Is the Edmunds Car Rating Scale Easier to Read Than Consumer Reports?

If you’re going to car review websites to look for your next car or just want to browse to keep your options open, chances are you’ve found yourself on some of the most popular sites for vehicle reviews like Edmunds and Consumer Reports. Some are more straightforward than others, and some offer more opinion-based options while others offer more information, but that doesn’t mean either is better than the next. When it comes down to it, we want information that is easy to read and understand, and rating scales are some of the best ways to do that.

Consumer Reports rating scales

Consumer Reports and Edmunds both share the common overall score, while Consumer Reports offers a score from 0 – 100 points and Edmunds offers scores from 0 – 10. For this site, there is one overall rating that is present next to each vehicle name, and three other important scores are broken down by category: road test, predicted reliability, and predicted owner satisfaction. If you are subscribed to the website, you can scroll throughout the tabs to see the breakdown of specific categories rated from 0 – 5 that gives very specific ratings on the finer details of the car.

A screen shot of the ratings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla on the Consumer Reports website
The ratings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla according to Consumer Reports | Consumer Reports

Edmunds rating scales

Edmunds rating scales work similarly to Consumer Reports, but with much less of the finer details. Some drivers may choose this option over the other because it doesn’t require a paid subscription to view these detailed ratings. Instead of offering multiple scores, Edmunds breaks down each category evenly across the board, rating everything from the interior to the driving experience on a scale of 1 – 10. These ratings are then averaged to create a very clear score. While it isn’t broken down as tediously as the Consumer Reports website does, this format is much easier to read and understand at a glance.

A screen shot of the ratings of the 2021 Toyota Corolla from the Edmunds website
The ratings for the 2021 Toyota Corolla according to Edmunds | Edmunds

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Both websites offer valuable information

While Consumer Reports offers more specified data and Edmunds is more clear-cut and concise, both have a lot to offer for potential car buyers. In fact, comparing the ratings of vehicles between the two shows that they offer pretty similar feedback on many vehicles — though not all of them — and this goes to negate any potential bias. However, for buyers that like to keep things simple without crunching down dozens of numbers, Edmunds does offer an easier to read rating scale.

a red 2021 corolla hatchback in a dramatic press phot
2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback | Toyota

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Overall, both websites are widely viewed as great websites to get rated breakdowns of new and used vehicles on the market, and with slightly different information offered on each one it can’t hurt to take a quick glance at both.