Checking the files, I drove over 120 diverse vehicles, trucks, SUVs and crossovers in 2015. On track, off road, and in the Taco Bell drive-thru line. No wonder I’m tired and fat.
Right here are my eight best picks from 2015. If you’re automobile shopping and you do not buy a single of these, you ought to be forced to personal a Mitsubishi Mirage. Yes, I said it.
2016 Kia K900
Since I’m writing this with a bottle of wine in 1 hand and an $ 2,800 components bill for my Super V8 (not repair bill since I’m doing the perform), I’m going to start off by such as a car I drove 2014.
If you’re hunting for the best get in the luxury segment, look no additional than the Kia K900. Say what?
I wouldn’t say the K900 is the equal of a 740i or S550 but it is half the value of the Merc. Ask your self how much the Mercedes logo is worth to you. If the answer is not $ 70,000 then you should purchase the Kia, swap in some new logos and enjoy your lengthy warranty. For the ideal deal, lease one. Kia is throwing some significant money on the hood. This vehicle is on my short list for 2016 as my Jag replacement. It ought to be on yours as well.
2016 Volvo XC90
Volvo’s new flagship crossover arrived just as most luxury shoppers had been forgetting the Swedes still constructed cars. While it’s about five years late, the XC90’s exterior and interior are worth the wait. The seats are comfy, the wood is divine, and somehow Volvo manages to make a front-wheel-drive-based, three-row crossover dance like an X5. Although I’m nonetheless not certain about Volvo’s claim that a 2.-liter engine will satisfy everyone, it did scoot to 60 faster than the X5 xDrive35i. And XC90 T6 is less difficult to say than X5 xDrive35i.
If you want the craziest drivetrain you have ever heard of, the T8 is turbocharged, supercharged, hybridized, and fitted with a plug. What could go wrong? Who knows? Leasing is your buddy.
2016 Kia Sorento
Kia is on a roll these days and I have to think their relationship with Hyundai is the cause. Hyundai requires the very first stab at a new car and Kia has about a year to tweak the related Kia model after seeing how Hyundai’s take was received.
The Sorento is a tweener crossover becoming neither compact nor mid-sized. Although trying to be everything for every person generally ends in abject failure, the Sorento shocked on every front except fuel economy. It’s an upgrade to the RAV4 or CRV, a sturdy competitor to the Edge and Murano, and a worth alternative to an MDX or Highlander Titanium. A close runner-up for me would be a Mazda CX-five with a manual transmission. Why? #SaveTheManuals.
2016 Lincoln MKC
The MKC is the only compact luxury crossover that’s not attempting to be an X3. For that I am eternally grateful. The suspension is as supple as the leather, the two.three-liter turbo gets the baby Lincoln to highway speed in six.1 seconds, and you get real wood trim for $ five,000 less than the Germans.
Do not get me wrong, the MKC is eminently capable with high limits, but the softly tuned suspension and overboosted power steering make it difficult to figure out where those limits are positioned.
If that sounds like the kind of item Lexus utilized to be recognized for (just before they, too, started chasing BMW), you’re correct. Is that damning with faint praise? Not at all. Keep in mind, I willfully purchased a 2000 Chrysler LHS. Lengthy reside the soft American highway cruiser!
Overall performance Vehicles
2016 Dodge Charger SRT 392 / 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT 392
Nobody does bat-shit-crazy like Chrysler, and that is why the non–Hellcat SRT is my top pick. Say what?
You see, justifying a 485 horsepower household sedan would usually be difficult, but the mere existence of the Hellcat changes every little thing. Just inform your wife that the 707 horsepower Hellcat “seemed excessive” so you opted for the “responsible engine choice.” See? Dilemma solved.
Chrysler’s shoe-string price range resulted in minimal body adjustments for SRT-duty, so 275-width tires are as massive as you can go. That is okay for 485 ponies, but swizzle-stick thin for 707 and a curb weight more than four,400 pounds. Does it matter? Not when a six.4-liter V-8 sounds this very good. If you are gentle on the go-pedal, you can even approach 30 mpg on the highway thanks to the ZF eight-speed automatic.
God bless ‘Murica.
2016 Mazda MX-5
The Alfa 4C didn’t make it to the list. Neither did a list of other automobiles I’ve driven on or off the track, which includes the BMW i8, Audi S7, BMW M235i, Ford GT 350, Dodge Viper, Jaguar F-Sort, or Corvette Stingray. Aside from the reality that I can’t afford or afford to operate any of these automobiles, the MX-5 bubbled to the surface anyway.
There’s something refreshing about a vehicle that is unpretentious and puts a smile on your face each time you drive. It’s not quick, it is not quiet and it doesn’t manage as well as the list of vehicles above, but it’s the only a single that I didn’t want to give back. ‘Nuf mentioned.
Vehicles for the rest of us
2016 Scion iA
The front of the iA appears like the unholy spawn of a Dustbuster and a catfish, but Scion’s new sedan is a well-disguised slice of forbidden fruit. You see, this is the Mazda2.
I was worried the Toyota/Mazda tie-up would make the worst of each worlds but the opposite has happened (except for the front finish). The iA is one hundred-% Mazda, from the great driving dynamics to the slick manual transmission and higher fuel economy.
What’s Toyota’s contribution? Pricing. It comes only two methods: with or with out the automatic. The crazy-low value of $ 15,700 even contains the touchscreen infotainment technique, pre-collision warning and navigation can be added for a tuppence soon after you buy the automobile. Move more than Versa, the new King is in town.
Note to Toyota: Can you have Mazda design and style the next FR-S?
2016 Hyundai Sonata / 2016 Kia Optima
Very first there was Camcord, now there is Optinata.
As of December 1, much more than 346,000 Optinatas have found new driveways in America. That’s one out of every five midsized sedans sold in 2015. Whilst the Camcord basks in the glow of Honda and Toyota’s reputation for reliability and resale worth, Optinata is a better value, has a longer warranty and is 41-percent less boring. If a far more sedate style is your choice, go for Sonata. If you want a more aggressive look and slightly greater steering feel, pick Optima.
Don’t forget: buddies do not let pals purchase Camry.