A little information can be a dangerous thing. And too much information can lead to 'paralysis by analysis'. When it comes to gathering information to help you find the best car for you, there are plenty of sources we trust.
Edmunds, Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, J.D. Power, Insurance Institutes for Highway Safety, and many others all do a credible job of rating vehicles... But where do you begin?
Now, there's TotalCarScore.com and Forbes says it's the closest thing to a one-stop shopping guide for automobiles. If you're stunned that they make it totally clear how they score vehicles, that's the point.
TotalCarScore just completed its list of the 'Most Improved Cars of 2012' and a look at their approach may give you all the information you need.
According to TotalCarScore's Editor-in-Chief Karl Brauer, the company is attempting to do with cars what 'Rotten Tomatoes' does with movies. That site aggregates reviews from top movie critics and assigns a grade based on the percentage of reviews that are positive.
TotalCarScore takes the ratings from nine well known automotive authorities; i.e., Edmunds, Consumer Reports, Consumer Guide, and converts them into a simple percentage representing what the car could have scored from each source, versus what it did score. Then it simply averages the number from all of these scores to get the vehicle's "total car score". Logical. Transparent. Great for consumers.
Forbes Joann Muller says "If it seems oversimplified, that's the point. What I like about Total Car Score is that it's not trying to steal anyone else's content and it shows exactly how each score was calculated. At the bottom of each vehicle page are links to each review and lnks to the manufacturer's website, owner's manual, forums and road test pages for that vehicle."
According to TotalCarScore, Ford Focus is the most improved car for 2012; followed by the Hyundai Accent, Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid and Yaris.
Among SUVs, the Cadillac SRX, Kia Sportage and Honda CR-V also made this list having scored much higher after the redesign.
The Focus redesign for 2012 was exceptional and it scored the highest, 80.68, tops among sedans and wagons, which was a notable increase from the 72.73 for the 2011 model. That leap was the highest of any new model making it the most improved car of 2012.
To see a slide show for the full list, click here:
Most Improved Cars 2012