Feature14 May 2012

Why our road tests are different

You’ll see plenty of rev­iews of new cars, but nobody produces as thorough and impartial a judgement as Autocar does with its road test. Every car undergoes a battery of trials.

As well as acceleration, fuel consumption, noise measurement and brake tests, we also time each car on wet and dry handling circuits. We even measure the visibility from inside the car. But we don’t just drive cars at the test track – essential as it is for finding the limits of performance – but also on a wide-ranging mix of roads.

We aim to produce the most complete, objective tests in the business, so that you will know just how good a car is.

Join the debate


16 May 2012

Well,as i've read elsewhere, the mpg figures are going to get a bit more realistic,makers are going to have to adopt the AUTOCAR method or something close to it which i'm glad about.

Peter Cavellini.

6 February 2013

I used to get the flu once a year, or at least one cold with the change of the seasons. Otherwise, I was very healthy. university apparel That was my story for about 30 years. I biked, ran, Nordic skied, and did yoga in between. Then I started a serious yoga practice, developed a sadhana, began aligning my practice with my dosha, and built a home studio.yoga wear My asana and meditation practice usually lasts 90 minutes a day.

20 February 2013

That is genuinely helpful. I would like to ask if it would be Okay if I mentioned some of that on my own blog.Thank You for the post, I was looking for the post for a long time. And now find it very concretely.I've been looking for this kind of info, so thanks for your post. Cladding Redcliffe I agree it probably needs a bit of tweaking but I have some good insights now on what I need to do with some customisation.

7 April 2013

Thanks for sharing click here It was very interesting to read that click here This is really interesting enter here It was very interesting to read that read here Thanks for sharing ab machines amazon Thanks, great post. hunter ceiling fans with lights and remote Thanks, great post. backpacking tents 4 season It was very interesting to read that kelty trail ridge 2 tent Thanks, interesting article kelty vista 2 This is really interesting coleman hooligan 3 person Thanks, interesting article Thanks, great post. craftedbattle app cheats This is really interesting infinity blade ii strategy guide

17 May 2012

Interesting video which shows in essence that Autocar's road tests have changed very little in 50 odd years. All the parameters which are easy to measure - dimensions, weight, performance and economy - are duly measured.

But those things which are equally important to the new car buyer but less easily quantified - ride, handling, grip, stability and quality reliability - are assessed only subjectively. And as we all know, subjective evaluation varies greatly with the individual.

The net result usually makes for interesting reading, but I can't help feeling that road testing needs to move on a bit in the 21st century. Or is road testing no longer relevant when all cars basically work adequately and with many modern buyers placing image, styling and reputation above performance and functionality?   

25 April 2014
All cars will pass the "road test", it's just a matter of style and finesse now days.

17 May 2012

I've often wondered why some sort of quantitative ride quality analysis has not been included in road testing.  You certainly deal with acceleration, braking, and handling,....and you do measure interior noise.  But what about driving a car over deliberately installed metal bars, say 1/2 inch to  1-inch high, by 1-inch wide, spaced at regular intervals, perhaps 10 feet?  Surely there must be a vibration meter of some type that can measure how the suspension system accommodates (or doesn't) this  type of simulated rough road surface.  The bars would be full-lane width, of course.  

The jarring "little bars method" is just one example.  What about undulating surfaces that could be created artificially, almost like moguls on a ski slope (except without the slope)? Just as a car slalom can allow measurement of transient suspension-recovery horizontally, this would allow its measurement vertically.

With the quality of roads decreasing in the UK (and the USA, for that matter), I would think this information would be very revealing for potential buyers.



27 March 2013

I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work..!  kurye

18 May 2012

With all the technology and extensive testing facilities and procedures available it seems a little incongruous to be prodding around the interior with a tape measure. Surely something along the lines of an estate agent's laser measure would give more consistent results?

18 May 2012

Hi "bomb"..

Yeah, my first thought was the same as yours.

But then, in terms of ease-of-use, reliability, and practicality, the old-fashioned tape measure is about as good as it gets for rapid deployment in tight places.  And the laser's readings may be subject to target reflectivity: for example, what would it record for the black, light-absorbing, rug-lined boot (trunk) in the back? (^_^)...



Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Lavishly-equipped, rugged-looking Peugeot 508 estate is a pleasant drive, but there are many more recommendable alternatives
  • 308 GT 1.6-litre petrol is priced from £24,095
    First Drive
    27 March 2015
    Peugeot's given the 308 the engine from the 208 GTi 30th and some chassis upgrades; we find out if the changes bring a bit of old-school Peugeot hot-hatch magic to this likeable family hatch.
  • Car review
    26 March 2015
    Does Suzuki's new city runabout have what it takes to succeed?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    Collins Performance has given the Fiesta ST 270bhp and 265lb ft, but has our favourite fast Ford been ruined in the process?
  • First Drive
    26 March 2015
    The Seat Leon X-Perience is the closest thing to an SUV that you can buy with a Seat badge for now, blending estate practicality with off-road ability

Latest videos