Tag Archive | "car reviews"

Why Review Cars At All?


There is a problem with reviews, no matter what for. There is a movie coming out called ‘The Third Person’ which is already being roundly criticised for being dreadful but, if you haven’t seen it, how would you know for sure? Arguments rage throughout the pubs and clubs of Britain about this team or that or which Godfather or Star Trek film was the best. In short, everybody has an opinion and it is their own, alone.

Recently, Motor Blogger drove the Audi Q7 and it was great. What was not so great was the interior, which, although luxurious, is starting to look dated. Although I loved the car overall this was a bit disappointing. The majority of the people who are actually buying this car would probably have a different opinion and, like a dead owl – as far as my views were concerned – couldn’t give a hoot.

So why do we need reviews at all? After all, as the old saying goes, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. What I, or anyone else, thinks is of no relevance when it comes down to it. However, when it comes to cars it is certainly handy to have someone else summarise the facts and figures, but you can get that from car manufacturers websites. You can select colour and options from brochures in the showroom. It is all a matter of personal preference. Who cares what anyone else thinks and, indeed, why is this bloke trying to talk himself out of a job?

I’ll tell you. Over time, some of you will read these pages and generally agree with much of what is written; others will be quietly planning to firebomb my garage. What car reviewers give you, if they are hopefully good at their job, is a reasoned assessment based on experience and knowledge.

If a particular car is under consideration the potential buyer will possibly be ruled by the heart rather than by the head. It is the objective viewpoint that counts. It’s rather like taking along that otherwise irritating uncle who knows about cars to a used car viewing. It’s another pair of eyes.

Modern cars are very good. It is hard to find to a bad one. The budget end of the market will have cars that are lacking in the luxuries but that’s what a buyer will expect. Equally, the buyer of expensive cars will expect much more for the money. Where unbiased reviews come in is that they can tell you how a car performs, what is not so good and so on. The reviewer can say how a vehicle handles under different conditions and how easy it is to drive.

The reviewer should have an understanding of auto mechanics and, basically, know a lemon when he or she sees it. We drive the vehicle in a variety of conditions such as on the A Roads, the back roads, and in stop and go conditions. We take note of the acceleration, braking, handling, road noise, and blind spots. We try as many features as possible.
That’s why we’re here. We are your unbiased uncle – although hopefully not too irritating. We are your eyes and ears. We hear and understand those tell-tale noises you don’t. We can help you decide between make or model. Sure, we get to drive some cool cars but sadly that’s a necessary part of the job. Someone’s got to do it.

 

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So You Want To Be A Car Reviewer?


Well, we hope you know what you are letting yourself in for, that’s all. This is a tough job but somebody’s got to do it. If you think that it is just a matter of driving some cool cars then you have got another think coming. If you are still up for it then this is what to do:

First, rather obviously, a car needs to be selected. It has to be chosen, not because the reviewer really, really wants to drive it, but rather on its individual merits and relevance to the target market. The reader is the important person here.

Drive the vehicle in a variety of conditions such as on the main roads, back roads, and in stop and go conditions. Take note of the acceleration, braking, handling, road noise, and blind spots.

If the car has many features like an infotainment centre, air-con, electric windows and all the other stuff found on cars these days then try to test them all for ease of operation and effectiveness. Bear in mind that a cheap car won’t, obviously, be as good as an expensive car in this regard. It’s a question of balancing opinion with price.

Make a proper note of the things, as a driver, that are good about the car and the things that are not so good.

Research to see how well the vehicle stacks up against the competition in terms of price, performance, features and quality.

Don’t get too technical. There are people who like all the data but most want an overall opinion. If there is a good technical item then mention it and vice versa.

Check notes in an on-going manner, adding snippets about the experience of driving and operating the car. Say what is good, bad or indifferent. Impartiality is key.

It is easy to be boring. Try to introduce elements of wit and bring out a sense of humour.

Sit down and write, or type, it all out and ensure it makes coherent sense and, like any good piece of writing, has a beginning, a middle and an end.

Don’t forget to include comparisons with the competition and finally give the vehicle some form of overall accolade; a star rating or similar.

And finally. Writing for any purpose can be fun but it can also be a chore. Work written says much about the writer. Sloppy text will be noticed. Just because it is an article about a car doesn’t mean that it should be skimped. Good car reviewers know this.

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