The latest TWATs thread/shortlist update saw our commenters raise some valid and insightful questions about the awards process. I’ll try and tackle some of them below.
1) How do we know that the nominations are based on real world experience and not just bias/vendettas?
Short answer: You don’t.
Long answer: I moderate the comments every day and by now I am aware of all of the online personae that post here day in, day out. I can only take these at face value, but I am confident in believing that none of you have any reason to lie about something as inconsequential as whether not you’ve really driven a Toyota Matrix. Similarly, I know where most of your biases lie and when you are just exhibiting an acute case of fanboyism. So far, the responses have been well reasoned, thoughtful and free of invective. A few choices on the shortlist stand out as being the first to get cut, but even then, compelling arguments have been made for them.
2) Pretty much all new cars are good today. If these are the worst cars on the market, we can’t be doing that badly.
It’s true, compared to 2008, when the TWATs were last run, the field of new cars on sale is exponentially better in every possible category. That doesn’t mean there are bad cars, or cars that don’t live up to the hype, or cars that are still truly bad (look hard, they’re out there). If you want milquetoast reviews that make excuses for the general goodness of new cars, you may need to go elsewhere for that.
3) Why bother?
Because it’s fun. Lighten up.