Thursday, June 26, 2008

Proof of the difference between survey results and truth had an article about the recent results of JD Powers' survey of recent car purchases, and which cars consumers liked the most. Here's what they had to say about the VW Passat, the winner of the mid-sized car category:

Huh? "The Passat's drivetrain was a particular high point among owners..."

They should have followed that statement with "... which proves that our survey is so poorly constructed that the results are completely meaningless."

Now, I freely admit that no one would describe me as a car wonk. I don't spend weekends rebuilding carburetors or swapping engines out of 1968 VW bugs. I've made it 39 years without ever changing the oil in my car myself. But c'mon... how many people, when asked how much they like their new mid-sized car, will respond, "Oh, I love the drivetrain! It's flipping sweet! Wanna see it?"

My guess is JD Powers asked people to rate their cars along a standard set of dimensions, but didn't ask what dimensions actually mattered to them.