By on October 15, 2018

awards. Shutterstock user Tomertu

That’s right – we’re doing that thing again where we, the TTAC tastemakers, pick our best and worst cars of 2018. And by “we” I also mean you, the B&B.

Just like the last time we did this, you’re invited to submit your nominations. More on that in a second. There won’t be any prizes this time around, but you might get your words splashed across these virtual pages, and isn’t that reward enough?

We’re living in an era in which a great many cars are good, but bad ones still lurk. So, with your help, we’re going to sort the best from the rest, and the worst of the lot will get what’s coming to them.

We could just ask you what the best and worst driver’s cars are, but that’s too easy. However, we don’t want to muck things up too much by creating all sorts of price and class categories.

[UPDATE: It’s become clear to me that some of you are using the comments instead of our survey link. In order to make sure your vote counts, CLICK HERE]

Therefore, we’ll be using the rules from before, with slight tweaks. And the same criteria, also tweaked.

Rules and specifics regarding the nominating process will be listed below. Before we get there, let’s lay out some basic guidelines that will help you narrow down your choices.

Styling: As before, this can go in either direction. Does a car catch your eye because it’s beautiful, or do you want to ask the designer what drugs he or she was on when the styling was penned? There’s beauty out there, and ugliness, and looks are but one key factor into what makes a car great, or not so great.

Intangibles: If you find yourself asking why a given car exists, or how an automaker built something great despite there being a poor business case, you’re thinking about intangibles. Does a given model make no sense? Or are you happy that the car guys beat the accountants to produce something wonderful?

Tech: Comfort, convenience, safety, driver assistance – a wave of convenience and cutting edge niceties has flooded the market. Few cars remain untouched. Points can be earned or deducted here by how an automaker allots tech across its lineup (in addition to how well it works). Some cars may be laden with unnecessary tech for the price point, while others are too barren with respect to the dollars spent.

Rental Factor: It’s not just about what car is fun to drive or offers value for the money or is good to look at it (or the opposite of those factors). It’s also about a visceral reaction. What car would you avoid on a rental lot, or would you judge your neighbor for buying? Conversely, what car are you secretly hoping to get a chance to drive, or even ride in?

Rules? Yes, there are rules. Here they are:

  • Any car or light truck offered for sale for the 2018 or 2019 model year is eligible – provided it is currently on sale. Any vehicle that hasn’t hit dealer lots yet is ineligible, even if it will be available by year’s end. Price, class, automaker, country of origin, sales numbers – none of that really matters. If a vehicle is a car or light truck, a 2018 or 2019 model, and on sale in the United States as of October 15, 2018, it’s eligible.
  • Please don’t be lazy with your nominations. Really think about them and put forth your reasoning. Go beyond “it’s good” or “it’s bad.” Do so in order to challenge yourself, and also so your prose may be included in our write-ups.
  • Vehicles that are virtually identical in all but badging may be nominated as a team.
  • Since some vehicles will get both Best and Worst nods, we’ll assign a score based on the net difference. So if a car gets 30 Best nods and 20 Worst, it will be given 10 Best marks.
  • The staff will select 20 finalists for each category, based on how you present your nomination reasoning and our own opinions of each vehicle.
  • Readers will then vote on the final 40.
  • You’ll have until October 22nd to get all your nominations in – please do so by 5 pm Central time that day. After we cull the nominations, you’ll have until October 31st to finalize your voting.

Click here to vote!

[Image: Shutterstock/Tomertu]

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51 Comments on “TTAC’S Ten Best and Ten Worst is Back for 2018 – Get Your Nominations In [UPDATED]...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    Best at any price — Bentley Mulsanne
    Best at a reasonable price – Chrysler 300, V8 RWD
    Reason: only “old school” sedans available today, and will soon go the way of the dinosaurs.

    Worse at any price: Tesla
    Reason: loose cannon tweeting CEO needs to be in a treatment home, not running a taxpayer subsidized company
    Worse “best value” (probably an oxymoron): Jaguar F-Pace – it’s not a real SUV & it’s not a real Jag (with the exception of it’s built-in unreliability)

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I can’t really play but I will argue the Tesla statement above. If you ignore the CEO’s tweeting, the car itself is quite remarkable for its power and economy. People who own them tend to buy more, which means it can’t be just a status symbol thing. Sure, the early production models of each type so far have all had their problems but as production continues, those issues tend to go away. I would give Tesla a Best rating and I will admit I want one myself; they just don’t make the body style I want.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Best – Jack Baruth for unbiased reviews.

