How to use consumer reports to find which car is right for you
How to Use Consumer Reports
to Find Which Car is Right For
A Ready Reference Instructional Guide to Navigating Consumer reports, accessible with a Naperville
Public Library card
By Sarah Prokop, Children’s Services Associate at the Naperville Public Library
About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is a magazine produced by an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission
is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect
Their purpose is to provide a reliable source of information that consumers can depend on to help
them distinguish hype from fact and good products from bad ones.
To further advance its mission, Consumer Reports employs a dedicated staff of lobbyists, grassroots
organizers, and outreach specialists who work with the organization’s more than 600,000 online activists
to change legislation and the marketplace in favor of the consumer interest.
Sample Questions Answered by Consumer Reports
Which car is rated as the most fuel efficient sedan?
Which car is rated as the most reliable used sedan?
Which small-sized sedan is highest rated?
How to Access Consumer Reports
Note: This presentation will guide to how to
access Consumer Reports with a Naperville Public
Library card, however, your home library may
provide access too. Check with your library to
Visit www.naperville-lib.org and click on “Adults”
at the top of the page where the red arrow is
Next, click on “Online Resources” where the
orange arrow is pointing
How to Access Consumer Reports
Next, click on Consumer Reports, next to
the red arrow. This will bring you to
another page with a link to Consumer
Reports. Click the link below the orange
You will need your library card barcode
and pin number to gain access so have
Gaining Access to Consumer Reports
Enter the barcode of your library card where the red arrow points (your barcode is the number on the
back of your NPL library card). Next, enter your 4 digit pin below to get access to the database.
The pin is often the last 4 digits of your phone number. If you do not remember your pin though, click
on “Forgot Your Pin?” which leads you to the steps to retrieve it.
If you do not have a Naperville Public Library card, go to http://www.naperville-lib.org/content/getlibrary-card where you can learn how to get one. You can even apply for one online at
Ratings on Consumer Reports
Hover over cars and click
on the type of car you
want to hear more rating
on. For this presentation, I
will click on “Sedans.”
As you can see, you can
even review ratings for carrelated products like tires
and car batteries.
Reviewing Sedans on Consumer Reports
Next, Click on “Reliable Used” next to the red
arrow to see which cars are the top rated
reliable used cars.
You will then see that the Acura RL is the highest
rated used sedan. Click on “See Rating” near the
orange arrow to see more details.
Reviewing Information and Ratings
You can get general information about the car
on this page including
pictures, prices, recalls, etc. as well as the
breakdown of the reliability rating for specific
years of this car.
For example, which year do you think is better to
purchase? Acura RL 08 or 06? Look at the ratings
You can see that the 06 has a better Drive
System and Transmission Major. This information
may be helpful to you if you are looking to buy a
used Acura RL.
Click on “see the complete reliability history” link
for a more detailed breakdown on the ratings.
Finding To Rated Fuel Efficient Vehicles
Next, let’s review fuel efficient vehicles.
Click on “Sedans” Again at the top. Scroll to the “Ratings & recommended sedans”
section on the page and click the second link which says “Recommended fuel-efficient”.
There are several ways to achieve great fuel economy in a sedan, either looking to smaller
cars, or to those that have hybrid or diesel powertrains. Looking at the fuel economy
results from the tests, Consumer Reports highlight the true standouts.
As you can see, Consumer Reports lists the 2013 Honda Accord LX as the most fuel
efficient with the 2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS coming in second.
Looking up Reviews on Any Vehicle
Let’s say you’re looking to buy a used car from a dealership but want to know what the
ratings are but they are older cars.
You may search for any car’s make or model by using the search bar at the top of the
The search results will be news, ratings, articles, and comparison charts to other vehicles
that may help you.
Consumer Reports gives you reliable information and answers many simple questions about
cars on the market today.
Consumer Reports is the largest independent consumer-testing organization in the world,
where hundreds of people work every day to test products, inform you of the results, and
protect your consumer interests.
Simply use your library card to access all of this information 24/7 through the Naperville
Public Library’s website to find out which car is right for you.
If you need help navigating Consumer Reports, please contact Sarah Prokop, Children's
Services Associate, at the Naperville Public Library on 95th Street at (630) 961-4100 ext. 4967
or send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.