Consumer Reports

mteubner1mteubner1 Member Posts: 5
Consumer reports, which I have depended on for many years, recently did an article on full-size pickups. No surprisingly, they rated the Tundra first followed by the Silverado. They had a lot of good things to say about the Silverado, but predicted much worse than average repair problems. I am considering buying a Silverado, but the last thing I need is a vehicle that gives me a lot of problems. Are 1999 and 2000 Silverado owners having problems? I tend to keep my vehicles about 13-15 years and it is probably too soon to tell if the Silverado will hold up that long. Any predictions?


  • quadrunner500quadrunner500 Member Posts: 2,721
    Well did you believe them when they attached those outrageous, ridiculous outriggers on the Suzuki Samuri, and called it unsafe due to the roll over risk?

    Get a grip. If they are so good at predicting 13-15 years into the future, they should be making your stock picks.

    As the saying goes, "past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

    Silverado/Sierra is an entirely new truck. Whether any truck can last that long no one can say. But what's easier, putting in a new small block Chevy engine, or replacing rusted-out body panels on a Toyota?
  • gtagta Member Posts: 7
    I have a 99 sierra. only about 14,000 mi. but theres been nothing wrong with it. I would buy one again in a heart beat.
    p.s Get the split bench-its way better
  • cliffy1cliffy1 Member Posts: 3,581
    After what they did to the Tacoma, I was glad to see they didn't kill the Tundra. Use Consumer Reports like you would any other source of information. Check it out for yourself, see how it compares to what others say, drive the models listed and make an informed decision.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    13-15 years? How often do you "tend" to do this?
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    How can a vehicle that is predicted to have "much worse than average repair problems" be considered a good (second best) buy? There's something in that loginc that escapes me. (All, please I'm not trying to start a T vs. C vs. G vs. F vs. D war. I'm just questioning the logic of the rating.)

  • jaijayjaijay Member Posts: 162
    I have read the article too. This vehicle is considered NEW. Did you ever notice when CS rates a new vehicle they state in the predicted reliability as NEW (no information available). However looking at this rating, I think good ol' CS rolled in the past history performance of the C/K 1500.

    Is this fair? No. When the rated the F150 back a few years ago they tagged the predicted reliability with a NEW instead of rolling the past performance of the old F150.

    I have noticed that CS has some sort of gun against GM. In one of their small car ratings they compared a Toyota Corolla along with a few other small cars. One of those small cars was a Chevy that was the EXACT same car (GM remarkets the Corolla). Upon one of their dissatisfaction points against the Chevy was that you could cut your forhead open with the trunk lid if was left wide open.

    You could also rip your forhead open with the Toyota because it was the same car but there was no mention of that. Just praise for the Toyota. Go figure.

    I own a Silverado and could not see any point that they made against it stick. The ride is firm and tight. Not rubbery as they stated. They complained about the seats but had an equal complaint about the seat in the Ford and Ram. However reading how it is mentioned in the Ford write up it looks like the seats in the Ford are more comfortable.

    Notice how they never really mentioned anything about the rear cab head rests? I think all trucks with a rear seat should have them. I would rather have the back of my head smack into the head rest instead of the rear window.

    So I think there is some sort of bias put out by Consumer Reports. I would also like to know what sort of cars their "testers" drive as their daily driver car. Would it be fair if most of these drivers own Toyotas and Hondas. Any evaluation of ergonomics etc will be biased twoards those models.

    Therefore interpret their ratings as a subjective report with positive and negative critisisim and evaluate the vehicles yourself.
  • jaijayjaijay Member Posts: 162
    I fat finger typed CS instead of CR for Consumer Reports.
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    An article in the Dallas Morning News dated Nov. 9, 1999, was a report of a study by the Texas Department of Transportation. The Chevy truck was fifth highest on complaints. Ford was fifth lowest. The only vehicles with less complaints were cars.

    As for reliability of Toyota's I own an '88 Land Cruiser with 221,000 miles. It has no rust and has had no problems, no major mechanical work, actually really no mechanical work. I don't want ot jinx it, but it is a quality vehicle. I know this is apples to oranges, but it was stated, broadly, that they don't make them to last. I have had excellent luck. My $0.02.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    I'll start this by reminding that Toyota is not my brand. They don't offer anything I would want to buy (still trying to decide between Sierra 2500 and Ram/Cummins).

