By on April 29, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

You’ve nominated them. We’ve voted on them. Now it’s your turn to select the Ten Best and Ten Worst Automobiles Today.

Yesterday, we posted the 20 candidates in each category, according to your nominations and our Cray-computer number cruncher (okay, it was Excel on a Mac). I don’t necessarily agree with all the picks you’ve made, but such is the flawed product of democracy.

Here are the rules for voting:

1) You have one week to vote, starting today at 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET to next Friday at 12:00 p.m.
2) You can select up to 10 vehicles in each category (Best and Worst).
3) You can only vote once.
4) We’ll announce the winners and losers next Friday afternoon as soon as we tally the votes.
5) Automakers will learn of their fates when you do.

Polls are open now.

Pick Your 10 Best and Worst Automobiles Today

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40 Comments on “It’s Time to Vote for TTAC’s Ten Best and Worst Automobiles Today...”

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I couldn’t bring myself to vote for more than 5 of the worst vehicles. Most of them are niche or cheap, which kind of gives them immunity in my eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I couldn’t vote for anything on its way out or anything meant to be affordable.

      Well, except my hatred for CUVs may have come through a bit despite their affordability.

  • avatar

    It’s going to be hilarious when 5 of the 10 worst vehicles available today are from FCA.

    -Didn’t dock the Mirage for worst, as it’s cheap and basic transportation which is suitable for many people. It’s what a lot of the B&B whine about constantly needing, yet would never buy (for some lame reason, like the shape of the glove box door).

    -Didn’t pick the XC90 for best, because I’m too weary of the power trains in them. I just cannot foresee longevity and ease of ownership with something -that- heavy being moved by a little tiny engine.

    -Didn’t pick the F-Type for best because I consider it both too small and too hardcore for an XK replacement. I consider it as the XK’s replacement because it’s now their sole coupe offering. Those sculpted shoulders can’t carry the weight of a grand tourer.

    -Picked the 4Runner for best, for a similar reason why I did not pick the Mirage for worst. It’s a real SUV that few buy, as lots of men sit and complain about the CUV options and then let their wives choose a CUV option.

    -Didn’t pick the SS for best, because Chevrolet has no real interest in selling them. It’s just a compliance product from Australia which is entirely outdated and would still be a Pontiac if that brand existed.

    -Picked the Smart ForTwo as a worst. Not on my initial voting list (because I forgot it), I cannot believe they still have the gall to try and sell such a product here. It’s outclassed by just about everything made after 2010 in the same price range.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Of course, the XK was never that great of a grand-tourer, since you could barely fit two children in the back seat. It was a glorified sports coupe. I think the 6-Series and the S-Class coupe (formerly CL-Class) are superior grand-tourers, but I would like to see the big XK return, with proper seating for four. After all, “Grace, Pace, Space”; isn’t that what Jaguar is all about?

      • 0 avatar

        I considered the XK a grand tourer just for comfort reasons, and for the fact that you could put quite a bit of luggage in the rear seats since people wouldn’t fit! The XK was large and very pretty (think of how great it looked when the first generation debuted in what, ’96), and designed with open air motoring in mind.

        The F-Type was made for a track and capturing Porsche customers, with other considerations made later.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      You and I agree on virtually every point. Except one.
      Please allow me to blindly defend the SS (again) for no real personal reason.

      Your points are faulty:
      Just because Chevy doesn’t want to sell a car that enthusiasts actually want doesn’t mean it isn’t a great car. If Mazda suddenly decided they didn’t want to build the Miata anymore, but kept doing it because of contract obligations, would that make it a worse car?
      (And don’t tell me that the interior would be any better if they were trying harder! Not that I understand what the problem with the interior is supposed to be.)

      I don’t get how accusing it of being a Pontiac is deragatory. Pontiac was always supposed to be about a rung above Chevy (the value leader) in performance and desirability. Sure that got erroded over time, but even when Pontiac was at its worst, their cars were no worse than the Chevy equivalent.

      • 0 avatar

        Fair enough, I can listen to opposing views!

