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
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.