    But I have to agree with the last post, Toyota has made some incredibly durable products. All Landcruisers have been very well built and durable. They are truly great vehicles on and off road. The old jeep style rigs equipped with GM 350s are still about the ultimate off-road vehicles out here on the Rubicon Trail, Baja, and the desert. The 80's vintage Landcruisers are also awesome (once again, especially when equipped with a GM 350). The new ones are a little too pretty, but I'm guessing they will hold up well also. At any rate, those older Landcruisers look like they have held up better today than any Ford or GM similar products of the same vintage. The old SR5 pickups and 4Runners seemed to hold up well, too.

    Now that said, the Tacomas do not look like they are holding up well, and the T100s all look like they are falling apart. So it seems Toyota picks and chooses which vehicles they want to build tough for durability. Time will tell with the Tindra. I sure won't be the guinie pig for a vehicle that does not offer nearly as much as the Big 3.
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    They don't salt roads out here in the Northwest (just use what they call sand - its really rocks). So maybe its different back east, and the Japanese vehicles really do fall apart faster. Although, I'm guessing that there were way less Japanese trucks sold back east in the first place, and I'm betting Michigan would have the worst Toyota sales of anyplace.
  • mteubner1mteubner1 Member Posts: 5
    First, I kept my '72 Cutlass 13 years and gave it to my brother, who drove it 2 years and gave it to his son, who totaled it within a month. I nearly cried. Next, I kept my '80 Cutlass 13 years and again gave it to my brother who's still driving it. I drove my '82 Celica 16 years and gave it to my mother-in-law, who's still driving it. I currently drive an '85 Toyota pickup to work.

    Next, I've heard a lot of bad things about the V-6 engines in the Tacomas and T-100's. I think they are the same engine. I'll probably avoid Toyota this time around because they are way too proud of the Tundra. I would definitely get a V-8 in whatever truck I buy. I also have a '93 Villager and a '98 Monte Carlo. The Villager was in the shop 13 times in it's 35 months, generally for "fit and finish" type of problems. Since then it has been OK. The Monte Carlo has never been back to the dealer. No problems in almost 2 years. I do the routine maintenance myself.

    The people I've talked to have loved their Silverado's, so maybe I'll try one when my little pickup dies, or someone in the family needs a vehicle.

    Is there any substantial difference between a Silverado and a Sierra? There is a GMC dealer close to my house, but no Chevy dealer close to home. Thanks for the input. I'm amazed that my question got so much response in 1 day.
  • mteubner1mteubner1 Member Posts: 5
    The only vehicle I have ever had that I didn't keep at least 13 years was a '74 Fiat. No surprise there, it barely lasted 2 years and I was glad to get rid of it. I didn't know a car could have so many major problems in only 2 years. I live in Houston, so we don't have salt on the road.
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,124
    How can CR rate a truck so new as better in reliability? This makes no sense. This shows just how bias CR really is. Someone in another room pointed out several inconsistencies in CR and their reviewing process. He pointed out how anti Ford/GM/Dodge CR really is.
    The Tundra is a full size wanna be. Its interior room/dimensions are not full size. It also compares the lowest V8 engines in Ford/GM/Dodge lineups. Ford/GM/Dodge offer so many more engines, transmission, suspensions, and cabs than Toyota. It will be decades before Toyota comes close. This hype about the Tundra is a joke. Does the Tundra even offer a limited slip yet??
  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    Look around the forums, you'll find forums dedicated to the Sierra/Silverado differences. Essentially, the two trucks are the same, except for finishing touches and package options. I expect that the Sierra's headlights are better, although there is no data supporting this (but since they are bigger, I'm guessing they let out more light with the same wattage). Otherwise, it's a matter of personal prefference on the looks (I personally prefer the less cluttered look of the Sierra front end). Both are great trucks. A little more advice, consider the 3/4-ton.
  • jjones673jjones673 Member Posts: 28
    starting point for researching a vehicle. 12 years ago when redesigned Cherokee first came out with a bigger engine ('87), CR rated it better than blazer and bronco, but not as good as the pricier Toyata 4-runner. Don't know how they could rate the NEW Jeep more reliable than the Chevy or ford, other than the latter two were so piss poor in reliability that anything would have been better.

