By on May 9, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5, Image: Adam Wood/AutoGuide

After three weeks of nominations, votes from our writers, and another round of votes from you, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is TTAC’s Best Automobile Today.

Is that really a surprise?

Throughout this newly resurrected and refreshed edition of TTAC’s Ten Best and Worst Automobiles Today, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been king of the internal combustion castle, even with its diminutive 155 horsepower and 148 lbs-ft of torque. Yet, within the sportscar segment, you’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle that’s stayed true to its focused, singular purpose more than the four generations of Miata. It’s the David to the nearly all-conquering Goliaths that are the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

Most of you agreed that Mazda’s interpretation of the British roadster was worth a vote: a staggering 61.4 percent of cast ballots for the ND Miata.

But what of the other nine vehicles in the Ten Best Automobiles Today? Here they are in reverse order.

2015 Volkswagen Golf family, Image: Volkswagen of America

10th Place: Volkswagen Golf (in all its guises)

Hatchback and wagon? Check. Manual and automatic? Check. Gas and diesel? Well, let’s talk about that another time.

Even as clouds and acid rain continue to swirl around Wolfsburg, you picked the Volkswagen Golf as TTAC’s 2016 10th Best Automobile Today. A vast selection of engines, two body styles (including a forthcoming Alltrack model), and varying trims mean there’s a Golf for everyone — assuming you don’t want a sedan.

35.3 percent of you thought the Volkswagen Golf was more worthy of the Ten Best Automobiles Today than the brand-new Honda Civic (34.6 percent), Ford Focus (33.5 percent), and Subaru WRX (29.9 percent).

2016 Volvo XC90, Image: Volvo

9th Place: Volvo XC90

Maybe you aren’t as different from the North American Car of the Year jury as you thought. Volvo’s newest SUV and winner of North American Truck of the Year, the XC90, has a face of elegant strength and powertrain options that’ll ensure minimal interruption on road trips. It’s also the only SUV, crossover or truck to make it into the Top 10 in TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today. 38.3 percent of you believe this is the best utility on sale right now.

And that’s worrying.

Why? Well, for starters, it means this list definitely isn’t representative of America as a whole. Pickups are exceptionally popular, yet the Ford F-150 didn’t even make it into the Top 20. The only jacked-up hatchback on your ballot was the Mazda CX-5 (which placed 16th with votes from 25.4 percent of respondents). The two other SUVs in the Top 20 are off-road darlings: Jeep Wrangler (17th, 24.5 percent) and Toyota 4Runner (19th, 23.2 percent).

Regardless, Volvo’s newest vehicle is setting the brand on the right path — and currently keeping it afloat with a bumper crop of sales.

2016 Mazda6, Image: Mazda USA

8th Place: Mazda6

You sure do like underdogs and, by extension, Mazda. The Mazda6 isn’t your most favorite midsize sedan in TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today and only garnered the praise of 41.1 percent of respondents, but it is one of three Mazdas on the list.

Unfortunately, Mazda’s midsizer is also one of the least purchased vehicles in the segment in America. Only the Buick Regal, Volkswagen CC and Dodge Avenger, which was canceled in 2014, went to fewer homes last year. For contrast, the Chrysler 200 — a midsize sedan currently on its deathbed — outsold Mazda6 by over 3 to 1 in 2015.

Even with numerous awards and journalistic praise, maybe there’s a reason people aren’t buying the Mazda6. (We’re still waiting for the diesel wagon that’ll never come to North America.)

2015 Mazda3 Sport Touring, Image: Mazda

7th Place: Mazda3 (sedan and hatchback)

Yup, another Mazda — and this time it’s the compact sedan and hatchback. The Mazda3 is the Toro Rosso of the compact car segment — a second (well, maybe third) fiddle to its Japanese and American rivals, but it still played strong enough last year to hold back competitors such as the Subaru Impreza, Kia Forte and Volkswagen Golf.

There are many things amiss with the Mazda3 lineup. The trim steps are a bit too steep. There’s still no Mazdaspeed model. And noise insulation takes a back seat to Mazda’s SkyActiv lightweighting ethos.

Dynamically, the Mazda3 is a ton of fun, but do you really want to hear the drone of those winter tires every single day during snowy months? 41.1 percent of you said the extra noise wasn’t a concern and voted the Mazda3 as one of TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today.

2016 Porsche 911 Turbo S, Image: Porsche

6th Place: Porsche 911 (all)

Confession time: I’ve never driven a 911. Not once. Not ever. I’m sure it’s a great car. Hopefully at least a few of the people who voted for the Porsche of Porsches have driven a modern 991. I haven’t, so I didn’t vote for it.

The other high dollar, European sportscar on the ballot — the Jaguar F-Type, which I have driven — only amassed votes from 32.5 percent of respondents, placing it in 13th place. The Porsche 911 interested 41.7 percent of you enough to vote for it, many of which who (I assume) have driven one, unlike me, who hasn’t driven a 911.

Again, I’ve never driven a 911. I’m sure it’s good. People seem to like them. I hear they’re nice. I can’t tell you enough how many times I’ve not driven a 911. (All the times.)

