By on May 11, 2007

headlight2.jpgNominations for the Ten Best Automobiles remain open ‘til midnight tonight (Friday). So far you’ve nominated over 100 praise-worthy (if occasionally dubious) rides. Over the next week, TTAC’s writers will vote on which 20 vehicles deserve your final selection. You, our core of persnickety pistonheads, will then be charged with choosing ten cars from this list. We will announce the winners here, of course, and send a press release to our devoted fans in the automotive media. Meanwhile, we’ve had plenty of pithy comments and observations.

Several of you noted that suggesting nominees worthy of being called the “best” is a difficult process. David42 explained his dilemma eloquently: 

"I tried to come up with a nominee, but got stuck. Which got me thinking: the US auto market is in a weird place today. Generally speaking, cars are better than ever, but the selection is a lot less interesting than it used to be…

These are great days to buy a new car… if you’re in the market for a CamCord. But if you want something interesting (and not impossibly Italian), there’s not much out there."

Despite of this purported quandary, relatively inexpensive, fun-to-drive cars like the Honda Civic si and the VW GTI (mit DSG paddle shift transmission) have dominated the proceedings straight from the git-go. Beken’s MINI nomination spoke for many:

“It is one car where you can have it all without the SUV size. Sports car handling and chuckability without the sports car price.” 

TreyV shared similar sentiments re: Subaru's WRX STi:

“Goes like hell (straight or turning) while still a practical small sedan. Shockingly easy to drive fast and highly forgiving. You can just feel the quality of the drive train oozing into the cabin, which itself is a study in clean driving functionality.”

Yup, practicality was a big factor. Curisu noted the Mitsibushi Lancer Evo's liveability.

“It boasts four doors, seats five, and has a reasonably large boot for those extra-quick milk runs. I’ve personally seen many examples with baby seats (Recaro, of course) in the rear – so it can serve as a perfectly reasonable family vehicle.” 

TeeKay thinks the Maserati Quattroporte fits into the same category:

“Hey, I need something to transport my family and a few child seats, and I’m not going to deny my kids the glorious engine note at 8000-rpm redline.”  

And if the big Maser’s looks help it qualify it for a TBAG, the same holds true for the xB– apparently. In fact, mehugtree penned a soft porn paean to the wee Scion:

“The gently rounded corners of the roof evoke the soften the senses and evoke a feeling of peace… The ribbed roof reminds me of old school Suburbans I never had. The subtle love handles at the beltline coming off the taillights make me proud of mine. The stubby little nose and side, open windshield… cause me to think of Drew Barrymore in The Wedding Singer.”

More prosaically, there are plenty of you who heaped praise upon Ye Olde Panther platform, home of the Crown Victoria. Armadamaster (whose nic indicates a preference for full-figured vehicles) named that tune:

“The Panther platform is the most underrated, unacknowledged, unappreciated cars on the road. The new Charger/300C are nice American styled cars but the Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car are as American as the Mustang any day of the week.”

While exotics were notable by their absence, a few of you shared lumberg21’s champagne dreams and caviar nominations.

“Nicest thing about driving through Novato (other than getting through it) was the Ferrari dealership. I’d be headed down 101 when I would first here that unmistakable shriek of the engine followed by the gorgeous form that almost defines the I-want-it-but-I-can’t-have-it car."

Ferrari? Cellman don’t need no stinkin’ Ferrari! The Corvette rocks!

“This affordable monster simply outperforms most supercars especially at basic tasks. Forget that American-as-apple-pie interior plastics and creaks and rattles. It’s part of the sensory overload. True Americana: big brute power at Wal-Mart prices.”

Technology caught some of your eyes, by Prius engagement. Galaxygreymx5 penned his ode to the high tech Toyota:

“Only Toyota could build the space shuttle for $21,995 and have it top the reliability charts. Even discounting the high-tech hybrid aspect, the Prius is a lot of midsize sedan with a handy hatch, plenty of room for five and some nifty gizmos on the option sheet.” 

