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Consumer Reports released their latest results today, based on a survey that went out last April. TrueDelta’s results are currently two months ahead of CR’s latest, and will soon be five months ahead.

Among other things, CR announced that the all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buck Enclave “Lambda” crossovers have improved to “average,” and so can now be recommended. (TrueDelta announced a similar improvement about a year ago.) But not the front-wheel-drive versions–they remain “worse than average” so they are not recommended.

Now, it doesn’t make sense for one car with all the parts of another, but a few more, to be more reliable. My first thought: just another sign that their data are messy.

Then I dug deep into their results, and found a nice addition: they now state the percent difference from average. Still not an absolute repair frequency, but a step in the right direction.

FWD Lambdas: 21% worse than average

AWD Lambdas: 19% worse than average

“Average” runs from 19% below the average to 19% above the average, so the AWD crossovers just barely make the cut, while the FWDs just barely miss it.

In reality, there’s no meaningful difference between the two. But the way CR hides the facts behind its dots and recommendations will lead some people to spend the extra money for all-wheel-drive.

Thanks, everyone, for helping TrueDelta provide better reliability information on the Lambdas, much sooner. If you're not already a participant, details are here:

Car reliability research
 

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A 2 percentage point difference could literally be 3 or 4 extra cars needing repairs, depending on their sample size. And 19% worse than avg vs 19% better than avg is a fairly significant swing. I know they have to break down their results somehow, but still, that's a 38% difference.
 
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