How We Review Products at TTAC
Who we are
The Truth About Cars has a team of dedicated professional editors, writers, and analysts who are committed to bringing you honesty when it comes to news coverage of the automotive industry, car reviews, and also, product reviews. We're also car enthusiasts, and some of us spend time wrenching on our own rides. You can read more about us on our About Us page.
How The Truth About Cars selects and ranks products
We have three types of product reviews. For one type, we scour tons of Amazon links to find products that are receiving positive reviews -- and we make sure those reviews are organic, not fraudulent or written by bots. We also make sure that products are supported by strong customer service. Price, brand history, and other factors play a part in our choices.
The second type of product review we do is "Stuff We Use." For this feature, one of our staffers will review products he or she has actually used, as opposed to simply aggregating Amazon reviews. The products were purchased with the author's own money.
Finally, the third type of product review we do is when we are loaned a product in order to sample it over a short time. We will disclose that we've been loaned the product, and generally speaking, the product is returned to the manufacturer when the loan is finished.
What products do we review?
We review products that are popular among car enthusiasts, as well as products that any car owner might want or need to use. We brainstorm topics that are relevant to our readers. When it comes to products loaned to us for review, sometimes we ask a manufacturer to send a sample, and sometimes they ask us if we'd like to test one.
How do we review?
Again, some reviews are based off the aggregation of Amazon reviews. When we review a product we're using, whether it's one we've purchased or one we're sampling via a loan, we take notes of the pros and cons of each product. We also take into account price, price relative to competitors, customer support, and, if we can track it, reliability.
Why do we review and how do we make money?
We review products in order to help you, the consumer, make better-informed shopping decisions. And yes, it does help us pay the bills. In addition to the money we make with ads being placed on every article, we also make a bit of money should you click through to a product's Amazon page and buy it. This applies to our "Stuff We Use" reviews and our Amazon aggregation reviews. We may or may not use an Amazon link when reviewing a product loaned to us, but we are not paid by the manufacturer for the review. We strive to be honest with all three types of reviews -- we aren't afraid to be negative or critical if necessary. And, again, we disclose our loans. Our priority is being honest.
How do affiliate commissions work?
The Truth About Cars is a participant, via our parent company, VerticalScope, in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other similar affiliate advertising programs with companies like eBay, which allow us to earn fees by linking to products for sale on their websites. When you click on a link for a product on The Truth About Cars, it contains a small code that identifies links from our website and lets the affiliate partner or retailer know to send us a referral fee. This does not mean we are bound to Amazon or any other retailer or affiliate partner, nor does it lead us to favor some products or companies over others. We earn the same affiliate commission on the first item on the list as we do on the last, so our top priority can be picking the best products. The price you pay doesn’t change, and you’re still eligible for any discounts or coupons you might find.
Our product reviews are prepared independently by our editors and contributors, without direction from our affiliate partners or retailers. Our editorial team is not responsible for monetizing the content and does not work directly with any advertisers.
As is always the case with The Truth About Cars, honesty is the priority and while we do make money off these posts, we will not be afraid to be critical or negative. We make our judgments independently, as noted above. If we've tested the product directly, our review is based on our experience. If we're aggregating reviews, we make sure to take note of the negative reviews as well as the positive.
Thank you for reading and we hope these product reviews are useful as you shop for accessories for your ride.
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- Scott What people want is the Jetson Car sound.This has come up before.
- Joerg I just bought a Corolla Cross Hybrid SE a few weeks ago, and I regret it. But not for any of the reasons stated so far. It drives well enough for me, gas mileage is great for a car like that, the interior is fine, nothing to complain about for normal daily use. I bought this relatively small SUV thinking it is basically just a smaller version of the RAV4 (the RAV4 felt too big for me, drives like a tank, so I never really considered it). I also considered the AWD Prius, but storage capacity is just too small (my dog would not fit in the small and low cargo space).But there are a few things that I consider critical for me, and that I thought would be a given for any SUV (and therefore did not do my due diligence before the purchase): It can’t use snow chains per the manual, nor any other snow traction devices. Even with AWD, snow chains are sometimes required where I go, or just needed to get out of a stuck situation.The roof rack capacity is only a miniscule 75 lbs, so I can’t really load my roof top box with stuff for bigger trips.Ironically, the European version allows snow chains and roof rack capacity is 165 lbs. Same for the US Prius version. What was Toyota thinking?Lastly, I don’t like that there is no spare tire, but I knew that before the purchase. But it is ridiculous that this space is just filled up with a block of foam. At least it should be made available for additional storage. In hindsight, I should have bought a RAV4. The basic LE Hybrid version would have been just about 1k more.
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