This year saw the introduction of many new cars, good and bad. Some of them also seemed to fall somewhere between good and bad in one way or another, and it’s those controversial, conversation-starting cars we’re going to highlight.
I’m going to do my best and not include any concept cars, like the wave of electric car concepts, that fugly Lincoln Navigator thing, and other cars like the hot-or-not Acura Precision Concept sedan. I was also going to include the Alfa Romeo Giulia on that list, but it turns out it’s been around for a long time and is just taking forever to actually fully realize.
So, here’s the list of cars that I noticed seem to stir the most conversation, which I’ll interpret as being the most controversial of 2016:
The New Lincoln Continental
Ford, or Lincoln, or the ‘Lincoln Motor Company’ or whatever, finally delivered a new Continental... and it looks like a Bentley a bit? So much so that a Bentley designer even called the Continental out on its similar design. And after all of that, does it actually look good enough? Is it special enough?
The Mazda Miata RF Hardtop
Beyond the few stragglers that still claim the new normal Miata is ugly, the introduction of a heavier hard-ish top version with a folding fastback design was enough to cause some to pause. But hey, I could lose 110 pounds here or there to make up for the sexy new roof.
The New Honda Ridgeline
The Honda Ridgeline has never been treated nicely, but this new one is everything a normal person needs out of truck. It is literally the Honda of trucks. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there will always be those who talk about specific, scientific qualification for a “real truck”.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe
Why are people buying SUVs and crossovers that look like a squatting, shitting mammal?
The Chevy Bolt
The Chevy Bolt is an “affordable” 200-mile electric compact that beat Tesla to the punch, but at what cost? Do I really want to spend $30,000 on a Honda Fit made by GM that’s even less practical?
The Tesla Model 3
Speaking of, the Tesla Model 3 made a big splash when hundreds of thousands of people signed up and made $1,000 deposits for an electric car they’d never even seen. It ended up looking like something out of the future. Something a lot of the Jalopnik staff loved, but many people didn’t. So much so that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was even taking suggestions on what to change on Twitter. Hopefully not too much!
The Aston Martin DB11
There were also a lot of new supercars this year, and I was the most excited about the Aston Martin DB11. And yeah, I like it. I think the weird option-two-tone floating roof pillar things are a little too much, but overall it’s a nice update on what is now the classic Aston look. And you’ve got to love that cool hidden aerodynamic work.
The Lamborghini Centenario
I did not like the Lamborghini Centenario when I first saw patent renderings of it. It looked a seven-year-old’s drawing of a perfectly good Lamborghini, all stretched and out of proportion. Then we got real photos of it and I liked it even less. Sorry Lamborghini, but you’ve already sold all of them so it’s not even a thing.
The Bugatti Chiron
And finally, a car that will be controversial at the high-school lunch table and college car meets for the next decade: Bugatti’s replacement to the Veyron, the Chiron. And it’s fine. Is it the fastest? Maybe. Is it super expensive? Yep! Is the best car money can buy?! Hm, it’s your money. Rumor has it they haven’t sold most of them yet. I’m sure they’ll get there with all of the special editions in the next 10 years.
So what do you think? What was the the most controversial car of 2016? Did I miss one? Here’s your chance to spew unashamed hate at an inanimate object with no feelings on the internet. Go for it.