Monthly Archives: August 2009

Model year vs year of manufacture on

Since it was created back in 1997, has organised reviews by the year of manufacture of the cars. This made sense for European cars, but not for North American cars, where model year is what matters. The site eventually started collecting model year information, but the site structure did not change, as it was difficult to come up with a consistent structure that would make sense on both sides of the Atlantic.

I’ve been aware for years that North American visitors were confused by the site structure, and I eventually came to the conclusion that it was better for the meaning of a year on to be inconsistent, depending on the region of the review.

For a North American review, the model year (where available) is used in preference to the year of manufacture. This isn’t the case for the rest of the world.

So a list of 2006 BMW 3 Series reviews will contain 2006 model year reviews from North America, and 2006 manufacture year reviews from elsewhere. Not quite the same thing, but for reviews from their own region, it should fit visitor’s assumptions, rather than trying to make them fit the site’s data model. has also had similar changes made, but in that case, model year always takes priority over year of manufacture, regardless of region, as that reflects the way motorcycles are marketed.