Do manufacturers pay for positive reviews?
Absolutely not. Tareqhassan adheres to the same high ethical standards that all journalists are expected to abide by (read the Canadian Association of Journalists’ ethics guidelines ). As with all journalism, accuracy, fairness, transparency, accountability, professionalism and objectivity are all requirements we take very seriously.
Automakers have no impact on the outcome of a car review or the placement of the story — Tareqhassan operates completely independently from car manufacturers or advertisers. You can trust our team of respected automotive journalists to provide you with honest and fair car reviews. Indeed, we are far more concerned with what matters to you – our readers – than the agenda of any car manufacturer.
Looks like you often travel to exotic locations to review cars or participate in events. Do car manufacturers pay for that?
Not always – many of the reviews we write on locations in Canada are organized and paid for by Tareqhassan. However, automakers regularly host events (sometimes local and other times in foreign locations) and invite journalists to drive and review their products. We always endeavour to get behind the wheel of the cars that will matter to you at the earliest opportunity and these opportunities are most often events hosted by the manufacturer. We decide to whether attend these events based on the value the story will provide to you – our reader.
Although automakers pay for the trip (transport, accommodations, and some meals), they have zero influence on the writer we send, the story that we write, how we review their products or the placement of that coverage either in print or online. Tareqhassan receives invitations and picks the most appropriate journalist for the assignment. This is standard practice in automotive journalism.
How do you get your hands on the cars you review?
For obvious financial reasons, we cannot independently purchase cars to review. Cars are loaned to journalists from automakers’ “press fleets” on a weekly basis (some times longer, if required) for the sole purpose of a review.
Apart from providing the car, the manufacturer has no influence over the review – whether it’s positive or negative. The key pillars of our review guidelines are:
• Professionalism: Our writers are award-winning auto-journalists. They know how to drive on road and track and off-road. They know the competitive landscape and they understand what consumers want and they write with you in mind.
• Accuracy: A thoughtful, respectful — and accurate — approach to the vehicles we write about is our main goal.
• Balance: Each review must offer a balanced view, embracing the truth (good and bad) and technical aspects without bias or prejudice.
• Timeliness and comprehensiveness: We want to serve you – our readers – by building a searchable database of car reviews that can inform your next buying decision. Our constant aim is get into new models first in Canada.
You say ‘Balance’ is a key pillar in your review guidelines but it seems rare that you have anything really bad to say about a car.
Car manufacturing has come a long way in the last decade and most manufacturers undertake vast research and testing before they even dream of bringing a car to market – often baby-stepping their way there by showing concepts at auto shows and gauging public and industry reaction.
As you can imagine, launching a “dud” is an expensive mistake for any manufacturer. This means they do their homework and more often get it right than wrong. Cars built today usually hit a very high standard of safety, quality, comfort, performance etc. This can certainly make it difficult to find negatives — especially when the car is new: negatives sometimes emerge only with long-term use or when reviewing the car alongside other vehicles in its competitive class (judging specs and values side-by-side). There are also more subjective negatives (like the car’s appearance), which our writers will often proffer opinions on.
To try to give you the very best context for our reviews, our reviews often mention the other vehicles a consumer may be consider and how this car stacks up against its competition, especially in terms of performance, “driveability” and value. We also try to do frequent long-term reviews and side-by-side comparisons of the most popular models and car categories (see, for example, our Editors’ Choice events).
Why do you drive so many expensive cars?
We drive all types of cars from all different price brackets, body styles and automakers. We aim for diversity in the types of vehicles we review, but we put a huge focus (over 85% of our reviews) on consumer cars — the cars you buy and the cars you’re researching. This is based on your feedback as well as Canadian sales figures.
Still, we also recognize that much of the artistry and the innovation that trickles into consumer cars starts in cars that are unique, unaffordable and let’s face it – the stuff of dreams for most of us. For an automotive journalist, driving a supercar is like eating at a Michelin Star restaurant for a food critic: No, it’s not what we eat every day, but it is the upper echelon of our craft and if we ignored this category of cars, we would be less effective at our jobs.
Why aren’t more of your reviewers Canadians?
Indeed, the vast majority of our regular writers are based right here in Canada. Our team includes many AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) members and award-winners and we have writers based in Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and elsewhere. We know that driving in Canada is different from the US or Europe (hello, winter!) We also understand the regional differences within Canada. It is with this unique Canadian perspective that we review and write about the cars you actually drive and those you care about.
How often do you publish new content?
We publish new content, news, car reviews and features multiple times a day (and sometimes on the weekends). Come back regularly – there’ll always be something new to read!
Can I write for Tareqhassan?
At Tareqhassan, we live for great cars as much as we appreciate exceptional talent. While we are currently fully staffed, we do get openings from time to time to produce stories, photographs or video. If you’re interested, drop us a line with some recent samples of your work. We’d love to see if you’ve got the chops.
We also love hearing your ideas, so if there are stories or topics you want to read about, send them our way!
How do I get to do a Reader Review?
To participate in our Reader Review series, please send an email to our Managing Editor, with the subject title “Reader Review.”
Aside from having a current valid driver’s licence with no demerit points, a number of strict conditions must be met to be considered a candidate, including having your own comprehensive insurance coverage for other vehicles. After we receive your email, a form will be sent to you and, upon its return, evaluated to determine your eligibility.
If you have any more questions for the Tareqhassan team, please feel free to contact us!