Our Test Drive Section Facelift...

... According to Merriam-Webster, a facelift is an alteration, restoration, or restyling (as of a building) intended especially to modernize. This definition is dead on for pretty much everything, whether we're talking about people, houses or cars. Speaking of which, I guess it's common knowledge now that in modern times, a car model is usually built for about seven years per each generation. Sometime during that period - usually after three or four years – the car will receive a mid-generation update.

This update usually consists of a minor design refresh - which may or may not include new body styling or mechanical upgrades - so as to keep the model desirable despite its age and without investing into an all-new generation of the car so soon.

On the Internet, however, things work a little different, at least concerning the time periods. Since the Internet moves so fast, so do the expectations of most web users. In other words, in order to stay fresh and in tone to what its users expect, a leading website has to go through a number of facelifts and design updates almost every year.

Our exhaustive test drive section is one of the most popular areas on our website, and we're proud to brag that it's one of the best places on the Internet to learn how a new car behaves, feels and looks. With that being said, we decided to give it a mild refresh.

Of course, "mild refresh" might be a poor choice of words, since our test drive section now looks and feels completely different. The first thing you'll probably notice after clicking on our latest test drive is the fact that it's no longer consists of a long array of chapters, so the oh-so-long scrolling is now gone.

Each chapter has its own page now, so it's a little bit easier to read. Just like the old layout, every page you're on inside a review has shortcuts to each chapter on the top of the text. Apart from the usual ten review chapters, the three guest editors opinions and the image gallery, you'll probably also notice that we have added two completely new pages.

The first one is entitled "Technical Data", so you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize what it is about. Instead of skimming through every chapter to see the exact technical specs of each car we test, you now have it all on a single page.

The second one is actually an autoevolution exclusive and - so far at least - we're the only one who use it. Let me extrapolate. A lot of car reviews out there, including our own, are rated according to a specific criteria. That can tend to make those kind of reviews a bit more objective, depending on the criteria involved in giving a mark.

A major problem is that in recent years car models have become quite difficult to be objectively classified into a specific class or segment. Some cars can actually fit into more than one, bridging the gap between segments which used to be completely antithetical to one another.

Four-door coupe with all-wheel drive and SUV capabilities? Sure! A minivan with coupe and SUV proportions? You got it! Four-door dictator cabriolet? Absolutely! It's pretty hard to keep up with all the new cross-segments that have been launching in recent years.

Fortunately, we have found a solution to our predicament. The exclusive bit I was talking about is the new "Rankings" page in each of our test drive. Besides each review chapter having its own grade, we have also put together seven other ways of classifying a car.

Leaving aside the usual car-buying reasons, like design, brand image, price, etc. most people have certain needs to be satisfied by the car they're getting, right? Some people just want something cheap and don't care about gadgets, engines or brand's cache, while others want something in which they can feel like a racing driver. Many families are looking for a car that can provide all the necessary comfort and safety for their little ones, while others want a vehicle that can also take them in the wilderness in search of Sasquatch or fishing on a mountain lake.

There is no car that can satisfy every single consumer, but there are lots which fall into quite a hefty amount of segments or that can satisfy a large number of basic needs. Starting with our latest test drive, we will grade every car we test (and have already tested) according to the most basic seven car-buyer's needs. Because at autoevolution we don't drive segments, brands or prices, we drive cars. Hope you enjoy the new look!

PS: The very first test drive to benefit from the new look is also an exclusive. We are the first online-only automotive publication to ever test the
Brabus GLK V8. Stay tuned on autoevolution, because an even bigger, twin-turbocharged V12 exclusive is coming in the following weeks!
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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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