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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you find information for your reviews?

Our mission is to do the hard research, so you don't have to. We scour hundreds of sources of professional reviews, test drives, and comparisons to find the most insightful and useful information. Sources include print magazines, newspapers, websites, and television.

We then analyze and compare these reviews to bring you the most balanced research on consumer products (such as cars) available - digesting it all into one place.

How do you create rankings for Best Cars & Trucks?

Our car rankings are based on hard data and analysis. We combine two types of information: published reviews from respected automotive critics and hard data from a variety of independent sources. We do not rely on a single source of data or on our own tests or preferences. We "review the reviewers" to come up with a consensus score representing what professional critics think of a car. We then add information of particular interest to consumers, such as safety and reliability data, that isn't part of the critics' reviews.

We combine those scores in a formula that is based on what consumers say matters most to them in a car (what's important to you, not what's important to us). The result is an overall score for each car, which allows us to make head-to-head comparisons of cars, ranking them against each other.

For more on our methodology, read the full story.

Are your rankings objective?

Rather than being based on the opinions of an individual or a small group, our rankings are based on the balanced, diverse opinions of often dozens of experts for any given product. Our methodology has been reviewed thoroughly by independent experts in both statistical analysis and the automotive industry.

Why do some cars have scores higher than any of their component-scores?

Sometimes you'll see a car with an overall score that's higher than any of the component scores (e.g. Performance, Exterior, etc.). This happens because we also factor in the reviewers' overall impression of a car. Occasionally a car is more (or less) than the sum of its parts and we rely on the experts whose reviews we survey to let us know when that's the case.

Why are some cars ranked the same?

Sometimes two or more cars in a class receive the same overall score and are tied. A car's ranking indicates how many cars on the list have a higher score. For instance, if two cars tie for position number 2, the following car will rank 4th in the category, since 3 cars outperformed it (#1, #2, and the other #2).

Can I review products on your site?

In the future, we will be upgrading the website to include new features, such as user reviews and useful, comprehensive content intended to help consumers make better purchase decisions. Please check back often to keep track of all the changes.

How do these rankings differ from U.S. News's Best Colleges and Best Grad Schools rankings?

The methodology used to create the Best Cars & Trucks rankings has some core similarities to that used for Best Colleges, but for the most part the overall process is quite different. Both rankings rely on robust data analysis, independent perspectives, and the weighting of different factors in order to arrive at scores.

Can I license your recommended lists?

All of our materials are protected by U.S. and international copyright laws; however, we are happy to discuss the licensing of our content to third-party publications and Web properties. To talk with one of our partner relations experts, please contact our business development department.