Without a random sample, aren’t TrueDelta’s results biased?

TrueDelta doesn’t gather its data from a random sample of vehicle owners. Worse, many people join TrueDelta after reading about it on a forum, and many people only visit automotive forums when they have a problem with their car. For these two reasons, I’m often asked “Don’t you think your research is going to be very biased?. The short answer: no… More →

Blurring the lines between editorial and advertising

Car and Driver has been conducting events for automakers for a few years. At these events, a few hundred people drive the client’s car and those of its competitors, then declare the client’s car the winner and praise it lavishly. Now Automotive News reports in this week’s issue that both Car and Driver and sister publication Road & Track will create… More →

The anti-hybrid “dust-to-dust” cost study that just won’t die, but needs to

To me, hybrids make intuitive sense. Why not recover some of the energy that will otherwise be converted to heat by the brakes? But some people hate hybrids. And for them CNW’s ‘Dust to Dust Automotive Energy Report’ has been a godsend. It claims that once you consider all of the energy costs that go into a vehicle, from development… More →

Reliability stats from Warranty Direct

A month or so ago extended warranty provider Warranty Direct released claim rates by manufacturer. Since it was largely (or even entirely) based on UK policies, this study only received attention across the water. Then, yesterday, Mazda USA decided to tout its top ranking. And I’m being asked what I think of these results. On the face of it, an extended… More →

Do virtual cars ever break down?

Pontiac bought an island to display and sell cars in the virtual world of Second Life. Fellow island-owner Scion recently held the first simultaneous real word / virtual world press conference to introduce two new models. While the Mark Templin with a pulse gave a speech in front of me, his avatar gave an identical speech in Second Life. To an audience composed of virtual Scion… More →

Launching weak

For years enthusiasts have asked GM to offer its European cars in the U.S. (An Opel Omega rebadged as a Cadillac Catera didn’t count.) This fall they’ll start to get their wish, when the Opel Astra goes on sale as the Saturn Astra, with more German-engineered Opels rebadged as Saturns to follow. I fear that the Astra will not sell… More →