5 Essential Things to Know About New Car Reviews

You’ve decided it’s time to buy a new car, and for once, it’s going to be a real new car that’s fresh off the showroom floor. As you go over the reviews to try to decide which model makes your heart skip a beat, there are five essential things you need to know about new car reviews.

Beware of Car of the Year Awards

It might seem as if a car receiving a Car of the Year (COTY) award must be great, but experts throughout the car industry say otherwise. Those awards are typically given out so that automakers will advertise the vehicle in a given publication. They really don’t mean all that much, which was evidenced by the Ford Focus back in 2000. All the major publications like Car and Driver and Motor Trend offered up plenty of awards – then ate crow when reports came in from consumers that the car stalled, the wheels collapsed and it accelerated on its own.

A Look at Testing

The testing that auto publications do when a new model year vehicle comes out are often rigorous, but short-lived. These tests offer a picture of how a car does in the short-term, but that doesn’t reflect what may happen over a long period of use. If you can hold off until other consumers start leaving reviews or even making complaints to the NHTSA, you’ll gain a better understanding of what to expect out of the vehicle.

Look at Multiple Rankings

Just as you wouldn’t base a decision on what one person has to say about a product, you shouldn’t do it with a vehicle. Make sure you look at multiple new car reviews to get a better picture of the rankings overall. That way, if one publication misses something or doesn’t focus on specific aspects, you’ll find out about it from another source.

Look for Commonalities

As you read through the reviews, make sure you are noting anything that is repeated from one publication to another. This is one of the best ways to avoid buying a car that has problems or the potential for them.

Stick with Known Publications

New car reviews from publications such as Consumer Reports, the Automobile Protection Association and J.D. Power and Associates are all unbiased, and offer input from actual car owners to help you gain a better understanding of the vehicle.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How to Search for a New Car Online at CarsDirect
The internet has revolutionized how people shop. Everything from clothing to groceries can be bought online. It only makes sense that the internet would also dramatically change the way people shop for cars (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-buy-a-car). CarsDirect is a website (https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/how-to-buy-a-car-online-by-elan-mcafee) that...
Top Automotive News & Stories: July 20-26
Each week we compile the best announcements and developments from the world of cars. Here are the topics you can’t miss from July 20 to 26. Regulators Abandon 54.5 MPG Target In 2011, the...
What type of vehicle is right for you?
Sedans, coupes, convertibles, minivans, crossovers, hatchbacks, station wagons, SUVs, and pickups. Let us help you decide which to choose.

Related questions

When moving the shifter in reverse, it won't engage
Yes, your description is that of a common problem. The issue usually results from a clutch being out of adjustment. The adjustment that you likely need is known as the clutch actuator adjustment. To adjust the clutch, the technician must loosen...
ABS, Trac Off, and Airbag light on after battery change.
You may have damaged the systems when last you disconnected and connected the positive cable to the fuse block and without using the battery ground. I would recommend disconnecting just the battery ground, and then leaving it off for ten...
Problems or issues with the porche panamera
As you know, with any car the life expectancy of it depends largely on the maintenance schedule the owner has maintained, the driving conditions it is subjected to, the driving habits of the owner and many other factors. Often times...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com