Reviews For Car & Driver Magazine

I feel the need, the need for SPEED

I believe that Car & Driver is the best-written, most objective, most fun car magazine in the publishing world. It is a magazine for people who love to drive, who dream about getting behind the wheel of a BMW M5 and ripping off a 1/4 mile in under 11 seconds. It is a magazine for car enthusiasts.

What I love most about C&D, however, is its approachability. It is not heavy on jargon, and even someone who knew very little about cars could have an enjoyable time reading it. C&D's writers and editors make it a point not to take themselves too seriously, and it shows. Many of the articles are pleasantly tongue-in-cheek. But make no mistake, these guys know what they're talking about.

And they don't just test high-performance cars, either. Toyota Camrys, Volvos, Dodge Neons, none are safe from C&D's microscope. If you're looking to buy a new car, I highly recommend you read C&D to find out how fun it's going to be. Then read Consumer Reports to find out how safe and reliable it will be.

Car & Driver puts each car it covers through a rigorous series of performance tests conducted by the editor or team of editors that writes the article. This way, the articles have a real-world "this guy really drove this car" feel to them. Every part of the vehicle's performance is well-described, with plenty of subjective feeling by the author thrown in. This all adds to the believability of the pieces. Everything from skidpad cornering to instrument ease-of-use to backseat comfort for six-footers is exhaustively tested.

Another great feature from C&D are the comparison tests. The editors will take a complement of similarly-equipped and -aspirated cars and run them head-to-head against each other on closed tracks. In this case, every aspect of the car is tested and judged on a numerical scale, including subjective categories like styling. Then the cars are ranked from first to last place, accompanied by detailed descriptions of how the authors reached their conclusions.

I have been a subscriber to C&D ever since I was a teenager. I've read other car mags, Road & Track, Motor Trend, Autoweek. None of them captures the ineffable greatness of C&D. Road & Track has more of a racing feel to it and is heavy on the jargon. Motor Trend and Autoweek don't come close to C&D in editorial quality or simple entertainment.

Car & Driver is a winner. I never miss an issue.


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

For car lovers, by car lovers

I first subscribed to Car an Driver through a fundraiser at my school. And I've been renewing it for two years now. Car and Driver is definitely my favorite automotive magazine, even if they may be a bit biased.

The comparison tests are the best I've read out of all the automobile magazines. They are thorough and mainly unbiased, unless a BMW or sports car is somehow in the mix. When that happens, though, they'll bash the BMW and love the sports car.

The road tests in Car and Driver are also informative. Each road test has 4 sections. The main body of the review, the verdict (the pros and cons), the counterpoint (tester's opinions), and the statistics. They test each car/truck thoroughly and over different terrain. Each car they review will also be compared with their competition.

Car and Driver also has reviews called Short Takes. These are simple, short reviews of a car that aren't as important to the staff. Short Takes are easy to read and only talk about the main, important features of a car.

Humor is a big part of why I continue to read C&D. Some of it may be crude and offend some readers, particularly the female ones. Maybe that's why they tend to stay away from this magazine. But other than that, the humor is needed to keep this magazine fun and upbeat.

Another section that is fun-to-read is the letters section. Readers of the magazine can write letters to the office in Michigan and have the opportunity for it to get published in the magazine. Most of these letters are gripes about the reviews, but some praise the editors. The comment guy, Ed, is funny.

Overall, Car and Driver is a fun-to-read, informative, and mostly unbiased. If you are a automobile junkie or just looking for something to read, then I highly recommend Car and Driver.

PS: If you ever read a C&D, make sure to check out the last page, it's hilarious!

Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Anyone

CAR & DRIVER:One of the Few Automobile Rags Worth Reading

I have been subscribed to Car & Driver (C&D) for three years. I am also subscribed to Motor Trend (not for long) and Road and Track (plan to renew). I find that C&D is my favorite of the three, for several reasons:

1.) INFORMATIVE: No matter what type of article you are reading, you always get the impression that these guys REALLY know their stuff when it comes to cars. Whether you are reading new car test drives or editorials, there is always something to learn. The best part about it is that anyone, be they beginners or vehicle experts, can get something out of this magazine. The language is very easy reading and doesn't get bogged down in technical specs. The editors really seem to love what they do- they have a very witty sense of humor that gives great continuity to articles. The layout of the graphics and pictures of the magazine is very clear-cut and not an eye-sore. Especially well done are the comparison tests. I feel that comparisons between cars are a better way to learn about them, and have not been disappointed with the way these guys handle them. In every road test or auto show, the writers always incorporate relevant historical facts, the car manufacturer's financial standing, or any other background information that may be pertinent to that car. After reading an article, I always feel well-informed. Plus, each issue reviews a number of vehicles, so I learn quite a bit about a lot of models each month.

