How is it that Andrew Maclean and his team rate the Holden Captiva higher than a Toyota Tarago on the list of best to worst cars? After all anyone with any mechanical knowledge will tell you that buying a Holden Captiva is about as intelligent as appointing King Julian to drive your teenage daughter to the prom. Are the journalists from ‘Drive’ lying to you? Is the magazine “Australia’s Best cars” riddled with lies and deception? Why is it that your mechanic so often advises purchases contradictory to the literary professionals in the industry?
The answers to these questions are fairly obvious if you look at the occupations of both parties and the exposure they have to automobiles. Journalists who make a wage reviewing cars and ranking them in some sort of order are exposed to vehicles at the time of their release into the market, in some cases even before the release. The reviewers of these cars very rarely see something with more than forty thousand kilometres on them. They judge vehicles on many aspects including but not limited to, comfort, handling, resale value, value for money and safety features. These men and women are the best at what they do when looking at new cars but don’t have the kind of in depth hands-on knowledge your mechanic has. Some may have some mechanical knowledge but the art to knowing and industry well is to be in the thick of it.
Your mechanic will advise you on buying purchases based on knowledge gained over years of dealing with specific faults that arise with certain makes and or models. Knowing Hondas chew through tyres or that anything made by Opel and branded as Holden is about as reliable as a politician is something one only gains from knowledge in the industry. What your mechanic is less likely to be able to advise on is, comfort and drivability. Mechanics drive hundreds of different cars a week which seems to make them desensitised to cars that are quite frankly beautiful to drive. For example: As much as I hate to admit it and I would never advise anyone to buy a VW, I am forced to admit that they are great cars to drive, handle beautifully and if I did not have the knowledge I have in the industry, I would own one.
So which of the two professionals are right? Your mechanic or the journalists that review these cars? The short answer is both. Both parties have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to giving professional opinions on automobiles. It’s advised that when buying a new car you take both opinions into account and make a balanced choice.