2016 Honda Accord Sport at Sunset Front 3/4 Image: © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars

5th Place: Honda Accord (sedan and coupe)

Maybe we should check the IP addresses of all this year’s voters to make sure the staff of Car & Driver didn’t rig the vote. Or maybe the Honda Accord really is that good. Resident Baruthian Jack Baruth and resident sales-wiz Tim Cain both love the Accord. As Tim recently explained to me during a jaunt in my new Ford Fiesta, and I’m paraphrasing here, the Accord drives great now and it’ll still drive great 20 years from now.

It’s not just our writers that love the Accord. For every Mazda6 sold in America, Honda sold over six Accords in 2015, and it was you who put Honda’s midsize sedan and coupe in 5th place of TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today with 43.1 percent approval.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Image: General Motors

4th Place: Chevrolet Corvette (all)

Chevrolet developed a high-power version of the newest Corvette, the Z06, which then proceeded to implode like a skyscraper made of Chinese steel. Less than a year later, 46.7 percent of you elected it to 4th place in TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today. But I ain’t mad.

The Corvette, even in non-Z06 guise, is truly a performance wonder. (I’ve actually driven a Corvette, unlike the 911, which I haven’t driven at all.) Best of all, it can be had for a relative bargain compared to most of the sportcars with which it competes. That’s before you explore the illustrious history of the Corvette and its iconic racing wins, which General Motors still accumulates to this day.

2016 Tesla Model S

3rd Place: Tesla Model S

Regardless of how you feel about Elon Musk and Tesla Motors in general, one thing is true: the Model S is the most performance-oriented electric vehicle you can buy if you’re of semi-modest means (in comparison to, you know, a Formula E team or something). Its acceleration is something to be experienced in person, as its linearity cannot be easily communicated in words or video.

Sure, there are quality problems, but at least Tesla will cover what ails you more so than other automakers.

Those ingredients are good enough to place it third in TTAC’s 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today with approval coming from 50.1 percent of voters. It was also the only dedicated electric vehicle in the top 20 finalists.

2016 Ford Mustang V6 Convertible, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

2nd Place: Ford Mustang

The Mustang told the Camaro to go outside (the top 20) and stay there (while Ford collected all the votes).

The original pony car landed in a not-too-distant second place behind the MX-5 in our Battle Royale. In the end, the Mustang garnered the approval of 57.6 percent of respondents. And it’s no wonder: not a single reviewer at TTAC (at least under my tenure) has heavily slighted Ford’s newer edge, slightly retro coupe and convertible.

Sure, the Mustang doesn’t boast the massive horsepower numbers of the Hellcat duo (the Charger placed in 18th with 24.3 percent of respondents voting in the affirmative), but a new independent rear suspension and the addition of high strung, track-focused GT350 and GT350R models does the Mustang nameplate no harm.

Congratulations to the winners and a massive thanks to the Best and Brightest for casting your votes.

[Image: MX-5, Adam Wood/AutoGuide; Golfs, Volkswagen; XC90, Volvo; Mazda6 and Mazda3, Mazda USA; 911 Turbo S, Porsche; Honda Accord, © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars; Corvette Z06, General Motors; Model S, Tesla; Mustang, © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars]

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137 Comments on “Mazda MX-5 Miata Is TTAC’s 2016 Best Automobile Today (And Here Are the Other Nine Winners)...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    We shout more good things about Mazda (for free) than their ads do, which cost them money (and prattle on about soul, spirit, and courage).

    And I still maintain the XC90 will be a worry later on with those power train options.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Maybe Mazda should just start running ads that use our comments as “quotes” like movie trailers on TV that throw random positive things from movie critics onto the screen?

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      XC90 is a lease-only car with no residual value. There is no smart way to drive one.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m glad someone else sees it besides me. They’re getting into them because of the interior and exterior looks (which are great, IMO). But it won’t last.

        People bought the BiTurbo for the looks when it was new as well.

        • 0 avatar

          CoreyDL, everyone sees that, but it’s not appreciably different amongst any of the other European competitors. Sure, if you want to buy the MDX (cheaper, less luxurious, much different experience) or the JX/QXXX (crap) then you can get around it. But otherwise the game is the same for Audi, Mercedes, VW, BMW, or Land Rover.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I don’t agree – I think the German options (except the X5) have better track records than the Volvo, and are not “new fangled” in nature with their powertrains (currently).

        • 0 avatar
          cgjeep

          I wanted to get the last gen XC90 (used of course) because I liked the size, the way they drove, and the way they looked. Figured after all those years producing them the had to have worked the bugs out; like a Crown Vic or a Mitsubishi. Would be perfect for the wife. Then I started shopping them. The interior was trashed in all of them. Leather seats on 2 year old lease returns looked like they were 10 years old. Hyundais from 10 years ago looked better. Turned me off of them, I figured the rest of the car was crap too.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I have very little faith in Volvo trim fidelity circa 1998-present. I learned this when I was shopping very low mileage S80s (aka their flagship “luxury” sedan).

