when Chris Harris became rubbish.

Such a shame, as 2 years ago I used to watch Chris Harris’ reviews on Drivers Republic and thought they were utterly brilliant.  Fast forward to his work with the current Drive channel on youtube—-and with each passing review, I find myself more bored, more annoyed, and frankly in view of tedious, self indulgent reviews which frankly go nowhere except gushing praise or annoyed disappointment.

(1) Chris Harris is exceedingly trying to be Jeremy Clarkson, and is failing miserably

(2) He takes 20 minutes (!!) to do this latest comparison.  Talk about tedious and overbloated.

(3) Anyone who thinks the M135s engine sound better than the RS3 turbo 5-cylinder is on MASSIVE amounts of something…..or has gone deaf…or is paid to say so.

(4) On the BMW payroll? he used to be…probably still is.

(5) He enjoys the sound of his own voice, far more than I certainly do.

(6) Repetitive luddite nonsense…and yet he still prefers a torque converter Automatic gearbox….utter rubbish!

These days, I think Automotive ‘journalism’ has become very cumbersome and quite frankly past-its-sell-date….then again, motoring culture itself is expired.  With every passing week I see new blogs and sites popping up—-all of which are the same stuff regurgitated through a big filter of bland.  Several months before dropping the car-centric IEDEI for a more creative version, I had become progressively disenchanted by ‘petrolhead culture’ and its neverending cliches, stereotypes, and superficiality.  Unfortunately, Chris Harris represents each one of those problems in a uniform package.  Will I watch Top Gear when it comes back? Yes.  Will I watch Chris Harris videos each Thursday? No.

Do i still love cars? Yes.  Do I want to be an active member of online motoring culture? No.

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21 thoughts on “when Chris Harris became rubbish.

  1. timothymcn says:

    I would expect a little more nuance in a post bashing a journalist for “reviews which frankly go nowhere except gushing praise or annoyed disappointment.” Your annoyed disappointment with automotive journalism and motoring culture is probably more complicated than what you described. Likewise there is a huge variation in automotive journalism and motoring culture that deserves to be judged individually. You need not like all of it, nor all of the work by a single journalist. Even bashing the stereotypical “the automotive journalist” is itself a stereotype of those in and out of the trade.
    Why are you presenting such a singular opinion on online motoring culture? Is there not room for the nuance you deride Chris Harris for lacking?

    • Syed says:

      Thanks for your comment. It’s not more complicated. Having thankfully distanced myself from car culture has allowed me to take 2 steps back and observe the absurdity within the ‘enthusiast’ culture I was so entrenched within. People such as Chris Harris represent this very problem, with judgmental criticisms which are driven by personal and financial interests, disguised as merely self-important opinions. Do i think my opinion is important? TO ME it is. Do i think everyone else has to agree? No. Chris Harris was someone I thought was quite capable as a journalist—-however ability mixed with self importance, conflicts of interests (taking endorsements and money from companies), and repetition leads to a completely uninspiring series of mass production videos….as witnessed by the past several months of deteriorating, stretched out clips.

      My interest of cars has NEVER been driven by anyone but myself. Thankfully journalists don’t influence me, nor do i base my tastes on other peoples’ tastes. I think people need less of other people telling them what to buy and what to like—and more of their own opinions and their own tastes coming through. Independent thinking, where has it gone?

      • timothymcn says:

        “I think people need less of other people telling them what to buy and what to like—and more of their own opinions and their own tastes coming through. Independent thinking, where has it gone?”

        I applaud this sentiment, but I wonder how you consumer cars, then? I don’t mean to ask how you buy them, but how you know them? I can certainly make my opinions on the look and sound of a car through photographs, videos and recordings, but I simply do not have access to all the cars I want to know about, and so I have little way knowing how they drive, or how it feels to sit in one. I don’t believe enthusiasts consume automotive journalism to be told what to buy or whether to like it, but to help better know a car. When I read a review, I am seeking an answer to the question, “what’s it like?” Obviously it cannot answer that question definitively, but it provides more information, which I can cross reference and weight with different opinions to get a better sense of the aspects of a car I can judge from a distance.

        • timothymcn says:

          get a better sense of the aspects of a car I can’t judge from a distance.

        • Syed says:

          I understand. I still appreciate a well thought out review; however those are few and far between. The last time i bought a car (August 2011), i test drove many, many automobiles before buying one. Other people’s reviews played no role in my decision.

  2. Anyone who followed this blog for a little while knows about your bias towards Audi. And this seems to be the only basis of this extremely silly post about CH supposedly “becoming rubbish”.
    Personally I love the sound of a an i5 engine, but I’d prefer i6 sound in most cases. I’m not deaf, honestly. If anything, is becoming rubbish that has to be IEDEI. I initially subscribed because It used to be mostly about automotive beautify. All I see in this post is blind hatred of a man ranting about a video with, frankly, 2 very ugly cars in it.

    • Pardon all the typos, just finished watching Petit Le Mans :)

      • Syed says:

        I went to Petit Le Mans last year…it was wonderful…..but it’s just not the same this year without the full blown LMP1 competition IMO. Still a great event. IEDEI *used* to be about cars….it isn’t any more. You will find it rubbish if you think it will be primarily about cars…..however there are 4+ years of archives to go through. The future of this site is based in whatever interests me….and at this point, cars are one of the things…but definitely not a priority at all.

