Is anyone else confused by the lack of car research online?

In summary, my father is thinking of buying a new car and I'm trying to do research online to help him make the right choice. The issue is that I can't find any research whatsoever. All I get are subjective reviews (which seem to be just marketing ads) and anecdotes.
  • #1
ainster31
158
1
My father's thinking of buying a new car and I'm trying to do research online to help him make the right choice. The issue is that I can't find any research whatsoever. All I get are subjective reviews (which seem to be just marketing ads) and anecdotes.

I can't find objective information on which car brand or model is the best. Isn't this scary because it means that car manufacturers don't have any incentive to improve their cars? Instead, they only have incentive to work on advertising.

He's thinking of buying a Mercedes B200. I'm trying to do research on Mercedes compared to Mazda, Honda, etc but I can't seem to find any remotely scientific information.
 
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  • #2
I'm really not clear on what you are asking for/what your complaint is. The specs of the car are all quantitative in nature and easily accessed. But the intangibles are by definition qualitative and are strictly a matter of opinion. Worse, different people have different needs/wants/likes. So there can't be a single, objective, correct answer.

However, none of this at all implies that car manufacturers have no incentive to improve or implies that there is no information or even just no good information to be gained from research.

Your post makes absolutely no sense.
 
  • #3
russ_watters said:
I'm really not clear on what you are asking for/what your complaint is. The specs of the car are all quantitative in nature and easily accessed. But the intangibles are by definition qualitative and are strictly a matter of opinion. Worse, different people have different needs/wants/likes. So there can't be a single, objective, correct answer.

Specifically, I am interested in reliability. Is reliability considered a spec of a car? If so, is there any place where I can find published reports on how often certain car models need repairs? Reliability is definitely objective.
 
  • #4
ainster31 said:
Specifically, I am interested in reliability. Is reliability considered a spec of a car?
No, it is not a spec, at least not a published one.
If so, is there any place where I can find published reports on how often certain car models need repairs? Reliability is definitely objective.
Yes, there are a number of major/reputable companies that rate cars based on reliability. How hard have you googled? I googled "car reliability rankings" (google filled it in before I was half finished typing it, so common is the search) and all of the hits on the first page looked useful/relevant.
 
  • #6
The reliability of a particular car model can't necessarily and completely be gleaned by casual inspection. It's something that can only be determined over time. Now, some brands have an overall reputation for quality, but, like all human endeavors, there may creep into a car maker's model lineup some features which do not stand up to daily usage.

If you are interested in a particular car model, see if there is a long-term test being conducted by one of the car magazines. That can give you some ideas about cost to own and if any major repairs were required to keep the vehicle operating.

I have purchased two cars brand new in my life, and I spent 9-12 months researching the particular model I was interested in each time. Read the car magazines, look at car review videos, go to auto shows if you can, even rent a similar model for a few days.
 
  • #7
edward said:
The best source that I know of is the Consumer Reports Buying Guide. It also covers used cars and repair frequency. Free for members, but it can also be purchased. There may even be one at a public library.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GOHVFQ6/?tag=pfamazon01-20

They also have their data and reviews online at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/ but you have to subscribe in order to get the full benefit of that data. It costs money to buy vehicles for testing and maintain testing facilities (including their own test track). The money has to come from somewhere.
 
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  • #8
Thanks for the sources everyone.
 
  • #9
I decide on car brand based on the availability of service centers. In here, Toyota and Hyundai are the 2 main brands. Secondly, I need to decide whether it's diesel or petrol - essentially what I need it for. (Opting for diesel automatically means more power, hence more taxes). Too much to write out.
 
  • #10
lendav_rott said:
I decide on car brand based on the availability of service centers. In here, Toyota and Hyundai are the 2 main brands. Secondly, I need to decide whether it's diesel or petrol - essentially what I need it for. (Opting for diesel automatically means more power, hence more taxes). Too much to write out.

That's smart. The car I drive is not common where I live, and finding people to work on it is a real pain in the neck. Plus, it's a German-made car, so all repairs and maintenance are much more expensive compared to more common models.

Btw, I use cars.com for research.
 
  • #11
ainster31 said:
Thanks for the sources everyone.

So are you not aware at all, until now, about Consumer Reports?

Zz.
 
  • #12
ZapperZ said:
So are you not aware at all, until now, about Consumer Reports?

Zz.

No, I was googling stuff like "mercedes b200 vs honda civic" or "mercedes b200 review" and I was getting too much junk.
 
  • #13
Be aware that while you can get a decent repair track record for a 2009 model, that may or may not tell you much about the 2014.
 
  • #14
ainster31 said:
My father's thinking of buying a new car

ainster31 said:
Specifically, I am interested in reliability.

There are no reliability studies for new car models. Reliability studies only apply to older cars.
 
  • #15
collinsmark said:
There are no reliability studies for new car models. Reliability studies only apply to older cars.

Opps, by new, I meant new to us. He's looking for a car in the 2009-2011 range.
 
  • #16
The rule of thumb is "that which moves, degrades" - no matter what super car it is, it will need maintenance regularly. By choosing a brand whose brand-workshop is closeby and not spoken ill of, is the easiest way to make sure the car runs smooth.

In that regard it doesn't matter if it's released 2-3-4-5 years ago, unless the car's odometer shows some unrealistic numbers and its technical history shows no signs of changed engines or maintenance on suspension and once you turn the ignition it breathes fire out of the exhaust, that wouldn't be a good sign.

I.e I drive an 04 Celica, maintenance performed roughly every year and a half , some minor things more often such as electronics and filters, tire pressures and stuff like that. Over the nearly 10 years it has had lots of parts swaps (not going to name them individually since the list would be long) - trick is, the workshop is close by, a reputable joint, loads of content customers, quality service. It would have been a bloody headache to deal with it on my own. It's also the reason I went for the 04 toyota instead of another 08 bmw whose price was Too good for the car.
 
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Related to Is anyone else confused by the lack of car research online?

1. What do you mean by "lack of car research online"?

By "lack of car research online," I am referring to the limited or insufficient amount of information and resources available on the internet for researching cars. This can include a lack of in-depth reviews, specifications, and comparisons between different car models and brands.

2. Why is there a lack of car research online?

There are a few possible reasons for the lack of car research online. One reason could be that not all car manufacturers or dealers prioritize providing comprehensive information and resources online. Another reason could be that some car research websites may be biased towards certain brands or models, making it difficult to find unbiased and accurate information.

3. How can I find reliable car research online?

One way to find reliable car research online is to consult multiple sources and compare the information provided. This can include checking official car manufacturer websites, independent car review websites, and forums or communities where car enthusiasts share their experiences and knowledge. Additionally, reading reviews and recommendations from trusted sources can also help in finding reliable car research online.

4. Is it necessary to do car research online?

While it is not mandatory to do car research online, it can be a helpful and efficient way to gather information and make informed decisions when purchasing a car. Doing car research online can save time and effort, as well as provide a wide range of resources and perspectives to consider when making a decision.

5. How can car research online benefit me?

Car research online can benefit you in several ways. It can help you make an informed decision when purchasing a car by providing comprehensive information and resources. It can also save you time and effort by allowing you to compare different car models and brands without physically visiting multiple dealerships. Additionally, online car research can also help you find the best deals and prices for your desired car.

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