          • 0 avatar

            So far not many engine problems reported with the XC but lot’s of software issues and a few oddities. http://volvoforums.com/forum/volvo-xc90-9/any-2016-xc90-owners-out-there-86009/

          • 0 avatar
            Paddan

            Leased a 2016 XC90 Momentum Plus, Visibility and Protection Packages on February 29. My first new Volvo. It was built early February ’16. Previously owned a 2011 Range Rover HSE (L322).

            My XC90 has been trouble free over almost 3900 miles except for a couple of what sounds like plastic on plastic rattles toward the rear of the car when going over bumps (it’s not the rear seatbelts). No water leaks so far. The Sensus voice recognition could be more accurate. Engine is great for all you 4 cyl doubters. Fantastic acceleration. And I get 25 mpg in mixed driving which is damn good for a big SUV that isn’t Diesel and makes me feel better than 15 mpg in my L322, but wish it were on regular gas. Overall, it is extremely comfortable, capable and handsome; makes me forget about the Range Rover – and I’ve owned many Land Rover products over the years with mostly good luck (including a ’73 NAS Series III for 15 years – now that’s a Land Rover!).

            I don’t expect any new car is without teething pains. I know that Volvo issued a software update which has taken care of many complaints. I am seeing quite a few of them on the road. Hopefully it remains trouble free.

          • 0 avatar
            Sjalabais

            Very good to see an actual owner chime in, particularly from the often-discussed Landrover side. Are water leaks common, seeing that you mention it?

          • 0 avatar
            Paddan

            I’ve read of them around sunroof drain and drips occur in rear of vehicles. I’d imagine that means new headliners for affected vehicles due to a concern about mold.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

      • 0 avatar
        Sjalabais

        Already?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Do we know that yet? Plenty of turbo fours have good reliability records, and Volvo’s own previous generation of engines weren’t bad at all (the rest of the car… well…). I wouldn’t buy one today but I’ll wait for the data before condemning the new engines.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        They’re not condemned yet – I’m just reserving my heavy trepidation. But if you wouldn’t buy one before reviewing extensive reliability data after years, isn’t that the same thing?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          I wouldn’t buy yet, but I’d strongly consider leasing one if I needed a giant luxury hauler and Volvo could massage the questionable resale into acceptable terms.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh the resale, yes yes there will be that issue.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            XC90’s powetrain is asinine. I liked the older version with the V8. Test drove a new one in 2012, but the split tailgate turned me off. A Turbo 6 would have been excellent. The little 4 is just too much huff and puff.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Re: XC90 and “resale value”

            That’s why I know I’ll have to give Volvo’s CPO program a shot at some point. I’m seeing CPO S60s with low miles for $21,000 – must be “off lease” cars.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I wish the S60 were bigger. It always seems so crampy inside, it’s about the same as a Cruze.

          • 0 avatar

            I get junk mail from the local Volvo dealer. 260/month with 3k at signing seems on a S60AWD premier seems to be the deal of the month for about a year now.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Yes, Mazda’s “Driving Matters” ads are seriously lame…even worse than fellow second-stringer Subaru’s “Love…” slogan. Before “Driving Matters”, the ads that compared Skyactiv technology to various famous people were even worse still.

      But I have to hand it to Mazda for keeping “ZOOM ZOOM” after what, twenty years? even though it doesn’t really mean anything. I figure some super-powerful higher-up demands it be used in every ad until he keels over and they can finally get rid of it.

      Then again…the first thing I think of when I look at a Miata of any year is “…ZOOM ZOOM.”

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Really? At least saying Driving Matters says what is important to the brand. The Subaru Love is campaign is just stupid. “Love is what makes cornflakes, cornflakes”! Just no sense.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Why feign surprise at the list? It’s *mostly* chock-full-o enthusiast cars, and this a by and large, an enthusiast’s site. Vehicles such as the F150 aren’t exactly sports cars. Of course, you could make the argument that neither are the Volvo XC90 or Honda Accord (although in certain trims, the Accord could be considered *sporty*). I would have been more surprised had the list reflected more closely the actual popularity by # of vehicles sold versus cars that people desire to own/drive… if they weren’t hauling 2.5 kids, a Labrador Retriever (in my case, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi) and a few bags of mulch.

  • avatar

    The Miata?

    Really?

    • 0 avatar
      omer333

      Yeah.

      Look at that, no FCA cars on the Best Cars list. I’ll lay odds there’s a bunch of their cars on the Worst Cars list.

      Hellcat=we can’t actually build a car that’s worth a damn, other than a Jeep, a truck, and a minivan, so we’re going to put the biggest engine we can find and put it in a car that is filled to the brim with stone-age technology just to hide the fact that no one wants to buy our cars. Except the Jeep, the truck, and the minivan, and then we’ll burn whatever customers we do get that want to buy something besides the jeep, the truck, or the minivan.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Why not? It does what it is supposed to do extremely well.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      part of being an enthusiast is

      1) understanding that other enthusiasts value different performance characteristics, and

      2) making an effort to understand *why* they find those characteristics appealing.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      MAAAAAKE AMERRRRRICA GRRRRREAT AGAAAAAAIN

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Hilarious, I think people stating the Miata is the best auto sold for 2016 are living in a bubble. A tiny underpowered two seat convertible with a butt ugly front end and BMW copied rear end winning over any of the 2 thru 10 polled winners is just hilarious. Any of the autos polled 2 thru 10 destroy the Miata. This reminds me of Trump winning the GOP nomination when only 40% of the National electorate voting for him in the fall.

