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      10-21-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
Bmwlvr60
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Car Magazine Reviews

I have to tell you folks that I'm always skeptical with most reviews I read. I'm especially skeptical of the ones in magazines that receive huge revenues from the car companies in the form of advertising.

So a plausible scenario Is the following: a writer for Road and Track or one of the other car magazines is invited to a cocktail party for the introduction of a new model car. He's wined and dined by car manufacturer's executives. Maybe there are some females there who flirt with the writer and it's a fun day for the writer. He gets to test drive the new model, eat some high quality food and hang out with some powerful people and beautiful women. In the meanwhile the advertising department at R&T has already collected money from the car manufacturer for advertising- lots of money.

Do you think it's possible that the writer may be influenced by the goings on that day? Do you think that it's possible that the advertising department who's going to place an ad in the very same magazine or electronic version of the magazine that the writer's review will appear may have some influence over the writer? Do you think that the writer would like to be invited back to an event in the future and is concerned that if he's too critical he won't be?

I'm involved in marketing, and also in politics. The unethical ways people conduct themselves AT TIMES is very disappointing.

I absolutely don't think my scenerio is the norm, but I KNOW it can happen.

I mostly rely on Consumer Reports for car reviews and secondly on people on these forums. You people are great! I love all the back and forth and objective and subjective commentary based on your love of cars and research.

I think the geeky, liberal, pink panty wearing guys who used to get their lunch stolen every day in high school, losers at Consumer Reports who couldn't get laid with a wad of 100 dollar bills at a whorehouse, are much more reliable than all the other car magazines combined. And the liberal women who work at CR who wear comfortable shoes and aren't even attractive enough for those same guys are equally reliable. They don't accept any advertising and that's all you mostly need to know about them. Oh, and they have a state of the art testing facility and buy all the cars they test secretly.

LOL, I truly look forward to your replies.
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      10-21-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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it comes and goes. Take the F30 launch for example. Almost every magazine was very pro about it after the embargo was lifted.. but if you read the "long term" reviews there's an undertone of frustration of how it's "different" from the old days. Add to that, the magazines are now publishing the articles of the F30 vs the Cadillac ATS and they're even writing that the Caddy is now more fun than the BMW
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      10-21-2012, 09:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60
I have to tell you folks that I'm always skeptical with most reviews I read. I'm especially skeptical of the ones in magazines that receive huge revenues from the car companies in the form of advertising.

So a plausible scenario Is the following: a writer for Road and Track or one of the other car magazines is invited to a cocktail party for the introduction of a new model car. He's wined and dined by car manufacturer's executives. Maybe there are some females there who flirt with the writer and it's a fun day for the writer. He gets to test drive the new model, eat some high quality food and hang out with some powerful people and beautiful women. In the meanwhile the advertising department at R&T has already collected money from the car manufacturer for advertising- lots of money.

Do you think it's possible that the writer may be influenced by the goings on that day? Do you think that it's possible that the advertising department who's going to place an ad in the very same magazine or electronic version of the magazine that the writer's review will appear may have some influence over the writer? Do you think that the writer would like to be invited back to an event in the future and is concerned that if he's too critical he won't be?

I'm involved in marketing, and also in politics. The unethical ways people conduct themselves AT TIMES is very disappointing.

I absolutely don't think my scenerio is the norm, but I KNOW it can happen.

I mostly rely on Consumer Reports for car reviews and secondly on people on these forums. You people are great! I love all the back and forth and objective and subjective commentary based on your love of cars and research.

I think the geeky, liberal, pink panty wearing guys who used to get their lunch stolen every day in high school, losers at Consumer Reports who couldn't get laid with a wad of 100 dollar bills at a whorehouse, are much more reliable than all the other car magazines combined. And the liberal women who work at CR who wear comfortable shoes and aren't even attractive enough for those same guys are equally reliable. They don't accept any advertising and that's all you mostly need to know about them. Oh, and they have a state of the art testing facility and buy all the cars they test secretly.

LOL, I truly look forward to your replies.
Well, I think it was Consumer Reports that labeled the e39 5 series "the best car ever" or words to similar effect. I had to agree with that famous article.

But, politics and favoritism can invade all aspects in life from whore houses to white houses.

