"It is eating me alive. Literally. It is killing me. Literally." I hope those are the first words of nerd/sex/techblogger Jen Friel's write up of the Dodge Dart, which she's currently in Austin reviewing on an all-expense paid trip from Chrysler, and not just the painfully hyperbolic moaning of an oversharing blogger.
Why would Chrysler have someone who has nothing to do with cars review their big important subcompact? Maybe it's because she says the word "fuck" a lot in her writing. Chrysler's social media team does seem to totally love that word.
Or maybe they've learned what Ford already knows, that the most glowing praise comes from people who know the least about cars.
That's not a knock against Friel or Chrysler. It's just the way of the world. The people who read about a random "nerd" having rough sex with their fuck buddy probably don't overlap much with the readership of Motor Trend (although maybe a bit with the checking into an orgy on social media crowd).
It's a whole new audience for Chrysler and a few meals and a room at the W gets them access to a readership that is probably larger than many of the so-called professional reviewers on the trip. Friel has previously participated in the Fiesta Movement and an event for Chevy.
You see, if you've never been on one of these launches then you've never had to meet the guy who wears the name of his website on his shitty custom bowling shirt because even he can't remember the name of his own website. And he's got three buddies, too, and none of them have any readers, either.
So, yeah, I'd like to see one of these non-car people absolutely throttle the shit out of one of these cars but they won't because they don't know the difference between a good car and a great car.
The new Dodge Dart, even if it isn't great (it could be, I have no idea), probably isn't terrible. When no cars are bad, it does take experience driving different ones to know the difference between good, great, and merely average.
Does Friel know the difference? Probably not. Does it matter? Probably not.
Someone who who knows what it's like to work in a strip club is almost certainly more like the average Dart buyer than the "car guys" on a trip who merely know what it's like to lose your money in one.