      • 0 avatar

        This I like sports car My dad has a TR3 he’s owned since the 60’s, but the Miata just doesn’t appeal to me.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        The last time I was in a Miata I kept thinking the same thing over and over, “Damn, those pickups are HUGE.”

        The Mustang is about the only thing on this list that I’d consider and maybe the Accord.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        The Miata is the “best car on the market” if you’re just shooting the bull and not actually, you know, *buying* a car.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Since when is a 6.1 – 6.3 0-60 time underpowered?

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          The only people who put the Miata down have never driven one.
          Mazda should revive Packard’s old slogan: “Ask the man who owns one!”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s sexist, you aren’t allowed to do that. “Inquire to the person whom leases it.” works instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Jagboi

            I’d never own a Miata, I don’t like convertibles. I’m a bit slow, it took 9 years of Jaguar E Type ownership to figure that out, but I’ve gotten convertibles out of my system.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        “This reminds me of Trump winning the GOP nomination when only 40% of the National electorate voting for him in the fall.”

        If 40% of the U.S. electorate votes for that guy, my faith in my fellow citizens will be severely shaken.

    • 0 avatar
      youcanrunnaked

      I can appreciate your sense of bewilderment. I mean, the car doesn’t even have heated and cooled cupholders, fer crissakes!

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    I voted for the Miata first, but can’t quibble with a single car on that list. I’m curious how the GTI and Focus ST would have done if they had been listed alone and not together with their more workaday stablemates.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Mark, see if you can finagle your way into a 911 GT3 drive at Xtreme Xperience or one of the other supercar driving experiences, you’ll be a believer.

    A while back, Jack wrote a post about how Porsche leaves a lot of us brokenhearted, and I mostly agreed with it at the time. I hadn’t driven a Porsche in quite a while, and I was irritated with their Cayman pricing because at the time I wanted one. Then I drove the GT3 at Atlanta Motorsports Park. All is forgiven, Porsche, the GT3 is an amazing track drive.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    I just got back from a weekend trip to Florida where, to my delight, Enterprise had Mustang GT convertible lined up for us. I had previously rented a V6 Mustang convertible and was duly impressed. The GT, however, pushed all my buttons. The Coyote doesn’t disappoint. It felt rock solid, nothing seemed to upset it. It was equally at home in Palm Beach cruising along the shore at 25mph (we were being followed by a RR Ghost) as it was making really decisive accelerate and dash lane changes on the wide boulevards. I want to move to a warmer clime just so I can drive this car every day. it excels at making you feel special. All this for the price of a run-of-the-mill 328 with a few options. It’s a winner.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Miata – just bought one and it’s a blast.

    Porsche 911 – belongs on the list, but the dealers and maintenance are an issue

    Corvette – of course

    XC90 – damn nice but I too am worried about how it holds up after several winters.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      On the XC90 – It’s a Volvo. The Swedes practically invented winter, I think It’ll be fine.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        yeah, cold weather will not be an issue. I’m still waiting for the S90 and V90 variants.

      • 0 avatar
        Joss

        Why do I want prozac after watching a Wallender?

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        My mom drove one of those hideous Volvo wagons, way back in the malaise days when hideous Volvo wagons were the in thing among overprotective suburban mothers whose only criteria in a car was its suitability for crashing into other cars. Anyhow, on the first cold night that winter, a cold winter night here being in the order of 15 degrees, the metal frame around the back window contracted enough to shatter the glass.

        The Swedes may have invented winter but as of circa 1980 they still didn’t understand it.

        • 0 avatar
          Sjalabais

          My 1977 242 always started in -30C here in Norway. Also when it turned 30 and had done 300000km. Your story sounds odd. Like a friend who told me SEAT wouldn’t work in winter because the doors freeze shut. Tending your rubber with silicon is essential with all cars in that regard…

          Also, about moms and Volvo wagons in that time and age: This ad is forever relevant as a document of its time:
          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FAgmQzC7rV0

      • 0 avatar
        Funky

        I thought “the Swedes invented winter” too. But, the doors on my V60 and S60 freeze shut in the winter. The same happened with my previous XC70. If they know so much about designing cars for use during the winter season, you would think they could have solved this annoying problem (which is consistent across 2012, 2014, and 2015.5 models).

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      “Porsche 911 – belongs on the list, but the dealers and maintenance are an issue”

      Just out of curiosity, why would you say that? Porsche is generally more reliable than competitors in this category. If anything, this should be a positive criteria to make the list.

      • 0 avatar
        jimbob457

        +1 on dealers and maint. The history of the water cooled flat six is a little sketchy. The notorious ISB was a problem for years – fixed by now I suppose. Otherwise, it is a blast to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris from Cali

        Most of the dealers think they work for Ferrari – “Oh, you can’t buy this car…”, etc. FWIW, I had a $10,000(!!!) deposit on a GT4 last summer. The dealer got an offer over sticker (beating me by $7K or so) and sold it out from under me. And finally, the dealer I used to visit in VA acted like I was bothering them since I “only” bought three new Porsches in a 4-year period instead of once a year like their “good” customers.

