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Car review anxiety

3 years ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


9 April 2021

They can be nervy moments for car reviewers. The manufacturer’s embargo will lift – often in the middle of the night because of the way magazine publication dates work – and only then will you learn if the written or video review you released to the world as you slept was roughly in accordance with everybody else’s, or way out of line.

That moderate sense of trepidation becomes more acute when the car in question is a high-profile one; when that onrushing wave of verdicts in print, online and on camera have been built-up and hyped by enthusiasts. A new LT McLaren, for instance. Eventually you learn to trust your experience, have faith in your own assessment and stand by your review, but early on in your career, reaching a conclusion that’s shared by the most respected exponents of the trade can seem like the only thing that matters.

Nowadays I just tell you and whoever else might be reading or watching precisely what I think of a new car and leave it at that. If the road test editor at Top Auto and Motor magazine thinks the car I’ve had a downer on was in fact the most wonderful vehicle he has ever driven, or vice versa, I wouldn’t know because I’d not even seek out his verdict. Instead, I’ll chat about said vehicle with a couple of people whom I trust, compare notes, reflect on my own experience with the car and leave it at that.

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