But that's the point. Humans will always be biased whether it's intentional or not. It's human nature. Everybody is biased to some degree. It doesn't mean CR is more biased than anyone else. It just means you have to take all reviews and opinions with a grain of salt - including CR.
The original Tesla model S review (which got a 103 out of 100) up to and including the 2017 update made no mention of the touchscreen being distracting.
The 2018 version does mention it, yet still gives the vehicle a perfect 100 score. How can you give something a perfect 100 when it has such a big safety flaw (based on complaints against other brands)?
At best it's inconsistent.
There are other cases as well - rating some new Toyotas as reliable even though they had no data - while other models from other brands had to wait. And they turned out to be wrong on one of those Toyotas so they no longer do that.
One of my complaints about CR has always been that they generate a "score" and then don't tell you how it is calculated. So, we really know little about how they derived the score for the Tesla or how much things like interface goes into things.
I will say, having driven the old Fords with no buttons and those goofy slides and having ridden in the Tesla - the old Fords are not even in the same league as the Tesla in terms of usability. So, part of the reason they may not have harped on the Tesla so much is that he layout just works a lot better there.
And, human error is different from bias. For years, I've seen owners of cars that CR does not rate high scream that CR is unfair and is biased toward Toyota and Honda. And, yet I've seen them lambast Toyota and Honda vehicles over the years and then rate other vehicles higher. I certainly don't see a bias against Ford at CR because they constantly note that Ford vehicles (like the Fusion) are very competitive when it comes to on road performance.
The real bias at CR is that they assume all drivers value the same criteria they do. For example, I've never cared much about ride quality but I weigh handling very highly. And, I'm less concerned about MPG than I am about visibility (I hate the way you can't see out of modern vehicles). So, I do read their road tests but I rarely pay attention to the numerical score. That's why I agree with your "grain of salt" comment. It's one source of data, not the bible.
As for the MKX, they love the on road performance, and they say so - in fact, they rated the MKX higher in that regard than any of the car enthusiast mags (Motor Trend, C & D, etc) or online sources (like EDMUNDS). They give Sync 3 high marks, which it should get. They also note that many owners of the MKX report reliability problems - and they list the specific areas of concern. They did a fair and balanced job - and unlike other reviewers did not write the MKX off because of Lincoln's stodgy image.
I just don't think the first few waves of vehicles coming out of that Canadian factory are doing well in terms of initial QC.
Road tests may or may not be biased, but data don't lie. MKX owners are reporting more problems than owners of some of the competing vehicles. And, that is pure fact, not interpretation.
Edited by walkabout, 23 October 2017 - 02:29 PM.