Ten Best Cars of 2005

The 10 Most Reliable and Durable Cars of Model Year 2005

This page lists the top ten cars of model year 2005 by reliability-and-durability grade point average (Reliability-Durability GPA or more concisely, R-D GPA).

2005's Top 10 (Top 12 by Tie) Cars

The 12 best cars of 2005 are listed below in descending order of Reliability-Durability GPA (best first). The equipment of each model is that offered in the U.S.

  • The Toyota 4Runner V6, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.90

The 2005 V6 Toyota 4Runner came with a 4.0-Liter, 245-horsepower engine and a 5-speed automatic transmission. It takes either regular or premium gasoline and has an overall fuel efficiency of approximately 16 miles per gallon, per Consumer Reports. Kelly Blue Book gives a fuel efficiency of 16 miles per gallon in city and 20 miles per gallon on highway.

The base price of the 2005 4Runner was $27,495. Consumer Reports gives a base price of $13,800 if bought used in 2010 or 2011. If in excellent condition and with typical mileage (84,000 miles), Kelly Blue Book has a starting price of about $19,500 on 29 June 2011.

  • The Toyota RAV4, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.90

The 2005 Toyota RAV4 came with a 2.4-Liter, 4-cylinder, 161-horsepower engine and either a 4-speed automatic transmission or a 5-speed manual transmission. Two editions were offered - a front-wheel-drive edition and an all-wheel-drive edition. It takes either regular gasoline and has an overall fuel efficiency of approximately 21 miles per gallon, per Consumer Reports. Kelly Blue Book gives a fuel efficiency of 21 miles per gallon in city and 27 miles per gallon on highway.

The base price of the 2005 RAV4 was $18,550. Consumer Reports gives a base price of $11,100 if bought used in 2010 or 2011. If in excellent condition and with typical mileage, Kelly Blue Book has a starting price of about $14,400 ($15,600 for an automatic transmission) 29 June 2011.

  • The Toyota Prius, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.89

The 2005 Toyota Prius came with a 1.5-Liter, 4-cylinder, 76-horsepower engine, a battery-powered motor (67-horsepower), and a continuous variable transmission. This hatchback offers front-wheel drive. It takes regular gasoline and has an overall fuel efficiency of approximately 44 miles per gallon, per Consumer Reports. Kelly Blue Book gives a fuel efficiency of 48 miles per gallon in city and 44 miles per gallon on highway.

The base price of the 2005 Prius was $20,875. Consumer Reports gives a base price of $10,200 if bought used in 2010 or 2011. If in excellent condition and with typical mileage, Kelly Blue Book has a starting price of about $16,400 on 29 June 2011.

  • The Toyota Tacoma 4-cylinder 2-wheel-drive, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.88
  • The Honda Civic sedan, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.86
  • The Toyota Camry Solara 4-cylinder, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.86

The 2005 4-cylinder Toyota Camry Solara came with a 2.4-Liter, 157-horsepower engine and was offered in two editions - a convertible and a coupe. This front-wheel-drive sporty car has four trimlines - SE, SE Sport (coupe only), and SLE. It takes regular gasoline. Kelly Blue Book gives a fuel efficiency of 21 miles per gallon in city and 30 miles per gallon on highway for the SE and SE Sport coupe (20 mpg and 29 mpg for the SLE coupe) and a fuel efficiency of 18 miles per gallon in city and 26 miles per gallon on highway for the for the convertible.

The 2005 base price of the 4-cylinder Solara was $19,220. Consumer Reports gives a base price of $8,100 if bought used in 2010 or 2011. If in excellent condition and with typical mileage, Kelly Blue Book has a starting price of about $11,600 on 29 June 2011.

  • The Honda Pilot, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.85
  • The Lexus LS, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.85
  • The Toyota Camry V6, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.85
  • The Honda Accord 4-cylinder, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.84
  • The Toyota Camry 4-cylinder, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.84
  • The Toyota Echo, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.84

In 1985 Honda dominated the list of the best accounting for 4 of the Top 10, but in 2005 Toyota accounted for 9 of the 12 best automobiles.

Another notable difference between the best of 1985 and the best of 2005 are the averages of their Reliability-Durability GPAs; the average R-D GPA of 1985's Top 10 was 3.75 and the average R-D GPA of 2005's Top 12 is 3.86. This is a jump of 0.11.

