Car and Driver
Car and Driver (CD or C/D) is an American automotive enthusiast magazine.
Car and Driver magazine is for automobile enthusiasts interested in domestic and imported autos. Each issue contains road tests and features on performance, sports, international coverage of road race, stock and championship car events, technical reports, personalities and products. Road tests are conducted with electronic equipment by engineers and journalists and the results are an important part of the magazine's review section.
The magazine is notable for its irreverent tone and habit of "telling it like it is," especially with regard to underperforming automobiles ("Saturn folks like to point out that the L200 has little in common with the Opel Vectra from which it borrows some platform architecture, and we have to wonder why. Could the Opel be worse?"—Feb 2003). The magazine also frequently delves into controversial issues, especially in regard to politics. The editorial slant of the magazine is decidedly pro-automobile. However, the intrusion of politics into editorial columns rarely intrudes into reviews of cars themselves or feature articles. For example, the columnists have been highly critical of SUVs on the basis that minivans or car-based utes are almost always better, more drivable choices.
The magazine was one of the first to be unabashedly critical of the American automakers. However, it has been quick to praise noteworthy efforts like the Ford Focus and Chevrolet Corvette.
The magazine has been at the center of a few controversies based on this editorial direction, including the following:
Their instrumented testing is extremely rigorous compared with other automotive magazines. It has twice revealed false power claims by manufacturers: Both the 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra and 2001 Mazda Miata tests showed these vehicles not producing performance equivalents to their claimed power output. In both cases, the manufacturers' claims were proved wrong, forcing buybacks and apologies.
Sometimes the magazine might go a little out of the boundaries and (in the Sept. 1990 issue of C/D on page 83) had the nerves of steel to operate an GM-EMD SD60 and saw how a locomotive was made and test one out before it was delivered to the Kansas City Southern Railway.
Car and Driver and Road & Track are sister publications at Hearst and have for many years shared the same advertising, sales, marketing, and circulation departments. However, their editorial operations are distinct and they have separate publishers. Car and Driver started to include lateral acceleration figures in their road tests decades later than Road & Track.