Consumer Reports Skewers Dodge Dart, Cadillac XTS, and Lincoln MKS in Latest Eval

By Jacob Brown | November 20, 2012
As Dodge, Cadillac, and Lincoln have figured out, you can't always get what you want. That's especially true in the case of Consumer Reports' latest round of vehicle testing that hammered each of the three cars for their shortcomings. Starting with the Dart, the publication called it "the first decent compact car from Dodge in decades." Yet, that wasn't enough to give it the prestigious "recommended" title, as its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder was deemed underpowered and its turbocharged 1.4-liter engine was found to be raspy--which is a trait we like, reminding us of the sporty Fiat 500 Abarth that shares its engine. However, Consumer Reports also took issue with the car's six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Yeah, we didn't like it, either. Consumer Reports then took issue with the 2013 Cadillac XTS, finding that it was wholly luxurious and spacious, yet its CUE infotainment system was cumbersome. Shame, we like the car. A lot. Despite not being the modern, aggressive car we've come to expect from Cadillac, it's proven to be everything you could ask for in a luxury car, except for the fact Consumer Reports says the Germans and Koreans do luxury better.
Despite not getting the nod, either, the Cadillac didn't fare quite as poorly as the Lincoln MKS, which was just revised for the 2013 model year. To quote Consumer Reports, the MKS is let down by its "cramped driving position, ungainly handling, uncomposed ride, and limited visibility." Ouch. The 2013 Chevrolet Spark was also ranked too low to be recommended, largely because it's as loud and choppy as you'd expect a micro car to be anyway. And despite getting a lower evaluation than the previous-generation Lexus ES, the new ES 350 and hybrid ES 300h scored high enough to get the recommended distinction. Consumer Reports has become one of the biggest players in providing consumer information for new products, using reader surveys for much of its information in addition to its own evaluations. When one automotive spokesperson was asked about the publication's reviews and ranking scale earlier this year at a press event, his response was this: "Consumer Reports is very good at evaluating toaster ovens and washing machines." Source: Consumer Reports