By on August 13, 2008

It may be good, but is it good enough to make the cut?TTAC's Best and Brightest have spoken. You provided us with 81 nominations for our Ten Best award, from the Aston Martin Vanquish to the HUMMER H2. From this cornucopia of cars, our ever-eager writers selected the short list of 20 finalists. As you might expect, the final list leans heavily towards vehicles notable for their performance and driving excellence. Half of this year's contenders were also finalists last year [indicated by an asterisk]. So here they are, along with some of your more "colorful" comments. Once you've had a look, please step into the e-voting booth and choose TTAC's Ten Best.

Audi A5/S5:  In the old days, the Ford Thunderbird was a big stylish and fast coupe, without being as brash as a Trans Am or ‘Stang. Audi's bangle-free design looks great, and the chassis is improved from the A4. -squid

Audi R8:  No other car in the last decade has created such a stir as this one. Incredible styling, performance and presence. The R8 stops traffic, then peels out leaving bystanders to wipe off their drool. -Jeff in Canada

Audi S4/RS4*:  Audi has constantly evolved their S4 series to make it a true driver's car and outshine its Bavarian rivals ultimate driving machine. -jaje

BMW 3-Series*:  No other car offers such variety. Sedan, coupe, wagon, convertible? Check. NA or turbo straight 6? Check. RWD or AWD? Check. The great thing is that all versions are fantastic cars to drive. -Quentin

Cadillac CTS: As uniquely American as a 2000lb bomb being dropped on a Taliban, and as shocking in real life as well. The interior makes an Audi or BMW look positively old fashioned. And they offer it in a manual in every trim level. -Capt Mike

Chevy Corvette/Z06/ZR1*:  This is the one car that Chevy continually and consistently updates for the better and doesn't let it rot on the vine. It will embarrass many cars even those twice it's price. -jaje

Honda Civic: Provides laser-precise handling, a quiet comfortable interior, and decent power. It's a blast to drive, yet somehow manages to get class-leading fuel efficiency. – Axel.

Honda Fit*: It is an impeccably designed small car, with good mpg, an ingenious interior (those seats fold in every direction!), reliability, and playful handling. -Adub

Hyundai Genesis: Penny pinchers unite! Someone at Hyundai has some pretty big coconuts, skipping the whole mass market thing and going squarely for BMW. -yournamehere

Infiniti G35/37*: More competent RWD sports sedan than the 3-series, restyle looks great even in coupe form. Available AWD for the snowbelt. -TEXN3

Mazda Mazda3/MazdaSpeed3*: In both sedan and hatchback form, the Mazda3 offers enough zoom-zoom to satisfy your wants and enough practicality to satisfy your needs. -Theodore

Mazda MX-5*: You don't understand cars until you have driven one of these… to its limits. There are no cars that give you this level of handling enjoyment for this price range, and way beyond. -Aardappel

MINI Cooper S:  Here is a great performance car for the era of $4+ fuel: fun to drive, fast, thrifty, handles great, outstanding resale value, and the look is still unique after all these years. -Steve-O

Nissan GT-R: The handling and quickness are unfathomable, the power is brutal and its pretty much undeniable in whether or not it accomplishes its purpose. Best of all is its consistency. You have to try to make a mistake in this car. – John R

Pontiac G8:  Rear wheel drive V8 performance without body cladding dripping off. Probably the last of the breed with gas prices and fuel economy standards. -carguy622

Porsche 911*: I've tried to dislike it, tried to rationalize its capabilities with respect to its price, but the car is the perfect sports car and the only sports car you can drive every day. If petrol still exists in some decades (and it will) you can buy one now and drive it happily every day for at least the next 20 years. -JJ

 Porsche Boxster S*: This is the everyman's sports car. This car has a perfectly balanced driving character and has perfectly balanced the needs of modern accommodations, safety, and emissions with the purity of the original 356 vision. -Joe O

Toyota Prius: Tomorrow's car today. Not really a driver's car, but a practical and painless transportation module that is optimized for the conditions in which most urbanites actually drive. Not a back-roads car, but every time I get stuck in semi-stationary traffic, I wish I had one. -argentla

VW GTI*: Hatchback versatility, decent mpg's, upscale interior, and an absolute fantastic drive. It delivers all you need to have a blast on back roads and interstate cruises for a mid 20k price. -blankfocus

VW Jetta TDI Sportwagen: Sporty, fun to drive, TDI power and torque leave all the others in the dust and the wagon version is very utilitarian, to boot. -Beelzebubba

Now comes the time to narrow this list down to the ten winners. Click below to pop over to our poll and place your votes. Then watch this space to see which vehicles become  TTAC's Ten Best for 2008.

