Consumer Reports: Japanese cars may not make the grade - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: Japanese cars may not make the grade

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(WMC-TV) - Cars typically known for their high performance rating have not been making the grade lately. Consumer Reports puts cars through more than 50 tests over rough roads, on highways, in braking tests, and emergency handling.

While many Japanese cars score very high, that has not been the case for a surprisingly high number of cars recently.

"One car that really disappointed us was the Acura RLX. This luxury sedan costs 55,000 dollars, and it's just not competitive," said Tom Mutchler, Consumer Reports.

For $16,000 less, Consumer Reports says the Chevrolet Impala delivers a much more comfortable ride and handles better.

"Another Japanese car we don't recommend is the Honda Crosstour," said Mutchler. "It aims to have the comfort of a sedan, the flexibility of an SUV, and the cargo space of a station wagon. The problem is it doesn't really do any of this well."

Some small Nissans also score too low for a Consumer Reports recommendation.

"The Nissan Sentra is good on gas, but handling isn't agile, it's noisy inside, and the front seats are uncomfortable," explained Mutchler.

The subcompact Nissan Versa has those same drawbacks, and it has not proved very reliable.

Consumer Reports also does not recommend Toyota's least expensive car -- the Yaris.

"The Yaris is very reliable and fuel efficient, but it just feels extremely cheap and unpleasant to drive," added Mutchler.

For the same money, around $16,000, Consumer Reports says you are better off with the Hyundai Accent.

So while Japanese cars often earn top scores and are often quite reliable, Consumer Reports says it is not a sure thing.

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