And if you think no one’s paying attention to your nominations, note what Joe O had to say:

“So many people have nominated the GTI that I will once again go test drive it; this time, with DSG. And I will seriously consider it (or its A3 cousin).”

Will TTAC’s Ten Best influence a generation of pistonheads? Probably not. But the final list will tell the world who we are, and what we stand for– automotively speaking. As far as we’re concerned, you are what you drive. Voting to select the Ten Best winners opens next Wednesday, the sixteenth. 

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41 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Best Automobiles for 2007: Final Nominations Please!...”

  • avatar

    Crown Vics may or may not be great cars. As NYC taxis, they certainly did not have enough room in the backseats (I’m 5′-11″) given their length.

    Here in So. Cal., they are usually driven by octogenarians (to use a TTAC word) at around 65mph on the freeway. If it were any other vehicle (i.e., not a Crown Vic) people will just go around it, either on the left OR on the right (this is So. Cal., afterall, where people have no concept of passing lanes or slower traffic keep to the right). But because it’s a Crown Vic, everyone worries that it is the police, and a 65mph blockade forms behind the octogenarian.

    Most folks in the dense block of traffic behind the Crown Vic are too busy looking at the Crown Vic (Police?) while maneuvering in the blockade, leading to dangerous situations sometimes.

    The blockade continues until someone brave enough ventures closer, and notes either the lack of antennae or other police equipment, and/or the advanced age of the occupants, and speeds up.

    So the Crown Vic should be removed from TBAG, because, even in non-police guise/livery, it serves as a disservice to most road users.

  • avatar

    Yuppie: I just submitted a comment, but it disappeared. What happened? Occasionally our spam filter gets a bit too enthusiastic and traps legit comments. It's been liberated.

  • avatar

    Chevy Malibu Maxx

    What do I love about this car?
    1. It’s pretty much the only midsize hatch on the market.
    2. At $21k it’s priced well below any midsize wagon, with nearly as much cargo capacity.
    3. It’s $2000 cheaper than a comparable V6 Camry sedan, $5000 cheaper than a comparable V6 Accord sedan.
    4. Especially with 2006+ models, have an interior that’s vastly improved over previous Chevy cars. Fit and finish are also excellent.
    5. It’s fun to drive, with surprising zip from the 3.5L V6.
    6. It’s amazingly spacious inside, both front and rear. Rear legroom is more comparable to a Ford Crown Vic than a midsize sedan. The rear seats not only recline, but also slide forward to increase rear cargo capacity.
    7. Subjectively speaking, the styling looks masculine and aggressive, while still maintaining a unique elegance. There’s nothing else quite like it on the road.

    GM has created a vehicle that can carry four passengers in spacious comfort, or haul large amounts of cargo, or both. The Malibu Maxx is their best-kept secret, and it’s a shame there’s no effort to create a hatch or wagon variant of the 2008 Malibu.

  • avatar

    Although I’ve offered a few opinions on the Corvette in the other TBAG threads, I haven’t taken the opportunity to officially nominate it yet.

    I was thinking about my brief (bought it about 6 weeks ago) 2006 Corvette ownership when the most amazing fact came to mind. In the ~3000miles I have driven the car, I have seen 4 cars (not models, individual cars) that I would rather be in if money were no object. A sliver F430, a black 997 Turbo, a Yellow Gallardo and a black Continental GT Coupe. (I’ve also seen a 996 Turbo, a Maserati Quattroporte, Maserati Coupe, an Aston Martin Vantage, some lesser 911s and a Cayman S that are arguably better, but none of these cars are so much better that it would be an easy decision to make if I could trade my Vette straight up for any of them-OK I’d probably take the Aston in a second but I would be embarrassed by other C6 owners at stoplights or on a track)

    4 cars in 3000 miles that I would rather drive if I were a billionaire. That’s it. A car that I can buy not even one year after graduation is so spectacular that approximately one car every thousand miles makes me wish I had more money to spend on an automobile. That is my definition of a top 10 car.

  • avatar

    What? No mention of the Miata?

