By on April 18, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

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

 

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114 Comments on “2016 Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today Nominations Open! Vote Now!...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Oooo an awards show! Who will take home a TWAT this year?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Chrylser 200 twat 1. Re: 9 speed, no headroom in backseat and weird door opening, the knob, poor fit and finish.

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      Poor fit and finish? Really? The ones I’ve rented were vastly better than the recent Camry and Altima.

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, my rental of a 200 didn’t suck, save the notoriously bad seats. The rest of the car was acceptable at the price point, other than built in lower back pain. If they somehow fixed the seats, it would be an ok appliance.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Hmm. My most recent Camry rental was the best-screwed-together car I’ve driven recently short of my LS460. The 2015 facelift really seemed to give it a boost. I’ve had a couple of 200s, and they were indifferent assembly-wise. My real beef with them is the suspension, though. Still too soft with poorly controlled body motion.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        I totally believe you. A 200 >> an altima…not saying much, is it?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Twat 2, tahoe and yukon. Oudated wandering bof beasts taking up far too much space for their limited utility, poor gas milage, ridiculous msrp, and interiors that fall apart by 100,000.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Not that I wanna defend the K2XX SUVs too much, but by what standard is 23 highway considered “poor?” And how do we know the interiors will fall apart by 100K if they’ve only been out for a year and a half?

      • 0 avatar
        Coopdeville

        Old Steven Wright joke:

        A cop pulled me over and told me he caught me going 70 miles an hour. I said “How do you know? I’ve only been driving for 20 minutes.”

        Ba dum. Try the veal.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      um, no they don’t. they are the size of an extended cab pick up or CC in the full size version. Way more of them sold nowadays. So you must hate them too.

      But to your points:
      The interiors are put together just fine.

      You must find the Toyota Sequoia, Armada, and their luxury offerings either equally horrid or worse since the imports in the large segment use more fuel by quite a bit than the domestics.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Twat 3, mirai. About 4 places you can fuel, half of them dont work. Cost of fuel per mile driven is double that of a prius, fuel is made from natural gas, saving no carbon, cost of car or lease could get you a tesla, ugly even by Japanese standards, slower than an 88 hp ford tempo, expensive platinum based catalysts, greenwashing of the decade.

  • avatar
    mwellscubed

    EDIT: I swear that rule wasn’t there when I started typing this post. I’m leaving it here, because this has been very therapeutic for me.

    I nominate a previous TWAT, the Jeep Compass.

    I had the displeasure of getting one of these from a rather picked over Enterprise lot this past weekend, and I am still recovering.

    Here’s a short list of what I remember hating about the vehicle:
    – Entirely too much vehicle for the engine. Driving through the modest foothills of central Pennsylvania, this car SCREAMED in “third” gear(Yes, I know it’s a CVT, but it has those cutesy fake ratios you can select that do next to nothing) about 80% of the time. If I needed to pass, or even keep up with traffic, it typically involved some wide-open throttle time.

    – Despite constantly having my foot buried into the floor, there is absolutely no joy from the engine compartment. I felt like I was in the ’88 Blazer I learned to drive in.

    – Convoluted stereo menus. This particular model had the base radio. I’ve cancelled magazine subscriptions via automated hotline in less steps than pairing a phone for audio on this piece of crap. Truly frustrating. But at least you can (unsafely) do it while driving by lying about being the passenger. Kudos!

    – Steering wheel controls are very oddly laid out. The arrangement definitely reminds you that you’re driving a lower end model, and makes no attempts to hide it.

    – This particular example was a 2016 model with 16,000 miles and it already felt like it was coming apart at the frame. Constant rattles and shudders from driving down the mostly okay PA Turnpike.

    – Gas mileage and range. This model had the “upgraded” 2.4L engine, paired to a 13.2 gallon tank. EPA rating for this example, with optional AWD, is 21/26. I averaged 23 during my mostly interstate trip. This means there were more than a few times where I was scrambling to find a place to fill up. There’s nothing worse than a car that is both lethargic, yet thirsty.

    There was nothing in this car to justify it being sold as a 2016 model. The Compass is so long overdue for an overhaul or execution. I felt infinite scorn towards all the people driving rental Malibus and Chrysler 200s, if that tells you anything. “I could’ve had one of those if I’d just gotten there earlier!” Words not often spoken about domestic mid-sized sedans.

    Oh also, for some reason, the vehicle has no actual compass. What?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      See Rule #8. EDIT: I see you did, never mind.

    • 0 avatar
      vtecJustKickedInYo

      I’m pretty sure the reason I never got an engineering position at Chrysler is because at my interview they asked “How was your Rental Car?”. It was a Jeep Patriot and it was by far the worst vehicle I had ever driven. I think I was a little too honest for them….

