Totos make the cut
Just read the September 2012 Consumer Reports, and they tested toilets. Toto Drake came in 3rd, behind AS Champion 4 as #1 followed by Gerber Avalanche.
Toto Eco Drake was #7. Toto Aquia was #4 in the dual-flush category.
I don't recall that CR ever included Totos before in their toilet testing.
Most of CR's top picks have had problems.
Their last dual flush #1, the Gerber Ultraflush with the WDI EcoFlush was a disaster.
They Champion that they loved so much was redesigned in the first few years to change out the failing tower flush valve. They then plugged up a TOTO, shot video of it being plugged and acted like it came that way out of the box. I have no idea where their heads are. I thought the same thing when I worked in a bicycle shop in the 60's. Their picks defied logic.
There's clearly some wacky thinking or weird editorial agenda these days at CR. I just had another category of items from them that made no sense.
In the past, they got so many things right. I remember when they first put Panasonic air conditioners at the top of their list. I bought one, and they were absolutely right. Quietest, most reliable window unit ever. It didn't save Panasonic from exiting this market, sadly enough, but the pick was spot-on. Lots of other examples. Then a few years ago, they seemed to start weighting factors that weren't as important to me, at least, in a lot of their ratings. And reducing the helpful narrative on each item. So ultimately I have less and less confidence in that whole group, and eventually the publication will be useless to me and I will just cancel.
The Champion 4? Really??? It used to be that sample defects and ease of repairs were a BIG part of their reviews. I guess not anymore. Interestingly, many of the Champion reader reviews at CR mention significant manufacturing defects. Some people bomb the toilet for that reason. Others accept it, sadly. One guy said it worked fine but that the plumber told him that his floor was perfectly level but the toilet was slanted because it was made that way and defective. He solve the problem by adding some foam to shim the tank lid to make it look level, and gave the toilet a good review. Sigh. That's what AS is getting away with. Others mentioned serious glazing defects. (HELLO?! Send the damn thing back under the warranty! Sheesh! But if you pay someone $300 to install it, I guess many people don't want to pay that to replace it, and instead just make do. Makes me very sad.)
PS I was amused that the flush-lever complainer on here got his pissy review of the Drake published on the CR web site, and complained that he bought the Drake with those oh-so-awful flush handles based on Terry Love's recommendation. If CR will let him mention you in a negative review, I thought I would see if they passed my positive one that also mentions Terry. The review starts off talking about their flawed previous testing of the Drake and then mentions Terry twice. Hopefully, the review readers will let this pass, because I didn't reference the web site per se.
I used to rely on Consumer Reports a lot back in the 50s and early 60s, especially for large purchases like major appliances and autos. Their reviews were excellent, unbiased and very thorough. But in the 60s they took a turn into politics, with people like Ralph Nader on their board, and began to emphasize political correctness and a political agenda as much as the "just the facts" attitude that made them so credible. Haven't looked to them in years.
Consumer Reports doesn't care about quality control, or noise, or parts availability, or ease of installation, or whether the new footprint covers the old one. Very important on wood floors and carpet. They also don't care if it fails in six months.
As long as they can flip the lever a few times. That's good enough for Consumer Reports.
Just to pile on a little, I notice that the one CR reader review of the Aquia likes it a lot, even though CR downgraded it on ability to dispose of solid waste, while CR's "top rated" dual flush, the Glacier Bay $100 toilet, would only be recommended by a third of their reader-reviewers. Most reviewers just HATE it. Their biggest complaint? It doesn't remove solids, with one person saying it takes 3-5 flushes to remove solids. This despite CR's "very good" (half-red circle) rating on solid removal. The Aquia, OTOH, only got a "fair" (half-black circle) solid-removal rating from CR.
I'm just sitting here shaking my head and wondering what else I can say... I guess nothing; it speaks for itself.
Yeah, love CR for some stuff, but they are horrible on others. Electronics? Everything is out of date by the time they go to print. Grocery stores? Great if you live on the east coast.
With respect to Toto's, I installed two Drakes after reading about them here a couple of years ago. I've only had one clog and blame that on user error (it was me).