Click Here To Vote 

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86 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Best for 2008: Time to Vote!...”


  • avatar
    KatiePuckrik

    How did the Jaguar XF NOT get on this list?!

  • avatar

    The same way all the other nominees that didn’t make it on this list didn’t make it on this list: TTAC’s writers didn’t select it (one snarkerer, one vote).

  • avatar
    BigChiefMuffin

    3 Audis, 2 BMWs ( if you include the Mini ) and 2 Posches – not a single Merc ! I’ve never liked them as is, but didn’t think everyone else felt the same…

  • avatar
    Antone

    That was actually harder than I thought it would be. There are a lot of great cars on the market right now!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So, what’s the official take on the most effective way to stuff the ballot box?

  • avatar
    Zarba

    And not a single Chrysler, Ford (OK, 2 Mazdas), or Mercedes-Benz on the list. Hmmmmmmm…

    With all due respect to Katie, the XF is just not unique enough to make the cut. Other than the shifter and cool (until they break) HVAC vents, the XF is too derivative, and it doesn’t offer anything that can be considered class-leading.

    Compare the specs of a Hyundai Genesis V-8 to an XF, and it’s scary (if you’re Jaguar/Tata).

    The Genesis looks to be a real game-changer for Hyundai. Everything I’ve read says it’s very, very good. And while not yet on a par with Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar, it’s shockingly close.

    The biggest issue for Hyundai is whether they can up their dealership’s service to handle the car and those who can buy it. It could break either way. It could be the next LS400, or the next Phaeton.

  • avatar
    baldheadeddork

    I couldn’t vote for the Mini. It’s a great car, but for half-again the price of a Fit or Mazda 3, it should be.

  • avatar
    Scott

    Very happy to see the Fit on the list. CR had it at number 8 in a recent hatch comparo, and I was perplexed. I’m glad I’m not alone in my love of this car. 25k miles in just under a year, with 34 mpg avg. (43 mpg max.), and not one complaint.

  • avatar
    Samir

    Among easily affordable cars I selected the Fit, GTI, Civic and Mazda3. Each one has a great balance of sportiness, functionality and affordability. The Fit and Civic are also fuel misers, the GTI is the sportiest and the Mazda3 is a bit of a renaissance man within this group.

    For the sports sedans, I gave the nod to the 3-series for its vast customizeability and the way BMW has nurtured the badge (though that may be unravelling a bit now…) and the Audi RS4 for its supreme versatility. I also gave a nod to the G8 for its power/price ratio. If GM didn’t have its head up its ass about long-term continuous improvements, the G8 could easily be GM’s equivalent of the G35, i.e., 90% of the 3-series for 60-70% of the price.

    Among the sportier cars, I voted for the Corvette and the Boxster S. Because I’d love one of each.

    I was disappointed to see the Wrangler not make the list. I voted for it in the 1st round that was for TTAC writers. It is a rare American example of decades-long model evolution that leads to an iconic stature in the minds of car buyers. But well, one writer, one ballot.

  • avatar

    Given the passions the nomination phase elicited, the selection of the final voting group is remarkably neutral. No doubt there will be those whinging because the Doubtfire V11 did not make the list, but the results will be interesting given an amazing range of choices out there.

    The list and comments both suggest that the Germans and the Japanese are definitely doing some of the most interesting automotive work on the planet.

    I still don’t understand why the Doubtfire V11 did not make the cut…

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    How did the Jaguar XF NOT get on this list?!
    For the same reasons the Lexus GS400h didn’t.

  • avatar
    highrpm

    Definitely a vote for the Honda Civic. It’s peppy. It handles. It has the interior of a more expensive car. It will last long after you decide to buy a newer one ten years from now.

    Also a vote for the Boxster S. It’s mid engined like all proper race cars, and it has the bigger engine and upgraded suspension. And it’s a convertible.

    No Odyssey minivan though? I always considered it an Extra Large sport wagon, really.

  • avatar
    adam0331

    I don’t see why 3 Audi’s and 2 VW’s on the list. Everyone I’ve ever known to own either of those brands has run into major problems from mechanical to electrical. A good drivers car is only good if it’s halfway reliable and I haven’t seen proof the Audi/VW guys are on par with the Japanese yet. We give the 2.8 plenty of grief for making crap, but give others a pass???

    Also would’ve liked to see a mid-size on the list. The Camcord lines are the best at selling pure numbers. Throw in all their competition and it’s easily the largest market for sales. Three fuel mizers made the cut, certinaly thanks to the current economy, but no family hauler fuel sippers that the vast majority of Americans park in their garage every night? The list seems a bit elitist IMO…and this from a guy that doesn’t like either of the current Camcord lines.

