By on April 20, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

So far, you’ve nominated 156 separate vehicles for TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Award — including a cornucopia of models that shouldn’t be nominated. (Reading comprehension, people!)

Here are some insights into the Best & Brightest hive mind.

You told the Mustang to take the Camaro outside, where the MX-5 is waiting for them both

Nominations for the Ford Mustang in its many guises far outnumber those for the Chevrolet Camaro by over 5 to 1. However, it seems that Miata is always the answer to you folks. Maybe you don’t need that pesky back seat. Nominations for the MX-5 outpace the Mustang by just over 1.5 to 1.

Reading comprehension is not a strong suit for some of you

One reader nominated the Bugatti Chiron. For one, it wasn’t available for the 2016 model year. Hell, it STILL isn’t available. And the rationale behind the nomination? “No explanation required.”

Some people’s children. Sheesh.

You couldn’t care less about the North American Car of the Year

Honda Shmonda: The Civic, a perfectly good vehicle picked by a panel of experts to be the best car for every single North American, isn’t near and dear to your hearts. So far, you’ve been just as likely to nominate the Acura NSX, BMW 2 Series, Cadillac ATS, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Suburban, Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fiesta, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Porsche 911, Porsche Cayman, Scion iA, Subaru Forester, Subaru Outback and Toyota Land Cruiser.

Leading the compact pack? The Volkswagen Golf in all its forms. In non-GTI/R hatchback form, the Golf is tied with the Civic. Add the GTI, R, and SportWagen, and the Golf blows every other compact out of the water.

Nissan is in bad shape

Of all the full-line non-premium marques, Nissan has the least number of nominations — and the cars you picked aren’t what we expected: the Maxima and Versa Note.

Really?

Also, Alfa Romeo received the same total brand nominations as Nissan so far, and with only one real model on sale (though someone did submit a nomination for the Disco Volante).

Audi and BMW virtually neck and neck, but you really like what Mercedes is doing

You’ve made a total of seven Audi and eight BMW nominations. At the same time, you’ve nominated Mercedes-Benz vehicles a whopping 17 times — which includes a single nomination for Sprinter.

How are you justifying your nominations?

On the Acura MDX:

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.

dal20402

On the Ariel Atom:

It is a gloriously absurd, fundamentally implausible car. We need more of this.

rcousine

On the Buick Cascada:

Call me an optimist but I have high hopes that this will be closer to the Camry Solara than to the Chrysler Sebring/200.

wagonsonly

On the Chevrolet Corvette:

The Rodney Dangerfield of sports cars — but totally deserves your respect.

PrincipalDan

On the Chevrolet SS:

Clark Kent looks with Superman performance. LS FTW, great content, and sweet Zeta platform. Sleeper: defined.

APaGttH

On the Dodge Charger Hellcat:

It’s sheer lunacy. It’s hard to believe it’s legal. It’s reasonably affordable. And then with a twist of the key you add 207 horsepower to a 500-horsepower car.

Timothy Cain

We’ll post more nominations (including Ten Worst noms) tomorrow and later this week. Nominations are still open. Make sure to get yours in now!

Submit your 2016 Ten Best/Ten Worst Nominations By Clicking Here

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82 Comments on “Insights: A Snapshot of the Best & Brightest’s Ten Best Autos Nominations...”


  • avatar

    BEST: Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT.

    Worst: Acura NSX

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Maxima is a good car dammit!

    Were all the press cars Nissan provided at the launch events jacked up or pre-production or something?

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Ford transit high cube ftw! Putting in my nomination now.

  • avatar
    Chris from Cali

    I nominated the Chiron. I do know how to read. In fact, ALL of the car magazines I read have talked about the Chiron being a thing of the NOW, not of 2017 on. Apologies for the butt hurt. You can apologize back when you post your “OMFG FIRST CHIRON CRASHED” article later this year.

    And BTSR, I would’ve included the Hellcat Charger, but alas, in my inability to read, I thought they mean new cars in 2016…. /sarcasm

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Worst small car = Toyota Yaris

    Worst midsized car = Nissan Altima (the new Mitsubishi)

    Worst entry level “premium” car = Mercedes CLA 250

    Worst muscle car = Chevrolet Cannot

    Worst p/u truck = Nissan Titan

    Worst midsize p/u = Chevy Colorado

    Worst Large SUV = Nissan Armada

    Worst Premium Large SUV = Cadillac Escalade (glorified, blinged, porky, enclosed, not’refined, enclosed Silverado at 300% markup)

    Worst motorized mailbox = Mitsubishi Mirage / tie / Chevy Spark

    More on the way.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      “Cadillac Escalade (glorified, blinged, porky, enclosed, not’refined, enclosed Silverado ”

      You say that like it’s a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      DW, you are correct on your assessment. Especially correct on the Escalade and CLA 250.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Everybody hates on the escalade and they’re applauded for it, but I hate on the equalaly attrocious overpriced tajoe/yukorn and suddenly everyone loses their freakin’ minds!

