Disappointing Redesigns

FRESNO, Calif.

For example, the new Toyota 4Runner doesn't handle very well. And the interior isn't as nice. Plus it's pretty noisy.

As for the redesigned BMW X5, it has poorer visibility. Of the six, the Volkswagen Jetta redesign is the biggest disappointment. Consumer Reports says that it used to be really fun to drive and had a very nice interior. But the Jetta has lost its agility, and the interior looks downright cheap.

Consumer Reports' tests also show that the Toyota Sienna, Mercedes E350, and Honda Odyssey, though still very good performers, are not quite as good as the vehicles they replaced.

Consumer Reports says that overall, this is a troubling trend. Two areas where it's seeing declines are handling and controls. Both can affect vehicle safety, so you really want to see cars getting better in those areas, not worse.

If you're interested in one of these vehicles, Consumer Reports says look for an earlier model. An added bonus: The price will be lower, too!

Not all redesigns are a disappointment. Consumer Reports finds that several models were significantly improved, including the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Kia Sportage.

Consumer Reports has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor appearing on this Web site.

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