    • 0 avatar
      MRF 95 T-Bird

      For some reason I see plenty of Compass/Patriots on the road. Either they are rentals or the dealers thrown so much money on the hood the buyers just say ‘what the heck?, a CUV for around $22k”

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      mwellscubed, you couldn’t have had the 2.4L version if you claim that your Compass had a CVT. The CVT only gets paired with the 2.0 liter version. So, you either had a 2.0 liter one with the CVT, or a 2.4 liter version with the six speed automatic. And from what you describe of your driving experience, I’m leaning towards the 2.0/CVT.

  • avatar
    balreadysaid

    Anything chrysler with more than 8 gears

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Any car I don’t like is the worst, and any car I like is the best.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Worst – Toyota Yaris

    4-speed auto
    Rear drum brakes
    Weak engine
    Middling fuel economy in class
    No price advantage in class
    Over 50% fleet
    Coleman cooler interior and decontented compared to the…

    Scion iA sitting right next to it on the showroom floor or far worse fuel economy compared to…

    Prius C sitting next to it on the showroom floor.

    Why would anyone buy one with 2 better choices sitting next to it.

    Best – Mercedes C-Class

    The baby S class is back Jack
    .

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Toyota doesn’t care about compact or subcompact cars not named Prius. The Scion iA proves that Toyota would rather buy something in that class from another manufacturer (Mazda) and slap Toyota badges on it.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Going to agree on the Yaris.

      Would also add the CLA,

      Aside from the tri-star badge, not much going for it.

      Ride, handling, NVH, quality of interior materials, etc. – not worthy of a luxury-badged vehicle (even if in the subcompact segment).

      Not only does the A3 dance circles around it, many mainstream branded compacts and even subcompacts are better (taking into account price).

      Pretty amusing that MB does so much right with the C Class (aside from the sheetmetal, which I’m not a fan of) and then get so much wrong with the CLA.

      Also, the new Prius – due to it being beyond ugly.

  • avatar
    Mattias

    Twat 4 Any Nissan as they have been making nothing exciting, tho I could say that about all Jap makers except Mazda. Nissan however has been the rental queen every time I rent a car when I’ve been visiting California. Just seemed like after making interesting cars in the 2000s with mixed reliability results (see similar issues with related Renaults in Europe….) they took a downward plunge around 2012 and have stayed there. Boring dynamics, poor quality, disposable feel in addition to poor reliability. Ford seems to be making the euro feeling fun to drive cars that Nissan should have continued making but the quality of a Ford will always be better than Chrysler and Nissan (German inspired vs Italian and French style quality)

  • avatar
    cpu

    Best – Tesla Model S in Red multi coat.
    This car catches my eye constantly. Its just beautiful. Other colors, even when dirty, still catch my eye but the red is the best.

    Worst would be any Chrysler sedan. When traveling, I will upgrade out of my own pocket to avoid them at rental counters.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I don’t plan to nominate any, though I would nominate a class if that were possible. I do agree with some of the ‘nominations’ mentioned in this forum but will wait to enter my vote once all the nominations are made.

    (Voting based on number of nominations to me is not fair as it doesn’t give others the opportunity to agree or disagree with any nomination.)

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I don’t drive a lot of new cars. Or at least not enough to really know which is better than the other (i.e. Focus ST vs. GTI).

    So I went with the two I know.
    Best: Chevy SS (everything you need, nothing you don’t)
    Worst: Colorado/Canyon when equipped with the 2.5 4 banger (it hates you and wants you dead and attempts to prove it any time you try to pull out into traffic)

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I’m going to second the Chevy SS. Sure it’s got yawn inducing styling but that’s part of the mystique. It is sleeper defined, it is the spiritual successor to the E39. LS FTW, well equipped, comfortable, and based on proven technology. Yes, the SS embroidered in the seats is garish, but those seats are so comfortable.

      Where the Hellcat is a brute force sledgehammer that screams HERE I AM! The SS is the sedate and calmer alter ego, Clark Kent, that can turn into Superman at the flick of a shift and the skinny pedal.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    One could easily fill the worst with at least 4 FCA models starting with the Patriot, the 200, the Journey and the Fiat 500 series.

  • avatar

    Mirage
    Mirage
    Mirage
    Mirage
    Mirage
    Mirage
    Mirage
    500L
    Mirage
    Mirage

  • avatar
    TonyP

    My controversial choices.
    Best: BMW M2, a (close enough) return to BMWs roots and as quick as it’s $20k+ more expensive brother. A modern driver’s car at a surprisingly decent price.
    Worst: Toyota Tacoma, meet the new boss same as the old boss. Why anyone would choose a Tacoma over an F150, beside blind brand loyalty, is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      I think you meant Tundra, not Tacoma.

