TTAC's Ten Best for 2008: Nominations Are Now Open

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
ttacs ten best for 2008 nominations are now open

Ten Best Nominations Are Now Closed

The truth hurts. But not always. Sometimes the truth about cars is the key to genuine insight and automotive ecstasy. This is one of those times, when TTAC's Best and Brightest select their annual Ten Best automobiles. In other words, this is your chance to help the wider world discover genuine automotive excellence, and reward those who produce it with a much-deserved hat tip. The name of this collective endeavor changes, but the rules remain the same: you nominate the cars, our writers narrow your selection to 20, then you get the final say on the Ten Best [more details below]. But before we get stuck in, here's a recap of last year's winners…

To refresh your memory, here are last year's winners and what we had to say about them.

10. Audi RS-4How about a 4.2-liter engine cranking out 420hp, all-wheel drive, precise steering, ohmigod brakes and a [nearasdammit] racing suspension? All we can say is: who's your Daddy?

9. Infiniti G35The smart-handling Infiniti G35 makes Lexus owners wonder what IS is, and forces 3-Series owners to check both their rear view mirrors and diminishing bank balances.

8. Acura TSXPurposeful design, aggressive good looks, inspired handling and excellent build quality make the Acura TSX a heady yet elegant brew.

7. Porsche CaymanIf and when the Sultans of Stuttgart give their whipper-snapper more power, it will add "unassailably" to "best."

6. Mazda MX-5Whether you're a hard core enthusiast attacking an apex or a retiree enjoying a bit of drop top nostalgia, the still-svelte third gen Miata is the simplest, best handling, most fundamentally honest and joyful automobile made.

5. Subaru WRX / STI The WRX is working class hero, while the STI is destined to end the decade as the benchmark for compact sports sedans.

4. Mazda Mazda3 / Mazdaspeed3 The Mazda3 offers family-friendly fun to the financially fastidious F1 fantasist. The Mazdaspeed3 retains these virtues, kicks it up a notch, and eats the competition for lunch.

3. Porsche 911Whether it's maximum lateral G's or vanishing point-and-shoot, Porsche's "everyday" supercar offers terminal drivers terminal velocity.

2. Chevy Corvette / Z06The endlessly rejuvenated Corvette shows what American automakers can do when the beancounters take a back seat to engineering excellence.

1. BMW 3-SeriesThe completeness of the 3-Series' dynamic package- ride, handling and brakes- puts the Zen into zenith. In a world of reliable mediocrity, driving the 3-Series remains a peak experience.

Are these still the best things on four wheels? Or did 2008 bring new players into the arena? There's only one way to find out.

2008 TTAC Ten Best Rules of Engagement

1. To qualify, a vehicle must be offered for sale as a new vehicle in the U.S. between Jan 1, 2008 and now. Where it's built, where the company is headquartered, sales volume, price or neat swag from the manufacturer play no part in the selection process.

2. We'll only accept nominations that give at least one legitimate reason why a vehicle qualifies for the award. It helps if you've had some time behind the wheel and can pass along first-hand experience.

3. Nominations that don't include justification, just say "me too" or similarly indicate lack of mental prowess and it will simply disappear. Boom! Gone.

4. If you disagree with a particular nomination, feel free to offer an opposing view. However, TTAC's posting policy is in full force. Anyone who flames (personally attacks) the website, its authors or fellow commentators will have their comment deleted and face a permanent posting ban.

5. Once nominations are closed, TTAC's writing staff will gather in a secret e-conclave to select 20 finalists from the nominees. The more eloquent the nomination, the better chance it has of surviving our (let's face it) subjective process.

6. We will submit these 20 finalists for your consideration. You may vote (via an electronic poll) for up to ten vehicles on the list which you deem worthy of a place TTAC's Ten Best. Don't get carried away, though. We're going to do everything we can to prevent voting improprieties. After all, this isn't Chicago!

7. Nominations begin now and run through midnight Saturday, August 9 (all times EDT). We will publish the 20 finalists for voting first thing on Wednesday, August 13. Voting will close midnight Saturday, August 16. The winners will be announced on Monday the 18th. These dates may slip a bit if our Managing Editor gets distracted by something shiny. Since they ignore our press releases, winning manufacturers will find out the same way everyone else does.

Post your nominations with the required justification(s) below. We couldn't/wouldn't do this without you. To quote that great philosopher Frank Bartles, we thank you for your support.

Ten Best Nominations Are Now Closed

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2 of 174 comments
  • AJ AJ on Aug 25, 2008
    Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited The ultimate on-road/ off-road convertible with multiple top options from a soft-top, hard-top, or no top at all. There is no other vehicle like it that in it's stock form can comfortably take four adults and their gear to enjoy the great outdoors and what is inaccessible lands for most all other vehicles with it's heavy-duty axles, two-speed transfer case, skid plates, electronic locking front and rear differentials with limited-slip, electronic stability program, the ability to electronically disconnect the sway bar, and a ton of after-market options including lifts to make it your own. It is truly rare to find such a capable vehicle that creates passion and brings a smile to the owner’s face every time that they drive it.

  • Cadillacjoe425 Cadillacjoe425 on Sep 28, 2008

    The 2008 Chevy Malibu has to be on the list. GM hit a home run with this one, when they needed it the most. The Pontiac G8 GT also needs to be a contender, considering its style and ability to be "fun to drive."

  • Zerocred So many great drives:Dalton Hwy from Fairbanks to the Arctic Circle.Alaska Marine Highway from Bellingham WA to Skagway AK. it was a multi-day ferry ride so I didn’t actually drive it, but I did take my truck.Icefields Parkway from Jasper AB to Lake Louise AB, CA.I-70 and Hwy 50 from Denver to Sacramento.Hwy 395 on the east side of the Sierras.
  • Aidian Holder I'm not interested in buying anything from a company that deliberately targets all their production in crappy union-busting states. Ford decided to build their EV manufaturing in Tennessee. The company built it there because of an anti-union legal environment. I won't buy another Ford because of that. I've owned four Fords to date -- three of them pickups. I'm shopping for a new one. It won't be a Ford Lightning. If you care about your fellow workers, you won't buy one either.
  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.