You’ve made your nominations. At final count, we received over one hundred entries for our Ten Best Automobiles Going (TBAG). They ranged from the sublime (Ferrari F430 drop top) to the ridiculous (I'm not THAT stupid). Twenty-one of our most expert TTAC writers surveyed each and every entry, and then cast their votes from your list. They narrowed the field to twenty most excellent finalists (listed after the jump). Now it’s your turn. We need you, our well-informed and insightful readers, to link-on-over to our e-poll, cast up to ten votes and select TTAC’s Ten Best Automobiles Going (TBAG) for 2007.
It’s a diverse field. Although some cars received multiple nominations and some received only one, the number of nominations didn’t affect the judges’ selection process. My esteemed colleagues considered each nominee carefully, and then voted for their choices based on their individual merits.
The list of finalists represents cars from all over the globe, in all price classes. Some nominees are fairly new on the market, while others are tried and true. All have that certain something that makes them stand out from the old ennui. Here are the finalists, along with some pros and cons to jump-start your thought processes and stimulate debate:
Acura TSX – Pro: A tasty blend of luxury, economy, style and reliability. Con: A rebadged Euro-Accord with plenty of high-class competition.
Audi RS4 – Pro: Like lightning shagging a tsunami in the middle of a tornado. Con: Audi’s reliability rap sheet stretches back two decades.
BMW 3-Series – Pro: The benchmark for sport sedans: balanced, powerful, tuneful, tactile, grippy. Con: Flame broiled sheetmetal, and expensive options jack up the price.
Chevy Corvette – Pro: Performs like cars that cost twice as much. Con: Built like cars that cost half as much.
Ford Crown Victoria – Pro: Shows us what full-sized American cars once were. Con: Shows us what full-sized American cars once were.
Ford Mustang GT – Pro: An American icon with V8 bellow and woofle and terrific straight-line performance. Con: Very few roads are totally straight.
Honda Accord – Pro: High build quality, exquisite engineering, high mileage and segment-leading resale value. Con: Bland “any car” styling that makes mall parking lots a nightmare.
Honda Fit – Pro: The current benchmark for low-cost, frugal, fun. Con: Light clutch, missing cog.
Honda S2000 – Pro: High-revving VTEC engine wrapped in a nimble rear-wheel-drive roadster. Con: On – off engine makes around town driving lethargic– or loud.
Infiniti G35 – Pro: Near-BMW-level performance at a far-from-BMW price. Con: Near-BMW-level performance.
Jeep Wrangler – Pro: Stays true to its rough and ready Jeep DNA: an American icon-on-wheels. Con: As a daily driver, it’s best suited to park wardens.
Maserati Quattroporte – Pro: A visual, haptic and sonic cargasm boasting a detuned Ferrari engine. Con: The brand has a rep for being less reliable than a pre- (post?) rehab Lindsay Lohan.
Mazda Mazda3 – Pro: Outstanding price-to-performance ratio. Con: Interior design and materials have been well and truly beancounted.
Mazda MX-5 – Pro: Low price, no-hassle roof retraction and go-cart handling equals year-round fun. Con: Chick car rep.
Mercedes E320 BlueTec – Pro: High mileage and low emissions promise the return of the passenger car diesel to the U.S. Con: High purchase price keeps it from those who would benefit most from its lower operating costs.
Porsche 911 – Pro: Legendary handling and performance in a timeless wrapper. Con: High price keeps it from those who would benefit most from its dynamic delights (i.e. me).
Porsche Boxster S – Pro: Faster through a slalom than a Ferrari Enzo. Con: Wind roar above 90mph makes conversation difficult.
Porsche Cayman – Pro: A miniature supercar. Con: Needs more power!
Subaru WRX/STi – Pro: Insane performance for chump change. Con: Only slightly better daily driver than a Jeep Wrangler.
VW GTI – Pro: The high priest of hot hatch hoonery. Con: Questionable quality creates quantum queasiness.
And there you have it. Once you’ve decided which ten of these machines deserve a TTAC TBAG, click on the link below for some (Poll)Monkey business. Make up to ten selections, and then click the “Vote” button. You can only vote once, so make sure your selections are correct before you click on “Vote” to enter your votes.
The polls are open until midnight EDT, Saturday May 19. We’ll announce the winners on Monday, May 21 (or maybe Tuesday, May 22 if we’re a bit alcoholically indisposed).
At this point it’s anyone’s game. Please use the comments section below to lobby for your choices, or explain them, or rail at our underpaid writers for failing to see the undeniable excellence of your neglected nomination. Thanks again for your intelligence, civility and enthusiasm.