      Tacoma = Frontier = Colorado = Canyon = Ridgeline (when it returns)

      Tundra = F-150 = Sierra = Silverado = RAM = Titan (sort of)

      Why would someone buy a Tacoma over an F-150? Size, fuel economy, price…

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        APaGttH – I’d say size mostly and the perception that they are the most durable.
        Most Tacoma’s I see are approaching the higher end of the trim spectrum. In Canada A TRD or SR5 sits around 44k. Add leather and all the options and you are above 50k. One can argue that it is still cheaper than a similar full sized truck but if one waits for the right discounts domestic 1/2 tons can be had for 10-12k off. Toyota tends to be lean on discounts so a 1/2 ton is actually cheaper.
        In 2010 when I was truck shopping the Tacoma was on my list of considerations. The F150 I ended up buying had 12k off so it sat at 35k. The Tacoma was 39k with 2k off.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        What happens with the inevitable dents and dings on the ‘military grade’ aluminium?

        Years ago The Old Man bought a brand new innovation, an aluminium fence. What a POS. Showed every bump, dent and scrape and a pain to try to straighten.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    WORST: Mercedes Benz CLA. Making social climbers pay a premium price for a so-so compact to be a baller for 3 years or 36k miles, which ever comes first. This would be nailed to showroom floors if it were sold at a substantial discount by a brand that traditionally serves the peasantry.

    BEST: Mazda MX-5. Heart and soul of what driving enthusiasm is all about. Beautiful to behold, reasonable to purchase, corner carving joy. The fact that anyone still makes such a true drivers car that is so well executed and that can be purchased by most gainfully employed adults should be applauded with every trophy that can be made up in the name of selling subscriptions or baiting for clicks.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Worst: Porsche Macan
    – A completely unnecessary addition to the Porsche stable
    – $55k cost of entry, with up to 85k for “turbo” privileges – on a small CUV platform? Say it aint so!
    – Horrible reliability problems, well documented on various forums
    – Horrendous insurance costs

    Best: Mazda MX5 Miata
    – Has stayed true to its roots for decades
    – Remains a blast to drive
    – Newest generation removed the bad and reinforced what is good about the 2-seater
    – Continues to be relatively affordable and very reliable.

    Runners up for worst: Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, VW Passat
    Runners up for best: Focus ST / R, Mustang GT

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Making a car that can match other Porsches while still meeting consumer demand for CUVs is “completely unnecessary”? (Not that your other strikes against the Macan are without merit.)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Submitted!

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Based on looks … the new Porsche Boxster type 718 is at the top of my charts. Cheapest mid-engined car you can buy in the USA, too. (I’m not counting the Smart as a car, and there’s no stick-shift anyway.)

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      If you don’t want to take my word for it, you can mosey on over to Google and check for yourself: The 2016 Smart ForTwo is now available with an honest-to-god, three-pedal stick shift. Or DCT. Your choice.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    More worsts:

    Jeep Compass – WHY?
    Jeep Patriot – see Compass
    smart4two – there is nothing smart about this horrid A-segment offering. It’s the one car that keeps the Spark off the “worst” list
    Dodge Journey – OK – the price – but when that’s all you got
    Mitsubishi i-MiEV – this is really a golf cart – right? RIGHT?!?!
    Lincoln MXZ – it’s not badge engineering but there is really nothing different to the platform from the cheaper Fusion
    Nissan 370Z – outdated and outclassed – even Hyundai builds a better and lower priced mouse trap at this point. Never mind the V6 Mustang or Camaro
    Nissan Rogue Select (not the new Rogue). Why buy a new Rogue when you can pay new car money for the last model Rogue sitting on the showroom floor as a 2016!
    Toyota Land Cruiser – don’t have a fit here – hear me out. You can spend $83K on a Toyota Land Cruiser starting base price, or $88K for a Lexus LX. I only have it here because the base price is insane, especially when you consider you’re dropping $80 large on a set of wheels, $5K isn’t a big jump to the Lexus.

    More bests:

    Scion tC – it really is in a class to itself in what it is, what you get, and the price point. It is a modern interpretation of early 90 non-turbo ‘hot hatches’ and it is going away
    Kia Soul – ya I know, questionable style, no AWD and Hamsters. Huge value for what you get, great space utilization, there has to be some box on wheels love
    MX-5 – mic drop
    Chevrolet Impala – bang for the buck of what I’ve read it is the best fullsize car with a near luxury interior on a pedestrian brand – get the V6 and ya I know, no AWD. I have not read much Impala hatred (Epsilon 2 – I don’t mean the W-Body)
    Acura MDX – I know, made for soccer moms, but bang for the buck it is absolutely the best offering in its class

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Going to disagree about the MDX.

      The new XC90 is all around better and the MDX’s interior (in particular, the dash) was never that great to begin with.

      For a less expensive alternative, would go for an Sorento SXL over the MDX.

      The Impala is oft overlooked on TTAC (due to all the GM hatred).

      GM got a lot right with the Impala.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      If I had the money for either, I’d certainly go LC over the LX.

      Sure it’s got yawn inducing styling but that’s part of the mystique. It is sleeper defined. 5.7L, 8AT, KDSS, lockers everywhere, well equipped, comfortable, and based on proven technology. Yes, the Land Cruiser price is garish, but the vehicle so capable.

