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How to use consumer reports to find which car is right for you


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How to use consumer reports to find which car is right for you

  1. 1. How to Use Consumer Reports to Find Which Car is Right For You 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
  2. 2. 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 themselves. 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?
  3. 3. 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 find out.  Visit and click on “Adults” at the top of the page where the red arrow is pointing  Next, click on “Online Resources” where the orange arrow is pointing
  4. 4. 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 arrow.  You will need your library card barcode and pin number to gain access so have it ready!
  5. 5. 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 where you can learn how to get one. You can even apply for one online at!
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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 to decide.  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.
  9. 9. 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.
  10. 10. 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 website.  The search results will be news, ratings, articles, and comparison charts to other vehicles that may help you.
  11. 11. Questions?  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