Why you can’t trust what a car reviewer says

bmw, z4, sports car

 First of all, because they’re mostly men. This is a breed of over-passionate human beings. So passionate that they sometimes call chunks of metal with wheels their “wives”. They treat cars like women. And that’s where the problem lies.

Show a man a hot woman. He’ll most probably act composed. He’ll glance at her, maybe more than a few times. That’s about it. If you ask him what he thinks of the girl, he’d say — with voice as calm as the judges at Ms. Universe — “Who? Oh, her… She’s Ok.”

Now, what if for every hot woman that’s new in the market, he gets invited to a free ride, with free coffee and kuih served? He’s officially welcomed to have his hands and saliva all over her. He can spend the whole day, even days, with her. He can be rough with her. Throw her around. Do it fast. Do it slow. Do it sideways. Do it till the rubber burns. (In this case, rubber is a must)

At the end of the free ride, do you really need to ask him how he feels? The only answer you’ll get is “It’s the greatest experience I’ve ever had.”

Here’s what I’ve heard from Ivan Khong, the idol driver and car reviewer, according to my memory (may not be entirely accurate):

  • The Peugeot 308 Turbo is the best car I’ve ever driven in its class.
  • Z4 M is one of the best handling car has ever made.
  • The chassis of SLK is great (or did he say greatest?)
  • The 135 is the best […something…] that […something…]
  • I’d rather put my money on a Mini.
  • Exora is probably the best car that Proton has ever made.

And I lost count of the number of times I saw his joyous postings about the diesels on Facebook. For example, I was told he said the recent X1 handles better than his Subaru.

Yes I know, on paper, his statements sound rational, following the template “[car model] is the best/greatest [some attribute] car that [some qualifying statement to avoid contradicting himself]”. But if you get to hear his intonation and see his face, you’d believe he’s just found true love. And if you based your car purchase decision entirely on what a car reviewer says, you’re in trouble. You’d buy the “best” according to him. And the next day, after another one-night-stand, he’d find another “best”. I only realized it after my second car.

It’s nothing to do with honesty. Just passion. Only when the emotion subsides, the car reviewers can express themselves with clear heads — by writing car reviews. You can trust what they WRITE, because writing is a process that engages the brain more rather than just the heart. Richard Hammond writes that MyVi is a good buy. I think that’s fair comment.

PS:  Ivan Khong vetted this.  He thought I needed to give more details.  He wanted to tell me why each model was really good and why it appealed to him.  I’m sure all the “MODELS” have their own appeals.  I’ll never find out.  I ain’t no car reviewers.  I don’t get no free rides. 🙂

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Chiew Ruoh Peng

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