Autosavant’s Most Popular Articles of 2010
By Chris Haak
After each year, we like to look at the traffic numbers for Autosavant to determine which articles were the most popular with readers, in terms of pageviews. Incidentally, thank you very much for making this one of Autosavant’s best years ever, in terms of traffic, exposure, and growth!
We published over 400 articles, including over 70 new-vehicle reviews, First Drives, and Quick Drive pieces, plus hundreds of news items and dozens of editorials and commentary pieces. We’ve covered many, many angles of cars and the car business, and we’re ready to do even more of it in 2011. But first, the most popular posts during 2010 in terms of pageviews:
10. Review: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon – The most-expensive Wrangler and largest Rubicon model has way more capability than most drivers would dare try to tap. Nevertheless, our writer gave it his best shot, and his wife even agreed to tag along on their off road adventure.
9. Review: 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – The Impreza got some nice upgrades for the 2011 model year, including a new sedan bodystyle for the STI and suspension upgrades. We put it through its paces with a full review in September.
8. Review: 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI – VW’s little oil burner won the heart of our reviewer with its blend of a premium interior, solid torque, and outstanding fuel economy.
7. Review: 2011 Toyota Sienna Limited AWD – Your loyal Editor-in-Chief (and owner of a 2008 Sienna Limited AWD) put Toyota’s Swagger Wagon through its paces this past Spring, and the van survived a road trip with two preschoolers in the back seat. Still, some of the de-contenting is disappointing. If only the improvements like the six-speed automatic and better looks were available without the hard plastic dashboard.
6. Review: 2011 BMW 535i 6MT – BMWs should have manual transmissions, right? Probably true, but they also should probably not weigh over two tons with a six cylinder, turbo or not. This car was a mixed bag, with our reviewer disappointed by the fact that the car no longer seems to be an Ultimate Driving Machine.
5. Review: 2009 Toyota RAV4 Sport – We’ve had some nice Google longevity on this piece, which was published in February 2009. The most-likely reasons for that are 1) it’s a review of a very specific model of the RAV4 (the RAV4 Sport), and 2) I mention the run-flat tires several times in the review, and they appear to be a sensitive subject for owners. I didn’t mention this in the review, but I actually got a flat run-flat tire during my week with the RAV4 Sport, and it had to be towed with dolly wheels to the Toyota dealer for a replacement tire.
4. Rare Vehicle Sighting: 1973-1978 GMC Motorhome – This was another older article from 2009 with a lot of staying power, probably because it was found by a dynamic owner’s group around the time it was published, and because it is covering a subject for which not much has been written online. Aaron Severson of Ate Up With Motor has remedied that somewhat with his excellent piece on this unusual vehicle’s history. Google also probably likes the fact that there’s 27 comments on the article (in fact, it’s our fourth-most commented-on article in Autosavant’s history).
3. What’s the Point of a Lifted Truck? – Contrary to what some might believe, this piece was not written as troll bait, but only because I was inspired by seeing the same lifted truck on my daily commute and wondered why people did it to their trucks, presumably harming the trucks’ fuel economy and capabilities at the same time. It was fun to watch the initial comments agreeing with me, but as the fans of lifted trucks found the article, I eventually had to close the comment form when they got really personal. My favorite, though, was when one commenter called me a “cidiot” (city + idiot…get it?)
2. PT Cruiser, RIP – Our Roger Boylan, accomplished novelist and PT Cruiser owner, wrote an obituary for Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, on the occasion of the car’s impending demise. It’s hard to imagine how the quirky little retro-styled economy car would barely change in a decade and wind up filling rental-car fleets. Even more insulting was when a friend and I went to the same out-of-town wedding, and I got an Impreza for my rental car, while he got a PT Cruiser. He was not happy, continually calling the car a “PT Loser.”
1. First Drive: 2011 Buick Regal Turbo – I had the opportunity to carve some corners in a new Regal Turbo in the mountains around San Diego last spring at the car’s press junket. I didn’t particularly care for the base car, but I was lucky enough to snag one of the turbos for three of the four driving legs, logging over a hundred miles in a pre-production car. Trust me, if the price premium is not an issue, get the Regal Turbo over the base engine. It’s a big difference in terms of refinement and power.