    Worst – Tim Healey for regurgitating press releases.

  • avatar
    hpycamper

    Worst Styling prize goes to: Lexus RX, new dimensions in ugliness.

    Best Styling prize goes to: Audi A5 Cabriolet, very refined.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll put explanations in my submission.

    Best: Miata, GTI, Corvette, Stinger, Tesla Model 3, Charger 392, F-150, 911, Land Cruiser, M2.

    Worst: Encore, Titan XD, C-HR, Ridgeline, Yaris, Silverado, Ecosport, Eclipse Cross, Urus, XT4.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Worst new vehicle for sale in 2019: Nissan NV200.

    Although it’s only 5 years old in the US market, it’s a 10-year-old design. Based on the Versa of the same era, it’s hopelessly outdated. It’s horrible to drive. The fuel economy is no better than the competition.

    MSRP is a couple grand less than the competition, but rebates minimize the difference.

    You’ll never see an NV200 driven by the person who bought it. They’re only bought by business owners (or fleet managers) who force them upon their employees. Bought purely on price.

    Anybody who compares the NV200 to the Ford Transit Connect and RAM ProMaster City will most certainly buy one of the latter two.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Worst:

    Chevy Malibu – cheap interior, infotainment screen blocked out by the sun due to angle, rough start/stop that can’t be disabled, the 1.5T with the 9-speed is just a mismatched combination. This doesn’t stand up in the class, not even close.

    Toyota RAV-4 – compared to rest of class Coleman cooler interior, engine/tranny combination that just makes more noise when you step on the gas, horrible interior ergonomics, very uncomfortable seats, squeaks and rattles, so many other choices, so many better options. Stand alone, the RAV-4 isn’t that bad, but when compared to the rest of the class, it falls down hard.

    Acura ILX – incremental improvements and a heaping dose of ugly on the current Civic don’t help this Acura Cimmaron. Yes, the differentiation is much better than when the ILX first came out but the better deal is the Civic on the showroom floor

    Yaris Hatchback – outdated, outclassed, middling fuel economy, 4-speed automatic, barely 100 HP, drum brakes, steel rims with hubcaps, torsion beam suspension and for less than another $2K you have a Corolla in your driveway which outclasses it in every single way. $2K, even for the economy buyer is about another $36 a month. This is the car that screams, “WHY,” when you see someone bought one and that someone isn’t named Avis or Hertz.

    Ford Taurus – yes it is mercifully being euthanized. Not competitive in class in any way at this point and was never a great package to begin with. Yes, some fleet buyers and police departments will weep – for about 30 seconds. Lousy interior capacity for the size, hasn’t aged well, and the engine/tranny combinations that don’t say SHO are blech

    Best:

    Nissan Maxima – Yes it has that CVT but, interior materials that are better than the class it plays in, solid infotainment system, will put a smile on your face when you drive. An underappreciated car.

    Honda Accord – bang for the buck, from bread and butter grade to luxury sedans there isn’t a better deal dollar for dollar money can buy if you want four-doors and a trunk. This is the benchmark in a dying category

    GMC Sierra Denali/Chevy Silverado LTZ with the 6.2L V8 – without the 6.2L V8 forget it – fuel economy that tickles the turbo-6s from the other guys, the best darn NA V8 you can buy today, tied to a smooth transmission, a simplistic but understated interior, towing capability that doesn’t take a huge fuel economy kick in the rocks when used, and piles of cash incentives to be found. Yes, you can get a nicer interior by the competition, yes, you can get moar powah, but when wrapped up in the complete package, this is the one to get

    Subaru Forester – Ya I know, I’m not a fan of Subaru’s porous gaskets to anything oil related – forget the fact you’re signing up for oil leaks when you hit 6-digits. Capable 4WD, great safety tech, and even with all the option boxes checked, a beautiful package at a flat out dirt cheap price – Subaru could put another $2K to $4K on the sticker and it would still be competitive. This is the CUV that Volvo could have and should have made.

    Ford Mustang – from the engine choices, to the option packages, to a drop top or a hatch, or to tire blistering power, to the great interior, to the fact you can see out of it, to the aftermarket and enthusiast network of owners. Yes, this has replaced the Camaro in the, “hold my beer and watch this,” crowd but that should be a demerit to the Mustang itself. Sure the Challenger has more power and true seating for 4, sure the Camaro is likely the one you would take if you’re going out on the track – but in the class for a day-to-day ride it’s Mustang, Mustang, or Mustang.

