Long ago in a commenting system far, far away an upstart Texan decreed that Jalopnik would revolutionize the way cars the world over were compared to one another. His brazen disregard for the established order and frankly alarming love of flannel birthed a scoring system we all know today as the Jalopnik Review.
So what have we learned?
The chaos began on June 5th of last year and since then nearly fifty take-me-over-there contraptions have been subject to the (sometimes) fickle, (often) flirty, and (usually) knowledgeable whims of the prophets Spinelli, Okulski, Lloyd, George, Hardigree, Torchinsky, and Preston. Oh, and Bill Caswell reviewed a Ford.
Let's get right to the breakdown, shall we?
26 manufacturers, 45 models, just over $3 Million in combined MSRP, and yet only twice have we seen perfect scores in any category. This system was designed to be harsh, and by God, if the latest road-going offering from McLaren can only garner an 87 then harsh it most certainly is.
Here's a quick rundown of the system in case you haven't been paying attention:
- Each car is driven (often multiple trims of the same vehicle) by one of Jalopnik's indentured servents.
- The car is scored in ten categories (exterior, interior, acceleration, braking, ride, handling, gearbox, audio, toys, and value) with a max score of ten in each category. 10 x 10 = 100, Lenny, so there's your maximum possible score.
The actual scores* range from a maximum of 87 (McLaren 12C Spider) down to a depressing minimum of 50 (Chevrolet Malibu Turbo). The mean and median are pretty close at 71 and 73 respectively, so the field is pretty evenly spread thus far within the min/max bounds. I'd like to take a moment to point out that if Jalopnik was a school and these cars were the students the average grade is a low C. Honestly I don't see this as a problem with the reviews or the system so much as it is a commentary on the automobile market.
"But wait, which category is most important?" You might ask. Let me show you.
Using a simple correlation function we get the following results when comparing each category to the total score*:
81.39% - Acceleration
79.98% - Handling
79.51% - Interior
78.71% - Audio
74.83% - Braking
74.77% - Exterior
74.42% - Gearbox
67.40% - MSRP
60.03% - Ride
30.28% - Value
24.98% - Toys
As expected the two categories that correlate most closely to the total score are the fun ones. Also interesting is that the reviewers seem to value the interior more than the exterior, the actual cost (read: base MSRP) is more than twice as important as the percieved value received, and next to no fucks were given for options and extras. Also, apparently being able to stop a car barely ranks above how pretty it is from the outside. Who knew?
Here's something else that will hopefully cause the boys to start throwin' hands. Who gets to review the best cars?
Mike (The Allfather) Spinelli clearly has an inside line on sweet cars since he's reviewed six to which he granted 489 combined points.
Average Score: 81.5
Patrick (New Fish) George has only posted a single review with a score of 75. Give him time.
Average Score: 75
Travis (Howthehelldoyoupronounce) Okulski is by far the most prolific with fourteen cars reviewed for a total of 1,023 combined points.
Average Score: 73.1
Matt (Cookin' up a story) Hardigree must be a busy man since he's only submitted two reviews for a combined total of 145 points.
Average Score: 72.5
Bill (Bring back the E30!) Caswell got to toss around a new Focus and gave it a 69.
Average Score: 69
Alex (Did you know I'm British?) Lloyd is almost as much of a workhorse as Travis, submitting ten reviews for a combined total of 679 points.
Average Score: 67.9
Jason (Bright Ideas) Torchinsky has clearly gotten the shaft and should probably take this personally since he's reviewed five cars for a combined total of only 290 points.
Average Score: 58 (!)
With any luck I just started some shit at Jalopnik HQ.
Would you like to know more? You can find the full Google Doc right here. Here's to many more Jalopnik Reviews to come!
* - I did not include any of the Jalopnik Classics Reviews in these figures or in the reviewer breakdown for the sake of consistancy and simplicity.
If anyone would like to run some hardcore statistical analysis of the data in that spreadsheet I'd be happy to add it here along with any conclusions that can be drawn from it! Go go gadget math nerds!