Feature

Welcome to The REV Test

Three women, three cars. Which is the best for you? Every week, Rachael, Erin and Vicki Butler-Henderson (REV... get it?) are testing three cars based on how people search for them at Auto Trader.

Words by: First published: 16th October 2018
Welcome to The REV Test. Three women, three cars, which is the best for you?

Our three experienced motoring journos, Millennial Rachael Hogg, mum Erin Baker, and racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson (REV… get it?), have been busy testing three cars each week, based on how people search for them on the UK’s biggest car buying website. That's Auto Trader, in case you hadn't realised.

They cover connectivity, practicality, and driving, in a real way, for real people, and have a bit of fun while doing it.
The REV Test: Ferrari special at Goodwood Festival of Speed

This week, our three motoring journalists are at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson, millennial Rachael Hogg, and mum Erin Baker are experiencing the famous hill climb in the Ferrari 812 Superfast, Ferrari Portofino, and Ferrari GTC4Lusso T.

As expected, Vicki is not happy about being in the passenger seat…
What is The REV Test?
So, why have we done The REV Test, an all-female weekly car series? Is it sexist? Does it stereotype? Do people really need to hear about cars specifically from women?

What’s important is that the voices in the films we’ve made are those of women. The audience it’s aimed at is women and men, although we know that a happy by-product of this content is that women gravitate towards female-presented car content.

This is not Auto Trader’s attempt to pink and shrink the car industry, to feminise it. It’s our part in gender-neutralising the industry, which is long overdue, and should be everyone’s end goal. Women are still massively under-represented in the industry, so we feel it’s important to give women a voice in automotive editorial content. The primary importance of the REV Test is not who it’s going to, but who it’s coming from.

A gender-neutral industry does not mean manufacturers shouldn't market separately to women. In an age-neutral market, for example, which the car world is, brands still create separate messaging for those in their 20s and those in their 60s. So car manufacturers need to address women in a different way to how they talk to men.
The stats
Here’s what we know, from our unparalleled consumer data at Auto Trader, about women and their relationship with cars: 94% of women don’t trust car dealerships, 83% of women don’t trust manufacturers and 39% of women aged over 45 dread the car-buying process.

And yet, the number of women car buyers has risen by 20% in a decade to 11.8 million, compared with a rise of 10% in male buyers over the same period, according to new figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. More than a third of cars in the UK are registered to women. We already know that women are the key influencers in purchasing decisions, we know that soon women will own 60% of private wealth globally. We know that women are becoming more financially independent and that graph is only going upwards. We know that, more often than not, they are the end user of the car. Why are so many manufacturers not talking to them?

We also know that women are nearly twice as likely to admit to struggling with car terminology as men, and that’s a huge opportunity. Women are willing to ask for help, for stuff to be explained to them. Answer their questions in language they ask for, and you explain cars to men too, so why wouldn’t you market to women as a separate demographic? It’s not about feminising the industry, it’s about talking to the unconfident buyer.
How it works
Our weekly REV Test episodes involve three different women: Vicki Butler-Henderson, our resident petrolhead and racing driver; Erin Baker, a motoring journalist for 15 years, mother to two boys and step-mother to two more; and Rachael Hogg, Auto Trader's digital editor and Millennial, who likes avocados and pilates and stuff.

Each week, we compare three cars that we know visitors to Auto Trader look for in a group, rather than rivals defined by manufacturers. For example, BMW might tell you its 3 Series should be compared with a Mercedes-Benz C-Class and an Audi A4, but we know that people searching for a 3 Series most often compare with a Nissan Qashqai and Ford Focus.

We also quote monthly finance costs, not the list price of a car, because we know most people don’t look at list price these days. That’s why Auto Trader launched its search-by-monthly-price tool at the end of last year.

So do tune in to the REV Test weekly, which you can find right here, or on the Auto Trader YouTube channel.

Here's everything we've been up to so far.
The REV Test: Small sports cars

The REV Test: Hybrids

The REV Test: Small hatchbacks

Watch our third REV test on small hatchbacks, featuring the UK's biggest selling car ever, the Ford Fiesta; a serious contender for the Fiesta crown, the Seat Ibiza; and the Vauxhall Corsa, which will be getting an upgrade next year.
The REV Test: Small SUVs

The cars this week are the stylish and practical Hyundai Tucson, immensely popular Nissan Qashqai and Renault Kadjar, which is the sister car to the Qashqai.
The REV Test: Sports cars

Watch our fifth REV Test featuring the muscly Ford Mustang, the potent Porsche Boxster and amazing BMW M4. Oh, and a lot of rain, and doughnuts...
The REV Test: Seven-seaters

The cars this week are the great to drive Ford S-Max MPV, the stylish Peugeot 5008 SUV, and huge and practical Citroen Grand C4 Picasso/SpaceTourer. This week, the three REV presenters take each other on in a seven-seat-arranging challenge.
The REV Test: Luxury SUVs

