In this case, I have three other sources that confirm that Volvo is in the middle of the pack reliability-wise, while Acura is on top of the pack.
(1) JD Power
(2) Lots of observing of Volvo owner's forums and lots of observing of Acura owner's forums.
(3) Discussions with lots of people who have owned Volvos, and lots of people who have owned Hondas/Acuras.
Sure, there are some Honda/Acura lemons out there. And there are some Volvos that run forever and a day with only scheduled maintenance. But I've run into a LOT more Volvo owners than Honda/Acura owners who have mentioned problems with their electronics or their power equipment sometime during the vehicle's life.
As for reviews of other things besides reliability (ie handling, ride quality, interior quality, et cetera)--Consumer Reports is terrible. I agree 100% there. My assessment of these cars is based on my first-hand experiences test-driving them, though I've also been known to read Motor Trend, Car & Driver, and Road & Track.
Thats the way to go. Talk to people who have actually owned the cars.
Now, Honda and Toyota are probably at the top reliability wise, but if Volvo owners have had minor problems then CR would have panned the car because they dont care if they are minor or not.
But you are researching the right way. I also suggest going to www.epinions.com