    If the decades old Crown Vic gets in, and the Miata doesn’t… Well, lets just say that TTAC’s cred will go flying out the window.

    My votes still go for:

    1/ Mazda Miata

    2/ Jeep Wrangler

    3/ Subaru Outback

  • avatar

    Doesn’t the Malibu hold the honor of the only domestic auto with rear-heated seats because it’s on the Saab 9-3 platform?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    blunozer: I believe the Miata is already on the list. The Panther is getting more attention because its pretty shocking it got nominated in the first place.

    bluebrat: The Lincoln LS and Zephyr have them, and I’m pretty sure the Sedan De Ville (DTS, I guess) sports them too. But I guess the Maxx is the only car in its class with that feature.

  • avatar

    Yuppie’s comment amuses me highly, as it reminded me of riding in my Grandmother’s (long since replaced) Caprice Classic!

    I fondly recall watching many cars brake in panic as the aptly-nicknamed “Blue Goose” descended upon them. Once they noticed the lack of police livery, it was off to the races again (where they probably encountered real cops).

    Admittedly, I’ve fallen for the same ruse myself many times. Since I currently live in a college town, there seem to be an excessive number of ex-police Panthers roaming about…

  • avatar

    I have to agree that nominating the Crown Vic utterly baffles ones mind.

    Quite a few years ago I used to work summers for NPS at Yellowstone and we had a whole fleet of these things.
    While surely the altitude and the hills had something to do with it, as soon as the temperatures rose a little during the day in summer these horrendous pieces of crap broke down in wholesale numbers, to the point no one wanted to be inconvenienced by going out in them and pulling rank for the very small number of older GM cars we had.

    Also for such a large car it is very cramped for normal sized people.

  • avatar

    re: “…I have [only] seen 4 cars…”
    thetopdog: May 11th, 2007 at 2:04 pm

    where do you drive that you witness such fascinating traffic?

  • avatar


    I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I live in Boston. It’s not Orange County as far as seeing exotics is concerned, but it’s not rural West Virgina either

  • avatar

    Porsche Boxster – for three reasons:

    1. Generally acknowledged as one of the finest handling, semi affordable(OK it is more than a Miata but handles like – or better than – a Ferrari) sports cars…EVER! Even handles much better than the 911 (I know, I had both)

    2. Although is has seem a number of minor revisions, it is still visually and operationally the same design for over a decade. Even the Cayman is a hard top version of the Boxster design . The mid-engined water cooled flat six is brilliant

    3. Saved the company (Porsche) at a time when they were “on the ropes” – and they have come back with a vengence.

  • avatar

    I’ll go ahead and renew my nomination for the Crown Vic. I love the car. The styling, while dated, still looks good. It’s large and comfortable, able to seat me, my wife, and three children with plenty of room in the trunk for a week’s worth of groceries. And there’s still room left in there for my tools and emergency gear.
    The performance is good for the sheer size of the car. And there is a shocking amount of aftermarket mods available. What’s better: Whatever i decide to do will fit, plenty of room under the hood.
    Parts are cheap and plentiful. Because the Panther platform has been around forever, and doesn’t get updated that often, pretty much any shop you take it to can quickly and easily repair the car.
    The body on frame construction and the mass of the car make it one very tough vehicle. I’ve seen these cars take horrific hits that would turn lesser cars into aluminum confetti and still be drivable.
    This is the last true American car on the road. All others are just pale substitutes for what a sedan should be.
    I drive one of the decommisioned police cars some of you are complaining about. Great car, upgraded performance from the standard Vic. Rubber flooring makes cleaning up after the kids a breeze. The A-pillar spotlight is useful at work. And when I’m on the way to work, with the CB antenna whipping in the wind, and my security supervisor uniform on, I get a huge kick out of watching the brake lights and sudden lane changes ahead of me! :D

  • avatar

    BlueBrat: Doesn’t the Malibu hold the honor of the only domestic auto with rear-heated seats because it’s on the Saab 9-3 platform?

    I believe this is only on the LTZ trim, which adds about $3k to the sticker price. The $21k I spent was for a Maxx LT.