2.) OBJECTIVITY: Many magazines sound too optimistic or pessimistic about various car models... it always seems like the editors make their decision about cars before they even step inside them. C&D stays objective throughout all reviews, and is just as poised to praise a compact car as it is to belittle a top-notch muscle car. And- they are usually very accurate on specs, tested prices, and predictions on how well certain cars will perform in the market. I trust this magazine more than any other source... I do a lot of other reading, don't misunderstand me. But if C&D says it, it's usually gold.

3.) DIVERSITY: C&D offers insights into a wide variety of topics and vehicles. This makes for great anticipation for when the next issue comes out: you never know what to expect. For example, a few years back they did a review of a carriage carried by four coach men. It was hilarious. They treated it like it was a real serious review, and even included a 0-60 stat. Of course, you do have the usual fare: new car test drives, comparison tests, spy cams for new models (especially neat), car show stories, long-term test drives, and Q&A sections. Whatever your interest is, they have it. Another strong suit for C&D is their editorials. Absolutely phenomenal. As a fellow member "mkaresh" noted, they do get political from time to time (more on that later) but they're certainly better than those I read in Road and Track. Some of them are so well-written and hilarious that I save them for future reading.
Another area where C&D performs well is that they review a lot of cars that you'll be seeing on the road (or already do see). Don't be surprised to see a comparison of station wagons on one issue and then supercars on the next issue.


THE DOWN-SIDE:
That said, I do have a few complaints I'd like to voice about this magazine. For one, there is a little too much of an emphasis on supercars that you'd find only in Michael Jordan's garage. Even though they do cover the "run of the mill" cars more than other magazines, I'd like to see more. Another aspect about cars I really wish they would incorporate into their reviews and comparisons is build quality. Things like reliability of autos are only rarely addressed. This is a huge factor that has many times caught consumers unaware. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports is the only way I can get that information, and I don't care for their automotive reviews very much. Finally, the editorials, which used to be good comic relief, have turned into a stage for the writers to voice their ethical and political views. While good arguments are sometimes put forth, there are others that are just plain inaccurate and could be easily countered by a high-school debate team. C'mon guys, relax a little.


THE VERDICT:
Minor issues aside, C&D really stands out as being one of the best magazines for the everyday automobile enthusiast. I highly recommend it.

Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
Primary Reason for Buying: Articles

I'm one of those odd women that love cars...

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always been different than most females. I'm not saying that I'm different than all females, just most. When other little girls played with dolls, I played with cars. When other little girls ran around, giggling and whispering and skipping rope, I was climbing trees, and playing in with bugs and catapillars. And when other young females were reading 17 magazine, and YM, I was reading Car and Driver Magazine. I was that girl that had almost no female friends, and used to hang out with the guys wearing those football jerseys with all the holes in them, the blue jeans and the boys sneakers, comparing notes about articles in Car and Driver and talking about football games we'd watched on TV.

Now I'm a grown woman, I have children of my own, and I still love to read this magazine. I have a subscription to this magazine and anxiously await it every month. When I get it in the mail, I eagerly read the articles and have usually finished reading it in less than an hour. Then for the rest of the month I just reread the articles about cars and their performance, the engine specifications, etc. I love the pictures of the beautiful cars that I will probably never own in my lifetime.

But to me the best thing about this magazine is that, even though it gives you a lot of information and goes into detail, it doesn't try to talk over your head. Even someone like me, who is totally lost when looking at a car engine, can understand their articles.

I love this magazine and would recommend it for car enthusiasts, whether that person is an novice or an expert.


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

All hail Csaba...