We tend to elevate the credibility of a source when that source goes to great lengths to convey its neutrality.

But, in the end, we are all humans subject to the frailties thereof.

That's why it is always best to consult multiple sources and draw your own conclusions.

I mean really, there are idiots out there that still claim Android devices are better than Apple. But, it's these very losers that, in the face of irrefutable objective evidence, will still go out and buy the inferior products ---such as an Android based phone or a Microsoft Windows Computer.

These very same idiots will still swear by Android, Windows or even ASS no matter how many articles tell them how inferior these products or features are. And, these idiots are not corner cases, they actually exist in large numbers.

But, these idiots are a necessary evil because the companies that make these inferior products end up keeping people employed. So, this flaw in the Darwinian Cycle is not entirely for the worst after all.




Ps: the last part was tongue in cheek. So, don't get your panties in a twist.
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      10-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWrules7 View Post
Well, I think it was Consumer Reports that labeled the e39 5 series "the best car ever" or words to similar effect. I had to agree with that famous article.

But, politics and favoritism can invade all aspects in life from whore houses to white houses.

We tend to elevate the credibility of a source when that source goes to great lengths to convey its neutrality.

But, in the end, we are all humans subject to the frailties thereof.

That's why it is always best to consult multiple sources and draw your own conclusions.

I mean really, there are idiots out there that still claim Android devices are better than Apple. But, it's these very losers that, in the face of irrefutable objective evidence, will still go out and buy the inferior products ---such as an Android based phone or a Microsoft Windows Computer.

These very same idiots will still swear by Android, Windows or even ASS no matter how many articles tell them how inferior these products or features are. And, these idiots are not corner cases, they actually exist in large numbers.

But, these idiots are a necessary evil because the companies that make these inferior products end up keeping people employed. So, this flaw in the Darwinian Cycle is not entirely for the worst after all.




Ps: the last part was tongue in cheek. So, don't get your panties in a twist.
Exellent analysis!
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      10-22-2012, 12:03 PM   #5
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I dont know if I trust consumer reports either, who is to say they arent getting a free trip to Hawaii for a good review? What i find more reliabel is to visit forums like this and get a consensus from the common man. If something is a problem it will be voiced. If its good it will be voiced. You can read all the reviews you want and none of them will help you if the car develops a problem five yrs from now as most are predicated on a new vehicle. Take all the input you can get yr hands on put it in a blender and see what comes out.
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      10-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by rmeir View Post
I dont know if I trust consumer reports either, who is to say they arent getting a free trip to Hawaii for a good review? What i find more reliabel is to visit forums like this and get a consensus from the common man. If something is a problem it will be voiced. If its good it will be voiced. You can read all the reviews you want and none of them will help you if the car develops a problem five yrs from now as most are predicated on a new vehicle. Take all the input you can get yr hands on put it in a blender and see what comes out.
Anything's possible, but doubtful with CR. Nobody would want to take those people anywhere.

The Car Magazine people all get together with the car manufacturers at events: introduction of new models, car shows, etc. And more importantly they accept advertising from the the very companies they're supposed to be writing objective reviews about. It's much more plausible that these folks are more corruptible than CR.

I totally agree that I definitely value the opinions of people in these forums than anywhere else- that's why I read the threads. You folks are very helpful!
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      10-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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I don't think the car magazine articles can be considered unethical when they take the bribes - nowhere in the magazines do they say, "Contains fair and balanced reports." The articles are mostly for entertainment value only, and occasionally contain actual specifications and objective test results like MPG or acceleration. Do you really trust Google's search results to not be influenced by their paid clients? Do you trust everything a commissioned salesman says about a product he's selling? Remember the NY clothing stroe's tagline, "an educated consumer is our best customer"
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      10-23-2012, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
Anything's possible, but doubtful with CR. Nobody would want to take those people anywhere.

The Car Magazine people all get together with the car manufacturers at events: introduction of new models, car shows, etc. And more importantly they accept advertising from the the very companies they're supposed to be writing objective reviews about. It's much more plausible that these folks are more corruptible than CR.