  • avatar

    I voted for the XF, the C-Class, and the Silverado in the first TTAC Writer only round, but thats my opinion, so now you guys need to vote and let us know yours!

    And remember, your vote here really DOES count, because we don’t do an electoral college.

    So VOTE, and Drive (not die).

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list?

  • avatar
    Lumbergh21

    I find it interesting that the Lotus Exige/Elise isn’t on the list. It’s a true sports car adhering to the less (weight) is more (fun) principle of design, and it was nominated by several people including myself, of course – why else would I be mentioning it.

    There aren’t even 10 cars on the list that I could bring myself to vote for. If we were allowed to actually rank them 1 to 10 as well (maybe next year?), I would have put the Mazda3 as #1 for its blend of fun and practicallity at a good price. The Miata, excuse me MX-5, would be a close second for cheap fun. After that, the only ones that I could really get behind were the GT-R, Infiniti G35/G37, and Corvette. I ended up also voting for the Porsche 911 and Boxster S even though I think they are overpriced for what they are (I guess by the same token, I could have voted for the BMW 3 Series) and the Fit because it is good at what it does – cheap, reliable, versatile, transportation – even though I don’t ever see myself owning a Fit. I just find that wide… uhh… accent stripe (?) behind the doors of the Audi R8 so pointless and ugly that I decided to make a statement by not voting for it.

  • avatar
    saintmike

    Although I’ll probably never be able to afford those big Audi coupes, I am very taken by their design. I was on the freeway one day last week and saw 2 of them with dealer plates coming up in the left lane, going faster than the rest of the traffic. While I usually hate people who do that, I watched, drooling, as these 2 cars, one black, one red, passed me and everyone else. They get my vote!

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Um…..how are we going to get the purple dye off our fingers after we vote?

  • avatar
    DPerkins

    What, no Volt, no Camaro?

  • avatar
    jaje

    I nominated the C300 as a Benz – I prefer it and the A4/S4/RS4 over the 3 series. BMW is in a funk with styling; adding the 1 series which equates to basically a 9/10ths 3 series and not the reincarnation of the 2002 BMW claimed it would be; and price as a nicely optioned base model 1 or 3 series approaches or crests $40k now.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    I gave the Genesis, A5 and R8 my votes.

    A vote for the Jetta SportWagen (Golf Variant to us Europeans) is a vote for the Saab 9-5 SportCombi, recognise those backlights?

    It would be fun with a non-US-market version of this competition, giving for example the Citroëns a chance. For example the Grand C4 Picasso

    http://www.citroen.co.uk/new-cars/citroen-grand-c4-picasso/

    7 Persons. 5.9 liter / 100 km with the diesel.

  • avatar
    Dorian666

    Hmmm, the Porsche/VAG group had 7 out of 20 slots in the Best car choice. Interesting choices by all of TTAC. Its also Nice to see that npassion stil can overrule the “but its good value and reliable” mantra that is driving car design into the generic transportation appliance design lately.

  • avatar
    changsta

    I am surprised that the Mercedes Benz C Class and the Mazda5 didn’t make it onto the list, while the Pontiac G8 and VW Jetta TDI Sportwagen did. There are quite a few more posters that suggested the former two vehicles than the latter.

  • avatar
    RayH

    I made it to 9 votes, my tenth would have been like voting between (content edited by me to not start a political flame war, jist of it being two Presidential candidates in a large “Democracy”).

  • avatar
    Stingray

    WHAT?!?!?!? No Camry? No Corolla? Oh NOES!!!! SHOCK!!!!!

    The most significant cars EVER and are not in the list…

    What’s going on with you guys? *shakes his head*

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!

    LOL… being sarcastic is lots of fun :)

    Actually, the good part is that THAT pair is not in the list.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    There’s, what, four sports sedans on the list? Not that there’s anything wrong with sports sedans, but it would be nice to have at least one flavour of vanilla (Mazda5, Accord, Malibu) as an option instead of four different flavours of strawberry (G35, 3-Series, G8, S4)

  • avatar
    netrun

    I’m with changsta, I’d have liked to see the C-Class make the list instead of the Pontiac G8, but it’s quite possible we’re in the minority.

    And whoever said Odyssey – haven’t you read the papers? Minivans are out!

  • avatar
    Jeff in Canada

    An excellent, comprehensive list. I know where my vote is going…

    (My comment made it! I won! I won!)

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Really, some cars are missing:

    Silverado
    Tahoe (I see no trucks or SUV in the list, that’s why these 2)
    Malibu
    Cobalt (LOL not really)

    Didn’t vote on the Prius, but it’s ok

    The Yaris is also cute as small car.

    Patriot would be nice, as revival of the “spirit” of the Cherokee.

