Señor Spin's taxonomy of the seven sad types of automotive reviews sparked several readers to come up with a Magnificent Seven of their own. Among those, solomonrex assembled a list worthy of Brynner, McQueen & Co.:
I always looked at them this way:
The 'color by numbers review'. AKA the preview or single car 'road test' in the buff mags where all coverage is positive and if you're lucky, they mention some real world numbers like mpg. Usually just the press materials regurgitated with an original photo.
The 'clueless consumer review'. AKA review of practical cars for practical reasons. 12 cubic feet in the back, a Japanese car must be reliable, rants and raves about fold-flat seats and cubbyholes and plugs. Which is fine and necessary and occasionally interesting. But there's a reason Top Gear makes fun of these by taking the Focus through a mall or landing a heli on a Yeti.
The 'OMG Supercar review'. AKA cover story about one car, puff piece with cool pictures and some 'useful' info (ok, not useful with my income, but useful for someone, somewhere, maybe Dubai, I'm sure). Generally good with enough photos.
The 'comparo'. My favorite, an occasion for witty but brief pose, nonsense numbers, good barroom arguments and bitter comments in next month's issue. And in today's age, the genesis of flamewars, clickbait, Nurgurgring times and vendettas. Camaro OMGWTFBBQ beats Mustang!
The 'BMW variant road test'. A common variation on the 'color by numbers' puff pieces, but with more praise and visible excitement by the author.
The 'Travelogue'. Let's take a car on a long trip, write about it. Succeeds or fails based on the author and setting, and there aren't really that many talented auto writers or interesting places in the US.
The 'Ezra Dyer'. Mostly useless, occasionally hilarious nonsense non-test test. Murilee Martin with a supercar comes to mind. C&D should never try this again! You have to start with a sense of humor.