J.D. Power vs Consumer Reports Cars

Both Consumer Reports for Cars & J.D. Power have an overall score for car ratings. And while it sounds the same, the differentiation comes from how they're derived & what methodology is used. Learn more below.
J.D. Power

We at J.D. Power establish our independent awards and unbiased car reviews and ratings from detailed survey feedback from hundreds of thousands of verified vehicle owners. The data is a derivation of real owner experiences from the third month to the third year of vehicle ownership.

Our car ratings reflect answers to questions related to quality & reliability, dealership experience, driving experience, and resale value. Based on those answers, we segment the car market by price, and size, and then use the data to create car ratings.

Eventually, from these ratings, comes the J.D. Power 100-Point Score, an overall rating given to each model once per year. This 100-Point Score gives consumers a high-level summary of the vehicle that can be used as a quick-reference for car ratings.

Consumers can convert the J.D. Power 100-Point Score into four classifications:

  • Among the Best (90-100)
  • Above Average (81-90)
  • Average (70-80)
  • Below Average (0-69)

The J.D. Power 100-Point Score is based on the following categories, weighted as indicated:

  • Quality and Reliability (30%)
  • Driving Experience (30%)
  • Dealership Experience (30%)
  • Resale Value (10%)

You can read more about our Ratings Methodology here.

Consumer Reports Cars
With a reputation for delivering concise and reliable information on vehicle quality, safety, and performance, Consumer Reports provides thorough reviews on all types of cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Consumer Reports cars receive ratings based on either feature data or test drive experiences. A combination of road-test performance, reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction gives a comprehensive picture of how a vehicle stacks up. CR calls the ranking an “Overall Score,” and it helps organize all the reviewed vehicles into “best” and “worst” performers.

Consumer Reports cars undergo a road test at the company’s test facility. Each test session records performance metrics on acceleration, braking, emergency handling, fuel economy, safety systems, noise, usability, and ride.

Acceleration tests measure from zero to 60 miles per hour. Braking distances start at 60mph with a full brake applied until the vehicle stops. Testers rate transmission features and shifting quality, as applicable, and judge the agility of the vehicle on a closed course. Other road test measures evaluate turning circle clearance, fuel economy, ride comfort, and cargo volume.

Reliability ratings rely on surveys from Consumer Reports members and outline 17 “trouble areas.” Trouble areas span minor and major problems with the vehicle engine, transmission, drive system, fuel system, electrical system, climate system, suspension, brakes, exhaust, paint, hardware, power equipment, and more. CR also calculates reliability for new automobiles on the market using past statistics for similar models.

Consumer Reports cars receive an user satisfaction rating based on surveys of CR members. An Auto Survey also solicits feedback on comfort, value, and driving experience from people who own the year, make, and model of the vehicle in question.

Safety ratings come from IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash tests, as applicable. Vehicles earn higher ratings if they also feature advanced safety systems like Pedestrian Detection, blind spot warnings, forward collision warning (FCW), and other safety measures.

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