Originally Posted by nighttripper
Every review I've ever read about some of cars I've owned and their handling characteristics,never seem the same to me when I drove them. Of course I'm no professional, but the vast majority, have felt good to me and my driving habits
This could be because of some of the inherent biases the press has due to their profession, and the habit of the automotive press to "nit-pick" differences, so they have something to write about.
As much as they try to be unbiased towards every vehicle they drive, the cumulative affect of all of their drives does leave them with some bias. Say they drive a Solstice for review right after they drive a Corvette (C/D did this). This exasperates the Solstice's low horsepower, since they just stepped out of a really high HP car. Although they know about the difference, and the realities of the situation, it still can lead to them over emphasizing the fact the Solstice feels sluggish to them because of their recent Corvette experience. Same with handling. After driving cars with amazing handling, they may interpret a car with good handling as not being as good as it really is, or over emphasizing a particular element in the car's handling.
The nit-pciking is a little different. In my experience, just about every car on the market has mostly positive traits. Very few are seriously underpowered, or handle really poorly, oor built considerably better/worse than the next. To keep reviews interesting and rellevant, they still need to point out differences. Since everything is more similar than disimilar these days, they end up having to search for and point out more and more minor differences (or even insignificant ones). This can lead to a car being overly criticised for seemingly minor issues, and minor differences being overemphasized either positively or negatively.
It's just the nature of the business. They are trying to be generally honest and straight forward, but they also have some built in biases and preferences, and they also have to remain interesting to readers and rellevent.