Auto Assessments

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Congratulations on your excellent article ranking the best cars and trucks ["Finding the Best Car for You," October 15].

I waited for more than a year for the new Toyota Highlander design to be introduced. When the information was finally released, I didn't like what I saw. I rushed out and bought a 2007 end-of-year model (nonhybrid) at a nice discount. You ranked the 2008 Highlander at No. 15 with a 7.9 score. The No. 1-rated vehicle, the Honda Pilot, scored 9.2. What is interesting, however, is if you go to your rating for the 2007 Highlander, the score is 9.3, which would have topped all the competition.

Floyd Artrip


Charlottesville, Va.  

Reviewers do not buy the majority of cars sold in the United States—people do! The average car purchase cannot be based on reviewers' ratings when the average driver has difficulty discerning the difference in closely ranked cars. Rather, his decision is based on all factors, including the economic effect of his purchase.

Francis C. Fleck


Grand Blanc, Mich.  

Your recommendations favored foreign-made and nonunion-made vehicles. These vehicles of comparable quality cost nearly the same as the union-made vehicles, and less of the profit goes to the workers. Right now the only union that has enough power to set the bar higher for the American blue-collar worker is the United Auto Workers, which deals with Ford, GM, and Chrysler, and that union's power is diminishing.

Roger Thompson


St. Marys, Pa.  

I was really surprised that you put "all-wheel drive" in the category of "Six Features You Don't Need." It must never snow, freeze, get icy, or flood in your habitat. You evidently never drive on gravel or dirt roads, or ever drive up steep driveways, or drive up into the mountains. All cars have four-wheel brakes. They all stop about the same. So what is new about this? I have owned all-wheel-drive Subaru cars for 18 years now, and I will never go back to the hazards of a car with only one-wheel traction.

Ed Carlberg


Friday Harbor, Wash.