    Wrangler

    EVO X

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Sorry Stingray but…

    Tahoe? Most reviews were not excited when it came out, has plenty of black eyes in comparos.

    “rado?- pretty even split w/ Tundra in comparos.
    Good truck but not standing free of the pack.

    ‘Bu?- Have yet to see it at the top of a comparo, and was near the bottom of one. Good car, good effort “for GM”. A “Best”. Not close.
    Frankly none of the mid sizers stands clear enough to deserve a title.

    Take it easy.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    Flashpoint

    The Cadillac CTS is a legend in the making. That car has been Cadillac’s best seller since its release and it is therefore, extremely important to constantly get that car perfect.

    The Hyundai Genesis is a fantastic car from an unlikely source. If I were going to buy a car right now i’d definitely be buying a V8 Genesis. That car has an interior that feels better than the Lexus GS and some might say, upstages the S-class. For just $40,000 you can get a loaded V6 Genesis.

    Jaguar XF should definitely be on this list. That car is hot, sexy and is the first Jaguar with looks that excite me. I love that car. The interior is very stylish yet, minimalist.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Bunter1:

    I actually don’t agree with you in the Tahoe part. Neither on the Silverado, but can take it.

    In the comparo that was ran here in TTAC, it won over Sequoia and Expedition.

    Doesn’t have a 6 speed auto. Sure.
    Doesn’t have the most powerful engine. Agreed.

    It has a very nice interior.
    The exterior is very nice also.

    But I agree with the reviewer here: it’s the most balanced/rounded package for a full-size SUV.

    And it has been so for about more than 10 years.

    That SUV’s are seen as guzzlers or are out of “fashion” this year would not be reason for me for disqualifying them.

    The list is very nice, but some cars are missing. As with many lists. Not everyone can be satisfied :).

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    The new XF has with a doubt the best interior in any mass produced car. But the nose looks like it was cribbed from a 2005 Subaru Legacy. If you would have stripped the badges off and showed me a pic I never would have guessed Jaguar. That said I do like it and think it’s good, just not top 10 material.
    My favorite of the group is the Mini Cooper S. It has the best combo of power to weight, economy, suspension, style, customization and price. One day when I no longer need the Odyssey it will be mine. There isn’t one car on the list that provides all these in one package.

  • avatar
    gfen

    The TDI sportwagen isn’t even out in America, and I’m pretty sure that Genesis drivers are few and far between.

    I’m kinda annoyed that the Mazda5 didn’t make the list. Not just because I nominated it, but because its a lowcost, high utility vehicle that Americans should be aware of. Instead the list is filled with higher end sportscars and sedans, which while they do personafy what everyone may want, aren’t exactly low profile cars that should have their praises sung.

  • avatar
    msmiles

    You’d have to own every single Audi and VW on that list just to have a car to drive while the others are in the shop.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Mitsubishi Evolution X.

    The best money can buy. fast,good on turns and aggressive look.

    Recaro seats, 650 watts car stereo with sub-woofer, nav system,blue tooth,speed volume control,all wheel drive,Turbo and the list goes on

  • avatar
    AKM

    Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list?

    I’ve seen two on the street, with regular license plates (i.e. not manufacturer). One was being driven, the other parked at the supermarket. And nowhere near a Hyundai dealership.

  • avatar
    Adub

    I think the list turned out decently, although I would have liked to have seen an average mainstream four-door on the list.

  • avatar
    Areitu

    Lumbergh21 : I didn’t vote for 10 cars either, more like 6 or so. However, I did vote for the R8.

  • avatar
    cristiana

    I think that VW/Audi have made strong gains in the quality field. I had a 1998 New Beetle, and that thing was in the shop more times than I could count. But, against my better judgement, I bought a 2007 GTI, because I fell in love with the car. In the two years I have owned it, I have only had one issue that required time in the shop (a sensor went bad).
    Even though this is anecdotal evidence, I can’t be the only one who has had good experiences with their newer VWs.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    adam0331, msmiles -

    The Audis and VeeDubs are on there because this is TTAC’s 10 Best. We’re not running some boring, soulless, po-faced, CR customer-reliability survey here, this is about the Best car. Completely subjective.

    By any measure besides reliability – looks, power, handing, interior, image – the Germans have got it right. And even the reliability isn’t bad persay, it’s just not as good as some others.

  • avatar
    Axel

    adam0331:
    Also would’ve liked to see a mid-size on the list.

    Well, the G35 and CTS made it, but I think you mean non-luxury midsize. :)

    The Altima should be on here just for being far and away the leader in this class. You could make an argument for the Malibu and Fusion as well.