    I bought a new ('87) cherokee on CR's recommendation, but also based on driving one around and comparing it to my brother's blazer. 230,000 hard miles later, I finally had to put in a new engine in my Jeep, although amazingly enough, the clutch did not need replacing.

    So where did I go to first research purchase of new 2000 pickup? CR, but then I found Edmund's to have better information, although E's is a bit reluctant to just come out and say "this one sucks!" whereas CR really slams (e.g.) Dodge ram. I appreciate CR's forthrightness; with E's you kind of have to read between lines.

    So where was I going with this? Oh yeah, Consistencies/inconsistencies. CR was pushing Toy's way back when (and apparently still are), and CR scored new 2000 GM trucks as poor in reliablity only becasue they are a new redesigned truck and new redesigns are supposedly poor in reliablility, but my experience with a new redesign that CR touted years ago has proven very reliable over the last several years.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    You are a rare consumer.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    It's just the way it is.

    CR is based in New York. They have a perspective of vehicles that is based upon living in New York. When I was a teenager in Brooklyn, I thought that the stupidest thing you could do was to own a car. I mean, like just where the heck do you park it? You didn't have to park the subway or a taxi. It took me a few years to get my head screwed on straight.

    Usually, everything in CR is based upon fact. Unfortunately, their perception is warped towards New York. I think that if CR opened a west coast evaluation or test office, their reports on vehicles would be better oriented towards the rest of the 50 states.

    As far as the anti GM thing goes, do you remember Ralphie and his infamous book, "Unsafe at Any Speed"? To this day, he still doesn't own a car. Anyway, Ralphie was a member of the board of directors for CR. (Actually CU.)

    Don't beat up on CR, they try and the information is factual. Just try to look at the facts from a New Yorker's perspective. Sometimes it applies to the other 49, sometimes it don't.

  • gwmooregwmoore Member Posts: 230
    I think the New York thinking is partially right.

    But CR is pretty lame about a lot of things. CR comes out and rips the Durango for driving like a truck. Well, that's what it is. It has the power and suspension for doing truck things. Way more so than a Exploder, 4Runner, Pathfinder, Blazer, Montero, Trooper, etc. They also trashed it for the THIRD seat being cramped. Well, at least it has one. Further, if you took out the back seat entirely, it would be way bigger inside than most of the competition. Further, they seem to match up vehicles against others that aren't true comparables.

    The Durango is just one example. I think their Customer Satisfaction Rating and Resale Rating are the most meaningful things you can get out of CR.
  • bigsnagbigsnag Member Posts: 394
    The Dallas Morning News is NOT a magazine.
  • mteubner1mteubner1 Member Posts: 5

    Why do you say I'm a rare comsumer?

    I think a lot of my attitude toward buying a car is based on my bad experience with the '74 Fiat. I had just gotten out of the military then and was pretty broke, but we needed a 2nd car and the Fiat was cheap. Unfortunately, we paid almost as much on repairs in the 2 years we owned it as we paid for it originally. That experience taught me that all cars (or trucks) are not created equal.

    Secondly, I hate to have a vehicle that I have to spend a lot of my time fixing and/or constantly taking it to my mechanic.

    Finally, vehicles cost so much initially and aren't too cheap to fix, so I try to find one that won't break the bank on repairs. Unfortunately, I can't do much about the initial cost. I grew up driving used cars and I'm sure there are some good ones out there, but I prefer to buy new vehicles and take good care of them. So far that strategy has meant my vehicles have lasted quite a few years.

    Anyway, I'd be curious to know why you consider me a rare consumer. Thanks.

  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    I didn't mean any disrespect. My quote of you being a "rare" consumer is valid. I meant the title as you are a rare breed of consumer today that buys a vehicle and intends to buy based on performace over 13-15 years. Most buyers today do not list that as critera for buying a product. It wasn't a knock and I actually find your actions refreshening. Then again, if it is your basis--you might want a Ford! LOL!! Let's face it, most people don't even consider that length of time since they generally get rid of the car/truck in7-10 years.

