What's the best car magazine out there?

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

  1. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

    Messages:
    21,286
    Location:
    United States
    I'm okay with things like that when it "makes sense." Problem is, it never seems entirely consistent. It reminds me of when C/D had the M3 top the GT-R on some (arguably) silly qualifications. But in the end, it "made sense," and I let it go.

    RE: American Cars in Foreign Magazines

    What I tend to keep in the back of my mind is not only the general resentment of America in almost every country except... America... They generally have more options that we do, and consequently, our American standard (even the good ones!) may not be enough.
     
  2. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,475
    ^ This is the important thing to remember. If you (not you in particular Brad, it's a general 'you') really think the motoring press abroad (or at least in the UK) are biased against American cars for no other reason than because they're American then you're barking up the wrong tree. It's more than likely that they simply aren't good enough next to the competition. This could also be influenced by our roads. A good car for America might not necessarily translate well when asked to deal with the sort of roads and traffic we get over here.

    You can then assume that the American cars that do get good reviews from our motoring press probably are pretty good regardless of where they're sold. I seem to remember Autocar being pretty positive about the last-gen Mustang, to the point where they imported one just so they could have it on the long-term fleet. The Corvette C6 usually gets good reviews in isolation but then doesn't stack up against rivals over here. The Cadillac BLS and CTS are okay, the CTS-R gets genuine praise. The Chevys sold over here are tedious budget cars. Most Dodges and Chryslers (including Jeeps) currently available over here are distinctly average apart from the 300C which also gets a lot of praise, especially since we get a diesel version of the 300C which again is more suited to our roads.

    So yeah, if you're seeing some distinct anti-American bias then you're probably just imagining it. Perhaps one used to exist, but then over the last ten years the American cars we get over here have been steadily improving anyway and the reviews have been kinder accordingly.
     
  3. TheCracker

    TheCracker Premium

    Messages:
    20,961
    Location:
    South Korea
    There's also the issue that the US press are just as likely to view their own domestic cars with slightly rose-tinted glasses, to the same extent that the 'foreign' press perhaps still hold on to some slightly out-dated views on US cars.

    I'd guess that price will creep into the equation sometimes too. There's a much closer gap in price between a stock 911 and C6 Vette over here than there is in the US. There's also the issue of value for money, although it's not really as straight a conversion as it appears, A US bought Vette come in at $48,500, which equates to £30,000. A Vette in the UK costs £48,000 which equals $78,500!.

    A Vette will also be LHD, which you'd turn a blind eye to for an Enzo, but not a 911 rival. Vette's and Mustangs will always get marked down over the LHD issue.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2009
  4. niky

    niky Moderator

    Messages:
    23,800
    Location:
    Philippines
    European and Asian markets prefer smaller cars than America does. Europe because of high fuel prices, Asia because they're cheaper to run. A road infrastructure and culture built around cars like this isn't suited to traditional American cars. How can they be, when some larger US sedans and SUVs are wider than most delivery trucks here? Cars in Europe and Japan have to work in traditionally narrow roads of quaint little towns, and sizing cars like this has had its effect on the modern infrastructure built around them.

    In the US, you didn't have a rich layer of history bundled up in a Roman road system, so American cars tended to be much like the country they were built in... wide, smooth and expansive.

    Many mainlanders on the forum will interject: "Our roads aren't that smooth and wide!"... but you haven't been on a proper drive through European or Asian traffic. The hustle. The bustle... driving a car that's narrower than a Chevrolet Aveo down a two-way street with one wheel in the gutter and still banging mirrors with the subcompact coming the other way. The unique needs of the European market have ensured that even large European cars tend to have relatively tight steering. The unique needs of the Asian market ensure that even large luxury sedans are relatively narrow. Tricky, twisty mountain roads have also ensured that they need a tighter suspension, too.

    There's an area where Japanese cars differ, a bit, though... Japanese suspensions, in general, seem a bit stiffer... harder spring rates... than European cars... no cobbles to deal with in Japan... although newer Japanese cars are better in this regard... and I don't know anything that rides worse over cobbles than a brand new Bimmer (oh, how the mighty have fallen!).

    Either way, and for whatever reason... a car designed to drive over such a wide variety of conditions is bound to be more engaging and better to drive than one that isn't... which is why many American manufacturers now test in Europe... to good results (the CTS comes to mind here).