God, do I love this magazine. C/D is informative, funny, and incredibly consistent. I read every issue cover-to-cover and I've never really disliked what I read. Great for anybody who thinks an exhaust pipe is not too far a stretch as a sex symbol, because very flowery language predominates. "Yet it [a Corvette] offered stalwart stability when I tested its tenacious grip on sinuous pavement." How can you not love a magazine willing to publish that?

The road tests are consistently fascinating. Included with the 4-5 page review are second opinions from other staffers, a box containing Pros, Cons and The Verdict, and just enough statistics to tantalize without excluding Joe Average.

Comparison tests are easily C/D's best feature. The layout is logical and easy to follow, each car is put through exhaustive instrumented testing, the Pros/Cons/Verdict box hovers over each individual take, and there's a chart of subjective ratings at the end. At the end of each year C/D puts out a mag with nothing but that year's comparison tests, in case you have to miss a month or two.

The articles, with submissions coming from Brock Yates, Csaba Csere, John Phillips and Patrick Bedard, are a bit more of a mixed bag. Yates is full of himself, Csere and Bedard are both anti-environmentalist and anti-anti-environmentalist, but at least Phillips is very funny. Lately, Don Shroeder died in a crash while track-testing a Mercedes-Benz RENNTech E-class. He will be missed.

Along with all the strictly car-based stuff are a few irreverant things, like the 10Best subjects, Ed's smart replies to readers and the Last Page, done by Pippa Garner. Needless to say C/D is always kept interesting.

No magazine offers this kind of wit, intelligence and utter fairness. I was a fool to trust anybody else.


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Anyone
Primary Reason for Buying: Articles

The car magazine for Drivers

I buy Car and Driver because the issues are filled with articles, comparison tests, previews, road tests, opinions, and quirky sidebars that are simply not found in Motor Trend or Road & Track.

My favorite aspect of Car and Driver is that they actually assign rankings in their comparison tests, and justify how and why they chose the winner.
Their articles are in-depth, are filled with spectacular photos, and results summary at the end goes into much more detail than other magazines. They give you mph/1000rpm in every gear, interior and exterior dimensions, and random acceleration tidbits like Top gear acceleration from 30-70 (a very important number for highway merging). Motor Trend doesn't even always give the top speed.

In addition to quality, Car and Driver trounces its competitors on quantity. Pick up a Car and Driver, then pick up MT, or R&T. There is no comparison. C&D weighs noticeably more and is much thicker.

One of my favorite sections is the letters to the editor. Here, people write in and either compliment C&D's choices for winners or complain (usually complain). The editors usually provide a humorous rebuttal that always has the tone of a smartmouth teenager, though is very humorous.

But what really sets C&D apart is its staff. Their writing is superb, you can really tell that these guys have a passion for cars. These are guys who spend their vacations racing in One Lap of America, and would be caught dead flying rather than driving. The articles are satirical and highly entertaining.

My only gripe with the magazine is that they tend to be biased towards BMW, though this has drastically changed in recent issues.

My favorite comparison test featured the Oldsmobile Intrigue, Toyota Camry, and Ford Taurus. The finished in the order (The first time in a long time that the Camry had lost), and people went crazy. The new Olds is a fine automobile and deserved to win, and the editors stuck to their guns despite countless letters complaining to them.

Others might enjoy Motor Trend and Road & Track, but they cannot compare in terms of content or reading enjoyment.


Recommended:
Yes

THE BEST AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE PUBLISHED

This venerable magazine continues to be the best in it's class.Unlike Motortrend which has become a defacto promotional arm for the major American manufacturers and Automobile which serves the same purpose for the European car makers, Car and Driver has retained it's independence and relevance in a now crowded field.
The are a number of factors that set it apart from it's competitors.Overall the articles and reviews are clear, concise, and not so technically geared that they alienate the reader.Unlike Road and Track which targets only the high end buyer and auto racing enthusiasts, Car and Driver reviews a wide spectrum of vehicles from sports cars to SUV's. All of the reviews address the issues that most concern the average buyer (performance, reliability, comfort, value for the money). The photographs are always exceptional and the comparison tests have enough variables to give the potential car buyer a good overview of all the major contenders in a given class. The editorials are always thought provoking and accessible, especially those by Patrick Bedard, Brock Yates, and Csaba Csere.I appreciate the fact that they regularly cover the major automobile shows worldwide and allow us the opportunity to preview the new trends and manufacturers project cars well in advance of production. I have been a subscriber to most of the major car rags for many years and I always save this one for last.It sets the standard.


