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Old 06-03-2003, 08:25 PM   #1
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I was reading an issue of Consumer Reports, its a magazine that reviews stuff and gives ratings. It was their big car issue, I dont remember the month, but I looked at how they rated the bonneville and found that they had a few years to avoid buying them. They include 97 and 2000+, among a few others. They didnt go into details, so I was wondering if anyone knows why they would have these years on the "bad" list? Deathrat, do you know of any recurrent problems in these years that other years dont have?
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:29 PM   #2
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mostly it is because of their "reliability." They used to recomend them
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:34 PM   #3
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Usually has to do with model changes. When a car is redesigned it will have inherent flaws typical of any redesign. Futhur to that, when a car model evolves over the years its improved.

Personally IMO, I would avoid getting a NEW car that has been recently redesigned. That goes for any car not just Bonnevilles.

Consumers gave the Bonneville a very good rating and a Best Buy vehicle
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:41 PM   #4
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I read a while ago that Consumer Reports rated the '94 Bonne as one of the top ten recommended cars for that year, and reliability was up there too.

My next one, if I'm LUCKY will be the GXP. But has anyone heard or read anything about the engine, besides the fact that it'* 4.4L V8 w/ 285hp? My only worries would be the reliabilty of that engine vs. the famous 3800s.
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Old 06-03-2003, 08:59 PM   #5
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I don't trust Consumer Reports, Raod & Track. etc... when it comes to car reliability and purchasing suggestions. I personally have found many of the results close minded and inacurate. They tend to lean heavy in favor of imports, no matter what the makes and models they are comparing.

Relabilty has a lot to do with the owner and not all the car (just to clarify, some cars may be more reliable than others. Read further before bashing this comment ). Who are the most likely owners of a Sunfire GT or a Grand Am SE? Chances are a teen will be driving it and will drive it more aggresively causing it to wear and weather faster. Also a teen is less likely to keep up on scheduled maintaince. For these reasons the long time durabbility of some makes and models can be scewed by the types of drivers it attracks. Don't get me wrong, some cars are mechaincal nightmares , but there are to many variables to trust simple statitcs that they usually come up with.

If they could go into detail (which you said they didn't) that would help alot as to determine the nature of the lower rateing. I would agree that newer or newly redisgined cars inherintly have more "flaws". The first 2-3 years of any new car is a transition phase where they are working out the bugs. For the 97 Bonnevilles it had recently moved to a full OBD II platform but the body was relatively similar to previous models. 2000+ was a whole new car. I'm sure alot of "new cars" get poorer ratings the first few years for the above mentioned reasons. Besides, if all the cars got good rateings, what would you need them for for? That would be bad business for them.

If you want the good scoop on how reliable a car is and how well it performs, the true test is to talk with those individuals who have been driving them day in and day out for some time to get their opinions. If it is a new car, buy it and try it. No easy way around that.


(ok, whoever I stole the soap box from can have it back now, thanx)

Sorry if I strayed. I've just found that too many times people embelish the facts with opinions and here say. I have been burned a few times on trusting what publications state a product can or can't do. I prefer to do a little leg work myself now when makeing any substantial purchases, including cars. Too many people out there too willing to tell you what you want to hear vs what the real story of it is. Just think, Consumer Reports (and other places liek them) are businesses. They will do and say what they need to to keep the $$ rolling in.

(ok, here'* your soapbox, for real this time... )


As for the initial question... The years you mentioned don't have any 1 factor that really stands out as a contributing cause to a poorer rateing except for the 2000+, and that is just because of the redesign.
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Old 06-03-2003, 09:29 PM   #6
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Those are statistical analyses.

What is interesting that a few years ago, in Consumer Reports, the 98 and 99 Bonnevilles were vehicles to avoid. However, their rating has increased as of late.

The model year of a car is compared to all other cars in that model year. This analysis is done routinely, so that cars that were once 1 or 2 years old with worse than average reliability can actually improve statistically in 3 years to have average or better than average reliability when compared to the rest of the cars that are 4 or 5 years old.
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Old 06-04-2003, 12:10 PM   #7
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i see, thanks for the speech, now that I think about it, the magazine did favor impots ALOT, except for the occaisional domestic. I just wondered where they got all their info, they are a little sketchy and vague for me, I wouldnt buy a car based on what they say either.
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Old 06-04-2003, 03:42 PM   #8
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I agree with SSEi95. Those magazines do heavily favor imports, it makes me mad sometimes. They basically rave about Honda'* and Toyota'* and slam GM. Oh well...

I have a 95 Camero Z28 that Consumer reports slams each year, and I have never had anything other than minor issues.

My 92 SSE Bonneville has been super reliable, except for my current transmission issue but it still goes fine.

My 97 SSEi Bonneville has a Transmission issue, and the Bose Stereo is sucking pretty bad right now, but I still love kicking ricer'* butts

Like others said, it also depends on how you drive the car. I drive mine 'nice' most of the time but I have to test the supercharger occasionally

Cheers,
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Old 06-04-2003, 05:04 PM   #9
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The end user is the ONLY one that should have any say on how well a product performs. Car magazines will give whatever is popular a good review so people will buy their magazine.
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Old 06-04-2003, 09:04 PM   #10
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Good Call JR,

also a good place to check out is the lemon law attorneys. Heres the site: http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/

Most of them publish lists of cars that have lemon problems and the cases they have won, and I wished I had checked that before I bought my Hyundai Elantra last year. It was a major lemon and I got my money back and bought my 97 SSEi with the money

I know I know, what was I thinking buying a Hyundai ! Temporary lapse of sanity I think....
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