      Where the LX is all the sharp edge styling and bling that screams HERE I AM! the LC is the sedate and calmer alter ego, Clark Kent, that can turn into Superman at the flick of terrain select switch.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    WORST

    10. Chevrolet Trax. One of the cheapest-looking and feeling interiors on the market meets a badly underpowered, iron-block 1.4T boat anchor. So you’d think there would be some redeeming value somewhere else? Nope. The styling is plain to the point of looking like something that should be white with corporate logos on the side, and the dynamics are sort of like the Sonic, except with extra tippiness, a stiffer ride, and worse grip.

    9. Mazda CX-3. When you open the doors of most cars, you will find an “interior.” This is a space where humans and cargo can fit while the car is in motion. The CX-3 will fit humans only if they are well below legal age to drive and cargo only if it is about the size of a small can of baked beans. It’s lucky that adult humans don’t fit, because if they did, they would have the discernment to figure out that the interior feels cheaper than that of the similarly priced, more commodious Mazda3.

    8. BMW X6. The BMW X5 is one of the worst-packaged CUVs on the market. You get exterior dimensions that fit solidly into the large class, and a near-5000-pound curb weight, with an interior no bigger than that of your average compact CUV. The X6’s neat trick is to take the X5’s packaging and make it even worse, while also adding an overflowing helping of ugly. Add to this mix the reliability malaise of recent large BMWs, video-game steering, laggy turbo V8s, and indifferent interior quality.

    7. Honda HR-V. Honda has always had issues controlling road noise. In most of their cars, though, they’ve made steady progress over the years. Not the HR-V. It has all the sonic refinement of an ’84 Civic. That’s its worst failing, but to add insult to injury, it’s less commodious than its lighter, better-driving Fit platform-mate, and poorly equipped at the price level.

    6. Cadillac Escalade/Escalade ESV. What a racket. Take a primitive $25k work truck, give it an enclosed body, slap in an interior with materials appropriate for a $40k car, add a lot of bling and some fancy magnetic shocks to try (unsuccessfully) to disguise the bouncy live axle, and charge nearly $100k for the result. Buyers are willing to pay because the cars are loud and flashy, never mind the lack of anything approaching the refinement you’d usually find in the segment. They are suckers that fell for a con by GM. Even the Tahoe/Suburban platform-mates are ridiculously priced, but at least they have abilities you can’t find for any less money.

    5. Kia K900. This is what happens when a maker builds a car for buyers who value buying domestic above all else… and then export it. Suspension is floppy and uncontrolled, way too soft even for a cruiser with no sporting intent. Luxury-car features and size are present, but the interior materials could have come from a previous-generation Elantra. And the dealer network, to put it mildly, has no idea what buyers in this segment expect. And the price for all this? Enough to buy a decently equipped 5-Series.

    4. Mercedes CLA250/GLA250. Mercedes knows how to downsize and keep brand values. From the bulletproof 190E to today’s superbly finished C-Class, they have shown they can design real Mercedes at lower cost and on a smaller canvas. But they decided that wasn’t cheap enough, and built what looks, feels, and drives like a Chevy Cobalt with a (laggy and loud) turbo engine and a lot of added bling. The interior is badly put together and awfully packaged, the driving dynamics are indifferent, and the exterior look (particularly on the GLA) is cheap.

    3. Fiat 500L. What are the core virtues of a Fiat 500? Small size, cheap price, some dynamic entertainment, and charm in spades. You pay for that with a lack of refinement, questionable reliability, and strange ergonomics. The Fiat 500L systematically removes all of the 500’s virtues, while keeping all of the 500’s considerable vices, and adding a huge dose of ugly. Enough said.

    2. Range Rover Evoque. This is the mentally challenged toy dog of cars. There is nothing it does better than a Ford Escape for $15,000 less, other than look like a cheap imitation of a Range Rover. It’s buzzy, very small inside, not particularly well built, not at all capable off-road, hard to see out of, and (like most Land Rovers) supremely unreliable by modern standards. In exchange, you get to be seen in a vehicular Shih Tzu.

    (2+. Jeep Compass…)

    1. Honda CR-Z. A FWD sports runabout without any sport whatsoever, a cute car that’s glass-breakingly ugly, or a hybrid econocar without any utility and with worse-than-normal hybrid fuel economy. Take your pick; either way this car is useless.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Dal, read the directions and do the form!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Shhh just copy it and submit it as your own.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I done did mine already, though. I have two matches with Dal on the worst list.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Worst:

            Everything

            Best:

            Nothing

            I’m done.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ah, you took your DeadWeights pills today.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            S*it, that would explain why my screen is filled with pictures of dashboards and I’m so angry I am shaking.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think his scrolling desktop slideshow at work is various Cadillac gauges.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ll do it for real: “Mercedes” CLA

