Here in the DC area, we have someone who has to be the least passionate automotive critic I’ve ever come across. If he could be passionate about anything it would probably be the most boring thing you can think of (calligraphy comes to mind, collecting stamps, mathematics lectures). As a “gear head” the reviews are extremely frustrating to read. You figure that people who are interested in automobiles would enjoy a nice weekly article or review. Instead to their dismay, they’re treated to a half page of whether or not you should take it to the grocery store or how difficult it is to park in front of a Panera. I’ve gathered that the reviews are basically from the stand-point of a “normal person” who is looking to buy a car. The thing is though, that people usually know what they want before reading the column and they’re not the ones interested in reviews. Enthusiasts are. The problems begin there.
First off, Mr. Boring(that’s how I will refer to him) reviews cars from the same perspective no matter what it is. Look. If you’re testing a Porsche for your column, look at it like you’re interested in buying a sports car. You cannot compare it to a Prius. Sports cars ride harder in city streets, are expensive, and consume more gas. Mr. Boring’s “Complaints” area always notes one (if not all) the above. We know all this and don’t care. Its all common knowledge and certainly don’t complain about it. If we’re buying something that expensive we can deal with those things you consider short comings. Also. Sport utilities and trucks do not handle the same as cars. They do not take to emergency maneuvers as well as their closer-to-the-ground counter parts. They also go through fuel more quickly. Lastly, economy cars are just that. Don’t test drive a Hyundai Accent and expect reasonable acceleration or great handling. Review these cars by looking to see if they have good door bins for storing coupons, bills, and parking tickets. You can complain if they have poor gas mileage but don’t dare whine about the drab gray or sea-of-beige interiors. That is standard issue. It feels cheap because its supposed to be.
Apparently Mr. Boring doesn’t work alone. Mr. Boring has two “associates” whose impressions he describes in his column. He refers to them by first name and sometimes quotes their thoughts. Look Mister. Why don’t they write the column then? People are reading the column for what YOU think about the car (the thought saddens me). Who are these people? If they’re not the author, I don’t care what they think (usually complaints). I guess, if there really is more than one genuine perspective involved, why not have them contribute a short bit on the car as well. To tell you the honest truth though I don’t think I want other mathematicians writing about cars either.
Lastly, Mr. Boring’s reviews are trend biased. I bet he swoons over Priuses parked in front of Starbucks or Robeks. He looks over some of the best parts of a car simply because it doesn’t have Bluetooth and won’t sync with an iPhone. Mr. Boring would probably never use a new Ford F350’s engine brake. The choice of driving surface in the Lancer Evo’s AWD system is probably beyond him. Adjustable suspension on a Range Rover Sport… forget about it. The more I think about it, he probably shouldn’t review anything. Books no, Restaurants maybe (those critics love to complain).
In final thought. My typing and train of thoughts may be sub par but I would love a job like that. You throw cars at me and I review them for what they are (not what they aren’t). I’m sure I’m not the only one. Local newspaper, if you’re reading this… There are plenty an automotive enthusiast who can write a column and are probably unemployed right now. Help a REAL gear head out. Give them Mr. Boring’s job.