    As for bias: EVO's Top 100 Driver's Cars... yes, only 1 American in the top 100, but it's at 14 (Ford GT)... top ten is: 3 Brits, 2 Italians, 2 Japanese, 2 French and 1 German... And not a single BMW in the entire top ten. An Italian wins. Seems a pretty fair result, don'cha think? :lol:
     
  5. santiagomo87

    santiagomo87

    Messages:
    161
    Location:
    Mexico
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  6. Mazerati

    Mazerati (Banned)

    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Italy
    What mag. would you recommend if i wanted to keep up-to-date with new models (spy-shots, protos, concepts etc.), as well as all the current auto-news and, at the back, all the review summary of tested cars. I currently buy Auto-Express, Auto-Car and EVO. What would any of you recommended?
    Price isn't a problem, but TopGear mag isn't an option. (i hate reading mags with a prominent theme of immaturity).
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  7. Punknoodle

    Punknoodle

    Messages:
    3,204
    Location:
    Australia
    Very much depends which country you're from. I find Motor magazine here in Aus is quite good
     
  8. Keef

    Keef Premium

    Messages:
    20,595
    Location:
    United States
    Let us know where you are and we can probably recommend a really good one. Or three.
     
  9. Murcie_LP640

    Murcie_LP640

    Messages:
    3,174
    I'm not entirely familiar with UK mags, mainly because the ones we get here in Aus are already several months old, but CAR - The Definitive View is the one that first springs to mind. It's a fair bit like Evo.
     
  10. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,475
    We've had threads like this before, and my first post in this thread still pretty much reflects my current recommendations.

    Auto Express is good for the spy shots you're after, and it's a big focus of that magazine. Autocar is good from that respect too but their actual car tests are more in-depth.

    Top Gear mag is far, far better than it used to be. It was an excellent magazine in the 90s and until about 2004-ish, and then they got a new editor and everything went to pot. They're on a different one again now, and though I'm still not keen on the layout, the actual content has improved massively.

    CAR magazine is good, and What Car? is a very good consumer mag (i.e. useful if you're actually in the market for buying a car).

    You seem to already be buying the mags that suit your own tastes though.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2011
  11. TheCracker

    TheCracker Premium

    Messages:
    20,961
    Location:
    South Korea
    I find those thicker, rough pages you get towards the back of CAR particularly absorbent. :tup:

    (UKGTP6 joke)
     
  12. Mr. CoolFiat

    Mr. CoolFiat (Banned)

    Messages:
    1,027
    I would say Motor Trend or Road and Track.
     
  13. motortrend

    motortrend

    Messages:
    4,198
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    I've been recieving Motor Trend mag since 2003 and I really like it. It does have things I don't agree with sometimes but they keep up with the times well and talk about subjects that are happening on the current automotive world. They also offer a new car issue once a year, have some pretty good car tests, and have a nice spy shot section. They also have an Ipad magazine if you're interested which is free with a normal subscription. They also offer a few pretty cool youtube videos which you can obviously see even if you're not subscribed. I also get automobile mag, which is good, has nice photography and a nice amount of interesting topics but Motor Trend just feels like a more substantial mag.
     
  14. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    17,612
    Location:
    United States
    Of course, it would really help if we knew where the OP lived, in case he's really turned on by an account of the Brilliance BS6 or the Ssangyong Rodius.
     
  15. Mazerati

    Mazerati (Banned)

    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Italy
    I'm from Scotland, and no, i don't like the SSangyong. In fact if i was asked:
    Ford KA or every single SSangyong model in existence, i would choose the KA.

    p.s before a flame-war erupts; i wasn't mocking the KA there, it was just an example.:p (Not that i'll be changing my user-name to 'KAzerati' anytime soon :D)
     
  16. CyborgGT

    CyborgGT

    Messages:
    2,600
    Location:
    United States
    Whatever happened to 0-60? I got one issue and never saw them again. Looked like they used a photographer from TG, but it was a quality read, I thought.

    The only mag I read EVERY issue is Honda Tuning, but that hardly applies here. I pick up TG, EVO and Car & Driver every now and then.
     
  17. jacnob

    jacnob

    Messages:
    1,248
    Location:
    United States
    It depends. For me its Car and Driver, for the less serious writing, and Road & Track, for when I want to get serious. I don't know if TG Mag comes to the U.S.A, but if It did, I would have it.
     
  18. BrutherSuperior

    BrutherSuperior

    Messages:
    678
  19. eSZee

    eSZee

    Messages:
    11,213
    Location:
    United States
    Motor trend, road and track, car and driver, I get them every month. Worst part is, reading one of them means I've read them all. Cover stories, comparos, features are usually identical among the 3 mags.
    I like autoweek and automobile but you probably get neither up there.

    It does. This is america, after all.
     