  • avatar
    autonut

    My 2 cents for Fit & Civic. Both are exceptionally small cars

  • avatar
    Axel

    sean362880:
    By any measure besides reliability – looks, power, handing, interior, image – the Germans have got it right.

    Gasoline fuel economy?

    We would have considered a Jetta or GTI if they didn’t suck gas worse than most mid-size cars.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Axel: Gasoline fuel economy?

    We would have considered a Jetta or GTI if they didn’t suck gas worse than most mid-size cars.

    My 07 GTI has averaged over 31 mpg over the last 15k miles (I have the excel sheet to prove it). For the performance, the GTI gets fantastic fuel economy. If you were talking about the Rabbit (w/ the 5cyl), I’d agree that it gets poor fuel economy for the performance. The 2.0T GTI is a completely different animal, though.

  • avatar
    ex-dtw

    Can’t vote for a VW product for the same reason as listed earlier – reliability is crap.

    Nothing but problems with my A3 and the numbers out of JD Power and Consumers back this up.

    Edit: Crap. Forgot to add the CTS to my vote.

  • avatar
    Axel

    Quentin :
    My 07 GTI has averaged over 31 mpg over the last 15k miles (I have the excel sheet to prove it).

    How much is that city, and how much highway? An Impala will do that well in pure highway driving. My Civic Si-driving friend gets well over 35 on the highway.

    Granted, you are getting huge amounts of performance that gas burn, but it’s still FWD. For similar thirstiness, I could get an Impreza and have AWD and more power.

  • avatar
    yournamehere

    “Even though this is anecdotal evidence, I can’t be the only one who has had good experiences with their newer VWs.”

    - your not. my GTI has been faultless for 22k miles. and i get 28mpg in mixed driving.

  • avatar
    rxphink

    “Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list?”

    Same could be said for the GTR yet no one seems to have a problem gushing over a car they’ve never driven yet alone seen first hand. I bet 90%+ of the votes for that car are by people who have never even seen one.

    So yeah that’s how.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Axel: How much is that city, and how much highway? An Impala will do that well in pure highway driving. My Civic Si-driving friend gets well over 35 on the highway.

    Granted, you are getting huge amounts of performance that gas burn, but it’s still FWD. For similar thirstiness, I could get an Impreza and have AWD and more power.

    Funny you mention an Impreza. I drove a 2001 2.5RS prior to my GTI. I rarely saw above 28mpg in it with the same mix of driving. In pure 55mph highway driving, I see mid 30s in the GTI. Interstate (75mph) is closer to 32mpg (but I think much of that is due to West Virginia interstates and the extreme and constant elevation change). City traffic is in the mid to upper 20s, depending on severity, of course.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Hey Stingray, no problem here.
    Just saying they are only arguably good.
    Not clear of the pack.

    Frankly the pile of sports sedans shows they are all in a bunch too.

    On the Tahoe, I have actually seen more head to head tests with the new Expedition/XL on top of the Tahoburban than otherwise.
    And the test in TTAC is just one (very decent) persons opinion. The bulk of the tests I have read on the Sequoia more than suggest that it is the new standard.
    As for the last 10 years, the old ‘Hoe was simply getting spanked hard at the end of it’s run.

    I can see your point on the Silverado better, it is one of the two best, clearly. Clear best, no.

    If the ‘rado made the list it would be OK.
    Tahoe would be sub-par.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    Axel

    I will give this to VW: you want luxury interiors at economy prices, they deliver.

    Reliability data still scare me, despite it all being a crap shoot. Our Civic could completely fall apart a week out of warranty; you just never know.

    VW has a very specific mission: bring Euro-driving and Euro-comfort to the masses as the lowest price possible. They succeed overwhelmingly, and should be lauded for that. “Autobahn for all,” indeed.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    whatdoiknow1 :

    Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list

    The Genesis has actually been on sale at retailers for about 3-4 weeks. Whether anyone here actually has gone to drive one, I cannot say.

    Hyundai also did a tour for civilians (non journalists) to drive the Genesis on a closed course. I think some of the readers here attended that.

    Having driven the Genesis myself extensively, I think it’s not a top 10 car. But that’s only my opinion.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    I’m going to nominate the Jaguar XF anyway because it’s fantastic and I think some dumb fool just left it off be mistake! Didn’t they…

  • avatar
    RGS920

    Perhaps if gas were to crack $6 a gallon, the Lotus Elise would get its proper dues! Ah well, i’ll probably go with the GT-R then. I haven’t driven one but having viewed Top Gear’s review of it located Here

    I haven’t ever seen a car more insane around the track. You can actually see Clarkson’s neck straining to keep his head upright while going around the corner. At least until his neck gives out. Astonishing.

