How to avoid buying a lousy car
4:05

How to avoid buying a lousy car

Roadshow
[MUSIC] Hey folks, Cooley here with another one of your emails about high tech cars and modern driving. This one comes in from [UNKNOWN] who says what do you think about Consumer Reports reliability rating? They claim to be statistically unimpeachable but their results don't seem to line up well with other reliability surveys, Like third party companies that sell extended warranties, Interesting point because trying to guess the reliability on a car is definitely an art more than a science Now, you can use past data, and try and predict where things are going, but we all know from experience, that isn't always true. How many of you have bought a car highly rated for reliability, and had it turn out to be a piece of crap? Or vice versa. How many of you are out there driving Fiat 500s or Minis, and they have worked out just great. So let's take a look at what's going on here. First of all, a very interesting source of information are these warranty issuers. These companies who arguably have more to lose if they get it wrong than anybody else who's guessing reliability or dependability. Unfortunately, they don't typically publish a lot of what they know about that. I did find one company that sells these policies and offers some kind of a ranking online. Not sure how accurate or detailed it is for public consumption, but it gives you some idea of where you might wanna go by pricing different policies before you buy a car and see where the prices are. A more expensive one suggests A crummier car. Now you bring up consumer reports. Long the gold standard for a consumers to look up this kind of information. What they do is called a reliability indicator. Their estimations are based on a survey of consumer reports readers who report their non-collision problems over the previous 12 months With some 500000 of their personal vehicles across 18 model years. That's a lot of information, and then consumer reports goes through it to predict reliability of that same make and model that you might buy new today Again a bit of a leap statistically I am sure their methods are good but you just don't know what tomorrows vehicle are going to be compared to the engineering in previous years. Now JD Power got a similar report that a lot of people also know about theirs is a little different They cal it one of dependability not reliability. Those are partly branding differentiation, but it is also different methodology underneath. They power a large pool of real world car owners. But the lens is on problems reported after a car is been owned for three years. They also do a JD Power initial quality ranking. And that's looking for bugs, perceived or real, in the first 90 days of ownership. So as with any basket of apples and oranges, you gotta make yourself a fruit salad. And here's what I think should go into that. Look at all these ratings. They all are valuable and taking different snapshots of what dependability or reliability is. Then always bear in mind you can't just say, this make of car so they must all be good. Some car makers do tend to make, basically, all good, solid cars but they've always got exceptions. A certain model for a certain period of years that isn't working out and that brings me to the year question. Always focus on the reliability of a given year of a car. This is hard to do when they're new But if you're buying a recent used car, you have a trove of information you can look at to see how good was that car in 2014 let say versus guessing the future. That's another reason I like used cars. And the third thing I'll point out to you, is not that certain classes of cars do better that others. Basic cars tend to score well on reliability a little more often. The really elaborate cars. The high end vehicles have cutting edge tech, a whole lot more of it, and not enough volume in some cases to debug it right. If you spend a lot of money on a car you're actually going to have more headaches than if you buy a $30,000 vehicle.

Up Next

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel
ev-total-cost-of-ownership-00-02-51-08-still112

Up Next

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?
ev-battery-recycling-00-06-10-03-still099

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?

How an EV Works
how-evs-work-00-04-48-14-still089

How an EV Works

Do You Know What It Really Costs to Drive an Electric Car?
hidden-costs-of-evs-00-11-54-12-still088

Do You Know What It Really Costs to Drive an Electric Car?

The Best Way to Charge Your EV Is at Your House
home-chargers-copy-01-00-05-49-18-still089

The Best Way to Charge Your EV Is at Your House

See a Robot Change an Electric Car's Batteries in Minutes
ample-battery-swap-00-06-02-17-still070

See a Robot Change an Electric Car's Batteries in Minutes

How to Buy an EV With Enough Range
electrified-ev-range-00-07-13-12-still091

How to Buy an EV With Enough Range

Autonomous Car Tech That Will Make History in 2022
autonomous-cars-2022-00-12-34-21-still089

Autonomous Car Tech That Will Make History in 2022

Why you should start caring about the weight of electric cars
ct101-electric-car-weight-final-still

Why you should start caring about the weight of electric cars

Roadshow Video Series

AutoComplete
autocomplete-w

AutoComplete

Cooley On Cars
on-cars-w

Cooley On Cars

Carfection
carfection-w

Carfection

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest Cars All latest products

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy
sierra-at4x-still

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It
audi-rs-q-etron-still

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It

Most Popular All most popular

Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)
bestbudgetphoneplans-thumb4

Best Budget Phone Plans in 2022 (and the Fine Print)

Hands-On: The Aspire Camillien Electric Bike
camillien-sb-v2-00-01-34-17-still004.png

Hands-On: The Aspire Camillien Electric Bike

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs
uap-pic

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs

We Test Snap's Pixy Selfie Drone
screenshot-2022-05-25-at-10-59-48.png

We Test Snap's Pixy Selfie Drone

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel
ev-total-cost-of-ownership-00-02-51-08-still112

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?
meta-questsitethumb1

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?

Latest RoadShow News All latest news

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel
ev-total-cost-of-ownership-00-02-51-08-still112

The Full Cost Advantage of an Electric Car Is More Than Cheap Fuel

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid
yamaha-still

2022 Yamaha XSR900 Breaks Away From the Cafe, and Onto the 1980s GP Grid

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?
ev-battery-recycling-00-06-10-03-still099

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

How an EV Works
how-evs-work-00-04-48-14-still089

How an EV Works