Subscriber Extra: the thorny subject of star rating Car News

There you will find that a five star car is “brilliant, unmatched” and, if not quite flawless, “anything but”. You will also find that, in general, a 2.5 star car is disappointing but about acceptable; a three-star car is average; a 3.5 star car is good; a four-star car is fine; and a 4.5 star car is excellent. I often have reason to explain to PR executives and CEOs of automakers that a 3.5-star recommendation is just that: a recommendation. For most makes of cars, this shouldn’t really be a cause for complaint.

For a new car to score two stars or worse, it has to be below average in the most important areas. A 1.5 star car is downright mediocre. And to go even lower, a test subject must fail to meet an acceptable standard in any field; or be hopelessly defective, horrible to drive and use, patently unreliable, poorly built, or downright dangerous.

So you can imagine that modern automotive design, development engineering and vehicle marketing have become the carefully practiced sciences that they are now, that the opportunities we have to give out ratings of less than two stars are less numerous. and farther apart than statisticians might prefer. . As a test drive writer, I have only experienced a handful of occasions where we have given a two-star rating; and in 18 years of review, I think I had reason to only give out one 1.5 star rating. It does happen, however; and when it does, you’ll know exactly why from the content of the review.

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This notice was published: 2021-09-03 13:12:00

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