I totally agree that I definitely value the opinions of people in these forums than anywhere else- that's why I read the threads. You folks are very helpful!
You must also keep in mind that the relative number of people participating on automotive forums is small in comparison to the actual number of people who actually own/lease/drive the cars from a given manufacturer. Often times you will notice with some exceptions, that the types of people who participate on automotive forums are:

1) enthusiasts (objective appreciation for all makes)

2) FanBois ( often biased for a particular brand/make)

3) people who have issues (pissed off due to problems experienced with a particular brand/make who want to vent as well as seeking resolution)

and/or

4) people looking for general information about a given make/manufacturer.

Many people simply go on word of mouth and/or what is published in the automotive periodicals - Consumer Reports included. Personally, I think the blogsphere can provide objective reviews as well as online sites like Edmunds/Inside line.

The best approach is to conduct your own due diligence utilizing all available media outlets to make an informed decision. Not a Bad thing

IMHO: with regards to the F25 X3 - since this is an X3 forum, it is an excellent buy that appeals to a broad spectrum of folks. Is it perfect, no? But I think it is the best intermediate/mid-size crossover on the market right now.
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      12-02-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Adding very favorable review of X3 28i by Consumer Reports:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60
Consumer Reports rates X3 28i #1
Consumer Reports rates 2013 X3 28i #1 Compact Sporty Sport-Utility Vehicle.



16
Compact sporty sport-utility vehicles
BMW X3 xDrive28i (2.0T)
$38,500 - $43,600
($44,595)
80
NEW 23
Acura RDX
$34,320 - $39,420
($36,605)
79
NEW 22
Infiniti EX
$36,800 - $40,550
($39,425)
78
18
Audi Q5 2.0T
$35,900 - $50,900
($41,075)
77
21
Volkswagen Tiguan SEL
$22,995 - $36,820
($37,020)
76
21
Cadillac SRX
$37,155 - $50,555
($43,085)
72
18
Volvo XC60 T6
$34,350 - $48,950
($42,245)
70
17
Mercedes-Benz GLK350
$37,090 - $39,090
($41,760)
66
18
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
$41,145 - $44,145
($45,745)
58
NA NA 21
Land Rover LR2
$36,400 - $36,400
($36,450)
52
NA NA 18


Road TestxDrive28i 4-cyl
The X3 provides a sporty driving experience with a beautifully finished, quiet, comfortable cabin. Agile handling and spirited performance make the X3 fun to drive. A new turbocharged four-cylinder base engine replaces the outgoing six-cylinder and gets a very good 23 mpg overall but it isn't as refined as the sweet inline Six. Controls tend to be somewhat complicated.

The Driving Experience
Ride comfort and noise: Despite an underlying tautness, the X3's ride is compliant and controlled. Some road bumps provoke short, quick side-to-side motions, though. The highway ride feels solid and unruffled. The drum-tight cabin remains very quiet for the most part although some road hiss can creep in, and when the four-cylinder engine is idling it emits a mild but noticeable diesel-like clatter from its direct fuel injection.

Handling: The X3 drives almost as crisply as a good sports sedan. Body lean is well tamed and the quick steering provides welcome feedback. The AWD system works transparently. When pushed to its limits the X3 remains stable and forgiving, and it threaded through our avoidance maneuver at a relatively high speed. Steering feedback, however, is somewhat diminished at its handling limits.

Powertrain: A new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbocharged engine replaces the conventional six-cylinder and gets the same 240 hp output. Fuel economy increased slightly to 23 mpg overall on required premium fuel. It serves up impressive performance, but isn't as refined as the previous engine. The higher-end X3 35i, which costs about $5,000 more, comes with a 300-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder.

All X3s use a very smooth eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts frequently but nearly imperceptibly. A manual transmission is no longer offered. Manual shift overrides are available through the fiddly electronic shift lever. Sport, Comfort, and EcoPro modes alter the shift points but we found the EcoPro mode noticeably dulled the power response.

There's also an engine stop/start system that shuts down the engine while idling to save fuel, restarting instantly when you take your foot off the brake. We reckon it's good for about one mpg extra in city driving but the engine restarts with a slight shudder. If you don't care for this feature you can shut it off.

Braking: Overall performance was excellent on both wet and dry pavement.

Headlights: Low beams shine a good distance to the front and very good distance to the sides. They have a more gradual upper cutoff than most, making them more pleasing to drive behind. High beams are more intense and project farther down the road. Xenon high intensity discharge (HID) headlights are standard on the X3 35i but optional on the 28i.