        There is nothing a tajoe needs to do that a full size extended cab truck, or a full size van can’t do better.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          But the Escalade costs approx 60% more than an equivalent wheel base Escalade.

          Even the Yukon is expensive for what it is.

          The Escalade, with some lipstick, leather underwear and chrome bling, is grossly overpriced (but not according to current debt-junky consumers).

          In the next downturn, we’ll see circa-2015/2016 Escalades selling for 22% of MSRP on BHPH lots and used to try and haul QUIKRETE® and landscaping equipment.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Let me try this again:

            But the Escalade costs approx 60% more than an equivalent wheel base Yukon.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            But Escalades are actually pretty good at hauling Quikrete. Riding like $100k luxury cars… less so.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            An Escalade can make a mess out of the super smooth roads of sun-only Arizona. Much disappoint.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I hauled Quikrete and cinder blocks in my C-Max this week. Perhaps I would have been more stylish doing it in an Escalade.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The rectangular nature of cinder blocks nicely counterbalances the curved playfulness of the C-Max’s eleven grilles.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Ford Designer #1: Hey, what grille should we put on the C-Max Hybird?

            Ford Designer #2: I guess we could use the one we have on the European C-Max. But it’s related to the Escape, so we could use that instead. We also have the Fusion coming out, so that might be nice on the C-Max.

            Ford Designer #1: Let’s throw them all on there and see if upper management lets it go into production.

            Ford Designer #2: Hahaha. Those a$$holes won’t even notice. Have you seen the brake lights on the MKZ? It doesn’t light up in the middle!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Me and Lincoln got brake light issues. We might have to work them out in arbitration.

            I think the MKC might even be more egregious than the MKZ. When the lights are on and you’ve got the outline of the big full-width lamps – except for the middle part which only lights up with braking.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “We want to have sweet tail lights, but we don’t have that much money”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Surely they can cut a paint color off of the Fiesta and scrounge up the funds.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The paint shop where is Fiesta is made is actually better than many other Ford paint shops. Part of that is when it was upgraded, but before the 2015 F150, chances were that a $15K Fiesta had better paint than a $60K F150.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Tresmonos will be by shortly to tell us who works there, and which days they like painting which colors!

            Fusions I see seem to have decent paint, I don’t notice any orange peel like I do on a brand new CTS. ._.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Nickoo….
          Having owned a full size CC truck, minivan, and suburban for me hands down the Burban is the most useful.

          I would be interested in knowing your demographic. How many kids, dogs, outdoor activities I.e pairs of skis in your basement, mountain bikes in your garage, tents etc.

          Those that hate the huge family hauler at free to do so. Meanwhile the rest of us are out having fun in the mountains after a quiet ride with all of our gear that is safely stowed in th back. Ever put on a pair of ski boots that have been sitting outside in the frigid cold for several hours? Didn’t think so….

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      There is much hate for the Toyota Yaris by the B&B.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You’re submitting these via the form, right?

      The Spark is also a far better car than the Mirage at a similar real-world price. No tie there.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I’m not using the form, because Mark S is “acting all” formal & everything, and I’m a rebel.

        Maybe I will use the form. I’m going to sulk & smoke some Marlboro Reds and think about it.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      What’s the “Chevrolet Cannot?”

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        I’m pretty sure he was talking about the new Chevy Carnot. It uses newfangled green steam engine technology. The car that runs on water that was finally promised is finally here!

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It was supposed to Chevrolet Camaro but autocorrect changes Camaro to Cannot.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Disagree on the Escalade. It is Cadillac’s pacemaker right now. The only thing to keep the heart beating, the SRX is just nitrates for chest pain.

          Don’t think of it as a fancy Tahoe, think of it as a more reliable Range Rover. It can tow the boat, go skiing, or off-road, but it doesn’t have the Rover issues. It’s also more refined than a Land Cruiser.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            More reliable Range Rover? In terms of both ride and interior quality the Escalade is to a Range Rover as a Chevy Malibu LTZ is to an S550.