Note the diversity among the 12 best - one small sedan (the Honda Civic), one small hatchback (the Toyota Echo), 3 family-size gasoline-powered cars (the Toyota Camry V6, the Honda Accord Inline 4, and the Toyota Camry Inline 4), one family-size hybrid (the Toyota Prius), one sporty car (the Toyota Camry Solara Inline 4), one small sport-utility vehicle (the 4-cylinder Toyota RAV4), two midsize SUVs (the Toyota 4Runner V6 and the Honda Pilot), one pickup truck (the Toyota Tacoma Inline 4 2-wheel-drive), and one luxury sedan (Toyota's flagship Lexus LS).

Also note that the Mercedes-Benz line has no automobile1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 in the Top 10, unlike the Top 10s of 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985.

A version of the Toyota Pickup has made the Top 10 list for all of the years for which Reliability-Durability Grade Point Averages have been computed to date - 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 2005.

Manufacturers of the Top 10

Toyota Motor Corporation accounted for 9 of the most reliable and durable cars of 2005; Honda Motor Company accounted for 3 of 2005's best.

Cars engineered by Japan-based corporations accounted for all of 2005's best cars; Germany-based corporations accounted for none.

Note that in 2005 (as in 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, and 1979) none of the Detroit 3 had a car among the Top 10.

The following chart gives each car maker's percent share of the Top 10 of 2005.

Pie Chart of Auto Manufacturer Shares of 10 Best Cars (12 by Tie) of Model Year 2005 by James B. Bleeekr.

The Next 11 Cars of 2005

The next 11 cars of the Top 20 (Top 23 by tie) are listed below in descending order of Reliability-Durability GPA (best first).

  • The Honda Accord V6, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.83
  • The Lexus ES, with a R-D GPA of 3.83
  • The BMW Z4, with a R-D GPA of 3.82
  • The Honda Element, with a R-D GPA of 3.81
  • The Acura TL, with a R-D GPA of 3.80
  • The Toyota Camry Solara V6, with a R-D GPA of 3.79
  • The Toyota Highlander V6, with a R-D GPA of 3.79
  • The Mazda Tribute V6 front-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.77
  • The Subaru Impreza (nonturbo), with a R-D GPA of 3.77
  • The Subaru Impreza Wagon (nonturbo), with a R-D GPA of 3.77
  • The Toyota Tundra V8 4-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.77

The 23 best automobile models of 2005 were engineered by companies headquartered in either Japan (96%) or Germany (4%).

Note that all of the 23 most reliable and durable cars of 2005 had a Reliability-Durability Grade of a high A.

Auto Company shares of the Top 20 Cars of 2005

The car manufacturer shares (rounded to the nearest percent) of the Top 20 (Top 23 by tie) vehicles are:

Toyota Motor Corporation: 57%
Honda Motor Company: 26%
Subaru Dvision of Fuji Heavy industries Ltd: 9%
BMW AG: 4%
Mazda Motor Corporation: 4%
The Next 8 Cars of 2005

The next 8 cars of the Top 30 (Top 31 by tie) are listed below in descending order of Reliability-Durability GPA (best first).

  • The Toyota Matrix badged as a Pontiac Vibe, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.76
  • The Scion xB, with a R-D GPA of 3.76
  • The Lexus SC, with a R-D GPA of 3.76
  • The Lexus RX, with a R-D GPA of 3.75
  • The Scion xA, with a R-D GPA of 3.75
  • The Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck V6 2-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.75
  • The Toyota Corolla, with a R-D GPA of 3.73
  • The Toyota Tacoma Pickup Truck V6 4-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.73

The 31 best automobile models of 2005 were engineered by companies headquartered in either Japan (97%) or Germany (3%).

Note that in 2005 all of the third-tier cars had a Reliability-Durability Grade of A, but in 1985 all of the third-tier cars had a Reliability-Durability Grade of B. This points to a sizable jump in quality of the Top 30, resulting mainly from expanded offerings from Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company.

Auto Company shares of the Top 30 (31 by Tie) Cars of 2005

The car maker shares (rounded to the nearest percent) of the Top 30 (31 by tie) vehicles (with 1985 shares in parentheses) are:

Toyota Motor Corporation: 68% (50% in 1985)
Honda Motor Company: 19% (17% in 1985)
Subaru Division of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd: 6% (0% in 1985)
BMW AG: 3% (3% in 1985)
Mazda Motor Corporation: 3% (10% in 1985)

By 2005, Toyota had increased its share of the Top 30 by 18 percentage points (from 50% to 68%) and Honda Motor Company had increased its share by 2 percentage points (from 17% to 19%). BMW AG held on to its 3%. The Detroit 3 accounted for none of the Top 30 in both 1985 and 2005.

