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Consumer Report's shameful treatment of the old Suzuki Samurai


Garth Libre

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Videos show conclusively that it took dozens of attempts to get the 1980's Suzuki Samurai to tip off two of its wheels. In fact, they had to modify the course and they still couldn't get it to lift in a high speed avoidance maneuver. This kind of scientific fraudulence by C.U. could easily have been used against the Ranger or any light truck to kill it in the marketplace.
 


rusty ol ranger

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Kinda like when NBC ran the story on exploding square body chevys and they were found to have small explosives by the fuel tank.
 

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Consumer Reports is massively biased in their reviews and ratings. Things like the Samurai have shown this. Their truck reviews are another. They complain about trucks riding and handling like trucks instead of passenger cars.

The only usefulness they have is if you are looking at a vehicle you aren familiar with to steer you away from something that has huge reliability problems. Even then, I would look at reviews elsewhere and forums dedicated to the vehicle to see what the recurring trends are and if they figured out a fix.

Generally, CR hates domestic products and Japanese products can do no wrong.
 

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Sammies are great little vehicles. With few modifications, they are extremely capable offroad. Amazing and fun to watch with a skilled driver behind the wheel.
 
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Garth Libre

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Consumer Reports is massively biased in their reviews and ratings. Things like the Samurai have shown this. Their truck reviews are another. They complain about trucks riding and handling like trucks instead of passenger cars.

The only usefulness they have is if you are looking at a vehicle you aren familiar with to steer you away from something that has huge reliability problems. Even then, I would look at reviews elsewhere and forums dedicated to the vehicle to see what the recurring trends are and if they figured out a fix.

Generally, CR hates domestic products and Japanese products can do no wrong.
Exactly right about expecting trucks to handle. I have experienced driving at 150 mph but I fully expect my Ranger to be a work horse, not a race machine, and not even more than a passenger car with realistic expectations about it's ultimate handling abilities. Motorweek understands trucks as trucks. My problem is people buying trucks and using them strictly as cars for personal transportation. You shouldn't buy an 150 to drive as the family car for road trips. Even an older Ranger is a work truck that can somewhat work as a family car, but that's not its purpose.
 

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I will always regret not buying that samurai new off the lot in 03
 

superj

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Sorry, 93, not 03
 

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I was looking at one today because I need a spare vehicle or a donor Ranger, way too rich for me though:

1987 Suzuki Samurai Special Edition - $12,500 (Newnan,)

 

19Walt93

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Consumer Reports isn't worth the paper it's printed on. A few years ago they announced that they would no longer just give Toyotas favorable ratings without testing them- as they had been doing for years. And that kind of b/s wasn't new for them. In about 1980, CR said a Pinto was a terrible car and recommended against buying one- but a Mercury Bobcat- same car, different trim- was a more reliable than average used car. When Fairmonts appeared with the first steering column mounted multi function switches, CR called them awkward- but the multi function switch in the Audi of the same model year was "innovative". When the first Mazda Navajos appeared, CR raved that they felt "tight and Japanese"- they were 2 door Explorers with Mazda emblems and they used square headed, double sided, 8 cut Ford keys- complete with Ford emblems. Their position is that every vehicle should be bought with the base engine because no one needs more power. They also recommended basing the decision where to buy only on price, we used to get a lot of customers from super market style dealers who provided poor service after the sale.
 

rusty ol ranger

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Consumer Reports isn't worth the paper it's printed on. A few years ago they announced that they would no longer just give Toyotas favorable ratings without testing them- as they had been doing for years. And that kind of b/s wasn't new for them. In about 1980, CR said a Pinto was a terrible car and recommended against buying one- but a Mercury Bobcat- same car, different trim- was a more reliable than average used car. When Fairmonts appeared with the first steering column mounted multi function switches, CR called them awkward- but the multi function switch in the Audi of the same model year was "innovative". When the first Mazda Navajos appeared, CR raved that they felt "tight and Japanese"- they were 2 door Explorers with Mazda emblems and they used square headed, double sided, 8 cut Ford keys- complete with Ford emblems. Their position is that every vehicle should be bought with the base engine because no one needs more power. They also recommended basing the decision where to buy only on price, we used to get a lot of customers from super market style dealers who provided poor service after the sale.
I remember them blasting the ranger in the mid 90s but praising the B series as well.
 

19Walt93

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I remember them blasting the ranger in the mid 90s but praising the B series as well.
It's always been CR's position that a turd with a Japanese badge on it doesn't stink.
 

James Morse

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They must have not known much because as I understand it Mazdas were made on the same ass'y line (both mine built in Edison NJ) probably by the same people and using the same parts except for some stuff like badging and grill etc.
So is it logical to say Mazda is different or better, the only way it could be better is if Mazda had people there with stricter build standards and I kind of doubt it.
There are a lot of things the same my '97 Ford vs '99 Mazda (and a lot different, but that's because they are different models and different gens). But everything I see in the 97 to me tends to heavier and more rugged compared to the 99, leaving aside that they are different models etc, just for instance if you lift the hoods I think the 97 is thicker metal, maybe my imagination, but it sure seems stiffer and heavier built.
It's true that the later Mazdas especially the B4 4x4, had a ton of stuff on them that you had to option on the Fords, but that's just model config differences. '08 was really the last year for the Mazdas, there were '09's but they were leftover '08's and at the end there were very limited choices as to configs and colors, for the Mazdas.
Got kind of off topic, anyway, my take on it is a B3 is a Ranger in all but name and a few, but not many, differences and they are minor, afaik. So one cannot praise the Mazda and condemn the Ranger in the same sentence because they are the same thing.
 

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