Some of you would certainly seem to think so.
Every time we praise a new Jag or Aston, for example, a section of our readership seems to think we are being xenophobically biased in our reaction somehow; that we have written positive things about a certain new car purely because it is British by association.
Yet at the same time there is another school of thought, held by another section of our readership, that believes we are biased just as strongly towards the likes of Ford and BMW. Whenever a new BM comes out and we declare it to be rather good, up goes the cry; “the only reason you think it’s great is because it’s a BMW.”
So are we, in fact, biased not merely towards specific manufacturers but to the car industry as a whole? While on the one hand it is all too easy to be carried away by the moment, and by the PR of that particular moment, when on the launch of A Brand New Car, one vital thing to remember is; the car industry is actually pretty good at coming up with products that are better than the ones they replace. Not all the time but most of the time, it must be said.
The idea of the genuine lemon is virtually a thing of the past nowadays; most new cars tend to be either good, very good or, every now and again, mind-befuddlingly excellent at what they do.
And in so being they also tend to be better, in certain respects, than the cars with which they are designed to compete. It may sound nauseatingly predictable but, generally speaking, the newer the car, the better it is – purely because the ideas/technology/materials/build techniques etc that have gone into its creation are that much fresher to the market.
There are exceptions, of course, and when they arise we call them just as loudly as the next magazine or website. Except we tend to call them first, purely because we tend to publish first, which means our voice often carries further and is louder than those of some rivals.
What’s more, most of the critics in this business will admit to taking a peek at The Autocar Verdict before laying their own neck on the line; that’s all part and parcel of working for a well known title that’s been around for longer than most.
But does such influence mean that we biased in any way towards certain manufacturers, or even towards the industry itself? Absolutely and categorically not. The only thing we are biased towards is good cars, and whenever we come across them, we celebrate them – be they British, Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese.
Always has been, always will be the way at Autocar. And anyone who seriously believes otherwise isn’t listening, reading or watching us properly.