        So yes, I’d say the dealers are a problem.

  • avatar
    omer333

    I was surprised the Fiesta and the Focus didn’t make it on the list. I guess the B&B only like the Ecoboost versions of those cars?

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Other than the fun to drive ST variants, which make up around 5% of the volume of those two models, they tend to be known for have rough shifting automatics, class trailing rear legroom, and buggy infotainment systems.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Miata aside, I am not understanding the Mazda love. Maybe the higher trims of the 3 and 6 are better, but the 3i rental I had drove exactly like the Golf TSI rental I had, except for 1 key difference. Same nose heavy lawyer friendly balance, same vague EPS steering, same planted road feel and low road/wind noise. The key difference between the VW and Mazda was the VW’s engine was so much better it’s not even funny. The 3i automatic is a slow, slow car. Golf felt like a rocket by comparison. Bench racing analysis indicates the Golf is appreciably faster than the 3 with either engine. So from a driver’s perspective, Golf is the 3’s equal in dynamics and its decisive superior in performance. Kind of a no brainer IMO.

    Overall car wise the Mazda had the better interior design in my opinion, but the Golf’s interior was functional and just as high in build quality. So again, same dynamics, equal but different interiors, but a huge performance advantage to the Golf for less $$$ even before the scandal. Hmm tough choice.

    I think folks are more enamored with Mazda’s modus operandi than the actual cars it makes. If that 3i rental is an indicator of what it’s about, either the compact car market has taken a huge nosedive dynamically, or there is some kind of conspiracy to market Mazda as the enthusiast’s choice.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      The base 3 hatch was quite a bit cheaper than the base 4 door golf in Canada, even post scandal, plus cheaper to insure and cheaper to maintain, so that outweighed the power deficit of the mazda (I have a 2.0 automatic and it has more than enough power for 90% of situations) and smoothness advantage the golf had.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Hear is a newsflash 180hp turbo engine beats 155hp engine. Of course the Golf is quicker than any other compact entry. It is also more expensive and less reliable.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Really strange how the cars we like…nobody seems to buy.

    Ok…except the Mustang and Honda. And I would buy any of these cars…EXCEPT THE TESLA!
    Never would buy a Tesla after having spent alotta time in them. Not at the cost.

    Well, in the case of Mazda, they simply are very very good at their niche. This is something we talk here about. Some say this is good while others say they should try to be the better selling.

    But me? I like like that they do what they want. If they try to be another Toyota, the specialness is all gone.

    I think my votes should always be cancelled since I have proven here my poor taste and auto knowledge because I am one of the only 3 here that like the Taurus/MKS cars. This I think automatically invalidates all my opinions.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yep. Enthusiasts like styling, power, handling, and responsiveness. Regular buyers like packaging, price (and deals), reliability, quiet, features, and accessible dealer networks. Look at a top-selling car and it *will* do well on all of the latter metrics. But Mazdas, for example, don’t.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Mazdas have power?

        If anything they seem to make their cars slow on purpose.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          I wouldn’t say Mazda makes slow cars, but they’re definitely not quick. They do have an opportunity to address that in the next year or two with the development of the turbo 4 they’re putting in the new CX9. Get that 250hp engine in the 6 and the 3 along with awd and christen them the MazdaSpeed6 and 3. Problem solved. I’m looking to buy in that timeframe, so this advice is a bit self serving.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Well… they have everything else, and enough power that enthusiasts usually don’t focus on them being short of power.

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          My personal feelings with Mazda is they are certainly no thrill from stop. But they feel sooo good in just driving.

          That is not to say I would object to any of my Mazdas getting turbo power.

          I don’t understand why a turbo, until this new skyactiv turbo in the CX9, wasn’t introduced earlier. Other than they were really getting the skactiv tech up n going and anted econo numbers first.

          All of which IMO they have done really well.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          Agree with that. The 2.5 is class competitive in a non-enthusiast class but the 2.0 is so far away from new car expectations that even people who aren’t car people notice that there’s something wrong with it.

          In a country with cheap gas and no displacement taxes they’re shooting themselves in the foot.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          My experience inside Mazda’s and on the road with them is that they feel much faster inside than they are. Driven as if they were going fast while actually being… in the way… is a Mazda thing. fortunately they’re pretty easy to pass so the annoyance doesn’t linger.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    IT’S THE BEST

    /watch?v=kp1kuo6xkbE

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Lesson: TTAC readers aren’t concerned with a little road noise, and they really aren’t concerned with dealer quality.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “…and they really aren’t concerned with dealer quality.”

      That would explain Ford Mustang love.

      Ford Dealerships are, without question, the worst in terms of service and warranty claims, that I’ve ever come across.

      I’d honestly be surprised if the average Hyundai Dealership did not score 2x better in terms of customer satisfaction and competence of repair work versus the average Ford (Scumbag) Dealership.