            -Not a Mercedes
            -Explicitly ugly in a world of already poor styling
            -$28 tablet glued to dash
            -Not a Mercedes
            -Wrong wheel drive
            -A $4 light up grille emblem for $400
            -Little to zero outward visibility
            -Cheap looking paint
            -Not a Mercedes
            -Turbo failz
            -Assembled in Hungary
            -Giant headlights which make it look like a poverty spec model (see Chevy Spark)
            -Consumer Reports: This Mercedes Is ‘140% Worse Than The Average Car’
            -CR reports “body integrity” issues
            -Did I mention its not a real Mercedes?

            http://www.businessinsider.com/consumer-reports-mercedes-benz-cla-worst-car-in-lineup-2014-10

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @28-Cars-Later Maybe the CLA will improve when they move it’s production to Mexico.

            http://nissannews.com/en-US/nissan/usa/channels/facilities-aguascalientes/releases/daimler-and-renault-nissan-alliance-break-ground-for-new-joint-venture-plant-in-mexico

            http://www.autoblog.com/2014/06/25/mercedes-cla-nissan-aguascalientes-mexico-poll-report/

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Oh, I will; I just wanted to make sure my rationales were public.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Dal, your rage today is intoxicating!

      I love it!

      More of that!!!

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      While the K900’s suspension is “old school” luxury, by most accounts – has a pretty decent ride (yes, there is too much body roll, but again, it was engineered for the overly soft type of ride).

      And by most accounts, the interior material quality (while no S Class) is pretty good for a sedan that starts at $49k.

      Not my cup of tea, but Alex liked the K900.

      If anything, the K900 is less floaty and has better interior materials than the Equus.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Having ridden in one, I disagree on both counts. The ride is as uncontrolled as a B-body with shot shocks. The interior materials could have come straight out of an Elantra Limited.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Best: Mustang GT. Only car under $40k that interests me on sale today. Looks gorgeous, drives well, plenty of power, and nut-chillers are available. Only downside is that I’m not sure I want to be a “Mustang Guy”. And no sunroof.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      “Only downside is that I’m not sure I want to be a “Mustang Guy”.

      So you care enough about what other people think that they can make decisions for you?

      I don’t say this simply as a “Mustang guy” but it baffles me whenever people worry about what the Jones will say about them?

      Before a kamikaze Civic driver decided to take my 2015 out. My GM (a dyed in the wool BMW and Jaguar owner) and AGM (dyed in the wool Mercedes guy) were pretty impressed with my GT/PP in Metallic Guard and these are guys that routinely look at my Shelby and tell me I should have just bought a V6 and saved the money as they can’t find the value in that car at all.

      I doubt you’ll have to worry about constant “streetlight” challenges since the knuckleheads looking to race in traffic have their sights set on a bigger prize (6th gen Camaro SS – that’ll be the “kill story” fodder for the foreseeable future ). If you purchase a Mustang about the only thing you’ll get from those guys are looks of pity and questions about why “you wasted your money on a Mustang and instead didn’t spend it on a Camaro?” and occasionally a gaffe about “Mustang drivers” wrecking into crowds.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Worst: 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan. [email protected] me gently with a chainsaw, this is the most boring vehicle I’ve driven. It doesn’t drive poorly for what it is, it doesn’t handle poorly for what it is, but it looks like they designed it with used Amazon shipping boxes and as you put on the miles, you can feel the hormones literally leave your body from the driver seat. It’s an emasculating experience.

    In Enterprise rental car spec with mouse fur seats, no nav, weak 4 or 6 speaker stereo, it’s especially nut crushing.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I think yours was haunted or cursed by the ghost of Gloria Steinem. I drove an identical one last year and my nuts are very much intact. The lack of sat radio did suck, its almost as if I was thrown back to… 2007. *Gasp*

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “you can feel the hormones literally leave your body from the driver seat.”

      Really? I’ve always liked GCs since stow & go and I’m awfully tired of being a slavish tit-hound…

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      If anything, a minivan should be a sign of virility. Look at me, I’m so fertile and mateworthy that I need this thing to haul all of my offspring.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Worst:

    Toyota Yaris: Much as it pains me (I love me some high quality, cheap Toyota…my son STILL drives his 1997 Tercel, now with well over 220k on it). There is a limit to how bad “cheap” gets. Unrefined, over-priced and severely lacking when compared to it’s competition, the Yaris simply has no reason for being. I really want to like it in four-door/5-speed format, but just can’t.

    Mercedes CLA: Already beat to heck in other comments. Spent a week in Croatia in a stable mate variant. Granted, it was a hatchback…and diesel…and a manual. But a Benz? Not. Even. Close. Unrefined for what is supposed to be (a Mercedes), this is not how a company should offer smaller versions. As has been said before, MB has shown they CAN do small cars (see the 190E), but this isn’t it.

    Best:

    Mazda MX-5. Call it a chick car all you want. It still distills the driving experience down to what it should be for a two-seat convertible. Enough of what you need, and not much else. Responsive and entertaining and doesn’t rely simply on mashing the go-peddle. I hope we have MX-5 variants 20 years down the road (God forbid they are self-driving!).

