By on April 24, 2016

Ten Best/Worst Automobiles Today

You’ve nominated almost every vehicle sold in the United States for TTAC’s Ten Best and Worst Autos for 2016 — but your nominations still count.

On the line is a $100 Amazon gift card and your chance to be immortalized in Internet glory as we use your nomination reasons for content fodder.

Consider this your last call announcement. Nominate your best and worst now!

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32 Comments on “Last Day to Nominate Your Ten Best/Worst Autos of 2016...”

  • avatar

    BEST: 2016 Dodge Charger SRT HELLCAT

    runnerup: Tesla Model S P90DL

    WORST: Acura TLX

    runnerup: Acura NSX

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    TBAT: Toyota 4Runner. Does so many things well and is hands down the longest lasting SUV on the road today. May not be the most efficient, but provides the best of all worlds: Off-Road capability, family hauling, comfort, & longevity.

    TWAT: Dodge Avenger. It is almost as if the engineers and designers were specifically tasked to make a car that not only remind the people who bought them they have bad credit, but let everyone else around them know as well. It is the closest thing to debtors prison available today.

    • 0 avatar

      Avenger is no longer made.

    • 0 avatar

      “TBAT: Toyota 4Runner” preach it brother. I just bought a house so I think a new 4Rrunner is out of the cards for a while, but I certainly can lust after the current (5th) generation of trucks while my own 3rd generation truck serves us faithfully. Looking beyond the “omg outdated 5spd auto” and “it handles bad” comments from the autojournos, here’s all I need to know: 90cu ft of cargo room seats down, 47 cu ft seats up, excellent payload capacity, oodles of “real” ground clearance, a tried and true powertrain/drivetrain that gets palatable mpg, and a well sorted suspension that rides and articulates well.

      I must say though, I think even a 5th gen would be tight for my needs as soon as a kid (or two) are brought into the equation. Currently with the 3rd gen, we’re packed more or less to capacity when we go car-camping with our two dogs at primitive sites. A gen 1 Sequoia might be the path forward, although I wish there were a newer option that covered the bases as well (and had a lowering rear window). Gen 2 Sequoias are just so huge and bulbous (and thirsty), just a bit too large and low. Camping with friends this weekend, their GMT800 Yukon aquitted itself well, although there were no real offroad obstacles to tackle short of a few slightly washed out shallow water crossings. GMT900 Gm SUVs are bumper-draggers, Ford’s Expedition is clearly never designed for offroad use just looking at the vulnerable, low hanging rear control arms on the IRS (Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsu Monteros tuck theirs up much better).

      I wish there was more information coming out on the new global Patrol-based Nissan Armada, that might just be the path forward for me in a few years, and perhaps worthy of a 10Best?

      • 0 avatar

        Congratulations on the house purchase. I have a 1st gen Sequoia, and would buy a brand new one if they were still making them today. Agree on the 2nd gen being too big. One option would be trying to source a well-preserved one from a rust-free state.

        Some other options would be to wait for the next gen 4Runner, which should due soon enough, in the hopes that it’ll offer a bit more room (unlikely); or, again, wait to see what the supposedly upcoming Ford Bronco has to offer. But personally I don’t trust the modern Ford quality.

        You may be able to buy some wait time by acquiring a utility trailer. Last summer I could take 3000 lb of paving stone each trip with my Sequoia and a small trailer without feeling like I was stressing the truck at all.

        • 0 avatar

          What year is yours? Any issues with the VSC/TRAC/ABS lights and steering angle modules malfunctioning? Air injection pump failures, Or any transmission woes? Those are the big ticket items that I’ve seen mentioned as troublespots. I love the aesthetics of the 1g Sequoia, it looks like someone took a 3g 4Runner and copied it at a 130% enlargement.

          • 0 avatar

            Mine is 2005, which is the year they bumped up the engine power somewhat. It’s still no power monster but has enough for daily duties.

            I’ve only owned it for a year and a half, but do have service records from the previous owner, and none of the issues you list are there. The only problem I had was an ignition coil failure, which is a cheap and easy fix.

            There was a recall for frame rust on earlier model years (00-03 I think), so I’d look for ’05-07. They seem to be prone to experiencing the rear (hatch) door glass mechanism failure – mine did under the previous owner – but again, a DIY job and is well documented on the net.

            The air pump still works well and the pressure holds steady at 163k miles.

            I did own a ’02 Tacoma, which is similar in build to the 3rd gen 4Runner, and do agree that the Sequoia is like a scaled-up 4Runner. Not too surprising as it’s the same generation of design. Good vehicle.

          • 0 avatar

            Thanks for the input. They’re definitely on my radar. And yes, the plan would be to fly out South/Southwest to find a rust free, low mileage truck.

  • avatar

    Infiniti Q50 and Q70 and several of their SUVs. They are the anti-lexus, fast, sporty, somewhat fun to drive, affordable and reliable (for their class), available AWD, performance hybrid, LWB, or even v8.

