How we rate the cars

Published : 15th November 2015

5 years ago

We test and rate cars by integrating them into our daily lives and getting a sense for what they are like to live with. We don’t have laboratories or test tracks and we’re not trying to squeeze an assessment into the space of a single afternoon — instead, we believe car reviewing is something best done in the real world in all conditions.

Different kinds of cars are intended for different uses and benefits to the purchaser. A small hatchback can’t do what a large four-wheel-drive can do, and the typical purchaser of a small hatch isn’t looking for that.  So when assessing a car, we are using it in the way in which the typical purchaser would expect and making an assessment accordingly.  For example, we’re looking for the small hatchback to be primarily a quick and efficient way to move around a city environment—not for outright power.


The Chasing Cars rating is a weighted average of the scores it received on test:

  • Drive experience
  • Comfort
  • Practicality
  • Running costs and reliability
  • Value for money

Each of the five scoring areas are of significant importance in a new car purchase.

We use a ten point scale for each rating area above. Below is a general guide for what the final score means.

  1. Barely operable. Serious flaws.
  2. Poor quality. Significant flaws.
  3. Well below average with annoying flaws that make it difficult to live with.
  4. Below average, but at the right price you might consider it.
  5. Average. Does not seek to be anything more than middle of the road.
  6. Above average, has something extra which marks it out.
  7. Good. Not perfect, but overall the end result is pleasing.
  8. Impressive. One of the best products in its class.
  9. Excellent. Hard to fault.
  10. State of the art. As close to perfect as possible at this point in time.