How to review car models

Because there are a significant variety of car models available from many different manufacturers, being able to review car models well is an important part of the car-buying process. Each of these models has different options, features, and benefits and will appeal to different wants and needs. Models also often differ year-over-year, so just because you like the 2004 model doesn’t mean that the 2005 might not have some things you want.

When considering vehicle models, it is very important that you read reviews from sources you trust when shopping for a vehicle. This will get you an in-depth perspective on car models that interest you. There are many sources of vehicle reviews in both published magazines and on the web. A good vehicle review will tell you all about the vehicle you are shopping for: how it drives, handles, accelerates, and brakes, and how comfortable it is for drivers and passengers. They can also speak to safety ratings that give you insight as to how they will perform in emergency situations and in the event of a collision. Quality car review sources can also give you insight into common problems and other issues that other drivers and reviewers have had with the car.

Check vehicle reviews and road tests

The Internet gives you access to a large database of vehicle reviews. At, we have tried to pull together as much information as possible. It is our goal to make your car buying, and auto loan shopping, experience as simple and pleasurable as possible. We believe that giving you access to quality information, right at your fingertips, is a great way to achieve this goal.

Websites, such as Car and Driver, Motor Trend,, and Edmunds provide you with access to car reviews over the past few years. Although new car reviews for specific models are still applicable to older models, these websites allow you to find more detailed reviews on older model cars. Furthermore, by subscribing to, you can search for complete road-test information on a number of models that were tested by their experts.

Use publication and online vehicle reviews

There are many publications, as well as Internet sites, that evaluate and review new vehicle models. Just do a search on or and you’ll find thousands. It is important to remember that many of these tests and reviews often use borrowed vehicles from auto manufacturers. These vehicles, for the most part, are provided from a special group of vehicles called a “press fleet”. Because these cars get special maintenance and oversight from the manufacturers, this can result in more positive reviews and less negative ones about the model in question. You should also be aware that auto-enthusiast publications tend to focus on the performance attributes of vehicles versus the more common concerns such as fuel economy, safety, reliability, storage capacity, and comfort. These are things that are of far greater concern to the everyday driver than how fast the car goes “from zero to sixty” for example.

Almost every newspaper in America offers car reviews. In fact, newspaper car reviews are a popular way that many people use to find out information on vehicles. Additionally, these are often geared toward the regular, everyday driver. However, in many cases, the reviewer may not have a lot of car review experience and little time to truly evaluate the vehicle in question. In addition, auto selections from newspaper reviews are mostly intended to advertise for (and encourage advertising from) local dealerships. Because of this, most of the reviews tend to shy away from “harsh” criticism or deep comparisons with competitive models.

Most communities also have car advertising publications that can contain reviews. Note that these reviews may have some of the same concerns as newspaper reviews.

Obtain reliability ratings and information

There are many online sources of reliability information on cars. One service of the NHTSA that helps consumers to research the safety ratings of automobiles is US News & World Report ( also publishes a car guide that has solid information. For reviews that are usually submitted by individual car owners, visit Edmunds and other similar websites.

Through online sources, you can find a wide range of information including: recurring general problems, maintenance issues, dealership purchasing experiences, service department frustrations, accident performance, and other similar topics. Valuable insight can be gained from these sources, however, it is important to keep in mind that car owners are usually brand-loyal or simply haven’t purchased a wide-range of vehicles with which to make comparisons. Further, the simple reliability of their information may be questionable or “biased” due to a single bad experience that isn’t common to other owners of a particular vehicle.

Reliability Ratings are extremely valuable pieces of information; they show you how well vehicles compare with others in terms of reliability. In addition, they show you the potential that specific vehicles could make your life miserable due to chronic problems. All this information is important because the reliability of a vehicle can seriously impact how satisfied you will be with a car after you buy it. Further, it can have a significant impact on the “resale” value of your vehicle in the future. Consumer Reports is a good website to check reliability.

Of the many other sources of car quality information online, possibly the most recognized of these services comes from J.D. Power and Associates ( J.D. Power and Associates is a widely respected organization that reviews all cars through its Initial Quality Survey. This survey is actually used by auto manufacturers to gauge their quality versus other automakers.

You can also check other sites such as Kelley Blue Book (,, and reporting sites such as, and/or Popular Mechanics ( also provides a range of model evaluations. In addition, there are literally hundreds of sites on the web that provide narrow to deep information on different models of cars.

Another popular website, MSN Autos ( provides service information and data that is based on input from quality and expert service techs. The information provided through MSN Autos gives you details about repair problems and estimated repair costs for particular models of interest. This can also give you some insight into what it will cost you on an annual basis for a particular model in terms of repairs and maintenance.

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