  • avatar
    BigBucksT

    Cadillac CTS hands down. Just on the angle of what that car is doing for GM as a whole. I live in the import capital of the US, California, and I see plenty of CTSs. Excellent job GM on their lone outstanding car.

  • avatar
    vento97

    adam0331, msmiles, ex-dtw:

    Being a longtime VW owner with the previous models:

    1975 Mk1 Scirocco – 250,000 miles
    1987 Mk2 Golf GT – 624,000 miles

    And currently own:

    1997 Mk3 Jetta 2.0L – 260,000 miles
    2003 Mk4 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T – 125,000 miles
    2003 B5 Passat 1.8T – 87,000 miles (wife’s car)

    I can only assume that today’s car owners (particularly the men) are becoming increasingly incompetant in their maintenance and driving habits. I come from an era where men didn’t complain when the tough gets going – we “manned-up” and took care of the problem ourselves. As a matter of fact, I just finished replacing a starter in my Dad’s pickup truck and adjusted the clutch on my 1997 Jetta (manual clutch cable) – and I work in a freaking office as a system engineer during the day. I also perform pre and post-drive inspections of all my vehicles as a part of my preventive maintenance routine (a habit developed during my tour of duty as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force).

    I guess people don’t have the stomach for car maintenance these days…

    Phil Gramm had it right about his “nation of whiners” comment…

  • avatar
    msowers1

    Boxter S is not everymans sportscar, it’s everywoman’s sports car. The quintessential chick car

  • avatar
    p00ch

    msowers1:
    Boxter S is not everymans sportscar, it’s everywoman’s sports car. The quintessential chick car

    Only with the automatic :)

  • avatar
    rockit

    “How did the Jaguar XF NOT get on this list?!”…

    …”The same way all the other nominees that didn’t make it on this list didn’t make it on this list: TTAC’s writers didn’t select it (one snarkerer, one vote).”….

    …”Having driven the Genesis myself extensively, I think it’s not a top 10 car. But that’s only my opinion.”…

    Hmmmm, It looks like the Genesis fanboys are more into voting that the Jaguar XF fanboys.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I suppose I was a little put off this process by the suggestion that the nominators agtually have seat time with the cars that they nominate. I only have driven my Golf 3, the Caddy DTS I use as a work car, occasional stints in my friends three year old corolla and a rare blast in another friends mini cooper convertable.

    Nevertheless, I am always full of opinions about cars, so here goes:

    Audi A5. The return of sexy cars. It is stunning.

    VW GTI. All the best and room for my bike.

    Honda FIT. as above. Love small tossable cars.

    Prius. Ditto argentla. well said.

    Cadilac CTS. Like i said, i have a DTS for work, and I like it except for corners. I have not driven this one, but if it is as comfortable as the DTS AND can be good around corners, i will buy one. The upcoming station wagon version, of course. For my bike.

    MINI Cooper. Cool cool cool car, fun to drive.

    Thats it.

  • avatar
    MrGreenGear

    I’m sad that the Wrangler didn’t make it. It’s a great vehicle.

    But of those selected, and obtainable, I’ll put the Honda Fit, Toyota Prius, Caddy CTS, and VW GTI. Mainly because everyone I know who owns one of those is in love with it.

    The best cars are the ones owners are passionate about.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    Instead of straight voting, why not implement something like the F1 points system?

    Let each person rank them 1-10

    1st) 10 points
    2nd) 8 points
    3rd) 6 points
    4th) 5 points
    5th) 4 points
    6th) 3 points
    7th) 2 points
    8/9/10th) 1 point

    I really like the groundbreaking/fast stuff and the fast handling stuff….good bang/buck

    ZR1/Z06
    mazda
    the vw’s
    cts (one of the better american cars made IMHO)
    G35′s, mazdas, etc.

  • avatar
    korvetkeith

    I’d have voted for a C63 AMG if it was on the list. It’s my favorite import. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for any of the german cars because of the price gouging and snob appeal. The Audi’s have slightly less than the Bimmers, but they aren’t RWD.

  • avatar
    adam0331

    The Audis and VeeDubs are on there because this is TTAC’s 10 Best. We’re not running some boring, soulless, po-faced, CR customer-reliability survey here, this is about the Best car. Completely subjective.

    I guess our definitions of “best car” are different. Example, my father-in-law replaced his Porsche with a Corvette. Why? The Porsche may have been fun to drive but it was unreliable and never saw long open road road trips across the west because of that. With the Corvette, if something were to happen, any Chevy dealer could get him on the road relatively easy. Today he drive the Vette every chance he gets. Similar to my neighbors that drive their Camry on road trips rather than the A6 because “nobody in the Dakotas can fix an Audi and it breaks often.”

