An automotive rating system helps you to do your homework before you face this guy on the car lot.

Barry Austin Photography/Getty Images

adAfterSmallInset

If you've ever spent time shopping for a car, you know the process can be overwhelming. New or used, foreign or domestic, two-door or four-door -- the decisions go on and on. Fortunately, consumers have numerous resources at their fingertips to help guide them through the car buying process, with Consumer Guide Automotive Ratings being one of the most established. Consumer Guide has rated thousands of cars since it started in 1967. Although Consumer Guide originally published its reviews in print, it has shifted its focus to the Web since being purchased by the Convex Group in 2005 [source: HowStuffWorks.com].

As you might imagine, reviewing every new car that hits the market is quite an undertaking, which explains why Consumer Guide has a full-time staff of 10 automotive editors to handle the job. The editors use their combined 150 years' worth of auto reviewing experience to rate more than 200 vehicles every year, meaning you'll have a hard time finding a vehicle they haven't covered [source: HowStuffWorks.com]. In addition, the staff puts together buying guides, covers the car industry's biggest auto shows and posts articles about a wide range of automotive topics.

Visitors to Consumer Guide can find more than just automotive information. Consumer Guide partners with different businesses like Cars.com and Intelliprice to offer access to resources like classified ads and trade-in estimators. Consumer Guide also has a guide to help you choose financing and insurance for your car. Most of the content on Consumer Guide is free to access, though you will need to pay for some additional services, like posting your car in the classified section.

In this article, we'll explore exactly what goes into a Consumer Guide review. We'll also look at some of the other features on the Consumer Guide site, as well as some ways that Consumer Guide could improve. But first things first: Read on to find out how Consumer Guide helps you to make sure your next car is a great one.