How we test cars How we test cars
All our full car reviews are the culmination of our in-depth testing and your feedback through the Which? Car Survey. But what does this mean to you?
Our testing is carried out in a controlled lab
Tested by us, rated by you
Tested by us: Our expert road testers scrutinise around 140 cars every year, subjecting each one to more than 1,200 miles of road testing and hours of evaluations in the laboratory. Their comments and observations are used to compile the report and calculate the Which? verdict for each car.
Rated by you: A great car must do much more than excel in our road tests. It also needs to impress a legion of everyday experts – you. The results of the annual Which? Car Survey reveal exactly what you think of your cars. All the responses are analysed by our team of expert researchers to produce the unique reliability and satisfaction ratings that sit alongside the Which? verdict, giving you a comprehensive guide to each model. These will help you to choose a car that's suitable for your needs as well as dependable and enjoyable to own.
Which? is different because…
- All our tests are comparative and measured, not based on opinion alone
- We use the feedback from real owners to calculate our car review scores
- We don’t accept adverts in our magazines or website
- We’re completely independent of any manufacturers
- Which? exists to give consumers impartial advice, so if a car isn’t any good, we’ll say so, without fear of penalty
- Which? works for you, providing trustworthy advice without a hidden agenda
- We examine everything that matters to consumers when it comes to buying a car, including performance, safety and practicality.
- And because our ratings also factor in feedback on cars from those who own them, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
- Our unique, comparative tests mean you can trust our Best Buy, Worth a Look and Don’t Buy verdicts and choose with confidence.
Try Which? today for just £1 to find out which cars we rate as Best Buys
Our testing is measured and objective
Testing in brief
We prioritise testing mainstream cars because that's what most of you buy. However, we do cover the full market spectrum, from city cars to MPVs, and we tailor our ratings to the requirements of each class.
As well as testing and rating all the latest new cars, we have more than 150 reviews of used cars.
If you can buy it in the UK, we test it – including hybrids and electric cars.
Looking for a new car or used car? Read all our car reviews
How we choose cars for testing
Our dedicated researchers carefully select the models and derivatives of those models Which? needs to test, keeping a close eye on new releases and the key cars to emerge on the market, as well as sales figures and trends to identify the best-selling engine options.
Our researchers aim to cover a high percentage of the market, taking the following criteria into account when choosing which cars to test:
- Popularity: we focus our testing on the cars you’re most likely to buy, but also cover some niche models
- Best sellers: we try to test the most popular derivative, so we look for the most popular engine choice to run through our extensive test programme
- Accessibility: if you can’t buy it in the UK, we don’t test it
- Price: if it costs more than £70,000, it needs a special reason for us to test it