    As for people like Vento97 who have high mile VW’s and Audi’s. Yes, any car made today can and will do major miles. I put 250k miles on a 1990 Ford Taurus with no major engine or tranny work. Regular maintance counts for a lot. That said, the numbers don’t lie and VW on average don’t have the reliability that the Japan makes have. I want to like the Jetta for it’s size and economy and driving dynamics. It just doesn’t stack up to a Civic in cost of ownership, looks too much like a Corolla and is the favorite car of Lincoln Park Trixies, so no dice for me.

    And yes, a modest price midsize deserves to be on the list. Why recognize the Civic but not the Accord? Malibu? Fusion? If only fuel economy matters half the list should be thrown out.

  • avatar
    nino

    “Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list?”

    Same could be said for the GTR yet no one seems to have a problem gushing over a car they’ve never driven yet alone seen first hand. I bet 90%+ of the votes for that car are by people who have never even seen one.

    So yeah that’s how.

    Which is why I didn’t vote for them.

    But seriously, isn’t that list dominated by high buck cars (over $40,000 real world prices) that you should EXPECT to be good, and not cars that most of us are really driving?

    I’m all for the aspirational aspect with regards to cars, but when laying out that kind of money, “goodness” is expected.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Got to be the 3-series because of the 335i coupe. Perfect engine meets perfect chassis. As a bonus you get a hq interior (materials + optional fat m-steering wheel + best luxury-sport seats on the market + clean German instrumentation) combined with unbangled classic sleek coupe body. Not very often all these characteristics meet in one car. This vehicle makes even the strongest competitors (read Audi A4/A5) look bad.

  • avatar
    changsta

    I’m kinda annoyed that the Mazda5 didn’t make the list. Not just because I nominated it, but because its a lowcost, high utility vehicle that Americans should be aware of. Instead the list is filled with higher end sportscars and sedans, which while they do personafy what everyone may want, aren’t exactly low profile cars that should have their praises sung.

    I agree. While many of the cars listed (porsches, BMWs etc) are fantastic vehicles, many of the posters here will never have the opportunity to drive one, let alone own one. This is why it is kind of annoying to see people write things like “from what I hear, it is a fantastic vehicle. However, I have never driven one.” Also, at such high prices, the vehicles have no excuse to be anything less than amazing.

    Perhaps TTAC should also have a 10 best practical cars list or something. You know, cars that normal people can afford. I don’t know how it is in the USA, but here in Canada, small, practical cars have always sold well. In fact, when I bought my 2006 Mazda5 GT, I was put on a 3 month waiting list and had to pay sticker. No dealers had any on the lots here in Toronto. Right now, there are no 2008 Mazda5s to be found in Toronto, and dealers have been taking orders for 2009s for 2 months. I understand that in the USA, the Mazda5 is a fleet queen with heavy discounts. What a shame.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    my vote is void – cuz i’m voting cayman.

    it’s everything the boxster is and more. it’s also what i choose to drive, when i drive [gotta validate what i chose to spend my own money on]. had it a year-and-a-half. 7k miles on the clock. and not a single solitary problem with it, whatsoever.

    i’m. in. love.

  • avatar

    Genesis, GT-R, G8 ???

    None of these should be on the “10 Best for 2008” list.

  • avatar

    @philipwitak: cuz i’m voting cayman.

    I was also disappointed not to see the Cayman on the list; not to denigrate the 911 or Boxster, but the 911 could be my father’s Porsche, and the Cayman update to the classic Porsche coupe is perhaps the most stunning Porsche ever, and finally loses the rear-engine arrangement. Good on you mate for buying one. For my money, the Cayman is the Porsche of the future and the 911 should be put out to pasture as a boulevardier for poseurs.

    I keep trying to talk my wife out of her S2000 and into a Cayman, but she’s not buying…

  • avatar
    jaje

    So a Cayman has a convertible roof (“everything a Boxster has an more”)? Also where’s the small child backseat in a Boxster or Cayman?

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    philipwitak : I can see one problem that you’ve had with your Cayman already…

    You’ve only put 7k miles on it in a year and a half. Start driving!

  • avatar
    davey49

    edgett- because it wasn’t nearly as good as the Doubtfire Straight Seven.

  • avatar
    momentum57

    with out the xf the list is incomplete

    vote would go to R8

  • avatar

    davey49 – you forget that the Straight Seven didn’t come equipped with the patented two-main-bearing motor or single longitudinal leaf spring; these features weren’t added until the V11 came out.

    …but you have the right spirit – the Straight Seven was also one of the greats and should’ve made the list. Long live Doubtfire!