Chart of the 31 Best Cars of 2005

The following bar graph depicts how much above average the Top 30 (Top 31 by tie) cars of 2005 are. The 31 best are listed in descending order (best first).

Bar Graph of the Reliability-Durability GPAs of the 30 Most Reliable and Durable Cars of Model Year 2005 by James B. Bleeker.

It is worth noting that all of the 31 best cars of 2005 have a Reliability-Durability GPA greater than that of the 9th best car of 1985.

The Remaining Models of 2005 with a Reliability-Durability Grade Point Average Greater Than 3.00

There are 54 cars with a Reliability-Durability GPA greater than 3.00. The remaining cars of the Top 54 are:

  • The Toyota Tundra V8 2-wheel-drive, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.69
  • The Honda CR-V, with a R-D GPA of 3.46
  • The Honda S2000, with a R-D GPA of 3.46
  • The Acura RSX, with a R-D GPA of 3.45
  • The Lexus LX, with a R-D GPA of 3.43
  • The Mercedes-Benz Crossfire badged as Chrysler Crossfire, with a R-D GPA of 3.42
  • The Toyota Matrix, with a R-D GPA of 3.42
  • The Acura MDX, with a R-D GPA of 3.41
  • The Lexus IS300, with a R-D GPA of 3.40
  • The Subaru Impreza WRX, with a R-D GPA of 3.40
  • The Lexus GS rear-wheel-drive, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.39
  • The Mazda MX-5 Miata, with a R-D GPA of 3.38
  • The Infiniti FX35, with a R-D GPA of 3.36
  • The Mazda3 sedan, with a R-D GPA of 3.35
  • The Honda Civic Hybrid, with a R-D GPA of 3.32
  • The Porsche 911, with a R-D GPA of 3.13
  • The Acura TSX, with a R-D GPA of 3.04
  • The Lexus GX470, with a R-D GPA of 3.03
  • The Toyota Avalon, with a R-D GPA of 3.03
  • The Ford Escape Hybrid all-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.03
  • The Infiniti G sedan rear-wheel-drive, with a Reliability-Durability GPA of 3.01
  • The Subaru Legacy 4-cylinder, with a R-D GPA of 3.01
  • The Toyota Sienna V6 front-wheel-drive, with a R-D GPA of 3.01

The 54 best automobile models of 2005 were engineered by companies headquartered in either Japan (93%), Germany (6%), or the U.S. (2%).

The all-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid accounts for the one U.S. entry among the Top 54. The Toyota Group provides Ford with the continuous variable transmission housed in the Escape Hybrid.

In 1985 there were only 29 automobiles with a GPA greater than 3.00, but in 2005 there were 54. Nearly all of the increase may be attributed to a greatly increased product offering by Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda Motor Company. However, Subaru Division of Fuji Heavy Industries made a solid contribution to the Top 54 (4 models) and the Infiniti Division of Nissan Motor Company contributed 2.

Auto Company shares of the Top 54 Cars of 2005

The car manufacturer shares (rounded to the nearest percent) of the Top 54 vehicles are:

Toyota Motor Corporation: 53%
Honda Motor Company: 22%
Subaru Division of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd: 7%
Mazda Motor Corporation: 6%
Nissan Motor Company: 4%
BMW AG: 2%
Mercedes-Benz: 2%
Porsche AG: 2%
Ford Motor Company: 2%

Computations

To compute the reliability-durability grade point average of the MY 2005 cars, Consumer Reports' reliability ratings for the age ranges 4-to-5 years and 5-to-6 years are used. The April 2010 and 2011 issues of Consumer Reports are the primary sources of CR's reliability ratings, with supplementation by CR's 2010 and 2011 New Car Buying Guides and Used Car Buying Guides.

CR's ratings are converted to numerical values following the standard academic pattern: a grade point of 4.0 (an A) is accorded a rating of Much Better Than Average, a 3.0 (a B) is accorded a rating of Better Than Average, a 2.0 (a C) is accorded a rating of Average, a 1.0 (a D) is accorded a rating of Below Average, and a 0 (an F) is accorded a rating of Much Below Average.

Then, for each age range, the grade point of CR's overall reliability rating is weighted 2/3 and the average of the grade points of the category ratings is weighted 1/3.

Finally, the average for the two age ranges is taken.

The 4-cylinder, 2-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma, the 4-cylinder Toyota Camry Solara, the V6, front-wheel-drive Mazda Tribute, the non-turbo Subaru Impreza, the non-turbo Subaru Impreza Wagon, the V6, 2-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma, the V8, 2-wheel-drive Toyota Tundra, and the Porsche 911 offered only one age range of data.

