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How we rate the cars


Chasing Cars tests and rates cars in two ways. First, we integrate them into our daily lives and subject them to anywhere from 300km to 1,000km of testing in the regular duties of life—commuting, travelling and moving family, friends and things around. Secondly, we collect a vast amount of data on cars we test at the Chasing Cars test track regarding performance and packaging.

We believe car reviewing is best done in real-world Australian conditions, backed up by data collected in a fair, consistent and scientific manner. That’s what we aim to do at Chasing Cars, with the independent backing of Budget Direct, which wholly owns this website.

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.

The categories of vehicle assessment

The Chasing Cars rating is a weighted average of the scores it received on test. Our reviews are concerned with the following subjects, with a close consideration of the stated mission and purpose of the vehicle being reviewed:

  • Features and options for the price – value for money
  • Driving dynamics – power and performance, ride quality, handling, and refinement
  • Interior and technology – layout and materials, cabin technology, driver comfort, passenger space, and cargo space
  • Safety and tuning of safety systems – ANCAP score and date of test, safety feature inclusions, safety feature tuning
  • Ownership costs – driving range, efficiency, servicing costs, and warranty

Each of the five scoring categories are of significant importance in a new car purchase, but the weighting attached to them differs by segment and by car.

Our weighted, ten-point review ratings scale

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

  1. The vehicle is not operable or barely operable, with critical flaws
  2. The vehicle is of very poor quality and has significant flaws that mean it cannot be recommended
  3. The vehicle is well below average for the class, with substantial flaws that make it annoying or difficult to live with
  4. The vehicle is considerably below average for the class, but at the right price you could consider it
  5. The vehicle is below average or average for the class, and does not seek to be anything more than mediocre in key areas
  6. The vehicle is slightly above average but is clearly lacking in at least one key area of assessment
  7. The vehicle is good. It lacks perfection, but thanks to solid achievement across the areas of assessment, the end result is pleasing
  8. The vehicle is very impressive, with high performance across areas of assessment that marks it out against key rivals
  9. The vehicle is excellent, being hard to fault, and is one of the best vehicles in its class
  10. The vehicle is state of the art, and is as close to perfect as is possible at the time of assessmentState of the art. As close to perfect as possible at this point in time.