"Do Some Research, Then Shop Local"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014

Who can we believe?

The automobile industries create a puzzle when they test their vehicles. Safety tests, crash tests, mileage tests, product material, etc. often vary in results reported.

AAA is a federation of motor clubs throughout North America, according to Wikipedia. The affiliations of AAA clubs print numerous publications with many test reports on the various makes of autos.

Many consumer reporting publications conduct auto testing and describe their findings in each issue. Car Magazine features range from how to order, auto racing and reports on new vehicle releases and their prices.

Car & Driver reports road tests as well as new car reviews. It, like all the others, tests equipment such as tires, batteries, brakes, etc. Yet another long-time reporting source, Motor Trend Magazine, thoroughly explains all its testing and the pros and cons of results. It compares SUVs, trucks and new cars. It also looks into new concept cars. Claimed to be the world’s No. 1 automobile authority, it is perhaps best known for its Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

Just about every automobile produced worldwide is tested in numerous manners and reports can be found in a host of publications as mentioned. There are some surprising facts to be found while reviewing all the various reports that are very confusing.

I read many of the various magazines and I question their way of rating test results. The reports opine testers’ opinions. References such as favorable findings vs. poor performance or design labeled “best” and “worst” are misleading.

One report may say brand X is superior to any other for a particular month. The very next month, another brand gets the nod as superior to all others. One magazine may favor a brand and in a few short months declare they can no longer support that make.

If you are considering letting the ratings in a magazine influence a purchase you are planning to make, I advise that you stop and rethink your plans. As I see it, you would be better off talking to your local dealer. They may have a demo you can drive for a day or two. Sit in the car; adjust the seat and mirrors to be certain you can place these items in a position comfortable to you with no blind spots.

Check out all features that are new to you such as a built-in GPS, auto wipers and auto headlights. Look for features you are interested in. Read the dealer’s pamphlet on the model you are considering. Make sure your salesperson explains all the options you’re paying for before taking delivery. I’m sure they will be happy to do so. But if you don’t ask, they may think you are familiar with them.

Many people purchase new cars with items they cannot understand. If they don’t know how each option operates, you could have a problem or miss out on using them for a period of time. Another good idea is to check with a friend that may have just purchased a model you are looking at. Perhaps take a ride with them to see how the vehicle operates.

According to Google, winter months are the best time to deal on a new vehicle. If you want to spend extra time with your salesperson, a rainy or snowy day will probably be a good idea.

Happy shopping!



Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.