Car Talk Auto Advisor

Bob and Ray are always telling people to come to this web site and use the Car Talk Auto Advisor. I tried it, and boy is it worthless!

I specifically wanted a minivan (or at least a car that seats six or more) with manual transmission. I put in those requirements, as well as cranking the “automatic transmission” slider all the way to “don’t want”.

What it gave me were:

- Automatic transmission minivans.

- Pick-up trucks (mostly with auto)

- Sedans

- Sports cars.

What it didn’t give me was the one minivan with manual transmission – the Mazda 5, which my son found in about 2 minutes with a Google search. The only way I could get it to show me the Mazda 5 was to set the “make” preference for Mazda all the way up.

For what it’s worth, has a car finder with check boxes, and I found the Mazda 5 in about 2 minutes that way. It also indicates that it’s the only manual transmission car that seats more than 5.

I think Tom & Ray should get whoever maintains that Auto Advisor to improve their back end before they give any more advertising to them.

I used the Auto Advisor many years ago, and it listed the following “ideal” cars for me:

Chevy Caprice
Cadillac Catera

Since these cars were of very different sizes, and since neither of them had any of the features that I had indicated as being desirable, I interpreted the Auto Advisor to be either a gimmick meant to amuse us or–perhaps–a paid “shilling” attempt.