By on October 29, 2018

Here they are – the nominees for the Best and Worst Cars of 2018, as chosen by TTAC staff and readers.

If you need a refresher on the original guidelines and rules, click here.


You have until Friday, November 2nd, at 5 p.m. Central time to cast your ballot. We have 20 nominees in each category, but only 10 will make the cut. You can only vote once.

Yes, I know, the original cutoff was Halloween, but I wanted to give you a couple days of extra time. You can thank me later.

I will go into greater detail on the nominees later – I don’t want to influence the votes upfront – but I do have a few thoughts:

  • The nominations aren’t shocking. We know what you like, you know what we like (and don’t like), and the numbers played out in a fairly predictable manner.
  • The Chevrolet Silverado and Jeep Wrangler were probably the most divisive vehicles – the Wrangler was one vote the other way from being in the other column. The Silverado did end up just missing the cut in both categories.
  • There’s no exact science when it comes to separating performance models from their pedestrian stablemates. Same goes for bodystyles that share platforms. So I went with the “you know it when you see it” reasoning, and tried to keep trims and bodystyles together. This is why the Civic Type-R is grouped with all Civics and the GTI, Golf R, and Golf wagons are in the same group. There were exceptions – the Regals were separated – but none of those vehicles got enough votes one way or another make the cut. The Fiat 500 vehicles – 500, 500L, and 500X – were separated due to variations in their respective missions. The 500 Abarth was included in the 500 tally.
  • Speaking of that, I’ve made note of it on the poll, but all trims should be considered for each nominee. So, for example, the base Corvette and the ZR1 are both included.
  • The Mitsubishi Outlander is different than the Outlander Sport.
  • As you’ll see by looking at the list, Fiat and Mitsubishi need to do some soul-searching. So does Nissan, although the company may just be in a weird place in its product cadence that’s causing some vehicles to be long in the tooth.
  • Your reasoning was interesting. Some of you went by sales numbers, some by looks, some by value, applying these criteria to both categories. Many of vehicles getting “worst” votes aren’t bad, per se, but outdated.
  • I am aware of Bark’s counterpoint that this shouldn’t be a popularity contest. And maybe in the future, we’ll limit it to only cars you’ve driven. However, I do think doing things the way we are opens the field up – and you’d be on the honor system about what you’ve driven, anyway.
  • Some of you can’t follow instructions, and some of you would be ashamed to face your English teachers today. At least one of you was trolling me/us, as well. Tsk, tsk.
  • On a related note, I threw out votes for entire brands. I get the sentiment, but it’s a massive hassle to go through a full-line automaker and add the tallies for each model for each of you who did that. Maybe I should’ve been more specific, but c’mon people…
  • Also, some of you voted for cars you can’t buy in the U.S., despite the fact that a car needed to be sold here to qualify.
  • An incorrect vote didn’t disqualify entire ballots. So if you voted for or against an entire brand, but the rest of your ballot was A-OK, it counted. Ditto if you just voted for one or two entries instead of 10 each.
  • We had 50 survey responses and five staff responses. At a later date, after voting, I’ll have a post with staff voting.
  • I will also have a post with a deeper dive into your nominations at a later date. I do not want to influence voting.

So that’s it. Go vote here. Do your car-enthusiast duty and make your voice heard.

For those too lazy to click the link, here’s the list.


  • Audi A5
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Chrysler Pacifica
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Dodge Charger
  • Ford F-150
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Jeep Wrangler
  • Kia Stinger
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Mazda 6
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Porsche 911
  • Ram 1500
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Volkswagen Golf (including GTI, R, and wagons)


  • Acura ILX
  • Buick Cascada
  • Buick Envision
  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Dodge Journey
  • Fiat 500
  • Fiat 500L
  • Ford EcoSport
  • Ford Taurus
  • Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
  • Mitsubishi Mirage
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Nissan 370Z
  • Nissan Frontier
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Nissan Versa
  • Tesla Model X
  • Toyota C-HR

[Image: Shutterstock user 3dfoto]

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31 Comments on “TTAC’s Ten Best and Ten Worst Car Nominees Are In (Vote Now for the Finals)...”

