Unsubscribed to "E for Electric"

Discussion in 'General' started by bwilson4web, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    Yes, it is a subscription service, but they rate everything from cereals to convertibles. It is also a magazine and I know several people who use it to buy smaller products. Here is a link below to about about 9000+ products that they have rated. Yes it includes cars, but includes a whole lot more. They have their own testing lab and staff to test many different products. They have developed test tools and processes to test a lot of items. If the only thing that their readers were interested in was cars, they would not be spending so much money on testing/rating all the products and services that they do. For now for example, they are trying to lobby for protection against spam calls to your cell phones. They consider themselves a customer advocacy organization, not just an automobile tester.

    You take any single issue of CR (the print publication), yes there may be a few pages to Cars, but most of it is to other products. They have print version which you could get in many libraries, digital and combination (digital and print services). I do know hard core CR fans who consult CR for many purchases including what veggies to buy. So limiting CR to being another car magazine misses the whole point of CR. They rate cars also, because their customer base is looking for value and reliability across all the products.


    Elon better take notice, for if they come out with something critical, even non readers take notice due to its reputation.
  2. Yes, but they also have special car magazine editions, which may just list SUVs, etc. It is indeed very informative, and a must read for a potential buyer. Those are the ones that have become really popular.
  3. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    Those are to expand their base and get more revenue for what they already do. So yes, they want to appeal to the car buyers, but their bread and better revenue comes from their monthly publications for evaluating a variety of products. The icing is the car specials, so that they can generate additional revenue.

    Here are the print magazine covers for 2019.

    The April one focuses on Cars and Trucks, the others range from healthcare to privacy. Even those ones which do not have "Cars" on their cover, may have a review or two about cars. You may buy it only for the Cars special, but there is a whole lot more to CR that appeals to a lot of people. A librarian in our local community library told me it is one of the popular magazines and they keep it separately, for readers to check out, as people sometimes tear out pages to take with them when they go shopping. TVs and electronics ratings are very popular during the holiday season.
  4. I saw the April one over at a friend's house that was looking at buying an SUV,... very well done. Can't remember where the X stood, but I think it was in there. They also do a lot of online only reviews on various autos and comparisons, and have seen many of them over the last few years.

    And yes, they sell magazines. People wouldn't buy them if they didn't value their reviews. The big thing is that they are not sponsored by the product vendors they review, which is very unlike most of the other car magazines. When I read them, can't believe how shallow and biased some of them are. Seems like it is mostly about engine power, and they seem to ignore safety and some of the other functionally specific features of various brands and models. And quite humorous sometimes when you get totally conflicting opinions from one magazine to another.
  5. interestedinEV

    interestedinEV Active Member

    A car aficionado may find the reviews shallow and biased. To a person who, has a budget, or is buying a car for his wife or daughter to commute to work or school, is more concerned about how safe and reliable it is, then many other things that matter to someone who is familiar with cars. So I agree that it misses a lot of things, but a lot of those things that are missed may not be important to a segment of buyers.

    @Pushmi-Pullyu complains of an anti EV bias. It may be there or that they are just looking at EVs they way the look at ICEs to make a standardized comparison. That may not be right in our view point of EV fans, but they may feel they cannot have two standards for a similar product. That most people are trying to choose between an ICE and a EV, and not necessarily between EVs. (Again, people may not agree that ICE and EVs are similar products or that EVs are a paradigm shift and should be a class of their own.)
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  6. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My problems with Consumer Reports began when we owned Prius. We soon learned that fuel efficiency played no part of their scoring system. Worse, they had marginal accuracy about the Prius as their testing methodology always gave abysmal MPG that owners did not get. They weren't even close to EPA metrics.

    After two editorial board changes, they are slightly more accurate but still thin about efficient cars.

    Bob Wilson
  7. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I admit to some pro-Tesla bias. I'm human, and all humans are biased, even when we try not to be. In fact, scientists had to invent the double-blind experimental procedure, because despite their best intentions, they couldn't prevent unconscious bias from creeping into their experimental data.

    But here's an example of something I find quite exasperating: CR first gave a "recommended" rating to one model year of the Tesla Model 3, even though they had some reservations about the stopping distance, because Tesla said it was going to do a software update that would reduce the distance. But a few months later, CR noted that Tesla hadn't actually done the update yet... and issued another review of the car, dis-recommending it! Tesla responded to that within a very few weeks, finally issuing the update, which did indeed reduce the stopping distance... which gave CR an excuse to run yet a third article on the same model year for the same car model, once again recommending the car!

    Note it was exactly the same car that CR first recommended and then dis-recommended! Both Tesla fans and Tesla detractors are surely exasperated at CR over that. Talk about flip-flopping! There is no way anybody is going to convince me that wasn't done by CR out of a cynical attempt to boost circulation by giving them two more excuses, in different months, to splash "TESLA" across their magazine cover and on their website.

    If you're willing to forgive CR for shenanigans like that, and for the very clear example I've posted upstream, showing that CR clearly rated the Model S significantly worse than their own survey results indicated... Well okay, you're entitled to your opinion. But it seems rather odd to accuse us Tesla fans of bias, when you're showing that much pro-CR bias yourself!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I absolutely don't think there is any excuse for the ongoing problem Tesla has with its Model S door handles. If I was an exec at Tesla, I would have long ago -- years ago -- demanded that a team be assigned to the problem to find a permanent fix, either upgrading the parts as necessary or looking for an entirely new design that wouldn't be so prone to problems.

