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Is Your Car Manual Longer Than The Da Vinci Code?

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The study also analysed how easy our owner's manuals are to actually read. PHOTO Autosphere

New research from Scrap Car Comparison has revealed which of the world’s best-selling vehicles–from electric cars to motorbikes and trucks–have the longest owner’s manuals, as well as the ones which are the most difficult to read.

The study analysed 90 vehicle owner’s manuals, to reveal the word count and readability of each document, as well as calculating how long it would take to read each one, based on an average reading time of 238 words per minute. The research also compared this with analysis of some of the world’s most well-loved fictional titles, including War and Peace, The Lord of The Rings series, and The Da Vinci Code.

The 10 vehicle manuals which require the most time to read

The longest vehicle manual according to the analysis was from the Audi R8, which contains 616,064 words spread over 308 pages, equating to 43 hours and 9 minutes of reading time. When compared to popular fictional texts, the Audi R8 manual is over 28,000 words and 2 hours of reading longer than Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and requires just under three hours more reading-time the entire Lord of The Rings book series.

The research revealed that the average manual length stands at 109,106 words long, meaning the Audi R8 manual is nearly 6 times longer, with the manual of the Audi e-tron following very closely behind in second position with 603,649 words cover to cover. Audi featured four times in the top 20 longest manuals, with the R8, e-tron, A3 and Q2 each having above-average reading times of over 10 hours.

Rank Vehicle Make & Model Manual Word Count Average Time To Read
1 Audi R8 616,064 43 hours 9 minutes
2 Audi e-tron 603,649 42 hours 16 minutes
3 Ford F-Series 194,305 13 hours 36 minutes
4 Ram Pickup 1500 177,196 12 hours 24 minutes
5 Audi A3 174,181 12 hours 11 minutes
6 Volvo XC40 171,457 12 hours
7 Volkswagen ID.4 168,060 11 hours 46 minutes
8 Jeep Gladiator 163,857 11 hours 28 minutes
9 Ford Focus 163,225 11 hours 25 minutes
10 GMC Sierra 158,194 11 hours 4 minutes

The 10 vehicle manuals which require the shortest time to read

Electric scooter Vmoto Super Soco CPX is the vehicle with the shortest owner’s manual, taking just 11 minutes to read, with only 2,834 words. The Honda NSC 110 Vision and Honda VB125F motorcycles follow to make up the top three vehicles with the most succinct manuals, taking around an hour each to read.

Honda motorcycles rank four times in the top ten, each with manuals of under 23,500 words – taking less than two hours to read. Only three of the top ten vehicles were cars (rather than motorbikes) with the Range Rover Evoque, Nissan Leaf and VW Polo all having particularly punchy manuals to read through.

Rank   Vehicle Make & Model   Manual Word Count   Average Time To Read  
  Vmoto Super Soco CPX (scooter) 2,834  11 minutes 
  Honda NSC 110 Vision (scooter) 12,146  51 minutes 
  Honda CB125F (motocyclette) 15,029  1 hour 3 minutes 
  Range Rover Evoque  16,526  1 hour 9 minutes 
  Honda PCX125 (scooter) 21,083  1 hour 28 minutes 
  Nissan Leaf  21,541  1 hour 30 minutes 
  Yamaha NMAX 125 (scooter) 22,152  1 hour 33 minutes 
  Honda SHi 125 (scooter) 23,438  1 hour 38 minutes 
  Yamaha Ténéré 700 (motocross) 28,685  2 hours 
10   VW Polo  31,897  2 hours 14 minutes 

The 10 vehicle manuals which are the most difficult to read

In addition to reading-length, the Scrap Car Comparison study also used the renowned Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease Score to rank the how accessible each of these popular vehicle manuals are.

Finding that the manual of the McLaren 765LT supercar is the most difficult to digest, with a score of 44.3, you would need the equivalent of a college-leveleducation to understand the text. The Vauxhall Crossland X, BMW 2 Series, Ferrari 812 Superfast and Vauxhall Grandland X follow to make up the top five most difficult manuals to read.

The 10 vehicle manuals which are the easiest to read

It was the Model Y from automotive and technology giant Tesla which ranked as the easiest vehicle manual to understand. Scoring 76.92 on the Flesch Reading Ease Score, the manual for the EV is suitable for those in 7th grade (aged 12-13 years old) to read, and is no more complex than Twilight or The Great Gatsby to grasp.

Methodology and comparison

Researchers from Scrap Car Comparison analysed the user manuals for 90 best-selling vehicles (including cars, trucks, motorbikes, EVs and supercars), taken from a range of seedlists, to reveal their length and readability.

The number of pages was taken from the length of each PDF document, with the word count determined using Doc Word Counter. The average time to read each manual was calculated using the total word count of the document, and the average English silent reading speed of 238 words per minute.

An excerpt of 1500-3000 words from each manual was then analysed using the Datayze Readability Analyser to determine the readability of the document based on the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease and Grade Level scoring systems. 16 books were also analysed in the same way, in order to allow comparisons to be drawn.

Book Word Count Average Time to Read
War and Peace 587,287 41 hours 8 minutes
Entire Lord of the Rings series (including The Hobbit) 576,459 40 hours 22 minutes
A Game of Thrones 298,000 20 hours 52 minutes
The Da Vinci Code 137,540 9 hours 37 minutes
Moby Dick 94,500 6 hours 37 minutes
Pride and Prejudice 83,421 5 hours 50 minutes
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 76,944 5 hours 23 minutes
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 85,141 5 hours 57 minutes
The Great Gatsby 59,800 4 hours 11 minutes

All data is correct as of February 2022. Click here for the complete results from Scrap Car Comparison.

 

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