    This is what BMW should be, these two are vastly under appreciated…which makes them screaming BARGAINS on the off-lease market, but not so good new car purchases…They are like the Taurus SHO and MKS ecoboost in that regard, except probably a lot more fun to drive…Although those SHO massaging and heated/cooled seats are tempting…

    Next year I’ll nominate the fusion sport, a real winner smacking around the audi A6 for way less coin.

    • 0 avatar

      Problem with those is their bodies are too swoopy and cut into the Utility part of Sport Utility.

    • 0 avatar

      Not sure how the Q50 is the anti-Lexus. I’ve got considerable seat time with two separate Q50s – both owned by co-workers. Fast yes. Neither anywhere near as sporty or fun to drive as the IS350 F Sport for which I plunked down my own money, however. (Of course, none of the above are as fun to drive around town as my 05 Legacy GT, much less my ancient 944). That said, Q50s are indeed available for cheap due to the apparent lack of demand so I agree with the overall value
      proposition thesis (they are certainly more spacious than the IS). Driving wise, they aren’t really worse than the F30 3-series either (and I never thought the better driving G’s truly challenged the E46 or E90 in that regard). But really gotta shake my head at the guy below who writes off the entirety of BMW, Ford, VW and Subaru’s offerings (among others). Really?

      • 0 avatar

        You ate talking about a special expensivr model of a lexus. I am talking about base models. Q50 is by far the best performer compared to a4, gs, 3 series, etc.

        • 0 avatar

          “I couldn’t believe the red Cruze I rented wasn’t as big as the ES350 which was also red.”

          Dude does not understand car comparisons.

        • 0 avatar

          Fair point about the F Sport not being the bog standard IS. But one of the Q50s I have driven is indeed a Q50 Sport, which is essentially the Infiniti analogue to the F Sport. More to the point, I was responding to the notion that the referenced Infinitis are the anti-Lexus because they are “fast, sporty, somewhat fun to drive, affordable and reliable.” Lexus in fact makes a number of cars that are fast, sporty and very fun to drive in ways that they historically were not — not to mention reliable and, if not affordable, then at least not ridiculously unaffordable (although I grant you that the base Q50 is very affordable and, as you say, is the best performer among the base entry lux competitors – but that was not your original point to which I was responding). And the jump to the F Sport versions of the IS350 or GS350 is nothing at all like the jump from, say, a base 3 series to an M3 — or, for that matter, to an IS-F or GS-F (or, in Infiniti’s case, that Eau Rouge or whatever it is/was).

          All that said, I’ve got no problem with the Q50, which does seem sadly underrated/unappreciated in the marketplace and is a fine automobile.

          Not sure I follow the “dude doesn’t understand car comparisons” insult. IS350s and Q50s are pretty close competitors, no matter what trim they are spec’d in. Ironically, comparing that comparison to a comparison of a red Cruze and an red ES350 itself betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of car comparisons.

  • avatar

    Best: Civic (1.5 turbo)…a lot of car for a reasonable price. It checks all the boxes for most drivers.

    Worst: VW Eos…..32k (42k for us Canucks…yikes!) for an overweight Golf with its roof chopped off? No thanks

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do hope those that nominate vehicles have actually driven their nomination, and not just around the block. It would also be great if they do have first hand accounts in relation to owning one, right down to dealer service, etc.

    I can nominate vehicle from digesting the many articles on the web.

    I would also like to know is the “winning/losing” vehicle only NA centric or is this a global hunt?

    • 0 avatar

      Nominations only help to create the list. It’s the voting that should be limited to those who have driven them. I’m not sure how they’d do that though.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree 100%. Unless one has driven a large percentage of the vehicles produced this year, this is just a exercise in regurgitating the overall sentiment of the motoring press and amateur autojournos of the message boards, and an opportunity to be snarky for those who like that sort of thing.

      Also, are the people offering their opinions considering the intended purpose of the vehicle? Consumer Reports is particularly bad about this, from what I can tell they seem to thing every car should be a Honda Accord, regardless of its intended purpose. Well, a Jeep Wrangler isn’t a very good Honda Accord, but an Accord is an even worse Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem is finding people who have driven–extensively–all the cars currently available. Outside of an automotive journalist or maybe a leasing agent, there aren’t likely to be many people who fit that description.

  • avatar

    Something called the Nissan Juke Nismo RS. Cramped Nismo edition of a fugly CUV. Painful Recaro front seat bolsters. A detuned Nismo turbo mated to a CVT with paddle shifters. Top-of-line Juke where simpletons like center armrest, automatic headlights, heated seats and splash guards are either deleted or dealer accessories.. Then there’s Juke color studio.

