AutoWeek Hearts… EVERYTHING!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
autoweek hearts 8230 everything

I’ve just received my copy of AutoWeek’s ’09 Buyer’s Guide. Logic suggests that a buyer’s guide would have some sort of relative rating system to help consumers decide, you know, what to buy. Logic isn’t bought and paid for by automotive advertisers. Or, in this case, is. I won’t trouble you with the hosannas, which are more common than car hacks imbibing at a press junket’s open bar, or the “a nice vehicle but you just might want to look at something else” remarks, or the one and only complete slam (Chrysler Sebring). But I thought you might get a kick out of the prevarications and WTFs embedded in the “Our opinion” box. Acura TL: “An enticing performance proposition with the AWD version, but the extreme design departure from the previous generation might turn some away.” Audi Q7: “Good looks, and the new diesel option makes the Q7 even more attractive.” Cadillac STS: “A decent vehicle with sharp looks and a potent V6 base engine.” Chevy Aveo: “Economy car with economy styling that serves just fine for fuel-efficient basic transport.” Suburban: “Big enough to haul a large family and their stuff while returning respectable gas mileage.” Chrysler Aspen: “Affordable full-size luxury, now with greener prospects in hybrid trim.” Had enough? There are a few more after the jump.

Town & Country: “Superb handling, power and trick features such as Swivel n’ Go seating keep Chrysler minivans moving off lots. (Or not.) Caliber: “Hatchback flexibility and the SRT4 gives Dodge plenty of small-carr appeal. Explorer Sport Trac: “For those who need the benefits of an SUV and the perks of a truck. Ranger: “Suddenly, small, fuel-frugal trucks are stars again, and that’s were [sic] the old Ranger excels.” Veracruz: “Looks a lot like a Lexus RX, but very underpowered.” Kia Rio: “A small hatch/compact car that runs in line with the competition.” MKZ: “Not on the level of other luxury entries.” R-Class: “Ungainly looks, but fares well on the utility scale.” Titan: “Matches doemstic full-size trucks in ability and quality, but struggles to win over the masses.” 9-7X “The best Trailblazer offspring you can buy.”

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  • WalterRohrl WalterRohrl on Oct 20, 2008

    The most honest, accurate portrayal of an actual vehicle, (in my opinion), was when the UK's CAR magazine ran a cover picture of a lemon with a VW logo on it. Inside was their long-term test of the Mk3 GTI if I remember correctly with all of its problems laid out for all to see without any sugar-coating whatsoever. This was in the early 90's and I believe cost them their VW ads for some time. However, it won them my respect. In comparison, over here we regularly read about long-term tests in which major stuff like the tranny needs replacing and the car constantly has issues, but the summary is "Not a bad car, overall". Yeah, not bad if you have a signout board filled with cars. Another story entirely if you need to actually get to work in the morning on time, every time. Jim

  • Theflyersfan Theflyersfan on Oct 21, 2008

    I've been suscribing to Car & Driver since 1988 - I remember the first issue I got was on the Acura NSX (I think!) WalterRohrl is dead on correct. It's easy to let things slide when you have the luxury of thinking, "Well the BMW is in the shop once again; I think I'll take the G37." Over the years, it seems the Germans have gotten a free pass from these guys. It seems like each long-term wrap-up of a BMW or MB has some mention of severe engine and transmission problems, crippling electronics glitches, trim that gives into gravity, and several mentions of being stranded. If that was my car, I'd be looking into Lemon Law rules! I haven't suscribed to Autoweek in years...looks like I'm not missing much.

  • CoastieLenn I'm wanting the keen readers among us to pay attention to the comments in this article compared with the one that immediately followed it. They contain the exact same amount of usable information yet, because one is Ford and one is Toyota, we're seeing the Ford get chit on and the Toyota will be seeing praises. Toyota isn't exactly the shining star they once were and the newest generation of Tacoma was outdated 6 months after it began production... pertnear 10 years ago.
  • Ajla @Arthur: Yes if you are the first reply to a comment and then someone else replies in the same thread it is about 75% odds your comment will disappear.
  • Deanst Any skoda station wagon. But I guess the issue is just making the vehicle available in North American.
  • NJRide Yea the Compass took its place. Probably something more rugged between the Bronco/Bronco Sport in size (and electrified) is the best bet.I don't see the nearly 60-year old Belvidere plant in high-tax Illinois getting another product though. Stellantis will drop to 5 US Assembly plants
  • EBFlex "yet unlike the Dodge Charger/Challenger/300, never improved in features or reliability."Flatly untrue."And I'm sure Native American activists working to get rid of exploitation of their names and images aren't exactly crying in their beer over this decision."The name was not being exploited.