Most car enthusiasts enjoy watching shows and reading magazines that do reviews on all sorts of cars. They go from so-called low-budget cars to super sport cars. We read them, watch them and enjoy the entertainment. But here comes the main question: are these reviews realistic and would they, in fact, help the common driver in choosing a car to buy.
Would the common driver, if he/she intends to buy, open his/her favorite magazine or watch their favorite show and lean on their judgment
The answer is probably: no (With all do respect to the big names in show-biz).
For car reviews have evolved from a bit dull, mostly technical reviews to a full-fledged adrenalin packed show.
So, let’s take it from the top: what is a average driver
That’s the driver who wants good value for money, reliability, long service intervals and an abundance of spare parts for his car. All of these terms seem hard to meet, but most car-makers have long since met these. In a quality manner, if I may notice.
Here comes in the clash. The most obvious reasons for this are:
– Most magazines and reviews deal with the latest in car technology (not to mention the most expensive) leading only the common driver to drool in his sleep and see something that he is probably never going to have. Not that this is bad, but has little influence in the real world.
– The way the car-testing is being done is different from the real exploitation of the car. Seeing the test driver push the car to its limits of course reveals some faults, but in regular every day driving, the car is very good. How many times is an average driver going to push his new car to the extreme (sliding, hand-brake maneuvers etc.)
– The cars tested almost always have a full package of accessories (climate control, alloy wheels, special color, leather etc) which don’t come on the basic model. So the car you would buy isn’t in fact the car your seeing in the review. Most of the accessories have to be paid for apart.
– Most reviews do a fancy show-off of the car rather then tell the driver the basic characteristics. We all sit dazzled in front of the picture or screen and end up not knowing the basics of the car (real fuel consumption, stability in regular exploitation and how much are we going to spend in the future on the car).
– What’s, perhaps, pretty annoying to the average driver is that most reviews have a rather bone-bashing attitude towards the low or middle budget cars. You’ll have to admit that most of the driving population has these kinds of cars and they serve them very well. Not to mention the fact that most manufacturers are putting their main efforts into this car-class. Seeing,reading or listening to the review often differs very much from a live experience.
But not all is that bad. As I’ve said, you can see the cutting edge technology, safety features and perhaps have a laugh or two about some funny written or said article.
Just remember this; the accent is mostly on entertainment and a bit of marketing. If you really want to buy yourself a car, go out, take a look for yourself, have a test drive and do it in the real world.