Here it is, our list of the greatest cars of 2010 and some honorable mentions. Read More…
Best RWD car of 2010:
Mustang GT – The 5.0 returns! And this time it’s sporting dual overhead cams, variable valve timing and the standard live rear axle we’ve come to love/loathe in the Mustang. It’ll best the M3 around Laguna Seca, it costs $30k and already has a ton of aftermarket support.
Best AWD car of 2010:
Nissan GT-R – It’s not new for 2010, but does it have to be? Not when you can rival ZR1’s, GT2’s and 599’s for $85,000. You can call up AMS, cut them a check for $22k and have a car that will put down over 800 horsepower on 93 octane, drive like a stock car, and still has a full interior. Plus for 2011 the GT-R becomes even quicker(0-60 in 2.9!). FYI, the $107k for the GTR and the AMS Alpha9 package is still cheaper than the Corvette, Porsche, and Ferrari.
Best FWD car of 2010:
Mazda 2 – It’s like a Fiesta, just better looking. It ran at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill NASA event this year where it finished 7th in class and 19th overall. A gussied up Touring model will run you a bit over $16 grand. Not bad…
Best use of a scout tent in 2010:
Porsche Boxster Spyder – Radio? No. Plastic cowling over the gauge cluster? No. Door handles? Nope. The Boxster Spyder is a stripped down Boxster with a more powerful engine, and we all know that makes everything better. What’s even better is the name for the manual, collapse-able roof: it’s called the scout tent because that’s what it looks like and what it’s like to put it up.
Best Wagon of 2010:
Cadillac CTS-V wagon – Take the already awesome CTS-V sedan, give it more room in the form of a wagon body and what do you get? Possibly the greatest sleeper ever. It’s almost a dead ringer for the base model CTS from the back, so whomever you passed will think they were passed by the base 3.6 liter V6 wagon.
Biggest Disappointment of 2010:
Honda CR-Z – It’s not really sporty, and it doesn’t get small hybrid mileage. It’s a great looking little car, but it just doesn’t perform like it should. It’s not the second coming of the CRX and that’s sad. All is not lost though, rumors of a turbocharged non-hybrid version of the CR-Z are floating about and if that doesn’t work for you then you can cram a K20 into one.
Scariest drive of 2010:
Our Viper road trip, and don’t worry another trip is planned this spring in an almost equally unfit car.
Most Improved car of 2010:
Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 – It turns! Sweet merciful Jesus it turns! The Challenger is the best looking of the new muscle cars, and it’d be the one I would have as a daily. If I was racing, it would be a Mustang. Why? Because the Challenger didn’t like turning. To be fair, most Challengers didn’t like turning in the original muscle car era (I know Challengers and Cuda’s ran in the Trans Am series, hence why I said MOST not ALL) but now it’s a whole different ball game!
Best trend: Direct injection, turbocharged engines – Better fuel economy AND better performance? I’ll take it! While I still dream of jamming a V8 into a myriad of tiny cars, being able to get the same horsepower and torque numbers out of a turbo V6 is fantastic, and the better fuel economy is the icing on the cake.
Worst Trend: Hating Detroit – They took tax payer money, in one form or another, so they could still be around and employ a ton of people. That’s good. They’re producing #1 cars with better quality #2 cars with better fuel economy and #3 cars that are actually GASP fun to drive! That’s great. Plus we’re getting some great European market cars (Fiesta, Cruze) and eventually Fiats are going to be available new for the first time in a long, long time. It’s a new world for the Big Three, one that’s going to beat them up until they learn how to live in this new world, but I think they’ll figure it out and American cars won’t be jokes like they have been for the last few years…decades.
You’re still here?!: Toyota’s 4 speed automatic transmission – My Subaru has one, my dad’s Pontiac has one and so does my brother’s Nissan. Here’s the thing: My Subaru is twelve years old, the Pontiac is 8 and the Nissan is 10. Toyota has them in 2011 Corolla models! Everyone overlooks this because it’s Toyota, but if Chrysler offers a 4-speed, everyone jumps all over it.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe: Huge potential for this car, and the R-Spec models are spot on, big brakes, sport suspension, none of the fluff.
Hyundai Sonata Turbo: If you would’ve asked me 2 years ago if Hyundai would ever make a list like this, I would’ve slapped you in the face and giggled hysterically. Sure enough, they have 2 cars this year. The Sonata offers some unique styling in the midsize market and now with a Turbo 2.0L 4-cylinder cranking out 270+HP and still getting great mileage, you can bet the tuners will have their way with this one.
Audi S4: Fortunately I’ve been able to drive one of these cars a few times and it sure does handle. The radio is needlessly hard to operate, but that doesn’t matter, it has enough power to make your drive fun, but throw this 4-door into the turns and it just sticks without a compromise in ride quality. This car defines having your cake and eating it too.
-Michael Chandler, Trent Bray, Johnny Northrop
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