Inside The Cabin
Driving position: Drivers sit high and upright, and the steering wheel has a helpfully generous range of tilt and telescope adjustments. We liked the well-placed left foot rest, too. Some tall drivers found the driving position a bit too narrow, with the console intruding on their right knee. Also, the power seat adjustments can take more fiddling than usual to find an ideal driving position.

Visibility is very good to the front and sides, thanks to a big windshield and unobtrusive thin windshield pillars. Large rear roof pillars, small quarter windows, and a small rear window impede rear visibility, however. Our X3 lacked the optional backup camera, a glaring omission for a $44,000 vehicle. Note to BMW: Even the Honda CR-V supplies a backup camera as standard equipment, at half the X3's price.

Seat comfort and access: The front seats are supportive, but some drivers may find them too firm. A power lumbar adjustment provides good lower-back support. Two or even three adults can fit comfortably in the rear, but the seat is too low to provide ideal thigh support, and the cushion in the center is very hard. Large door openings and shallow sills make access easy front and rear.

Controls and gauges: Many controls are awkward or confusing. The electronic console shifter requires the driver to press one button to shift into gear and another to park. Moreover, you must push the shifter forward from park to engage reverse. Wiper and turn signal stalks that return center make it hard to cancel an input or figure out what setting the wipers are on.

But while the iDrive multi-controller system remains complicated to navigate, there are now well-located hard keys for some radio and climate functions, so you won't necessarily be snared in a bureaucracy of unnecessary menus to make simple adjustments. Unfortunately, there is still no dedicated radio-tuning knob to make life behind the wheel even easier. The power lock button is on the center dash instead of the driver's door.

Most gauges are clear, but the speedometer is labeled only in 10-mph increments so it's tough to tell exactly how fast you're going. A digital heads-up speedometer display is optional.

Interior fit and finish: The interior is well finished and businesslike. Impressive touches include tightly woven, low-nap carpet, large wood-trim panels, nicely flocked storage compartments, and padded dash and door panels. Even the cargo area is well detailed, with adjustable tie-downs for cargo. A few misaligned dashboard panels and wide gaps on the center console are minor detractions.

Cabin storage and cargo room: Cabin storage is moderate, with a good-sized center-console bin and deep pockets in the front doors. The roomy and well-finished cargo area now has a standard powered liftgate. The rear seat folds in three sections to expand it further. A low cargo floor and flush sill makes it easy to load cargo. X3s have run-flat tires so there is no jack or spare tire.

Safety Notes
Safety belts: All seats have lap-and-shoulder belts; the front pair has pretensioners, but they lack a height adjustment.

Air bags: Curtain air bags extend front and rear. Both front seats also have knee air bags. Sensors will disable all the air bags in the front passenger position if a child is sitting there, it senses that a child seat is mounted, or the seat is unoccupied.

Head restraints: Front and rear outboard seats have adjustable, locking head restraints that are tall enough to protect an adult even when lowered. Front-seat restraints are active, moving forward to mitigate whiplash injury in a rear crash. The center-rear restraint is too low for an adult and not adjustable.

Crash-avoidance systems: Electronic stability control, traction control, antilock brakes, and brake assist are all standard.

Driving with kids: When secured with belts alone, it can be difficult to keep a rear-facing infant seat in the center rear position from rocking side-to-side. Some rear-facing infant seat bases may also be too loose in the outboard seats when installed with belts. Child restraints can be better secured using the lower-LATCH anchors but they're a bit awkward to access. All three rear seating positions have top-tether anchors.

Reliability
We do not have data to predict reliability, this model is new.

Tested model: 2013 xDrive28i 4-door SUV AWD, 2.0-liter 4-cyl. turbo, 8-speed automatic
Major options: Heated seats and steering wheel, leather, moonroof, satellite radio,40/20/40 folding rear seats
This road test applies to the current model year of this vehicle.
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      12-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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When I read [car] reviews, I find it's as important as to what they say as to what they don't say. Regarding F30 the initial reviews in my opinion lacked a sense of conviction about how good the design, style and driving experience. After reading the reviews I was left with a sense of doubt and my worst apprehension was brought to light after test driving several F30's.
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