In this crazy business described as automotive journalism, there's always something interesting going on.
There are good reasons for this:
1) A lot of these hacks are "in the bag" with manufacturers so they continue to get invited to events;
2) Most publications are struggling to make money, so they are doing whatever they can to sell books;
3) Many of these "journalists" are doing what they can to elevate their career trajectory — remember the guy that boned Tesla from The New York Times;
4) And, there's a tremendous amount of phoniness between the writers and the pr flacks at the automakers.
Our approach is different. We do our best to work hard, be kind and tell the story as we see it. And if you've read our product reviews, you'd know we're not like the other guys.
One of the biggest reasons for this is we don't have a scoring system or point system where cars earn rewards based on their attributes. There's many reasons why we don't do that. One of which is that it's not always fair to compare cars and score them based on attributes many buyers may NOT even consider or care about. You have to remember, car buying is still an emotional purchase for many. The more critical reason why we don't conduct business that way is because consumers are cross shopping a lot of vehicles that don't actually make sense, so, a point system isn't fair.
So, when I see a car like the BMW M235i rack up 98 points at Consumer Reports and headlines read it's better than the Corvette and 911, I just laugh. Listen, the M235i is probably a great car for most people but if anyone really spends time behind the wheel it's not all that and a bag of chips. It's certainly not as magical as the Porsche 911 or all-new Chevrolet Corvette.
Now the all-new 2015 BMW M4, that's probably one of the best BMWs in recent memory aside from the 1M. But to put it up against the likes of the base 911 — which is really in another class of car — that's not equipped with a dual-clutch 'box and is penalized for no rear set legroom is just obtuse.
There's no question the M4 has outstanding performance, but there's something missing after you drive it. I wasn't hungry for more after a certain point. Now if you gave me the keys to a standard transmission, base 911 you probably wouldn't see me for weeks. It has character, personality and image — all things you cannot quantify.
All that being said, I've got to ask: are quantified reviews bull#@!*?