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Car Magazines

     Does a car have to win a comparison test to be worthy of 
     consideration?  Of course not!  What is said about a car's 
     performance, and the passion with which it is conveyed, is more 
     important than overall ranking.  Enthusiast magazines serve as 
     reference guides.  Just as everyone's automotive needs and tastes 
     differ. so too do judgments of the testers.  
     While I agree with Eliot that editorial consistency is a Good Thing in 
     a car mag, one must bear in mind that the same staff members don't 
     conduct every test nor are test conditions uniformly comparable.  
     Also, there are lots of awfully good cars out there these days 
     (hooray!); it often boils down to shades of difference. 
     I don't know enough about behind-the-scenes shenanigans to be as 
     cynical as Eliot regarding the alleged influence of the almighty 
     advertising dollar on test outcomes.  I'd like to think magazine test 
     staff are a bunch of enthusiasts like us, only luckier with really 
     neat jobs!
     CandD, R&T, AUTOMOBILE, even MT all have their strengths and 
     weaknesses.  I second the gentleman who recommends CAR.  It's usually 
     a fantastic read if you overlook the editors' occasional flirtations 
     with British chauvinism  They do like most Audis.  Better still, they 
     appreciate cars with strong character and integrity. 
     PETE KRAUS@email.eushc.ORG