    Chevy Impala: Darkhorse candidate. One of the last *big* American cars that seems to get it right. I still catch myself looking at them when they are on the road. A glimpse of the fact that GM can do cars right, when they want to. Comfortable for the long-haul, best get one while you can, as it seems full-sizers are a dead segment rolling…

  • avatar
    dwford

    TWATs:

    BMW 3 series GT: why? A BMW that looks like a 2006 Hyundai Elantra GT, thats why. Even has the same name

    Mercedes GLC coupe and GLE coupe: why, why why, so ugly and pointless. total WTF factor

    Hyundai Veloster: ugly, not fast, can’t see out of it, very small inside, options to $26k with only 200hp

    Nissan Versa: why does every small Nissan need to be ugly? That it sells so well is a testament to the lack of taste of the small car buyer

    Buick Encore/Chevy Trax: Over priced, extremely cheap inside, slow. At over $30k loaded, these are poor competitors not only to the similarly sized Mazda CX-3, but to compacts like the Escaper, Tucson, etc.

    GMC Canyon/Chevy Colorado: I’m sure they are nice trucks, but a recent visit to the GMC showroom saw a $41k Canyon with the V6 and a cloth interior – the same price that gets you a V8 cloth Sierra 1500. Not sure of the value proposition here, especially with full size truck incentives what they are

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’ve submitted my nominees but I’ll wait to see if any of mine make the official list. If they do then I’ll gloat.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Worst: Mitsubishi Lancer. On sale almost completely unchanged since 2007. Shoot, even the J-car Cavalier got some an engine upgrade and some new (half-baked) fascias/lighting before it hit a decade on the market.

    The Toyota Yaris has been mentioned multiple times, but I’d also like to nominate the Corolla and Camry as among the worst in their respective classes. Both cars were arguably class leading…in 2003. Since then, with the exception of the Corolla’s CVT, Toyota has done nothing but rehash the same basic platforms with ever-uglier styling. The Camry has not seen a powertrain update since 2009. The Corolla (and Yaris) still can be had with a 4-speed automatic, for crying out loud.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    BEST

    10. Acura MDX SH-AWD

    This is the first of several entries with a theme: I find well-done everyday cars in everyday segments more compelling than less-well-executed enthusiast machinery. The MDX isn’t flashy in any way, but it gets a lot right. The SH-AWD powertrain rivals the Audi Q7’s as best-in-segment, not counting BMW’s absurdly cramped entry — and is likely to be much more reliable. Interior quality is very good, and durable enough for kids. The drive is among the better ones by the standards of big CUVs. The third row is usable without making the car elephantine. All the necessary goodies are in place.

    9. Ford Flex

    This is an emotional choice based on styling. As a people-hauler, it’s very competent, and entertaining when equipped with two snails, but getting dated. I just love the fact that it doesn’t try to pretend it’s a Tough Off-Road Truck.

    8. Jeep Grand Cherokee

    It’s not a great vehicle substantively; it has bad packaging, mediocre driving qualities, and typical FCA build “quality.” but the one thing the JGC gets really, really right is vastly important: it’s the single vehicle for sale in America that is the most acceptable in the greatest variety of social settings. Everyone from urban hipsters to batsh!t conservative Atlanta-suburbs soccer dads to New England granolas to Texas oil folk to California sun chasers, at all income levels, of all colors, loves the Grand Cherokee, and if you buy one you can guarantee no judgment based on your choice of car.

    7. Audi S4

    Sport sedans are my favorite segment, and the 2016 version (get it with a manual while you can!) is the most appealing on the market right now if equipped properly. Get it with Sport Differential and the drivetrain is brilliant. Steering is only so-so but there isn’t any good steering in the class except maybe the Lexus IS, which is uncompetitive in other respects. Interior is average for Audi which is pretty good for everyone else. But the real star of the show is the supercharged V6, one of the best VAG engines ever, with an oceanically flat torque curve and a marvelous sound.

    6. Volvo XC90

    The jury is still out on reliability of Volvo’s new four-cylinder engines, but this one deserves a nod purely on interior brilliance. This is the nicest interior design on the mass market right now, and it feels pretty good too. The chassis is well-executed, and the engine feels about as good as a four-cylinder possibly can.

    5. Tesla Model S

    Tesla’s drive unit is the single best powertrain on the market right now. Electric done right. It gives you instant and prodigious power, total quiet, and brilliant packaging. This more than makes up for the Ludicrous price and mediocre-at-best interior.

    4. Mercedes S550

    The most comfortable car on the market. That’s good enough for a spot. This is the current standard for interior quality and ride refinement. The S550 gets the nod over its AMG big brothers because it’s more purely focused on the right mission, without inappropriately firm suspension or gratuitously loud exhaust.

    3. Honda Accord

    In the segment that I think provides the best combination of driving satisfaction and utility for money, the Accord is king. It’s one of the best drivers in the segment, and combines that characteristic with better packaging than the Mazda6 and a nicer interior than the Camry SE, the other leaders in driving experience. Both engines are the best in their classes. The car should be supremely reliable and will have excellent resale value. The best possible mix of head and heart.