  • avatar
    Peter Gazis

    Worst: Smart Fortwo EV
    Reason:Pathetic 58 mile range on a pathetic death trap of a car.

    Best: Maserati Quattroporte
    Reason: If money wasn’t an issue thats what I would drive.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    The best vehicle for sale bar none is the Land Cruiser.

    Sure its expensive, but really $80-85K is not much more than Tahoes or Expeditions go for anymore. For that you get components designed for a 25 year service life, capability far beyond what any reasonable user will need, decently luxurious accommodations, even for the price, and a simple, dead reliable powertrain. The solid, planted, substantial feel when sitting in it or driving is not like anything else I’ve ever experienced; even a G-class doesn’t quite measure up. If I had to own just one vehicle to handle every need for the rest of my life, this would be the one.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Disagree – only on one point – for literally $1K or $2K more – which at this price point is nothing – you can have the Lexus badged version and all the perks that go with Lexus ownership. The Land Cruiser as priced doesn’t make sense to me because of this gap.

      FWIW.

      • 0 avatar

        If you’re not after the third-row seat, the LX is the *same* price as the LC.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Why forgo? When you’re dropping 80 large on a SUV, the price isn’t an issue. If it is, you shouldn’t be dropping 80 large on something with 4-wheels.

          You still get “Toyota” service instead of your free latte with steamed like, here is your loaner car, do you like our new marble floor Lexus service department and the 70″ 4K TV?

          • 0 avatar

            I was just thinking generally (but did not state) that the LC/LX difference made much more sense when there was a considerable separation in the price. Like circa 1997-2012.

          • 0 avatar
            jack4x

            I made my statement fully aware of the difference. To me the Lexus negatives of the touchpad interface, ugly styling, and less capable suspension make the LC the better buy over the LX even if the stickers were identical. I do my own maintenance or use an independent so the dealership experience is moot to me. I also could care less about the badge. Others may disagree and I’d certainly not fault them for buying the Lexus if it made more sense to them.

    • 0 avatar
      Varezhka

      It would be nice to have the option of buying the $42K base Land Cruisers (or even the $50K mid-grade ones) available in the domestic markets.

      However, it probably makes better business sense to sell less of the expensive trims than letting the cheaper model cannibalize the high margin trims and step on the toes of 4Runners. Too bad.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Designed for a 25 year service life. 25 years ago…..

      Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s a great car. Or, more accurately, a car with great bones. Range sucks. It’s a car that almost would make more sense with the diesel. Biggest fail is that for such a big car, so able to get up logging trails, it absolutely sucks for sleeping in.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I drove 2016 Mustang GT California addition with 20HP upgrade. WOW

  • avatar

    GOOD LIST

    Mazda MX-5
    Audi A7
    Audi R8
    Lincoln Navigator
    Lexus LC 500
    Chrysler Pacifica
    Kia Stinger
    Genesis G90
    Kia Soul
    Lexus GS

    BAD LIST

    BMW X4
    BMW X6
    Audi Allroad
    Nissan 370Z
    Lexus NX
    Lexus RC
    VW Tiguan
    Land Rover Discovery Sport
    Ford ECOSport
    Toyota CH-R

  • avatar
    vehic1

    Peter Gazis: Not a Smart fan, but it’s less “death trap” than a motorcycle, which has only your helmet? and your leathers – for crash protection. But yes, it’s less ‘cool’.

  • avatar
    Tim Healey

    Hey B and B — please click the link to actually, you know, vote. The response rate is low so far.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Best
    Lexus GS
    Toyota 4Runner
    Chevy Impala
    KIA Stinger
    Corvette
    BMW 4-Series
    Impreza WRX
    Buick Wagon
    Mustang

    Worst
    Ford Escape
    VW Atlas
    BMW X5
    BMW X6
    Mercedes A-class
    Nissan Murano
    Lexus NX
    Lexus RX

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    Will Mark B. be back to scold us again if we choose the “wrong” vehicles? That was an … interesting … followup article from the first appearance of this feature.

  • avatar
    EX35

    Best: c7 base corvette. Does any other car offer that much performance for that little a price?

