Driven to disagree

2010 Chevrolet Equinox To Debut At NAIAS In January in Detroit

It’s not very often that I completely dislike a car. Usually I will find the positive in anything and everything – from cars to a meal. There has to be something good about it or it wouldn’t exist, right?

Well, sometimes it’s very hard to see the positive, and when you’re given a subjective task like reviewing a car it often becomes difficult to hold back when the car truly doesn’t live up to expectations. I know, I’ve battled with that before; I absolutely loathed the Ford Fusion when it first came out, and yet the rest of the auto industry fell in love. It received car of the year from AJAC and won numerous awards. I just didn’t see it. And I decided to say just that in my review. My article was rejected by a few major publications and eventually made it online on a smaller website that was free of advertisers. It was my first lesson in “advertorial” car reviews.

As I say, I’m not one to mince words. If I don’t like something about a car, I’m going to say it. But usually I’ll balance it out with something positive as well. As I said, you might not like the dressing on the salad, but you’ll pick around it and at least eat the tomatoes and the cucumbers because they’re fresh and crunchy, right?

So when a certain car company called me up to ask why I disliked their car so much, I was a bit taken aback. I know us journalists voice our opinions to a much wider audience than your neighbor when he’s bitching about the horrible service he received at McDonald’s, but it’s still an opinion.

I wasn’t sure if I should be ashamed and eject the feet from my mouth and say how much I really loved the car and only did it to get a rise out of the readers, or if I should stick by my opinion.

I chose to stick by my opinion.

He couldn’t understand how I disliked a car so much after it had received such praise from the auto industry, had won awards, was well-liked by every other auto journalist out there… and all I could say was, that’s great: I still don’t like it.

I was told to expect an email from his manager and he hoped to put me back on the test vehicle roster – I get to sit a timeout for my bad journalistic behavior.

And as I hung up the phone I couldn’t help but laugh; here I was being reprimanded for having an opinion in a world that’s so very opinionated that it’s hard to make a decision at all most of the time. Who knew I had such a strong influence on the buying market?

Watch out, I might hate your car next.

Drive on,
– M.

~ by drivingmsmiranda on March 24, 2010.

10 Responses to “Driven to disagree”

  1. AWESOME! good for you for sticking to your guns- i really, really LOOOOVE that you did that and i have LOADS of respect for you as a journalist!

  2. Hey, I heard a great quote today from Cyril Connolly and it’s aligned with what you’re saying: “Its better to write for yourself and have no public than to write for the public and have no sense of self.”

  3. Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
    Albert Einstein -I think I like that you have your own opinion and are not afraid to voice it. That doesn’t mean you aren’t open to the opinions of others or are so rigid that you cannot revise an opinion if given more relevant facts.

  4. This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest

  5. […] When you have your choices (cars that speak to you, really appeal to you) narrowed down, then you can come to me and ask which is better and why. And I’ll tell you the honest to goodness truth, even if the car companies don’t want me to. […]

  6. […] OK, I’ll stop bashing this brand new Infiniti before I’m asked to sit a time out (we all know, oh faithful reader, this has been known to happen). The QX56 isn’t the only […]

  7. […] oh faithful reader, this will be a short one and is guaranteed to get me in trouble somewhere down the […]

  8. Car and Driver car reviews are designed to help you to make a smart purchase. Car is roomy inside, air conditioning is super effecient, I never had to go above the 1 level .this is the best hatch back value for money!!

  9. […] what do I do when I don’t like a car? I say so. And sometimes it means I have to sit a timeout, and sometimes it means my work doesn’t get published, but at least I’ve told the world […]

  10. […] at the Clarkson level yet (shocking, I know). I’d like to think I could get away with it, but I learned my lesson already. And so I’ll keep plugging along, throwing in negatives here and there where I see fit in the […]

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