            And if you think it’s more refined than a Land Cruiser I think you must be thinking about a Land Cruiser Series 80.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          It must be a Ford Mustang spell checker.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      “Worst midsize p/u = Chevy Colorado”

      Sorry but you stick the baby dirtymax in the Colorado and you got the best midsize PU on the road. Stick the 4.3 gasser out of the FS trucks in it(which you can’t) and you got the 2nd best midsize PU on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      LOL the very same Colorado that beats the Taco and Frontier in virtually every comparison out there right? The truck that got a COTY award twice. The truck that has a really good torquey efficient diesel option? Good one

  • avatar
    Ion

    I’m surprised at the Mustang over the Camaro all the dirt rags have it the other way.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Driving the car on the street versus track changes the real outcome of the two cars. Driving position of the Camaro should take it out the win column except for driving in a straight line. The Mustang is a much more refined auto with a more suitable driving position for every day driving.

      • 0 avatar
        MrIcky

        Completely disagree. Have you driven one? The Camaro is still odd inside but it’s chassis is seriously outstanding. It feels like the Mustang got the ribbon for best effort while the Camaro actually got the trophy for achieving.

        I can only think that the high mustang/camaro ratio is because everyone thinks they know what they know from some offhand experience with the <2015.

        • 0 avatar
          VW16v

          Mricky, yes I’ve driven two late model Camaro’s. Poorly building interior, plastic dash pieces are not even precise. Probably the worst car I’ve driven in over 20 years. For life of me I cannot understand the love for the newer Camaro’s.

          • 0 avatar
            MrIcky

            Well to clarify- I am talking about the 16. Not sure if late model=2016, but the 2016 Camaro interior feels better put together than the 2016 Mustang interior.

            Whatever though, I don’t have a dog in the fight- I own a Challenger and I know how the B&B loves to bust on FCA. But I just cannot understand the Mustang love except the gt350.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The new Mustang blows the doors of the new Camaro in terms of exterior and interior styling (Camaro has among worst interior of any new vehicle in its or any segment), utility (yep, a semi-usable backseat is critical even jn a muscle car), sight lines (Camaro qualifies for near-worst-ever), etc.

            The only demerit for the Mustang is the idiotic 4 banger ecoboost garbage, which is way to grainy to e associated with any Muscle Car (same is true of GM’s pathetic 4 banger in the crappy Camaro).

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      That is because chevy paid them to come to that conclusion.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’ve seen two ’16 V8 Camaros in the wild, rather than at dealerships or shows, so far.

      Both were being driven by complete turds. The first one was weaving through slow I-5 rush hour traffic with probably 6 dangerous lane changes within a half mile. The second one was just this morning: ran a red light near my house, and then drove up a freeway onramp in the carpool lane with only the driver aboard.

      Others can tell me whether this says something about who prefers the Camaro to the Mustang.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Mustang looks like sex, Camaro looks like every Camaro has for the past 5 years.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    The SS is undeserving of being on the 10 best. A 415 hp sedan for $45k that can’t manage to move over 3000 units a year makes it pretty clear that they missed the mark somewhere. Either the styling is too restrained or the content doesn’t match the price. In theory, it should have a bigger target market than a V8 pony car because it compromises space much less than those two, but the SS is invisible to the buying market.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Americans don’t want fullsize cars – the whole category is dying.

      Drive one – especially a manual – then you’ll understand.

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Agreed. Charger scat pack for 38k is the real winner. 485 hp of fun.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Part of the problem is that neither GM nor Chevy dealers really want to sell them. They are low-profit for GM and high-pain for dealers, and really exist to fulfill a contract with GM Australia. As a result, it’s extremely difficult to buy one. Few dealers have them in stock, particularly in any configuration other than black or red automatic; prices aren’t great; and ordering one is a teeth-pulling and extremely long (greater than 6 months) process.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Out of curiosity, I did a cars.com search. There are 5 with manual transmissions available within 250 miles of Charleston, WV (available in black, green, white (x2), and blue). All 5 of them are marked down between $1300 and $3000 from MSRP. If I don’t require an MT, there are over 100 available within in that distance. Anecdote for sure, but I don’t believe that my location in WV is some sort of mecca for RWD sedans.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Within 500 miles of me (Seattle) there are 19, about half of them leftover 2015s (no MRC), all 19 of them automatics. More than half are black, and the rest are red except for 2x white, 1x silver, and 1x blue.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      I briefly considered an SS. It fit the bill RWD or AWD, manual transmission, and it comes in not one but three(!) shades of green. I crossed it off my list due to it having only summer tires. Considering the surge in AWD vehicles on the road these days, it’s obvious most Americans don’t want something that’s useless in inclement weather. The fact that the SS has little marketing and no wow factor really hammer the nails in the coffin.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        So… $1000 for a set of winter tires and cheap rims on a $49,000 vehicle is too much?

        (Not to mention that at least in theory there is a choice between summers and all-seasons on the equipment list.)