    • Syed says:

      i’ve never heard a BMW 6 sound better than an Audi turbo 5…..not ever. An Audi Turbo 5 is a truly unique sound in motoring……nothing else sounds like it in terms of uniqueness.

      • It’s a matter of taste, I guess. I’ve heard a racing Volvo i5 that sounded a lot like Audi Quattro. I think the main reason Audi i5 seems that unique, is because i5 configuration itself is quite rare, unfortunately. This would would be a better place with less 4-bangers :)

  3. I was a fan of Tiff Needell back when he was on Top Gear; mostly as he put the vehicles through their paces & gave a great review. Most of the TV motor journalists are like Chris Harris & Jeremy Clarkson nowadays a lot of rubbish about themselves & where you might be driving the vehicle versus how the vehicle performs. As such I either fast-forward through online videos or don’t bother to watch TV programs.

    After finding about Fifth Gear & my ability to watch it in the US, I get to see Tiff, Vicki, Jonny, & Jason actually review vehicles properly again.

  4. gcarvalhopt says:

    That was an amazingly high-neck-sweater-and-fashionably-unfashionable-eyeglasses-hipster commentary, complete with a “I knew him before he was famous” bit.
    I’m actually a bit stunned. He’s having fun and getting paid for it, and is showing off the cars , basically.
    I must say, it feels as if you felt ofended by the rejection of your favorite car. I am a porsche-air-cooled fanatic, particularly old 911′s, but that doesn’t stop me enjoying top gear and Clarkson’s nazi-ass-car comments…

    • Syed says:

      rrrright. so that gives you the right to call my commentary “hipster”….interesting. If I’m pissing off unimaginative cliche loving ‘petrolheads’ like you….then I’m quite pleased with myself really.

      • gcarvalhopt says:

        Let’s see:
        1 – you liked him when he was on an obscure and not nearly as famous a label… I mean site…
        2 – but he’s sold out now, he’s just doing what “the man” told him to do (bmw, in this case)…
        3 – how dare he question the greatness, the all-encompassing awesomeness of your favorite car? Even if it’s on a highly subjective item such as engine noise…
        4 – and besides, you’re bored with all this car-culture thing, it’s so passé…
        5 – you’re really into into more “creative” things now, none of that rabble car-people, please, cheerio…

        I’m obviously pulling your leg, btw. If I wanted to be seriously insulting I’de be hating on your camera. If I was pissed off I’de be simply removing your feed from my reader :)

        p.s. Sorry couldn’t resist another jab: You actually acuse him of being in BMW’s payroll? That is so… well, cliché, actually :D

        Hell, if he is in anyone’s payroll, it would be Porsche, dude’s almost a bigger screaming fanboy than me.

        • Syed says:

          Harris goes with what supports his career. he fills his pockets and his garage. I don’t. this blog was started to support my own interests….not anybody else’s interests. if people find something interesting, then great! what I feel is what I write…and Chris Harris is total rubbish.

          • gcarvalhopt says:

            Of course he does. It’s his paying job. He’s not doing it just for fun, but if he did, it would be even more self indulgent. Then he probably wouldn’t bother with Audi’s, most brit journos seem to find them boring.

            He found a paying gig doing what would normally be his hobby and great for him, have fun watching him horse around.

            I love programming, and I found a job doing it, but what I do for the money (cloud storage, atm) is way different from what I would do for a hobby (games, probably). I’m actually a bit jealous of Harris, for achieving such equilibrium between job and hobbies…

            • Syed says:

              Most people don’t want to oversteer through freeways and country roads….once people realize what reality is and what car magazines want….Audis provide some of the finest motoring experiences on the road today. Until one has owned one…one wouldn’t know.

              I judge cars by driving them…not reading about them. I’ve driven lots of Audis, BMWs, Porsches….and have come up with my own conclusions.

              I’m not jealous of any car reviewer…I’m glad I work in a more intellectually satisfying and dynamic profession.

    • timothymcn says:

      Agreed. It’s hard not to read it as a piece written by a man who feels slighted. I don’t know if there is any validity to the idea that Monkey is on the BMW payroll (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt given the “How Ferrari Spins” article), but it feels like Syed is in such disbelief that someone could have an opinion that differs so much from his own, that the only explanation he can understand is that Mr. Harris must be on Bimmer’s payroll. As someone who reads a lot of technology sites, it’s something I see shouted by fanboys in the comments, often.

      • Syed says:

        (A) i ran this site as one about CARS, not about Audis. (B) i am comparing PAST Chris Harris reviews with current ones…if comparing past performance to current makes me a ‘hipster’…then the person who has made that comment is an imbecile. (C) I have watched Harris speak his mind about Audis in the past (critically so) however it never bothered me…i’m not that insecure about cars (D) Chris Harris has ALWAYS universally praised BMWs…..a poor sign for any reviewer to be that bound by a marque.

        It is what it is.

  5. I agree almost entirely with Syed, with the exception of motoring culture being a single life form. It isn’t, it takes many and varied forms. Some is good, some poor, some is laddish, boorish, anal and cliquey. Harris belongs to the latter. I too prefer an Audi noise and I, too, believe Harris is a BMW fan to the detriment of other marques. Be yourself, don’t be Clarksonlite.

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