    2. Toyota Prius

    Let the hate begin! But hear me out first. The Prius is the single best car for drivers who want a transportation appliance, full stop. It’s cheap to buy and operate, excellently packaged (and amazingly roomy), more reliable than politicians exaggerating, available with a decent complement of equipment, and particularly advantaged in urban driving that more and more of us are doing. I recommend them all the time and think they are a brilliant bit of product planning by Toyota. This is about the regular Prius, which is more comfortable than the V and a better product in many ways than the penalty-box C.

    1. Chevrolet Corvette

    The Corvette has absolutely shattered worldwide ideas of sports-car value for the last three generations. With the C7, it does so while being a surprisingly acceptable daily ride. Interior quality is now on par with other Chevrolet products, which is good enough. Reliability seems to be reaching the usual Corvette standard again, which is much better than the more expensive competition. Putting all the money into a lightweight body, and using a modified truck engine, has proven to be a world-beating strategy for GM. If I could buy one two-seat sports car, a C7 Stingray with appropriate options would be it.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The 2nd gen Prius was just about perfect.

      The current Prius looks like the tortured Cenobite version of the ’03-’09 model. I can’t imagine that people interested in a transportation appliance want something with styling inspired by a bath-salt induced nightmare.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The funny thing is that today’s bath-salt-induced nightmare turns into tomorrow’s mainstream. By this time next year we won’t even notice 4G Priuses.

        Look at a 2009 Acura TL today and you’ll wonder what the big fuss was about. Through 2016 eyes it just looks like another Japanese midsize, transverse sedan.

        • 0 avatar
          bd2

          The only really bad part of the TL circa 2009 was the “beak” and we all know how well the beak has served Acura.

          The totally disjointed look of the new Prius likely won’t ever go mainstream, but bad or polarizing design don’t necessarily inhibit sales.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            The Prius and Mirai styling are part of a secret plot by Toyota to make me take back a statement I made a few years ago about not caring about the exterior styling of a daily driver type car. Some day those documents will show up on Wikileaks. Mark my word. :^)

  • avatar
    ajla

    I submitted my reasons, but here were my lists.

    Best (no order):
    1. Lexus LS460
    2. Lexus GX460
    3. Ford Flex
    4. Acura MDX
    5. VW GTI (it hurts my soul to pick a VW, but this thing is good)
    6. Mazda Miata MX-5
    7. Toyota Rav4 Hybrid
    8. Chevrolet SS Sedan
    9. Acura TLX (bite me haters)
    10. Nissan Maxima (bite me haters x100)

    Worst (no order):
    1. Dodge Charger
    2. Mitsubishi Lancer
    3. Nissan Titan XD
    4. Buick Encore
    5. Cadillac ATS
    6. Mercedes CLA
    7. Ram Promaster
    8. Honda CR-Z
    9. Ford Explorer
    10. Hyundai Veloster

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I love that the Flex is on your good list and the Explorer is on your bad list. I agree and wish consumers felt the same way. However, the sheer number of 2016 Explorer Sports in my neighborhood tells me that they don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Sorry, but a flagship sedan only putting out 386 HP can’t be regarded as “best” these days.

      As much as I think the current Mercedes design language is just “bleh” – one can’t really argue that the S Class totally rules that segment in more ways than one.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The LS (and LX and GX) are legitimately among the best, if not THE best, cars on the market with respect to reliability. If that’s your first priority, you may find them worthy of nomination.

        I like that, a lot (hence my purchase of a used LS460), but I can see that the rest of the S550 package is a cut above at this point. S550 reliability has proven acceptable if not outstanding, unlike the BMW entry in the same segment.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The 7-Series lost it entirely in 2002, and has never recovered. It’s continually on an “avoid at all costs” list in my mind whenever it gets mentioned.

  • avatar

    I’m probably not eligible to cast an actual vote, but of the vehicles that I’ve driven in the past year:

    Best: McLaren 675LT – I have a new standard for automobiles. If you like to drive, find some way to get behind the wheel of a McLaren.

    Worst: Jeep Patriot – the rental I had when in LA to drive the McLaren. Not really a bad car, just nothing special at all. It did its job but brought me no joy.

    I’ve said it before, Chrysler made a huge mistake making three compacts off the same platform, the Dodge Caliber, the Patriot and the Compass. I suppose that Jeep needed a cute ute but even if that money was spent on just two cars instead of three, the Caliber and Patriot would have been better.

    Even though just about everyone outside the company thinks that making two small FWD based Jeeps was a mistake, apparently they’ve sold enough of each to justify keeping them in production lo these many years later.

    I remember Trever Creed, head of Chrysler styling, bragging that it was his decision to make both of them. Development dollars don’t just grow on trees.