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      Apparently you have not driven one. Do that and get back to us.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        I haven’t. And it doesn’t matter that I haven’t. My premise is that it can’t be on the best 10 list due to being the worst selling full size non luxury car in the US.

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2016/01/usa-large-car-sales-figures-december-2015-year-end.html

        The impressive spec sheet combined with the fact that they have cash on the hood of an already low MSRP means that it is missing the mark by a wide margin for some reason. What that reason is, I’m not specifically sure. It is a full size, V8, RWD sedan that can’t find buyers. This should be shooting fish in a barrel.

        If you throw in luxury cars, which should have a smaller target market in theory, the SS is still the worst selling large car in the US (18 car segment). IMO, the SS just can’t be part of the 10 best when that is the case.

  • avatar

    The Miata may lack a back seat, but it does everything a sports car should do really well, and doesn’t sacrifice anything on the absurd alter of 0-60.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I’ll probably be the only one to nominate the Ram 1500 for a TWAT. Factors include the slow and lifeless steering, the on-demand AWD masquerading as 4WD, the transmission that often takes well over a second to react in any way to full throttle passes on the highway, and the intrusive stability control that can never be adequately defeated. If all you do is drive it conservatively in high traction situations, it seems like a very nice truck.

    After some recent test drives, I’ll be nominating the Ford Focus and Mazda3 for TBATs. Both have excellent suspension control and steering feel. They are also comfortable and refined for their class, especially the Focus. The Mazda3 even has a manual transmission with gear ratios that are designed for real world driving, rather than short, closely-spaced ratios primarily intended for track use like most six-speed manuals. Excellent fuel economy, plus a traditional slushbox option instead of a transmission design of questionable durability.

    I’ll add the CX-5 too, for most of the same reasons as the Mazda3. It’s great value and very fun to drive in 6-speed FWD form.

    I think the Audi S4 also deserves a spot. The engine is smooth, refined, and torquey. The structure feels very solid. The interior is a pleasant place to be. You could make a soft, durable baseball glove out of the nappa leather. The rear-biased, fully mechanical, full-time AWD system and six-speed manual with almost fully defeatable stability control is about perfect for enthusiast driving in the winter. It’s also very fast and, in base form, reasonably priced for what it is.

    I haven’t driven a lot of current generation vehicles, and most were unexceptional, so I probably won’t fill my voting list. I’ll add the Miata too, as it appears they’ve included everything that’s great about the previous generations, and I do love those.

    I guess I could put the Mustang on there too. It’s kind of pretty, and has so many interesting engine options. The Camaro, on the other hand, is a bit gaudy to me. I haven’t driven one, but sitting inside was enough to know that it needs more glass, and should have way more space for such a bulky vehicle.

    The Prius is an eyesore, and after reading that the steering has so little feel that it doesn’t even self-center after a turn, I think that’s enough to put it on my bad list despite the impressive technology within.

    Speaking of eyesores, The Mercedes CLA qualifies. Plus, it just seems wrong for them to put out an economy car and pretend it’s something more.

    The Viper deserves some credit for being beautiful and impressive, and inaccessible to novice drivers. I’ll add that to the good list.

    Seven good and four bad so far. Hmmmm, let me think some more . . .

    Maybe the Impreza for offering a compact hatchback with a fully mechanical full-time AWD system at an economical price. It’s decent enough to drive on clean pavement too.

    Porsche Cayman for being the most accessible MR-engined car. Very pretty and apparently quite a nice vehicle to drive too.

    The Tesla Model S is also pretty and an impressive piece of technology. Why not.

    That’s enough good ones. I’m getting there. It’s difficult to be too hard on vehicles I haven’t even driven though.

    I guess I’ll throw the Ford Explorer on the bad list, because it’s often difficult to quickly distinguish between the police versions and the civilian versions if the latter has tinted windows.

    The Honda CR-V too, for having the weakest excuse of an AWD system on any CUV.

    I’m coming up with more than I expected here.

    Oh, how about the Chevrolet Trax and Spark, and the Buick Encore. Those things are grotesque, and they’re certainly not winning any comparisons. The Versa too. That one’s especially sad because the first-gen Versa was a nice car. They managed to save enough money cheapening the current one to pay for all the R&D to make it worse.

    I guess that’s ten of each. I’ll hold off for a bit in case something else comes to mind.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Mark…ouch!

    Your reprimand is accepted.
    I thought the V90, even though NOT FOR SALE YET was able to be counted since it has been seen and reviewed and is in the form of the CX90 now.

    So…sorry. Reading and listening are not my strong points.
    I like to read a word or two…and then finish the rest with my own made up stuff!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “We’ll post more nominations (including Ten Worst noms) tomorrow and later this week.”

    ?! Donde?!

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