This group of automotive editors is mostly non-biased. The only flaw they have is they tend to prefer BMW over almost any other car. I have been a subscriber for 4 years and they have helped me greatly by comparing vehicles I buy. They test all aspects of a car. Even how well placed the cigarette lighter and stereo buttons are. I could not ask for a better bunch of guys testing cars then these. If you like BMW your car will almost always be on top, which is one thing I do not like. BMW makes a great car, but I am not sure they are that great. This is the magazine for one who frequently leases new cars or just wants to know about what is up and coming in the automotive world.
I have subscribed to C&D since 1990. It is without a doubt the most entertaining monthly that I currently read. I also subscribe to Road&Track, Motor Trend, Autoweek, and the magazine by which all others should be judged; Automobile. Although I consider the latter to be the best, C&D compares quite favorably. The layout is attractive and attention grabbing. The photography is beautiful, and the articles and columns written by the staff are very witty without being adolescent. Csaba Csere, Brock Yates, and the rest provide their unbiased opinions and fully welcome feedback from the readers(read Pat Bedards' column and you'll see why). Whether you're a car enthusiast like myself or just enjoy browsing through specifications, C&D is definitely worth the price of admission.
Longtime subscriber to this magazine (10+ years), forgot to renew my subscription last month and I miss it already! I've read all the others (MotorTrend, Road and Track) and currently have a subscription to Automobile. Car and Driver is superior to all of the others for many reasons:
1.) Well laid out with great use of graphics and charts. The magazine reads very cleanly, a lot of information without being confusing. Alongside every article and review are all the requisite facts about performance, pricing and specs for each vehicle. They always seem to have good balance of facts with personal opinions.
2.) Intelligent writing for those of us who are over 20. Many other magazines cater to the young hot-rodder; Car and Driver covers everything from econo-boxes, sports cars, SUV's and high-end luxury sedans. Their writers are obviously car nuts with a good sense of humor. Automobile Magazine, while very good; caters to the older crowd. Great photography but not as much substance or fun.
3.) Pays attention to the details with all the statistics and technological innovations. Their head to head reviews are fantastic! They will typically pit five or more similarly priced models and run them through a gamut of tests. Great way to evaluate and choose a car to purchase. They also will have side-bars describing any particular engineering innovations for the models being examined. Car and Driver not only does car reviews but also automotive peripherals. Some past reviews have included radar detectors and performance tires.
4.) Great photography and some unusual stories about motoring and racing. The beginning of the magazine will typically have spy-shots of upcoming models or photos from the latest car show. They also have had some wild stories, pitting a car against a motorcycle or airplane, notes from automotive rallies, including the Cannonball Run across the country, etc.. One particular story I remembered was a cross-country run in a sealed vehicle, I'm not sure how they handled pit-stops!
What's bad about it? I can't think of a thing. When Car and Driver showed up in my mailbox, I knew that I would have to slot away an hour to read it cover to cover. Other than BusinessWeek and Maxim, not many other magazines over the last 15 years get me like that.
FYI, they also have a television program that runs on TNN..
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Informative magazine. If you like automobiles, this is a pretty good magazine to have. It reviews several vehicles each month and has letters to the editor to comment on the nifty articles that the magazine incorporates.
Recommend to all who enjoy vehicles and want to know updated information on
automobiles and other types of vehicles, including pickup trucks, SUVs and
I've subscribed to C&D reasonably consistently for about 10 years. I've periodically let my subscription expire for a few months at a time (mainly because I'm too lazy to renew) and have periodically subscribed to (or picked up at the mewstand) other US car magazines like Road & Track, Motortrend, Autoweek, etc., but keep finding myself coming back to C&D. C&D is clearly superior to those I just mentioned, in my opinion.
There are, however, a few magazines out there - like the UK's EVO and CAR, that may be better than C&D from some points of view (better photography, great reviews of a lot of exclusive sports cars I'll never get my hands on), but those publications are very pricey and they don't have as much information on mainstream cars you can buy in the US.
