Hot on the heels of the 9-3 SportCombi being named the Safest Wagon for 2006, we have a somewhat more dubious honor to contend with.
via Autoblog, the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan has been named, by Forbes magazine, as one of the 5 most unreliable luxury cars for 2006. The list is compiled based on data from Consumer Reports surveys and JD Power ratings data.
As I understand it, Saabs are rated consistently high for quality in Europe. If there’s some European types out there that confirm or counter this, then please do so in comments (a link would be good too). It’s just a conversation I remember having once already.
Another point that I looked at some time ago is the validity of Consumer Reports data, which seems to be based on subjective questioning with answers that are often times immeasurable. Yes a $150 repair is expensive to guy on $150 a week, but not to a guy on $1,500 a week. You see what I mean. In addition, the testing is done only amongst Consumer Reports clients, the majority of which I’m willing to bet have a predisposition towards having a cry anyway. How many happy Saab owners weren’t polled here?
The thing that really irks me about surveys like this is that it’s just content for content’s sake. They wheel one of these lists out at Forbes every other week (which may be a blessing as everyone will likely forget all about this one in a blink). They do mentions some of the flaws in the data, but by the time they do so the damage has already been done.
Consumer Reports uses prior model years to predict how current models will hold up (that’s why you’ll see 2005 cars in the slide show). Its reliability ratings are based on more than 1 million responses to the organization’s annual questionnaire. Consumer Reports subscribers report any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the previous year–problems that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety or downtime.
I know less about JD Power and have always considered their reporting to be more reliable, so I hold back on their role in all this.
I’m not saying that Saab don’t have room for improvement. It’s just that things like this really put a bee in my bonnet.
Forbes and CR should pull their collective bottom lip up over their heads and swallow.
Thanks to Jim F for the heads-up