Nominations 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.