  • avatar

    So Mark, have you really not driven a 911 as many times as you have driven one or have you driven one less than all the times you’ve not driven one? When you have not driven one, did you enjoy not driving it as much as you thought you would? Or did you find not driving one left something to be desired compared to the other times you didn’t drive one? If you were to not drive one in the future are you hoping the experience would match your expectations of not driving one now? These are things we all are hoping you will not share your thoughts on as we are not looking forward to not hearing what your thoughts truly are not. :)

  • avatar

    I thought Mazda’s has serious rusting issues? Is this still a problem with their products?

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Dunno about up north, but here in North Carolina where we get a good mix of everything, my dads 2010 is still rust free, even up under the car there are no signs of rust on any joints, welds, surfaces or other parts.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Old news. Living in PA I don’t see rusty Mazda’s, issue seems to be solved.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    The 911 deserves its placing as does the Jaguar F type in 13th place. For me Jaguar deserves special credit for getting the F type to 13th though. It’s a lovely car and when you consider just how good the more expensive 911 is then it’s done Jaguar proud. Thing is a lot of people who are bored of Porches traditional design may sell go out and buy the Jag and I don’t think they’ll regret it at all.

    I’d also have the new Mini in this list. I think for a small car it’s exceptional and better at what it does than even a golf.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Disagree strongly on the Mini over the Gold, unless “what it does” is “look cute.” The non-Cooper S motor is a slug, and far, far too many compromises in the name of styling have been made in the Mini, while the Golf is almost miraculous in fitting a large interior inside a small exterior (Doctor Who reference goes here). Combine with the Mini’s even-worse-than-VW reputation for reliability and it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.

  • avatar
    tonycd

    If someone comes back and re-reads this list 5 or 10 years from now, leaving out the Civic will look pretty silly. Even more than the Accord (the next edition of which will be built on its platform), the Civic does everything well — including sell at prices regular people can afford.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I wonder if it would have been voted in if the Civic were released a year or so earlier so more of the B&B had a chance to sample it.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        @30, yes, and if the Si and/or Type R were out, I think it wouldve bumped it to a spot somewhere on the list.

        Id personally take an Accord coupe instead, but according to John, the new Civic is damn good. He drove a 1.5T and loved it.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      Ever since Honda stopped bringing the Civic hatchback to the U.S., it’s been off any list of mine.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    The Camaro is conspicuously absent from the list given the big loud print next to it on glossy magazine covers.

    The Tesla surprises me a bit. Otherwise, few surprises here. Even the Accord. That fawning Jablansky Accord review you hyperlinked was called out as brown-nosing nonsense unfit for TTAC’s mission by a number of people here, so I’m surprised you chose to link it. And Jack has written he’d own a Camry over the Accord if a manual V6 were available, so perhaps that isn’t as high praise as it would initially seem. A swap of the finishing places of the Golf and Accord on this list would seem appropriate regardless of the vote count :)

  • avatar
    energetik9

    “Again, I’ve never driven a 911. I’m sure it’s good. People seem to like them. I hear they’re nice. I can’t tell you enough how many times I’ve not driven a 911.”

    I feel like this was an inside joke that I was not around for.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I agree completely with this list.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Perhaps there should be a real world TTAc best car list, while the Miata is great , there is no way it should be #1 ( putting flame suit one) it is a 2 door small vert that fits a very small niche and does it great but still it is not a livable car for the majority of folks. I get the Mazda 3 but the 6 is just not all that, you can not get it how most folks want it, you want a 6Cyl, nope stick and sunroof nope. Maybe that is why the Golf made the list while not perfect you do get more ways to option it up. Of course no plaid and a sunroof but better than the Mazda 6.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Wow, how to be so wrong. The 6 has a competitive engine for the >80% of buyers who actually buy mid size sedans. It also offers both auto and manual transmissions along with the choice of sunroof. Your issue?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m sorry, but speaking from experience (2.5L 6-speed manual) the 2.5l is barely adequate for the Mazda 3, there is no way that the Mazda 6 can feel somewhat acceptable on the same power train.

        And I’m pretty sure he was pointing out an issue where you can’t have a manual car with a sunroof, it’s a pick one or the other type deal. (Though I don’t know that to be true myself, it may very possibly be so)

        For comparison, the Mazda 6 2.5L (Mazdas biggest engine available for the platform) has a 0-60 of 7.5 seconds.

        A very heavy Tahoe with GMs smallest V8 (5.3L) that’s notoriously disliked for being gutless has a 0-60 of 6.7 seconds.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          Wow the 2.5 is unacceptable in the 6. Simply false. I have one and it drives well. The power to weight ratio is right up there with the Accord and Camry. As for the 3 having 185hp can never be said to be poor in the compact class.
          Please remind me what Camry model let’s you get a manual transmission. Surely the best selling midsize car would offer it if it was important.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Most cars on the road have only one person in them – the driver.
      A Miata is just as useful as a boring SUV or a full-size pickup truck when all you need to do is go from one place to another.
      Carving up the curves in the foothills is living life to the fullest, and no Suburban or Hyundai will make you happy to be alive like a Miata most certainly will.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Golf R gets my √

    But little Miata will put all to shame for low maintenance.

