What is WapCar Ratings and how are the scores calculated?

Shaun · Jun 13, 2021 10:17 AM

What is WapCar Ratings and how are the scores calculated? 01

You may have seen or read it on our site for a while now, but what exactly is WapCar Ratings? To the uninitiated, WapCar Ratings evaluates cars in terms of six aspects - Driving Performance, Ride Comfort, Quality and Features, Space and Practicality, Fuel Economy, as well as Price and Maintenance.

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In each of these categories, there is a breakdown of scores for us to evaluate the car. Take Driving Performance for example, it is broken down into 5 parts including engine, transmission, steering, etc. And within those 5 parts, it is further defined and given scores.

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2020 G20 BMW 320i Sport - Driving Performance Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3.5 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 4 / 5
Throttle Response 4 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 3 / 3
Smoothness 4.5 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 3 / 3
Steering Accuracy 3 / 3
Response 3 / 3
Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
Feel 2 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 3 / 3
Grip 2.5 / 3
Load Reaction 3 / 3
Total   42.5 / 50 pts

The scores are given based on the car’s segment average because we believe that the cars should be judged within their respective categories. In boxing terms, a featherweight doesn’t fight a heavyweight, the money-grabbing fight between Mayweather and Logan Paul aside.

Because of this, you might see similar ride comfort scores, for example, between a D-segment and a B-segment car, but that doesn’t necessarily mean both provide similar levels of comfort. If we were to judge every car in the same metric, there would be no chance for entry level cars to score any points.

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Let’s say that a Porsche Taycan Turbo S scores full marks for acceleration and a Rolls-Royce Phantom gets maximum points in ride comfort; if we judge a Perodua Axia in the same metric, it gets zero points for everything.

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Hence, the Ratings system has both subjective and objective inputs, which explains the inconsistencies at times. However, we’ve taken steps to reduce subjectivity and increase objective scores.

For example, we’ve devised a scoring scale for paint thickness and panel gap consistency using standard deviation number obtained for each car. A high standard deviation number indicates low consistency and vice versa.

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Below is the scale for paint thickness consistency, represented by standard deviation and final score:

  • 0-10 - 4/4 pts
  • 11-20 - 3/4 pts
  • 21-30 - 2/4 pts
  • 31-40 - 1/4 pts
  • >40 - 0/4 pts

The scale is determined after we've calculated the paint thickness for several cars from each segment, and found the average score.

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Another example would be the list of criteria for features. For example, in the luxury aspect, we give one point for sunroof or panoramic roof, one point for leather seats, one point for 8-way or above powered seats, one point for ambient lighting, and one point for tilt and telescopic steering adjustment (0.5 points if tilt adjustment only).

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If a car ticks all the criteria set for luxury, it gets full points. Same goes for convenience, safety, ADAS, and infotainment, which has their own set of criteria.

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These measures weren’t implemented in the early days, and you may have noticed a few changes in the breakdown of scores. As ironic as it sounds, this is due to the ongoing changes to improve the Ratings system for more consistent results.

It isn’t a perfect system, but as Christian von Koenigsegg says, “Perfection is a moving target.” So we’ll keep chasing after it.

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Hopefully this would give you a little more insight into the methodology of the Ratings. And we hope you will keep supporting us in the effort to build this database. Thanks for reading!

Check out our Ratings page: https://www.wapcar.my/car-ranking

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