If you want to know how owners really feel about their new cars, Internet chat groups give you the low-down. Several forums posting car owner comments are available now, and coming later this spring and in early summer are online discussion groups from J.D. Power & Associates and Kelley Blue Book.
One hot site is the "Town Hall" at www.edmunds.com. There, you can swap likes and dislikes about the entire range of cars, pickups and minivans in a free-for-all fashion. The site displays feedback and advice from owners who give you pros and cons from their own experiences.
Other Web sites include www.a-car.com (which has message boards on motorcycles as well as on cars and trucks), www.carforums.com and http://carpoint.msn.com. Topics revolve around vehicle modifications, airbags, tires, alternative fuels and antilock braking systems, and you can find information such as how turbochargers work.
Posting a query is easy if you leave your name and e-mail address.
Jill Amadio has reported on the automotive industry for 23 years as an editor and consultant.
Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.