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Those Snarky Brits…

December 15, 2004

Over the past several months, I’ve probably read thousands of car reviews online.  At work.  And gotten paid for it.  Why?  New business.  We were pitching Kia, and I was the research guy.  Car reviews were just part of the job.

Now, for the unitiated, most car reviews have all the rhetorical flair of a medical journal.  Here is a recent example, from USA Today’s James Healey:

"Pathfinder’s third-row legroom slots between its main rivals. Ford Explorer has 34.9 inches in the third row. Toyota 4Runner has an almost unusable 24.1, according to automakers’ specifications."

Wow.  I mean, they’re better than self-congratulatory press releases, but not by much.

Across the Atlantic, however, on the island of Britain, automotive reviews tend to be much more…readable.  My favorites are those of one Jeremy Clarkson, who works for Top Gear and also provides reviews to the London Times.  His reviews are informative, but also laugh-out-loud funny.  But laugh-out-loud in an absurd, irreverant, British way.

For your enjoyment, some examples.

From Clarkson’s review of the Subaru Legacy:

"The Outback…is different. When you shut the door it makes exactly the same noise as a dead pheasant hitting the ground at 40mph, a sort of muffled, autumnal “bumph” sound."

Or how about this gem, from his review of the Aston Martin DB9:

"Advertising men will tell you that when it comes to cars they need to attach a single word to the brand. So if you want a “safe” car you buy a Volvo. If you want a “reliable” car, you buy a Volkswagen. And if you have a small “penis” you buy a BMW."

Even if you don’t really care about cars, his reviews are a blast.  CLICK HERE to check them out.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mark permalink
    December 15, 2004 2:22 pm

    LOL that’s England for you. Its flaws are innumerable, but when it comes to writing style, it can be hard to beat. You should see some of the commentary they put in the newspapers.

  2. Kay permalink
    December 15, 2004 9:18 pm

    You’re right. He’s reviews are a blast. Read the one about the Audi Cabriolet.

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