem as if the Escape only has more power, with the CR-V being the better handling / steering vehicle. This is a direct contradiction to reality, and Edmunds' own comparison between the vehicles.
  • johnnyumajohnnyuma Member Posts: 54
    I agree. We're on the same page.
  • greg128greg128 Member Posts: 472
    I agree that Edmunds and most car reviewers almost alsways have a bias for foreign vs. domestic branded cars. But my experience with GM, Ford & Chrysler have much better product than what is commonly published as "conventional wisdom".

    I find the foreign branded cars that I have driven and owned (Nissan, Acura) be better buttoned down and better handlers. They have been fairly reliable but repairs are expensive.

    The domestic brands I have driven/owned (Chevy Truck, Saturn Aura, Chevy Cobalt, Ford F-150, Windstar Van) and find them to be better riding and quiter than the comnpetiion. on a recent 300 mile round trip the wife's Aura with the 3.6L V-6 was a pleasure on the road. Quiet and smooth with plenty of power and 30+ MPG. I would rate it superior to her previous Maxima which had a less resilient ride, was slower to 60MPH was louder and required Premium fuel.

    My cousin owns a 2010 Acura RDX t that I have ridden in and was unimpressed by the interior, found it loud and the Turbo 4Cl. unrefined.
    My BIL has a 2006 Acura TL which I have driven. It is smooth, but the ride is
    bouncy and it is loud on the highway.

    I think it is a shame that many people would not even consider a domestic branded car even though that decision would be better for our economy than buying a foreign branded car. (Yes I realize probably well over half of
    the the foreign branded vehicles are made/assembled in the USA). I would recommend that they at least consider it and take one for a test drive.....
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