  • avatar
    capeplates

    Noticeable lack of US built cars in that list

  • avatar
    msmiles

    Sean362880,
    10 best means you can drive it all the way home from the shop.

    Vento97,
    I think we can both agree that the vws of yesteryear are not the vws today. Also, no amount of pre-emptive maintenance will prevent another bad solenoid.

  • avatar
    philipwitak

    re: “…the Cayman is the Porsche of the future and the 911 should be put out to pasture as a boulevardier for poseurs. I keep trying to talk my wife out of her S2000 and into a Cayman, but she’s not buying…”
    edgett / August 14th, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    edgett – she might be more inclined to buy one if she actually drove one. try to get her behind the wheel. your friendly neighborhood porsche dealer will be happy to assist you in that. and i totally agree with your assessment of the 911 – but it’s still a money-makin’ machine for porsche, as long as old boomers have some extra cash and can still muster the desire to drive the current iteration of the car of their dreams.

    re: “So a Cayman has a convertible roof (“everything a Boxster has an more”)? Also where’s the small child backseat in a Boxster or Cayman?”
    jaje / August 14th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    true, it has no convertible roof. but after the trouble i experienced with my ’97 boxster when it’s roof motors failed, the fact that it doesn’t is part of the ‘more’ as far as i am concerned. it’s aesthetics and rigidity more than make up for it’s lack of a retractable top. and yeah, it has no small child backseat – but then, i am not a small child and i don’t have any either – so it’s all good, for me.

    re: “…I can see one problem that you’ve had with your Cayman already, you’ve only put 7k miles on it in a year and a half. Start driving!”
    thetopdog / August 14th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    tdog – i understand what you’re sayin’ but at 59, and considering the fact that i tend to keep most of my cars at least a decade or longer, this cayman probably represents ‘last call’ for me, at least as far as small sports cars are concerned. so i’m really in no hurry to use it all up, at least before i’m all used up. the great part about my current frequency-of-usage rate is this: every time i climb in, it’s almost like another ‘first time’ for me. and i like that feeling. a lot.

  • avatar
    Kman

    I can’t vote for a VW, and only with difficulty for an Audi, due to the aforementioned unacceptable reliability mentioned by previous posters.

    It’s too bad ’cause I orgasm whever I see an S5.

    BTW, did I miss the 2008 TWATs? I seem to recall the TBAGs following the TWATs.

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    whatdoiknow1 :
    August 13th, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Has anyone outside of a few “auto jounalist” actually driven a Hyundai Genesis yet?

    How the hell can a brand new (bascially UNTESTED) car make this list?

    How many people have driven all the listed cars? Very few. When one place ones votes one have to place them based upon other things, such as looks, price, specs, perception etc..

  • avatar

    1. BMW 3 – despite the continued bloating, still the standard.

    2. Mazda MX-5 – by far the best money you can spend on a sportscar.

    3. Tie: Audi R8/Nissan GT-R – performance is just too good from the GT-R, but the styling and mid-engineness of the Audi is nice.

    4. Sorry, but off the list: Lancer Evo – perhaps the best deal for speed. Too bad it is a Mitsu, and the interior is still crap.

  • avatar
    vento97

    Vento97,
    I think we can both agree that the vws of yesteryear are not the vws today. Also, no amount of pre-emptive maintenance will prevent another bad solenoid

    Try ignition coils – not solenoid (a solenoid is a part of the starter that engages the main starter gear to the flywheel prior to turning the engine over).

    Incidentally, I just swapped out the coils on my two five-year old 1.8Ts at 120,000 and 87,000 miles, respectively. At $30/coil, I figured, might as well – you know, that “pre-emptive” maintenance thing…

    You obviously haven’t worked on cars much (or owned a VW for that matter)…

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Can we vote car’s off the list. I mean how the hell the Hyundai Genesis and Mazda 3 get on that list ahead of the XF. Which incedentally is probably car of the year for many people.

    TTAC loses all credibility if it doesn’t recognise how stupid that list looks with out the Jaguar XF and with the Hyundai Genesis….. I mean c’mon!

  • avatar

    If Tstag gets the XF or Genesis, we need the Doubtfire V11, or at least the StraightSeven on the list. We all know these will be classics on a par with the Humber SuperSnipe or Riley Gamecock in years to come…

  • avatar
    ohsnap

    The Genesis is rubbish. Watch the glowing initial reviews melt away by this time next year, as the warts surface in large clusters.

    COTY should go to either the CTS or Infinity G37 – both give the German’s a true run for less money, option for option, and look sexier doing it.

    Whereas the CTS is brawny on its haunches, the G37 is slicker than the jetstream, but manages to be menacing in the rear view mirror, nonetheless.

    Where’s the Chevrolet Malibu?


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