    No match for the albeit more pricey Golf R and Focus R in looks & room. To top it all off Nissan should have given the Nismo the Golf GTI’s plaid…

  • avatar

    I have not participated in this poll because my vote is when I buy a car. 2007 Audi A3 was the best car I’ve ever owned. My latest is the 2014 Acura TSX sportwagon. The car I’ve own the longest is a 1965 Lotus Elan S2. Everything else is conjecture or nostalgic.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Best are the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Impala, Honda Accord, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda CRV, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

    Worst any Fiat 500, Dodge Dart, Dodge Journey, Jeep Cherokee, any VW diesel, Mitsubishi Mirage, any Mitsubishi, any Ram or Jeep midsize pickup truck concept based on a Fiat, and Alfa Romeo.

  • avatar

    Best: Toyota Land Cruiser

    Worst: Fiat, Ford, Tata, GM, VW, Geely, BMW, Nissan, Subaru, Hyundai-Kia.

  • avatar

    I’ve always been leery of Top- or Bottom-10 lists for exactly the reasons noted by those above. Opinions are like, well, a certain body part, insofar as everyone has one. Being a mechanic, I have seen how many cars are screwed together, yet even the ones that are well-built don’t always equal a good car. Just like people, cars come in all kinds of verities and are all good at different things. I usually judge a car (or truck, SUV, etc.) on whether or not it does what it was intended to do or at least does something very well. I realize that judging the design philosophy is a bit like trying to discern the “author’s intent” in a postmodern reader-response theory university English class, but I think it’s safe to make few assumptions now and then.

    For example, I think the Smart is an absolutely terrible vehicle because it does nothing well. It isn’t as efficient as it’s diminutive size would suggest (you can get the same mileage out of many cars with four doors that cost less), it isn’t fun to drive with it’s awful transmission. It’s expensive to buy and own (premium gas, can’t rotate the tires), and is impractical for getting anything but getting one or two bodies from point A to point B in torturous fashion.

    As a die-hard import guy (I started driving and working on cars in the 80s, when the Big Three were in a contest to see who could put out the biggest piece of crap and get it to sell), I was shocked when I drove a Chevy Cruze recently and found it very quiet, refined, sufficiently powerful, and even a little bit fun, given it’s very impressive fuel economy numbers and low asking price. The mechanics at the Chevy dealers I know also report very few problems with them as well. This, to me, is good design. Anyone can build a fantastic car for $100,000 asking price. But it takes real engineering to build a really good car and sell it for $17,000.

    • 0 avatar

      You know, it’s funny you point out failing to take account of a car’s intended purpose, and then do just that with the smart. It’s a city car, and what it does well is be small (as an aside, when discussing its economy, everyone focused on its relatively low highway number instead of the more relevant, and more outstanding city number, and often decrying its mediocrity on the highway in the next sentence). There’s virtue in fitting into the smallest parallel parking spots imaginable, it’s just for a ridiculously small group of buyers (it would be fair to bring up it might not be enough to make business sense). It’s got plenty of faults, but most of that gets ignored by people who focus on what it was never meant to do.

      Also, you’re probably talking about the previous generation smart – the new one at least deals with the transmission issues and rides a little better.

    • 0 avatar

      @yankee So, which smart transmission are you talking about? have you driven both the manual and twinmatic?

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Don’t disagree with you, Yankee. I drove an new Impala LTZ for a week and was more impressed with it than I thought I would be. I didn’t list any trucks because the title of the article said autos but there are a number of trucks that I have been impressed with as well. How a vehicle handles, its safety, and what its reliability is are very important. My wife has a 2013 CRV and it has been a very reliable and functional vehicle. There are cars that I did not list like the Chrysler 200 which is nice as well, and yes I have rented one of those as well. I didn’t list the C-Max but after driving a fleet C-Max off and on for a couple of years I was impressed with it as well. As for Fiats they handle well but their reliability is spotty.

  • avatar

    I gotta nominate the Mazda6. I never had any desire to own some boring midsize sedan until they started building the current gen 6. And it’s not even fast! It’s just so beautifully designed that it somehow manages to be showcar sexy yet classy and not overstyled. The interior was a little drab and the infotainment system wasn’t particularly good, so they fixed exactly what needed fixing for the 2016 refresh without messing with all the good stuff. Now the only complaint (besides not getting the wagon in this country, but we only have our wagon-stigmatizing selves to thank for that) is the relative lack of power. The NA 2.5 liter 4 is apparently plenty for daily driving duties, but I’d do a backflip if/when they put the turbo from the new CX-9 into the 6. Yet even without it, the 6 is the most compelling daily-driver family car for the money.

  • avatar

    Best: Ford Fiesta ST, spirited engine with go-cart handling at an excellent price point.

    Worst: Misubishi Mirage, I can’t think of a single positive attribute of this car…..we it does have 4 wheels….after a fashion.

  • avatar
    Chris from Cali

    Did anyone suggest the Chiron?

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