  • avatar
    smartascii

    I really don’t know why everyone hates the Mirage so much. The actual ATPs are by far the lowest of any new car, and given that fact, it’s pretty well equipped, has an excellent warranty, and if you can find one with a stick, it’s kind of fun because you can beat the stuffing out of it without really speeding very much, and it’ll still give you an honest 40+ MPG in freeway driving. No one will confuse you with Ayerton Senna or Bill Gates, but who gives a #&@%?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Worst: i8, horribly unattractive design saddled with an equally unattractive drivetrain. It’s BMWs Anti-BMW.
    Also, Colorado/Canyon, similarly to above it just has a horrible design, why does the cab stick so far up, this design makes the Aztek look reasonably proportioned. The only way GM could save this design is if they grew a pair and started throwing V8s into everything again, at least then you could have that beautiful sound of a 5.3L singing sweet tunes to your ears.
    Also the Ford super car, whatever it’s called, is completely unattractive as a super car and even a regular car, it could have a price tag of $35k and that poor drivetrain would still keep me from looking at it.

    Best: Easily the SS sedan, followed closely by the Suburban ( I mean really, it’s a classic American vehicle).

  • avatar
    Quentin

    Am I the only one that has zero desire to play pretend automotive journalist and submit nominations? 10 best and worst? Maybe of all time but of model year 2016… no way. I’ve purchased a new 2016 and have a 2017 on order, but I don’t think either of them would be on a 10 best list without some qualification of my personal likes/dislikes. There aren’t many cars I hate. I just don’t care about a lot of them.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I concur with all of these picks. Let me add the BMW X4 for the same reasons as the X6 as well as the Benz GLE coupe/CUV. They might be stylish but the sporty, sloping rear and higher cost than the model they are based on make them less worthy.

    Worst-Nissan Versa-cut rate interior furnishings more suitable for a Dacia and rear drum brakes.

    Best-Chrysler 300C/Dodge Charger-sure they are on a aging platform but they pack in a lot of value for the money. Pentastar, 8 speed, AWD for under $40k What more do you need?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Cut-rat interior furnishings on an $11,000 car? I’m shocked. You know, at that price I’d expect hand stitched leather on the dash. And if I’m paying almost 12 grand, I’d expect carbon ceramic brembos all around. Why is Nissan being so cheap and putting drums at the rear? They probably have a serious impact on it’s track times.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Compared to others in the same subcompact class; Fiesta, Fit, Sonic or Accent are just better built vehicles that pack in more value for around the same price.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Dang. I just devoted 35 minutes for a thorough and solid vote. But I couldn’t resist breaking that “only the US”-limit.

    Come on, you’re one of the better outfits reporting about what goes on in the car world globally. Such a limitation is…harsh.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That harsh limitation will mean the best/worst lists have validity. It doesn’t matter if a Chinese WangLing 200XeeDe2 is the worst car – it’s not available in the US and you’ll never see one.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Oh, man, that’s my #3.

        Validity is relative to the readership, and the American market might be the biggest, but there are A LOT of relevant cars missing there. Just sayin’.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I submitted a much longer list, but the Mercedes G-Wagen is just a terrible monstrosity for people with more money than brains. It’d be admirable how capable it was if they at least sent it over in a spec that owners were willing to get dirty, but as it is, no one’s going to want to scratch up those massive gaudy wheels they all have. Great off-roader, terrible, rough riding luxury truck, but MB USA won’t equip it to its strengths.

    Mazda CX3 – this one bothers me just that Mazda has to make it. AWD is literally all it offers over the superior Mazda3.

    Chevy Trax/Buick Encore. Cramped, stiff bouncy ride, still kind of awful to drive. Really, the entire compact crossover segment could sub in as the ten worst list.

    I4 Dodge Journey – not that the V6 is anything great, but an I4 Avenger was the worst late-model car I’ve been forced to drive (gutless, thirsty, and poorly designed), so adding 400lbs can only make if worse. If you decide to buy that spec of Journey over everything else out there, especially the Grand Caravan across the showroom floor (equally cheap), there is something wrong with you. Like, go see a shrink, because you need help immediately
    .

  • avatar
    Joss

    TWAT
    Chinese MG’s.

    Nismo Juke – a fugly Nismo CUV? With CVT and paddle shifter tech? A simple center armrest is a dealer accessory right across the line.

    Any Bentley or Rolls with suicide doors.

    Best

    Fiesta ST. Fun fun fun.
    Focus R gotta luv it, circles any prestige suicide doors.
    Golf R awd and no plaid…

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Best: Ford Mustang Convertible w/ecoboost 4… Did everything so well, very engaging… must admit caveat of driving this as a rental over on Maui, including Road to Hana. Only downside was that it sounded like a ’71 Pinto unless you were on the accelerator some.

    Worst: Ford Fiesta ST… 4 doors!?!? Like my other Fords, would probably begin disintegrating at around 100k miles. And an interior that looks like it was created by the set designer for Rodan vs Mothra. 2016 Abarth was much more engaging and fun!

  • avatar
    09box

    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?

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    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.

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