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

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

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

Frank Williams
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  • 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."

  • Stephen My "mid-level" limited edition Tonino Lambo Ferraccio Junior watch has performed flawlessly with attractive understated style for nearly 20 years. Their cars are not so much to my taste-- my Acura NSX is just fine. Not sure why you have such condescension towards these excellent timepieces. They are attractive without unnecessary flamboyance, keep perfect time and are extremely reliable. They are also very reasonably priced.
  • Dana You don’t need park, you set auto hold (button on the console). Every BMW answers to ‘Hey, BMW’, but you can set your own personal wake word in iDrive. It takes less than 5 minutes to figure that that out, btw. The audio stays on which is handy for Teams meetings. Once your phone is out of range, the audio is stopped on the car. You can always press down on the audio volume wheel which will mute it, if it bothers you. I found all the controls very intuitive.
  • ToolGuy Not sure if I've ever said this, or if you were listening:• Learn to drive, people.Also, learn which vehicles to take home with you and which ones to walk away from. You are an adult now, think for yourself. (Those ads are lying to you. Your friendly neighborhood automotive dealer, also lying to you. Politicians? Lying to you. Oh yeah, learn how to vote lol.)Addendum for the weak-minded who think I am advocating some 'driver training' program: Learning is not something you do in school once for all time. Learning how to drive is not something that someone does for you. It is a continuous process driven by YOU. Learn how to learn how to drive, and learn to drive. Keep on learning how to drive. (You -- over there -- especially you, you kind of suck at driving. LOL.)Example: Do you know where your tires are? When you are 4 hours into a 6 hour interstate journey and change lanes, do you run over the raised center line retroreflective bumpers, or do you steer between them?
  • Mike Bradley Advertising, movies and TV, manufacturing, and car culture have all made speeding and crashing the ultimate tests of manhood. Throw in the political craziness and you've got a perfect soup of destruction and costs.
  • Lou_BC Jay Leno had said that EV's would be good since they could allow the continued existence of ICE cars for enthusiasts. That sentiment makes sense. Many buyers see vehicles as a necessary appliance.
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