    I have no idea what other domestic autos offer this, but I’d be surprised if it isn’t also available on the Epsilon-based Saturn Aura.

  • avatar

    As my car parked outdoors doesn’t come with heated seats either, I’ve been looking aftermarket. Adding a seat heating element costs $80-$100 per seat, although getting the cover off and threading the wiring would probably be a pain in the 2nd (or 3rd) row.

  • avatar

    I seriously think that Ford Fusion has a decent chance to be in the top 10 here.

    After owning both a maxima and a Fusion, I can easily say that Fusion its worth its pennies, especially after all the rebates if Maxima is to used as a benchmark of excellence.

    Even C&D place the V6 Fusion above Camry and Optima and only behind Accord.

    its well equiped and my lease cost is actually less than what i would be paying for a Mazda 3. All in all, if cost factor counts that Fusion should be up there.


  • avatar

    re: thetopdog: May 11th, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    not sarcastic, just curious.

    i remember moving from michigan to san diego in 1982 and being so overwhelmed with the number of 911s i saw daily on my commute to/from work that i actually began counting them just out of curiousity. back in port huron [pop. approx 40,000] there were only a handful in the whole town. out here, i was driving approximately 20 miles each way and seeing 19 or 20 911/912s on practically every trip.

    these days – many more. and many others, too.

  • avatar

    I nominate the Shelby GT500 convertible.
    475 horsepower and a drop top to boot. Despite featuring a centre console that would be embarassing even in a Fiesta, the car:
    -Sounds perfect
    -Hauls butt
    -Handles alot better than you think
    -Attracts a crowd (of mostly older guys – wait..that’s not cool!)
    -Is a suitable cruiser with the top down as well as a dragstrip.

    did I mention it sounds awesome? :-)

  • avatar

    I inherited a slate grey Crown Vic from my dad. At one point, the mechanism for the lights fizzled, causing them to alternate flashing on and off. I singlehandedly, and inadvertently, stopped almost every car on the Gardiner Expressway dead in their tracks. Of course, I was obliged to blow by them all at 95mph…no sense wasting an opportunity like that.

  • avatar

    Go ask any of those cabbies about Crown Vic oil burning and how much it costs to change the valve seals. Then ask ’em about the rear air suspension and how much the shocks cost. The Crown Vic is a dinosaur. Which is why it may be getting so much attention on this site. A yearning for the days of yore.

  • avatar

    I don’t know if this was on the earlier lists, but I nominate the Infiniti g35 coupe. Sure it has awesome driving dynamics, a killer world class engine, and very suitable comfort for a sports coupe. It has a level of luxury that is the perfect fit for me, enough to be considered upper class but not so much that I feel embarassed for wasting my money on extravagence. Accordingly, the price comes in at a level that is very affordable compared to its German peers.

    All of this is just filler though. There is only a single reason that I need to nominate the car, and that is the feeling I have when I witness one. The perfect sexy exterior that is both masculinely sporty and feminely stylish, loudly exotic but also with Japenese refinement. I get a little clench in my TBAGs every time I see or hear one on the road, and I will have one someday, hopefully soon. No other attainable production car gives me this feeling.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    A friend of mine out in Acworth has been selling cars for over two decades. He’s a Top 10 buyer at two different dealer auctions, and has pretty much seen every mass marketed vehicle since the mid-1980’s.

    In his mind at least, the Crown Victoria is one of the nicest riding luxury cars out there… even today. Keep in mind this fellow plays around the interstates in a Mazda RX-8 and his wife drives a 1st generation Lexus SC400. His perspective one is not one of pro-Amercian bias, but personal experience.

    I have to agree with what’s generally be said about the Crown Victoria, especially the Police Interceptor models, with one not so small caveat.

    What most of you are describing is not a best NEW car. It’s a used car that you can typically purchase for twenty to thirty cents on the dollar after a few years. In that regard the Crown Victoria is definitely an exceptional value. I’ve driven at least three Police Interceptors at this point and they have all been wonderful.