  • avatar

    As to your last bullet point.

    Why does Survey Monkey need more than my TTAC information?

  • avatar

    Wow, the worst car is a hard choice, there are lots of good (ie, bad) options there. One does stand out from the rest, though.

    • 0 avatar

      Voting for the best/worst is always a hard choice because it is so subjective.

      But Consumer Reports has a pretty good handle on it based on their surveys of actual owners.

      If someone doesn’t actually OWN these vehicles, how can they possibly decide what’s good or what’s bad?

      Hearsay doesn’t count. Too many people, cars, products get smeared on social media without any basis in fact; just someone’s wild hair.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        A lot of people voted based on looks/market placement/value for the money in the initial rounds. I agree it’s better to drive everything, but most of us only drive one car in a year — the one we own. Even those of us who are paid to review cars don’t get in everything. So the criteria is wide open.

      • 0 avatar

        +1. That’s true. Also, one owner might be perturbed by a vehicle having an extra repair or two compared to the average while another wouldn’t.

        But, I get it. It’s not perfect nor is it intended to be. It’s just a survey.

  • avatar

    As with the preliminary round, there are not 10 cars on the “Best” list that I consider truly good. Neither are there 10 cars on the “Worst” list that I consider truly bad.

    • 0 avatar

      Really? Just on the Worst list, I can make a case for quite a few:
      Chevy Trax: Dated design that was pretty mediocre when it was new.
      Ford Taurus: Haven’t driven one, but everybody pans it.
      Dodge Caravan: I think it’s the best bargain on the planet if you need a van to do van things, but it’s dated and the Pacifica is sexier, so I can see it.
      Dodge Journey: Was it the 1st Bush or the second who was President when this came out?
      The Mitsubishis….are Mitsubishis.
      Toyota C-HR: Porky, cramped, too expensive. Is it worse than an HR-V? I don’t know.
      The Nissans: They’re built to a price point so I don’t think it’s fair to pick on them, but life isn’t fair.
      The Frontier: My expectations from a pickup are you load things in the bed, drive a bit, unload things. I’m not sure what makes one worse than another, but the Frontier is about the oldest design on the market, so here it is.

      • 0 avatar

        “Haven’t driven one, but everybody pans it”

        No offence, Russycle, but that comment epitomizes the worthlessness of this type of “survey”. I would venture to say that most of the people who are casting votes have never driven more than 1 or 2 of the vehicles on the list – if they’ve driven any at all. So, they’re voting based on brand prejudice and internet chatter.

        Maybe good clickbait, but not anything that can be taken seriously.

        • 0 avatar

          Sure, but I’d say the reviews and discussions here are somewhat more substantive than just internet chatter.

          As far as taking it seriously, well of course not, we’re just having some fun here. “Best” and “worse” are largely subjective, and completely meaningless without context. If you need the cheapest new car you can get your hands on to haul your family around in reasonable safety and comfort, the Versa might well be the best car for you.

          • 0 avatar

            “we’re just having some fun here. ‘Best”’ and ‘worse’ are largely subjective, and completely meaningless without context.”

            Pretty much. That said, everyone should vote the Stinger for “best” so that ajla can feel good about himself.

          • 0 avatar

            There are also those who say it’s a fantastic highway car that gets decent mileage and rides/handles well.

            Then there are those who say it has the room of a Fiesta and it’s super slow, despite the fact that it has more interior volume than the Fusion (and is otherwise on par for it’s class), that it’s base V-6 is average for it’s class, and it offers an SHO version that embarrasses several V-8 cars.

            Oh, and the console is too big because we need 1980s consoles that hold the shifter and nothing else (preferably not even that). They should be just a strip of useless plastic on the floor to remind you that it isn’t a seat. You can hold your fountain drink between your legs and play it off when people say you pi$$ed your pants after a sudden stop or turn.