What I like: Good all around magazine. The road tests and comparison tests are generally very good, and reviews are generally chock full of tables of data (acceleration times, pricing, etc.). It's reasonably well written and, generally speaking, when you read a review you get a sense that the editor/reviewer knows what he's talking about (this isn't the case for some of C&D's competitors, unfortunately).
What I don't like so much: The comparison test results aren't always, ahem, all that unbiased (or at least they sometimes don't come across that way). Also, C&D is a car magazine - too many pages are spent on booooring SUVs and Crossovers. One other negative is that C&D just recently (a few months ago) changed their format somewhat - I liked the old format much better and there really was no reason to change, but this is just a minor gripe.
I give C&D 4 stars. Right now I subscribe to C&D and EVO, and I think that's a great combo - EVO for the great photography and articles about high end sports cars, while C&D provides good general information about more mainstream cars you can buy in the states. I doubt I'll ever not have a C&D subscription for any length of time.
I do not subscribe to Car and Driver, but I do buy it when an article intrigues me (IE: comparison or road test with my favorite cars). I figure it saves me some dough because I don't waste money on magazines with uninteresting articles.
The editorials at the beginning are a waste of pages and are not interesting at all. Not to sound rude, but I could care less what they think about current events. The road tests and comparisons are usually the best part of the magazine. They show pictures of the interior, exterior, summarize the highs and lows of the vehicle tested and go into good detail in the article. I also like the specifications at the end of every road test to show what to expect of the car. The same with the long term tests.
Also they need to tone down on the advertisements.
Recommended For: Anyone
Primary Reason for Buying: Product Reviews/Information
Some of the cars reviewed are truly awesome but most truly unattainable. That said, I find the whole magazine partially attractive. It is not one of those publications that I enjoy from start to finish. I like the reviews on everyday vehicles, those that are affordable to most and look forward to see how the new releases are rated. Besides that a person would have to be a serious car buff to enjoy it thoroughly. For those reviews that pertain I give it 3 Stars.
I have been a long time subscriber to this magazine but I have to admit that the quality of the writing has fallen, hard. The quality of the photos and performance data are still top notch. But the quality of the writing has fallen off dramatically since the new editorial staff and the new group of "writers" have taken over. I don't know if these guys actually went to journalism school or ever attended a writing class but they are just horrible. Just because you can drive a car does not imply that you can write about one.
Every issue includes some kind of joke or quip about George Bush, Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin. What do these people have to do with car performance, nothing. The so called writers at C&D think including these jokes makes up for their lack of writing ability. I guess this is what is taught at liberal journalism schools across the US today. Based on the letters to the editors of the magazines, which are included in each issue, I am not alone in my criticism of the writing.
If you can get past the GOP jokes then you might like the magazine, but for me, I will let my subscription run out. You can get all this information for free on the internet. The best part is that the free stuff on the internet won't insult your political views like C&D does.
C&D was once entertaining, witty, objective and a great read. The staff worked well together and they put out a consistently good magazine. Then it went through some rough years where it got kind of tame and boring. Now, it's an ill fitting mix of new and old writers trying to be fresh and hip while being spoon fed by the car manufactures. The magazine lacks consistency, focus and any sort of clear vision as to what they're about.
C&D mostly seems to print what the biggest manufactures want them to. There have been several articles lately, such as on the new Nissan GT-R and Corvette ZR1, that literally mirror articles in other magazines even featuring some of the same quotes from the same car execs. You might as well go to the manufacture's websites and read their press releases.
There has been a lot of inconsistency in C&D's reviews. One car will be rave reviewed, and 4 issues later, will place near the bottom of a multi-car comparison test. The impression is very much whichever manufacture spends the most on ads, dinners, drinks, and other gratuities, gets top billing regardless of the quality and performance of their vehicles.
Some of the writing is entertaining, but that's offset by the same tired editors (Csere, Bedard, et al.) who largely keep writing the same stuff they've been whining about for a decade or three. The end result comes off as heavily biased, anything but objective, and an awkard mix of writing styles.
My suggestion: Save some trees and just skim the C&D website for their rare entertaining exclusive article and get the rest of your automotive news somewhere else.