What makes a car good?
A quick run down of how to see if a new car is actually good.
You surely have noticed that some cars are better than others. A Porsche 911 Turbo S is better than a Honda fit, or is it? Well, yes, but why?
Simply put, the better a car does the job it is designed for, the better it is. Each kind of car has its own set of requirements for what is required of it. For example, 911s and Fit both have different requirements because they are completely different cars.
In the case of the Honda Fit, an economy car, it must be affordable in nearly every aspect, efficient, and reasonably practical.
In the cars of the Porsche, it must be pretty much, objectively, the best supercar in the world. As well as be the most practical, mind-numbingly fast, pull the most impressive numbers around a corner and in a straight line as well.
911 Turbos have almost nothing in common with the Fit and would therefore be terrible if viewed as an economy car, even though it is an incredible supercar. In the same way that the Fit would be terrible as a supercar but is rather nice as an economy car.
See, it is all about perspective.
There are, of course, some parts of the car that are universal across the industry. Technology, for example. There needs to be a constant progression in technology from new cars. At the very least, it needs to be intuitive and work the way one would think it should.
Sort of like an iPhone, not necessarily pushing the envelope, but it is cool and incredibly simple, so everyone buys them.
This raises the question, why are car infotainment systems not just copied from smartphones? Everyone knows how to use them, and they are simple, qualities that infotainment systems rarely possess.
Safety is another car that can be striking to look at, amazing to drive, and have more computing power than Microsoft. But if it acts like a roll of tin foil if someone runs into it, then everything sort of becomes irrelevant.
Value is possibly the most important aspect though. Some may not think this is important when considering a supercar that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, the people buying these cars are usually people involved in a business, which means they care about their expenses. If a car is needlessly expensive, then few people are going to buy it. The category of value includes things other than the price of the car itself.
It has to do with stuff like insurance, running costs, depreciation, among other things.
However, other things can determine how good a car is as well. Stuff that numbers cannot always tell. Stuff like how fun or cool a car is. This matters more than one may think.
If you test drive two economy cars which seem to be the same on paper, and one is more fun behind the wheel or has a better laid out interior, it is going to be a remarkably easy decision.