There are many reliable sources of information when it comes to starting your adventure of purchasing a new or a used vehicle. Of course, you want to take a few cars on a test drive, but unless you want to spend weeks personally analyzing and researching every individual vehicle within your budget, chances are you’ll start your search online. Websites like Consumer Reports give consumers the information we need to make well-informed purchases. This is a great resource for the average consumer, but if you’re in the market for a supercar you may be disappointed.
How does Consumer Reports test vehicles?
It is important to discuss how Consumer Reports tests the vehicles that they review and rate in order to understand exactly why they don’t follow the process for consumer-focused supercars. To test and rate their vehicles, the team uses a private track as well as surface roads to report on the first-hand experience of driving the vehicles and rating them in comparison to similar vehicles of their class. The testing can be rather extensive, giving consumers a better idea of what the car is actually like rather than just the short impressions we get from test driving.
Why doesn’t Consumer Reports test any supercars?
Consumer Reports has not given any concise reason as to why they don’t test and rate supercars, but there are more than a few potentially reasonable answers. For one, Consumer Reports focuses on extensive testing — more than just your average quick test drive and analysis, sometimes taking days or even weeks depending on the mileage and vehicle-type specific testing. From a time and energy standpoint, it makes sense for the website to focus on high-production cars that are more regularly purchased by consumers.
Road test is only one factor they consider — why don’t they rate on the other three factors?
There are four factors that Consumer Reports takes into consideration when reviewing and rating vehicles, and the road test is only one of them. In fact, for newer vehicles, or vehicles that haven’t been entirely released yet, Consumer Reports will still build a profile for the car, as it did for some supercars, like several years of the Dodge Viper. However, even the Viper doesn’t have an official rating through the website, and you’ll find that you’ll have the same unfortunate luck when looking at the reports on other supercars as well. The four factors the reviewer takes into account when rating tested vehicles are:
- Road test — according to the website, an average of 50 vehicles a year are tested. These tests are done on a privately owned track, a 327-acre testing facility located in Connecticut. The road test is used to evaluate acceleration, braking, handling, noise, ride, and safety systems, among other things.
- Predicted reliability — data is collected from a survey of members and presented on the topic of 17 key areas of reliability and potential issues.
- Owner satisfaction — also based on data collected from members that give consumers the first-hand experience of what other consumers have already experienced, as well as their unbiased, personal opinions.
- Safety ratings — safety ratings aren’t always released by supercar manufacturers as testing, such as crash testing, isn’t actually required to be published according to NHTSA guidelines. The website also notes standard and optional safety features available for each car.
Consumer Reports doesn’t give official ratings on almost any supercar on the market — even the more affordable ones geared towards consumers, but that isn’t that uncommon. Edmunds also doesn’t give many supercars hard ratings or statistics based on testing but will give a small excerpt on each vehicle from what is available. Really, it seems supercar manufacturers focus on different types of publications that will review the car overall, rather than giving it a hard and fast ranking.