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