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General opinion about car mags:
Car and Driver was once the greatest monthly mag experience. It had an edge,
a little sex and the best 0-60 times! I had every bleeping issue since 1982
(unceremoniously dumped about a year ago..stupid). In any case, the writing
was unparalleled and it was "more" than just a car test rag. Today, it is a
little more antiseptic (read: gutless). They seemed like Siskel and Ebert;
hurrying along to the next review while not really savoring the ones they
just finished. My pulse used to jump when it came in the mail and I would
hibernate for hours with it. Today, the excitement relegates it to "cross my
fingers" mode and half the time it is pretty good. The letters have gone down
hill and they seem really jaded. Haven't laughed out loud in a few years.
Road and Track-so painfully boring sometimes. They are so "whine and cheez".
On the positive, I believe their measurements are most acccurate; not as
pessimistic (lateral accel g's) as C+D, not as optimistic as MT. Frankly, I
don't think about the taste or vintage of a fine red wine while considering
which 50 series tire to buy! However, I think their slalom test is the
benchmark of the major car mags. These days, however, it seems they do more
short takes than real reviews so it is hard to see what they are testing.
Half the time, their figures are "N/A" anyway.
Motor Trend: This is the pit of automotive cliche and hurried production.
Their testing is questionable, everyone of their test cars makes over .8 G's,
even trucks. What happened to their Car of the Year issues? They used to have
exhaustive comparison tests. Now they just list specs and choose
(emotionally, not empirically, it seems) the "COY". The worst is the writing;
pick any issue and they will reuse terms created by Car and Driver years ago
and patch them into hip jargon or worse, they will go into fits of ridiculous
overstatement and adolescent effusiveness; here is a quote from this month's
test of the Hennessy Viper "this bulging fendered..go-kart from hell is
scarier to experience than a carjacking...it becomes a Texas chainsaw
massacre on wheels..." Huh??? Plus, what gives with all of their "feature"
stories being modified cars? I guess that must be the "trend" part.
Incidently, this month's cover shows that same viper with the left driving
and headlights out while the right's are functional. Bad photo op.
My current favorite mag is European Car. Of course, it is because they have
lotsa Audi's and other bitchin' european cars. Only complaint: too many typos
and the page quality isn't as great. Also, it never seems to come on time
w/subscription. W/o, it is really hard to find.
Automobile magazine was the core greatnesss of Car and Driver (David E.. and
Jean Lindamwood) that was surgically removed from it's C/D body and has since
died from lack of oxygen. This mag is truly useless (unfortunately) and it
seems bankrolled by Chrysler; definite bias there. The other mag, Euro
something or other, that is like a glossy version of European Car, is pretty
good but hard to find.
It is unfortunate, isn't it? I wish C+D would get back to it's old edge and
do some more useful comparison tire tests; I can still picture the issue with
a Citation X-11 doing the tire test; as I recall, the Comp TA was the
hands-down winner. The Phoenix Stahlflex dropped from a previous 1st to a
dead last. And the Continental CH51 placed a stalwart 2nd. I bought and
enjoyed two sets of CH51's because of that issue.. Where/who do I turn to
know? Consumer Reports probably recommends the 75 series Aquatred with a 400
tread wear rating and "acceptable" emergency lane change manuever