Cons: Not as much timely info as the other (3) car mags.
The Bottom Line: For raw, general automotive new Road & Track Magazine is not as good as Motor Trend, Automobile, or Car & Driver.
Like a lot of middle-aged men I am a car guy. I eat and drink—more or less—the elixir of horsepower, torque, RPM’s, painted wheels, ergonomic cockpits, and colored sheet metal. I can recite long lists of carlines and their varying specifications. At various times in the last five years I have subscribed to and devoured three of the nation’s most popular car magazines: Motor Trend, Automobile, and Car & Driver. But, I recently gave up my subscription to Automobile and received a $5.00 off coupon from Magazines.com via e-mail; I replaced it with Road & Track Magazine, published monthly by Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S., Inc.
Like most car magazines, Road & Track Magazine is full of glossy, colorful, pictures and serious well written articles, car comparisons, and long-term road tests, but the magazine has little to distinguish itself from its brethren. I used to read Road & Track Magazine back in my twenties, and while the magazine has moved itself smartly into the 21st century, the basic formula that made the magazine fun and informative back in the 1980’s remains virtually unchanged.
Road & Track Magazine does an excellent job of covering the national (American) and International car scene. And the reaches far-a-field to bring readers the off-beat, the exotic and the really expensive, but fear not the Chevrolet Volt’s, Suzuki Swift’s and Toyota Corolla’s of the world also find a place inside the glossy pages of Road & Track Magazine. And the magazine does this is in a format that is easy to follow and extremely inviting.
For instance in the June 2010 issue Road & Track Magazine featured the previews/road tests of the following cars: Jaguar XJ, Audi R8 Spyder; Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs. Nissan GTR vs. Porsche 911 Turbo; plus a long-term test wrap-up of the Acura TL SH-AWD, as well as a features write-up on the Suzuki Swift, Mazda Demio, and Toyota iQ. Add to these two very well written and equally as comprehensive competition articles: Electric Boogaloo –Tesla vs. Lotus, and Formula 1, Then & Now, and you have receipt for the most useful automobile magazine in the country.
Because of its name Road & Track Magazine does seem to cover the racing circuit more than it fellows, which would be fine if I followed Formula 1, NASCAR, and notable figures from that world, but I don’t so I tend to skip over those articles.
Interspersed between these nuggets of auto knowledge are other articles that deal with esoteric but informative tidbits from the automotive arena. For instance the same issue that brought us the above mentioned articles offered up an excellent 2-page article on the past, present and future of the spark plug! Not exactly need to know information, but for anyone with a keen interest in the internal combustion engine—like me—this article hit the spot.
When the final page is turned is Road & Track Magazine different enough from the other two car periodicals I read to renew my subscription? In a word: no. While I certainly enjoy reading the magazines various articles and columns there just isn’t enough between the glossy covers to justify renewing the subscription. I’m just not into the auto racing scene and Road & Track Magazine is big into Formula 1, NASCAR and other racing related themes. For raw, general automotive new Road & Track Magazine is not as good as Motor Trend, Automobile, or Car & Driver. But with a subscription cost of only $9.97 (or less, over at Magazines.com) per year, you can afford to grab 12 issues and make up your own mind.
What did you think of this review?
Fun to Read
About the reviewer
Vincent Martin (vemartin)
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Road & Track caters to vehicle enthusiasts by focusing on automotive subjects such as design, engineering, driving reports, road tests, racing coverage, and detailed technical discussions. Also included in each monthly issue are profiles of personalities