What are the Car and Driver Ten Best Cars of 2014?
Often a point of discussion amongst “car guys” and certainly a stamp and ranking not given out lightly by Car and Driver Magazine the ten best ranked by the magazine certainly are worth a look. The criterion is simple, a max price tag of $80,000 and they are tested to the max. Everything from the seat belt latch, to door handles, to the more obvious power and handling are tested. Many of the list will surprise you as well as the fact that over half had a starting price tag of only $25,000.
Simple but sleek design styles on the outside, keep the Audi mid-range cars from being anything but boring; rather they are absolutely beautiful as they cruise down the road. What designers chose to leave plain and simple on the outside, they certainly spent a ton of time on detail and innovation on the inside.
Audi has a seamlessly crafted interior of wood, leather and satin chrome for comfort and style that will make their competitors green with envy. Offering a choice between a fuel efficient V-6 giving the driver 38 miles per gallon and a turbocharged V-8 with 420 horsepower, the Audi mid-sized family gives the owner versatility of choice.
Packing a zero to sixty time of 3.7 seconds and a quarter mile quickness coming in at 115 mph the Audi family is faster even than the new Corvette. Many times a sports car gives up luxury for power and a luxury car gives up power for comfort, but this Audi family brings both to the party for the driver and passengers to enjoy.
BMW 3 and 4 Series/Honda Accord
Both born of car makers who try to keep their identity in smaller segments of the car world, the BMW and Accord continue to maintain their classic looks and defined stature. Both cars are excellent, dependable and have been fan favorites for a long time. The Accord becoming America’s Accord since the Honda plant opened in Ohio many years ago and the BMW that has a target on its back as other car makers try very hard to mimic it at every turn.
Coming in with mid-range price tags of $35,000-$45,000 both cars are great for every day or for a weekend car. Continuing their stint as popular and dependable, these two are sure to make any driver very pleased with their choice in vehicle.
Corvette Stingray/Cadillac CTS
Both of these cars are awesome on paper. Take them to the test track and they will blow your mind in starting speed, quarter mile times and any other power related test you can throw at them, but what makes them better and makes this list is the fusion of man and machine. According to Atlanta Chevrolet, with General Motors new innovations, the Stingray is the best handling Corvette that has come out of GM in years.
With the sensitivity of its electrically assisted steering system, perfectly balanced suspension system and specially made tires, the Stingray C7 is more agile and easier to control than the preceding Corvettes. This Corvette is fun to drive and control, giving the driver exactly what they want in a big name sports car; power and control.
In the Cadillac CTS we find a car that hasn’t quite made as many improvements in handling from one model to another but the distance it had to go wasn’t nearly as far as the Corvette. Ranked now as the best handling car in the mid-sized luxury segment, the Cadillac CTS gives the driver the control and power they deserve, continuing to support its grand reputation as a top luxury car.
Ford Fiesta ST
How can a compact car make the list? Isn’t the Fiesta a small car, what’s so special about it? The Fiesta makes the list because it is small, fun, and also practical. Bringing in 197 horsepower which doesn’t sound like much, the Fiesta is a real party car. Combine the light weight with the at your fingertips power and the superb steering capabilities and you will see how much the Fiesta can be a great car to drive.
The only drawbacks for such a small car are the cargo area and rear seat, so if you are looking for a car to haul friends or supplies this might not be the best choice. However for a student, daily commuter, or just a weekend party car the Fiesta is a great fit.
Mazda 6 and Mazda 3
Pushing away their smaller sibling, the Miata, the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 bring an excitement to this list with the price tag that won’t break any budget. These two models are well built, well equipped and should help lead Mazda off the dismal last in the pack rankings in auto sales as they move forward in production.
The Mazda 6 has lost about 200 pounds and it shows. The handling on the new Mazda 6 is superb compared to previous models, and utilizing the Skyactiv technologies which originated in previous models of Mazda 3, the Mazda 6 now has it motor really humming in tune with its handling and control. The Mazda 6 still packs the power needed to get off the line quickly, but also brings an estimated 41 mpg on the highway, impressive for this size car.
The Mazda 3 has been turning heads with its long hood, available on both the coupe and hatchback. The Mazda 3 also brings with it a heads up information display to keep the driver’s eyes up on the road while still getting all the necessary information. This is accomplished by projecting the information to a transparent screen on the dashboard.
Both cars while not overly powerful possess the finesse needed to get the job done. Keeping with the same classic lines and looks, the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 are both great cars for this list and for any owner to have.
As expected, these two cars by Porsche top the list and outrank the rest. While Car and Driver states they do not actually rank the top ten, they unashamedly inform that these two are the best of this list. Beautiful style and lines that any Porsche provides, the signature looks give a pair of cars that anyone would want as their weekend ride or daily driver.
Both cars possess the power, speed, and handling that comes with the name Porsche and since the cars are seriously lightweight they jump off the line faster than a sprinter at the 100 meter dash. No doubt anyone who has one of these two cars has the pride of ownership of the distinct reputation that Porsche brings to the party, as well as the fun from the amazing drive each car provides.
The final car on our list is the Volkswagen Golf/GTI which has had a foothold on this list for the past eight years. The Golf is quick, easy to handle and silent inside, giving the driver control, comfort, and just the right amount of power to easily navigate any city or highway traffic. The GTI brings a surprising 200 horsepower to the streets and has been a fan favorite for a very long time.
The Golf while close to the end of this model run still comes in strong and projects to remain among the top ten for next year as well when the new model rolls out a bit lighter and much more powerful. Both of these model cars help to keep the strong image for hatchbacks that Volkswagen has come to enjoy over many years, from the old Rabbit to the now new and improved Golf and GTI.
Amazingly with these ten car choices any auto buyer has a ton of choices to pick from. All of these models start with modest price tags that most budgets can absorb and all carry a plethora of great options to choose from. The only question any car enthusiast has to answer now is “Which one is from me?”