What's the best car magazine out there?

Discussion in 'Cars in General' started by Stratosphere03, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Joey D

    Joey D Premium

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    Top Gear is a great magazine but I refuse to pay $10.99 for a magazine. The same goes for Modern MINI, another magazine I'll get on occasion but at $9.99 a pop I'm really good on buying it all that often.

    I guess state side I enjoy reading all the car magazines, but I find Automobile to be the one I like the most as far as just cars in general go. I also like reading MC2, which is the American MINI magazine, but it's only every other month so I don't get it that often.
     
  2. GTjazzabrandy

    GTjazzabrandy (Banned)

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    In Australia I find Wheels a great and imformative read.
     
  3. harrytuttle

    harrytuttle

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    They've all got their biases. It's best to know what biases the editors have before you start reading, but a few magazines are better than most. Sport Compact Car actually makes good reading; just pick up any old issues you can find now that it's been canceled. The older the better. CAR was good about 10 years ago, but most of the talent moved to EVO (which is visually the best, and among the best to read). Octane is also quite fun, but tends to showcase older, classic, way-out-of-reach cars...which makes it all the more enjoyable (as does reading Leno and Atkinson).

    Basically, just read, read, read. After a while, you'll get the 'language' of what they're all talking about and eventually pick your preferred dialect.
     
  4. Slicks

    Slicks Premium

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    Grassroots Motorsports
    A meaty monthly that has knowledge galore and people who truly know what they're talking about. They're more focused on do-it-yourself and local/regional level racing with the odd new car article as well.

    Car and Driver
    I like the often humorous writing style, but the photography sucks and the recent jumble with the staff is not a good one. Their magazine is short, as well - An issue of Grassroots will take me a week or more at work to read through (100+ pages) whereas C&D might be half that.

    I read an issue of Motor Trend recently... I wan't impressed.
    EVO sound like a good read - I'll have to pick it up.
     
  5. Boffin

    Boffin

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    You won't regret it :tup:.
     
  6. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    I've got a bunch of issues from quite a few years ago. I never really got into it. The fact that they have news weeks before the other magazines is nice, but I prefer the quality and higher budgets of the big names. The only reason I really get any magazine is for the novelty of reading material in the bathroom. I get most of my news from the net.

    I like the spirit of GRM, but I don't like the actual magazine. There's nothing that gets me excited, the format seems unorganized, there are lots of oddly placed and shaped ads, stuff like that. I have noticed improvements in just the last year or so though, so I know the mag is moving forward. I kind of wish they would take over the Sport Compact Car thing and carry that. I'd love to see an Ultimate Street Car vs. Ultimate Track Car Competition. Yeah!
     
  7. Stratosphere03

    Stratosphere03

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    Well I think I'm going to give Automobile a try for now. I'm still really interested in Evo, Car, and AutoCar, but all of those are just too expensive for me right now. Thanks for all the suggestions guys, even if you all pretty much covered the gamut of car magazines! :dopey:
     
  8. Jim Prower

    Jim Prower Premium

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    I dont' see how the British mags would be relevant to the US market.
     
  9. Scaff

    Scaff Staff Emeritus

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    It depends on why you would want to read the mag.

    If its with a view to a car to buy then its not a lot of use at all. However if its to simply read about cars and in particular driving then Evo has a lot of scope.

    Octane is a more interesting one in that regard as its audience is clearly global, they cover events (particularly concorse) from around the world, with a heavy US focus in that regard. A good 40% of the cars for sale (as in the classified section) and in the US, and as such its best not to consider Octane as a UK magazine.


    Regards

    Scaff
     
  10. niky

    niky Moderator

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    I think I've said this before... but Evo is as close as you can get to sitting at a pub at 3am, having a round with a bunch of petrolheads, with your assorted machinery sitting in a cloud of steam outside the window in the parking lot, engines ticking as they cool down and brakes still glowing cherry orange.

    Oh... and the poster-perfect pictures are nice, too. Great bathroom reading... even after the 100th time you've picked up that particular issue.
     
  11. Tornado

    Tornado

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    The day I read that this:
    [​IMG]
    Is a considerably worse car than this:
    [​IMG]
    Is the day I gave up on Motor Trend.
     
  12. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    EVO is one of the magazines which has a real quality of being able to pick up years down the line and still enjoy every word. Some of their stories are absolute journalistic classics. Their comparison test between the Ferrari 288 GTO, F40, F50 and Enzo is one of the best articles I've ever read.
     
  13. ///M-Spec

    ///M-Spec Staff Emeritus

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    If I have not or can not drive a car I'm interested in, I read Evo for the definitive analysis on the drive. Those guys are pretty much on the money most every time. Sometimes they get a little picky, IMO, but in the absence of actual personal wheel time, I trust their judgement with little reservation.

    I don't read as much GRM as I used to since I got out of autocrossing. But it used to be a fixture in my house for years.

