A couple days ago we ran a story called 'The performance chart that has ALL BMW's competitors shaking in their boots!, where the BMW 335 was reviewed by Automobile Mag against the Cadillac CTS and Mercedes C350 and it absolutely smoked them both.
But since the story ran we have been contacted by Cadillac PR and a number of other people familiar with testing methods and situation revolving this review and it’s starting to smell REAL bad…
Turns out the test was not run on an even playing flaying field (The 335 and C350 were tested on dry pavement in the USA and the Caddy test was done in the rain in Germany).
And, other magazines ran the same test and got very different numbers.
The 335 still won by a fairly high margin, but the other cars were not as far off as the Automobile Mag charts suggested.
Now, AutoSpies.com has obtained a letter that was sent by a reader to Automobile, chiding them for their sloppy work.
Take a read and you be the judge…Foul and sloppy play here or is it just a whining session?
Dear Automobile Mag Editor,
I know the magazine business is incredibly competitive today, perhaps even as competitive as the automobile industry. It’s tough to get ahead and grow your readership with other great books and on-line sites competing for readers. But it’s a sad day for a life-long enthusiast like me when Automobile magazine prioritizes the perceived need to be out with the big story first over its journalistic duty to fairly and accurately report on the cars it drives.
Automobile’s “semi-comparison” of the all-new 2008 Cadillac CTS with a BMW 335i and a Mercedes C-350 Sport (September issue) is as unfair and misleading as any comparison I’ve ever read. Your readers, including me, deserve better from the Automobile magazine staff.
Providing your readers any sort of comparison absolutely requires a level playing field with like-priced and equipped cars being tested under the same weather and track conditions, preferably on the same day. Testing the BMW and Mercedes in dry, summer weather at your usual test facilities in the U.S. and then testing the all-new CTS in damp, low-traction conditions in Germany renders the comparison misleading and worthless. Proof that the damp conditions your editors “tested” the CTS in negatively impacted real results can be found in the fact that Car & Driver magazine tested a like-equipped CTS on dryer pavement elsewhere in Germany on that same day and achieved a 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds compared to your 6.6 second figure! Granted, the CTS they tested was a manual and the one Automobile tested was an automatic, but GM's own test numbers on the CTS auto are 5.9 seconds 0 - 60. For Automobile to publish a number that is 7/10ths of a second from reality for 0 - 60 is unconscionable and indicates how invalid the rest of their test numbers were for that day. Anything less than a same day, same conditions (and same continent!) comparison meant Automobile provided a great disservice and misleading information to its readers.
Further, comparing the new CTS to the BMW 3-Series isn't really an apples-to-apples comparison. The CTS is about the same size, has similar interior space, similar features and amenities, and similar driving dynamics to a BMW 5-Series. It just so happens that the CTS is priced less than a comparably equipped 3-Series BMW. Doing a "comparison" based primarily on performance numbers and then not giving the larger, roomier, more feature-laden car any credit for those attributes is just completely unfair and, again, provides a great disservice to readers.
Don't forget, the SEMA auto show is right around the corner!
2007 SEMA Auto Show, SEMA Girls and Models Photo Gallery