Happy New PetrolBlog Score

Major Waffle
PetrolBlog sees in the new year with a new scoring system. It might just help to decide which car gets the title of PetrolBlog Car of the Year 2011. Happy New Year!

PetrolBlog is thundering headlong into 2012 and is fast approaching its second birthday. Of the 243 posts that have been written, there have been a number of reviews, at the end of which I try to reach a conclusive verdict on the car 'what I've driven'. It's a personal opinion of course, but I believe a conclusion should be drawn.

In 2010, I gave the Suzuki Swift Sport the title of PetrolBlog Car of the Year. This wasn't based on a scoring system or any kind of scientific measurement, more an emotional attachment to a car that I fell head over heels in love with.

But as I started preparing the shortlist for PetrolBlog Car of the Year 2011, I realised that I perhaps needed something a little more scientific than my gut instinct. It ties in nicely with a piece I'm writing on what exactly is a 'PetrolBlog car'? Some kind of scoring system would help matters tremendously.

However, PetrolBlog isn't the place if you want to know how many bags of shopping you can get in the back of a hatchback. It's not the place to find out how many different seat configurations your favoured MPV is available with. It's not even the place for depreciation estimates, crash test ratings or company car tax calculations. As I've said before, there are bigger and better websites that do this. In fact, I'll point you in the direction of Motortorque as a good starting point.

Instead, PetrolBlog needs a scoring system that reflects the way we feel about the cars we love. It's a more emotional and irrational system than you'll find elsewhere, but since when has PetrolBlog towed the line?

I therefore introduce the new, patented PetrolBlog Score. It's made up of the following factors, with each part marked out of ten. At the end, the total score is multiplied by two to give the PetrolBlog Score. Simple.

The 'Pint of Milk' test

Put simply, does the car encourage you to nip out for that pint of milk you probably don't need? Will it tempt you into taking the long way home from work? Is it a car that will lure you out of bed at silly o'clock and head for a dawn raid? It's the PetrolBlog 'Pint of Milk' test and it's very, very important. So there.

The 'Filling Station Forecourt' test

How does the car look under the lights of a petrol station forecourt? If you aren't tempted to take a look back at your car as you head into the shop to pay for your fuel, it'll probably score quite badly here. The better it looks, the higher it will score.

The 'You Don't See Many of Those' test

PetrolBlog loves the obscure. Cars that you don't see everyday. New cars that are unloved by the masses. Old cars that have fallen out of favour and are close to extinction. The fewer cars you see, the more it will score.

The score will be based on data sourced from the excellent How Many Left? website and will be correct at the time of the review. For a new car that is yet to launch, the score will be based on the sales of a previous model or a good old fashioned guess.

  • 1 to 9 cars - 10 points
  • 10 to 99 cars - 9 points
  • 100 to 499 cars - 8 points
  • 500 to 999 - 7 points
  • 1,000 to 2,499 - 6 points
  • 2,500 to 4,999 - 5 points
  • 5,000 to 9,999 - 4 points
  • 10,000 to 49,999 - 3 points
  • 50,000 to 99,999 - 2 points
  • 100,000+ - 1 point

The 'Bangernomics' test

Tipping the hat to Sir James 'Bangernomics' Ruppert, this is an important factor for PetrolBlog. We believe that you should spend as little as possible on getting the best car for your budget. If nothing else, there's absolutely no reason to spend more than £30k on a new car. So, the scoring for the 'Bangernomics' test will be based on the following break down:

  • Under £500 - 10 points
  • £501 - £1,000 - 9 points
  • £1,001 - £3,000 - 8 points
  • £3,001 - £5,000 - 7 points
  • £5,001 - £10,000 - 6 points
  • £10,001 - £15,000 - 5 points
  • £15,001 - £20,000 - 4 points
  • £20,001 - £25,000 - 3 points
  • £25,001 - £30,000 - 2 points
  • £30,001 plus - 1 point

The 'PetrolBloggyness' test

The emotional and irrational attachment you feel to a car. It could be the most accomplished and most refined machine on the planet, but if it lacks soul then it will probably score badly here. It's an unashamedly personal reflection, but seeing as we often let our heart rule our head when buying a car, there's room for it here.

So that's that. Ten points available per category, which when multiplied by two will give a score out of 100.

All that's left to do now is to look back at every car I drove in 2011 and see which car comes out on top.

Which car will be crowned PetrolBlog Car of the Year 2011? Find out soon.

Oh, and Happy New Year!