  • avatar
    zamoti

    Best Rental Sedan: Ford Taurus, rental spec. Wonderfully fat comfortable seats, engine has solid punch, competent suspension, commodious trunk and seating for other work people without being embarrassing like a Hyundai hatchback.
    Worst Rental Sedan: Chevrolet Malibu, rental spec. Entirely meh interior, meh exterior. Rental spec 4 cyl engine is shockingly gutless and misery to drive anywhere at any speed. Start/stop is annoying and heat doesn’t last long in the winter once motor is off. Mushy suspension and brakes, this is a car for those who don’t care about cars at all.

    • 0 avatar

      The Taurus is being cancelled, and the Malibu will soon be Detroit only family sedan. In fact GM’s larger sedans the Impala and Lacrosse are rated significantly better than the Taurus.

      Ford – What a disgrace!!!!!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Worst Part II:

    Toyota 86 – never mind the plastic fantastic interior, the fatal flaws that have never been addressed (cough, cough engine), never mind the correct answer is MX-5 if you don’t want to plunk down $30K+ to put a smile on your face. With a base price that has bloated to over $26K there is a long list of better choices.

    Mitsubishi Mirage: This is the car that will make you actively question is walking is really a better option. A new car at $13,395 – OK – that’s appealing but in base ES trim this is a penalty box on wheels. If you step up to the SE, you’re in spitting distance to Toyota Corolla and Kia Soul money and again, another $1K is about $18 a month in the car payment department.

    Best Part II:

    Kia Soul: A starting price of around $17K, outstanding two-box design with great interior space, want a manual ya you can do that, option lists that include niceties like ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. What the Scion xB could have been only if…

    Kia Stinger: Here is an interesting factoid – if you look at the Kia Stinger in V6 form vital stats, HP, torque, wheelbase, length, width, height, acceleration, braking, handling the numbers line up very closely to the Pontiac G8. A bargain for what you get, even without the snob appeal of a German brand, valid performance chops, RWD architecture, and an interior that you don’t have to squint to call luxury

    Fiat 500 Abarth: For $20,290 before you beat up the dealer over the, “no one is buying a Fiat,” is there another car for this kind of money that will put a smile on your face everytime you drive it, that will crackle and pop when you lift the throttle, that will have that turbo scream when you step on it and will squirt through any hole in traffic you need to zigzag through? Underappreciated for what it is, in Abarth trim this tweener A-segment car hits way above its class

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      When I was researching potential uber rides a year or so ago, I compared a new Mirage with a manual trans to a new Kia Soul with a manual.

      There was no comparison. The Soul is better in about 7,893 ways, and the dealer had three at a price $1500 (iirc) less than the cheapest Mirage I found. I’m not saying the price difference is that topsy-turvy everywhere and at anytime, but it really threw me for a loop. The equipment. The power. The room. Even if you hate the styling, its still a looker compared to the Mirage.

      Edit: I know the Souls were not-insignificantly cheaper, and I believe it was about $1500 less. I could be wrong but I know it was mind blowing to me at the time.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Best – Hyundai Veloster N. Despite the fact that the Veloster is plain weird, this is a car from an automaker who truly appreciates enthusiasts, an increasing rarity. If only they’d bring the i30 N over…

    Honorable mention – Accord Sport 2.0. Kudos to Honda for sticking with the 6-speed manual and making a truly competent Car. Almost makes up for the fact that you set your enthusiast customers up to be gouged with the Civic Type R and built a disappointing Civic Si.

    Worst – Edge ST. This pig of a vehicle combines cynicism for the market, yawn inspiring performance, and a giant crap on the history of the sub-brand, all wrapped in an enormous wasteful package that is sure to be driven very aggressively in traffic. A new low. I don’t know why but it inspires a little bit of rage whenever I see it.

    I can only hope we go up from here and that this thing is a true jump the shark moment, Kind of like the Cougar Bostonian was for the personal luxury fad.

  • avatar

    Worse run company – Ford
    Worse CEO – Hackett
    Worse Stock – Ford 25% decrease in a year. 8.50 USD

    What a disgrace!!!!

  • avatar
    Tstag

    BEST:
    Ford Mustang – old fashioned petrol head fun
    Jaguar I Pace – the best made electric car today without an I Pad for a centre console.
    Range Rover – the best luxury 4×4

    WORST:
    Anything made by Honda – sorry their cars are boring however reliable they might be.

    I think for me in shaming Honda it says a lot about the modern car industry. If I was to buy the least reliable car on sale today I might lose 3 days in an auto repair shop but get a nice replacement car. That for me is fine as boring cars suck!

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