        I more meant the SS should have gone the way of Pontiac, around the time when Pontiac died. I can appreciate the engine and the large, RWD car. I just take issue with the dated-ness of it. I liked the G8 when it was around, though I think it was reaching in price for the average Pontiac customer during those dark days.

        I will say I’d like it more (and you won’t like to hear this) if there were a fancy Cadillac version called the DTS. :)

        • 0 avatar
          Land Ark

          !!! Well… you were right about that, I don’t like that, no sir, not one bit.

          And fair enough, but do you complain about other cars that are from the same era? Like, for example, the Dodge Journey? Oh right, everyone does. Fiat 500? …Toyota Corolla!?

          I’m going home.

      • 0 avatar

        I have never seen an SS in the wild. And I live in Warren. I see all sorts of things coming in an out of the tech center. That is how serious GM really is.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t vote for ForTwo because it’s a special purpose vehicle and it does it’s job well. It wasn’t a good fit for me personally, but I wasn’t going to knock it for that. You wouldn’t put a Corvette or a Miata on the worst list because they don’t have 5 seats or the ability to haul full sheets of plywood. That’s not their purpose. Same with City cars. It’s not trying to be a family sedan.

      I put the Mirage and Yaris on the list. Yes, they are low cost cars and the Yaris is on it’s way out, but there are far better alternatives for the same money.

      • 0 avatar

        Whats the Smarts special purpose?

        • 0 avatar

          Being the only small and inefficient car for two people designed in the ’90s and still on sale which is also awful to drive, I think.

          • 0 avatar

            The Smarts special purpose is ease of parking iirc, it was built for congested cities.

            I’ve never driven a Smart, but I know people who own them. Just getting tires involves special ordering from Mercedes. It’s a nightmarish blend of dated budget based German engineering.

          • 0 avatar

            The 2016 model is an all new car that has nothing in common with the old car other than name.

            It’s supposedly even fairly fun to drive with the 5 speed manual.

          • 0 avatar

            That’s right, the new one was co-developed with the new Renault Twingo, IIRC? The styling is going to make people think it’s the same car, just lightly fettled.

            I did, and I’m a car person.

          • 0 avatar

            The latest model is French, so I dunno how many of my previous statements still apply.

            Lets just remember other Renaults that were sold here, like the Renault Dauphine!

          • 0 avatar

            Hmm, Renault…

            The Eagle Premiere was a fine and luxurious American automobile.

          • 0 avatar

            Eagle Premier? Fine and luxurious? Lol

            All seriousness, I still find it humorous when a member of “Obscure Cars for Sale” (one kick-ass Facebook group, which I can’t recommend enough, by the way) find an example of such somewhere and everybody loses their minds.

            That PRV though… some automotive sins cannot be forgiven.

            We had an epic sh*t pile of a Premier back in the mid 90’s. ‘Twas a beautiful disaster.

          • 0 avatar

            I believe (but cannot confirm) there was a Sport or GT trim of the Premier, with body moldings and color-keyed wheels. I feel like I saw a red example once on CL and was in awe. I always did like the design, and I think it was kind of ahead of its time though more Malaise Era in build quality.

            I’m gonna join that group, right meow.

    • 0 avatar

      “-Didn’t dock the Mirage for worst, as it’s cheap and basic transportation which is suitable for many people. It’s what a lot of the B&B whine about constantly needing, yet would never buy (for some lame reason, like the shape of the glove box door).”

      You clearly need the experience the full depth and breth of this horrid little sadtrap.

      • 0 avatar

        Is the Mirage more sadtrap than the Mazda 2?
        Is the “improved” Mirage version much different? I thought the implication here was that the changes made a difference.

  • avatar

    I could only vote for 4 of the best 8 of the worst. The other are all meh to me, not great but not awful either. The price thing kind of excuses the patriot and the journey (lowest cost awd cuv and lowest cost 3 row cuv). The dart has some flaws but overall is a pretty good car so I can’t put that on it (much better NVH then so a focus and way more comfortable). The Yaris is stone reliable like Avalon reliable I feel that exempts it from a poor listing. The Panamera is ugly but otherwise good.
    On the best most of the cars just didn’t match my thinking or were at least too flawed to make it to the best.