    But the magazine I actually enjoy reading the most is Car and Driver. I don't always agree with what they write, but they are hands down the most entertaining. I think it's their unique combination of humor, viewpoint and technical credibility that I like. They know what's going on and they're not afraid to make an irreverent remark about cars they don't like. AND they've written some pretty damn funny stuff over the years.... now that I think about it, they're the only magazine that makes me laugh out loud or quote to my wife with any regularity.


    M
     
  14. akjay

    akjay

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    I like truck magazines like Sport Truck, or Truckin', or Street Trucks.
    But Car and Driver is one of my favorites, but i only like reading the ones from a few years back because alot of the cars they talk about arent even out yet! lol
     
  15. Boffin

    Boffin

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    Agreed. I love how they put out bookazines aswell. I only have the Italian supercar and the Porsche compilation, but both make for great reading. The only story I actually didn't like in the Porsche one was Rowan Atkinson's test between the CGT and the McF1 - went on far too long and didn't have enough passionate language.
    Another good read for me was the best FWD of all time - showing EVO's ideas a justifications (some of those I think you and I need to go back to when fighting for hatches on the cool wall, there HFS ;)) of why some FWDs are so good, and which one is the best.

    Is performance heroes any popular in Britain? It's like an off branch of EVO focusing on cheap sports cars - that was a great read as well - probably because half the stories are recycled.
     
  16. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I've got the issue of EVO which had that test in and I actually really enjoyed it. His language is a little different from their normal testers but I think he expressed how each car feels very well. He's probably one of the best people to compare the two also, since he owns an F1 himself.

    That best FWD of all time test was in the Performance Heroes bookazine you mention below. But I agree. For one, their verdict that the DC2 Integra R isn't just the best-handling FWD ever, but one of the best performance cars full stop - that's how impressed they were with it. Again though, that FWD test was another very good one.

    It's a bookazine, not a whole other magazine. But yes, because I own it. It's a very good compliation of EVO's tests.
     
  17. Boffin

    Boffin

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    I got the impression that he knew what he was doing (as at the time of reading I did know that he had one), but it came across as too self centred in a way. But this issue leads us on to another - which is the people EVO gets as guest writers and those to answer reader's questions. I mean, c'mon! They have Gordon Murray to write and answer questions! :drool:.

    Yes it is, but it's also in another one of my EVOs (or at least I saw it in one at the shops).

    I had an incling that Performance Heroes was some sort of bookazine, but there were two different versions at my local. Is it quater or half yearly maybe?
     
  18. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    GRM is the only car magazine I subscribe to since about 1996, and I'm currently in the middle a ten-year subscription. If they had a lifetime option I'd take that. It's that good. Their web forum and website in general is excellent as well. The most bull-free publication I know.

    I occasionally pick up an individual copy of evo at the newsstand if it has a bunch of cars I'm interested in. I agree it is good but I do get tired of hearing how nothing American is ever good enough (or small enough) for British roads, no matter how little else they can find to complain about. I also get tired of the word "bespoke" which is, as far as I know, completely limited in usage to members of the British automotive press.

    Car and Driver I will read in waiting rooms. Motor Trend I never bother even then - I'd rather catch up on 5-month-old celebrity news in People.
     
  19. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Not sure, really.

    Can you think of any article in particular that you're referring to? I've just had a scan through Evo's tests on their website and they seem to be generally favourable towards the American cars they test so there's hardly a bias there. If they fall down on anything it's when the car simply isn't as good as it's rivals in a group test.

    I wouldn't have thought Evo test anything big enough to be considered "too big" for British roads.

    If it's used in context I don't see the problem. It's not like it pops up all the time. Far more irritating are magazines' insistance on calling Ford "the blue oval" or calling Lamborghini "Lambo", and other such pseudonyms.

    If a journalist chooses not to use a perfectly good word like "bespoke" when the context requires it then perhaps their vocabulary needs expanding.
     
  20. Boffin

    Boffin

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    I will probably pick up this GRM if I see it.

    I don't think EVO'd talk about American cars being big - it'd be a bit hypocytical because nothing coming out of America is as wide as Metcalfe's very own Zonda S (that's been mechanically converted to an F) except the H1 and 2 hummer.

    And they need to use words like bespoke because a Spyker, Zonda, Koenigsegg, Gumpert etc are exactly that. They use it where necessary IMO - They don't use it when talking about a Citroen C4 or Espace, its just that there's alot more exposure to those cars.
     
  21. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    I am just saying: I have never heard the word "bespoke" used anywhere outside of the British automotive press - specifically the automotive press. I would assume from context that "bespoke" items are not limited to cars, yet no one else on the face of the planet ever seems to use the word, and they use it all the damn time.

    And evo couldn't quite bring themselves to approve of the C6 Corvette - basically they loved it, except at the very end, they knocked it way down because it "wouldn't survive" British B-roads, and it was "too wide". The thing was engineered in Michigan, fercryinoutloud. If British B-roads are worse than Michigan's roads, you guys need to do a little repaving.
     
  22. senamic

    senamic Premium

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    I personally subscribe to Evo, Top Gear (UK edition [need something silly]), KitCar, Octane and Autocar. Quiet like flicking through Drivers Republic online as well.
     