Additional Resources
 
For additional auto quality information, visit:
CarsOnInfo.net: The car-quality website for the above-average consumer.
 
One of the several Kindle E-books by site creator and manager, Jim Bleeker:

AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series, Volume 2: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009

This volume of AutoOnInfo.net’s car guide series offers consumers and researchers an historical summary of the reliability and durability of car and truck brands and examines how these brands have fared in their U.S. market shares. It uses 6-year-old model entries in Consumer Reports’ Used Car to Avoid – also termed Vehicles to Avoid and Worst Cars, Year by Year – and CR’s reliability charts to ascribe quality grades to automobile brands for model-year groups 1985 to 1989, 1990 to 1994, 1995 to 1999, 2000 to 2004, 2005 to 2006, and 1985 to 2006. In addition to ascribing quality grades to each brand, it provides a chart that plots the number of the brand’s 6-year-old model entries in CR’s vehicles to avoid. To examine the effect that a brand’s reliability and durability has had on sales, two or more charts depicting the brand’s U.S. market shares for calendar years 1985 to 2009 are given. These grades and charts and the author’s comments impart an historical perspective that sheds light on the present condition of surviving vehicle lines and their future prospects, individual and institutional shortcomings, and what effect these may have on the U.S.

JB

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Hard Copy Books by James Bleeker available on www.blurb.com

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To the left are the icons of the hard copy editions of Volumes 2, 3, 4, and 5 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series. To view a description of the book on blurb.com or purchase a copy, click the applicable icon.

JB

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Kindle E-books by James Bleeker available on www.amazon.com

Icon for Kindle Edition of Volume 1 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: The 2009 Reliability GPAs and Grades of the 6-to-10-Year-Old Cars and Trucks from Model Years 1999 to 2002
Icon of Kindle E-book edition of Volume 2 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009
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To the left are icons of the Kindle editions of Volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4, of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series. To view a description of the book on amazon.com or purchase a copy, click the applicable icon. To view all, click here.

JB
Icon of Kindle E-book edition of Volume 5 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: The 100 Worst Cars in America in 2013
Volume 6 of AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series is intended primarily as an aid to consumers in selecting a vehicle that both is reliable in the short term and provides a prospect of only modest repairs in the long term, and secondarily as an aid to auto industry analysts and reporters. To this end, it provides a list of the 50 Best Cars available in the U.S. in 2014 using the Overall Reliability GPA, AutoOnInfo.net’s standard measure of reliability now for several years, covering model years 2002 to 2013 for ranking pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), family cars, wagons, small cars, hatchbacks, sport/sporty cars, coupes, convertibles, upscale cars, luxury cars, and hybrids, and includes each car’s reliability GPA and grade and the number of model years upon which the GPA and grade are based. As a further aid, it includes 2014 brand and manufacturer GPAs for comparison and contrast and for better assessing long term performance and ownership expenses. In addition, it offers more than 30 full color charts depicting each brand’s and car company’s share of the 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 Best Cars and each brand’s and auto maker’s share of the best pickups, best midsize sport-utility vehicles, best small SUVs, best family cars, best wagons, best small cars, best hatchbacks, best sport/sporty cars, best coupes, best convertibles, best upscale cars, best luxury cars, and best hybrids in America. For further study and better understanding of auto quality in North America, it offers 10 charts that display, using a bar graph with an axis value of 2.00 (for quick viewing of how much above or below average a brand’s or auto maker’s  Reliability GPA falls), the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Reliability Grade Point Averages of each major brand and manufacturer, as well as a line graph plotting the 2010 to 2014 Reliability GPA ranks of the 6 most prominent manufacturers by U.S. sales.
The 100 Worst Cars in America in 2014 offers lists of the worst cars and trucks available in the U.S. It uses AutoOnInfo.net’s Overall Reliability GPA covering model years 2002 to 2013 for ranking pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, family cars, wagons, small cars, hatchbacks, sport/sporty cars, coupes, convertibles, upscale cars, and luxury cars in order to aid consumers in avoiding a vehicle that may require a larger number of repairs and a greater number of expensive repairs. To this end, it includes each car’s reliability GPA and grade and the number of model years upon which the GPA and grade are based, as well as brand and manufacturer GPAs for comparison and contrast and for better assessing long term performance and ownership expenses.   In addition, it is offered as an aid to auto news reporters and auto analysts for better understanding and assessing the differences and changes in brand and auto manufacturer product quality and sales.  Further to assist consumers, reporters, and analysts in better understanding auto quality in North America, it offers 10 color charts that display, using a bar graph with an axis value of 2.00 (for quick viewing of how much above or below average a brand’s or auto maker’s  Reliability GPA falls), the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Reliability Grade Point Averages of each major brand and manufacturer, as well as a line graph plotting the 2010 to 2014 Reliability GPA ranks of the 6 most prominent manufacturers by U.S. current sales.