Recommended:
Yes

I love fast cars

I have been looking at car magazines and Car And Driver was the best one I saw. I bought the buyers guide and on a quick look through it and I knew that I was going to get the subscription. The buyers guide was really good it gave great reviews and it even gives reviews for cars that have not even come out yet.

It seems that Car and Driver really knows what they are talking about. They really give you a detailed description of the car they are talking about. The reason I like this magazine better than others is because it give review on cars that I like, fast cars. It also reviews many cars in one issue unlike some others where they just review 3 or 4 cars. Their reviews also have personality.
If you love really fast cars then this magazine is for you.


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Anyone
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

The best of the Auto-Mags

If you're into cars and check out the new models each year to see how the body style, or in the interior has changed, or what's new under the hood, or behind the tires, or inside, then THIS is the magazine you need. I know, there's Automobile, Motor Trend, Road & Track and all those others, but this one deals with the cars most people drive (as opposed to Automobile), when talking about motor sports, deals with ones people watch (as opposed to Road & Track) and doesn't pick some stupid cars and trucks too foist some weird looking hardware upon (need I say who I'm talking about here).

C & D checks out each car on long tests over different types of terrain, whether it's mountains, valleys, desserts, cities or blasting down mostly empty interstate, once they review the car, for a long term article, or a comparison article, you know what the car does best, what it doesn't do well, and you get a better idea of how it stacks up against its main competition.

Too often I've seen the other mags stop the comparisons they do short of picking a winner. Not C & D, they will risk the wrath of the reader to pick a winner. Speaking of the reader, all the other car mags want to have a letters page as well done as C & D. Nice bit of humor before the serious stuff. Also, I've seen people berate the magazine for the odd comparisons they've done, like a Chevy Beretta against a Beretta pistol, but that's what makes the magazine so much fun, they have the ability to laugh about their work, and that's what its all about.

They take their jobs seriously, but have fun with it too, and take us "along for the ride".


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Anyone
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

Learning and laughing in the fast lane

Its 1965, I'm a sophomore in high school, my hormones were raging and all I wanted was a GTO.....(I figured if I had a GTO everything else would fall into place) and there was a GTO on the cover of 'Car and Driver' magazine. I never got the GTO but for the last 36 years, I have gotten 'Car and Driver'.

With a writing style that is at once irreverent, thorough, professional, readable, concise, and humorous, "Car and Driver' has always done a great job of covering cars with the love and excitement that can only be understood by fellow car enthusiasts. While 'Car and Driver' is not overly technical, the magazine has consistently presented all of the facts and opinions necessary to satisfy even the most rabid car nut. Despite the thorough coverage, the magazine remains coherent and entertaining even for those who can't tell the difference between an air induction manifold and an exhaust header.

One of 'Car and Drivers' greatest strengths is its no-holds-barred reviews of automobiles. Their detailed tests cover a wide range of quantifiable and subjective issues calling things as they see them. The long term testing (30,000 miles or so) give clues as to the durability, economy and reliability of vehicles in real life situations. At times the writing can have a bit of a W.C. Fields like quality with such classic lines as, "?.The Siatra Spring has all of the ersatz sex appeal of sea through blouse on a Librarian."

'Car and Driver' tends to be a broad coverage magazine that comfortably covers all aspects of the wonderful world of the automobiles in a general way. Perhaps, the downside to people like me is that 'Car and Driver' avoids the kind of nuts and bolts discussions that the catches the imaginations of only the most serious car aficionados.

The other criticism that I have with 'Car and Driver' is that they have stopped running pieces that helped people who were just getting into automobiles learn the basic principles involved in driving or evaluating cars. The magazine seems to have slipped into a editorial pattern that suggests, "If you get it, you get and if you don't, you probably don't care." That seems unfortunate since much of what I learned about the physics and design of automobiles came from reading 'Car and Driver'.

Still, if you get only one car magazine, 'Car and Driver' is the one to get.


Recommended:
Yes

Recommended For: Anyone
Primary Reason for Buying: Product reviews/information

Showing 1 to 10 of 41 (5 Pages)