If you really, really want to know what a car is like, you really have to live with it. How many times have you bought something that looked great on paper, but only after a few weeks, you’ve spotted something that irritates you?
Most of the time, journalists who review cars only get somewhere between a few hours and a week to get to grips with a car and form their verdict. Reading the thoughts of people who’ve actually lived with a car can be very useful.
Where can I find them?
Most sites have some form of user reviews but often fail on accuracy when it gets down the exact trim or derivative of each car.
Over the past 5 years, we’ve racked up over 20,000 reviews from our users. You can read the reviews of each derivative of each car on the specifications area of our site. Alternatively, if you have something to say about your car, then it takes just 60 seconds here.
Where else should I look?
Car forums are also great communities for getting candid and honest reviews. Usually frequented by big car enthusiasts you may be confused/impressed by the extent of their knowledge, so we’d advise to take each post in context to how you use your car. Is it just for commuting or do you see it as a status symbol?
Have you considered asking an owners’ club?
Owners’ clubs may also focus on older models. However, this is only a problem if it’s a new car you’re after, and in that case you’re less likely to experience problems anyway.
Cars with a strong cult following or rare, sporty models will likely have a bigger following on both forums and among owners’ clubs. But even mainstream cars all have some sort of following.
Be aware of owner reviews that appear on manufacturer websites
It’s possible that the car company in question has simply picked out one good review from a mostly bad bunch. Our advice: keep searching online and don’t give much credence to manufacturer-backed pages.