  20. neanderthal

    neanderthal

    Messages:
    1,397
    Depends on your level of car geekiness, your level of technical aptitude, your appreciation for good writing, whether or not you want to see reviews of fancy new cars or home built rods/ customs/ drag/ drift/ race cars etc.

    I like CAR/ Excellent writing, good pics, they will dog a car if its horrible (Unlike Motor Trend and the other rags we get here) but there is a lack of custom/ modded cars featured. Literally my only gripe. It could do with a little more technical analysis as well but that gets tedious quickly.

    GRM (Grassroots Motorsports, US based) has excellent technical articles and modded cars. But that is the limit of their scope.

    I find Motor Trend, Automobile, Car and Driver et al (US based) to be fearful of writing a scathing review even when it warrants one. As such I avoid them as they seem to be pandering to the manufacturers, and not the readers. But that's where their advertising dollars come from, so i'm not fazed, I know how the business world works.
     
  21. CyborgGT

    CyborgGT

    Messages:
    2,600
    Location:
    United States
    Barnes & Noble, and any good news shop might carry it (same for EVO and other Euro car mags). It's expensive as hell to subscribe, so I only ever get particularly interesting issues. Year in review style mags are great, as are the compilations of supercars.
     
  22. GTMail

    GTMail

    Messages:
    1,315
    Motor Trend, Car & Driver and Road & Track are my favorites for what you seem to want.
     
  23. niky

    niky Moderator

    Messages:
    23,800
    Location:
    Philippines
    Car And Driver, MotorTrend and Road&Track aren't as good as they used to be. A lot of it is generic, and the content is less than before... C&D, in particular is thin enough to see through with a powerful flashlight. :D

    EVO and AutoCar are about as good as it gets... Amongst US Magazines... errh... Grassroots Motorsports? :lol:
     
  24. Mazerati

    Mazerati (Banned)

    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Italy
    Thanks for the help guys. From what i can see, EVO seems to be the best choice, the only problem is that it's monthly. The weekly mags (Auto Express and AutoCar) are practically identical, so, until EVO becomes available, i think it'll be Auto Express.

    Sorted. :D
     
  25. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

    Messages:
    17,612
    Location:
    United States
    [Merged threads]

    My feeling is that I don't care to spend extra dough to read about cars I'll likely never drive, encounter, or have no relevance to discussion in my job (since I live and work in the United States). If I'm really interested in a car I've never heard about, I'll just Google it...don't get me wrong, there's some interesting whiz-bang stuff over the pond, but who really cares what I think about a Renault that I've never driven? I'll leave to my fine GTPlanet members to fill that void.

    So yeah, I just read Car & Driver and Road & Track, since I like ampersands. I'm just kidding and teasing myself trying to read anything else. Car and Driver is getting a little bland, but I really enjoy when they test all sorts of weird stuff (which seems to be less and less, lately), R&T for the nostalgia...they both move a lot of their content online now. Both used to routinely put out massive 196/224-page magazines back in the late-1990s, but the days of those kinds of issues are long gone.

    Automobile seems to have great editorials and columns, good interviews, so it's great for hearing opinions and people, but not so much for test drives and comparison, for some reason. Motor Trend has improved a lot, but it reminds me of Automobile in a lot of ways. None of them are terrible, to be honest...but I generally avoid the specialist stuff: The import-car magazines usually suffer from immature writing...bikini-clad chicks don't make up for lousy content. If Playboy can balance it, so can you. European magazines are hard to find (every Borders is gone now), and forget about finding them in an American airport. Yearly overseas subscriptions are too dear for my wallet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011
  26. Mr. CoolFiat

    Mr. CoolFiat (Banned)

    Messages:
    1,027
    Indeed, I have been reading my collection of R&T Magazines (Feb 2009 to Sept 2011, I have one from June 2005 and one from September 2007) and found that every year they just keep getting smaller.... there were more sections in 2005 than there are nowadays. Its quite sad to let them go, for example, my favourite section was: People places and things (IIRC), but there hasn't been any of that since I think 2008! :S
     
  27. niky

    niky Moderator

    Messages:
    23,800
    Location:
    Philippines
    I have a bunch of 90's R&T and C&D... and some early 00's ones... I only occassionally get a 10's issue. While some of the group tests show that old sparkle... the content is unsatisfyingly thin.
     
  28. the_stig_1

    the_stig_1

    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    Australia
    Top Gear Magazine :)
     
  29. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

    Messages:
    26,475
    It's better than it has been for the last few years but it's a long, long way off being the best.
     
  30. niky

    niky Moderator

    Messages:
    23,800
    Location:
    Philippines
    Only reason to buy Top Gear magazine? James May's column. Clarkson's column is a laugh, but you can get it online, anyhow.