To the left is an icon of the Kindle edition of Volumes 5, 6, and 7 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series. To view a description of the book on amazon.com or purchase a copy, click the applicable icon. To view all, click here.

JB

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Pdf Editions of Books by James Bleeker available on www.scribd.com 

Icon of Kindle E-book edition of Volume 2 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: Brand Quality for Model Years 1985 to 2006 and Effect on Brand Market Shares from 1985 to 2009
Icon of the Kindle E-book edition of Volume 4 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: The 50 Best Cars in America in 2013
Icon of Kindle E-book edition of Volume 5 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series: The 100 Worst Cars in America in 2013

To the left are icons of the pdf editions of Volumes 2, 4, and 5 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series. To view a description of the book on scribd.com or download a copy, click the applicable icon. The pdf editions of Volumes 4 and 5 are available at no charge.

Volume 6 of AutoOnInfo.net’s Car Quality Series is intended primarily as an aid to consumers in selecting a vehicle that both is reliable in the short term and provides a prospect of only modest repairs in the long term, and secondarily as an aid to auto industry analysts and reporters. To this end, it provides a list of the 50 Best Cars available in the U.S. in 2014 using the Overall Reliability GPA, AutoOnInfo.net’s standard measure of reliability now for several years, covering model years 2002 to 2013 for ranking pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), family cars, wagons, small cars, hatchbacks, sport/sporty cars, coupes, convertibles, upscale cars, luxury cars, and hybrids, and includes each car’s reliability GPA and grade and the number of model years upon which the GPA and grade are based. As a further aid, it includes 2014 brand and manufacturer GPAs for comparison and contrast and for better assessing long term performance and ownership expenses. In addition, it offers more than 30 full color charts depicting each brand’s and car company’s share of the 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 Best Cars and each brand’s and auto maker’s share of the best pickups, best midsize sport-utility vehicles, best small SUVs, best family cars, best wagons, best small cars, best hatchbacks, best sport/sporty cars, best coupes, best convertibles, best upscale cars, best luxury cars, and best hybrids in America. For further study and better understanding of auto quality in North America, it offers 10 charts that display, using a bar graph with an axis value of 2.00 (for quick viewing of how much above or below average a brand’s or auto maker’s  Reliability GPA falls), the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Reliability Grade Point Averages of each major brand and manufacturer, as well as a line graph plotting the 2010 to 2014 Reliability GPA ranks of the 6 most prominent manufacturers by U.S. sales.
The 100 Worst Cars in America in 2014 offers lists of the worst cars and trucks available in the U.S. It uses AutoOnInfo.net’s Overall Reliability GPA covering model years 2002 to 2013 for ranking pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), minivans, family cars, wagons, small cars, hatchbacks, sport/sporty cars, coupes, convertibles, upscale cars, and luxury cars in order to aid consumers in avoiding a vehicle that may require a larger number of repairs and a greater number of expensive repairs. To this end, it includes each car’s reliability GPA and grade and the number of model years upon which the GPA and grade are based, as well as brand and manufacturer GPAs for comparison and contrast and for better assessing long term performance and ownership expenses.   In addition, it is offered as an aid to auto news reporters and auto analysts for better understanding and assessing the differences and changes in brand and auto manufacturer product quality and sales.  Further to assist consumers, reporters, and analysts in better understanding auto quality in North America, it offers 10 color charts that display, using a bar graph with an axis value of 2.00 (for quick viewing of how much above or below average a brand’s or auto maker’s  Reliability GPA falls), the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Reliability Grade Point Averages of each major brand and manufacturer, as well as a line graph plotting the 2010 to 2014 Reliability GPA ranks of the 6 most prominent manufacturers by U.S. current sales.

To the left are icons of the pdf editions of Volumes 6 and 7 of AutoOnInfo.net's Car Quality Series. To view a description of the book on scribd.com or download a copy, click the applicable icon. The pdf edition of Volume 7 is available at no charge. Volumes 6 and 7 have enhanced navigational capability as well as an improved page style.

JB