(stylized as a single word: MotorWeek
) is a long-lived American TV automotive magazine series featured on various PBS
affiliates (namely in the Frederick/Owings Mills/Baltimore, Maryland area where the series is filmed). Compared to the more internationally famous Top Gear
is much more "matter-of-factual", with segments reviewing a car in the same manner most magazines review consumer products. Meaning that zany stunts and antics are very
rare or outright nonexistent - aside from the straight-line and slalom performance tests the most that might happen is a burnout or donut to emphasize a narrated point. Their reviews and conclusions also tend to be somewhat "soft" with almost universal praise for every car they test, or somewhat vague at its most critical - the cynical might say as a result of their comparative precarious position being a PBS show primarily reliant on corporate "donations" and hence being extra-sensitive to not offend. Or as automotive website The Truth About Cars
puts it, "every car's a winner."
Additionally, the show features automotive news segments, mini-reviews (the "Car Keys" segments are a brief introduction to the features of a recently introduced model that might receive a more in-depth review in the future; the "Long-Term Updates
" are updates on how well a car has held up after
the review and many miles of use), a DIY repair segment called "Goss' Garage" (hosted by Pat Goss
) and most recently a news segment on how automotive technology is catching up with municipal and federal "green" initiatives.Jalopnik
holds a regular introspective feature on the magazine, mostly focusing on the earlier years but looking back at recent episodes as well.
Compare to Top Gear
, Car And Driver
and Motor Trend
(the latter two now mostly known for its Dead Tree-print products but also having both short-lived television series on TNN/Spike TV
and now on YouTube
- Early-Installment Weirdness: During the show's first few seasons in the late 1980s the show had more of a typical "newscast" look with an indoor studio and newsdesk-style presenting. Starting in the early 1990s the show is now presented outdoors with John Davis walking among various cars (used to be the ones actually reviewed in the show, now seemingly random leaning towards high-end, high-performance luxury models).