TTAC's Ten Best Automobiles for 2007: So Far, So Good
Nominations for our Ten Best Automobiles for 2007 proceed apace. So far, you’ve nominated 96 different [sold as] new vehicles, from the A3 to the Z4. We thought you might appreciate some fresh cyberspace in which to nominate, elucidate and participate in this automotive love-fest. Nominations are open until midnight (EST) this Friday; feel free to forward any further contenders or add your comments up until the deadline. Our writers will then select twenty finalists so you can choose the Ten Best. Meanwhile, here are some highlights from your nominations for the best of the best.
In nominating the Ford Crown Victoria, Ingvar stated, “I am not American, and I haven’t been to the USA. But if I went there, I would buy one just to feel as American as possible. This and the Town Car should be put up in the MOMA or the Smithsonian as examples of true heroes of American industrialism.”
Matthew Sullivan explained how the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution earned his respect. “At first, I had no idea what I was getting… [Then] I got seat time in some of the greats in all prices ranges: Vette, Viper, M3, M5 (the new one), Boxster, S4, Mini Cooper JCW, Miata, Golf GTI, Civic Si, Euro Focus ST, etc… Eventually I came to realize that the Evo was my ‘price is no object’ car.”
There were plenty of paeans to more prosaic machines. Steven Lang nominated the Toyota Corolla. “I know this is a shocker from a sports car enthusiast. However I have to tip my hat to a model that represents the pinnacle of reliability, fuel efficiency, design efficiency, and just plain common sense. As a commuting device the Corolla simply makes more sense than any other compact car.”
As this part of the process does depend on the weight of numbers, I haven’t totaled up the number of nominations for each car (if someone wants to…). It seems fairly clear that the Mazda MX-5 and Jeep Wrangler are well-loved and respected favorites.
Steve Green spoke for many when he praised this most quintessential of American off-roaders: “A great vehicle is neither more nor less than exactly what it needs to be. By that measure, the new Jeep Wrangler is a damn good vehicle. The new Wrangler distills 60 years of tradition into unheard-of off-road skills, and better on-road manners than anyone could reasonably expect.”
HawaiiJim was positively poetic in his ardor for the Subaru Forester.
Not too wide and not too tall,
Its versatility stuns us all.
All-wheel drive for a stormy day,
Easy loading is its way.
Entry needs no leaps or bends
Through curvy roads it easily wends.
Gorgeous, No, babe-magnet, Not…
But super visibility makes it hot.
Common sense makes one thing clear
I nominate Forester with no fear!
Several commentators wanted to know why readers were nominating cars they had never driven, owned or otherwise personally experienced. As Virgil said, they can because they think they can. And they’re right. There are a lot of good reasons for nominating a car for a the Ten Best: looks, sound, specifications, technological prowess, pedigree, reputation, etc. Besides, in these YouTubular times, personal experience comes in many forms.
Ryan remarked: “When all these nominations are rounded up, it’d be interesting to see how many cars were nominated for both Ten Best and Ten Worst.” So I dug out the list of Ten Worst Automobiles nominees and had a look. They are the best of cars; they are the worst of cars.
Ford Crown Victoria
Land Rover Range Rover
Lincoln Town Car
Mitsubishi Lancer GS
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Saturn Sky/Red Line
VW Jetta GLI
This bi-polar poll demonstrates our readers’ catholic (small c) tastes. Which brings us to ole’s observation: “Do you guys even know how great this is, that 122 people have commented and stayed on topic, and haven’t abused each other for their opinions? How cool and [unfortunately] rare.”
Even though the delete button did see some service, I echo that sentiment. TTAC has the best group of readers in cyberland. While the comments on many other automotive websites often degenerate into flame wars and sophomoric name-calling, we can count on you, our faithful, literate readers to provide well-informed and thought-provoking insights, no matter what the subject.
Thanks to all of you for your part in making TTAC a safe haven for dangerous thinking. I look forward to revealing the 20 finalists and your 10 winners. Oh, and look out for a major surprise in the next day or so. We’re taking this bad boy to the next level. Our treat.
Kman on May 13, 2007
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.
Evohappy9 on May 14, 2007thetopdog:Your other points are vaild, but I would almost guarantee you that STi and especially Evo insurance is more expensive than insurance for a 911. I went to every major insurance company and the 997 Twin Turbo is on average slightly more than two times more expensive to insure than the Lancer Evolution. If a feeble old man with a cane drives the 997 the rates will certainly drop. You are confounding driver age with vehicle type. It is unfair to compare the insurance rates of a 50yr old man to that of a 25yr old and then insist that one car is more expensive to insure than the other. My Evos (2), with a perfect driving record, cost about $5500 a year. One 997 Twin Turbo would run me $8230 per year (that is the cheapest quote).
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- 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
- Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
- ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
- Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
- FreedMike I just don’t see the market here - I think about 1.2% of Jeep drivers are going to be sold on the fuel cost savings here. And the fuel cost savings are pretty minimal, per the EPA: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=noform&path=1&year1=2022&year2=2022&make=Jeep&baseModel=Wrangler&srchtyp=ymm&pageno=1&rowLimit=50Annual fuel costs for this vehicle are $2200 and $2750 for the equivalent base turbo-four model. I don’t get it.