So, you’re thinking about buying a car? Or maybe you’re interested in the auto industry as vehicles become gadgets more than functional tools. You can read reviews from newspaper websites and industry publications—yes, they still have car critics in 2018—but I prefer watching YouTube Channels. Given the popularity of video reviewers across many industries, especially cosmetics, I’d bet you prefer some moving pictures as well.
Here is a list of car review YouTube channels that I enjoy. Mind you, I’m not a petrol head. I’m an anti-car urbanist who thinks most major cities should reclaim as much road space as possible for bikes, scooters, and walking. I support banning cars in urban cores unless they’re emergency vehicles, delivery trucks, public transit, or ride-sharing vehicles. All that said, cars are necessary for almost all Americans—regardless marginal, short trips they could opt out of the car. Here’s a list for all of you in the carpool lane.
Everyman Driver: Looks at functional vehicles in the Pacific Northwest
“I shoot and edit car and truck videos. Everything from SUVs, Crossovers, Coupes and Sedans. To Trucks, Hatchbacks, and MiniVans.”
Dave Erikson is your regular dad from Eastern Washington State. He reviews cars, participates in Ironman races, shuttles his kids around town, and does “leg day” more than you. He also probably has a lower handicap than you.
Fully Charged: Electric Cars and Alternative Energy News from the UK
“It’s not only about electric cars, bikes, boats, and planes but how we generate and even own the electricity to power these machines. From looking behind the myths of renewable energy to seeking the truth about conventional generation Robert Llewellyn demonstrates what the future could have in store for us all.”
Robert, and his new co-host Jonny Smith, review EVs in an entertaining way. They explain, with calming British accents, how electric propulsion changes the experience and impact of cars. They do regular news update videos as well as standalone car reviews.
Alex on Autos: For the Folks Who Comparison Shop with a Spreadsheet
“If you want honest reviews with no antics, plenty of pricing and comparison details and a detailed tour of the interior, then this is your stop! … we look at every car without bias…and focus on the facts.”
I was serious about the spreadsheet thing. He quantifies the metrics of each car he reviews and slots those ratings next to comparable vehicles. This is for car buyers who are looking to maximize the pluses and minimize the minuses.
Doug DeMuro: He Highlights the Weird and Quirky
“Cool cars and commentary from Doug DeMuro.”
I want to punch this guy in the face. He says “weird” and “quirky” six thousand times in each car review. Viewers volunteer their cars for his review, and most of them are unique. But, he spends half to three-quarters of each video That provides a tour of the car, but not really relevant facts if you’re a mainstream buyer. To wit, this channel is for folks looking to buy used or new cars that everyone else will joke about. Like the Chevy SSR.
Consumer Reports: You Know the Name and Their Reviews Think of Value
“Consumer Reports presents expert car news, reviews, and reliability data.”
They do other stuff, too. In fact, they’re probably the most well-known consumer product news organization. People trust them and you should too—for the most part. They do a weekly news video with a panel discussion and they do one-off reviews. Their reviews are more ideological than objective.
They get on kicks about certain subjects. Right now, and I don’t disagree with their point, they’re critical when carmakers place advanced safety features in the add-on category. They love Subaru because the company makes safety features standard on base models. But, Subaru is also last in the race to add electric vehicles to their line-ups. The latter, to me, is more important.
Unlike many of these car reviewers. CR buys the cars they review. They have a controlled-environment test track in New England that gets serious weather activity. If you’re looking for stats on long-term reliability, CR has your back. Beware: the more detailed review information is behind a paywall.
Jalopnik: Their Videos are Mostly Fun Gimmicks
“Jalopnik is a news and opinion website about cars, the automotive industry, racing, transportation, airplanes, technology, motorcycles and much more. We aim to cover these things with an honesty, transparency and cheerful belligerence that can’t be found anywhere else.”
These guys, and they mostly are men, rarely do straightforward car reviews. Their site is very popular because they cover all the latest auto industry developments and do so with humor. The videos they do make are funny. You should watch them.
MotorWeek: This is Still a Thing
“Television’s original automotive magazine.”
Motorweek sits next to This Old House in the PBS line-up as something that, a. Still exists, and b. Hasn’t changed much in feel since they started. Their videos are well-written, edited, and produced with location choices that best highlight the car. The thing is, there are only so many synonyms for “the ride is comfy” or “the steering is lazy and lags wheel movements.” In this way, I much prefer Alex on Autos. You can write top-notch voiceover scripts without being specific on some scale of qualities I care about.
Kelley Blue Book: Another Well Known Brand Doing Car Videos
“Kelley Blue Book is your guide for Everything Automotive, whether you’re just checking your current car’s value, actively looking for your next car, or ready to buy. We’re also one of the most extensive sources for motorcycle values on the internet.”
You probably know them because they produce the most widely-accepted fair values for used cars. They do lots of stuff, so I suggest you go to their whole website and check all the resources they have. Their videos, like MotorWeek’s focus on eloquence more than specific cost-benefit. The male host is funny in a trying-to-get-a-laugh-at-a-dinner-party way. T
Carwow: It Behoves You To Watch this UK Car Show.
“We make choosing and buying your perfect car easy and enjoyable. By comparing the best offers from our top local and national dealers, you get the car you want, from the dealer you like best, at a price that’s right for you.”
Carwow is a car buying and selling marketplace. It’s based in the UK. It goes in this list because they review lots of cars that haven’t or won’t come to the United States. Now that carmakers like Ford give up on entire types of automobile, this is a great way to see the new Ford Focus or the Suzuki Jimny. Neither are coming to the U.S. unless you import them.
Roadshow: Don’t Ever Go to Their Website
“From tech updates to expert reviews, from Aston Martin to Uber and beyond, Roadshow brings expert perspective to the entire industry.”
I’m including them because they make good videos of car reviews. But, I’m telling you to never go to their website. They are extremely invasive with advertisements. They’ve got those auto-play videos. Even worse, the content module that loads the videos is floating, moves around the website, and hides the places to close and mute the video. Shame on them for behaving like an illegal TV streaming website. Them being Roadshow, owned by CNET, which is owned by CBS Interactive.
The Grand Tour: nee Top Gear
“Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are back with The Grand Tour. A show about adventure, excitement and friendship… as long as you accept that the people you call friends are also the ones you find extremely annoying. Sometimes it’s even a show about cars.”
Grand Tour isn’t on YouTube and it’s not really a car review show. It’s more of a travel show based on cars. It’s one of those shows where the cast is ridiculous and much of the funny is reliant on inside jokes. They did a decade on BBC before going to Amazon. Watch some old clips before binging the Amazon seasons.