  • avatar
    la834

    Which of the Golf’s three body styles are you not counting?

  • avatar
    pbr

    ONE xUV, and it’s a Volvo?

    Paging Jack Baruth to the courtesy phone for comment on Tesla at #3, Jack Baruth, please.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    I can say without equivocation that the entire Mazda line of fixed roof vehicles are horrible to sit in – high beltline – low roof – awful experience. And Mazda drivers are the third most insidious tailgaters after Honduh and Toyoduh owners. I don’t know how Mazda owners got so pig-headed.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    No full sized pickups on the list. I’m shocked. LOL.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      That’s because this crowd made the list, this crowd of people (me included) clearly don’t represent what the American buying public likes, as seen by the strange fascination this sites B&B have toward small cars.

  • avatar
    IAhawkeye

    It’s so hard for me to love the Miata(I honestly didn’t even vote for it) like I’m super glad they make it, I’m glad people buy them. But it really kills my vibe knowing I won’t even fit or ever drive one. I’m only 6’4-200lb’s not huge by any means, And as for the rest of the Mazda’s apparently I’m the only one who doesn’t enjoy their styling.. I honestly liked their ‘smiling’ cars over the new ones.. oh well.

    But hell yes on the Mustang taking 2nd, since they gave it the Coyote it’s been my pick for the best car on the road. Great looks, comfortable enough, and with a stick it’s hard to not to smile when driving one. Light years better then the Camaro imo, I still can’t believe GM doubled down on the tank feeling of the first one by making the new one worse.

    Funny that all these cars besides the Accord/Mustang are so rare around here, the voters on here are a bunch of car Hipsters ;) like, is ttac the Pitchfork of the car world?

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      Also surprised the F-150 didn’t make the list. I’ve always been a Chevy truck guy, but damn if the new F-150’s change my mind about that. Incredibly comfortable, quiet, fast with the ‘big’ EcoBoost, more truck then 75% of people need(although I’m all for people buying more truck then they need, screw the haters). A couple road trips in one completely changed my mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I don’t see how people can live with the F150s ride, it is deplorable, it’s like being in my IH Scout, whether the rest of the truck suites your needs that’s fine, but the Chevrolet will ride like a dream whether it’s in W/T trim or Denali trim.
        The F-150 feels like it needs 800-1200 lbs of weight over the rear axle to ride somewhat acceptable. I will say the new seat design is a massive improvement over what they were using, but it still can’t fix the ride.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I am confident that my following remarks may elicit really sharp (and maybe ad hominem) pushback, but honestly, the Ford F-150 has a really poor ride (by contrast with RAM & Silverado), poor interior fit/finish, sh!tty exterior paint quality and exterior assembly (wavy panels and sloppy gaps), and looks hideous (a rolling caricature of a brodozer).

          But I’m obviously in the minority and people either don’t see these problems or don’t care, as Does sells 600,000 to 700,000 of the F Series in the U.S. alone, and I swear that one out every 12 vehicles in Michigan is an F-150 (or F-250).

          • 0 avatar

            I can’t stand the front end on the new 150 and I think it’s a shame they are making the new super duty similar. It’s not quite Tundra ugly but it’s close. The previous gen at least had consistent clean styling. I drove a new silverado recently and honestly I liked it alot.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            @IAhawkeye –

            What are the option packages on the F Series suspension?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          The one work gave me is leaking water in on the driver side where the half door mates to the cab, and the tray above the glove box is massively warped and has major QC issues with the fitment. This is all since day one(or the first rain with the leak). There are other technical issues but I believe ford considers the other issues as “features”.

          I can’t see how the ride is acceptable for what it is, if it had a solid front axle I wouldn’t even open my mouth about the ride, but since they’re copying GM with the IFS, I fully expect them to ride at least close to the way the GMs do.

          • 0 avatar
            IAhawkeye

            No, no attacks we’re all friends here. But wow, totally surprised by that. I must be in a small minority then. Compared to both the (admittedly older) Silverado, and of course the Wrangler I’m DD-ing currently it rides like a dream.

            Most of my seat time in the current-ish gen of trucks has been 3/4 tons or trucks that have custom rims/tires and small lifts. The F-150 rides so much better then those, it’s not even close as you’d expect I guess. I tend to not ding vehicles on ride when the roads around look like they do, there are pot holes big enough to eat Yaris’s on the daily, not mention the cracks everywhere. I said comfortable and I still agree with it. Between the seating, SYNC, good enough(for some ride) it’s not a bad place to spend some time.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I’m not going to talk bad about the ride of something that is 3/4+ or has two axles underneath it because there isn’t any reason why the ride should be a big consideration when engineering them; but I feel Ford has consistently released the F150 with a subpar ride at least since 2005 or so. It feels like the truck is too light for the suspension, whatever GM does works, and Ford needs to get on that.

            Maybe the heavier trims fix that problem, but the V6 trims are simply too light for too much suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      @Deadweight-

      Idk if your asking about the F-150 I’m used to using or just the F-Series in general so I’ll give you both.