    But as a new car offering, say anywhere from 20k to 30k, it doesn’t hold up very well. There’s simply nothing that it does that at least six or seven other models don’t do better in the circa 2007 marketplace.

  • avatar

    If we’ve already made our nominations, do we need to nominate them again?

  • avatar

    If we’ve already made our nominations, do we need to nominate them again?

    No. If you’ve made a nomination we’ve recorded it and the car is in the running.

  • avatar

    Go ask any of those cabbies about Crown Vic oil burning and how much it costs to change the valve seals. Then ask ‘em about the rear air suspension and how much the shocks cost.

    Mine’s been well behaved about oil burning. Our department cars were as well. Rear shocks are about $60 a piece for the heavy duty police/taxi suspension. Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Towncar, which does use Ford’s air-ride, and is an expensive mother to fix?

    Sorry you dislike the car so much, I think owning one for a year or so would change your mind. To each thier own though.

  • avatar

    For such a large car, the Crown Vic sure doesn’t make very good space utilization as it really isn’t that roomy. I didn’t feel like it had any more space for passengers than a late 90s Camry. Maybe it all went into the trunk. I’d fault it for the junk interior too, but anyone buying one of those codgers certainly isn’t concerned with such things.

  • avatar
    mike frederick

    The 1994 GMC Sonoma 4*4.T.B.I. 5 speed standard. 4.3 liter.3.43 rear gear ratio.

    After markets galore,with the things you can do with intake on a throttle body and non-stock exhaust from the headers to tail pipe alone is amazing concerning H.P.

    After market shocks,tires and front contreol arms are great to reduce roll.Not all roll but most.

    If you drive a particular vehicle for over 14 yrs. you should be able to handle a corner rather well considering what you’re driving.If not,just give up.

  • avatar
    Gerry T

    I have owned a white Crown Vic for 7 years now. Looks just like a cop car. We have 4 other cars and trucks and we like all of them…. an RL, a new Tbird etc. The thing about the Crown Vic is that it is the one we take on all our trips. Good gas mileage, good ride, roomy, and you can drive 85 mph all day and wave a cops because they think you are one of them.

  • avatar

    Ford does make a long wheelbase version of the Crown Vic for taxis and limo services. It just so happens most cabs are ex-police cars, where rear seat comfort really isn’t a priority, since if you’re in the rear seat, chances are you don’t deserve comfort.

    Sure, the Crown Vic has its problems, but what car doesn’t? And really, if it was so bad, the police wouldn’t be using them all the time.

    Someone mentioned there are six or seven other models out there that do things better than a new CV. If that’s the case, then why don’t police and cabbies use those six or seven other models? I think I mentioned this before, but the Crown Vic does what it was designed to do extremely well. It’s not designed to be fast, or fuel efficient, but solid and reliable. Really, I don’t think it’s a huge leap to say that the Crown Vic is the most populous vehicle on the road today. And that speaks volumes about it’s reliability. I think a new car, to get a TBAG, should be reasonable reliable over a number of years. Judging by the number of Crown Vics on the road now, and the number and type of miles put on them, a new Crown Vic will likely last a good number of years. I;d like to see a Camry, or a Mini, or a BMW stand up to the abuse the Crown Vic goes through. That said, those aren’t designed for that type of driving, the Crown Vic is. And it’s the best at it. So it should get a TBAG.

  • avatar

    On a recent motorcycle trip through Ohio, I (on my Kaw Z750S) became boxed in at 55MPH through a construction zone. The other drivers appeared to be gawking in sheer reverence at the White One, as it sedately motored along, for a distance of about 4 miles. Our reverie was broken when said ship serenely pulled to the right, exposing its side, emblazoned with the “Winged Tire” emblem of the Ohio Highway Patrol. After a period of due reverence, our group returned to the hustle-bustle, 80 MPH rat-race, intent on reaching our destinations once again. I’m sure that all involved were touched by the moment where, no matter what sort of high-tech wundercar that one chose to represent one’s highway presence, all bowed in deference to the elder statesman of the road, the inimitable Crown Victoria.