  23. Joey D

    Joey D Premium

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    The truth! This man speaks it.

    And I had to look up bespoke to figure out what it meant, apparently it means to custom tailor clothing. I'm not sure how that one relates to cars.
     
  24. Boffin

    Boffin

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    I think all the Mags worshipped the C6 Z06 (well, EVO didn't like the ZR1 against the new GT3 or V10 R8) and they have been getting pretty good press on TV as well. 5th Gear gave it a performance car of the year, Jezza on his Good, bad, ugly DVD said it was excellent on the track, and the normal C6 on the road. A freelancer who sometimes works for EVO by the name of David Yu actually has a Leichtfield Z06 if I'm not mistaken.

    .....and yes, my impressions from last time I was there was that the B roads needed a little work on - but it's those surfaces that make the hot hatches pop and fizz so much :tup:.
     
  25. ///M-Spec

    ///M-Spec Staff Emeritus

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    Funny you brought that up. Shortly after I hit "submit" on my own post, I left the office and in my car I remembered my one reservation about Evo (and nearly all British car magazines in general): no matter how objective they pretend to be, there is always this streak of bias against American cars. Sometimes it's obvious, like the summary dismissal of the new CTS. Sometimes it's a little more subtle, like the backhanded praise for the very few cars they do approve of (you can count them on one hand). I think the C6 Z06 is the one single car I've ever seen unqualified praise out of Evo about.

    (Although there was this one editorial comment editor Metcalfe made about leaf-springs that showed earth-shattering lack of intelligence; it really hurt the magazine's credibility in my eyes)

    But you know... they're just damn picky people. A perfectly good car will lose a comparo because the ride isn't quite good enough or it's not "special" enough or some such nonsense. They nitpick pretty much everybody.


    M
     
  26. Scaff

    Scaff Staff Emeritus

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    We do, and I would class it as a lot of repaving, but that's part of what makes the roads so much fun. I can quite happly confirm that at least one road on my drive to/from work is too narrow for comfort in my 3-series (and still has a 60mph speed limit).

    I would also add that Evo bring up width as a problem with the Zonda on a regular basis as well, and if I had to bring up a bias in Evo it wouldn't be against American cars, rather that they love 911's just a bit too much.


    Regards

    Scaff
     
  27. niky

    niky Moderator

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    That's all it is... Nitpickiness. They do it to everything.

    They've also talked up the negatives of UK-market heroes like the Ford Focus RS (though opinions there seem split on this)... and they never seem to really like any modern Alfas...

    EVO is the only magazine I've ever seen that complains about the handling of the NC MX-5. Everyone was all praises about it. How communicative it was. How good it was.

    Fifteen minutes after getting behind the wheel of one, I realized what they were talking about... the steering really isn't as good as it used to be. It's stuff like this that makes me respect EVO. They aren't afraid to print things that other mags will either gloss over or not notice at all.
     
  28. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    Impression I get from EVO's journalists - they're doing that job because they love it, rather than because they're being paid to do it (indeed, I'm guessing that some of the supercar owners on EVO consider journalism as a bit of moonlighting - I can think of very few journalists who can reach a position wealthy enough to buy a supercar, being as it is a fairly poorly-paid profession). A case in point for me was the Ford SportKa thing. If someone who has a Zonda as their own personal car can hop in a warmed-over Ford Ka and shout from the rooftops about how good it is, I'm generally inclined to believe that they genuinely love their driving whatever they're testing. And if they do think something is wrong with a car, you can trust them to voice it.

    It's important when reading a magazine not to let your own preference for a particular car dictate how you read an article too. I must admit to having read a few of their tests and been disappointed when a car I liked was rated down for something, but at the end of the day they're doing that job because they know what they're doing and they know how to put it into words.

    I also like the fact that they're more than willing to give cars a second chance - when they first tested the original Focus RS, they criticised it for a terrible ride and massive torque-steer. A few years later they drove a different, yet still completely standard example over similar roads and gave it glowing praise, as it displayed none of the problems of the previous one. Recently, they drove another again and it suffered a similar fate to the first example.

    If a performance car is misbehaving on the day or it's been badly set up from the factory (and it does happen, with smaller-production cars) then it'll be rated down, but it may well be praised the next time they drive it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  29. Gil

    Gil Premium

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    I love Road & Track but then I'm a really big Peter Egan fan.
    They also tend to hit all types of cars from soccer mom mobiles to Lambos etc.

    I'm not crazy about Car & Driver since Brock Yates stopped writing full time.
    But I've never been too crazy about C & D.

    I dig some of the British mags, but I only read them sometimes.

    I'm really starting to prefer Bike (Motorcycle) magazines.
    Hot Bike, Cruiser, V-Twin, AIM, and such...
     
  30. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    I must say, I enjoyed the couple of issues of Road & Track that I picked up when I was in the States a few years back. They had some very well written articles, definitely seemed of a pretty high standard.