The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

4 March 2005

Applied depreciation

Generally Consumer Reports is not one's first choice for snarky commentary, the "Selling It" section on the inside back cover aside, but whoever writes the little hundred-word individual-model blurbs in the annual Auto Issue has apparently gotten his leash paid out a few yards, to generally amusing effect.

The trend started last year, with this dismissal of the Hyundai XG350:

If you want to reminisce about a brand-new Buick from the 1960s, this is it.

And this on a car they recommend, mind you. The same verbiage is back this year, the Hyundai being essentially unchanged for '05, but some other vehicles come off a lot worse. The Chevrolet Impala's "interior fit and finish is borderline offensive." On the Kia Rio, "one of the lowest-priced cars sold in the US," you should "expect to get what you pay for." And Saab's two artificially-Swedened models, the 9-2X ("peculiar crossbreeding") and 9-7X, for which they put "Saab" in scare quotes in one line, apparently really annoyed them.

Nothing here that would jolt a Car and Driver reader, to be sure. On the other hand, Consumer Reports doesn't sell advertising, so none of the aggrieved automakers have the option of cancelling their ads in response.

Posted at 7:03 PM to Driver's Seat