By James Wong

I don’t know about you, but for me a proper Car of the Year test would always involve picking cars not only as a model range, but which specific specification within the model range as well.

I make haste to dismiss any test that would claim, say, a Golf to be the year’s best hatchback and then fail to say which model is the best. What if the 2.0TSI is utter rubbish and the 1.2TSI is brilliant? There is no use saying that the Golf is the best, because not every car in the range is good, definitely not when there are so many choices involved.

It can be a diesel, a petrol, a manual or a dual-clutch, leather seats or cloth seats, satnav or premium audio, everything. It is not just the ignorance of driving dynamics that irk me; it’s the lack of consideration of all other things in a car as well.

Now most good media would do a thorough and complete test, which is great. Some are quite focused on certain aspects of a car, such as driving dynamics, which is fine. But a broad sweeping statement about what is best is downright unacceptable. And that is what you will always find in some Singaporean car reviews.

Granted, our automotive media industry is still young and extremely small, so there’s much to learn. I probably have many, many more years of learning ahead of me. So I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet. But what I do know, I would say if it’s for the good of the industry.

Don’t get me started on other writers who confuse superchargers with turbochargers…

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