    Thus, I enter my nomination for “The Most Respected Vehicle in America”.

  • avatar

    Replying lprocter1982:
    Sure, the Crown Vic has its problems, but what car doesn’t? And really, if it was so bad, the police wouldn’t be using them all the time.

    But cops have different priorities. Bump into escaping criminal cars, for example.

    Compare the Crown Vic to a Hyundai Azera, what is the advantage of the Crown Vic, if you don’t intend to bump into others?

  • avatar

    But the Crown Vic IS intended to bump into others, so denying that use is not a fair comparison of capabilities.

    However, the CV has a V8 with as much power as an Azera, has a larger trunk, RWD, long history of good reliability, ease of maintenance, looks (I like the appearance of the CV over the Azera, but that’s subjective), Crown Vic costs the same, maybe less than the Azera.

    But anyway, this is not to say the Azera isn’t a good car, because it is. But I think the CV does what it was intended to do better than any other vehicle.

  • avatar

    RWD is a bad thing—more weight, worse fuel economy (at least for Crown Vic, don’t give me some expensive German counter example). Unless it can translate into better handling. But we don’t see that in Crown Vic.

    The trunk is large for sure, but the cabin is small. Yes, I do have 1st hand experience with Crown Vic.

    Cost the same or less? Go compare the standard equipment list.

    The only advantage, as I mentioned, is the “bump into others” thing. I don’t care if it’s fair, but that is useful for 1% of the population.

    For the rest 99% who don’t intend to bump into others, Azera is better in every aspect.

  • avatar

    I always try not to bump into others

    but somtimes I still do.

    Why is is that some cars offend others? I drive an Xb and I know that car offends some people but I love it. The crown vic is not for me but some people love them. I think that since these are basically popularity contests based on taste is why some vehicles end up as both on the TWATS and on the TBAG list.

  • avatar

    We are not talking about people loving or being offended by a certain car. We are talking about the best car, at least in its class. Azera or Avalon or Camry can perfectly handle the occasional bumping into others. No, you don’t need a Crown Vic, unless bumping into others is your profession.

  • avatar

    And the Crown Vic is used primarily by those whose profession is bumping into others. Plus, police love the RWD because it’s more reliable and cheaper to service than FWD Impalas. Ford sells almost all of their Crown Vics to fleets, namely police and rental companies.
    As for fuel economy, the Crown Vic can get 27mpg on the highway, with the A/C on, which is BETTER than it’s EPA rating. How many cars can boast that?

    And since when was greatness associated with need? People have been saying the Corvette, the Bugattis and other super-exotics are worthy of TBAGs. Who actually needs those? No, the best are the cars that do what they are intended to do better than any other, in my opinion.

  • avatar

    [I am re-posting this here, because it looks like I had posted it in an older TBAG thread. Hadn’t seen this most recent one first.]

    As car enthusiasts, we normally have a pretty good idea of the short-list of cars we want to get when comes time for a new one.

    This was the case with me, and I started test-driving the various ones. Normally, I would also have an idea beforehand of what to expect, and which are the likeliest contenders.

    A first happened this time: the first car that sold itself to me on the test-drive, and without being on my initial list, is the one I have currently owned for four years: The Acura TSX.

    It was spring 2003, and the 2004 TSX had just arrived at the local dealership; I hadn’t even read much about it.

    As I moved away from the RSX-Type S I came in to see, I was smitten by the high-quality materials and build of the interior. The design was wonderfully handsome as well. I sat in the driver’s seat, shut the door… what’s this? Very luxurious thud, and a quiet cabin. The instrument panel awoke into a soft glow to welcome me. Equipement list? FULLY EQUIPED! How much is this thing? $3K more (CDN) than the RSX-S I was just looking at. And because it is a 2004 in early 2003, it actually leased better. But the feel of this interior is an entirely different LEAGUE than the RSX-S. It brought back memories of my previous BMW 330Ci.