This time, it’s the turn of the high quality and tech-filled Audi Q5, the well-rounded Mercedes-Benz GLE, and the sleek and sexy Range Rover Velar. REV take the cars to their version of the school gates, to see which car has the most appeal.
The REV Test: Budget SUVs

The three cars up against each other are the Jeep Renegade, with its proper off-road ability, the value for money Dacia Duster, and the stylish Suzuki Vitara S.
The REV Test: Electric cars

It's all about range anxiety, instant torque, and silent driving (apart from Erin's apple crunching and crisp eating) this week with the sporty and fun to drive BMW i3S, good all-rounder Renault Zoe, and quirky Kia Soul EV.
The REV Test: Hot hatches

Of course you’re going to want your hot hatch to handle like a dream, so VBH puts each of our three cars through a cone challenge, in this week's episode of the REV test. So, which one gets your vote? The lairy Civic Type R, the sensible-looking (but definitely not sensible) Seat Leon Cupra ST, or the granddaddy of the hot hatches, the Golf GTI?
The REV Test: Big luxury SUVs

REV takes a look at three big luxury SUVs, the high-quality Audi Q7, the super safe Volvo XC90, and the proper off-roader, the Land Rover Discovery.
The REV Test: Small estate cars

Carry on camping, with three small estate cars. Which is the best out of the Peugeot 308 SW, Skoda Octavia Estate, and Volkswagen Golf Estate?

People might be all over SUVs right now, but there’s definitely still a place for the humble estate.
Series 2
The REV Test: First cars

It’s a pretty exciting time when you’re looking to buy your first car.

You’ll probably want something fun, affordable to buy and run, with low insurance groups and good fuel economy. You'll also want something that's easy to drive and manoeuvre, and that comes with a decent amount of safety kit.

If you're looking to tick all those boxes, racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson, Millennial motoring journo Rachael Hogg, and mum Erin Baker (REV!) are testing three of the UK's most popular first cars – the Skoda Citigo, Hyundai i10 and Toyota Aygo – based on how people search for them at Auto Trader.
The REV Test: Dog-friendly cars

Both the Volvo V90 and Land Rover Discovery come with bags of space and a plethora of dog-friendly optional extras, such as protective cages, harnesses and carriers. The Honda Civic, meanwhile, was named as the Best Car for Dog Owners in Auto Trader’s 2018 New Car Awards, as voted for by almost 40,000 car owners who rated their car in 16 key areas.
The REV Test: Pick-up trucks

The pick-up truck has gone from being exclusively used by farmers and small business owners, to a lifestyle vehicle used by families who want a tough off-roader for some weekend adventures.

Our three experienced motoring journalists, Racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson, Millennial Rachael Hogg, and mum Erin Baker (REV!) are testing three of the UK's most popular pick-ups – the rugged and tough Toyota Hilux, Mitsubishi L200 and the spacious and lifestyle-focused Ford Ranger – based on how people search for them at Auto Trader.
The REV Test: Dog-friendly cars

We love our dogs in here in Britain, and it’s estimated that around nine million of them are kept as pets in the UK. That means there are a lot of families in need of a dog-friendly car. This week Rachael, Erin and Vicki look at three of the best.

Both the Volvo V90 and Land Rover Discovery come with bags of space and a plethora of dog-friendly optional extras, such as protective cages, harnesses and carriers. The Honda Civic, meanwhile, was named as the Best Car for Dog Owners in Auto Trader’s 2018 New Car Awards, as voted for by almost 40,000 car owners who rated their car in 16 key areas.
The REV Test: Small premium SUVs

It seems that everyone is craving an SUV right now, fortunately there are enough to satisfy every appetite, including these three alternatives to the usual BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson, Millennial motoring journo Rachael Hogg, and mum Erin Baker (REV!) are testing three small premium SUVs: the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Jaguar E-Pace and the Lexus NX300h.
The REV Test: Vans

This week's REV test is about three valiant vans and how they cope helping Erin move house. Yes, she's called in REV Removals because she's too cheap to get in the professionals! Here are three of the most popular short wheelbase vans – the Ford Transit, Volkswagen Transporter and the Vauxhall Vivaro – as searched for on Auto Trader.
The REV Test: Car buttons

Lane emergency pedestrian detection autonomous Bluetooth descent departure warning. Ok, so that’s not a real thing. But when it comes to buying a new car today, there are a lot of systems and buttons and controls that might be very clever, but they can be a bit confusing to get your head around.

This week’s REV Test is all about the buttons – how they work, what they do, and how they can help you while you’re driving. To do just that, our three motoring journalists are using three of the most popular German cars: the BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes E-Class, as searched for on Auto Trader.
The REV Test: Petrol vs hybrid vs electric

Not that long ago most car manufacturers only offered petrol or diesel cars. But today, the choice of power sources now includes environmentally-focused ones, including some with zero emissions. What will be the future fuel of choice be, and what are the pros and cons of each? This week the ladies compare fuel types, with a petrol, plug-in hybrid, and an electric car.