The car manuals longer than iconic works of fiction

Reading your car’s handbook is a great way of learning about how it works and getting the most out of its various features.

However, owners could be forgiven for passing on doing so as research suggests some car handbooks are longer than novels famous for being quite wordy.

For example, the Audi A3 has the longest booklet, containing 167,699 words with an estimated read time of 11 hours and 45 minutes. For comparison, this is just 1,300 words and five minutes short of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, or more than 11,000 words longer than The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien.

The Seat Ibiza had the next highest word count at 154,657, followed by Mercedes-Benz’s C-Class (152,875) and A-Class (143,706). The Kia Sportage rounds out the top five with 133,531.

Each of these handbooks was longer than Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (118,975) and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (100,388).

Car Manuals vs Literature
Car Manuals vs Literature

To give further context, even those way down the list, such as the Ford Mondeo and Citroen C3 (around 67k and 65k respectively) have more than twice the word count found in Shakespeare’s longest play Macbeth, which comes in at about 30k words.

The study by Bristol Street Motors was accompanied by a small survey of 350 people, which suggested 60 per cent of motorists don’t read their manual before driving a new car. Meanwhile, 29 per cent said they had read their handbook in full.