  • avatar

    Voted! I must say I strongly agreed with all the picks in the last round, so it will be interesting to see which best and worst cars drop off when the groups are reduced by half.

  • avatar

    For the best I nominate the Focus, with a blue second on a close second. Both seem like decent newer cars that are just the right size.

    Worst? Its a toss up between 4

    Dodge Dart: Ive seen enough of these break down to question their reliability.

    Fiat 500L: Chrysler was too wimpy to just import the Panda, so they built this ugly thing.

    Toyota Yaris: Back in the late 80’s the Tercel was a decent car. In 2016 its just lazy, its a car built for the cheapskates who will never buy them new (then whine about no basic car options). Its a symbol of how slow Toyota is at adapting.

    Nissan Juke: Nuff said

    PS: Before anyone thinks Imbias against Chrysler, we own a Dodge Neon thats been a decent grocery getter. Certainly more relaible than the Dart.

    • 0 avatar

      “Im quite happy that VW hate didnt seem to effect tbe list much, and thst TTACs taken a chill pill from it.”

      We separated vehicle from it’s manufacturer and determined if the cars themselves were the best or worst. Not really a chill pill… just addressing the confines of the list.

      Just because VW sucks doesn’t mean the GTI does.

      • 0 avatar

        By “chill pill” I meant that I dont see 2-3 VW dieselgate articles just for today, so much hate for a brand that most of the B&B would never buy from anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a shiny new Yaris outside the brewery I’m in right now. It looks like a Faberge Egg compared to the mosquito egg of a year-old Fiesta I endured for about five minutes earlier this week.

  • avatar

    Still wondering with extreme sadness why the non existent 2016 mirage is on the list.

  • avatar

    I will vote for a VOLVO for 10 best when the V90 and S90 are finally in production.

    They couldn’t be a riskier bet out of warranty than a 7 series BMW. (New & CPO are your friends.)

  • avatar

    I could only vote for about five on the best list, and about seven on the worst. Some of these cars aren’t deserving to be on either list.

    Although I love Ford and used to own a first-gen Focus, I don’t get how both the current Focus and Fiesta make it up here. Sure, they are fun to drive and I seriously considered buying both; even negotiating on them at the dealer at one stage. But they are just so cramped, and space utilization is terrible. Having a fun hatchback is great, but it’s not good when a hatch fails at its main purpose in life; carrying the maximum amount of gear in a small package. Based on their mission; they are not deserving of being a top 10

    I feel the same about the Mazda3- fun to drive, but a cramped interior (and that ridiculous tablet-looking radio) knock it off the list. It’s a car you’d have fun with for a weekend, but do you really want to haul your gear and kids in it every day for years? Once again, fails at its main purpose.

    A lot of these others on here; the Tesla for its innovation and performance, and the SS for how good it is, and its unique place in the market, deserve to be here

    For the bottom feeders, a lot deserve to be here. The Yaris is cheap and nasty, and Toyota can do better. The Fiat 500L eliminates the benefits of the Fiat (easy to park, good fuel economy), and wraps it into an ugly exterior. The Mitsubishi iMiev is so Japanese kei-car and cool to have, but it is completely outclassed by the Leaf in range and recharge times, and just overall refinement

    I can’t put the Mirage on here. I’ve rented a number of them and covered more than 2000+ combined miles in the little Mitsu, and it’s not a terrible car. It’s not perfect, and its dynamics could be better. But for a low, low price that undercuts other comparable cars by thousands, the Mirage gets people into a new car and a long warranty, and each one comes well-equipped. Getting a comparable Versa costs much more. It serves its role as an entry level car pretty well, and there are many other cars I’d avoid over a Mirage.

  • avatar

    Best Car of 2016:

    Ford Mustang in all its guises. The addition of independent rear plus potent V6/ turbo 4 on the lower end and of course a mighty V8 on the high end. It really has become a proper sports car.