      The F-150 I have seat time in a 2015 Lariat 4×4 SuperCrew aka Crew Cab, no FX4

      As for the F-Series in general, I’ll just stick to the F-150. As I’m looking at the Ford site they don’t have a whole lot of info. The 2×4 and 4×4 trucks would obviously have different suspensions. 4×4’s offer the FX4 package across the range and according to the F-150 forums the FX4 has notably stiffer shocks. There’s a payload package you can add, it has stiffer leafs, shocks, and a few other upgrades. That’s the one that gives you their advertised towing abilities from the commercials.

      I would obviously assume that a single cab, being the lightest would most likely ride the worst, and it would getter better from there as weight increases.

    • 0 avatar
      IAhawkeye

      @Hummer-

      I would think the heavier trims are more likely better. Like I said Im currently daily driving a 2 door Jeep. it has a 2″ lift and bigger wheels and tires. Far from the ideal vehicle for smooth driving. But I’ll be honest, I never, even when I started driving it, thought it rode rough. It’s not something I notice. I’m probably not the right person to be talking about how cars and trucks ride..

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    What no Civic? You gotta be kidding me! Mazda keeps winning accolades and losing customers, gotta wonder why? Is it the dealership experience? Can’t be reliability, can it?

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    The mere presence of the Golf on this list shows that we’re all completely full of s**t. Anyone who thinks that car is the best at anything other than unreasonable maintenance costs is a fool and the act of recommending it to others should be punishable by public flogging.

    Really don’t get the Mazda love. Americans don’t buy these for a variety of valid reasons, like poor dealer network, dubious rust resistance and sub-Korean reliability record.

    Speaking as an Accord owner, the car is overrated. Doesn’t belong on this list unless you’re getting the same kickback C&D gets. I’d say it’s the best Japanese midsizer, mostly because of Toyota’s sloth and my distrust of Mazda. The car’s good, but Detroit and Korea are going to get a shot at my business before I buy another.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Accord has a threadbare interior, cheap/light suspension feeling, subpar stock brakes, high level of road noise, and thin paint.

      Otherwise, it’s reliable, has an okay ride quality on average roads, efficient, has good resale value, looks okay, and leads the field at a roughly 22k low’trim spec’d version in the midsize vehicle segment, which is pretty stale.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Have you been in a current model Accord? While I’d have made those comments about the prior one, the current model feels much more solid. It’s also much more quiet out on the road. I didn’t have an issue with the ride quality either, and I’m difficult to please regarding suspensions.

  • avatar
    Jgwag1985

    Mazda MX-5 Miata #1. Tells me one thing, a lot of short people voted. No one tall voted for a Miata. Make it #1 and you can’t fit in it, don’t think so.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    While I agree and disagree with some of these there is only one choice that makes me cringe. I don’t want to live on the planet where people choose a piece of crap like a Golf over the awesome car like a WRX.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      Synchro, I hear Mars is finally getting cable. Check Zillow.com/outofthis world for listings.

      Not to compare you with the European car market, they’re fine with Golfs in their driveways and outside their police departments, though like us they aren’t liken the Diesel dilemma as they buy about a third of their cars with Diesel power. From my vantage point, preferring Subaru over Volkswagen is a bit like preferring brown eyes to blue, six of one, half dozen of another. I don’t know where or how you accumulated your dislike for Golfs, but stick with the WRX, and I’ll stick with the GTI, and we’ll both be happy.

      • 0 avatar
        Synchromesh

        I’ll gladly move to Mars if they promise not to let any watercooled VWs drive around up there. I own both a proper aircooled VW and a WRX. I don’t touch modern VWs because let’s face it, they’re crap in just about every way. With that said, I love my Beetle. But you can’t make me buy anything they make now.

        As for GTI, I got to sit in a brand new one in 2013, a bit after I bought my WRX. The VW made me laugh. Aside from (admittedly) a nicer interior and fuel economy (weak engine) it didn’t have a single thing in it that made it better than then current WRX. It had less power, fwd, smaller interior and a higher price. I won’t mention reliability and maintenance costs. I honestly never even thought of them as a true WRX competitor. And I’m not the only one, I usually see about 5 WRXs for every GTI out there.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    So where’s a more solid statistics breakdown? How many people did even vote? What about a full table, everything-at-a-glance-style? Or don’t I see it? Picked up new glasses today, if I need an excuse.

    (That’s not even made up)

  • avatar
    snakebit

    First, I was shocked after reading the poll results that Miata won first place. Shocked and so pleasantly relieved that readers actually like fun-to-drive cars(I’ll put Mustang in that role, too). Where the disconnect comes in is Mazda and their contention that all their cars (well, Mazda3 and Mazda6)are fun to drive and if buyers seek that quality, come on down to Mazda. And, sedan buyers are not doing that. It’s almost like Toyota and Honda have such a strong gravitational pull, and the Mazda pull as pertains to their sedans is never turned on, never operational.

  • avatar

    had my mazda roadster just over a month and still can’t believe what a fun car it is. even dreary commutes are a blast. especially with the top down. yet there’s rarely any need to be a boy racer or exceed the speed limit.

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