  • doudisdoudis Member Posts: 45
    I like the CR magazine. I use it to help pick out appaliances and vacuum cleaners. Although I'm infuriated when I read their car and truck comparsions. It seems that 98% of the time they rate imports as godmobiles and all domestics as devil rides. Very unbiased in this respect I think. I think America makes some damn fine vehicles. Ever been to Europe? They drive these little 1 litter motorcycle engine Pugot go carts. Thats what CR people like????? I'm waiting on my 00 Sierra. Sure hope it lasts as CR has me reallly scared now. ha Ha Ha ha. Take it with a grain of salt. CR people love inports, all of them. They can't help it if they are a little confused.
  • artpartp Member Posts: 156
    Just curious... Have you ever seen any publication or literature claiming domestics are more reliable than imports? You're picking on CR when you should be pointing the finger at journalism in general. BTW - CR rated the full size Ford PU's as "cream of the crop", hardly sounds biased to me. CR does seem to pick on Chevy, but from what I've read elsewhere it seems to be true. CR's reliability ratings are based on statistics not opinion. I would have to agree that some of the opinion they offer belongs in the toilet.

    I went to a website that listed owner comments on a wide variety of vehicles. You could pick any model/year combination and read actual owner comments. Generally speaking, there were far more dissatisfied Chevy owners than any other brand.

    FYI - I'd love to own a Chevy truck, as I think they offer a lot, in terms of "truck for the money" and features. I'm just scared to death of the design, build and material quality.

    I'm not knocking you Doudis, just giving my point of view.
  • doudisdoudis Member Posts: 45
    Yes I agree they certainly did approve of the F150. That one relly threw me for a loop. What I was referring to was the other 98% of their recommendations. I almost threw in a comment about the Ford when I wrote my original comments but I didn't want to confuse the issue. It is a damn nice Truck and I'd own one by now if the rear seating area was comparable to the Sierra. My current car is a 96 T-Bird. Damn fine car I've just out grown it and want the convience of a P.U. I guess I just hate seeing the products I love trashed by CR. Actually it really pisses me off.
  • artpartp Member Posts: 156
    shouldn't take it so personal. It's not a family member.

    Notice their reliability ratings are not recommendations. It is purely statistical, it's not an opinion.
  • RoclesRocles Member Posts: 982
    You don't know of doudis' background do you?

    He takes it personally because of his grand-dad and generally hates anything made overseas.

    Am I right or not? Second off, who cares about CR anyway? Journalists always have a personal agenda and it gets ugly when motor vehicles are involved. Hell, it seems as if every Motorcycle Mag hates my bikes but I always wonder if they test-rode for real or not. I can never seem to find the problems that they write about!! Same thing with car Mags or even this site.
    Edmunds: "Chevy has cheap plastics" HUH? Since when does plastic look more expensive on a Ford or Dodge?
    "Swoops and swirls on the F-150" Whatever! Most people can tell you that a subjective feature shouldn't be stated along side more serious ones.

  • doudisdoudis Member Posts: 45
    Wouldn't excatly say I hate it. But it is a pretty fair statement. By for now.
  • bluebeastbluebeast Member Posts: 258
    I've owned 4 trucks since 1979 (graduation from HS) selling one truck to get another, 2 Toyotas (1989 xcab 4x4 V6 & 1995 xcab 2x4 V6), 2 Chev's (1972 Cheyenne Super V8 & 1999 Silverado). I LOVE the build quality and reliability of the Toyotas but on my last purchase (after spending two days of vacation driving the Dodge, Ford, Chevy & Toyota I narrowed it down to the Ford & Chevy, finally deciding on the Chevy (because of all the negative comments made about the 5.4L on the f150online homepage. Best truck I've owned so far !! Was a little worried that I would be having problems, but so far so good. CR, like all forms of media needs to be taken in your decision making process only so much, apply common sense, your own experiences and other owners information.
  • reeferreefer Member Posts: 37
    I just got rid of a 99 Sierra SL, 4.8, 4x4, heavy duty trans. This was the worst vehicle I had purchased in 25 years excluding a handful of Fiats and one early VW Rabbit. The Sierra had 9000 miles on it and had to have the transmission replaced as well as the rear springs and a door mirror. I can't begin to list all the squeaks and rattles the thing possessed. I traded it on a 2000 K-2500. Boy am I happy to be rid of that Sierra.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    After 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen". It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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