2016 Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today Nominations Open! Vote Now!

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson

Nearly 10 years ago, Robert Farago and Frank Williams stumbled upon a grand idea: to counter all those other websites, media outlets, and blogs competing to see who could fellate automakers the quickest and fastest, TTAC decided instead to put on a pair of size 12 steel-toe boots and swing its leg where the sun don’t shine. Thus, TTAC birthed the TWAT awards.

Since then, The Best Automobiles Going (TBAG) awards joined its elder sibling, and the two were renamed so as not to offend the sensibilities of some. This year, Ten Best and Ten Worst are back — in a new time slot, but on the same channel — and it all starts with you.

Your mission: Set your typing fingers alight with vitriol and smash some keys. Nominations are now open.

What’s undeniable: Cars are getting better. We have more horsepower than ever before, and more hybridized, electric, hydrogen, and other alternatively powered vehicles than when these awards were conceived a decade ago. To top it all off, most automakers have done a stint or two at the Betty Ford Clinic for Automotive Badge Engineering. It’s up to us to pick the best performers.

However, truly bad cars still exist, and it’s our duty to highlight the worst offenders. Four-door coupes? Four-door coupe SUVs? Four-door coupe crossovers? The automotive industry is high on the astronomical MSRPs of niche-fillers. Alphanumeric platform sharing is still rampant, and it will continue for the foreseeable future, even as shared parts across model lines continue to push recall counts skyward.

Justifications must be given for a nomination to be valid. Reaching into the archives, here are some guidelines for justification:

  • Looks That Stop Traffic: This goes either way: so beautiful that you can’t take your eyes away, or so ghastly that it qualified as a trainwreck as soon as it rolled off the assembly line.
  • The “WTF” Factor: This also goes either way: a horrible decision usually produces a horrible car — but not always. Sometimes an automaker will ignore the beancounters and simply build something awesome.
  • Misused Technology: Should a base BMW be sold without navigation? Does a Focus really need the ability to park itself?
  • Misery Factor: When given to you as a rental, do you immediately request another car? Is it sold primarily on price and all the external factors instead of on merit? Is it a Mitsubishi Mirage or Dodge Journey?

This isn’t a one-way street where we crowdsource your answers for some easy content. Those who nominate their Ten Best and Ten Worst via the poll linked below will be entered into a draw for $100 Amazon gift card. The contest ends on Sunday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET, which is also the same time the poll closes. That gives you a full week to nominate your list of truly awful and wonderful automobiles.

( Contest Rules can be viewed here.)

Rules of Engagement

A number of changes have been made to the nomination rules, so please read through them thoroughly.

  1. Any car or light truck offered for sale as a new vehicle in the U.S. for the 2016 model year is eligible for nomination, regardless of country of origin, price, market segment, automaker, production/sales numbers, or domestic content.
  2. You must provide a reason for your nomination. “Because it sucks” and “because it’s awesome” doesn’t cut the mustard, son. We reserve the right to cull lazy answers and their associated nominations. We reserve the right to do whatever we want, really.
  3. Badge-engineered siblings can be nominated as a team in either category if they all suck/win equally.
  4. A vehicle nominated in both the “Best” and “Worst” categories will be placed in the category in which it received the most nominations. It will be assigned a score that’s the net difference of those nominations. (e.g. if XYZ Car receives 20 “Best” nominations and 30 “Worst” nominations, the vehicle will be allotted 10 “Worst” nominations.)
  5. TTAC staff will select 20 finalists in each category from the nominees, taking into consideration how well the nominations were justified and our personal opinions of the vehicles in question.
  6. Readers will vote on those 40 cumulative vehicles to determine the Ten Best and Ten Worst.
  7. Nominations start now and end Sunday, April 24 at 11:59 p.m. The 40 finalists will be presented for voting on or around April 27. Winners/losers will be announced June 9.
  8. You cannot nominate the Jeep Compass. (More on this later.)

Submit Your 2016 Ten Best/Worst Nominations Now By Clicking Here

Mark Stevenson
Mark Stevenson

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2 of 114 comments
  • 09box 09box on Apr 21, 2016

    My Vote for best: Mazda 6. 6 speed manual with a roomy backseat, decent trunk space, great gas mileage and great looking exterior. What isn't to like?

  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Apr 23, 2016

    They are all the best. In 15 years there will be some concern. In 30 years there will be a lot of dead fish. In 50 years there will be gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, recrimination, desperation, wailing, pointing shaking fingers, fury and noise signifying nothing. Read 'em and weep boys. They are all worthy TWATS. For one beautiful moment as we ride the crest of the wave, all is as it should be.

  • Redapple2 They strove to excel and improve in this era ( on the cheap? ). They gave us Saturnasty and Northstarubish and the F150 grew in dependability and features over the Silveradoffal. -gm- a legacy of utter garbage.
  • Tane94 Yes and yes to both questions. GM and Fird have long used built-in-China components in their vehicles -- the GM 3.4L engines used in past SUVs being just one example. Why is the US so scared of China's manufacturing prowess? Why is the US so scared of China's ascendency to world super-power? Look at China's high speed rail network, including mag-lev trains, and then US trains. I would buy a China-built vehicle with no trepidation.
  • Theflyersfan Adding to what Posky said (and for once, I kinda agree with what he wrote), and as an auto enthusiast it kills me to think this, but why should auto makers care about enthusiasts any longer? Hear me out... It can be argued that the first real enthusiasts were those coming home from WW2, having served in Europe, and fell in love with their cars. And Detroit responded. That carried over to the Boomers and Gen X. The WW2 generation for all sakes and purposes is no longer with us. The Boomers are decreasing in number. The first years of Gen X are nearing retirement. After us (Gen X), that's when we see the love of cars tail off. That was the generation that seemed to wait to get a license, grew up with smart phones and social media, got saddled with crippling home and student debt, and just didn't have the same love that we have. They for the most part are voting on do-all CUVs. Yes, automakers throw us a bone with special models, but they tend to be very expensive, saddled with markups, high insurance rates, and sometimes rare. Looking at you Audi and Lexus. Friends of mine who currently have or have just raised teens said their kids just don't care about cars. Their world is not out in the open and enjoying the moment with the roar of the engine. It's in the world they created for themselves at their fingertips. If they want bland and an appliance, that's what will be built.
  • Kosmo Nope. Not ever. They are not our friends.
  • Aja8888 No, only Chinese food.