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, wait. Perhaps I misunderstood the assignment.

        I was using “best” and “worst” to mean “is/is not suitable for the assigned task”.

        Caravan is the best sub-$25k minivan. Period.

        Mitsubishi and Nissan both make perfectly good cars for the credit-challenged who need something cheap.

        Frontier is the best sub-$20k truck.

        The C-HR can’t possibly be too expensive if people are buying them.

        I could go on.

        • 0 avatar

          I feel like if we’re being asked best and worst without qualifying it, it’s just going to be the most expensive as the best and the cheapest as the worst.

          But then you go, “well, FOR THE MONEY, this thing is pretty good,” and “this thing is nice but it’s way too expensive.” So you make it a value proposition, and thus even the objectively worst car could be good if it’s cheap enough (and vice versa).

          But yeah, just mental wanking for car nerds.

      • 0 avatar

        I have no idea why Nissan 370Z or Frontier landed on “the worst” list. The most affordable and honest work truck and sports car that looks and performs as expected. Sure, none of them have the best in cabin tech but money saved on fluff will easily cover yearly smartphone upgrades for the life of the vehicle (if one desired). For a track, all that matters is its capability to to haul sh!t (without worrying about getting interior dirty). For a sportscar, it’s all about looks, performance (at least impression) and handling. Both deliver on reasonable expectations considering their price. The age of a – competent – design shouldn’t be a factor for a discerning driver. I’d have no qualms about buying new ZX3 even over the new GTI I do most of my driving today (especially with the benefit of hindsight of little issue I’ve run into during its 17+ years on the road). Nothing particularly ground breaking has been introduced since early 2000s besides extra weight every new model generation, reduction to driver’s freedom, upwards trending price and fewer choices for the buyer.

  • avatar

    The survey doesn’t seem to be iPad friendly. I give up.

  • avatar

    Although the spread isn’t as bad as I thought, the nominees for best average base MSRP’s of about $35k, while the supposed worst average about $26k (a separate question being what the price would be on the typical spec that our nominators had in mind). It’d be nice to see some effort to bring those within parity. Did anyone really need confirmation that a $90k 911 is good? And while it’s all good and fun to mock the mediocre choices available to sub-prime buyers (oh, those foolish poors!), it doesn’t do much to highlight decent alternatives.

  • avatar

    There must be some mistake here – the Tesla Model 3 is among the nominees for the ten best cars, whereas the Model X is among the nominees for the ten worst cars, but both cars belong to the same list, namely the list of the worst cars. Remember, both cars are inherently defective, with extremely long charging times, and they’re built by an incompetent company with an incompetent CEO, perennially unable to build competitive cars.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree there is a huge mistake here. All of the cars here belong on the worst list. Remember, all of these cars are inherently defective, with the inability to make the drive from the US to Europe without stalling out when they hit the water and drowning the driver, and they’re built by incompetent companies with incompetent CEOs, perennially unable to build competitive cars.

  • avatar

    The “best” one that keeps popping out at me is the Lincoln Navigator. I’ve driven a 2018 model and the information screen kept rebooting while driving, both distracting and annoying. Simply not the “best” and definitely not the best premium SUV on the market. Can there be a write in vote to replace it? Anarchy!

  • avatar

    There are so many “ehh” cars in the category for best, all I want to do is vote for the Journey as the worst.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    bummer, I was hoping to own one a car from both lists, and none of ours are in either.Oh well, life’s good in the middle.

  • avatar

    The Mazda MX-5 is the only car on the best list that has any place there.

  • avatar

    Just want to express how surprised I was at my own rankings in the “worst” category. All I did was think of which of these nominations I hated the most, continuing on so that number 20 was the car I’d actually buy in the list if forced to pick a vehicle from it. Not gonna say which one, but I wonder whether the fact that I drove one as a rental and came away with a pleasant overall experience helped it a bit.

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