    The dealer happened to be near some mountaineous switchbacks, and as I straightened the wheels after the first turn, having heel-and-toe downshifted smoothly in the setup to the turn, my whole mind became quiet and I heard with pure clarity: I. Am. Getting. This. Car.

    A week prior to this, I had test-driven the Mini Cooper and Cooper S. Putting handling numbers aside, I had as much fun in the TSX as I did in the Minis. The connected-ness and whole-ness of the controls is greater than the sum of their parts.

    After having aquired the TSX, I’ve described it as giving me 90% of what the 330Ci did, at a value bonus of 140%. Plus, I appreciate the anonymous, yet handsome-on-second-glance styling.

    Four years on, I still smile on my daily drives.

  • avatar

    I really don’t understand is this lovefest for the Crown Victoria. For the Crown Victoria you can snag in 2007, suddenly, it’s 1998…it hasn’t been updated much since then.

    The car is being praised for its recognizability. Right. Recognition as taxi cabs (that we experience through someone else’s adventurous driving), and as cop cars (driven by those who want rein in our own adventurous driving). Crown Vics are certainly recognizable, but not for any pleasurable reasons.

    For that matter, Crown Vics ARE good as cop cars and taxis. But are YOU going to use your vehicle to police highway traffic or pursue criminals? Got any plans to shuttle people across town for money? No? I’d figure that significantly less than 50 percent of us will. The fact that CVs are mad durable and the cops/taxi drivers use them are good points. But acknowledging celebrities’ love of limousine travel has about the same merit–the average car buyer isn’t trying to get in the livery biz.

    It’s certainly is the ‘last great American sedan’. And that’s precisely why Honda, Toyota, Nissan, or any import upstart hasn’t bothered to benchmark the car since they’ve been doing business in the U.S. It isn’t the best, it’s the past.

    Better money would be spent on a nice pair of running shoes–the Crown Vic has all the appeal of Ensure-drinking folks who like socks with their sandals. There are plenty of cars similarly durable, usable, and fuel efficient–and they’re of the 21st century.

  • avatar

    These snide comments against the Crown Vic are unfair. As the previous poster noted, the Crown Vic has not been benchmarked by the Japanese and German competition. But the Crown Vic does not compete against the Camcordima either. Moreover, it is a tad telling and more than a little naive to call the Crown Vic a vestiage of the past. This “lovefest” for the Panther platform isn’t just nostalgia run amuk; it is tapping into an undercurrent of a genuine desire to see the return of the American car in all its glory, defined in terms of engineering excellence, distinctive design language and pride in craftsmanship.

    For all the efficiencies that the import brands have brought to automobiles that North Americans know and love today, not a single one has yet built an American car. The Crown Vic survives nearly unmolested from its 1979 foundations because of its lack of imported competition. The import brands changed the way North Americans think about automobiles, and the domestic brands followed this example nearly to the letter.

    The Crown Victoria, boiled down to its essence, stands as a testament to everything the American automobile was and should be again. It is the tireless workhorse of the automotive world that treads where lesser cars fear to. In short, it carries the load that other cars have abdicated in the conversion to unit body and FWD.

    As such, this vehicle would be conspicuous by its absence in these deliberations.

  • avatar

    Honestly, I really can’t see the Acura TSX as a good value for money. Nor can I see it as a fun car to drive.

    When I was in the market for a new car (last year), I cross shopped an Acura TSX, VW GLI, and a Mazda6.

    And while the TSX and Mazda6 seemed somewhat comparable (outside of cost), the VW GLI blew the Acura out of the water in both luxury, handling, performance, and price.

    In comparison, GLI had:

    a tighter suspension
    a 6-speed DSG transmission (vice a 5-speed regular transmission for the Acura)
    more power off the line
    more luxurious interior
    better ergonomics
    adjustable air conditioning air vents for the back seat
    better fuel economy

    and it was cheaper!

    So, I really don’t see how the Acura could be the best in it’s class. Maybe in reliability. But that’s a cold comfort considering all the rest you have to give up.

  • avatar

    I will nominate the Scion tC. Mostly because it looks great, and you get a lot for your money.

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