Car reviews are easy to write. Interesting car reviews are quite difficult. Our Jalopnik readers put together the ten worst they've seen from this year.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
We look to guidance on car reviews from the great Troy Queef, the spoof car reviewer written by one of the brains behind Top Gear. You could take all of the clichés from the Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine and mash them together and you still wouldn't have anything this bad.
Is there anything we're forgotten? Let us know in Kinja below.
Photo Credit: Center Acura
10.) Anything On Motorweek
There's something soothing about MotorWeek and the never-flustered voice of John Davis. The show has been making cars like the Callaway Corvette boring since 1981 and the style hasn't changed in the least. Everyone knows MW is dull, but it's dull in a very comforting, reliable way.
Those of you with a significant other know that anniversaries are an important thing to remember. Well, they're just as important in the car world, too. One of our favorite engineers of powerfully engineered automobiles recently celebrated a big one.
Suggested By: Mister_Moon, Photo Credit: MotorWeek
9.) Erin Baker's reviews for The Telegraph
Newspaper car reviews tend to be the worst car reviews as the genre exists mostly to hover over car advertising. The Telegraph's Erin Baker is far from the worst writer we've seen (her will-it-supermarket review of the Aventador wasn't bad at all), but the short format she has to stick to in the rest of her articles makes for soul-crushingly boring reviews. Even she couldn't stay interested in her own report on the new Mercedes A-Class, admitting she couldn't be bothered to fully review the car.
I should also point out that Mercedes tricked up this particular test cars up with all the bells and whistles it possesses, the result being that it came to £37,825. However, as that's plainly ridiculous, and I haven't reviewed the media, light or parking packages, let's save everyone's blushes and stick to the price for the car you might actually buy.
Suggested By: davedave111, Photo Credit: Mercedes
8.) CNET on the Tesla Model S
The review itself falls into al the typical car review clichés (It felt like a freight train? No way!), but nowhere does the writer Wayne Cunningham point out that he had no more than 10 minutes in the car itself. Next time Mr. Cunningham, let the readers know when you're bullshitting them.
But seeing a straight road ahead I ignored any more backseat noise and let the pedal meet the floor. The Model S felt like a freight train, with inexorable acceleration pushing forward without a break. There were no power peaks — it was all torque all the time.
Suggested By: Matt Hardigree, Photo Credit: Tesla
7.) Autoblog's Hipster Veloster Review
This LOL HIPSTER LOL review is so masturbatory, we hope that Mr. Ewing washed his hands after he was done writing.
In order to understand this review of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster, you first need to understand a bit about me. I'm a mid-twenty-something urbanite. My closet is full of obscure band t-shirts, striped hooded sweatshirts and Converse. My black-framed glasses match my messy dyed black hair. I go to a lot of concerts starring bands you've never heard of, I drink Pabst Blue Ribbon at dive bars that I 'check in' to on Facebook. Every photo I take has an Instagram filter. My Twitter feed is one big sarcastic abyss.
I'll sheepishly admit to being sort of a hipster, only without the Arcade Fire shirt and stupid mustache.
6.) Jalopnik on the Chevy Malibu Turbo
Our own Jason Torchinsky writes some of our favorite articles and his "Will It Baby?" reviews are great, but he could not make the Malibu Turbo interesting at all. We hope to never have reviews this boring on Jalopnik again.
The smooth ride you can get out of the Malibu isn't likely to be ruined by overzealous driving, so your snoozing aunt doesn't have to worry about yelling at you to take it easy. The car doesn't really inspire much in the way of handling interest. The electrically-assisted steering is quite numb and gives very little feel for the road. Imperfections and bumps were more likely to be heard than felt. This makes sense if the goal is comfort, but I didn't find it that engaging to drive.
In twists and on the lovely Central Valley mountain roads, it understeers and feels a little ponderous. It's not unsafe, but, like I mentioned before, not that much fun. In a rental context, in the wet, sure, I bet you can have some fun doing donuts in a parking lot, but for more mature fare, not so much.
5.) Driving Sports aka an Acura Dealer: Episode 1
The Audi S4, Acura TL, and Mitsubishi Evo shown in this 24-minute waste of time aren't bad cars. The production quality isn't horrible either, but this is the most horrible, manufactured car video car review we've seen in years. The writing is awful, the driving is atrocious, and the presenters are all trying way too hard. Watching it makes me want to die.
UPDATE: The folks behind this point out that this video was originally from 2011.
4.) The San Francisco Chronicle on the Lincoln MKS
Lincoln is a struggling brand with a range of underperforming cars relative to the competition. Is any of this information present in The Chronicle's review of the 2013 MKS? Is there anything at all in this two-paragraph review? No, it's just copy-pasted from Lincoln's press release? That's cool.
CCD delivers a more confident drive experience that introduces a key new Lincoln trait - the balance of ride comfort and impressive handling. Regardless of road conditions, drivers enjoy a markedly smoother, more controlled ride because CCD is always tuning and refining the ride quality.
Suggested By: dpriven, Photo Credit: Lincoln
3.) The San Diego Union Tribune on the Camaro ZL1
How newspaper reviews make interesting cars so boring is beyond us. Remember that manufacturers are just giving the author Mark Maynard free cars to play with so that he'll write articles like this.
It is one of those "one" cars. It takes just one twist of the ignition to get a shivering response from the driver. One shift to first gear and the release of the clutch to know this is a special car. And it takes just one run through the gears, one dive into a far corner and one lift of the throttle to hear the crackle and pop of the exhaust wailing like rock-star applause for the driver's job well done.
Suggested By: Saracen, Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2.) Autotrader on the Lexus GS F-Sport
The standard form for a car review is to start off with a funny anecdote, vomit a bunch of specs into the body of the page, bullshit something about understeer, and then round up with a cliché that echoes the opening anecdote. It's lazy at best and at its worst it's soul crushing. Try and make it past the opening of Davis Adams' Lexus "real world test" without wincing.
Nearly 100% of the time, I prefer chocolate to vanilla. And when it comes to cars, I don't want just plain old chocolate ice cream; I want rocky road covered in hot fudge. So, when I found out that I'd be driving the Lexus GS 350, I kind of giggled and assumed that I'd be in for a week's worth of putting around town in a middle-aged man's touring car.
When the car arrived, it was the F-Sport trim. Ooh-la-la.
Suggested By: Anonymous, Photo Credit: Lexus
1.) Salt Lake City Tribune on the Corvette Grand Sport
This mindless, hopelessly positive article is just another example of how blurry the line is between independent reviews and automaker-sponsored content. Please remind us why these people get press cars.
The Grand Sport's 6.2-liter pushrod V8 produces 430 horsepower — 436 with an optional exhaust like our tester — and 424 ft.-lbs. of torque from a block that's almost 20 years old. (Never mind that the same engine canvas can paint a more violent version of horsepower in the Z06 Corvette that has horsepower figures reserved for exotics; 638 to be exact.)
Despite the C6's — fanboy short code for "sixth-generation Corvette" — long-in-the-toothiniess, the 2013 Corvette can certainly hold its own on paper today.
In summary, car reviews in 2012 were a bitch. And we spanked them.
Suggested By: HammerheadFistPunch, Photo Credit: Chevrolet