    As a Tesla fan, I find it embarrassing that Tesla still hasn't fixed a problem that is so frequently reported. Doubly so when you can find instruction in Tesla forums about how to modify the door handle mechanism so it's less prone to breaking! If somebody can do that in their garage or shop, why can't Tesla do the same, or even better?

    But actually, that's not the sort of thing I'm talking about. What I'm talking about is how Tesla keeps getting praised by owners for their very detailed inspections during quarterly maintenance checks, when Tesla techs will crawl all over, under, inside and out of the car, searching for the tiniest signs of incipient problems, and doing replacements where they think that there might be the potential for some future problem; being pro-active in looking for trouble and making fixes, even when the customer didn't notice anything wrong. If CR is counting such pro-active fixes as instances of maintenance problems because Tesla has found something that they fixed, whether it actually needed fixing or not; if they are counting cases where Tesla has made an extra effort, beyond what other auto makers do, then they are giving a huge down-check to Tesla's reliability only because Tesla goes the extra mile in looking for things that might possibly need fixing someday! Is Tesla getting "dinged" by CR for poor reliability, when the reality is that it's a side effect of Tesla actually providing superior service? It certainly looks that way to me!

    The other problem with CR's rating system is comparing Tesla cars to average cars. For example, Toyota Corollas and Honda Accords are made in much larger numbers, and are simpler cars, with fewer parts (other than in the powertrain) and therefore fewer things that can go wrong. Is CR comparing Tesla cars, which are "premium" cars which have more things that can go wrong on them, with such cars as that? The ten best-selling cars (not light trucks) in the U.S. all sell for under $28k, or at least that was the case last time I checked, a few months ago.

    Is it appropriate for CR to use the same rating system that it uses for cheaper, simpler cars made in such high numbers? I'd say "Definitely not!" And I don't think that's bias on my part; that's an objective criticism of how their rating system, so heavily reliant on what they call "reliability" above everything else except safety, is skewed in favor of cheaper cars.

    Tesla cars always top CR's own list for customer satisfaction. Of those surveyed, Tesla owners for all of Tesla's models consistently come out in the top 10 when asked "If you had to buy this car over again, would you do it?" And the #1 car on the list is always a Tesla; the Model S got knocked out of the #1 spot by the Model 3!

    Now, if Tesla owners are that satisfied with their cars, doesn't that suggest to you that CR's rating system is rather skewed? It seems that Tesla car owners find other things about their cars to be more important than reliability. Things like ease of use, pleasure in driving, ergonomic controls, and the "gestalt" of how Tesla has so perfectly integrated everything to work so well together, in a way no other auto maker even bothers to try.

    I'm not saying that reliability isn't important. But I am, most definitely, saying that it's not as all-important as CR treats that one factor.

    And very obviously, that is not just my opinion... by CR's own annual surveys!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  9. No matter what CR says (or any poster), or how many times you have had your Tesla in the shop, it will always be the best car in your view. I hate to use the term fanboy, as it is demeaning, and I think all you guys are better than that. But honestly, that's all I can think of when I read some of these responses. Sorry...
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    So I've had my Tesla for 12,850 miles since March 26. I've only gone to the Tesla store to use their SuperChargers. So what do you call me?
    No I think you've run out of counter facts and data and resorting to name calling. So does that make you 'anti-fanboy'?

    User @Pushmi-Pullyu and I have not always agreed on every point. He likes Lidar technology and I prefer optical-radar-ultrasonic systems. But we can discuss the facts and data and if not resolved, at least recognize and respect our different opinions.

    Name calling leads to a quick detour to a dark and silent place.

    Bob Wilson
  11. I agree, and I actually hate that term. But it sure came to mind when I saw such selective and biased discussions, without any acknowledgement of some of the many shortcomings (what you call counter facts and data). That's the classic definition.

    I have seen and driven the model 3, S and X personally so am not just echoing what others say on the internet. The S and X were loaners when my son had his M3 in the shop for various repairs and adjustments. Can't count the number of times he had it in, but my guess is about 7 - 10, and that is in just 15 months of ownership.

    Anyway, glad you like your car, and hope you still feel the same with it in a few years.
  12. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Personally I'm proud to be a Tesla fanboy, and I don't regard that as a pejorative at all. However, I realize that some people do view it that way.

    But fair warning: If you try to insult me by calling me a "Tesla fanboy"... then you will FAIL! :D

    Actually, more recently, I've been advocating for phased-array (aka "high-res") radar, not lidar. I thought Elon made a good case against lidar as having too many of the same limitations as visible light cameras, when he spoke at Tesla's "Full Self Driving" investor presentation.

    Lidar is blocked by heavy rain and snow, and also smoke and fog, which are also limitations of using video camera images. Contrariwise, fog and smoke are transparent to radar, which is also less affected by heavy rain and snow.

    Contrariwise, lidar does give higher resolution images, and I suppose that's why Waymo uses all three systems: Cameras, lidar, and radar. So I'm not saying using lidar is a bad idea, but rather that if you're going to choose just one system as the primary sensors for a self-driving car, then I think phased-array radar would be best. However, just because I've read many articles on the subject, that doesn't make me an expert. I think phased-array radar can yield sufficiently detailed images, despite having lower resolution than lidar. But I may be wrong on that point when it comes to "seeing" smaller objects.

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
    bwilson4web likes this.
  13. My son was over today, and he was telling me about a new problem with his M3. Going back into the shop again. This time it is for a moldy smell that he thinks is coming from the A/C. Apparently it is a known issue, although not sure yet the cause or if there is a fix. It is worst when he first starts up the car. His car is never left outside, always in a garage. He has driven in rain a few times, but that shouldn't do it either. Must be a leak somewhere, and pooling in the A/C system.
  14. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019

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