    (Honorable mention to the Charger/Challenger as well due it plethora of powertrain choices and the Honda Accord that just does everything well)


    BMW X6 (by the way, BMW will and probably has sold a veritable boatload of them). A marketing ploy to place more hapless people into the storied “BMW” brand ( which itself is becoming more and about its past endeavors then its current CUV/SUV selling self). An overpowered beast of a vehicle hampered by decreased utility and laughable awd system (Jeremy Carkson’s review of this monstrosity is spot on). It is like BMW decided to add chrome to the tip of a shovel, then decided to chop a third of the tip off. But do not worry, BWM wrapped alcantara accents of the handle and added additional grab handle 2/3rds of the way up on the handle. So while you will shovel more to remove the same amount of dirt, you can do it fast and in style. Blah

    *I cannot place the Patriot in the worst category after renting one just recently. I will place a caveat on this. I rented a 2.4l/ 6speed AWD High Latitude version which I found perfectly acceptable ( I have no experience on the lesser engine or CVT versions of this vehicle) . Judging by the cash on the hood at many dealers, I would consider one for my soon to be driving age twins)

    ** The Smart ForTwo seems to have corrected the biggest gripe of the previous incarnation. For someone who values parking space in a congested city, this may be a good fit.

  • avatar

    So, I noticed the Best nominees skewed more expensive than the Worst nominees (avg. base price $34,402 vs $28,175), which, well, yes, a more expensive car will be better. I don’t know, I expect more of an expensive car than a cheap one, it feels like a cop-out to just say the worst cars on the market are some of the cheapest.

    So, I went the other way, just plugged base prices into a spread sheet, and the 10 cheapest were my pick of Best nominees. I’m a little disappointed that the Miata just missed the cutoff, and I would have preferred not to nominate a crossover, but I have a friend who’s really happy with his CX-5, and when my sister was looking for a crossover, it was the first thing I recommended (well, and also a minivan, but she went with a Tucson).

    For the worst, I picked the 10 most expensive, with a few caveats. The Panamera has no place anywhere near this list – if the only complaint is that it’s fat and ugly, the Cayenne is just as fat and ugly, and that wasn’t an option. I don’t think the CLA is a good car, and I’m sure I have nothing in common with anyone who buys one, but I also don’t think it’s significantly worse than the A3, which groupthink seems to have dubbed acceptable. And, I don’t know, the Eos is outdated, but really, all it has to do is have a roof that goes down, and there’s just not enough competition to justify updating it.

    I also absolutely take exception to the Mirage and the smart. The little Mitsu is a small, simple, honest car that gets great economy. And the smart has a ridiculously specific purpose, but it has something it does better than anything else on the market. I thought the B&B’s favourite refrain was “the consumer knows what’s best for their purpose;” I guess that only applies when that purpose fits their own biases.

  • avatar

    Panamera no way deserves to be on the worst list. The only real case against it is the styling which isn’t to everyone’s forte, but its not hideously ugly. The “Porsche Purists”, the SMALL sect of them that actually buy NEW Porsches wouldn’t have any GT3s or whatever without the Panamera and Cayenne to fund the R+D.

  • avatar

    Turned out to be a really weird list, I had only three votes per category. XC90, 3 and 6 for the best.

  • avatar

    I love my ugly and awkward manual Fiat 500L. It’s got space and nice torque and easy to park in the city. With the rebates it was a steal for a daily driver in a city like Montreal, with hard to find parking and tight streets.

    Sometimes awkward ugly cars can be decent lol

  • avatar

    I couldn’t find 10 to vote on for the 10 best. I clicked on 8 of them but most are lukewarm enthusiasm from me.

    10 worst, on the other hand… can I just vote 5 times for the Buick Encore and 5 times for the Hyundai Veloster because they are so offensively ugly?

    At the OKC auto show, they had a car drawing. The winner could choose between a Mustang (V6), a VW Beetle (maybe a turbo, who gives a shit), and a Buick Encore.

    He chose the Encore. Must have been out of his mind, or he thought they said Enclave and he had a lot of kids.

    If so, must have been a rude awakening. I imagine him throwing up a little when he hit the unlock button on the key fob and saw which vehicle made the chirping sound.

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