While consumer journals might rank cars for their durability, and safety experts might put them on a list from safest to most dangerous, here at Jalopnik we decided to create a ranking system for cars based solely on what an enthusiast might like. Behold, here's the master ranking list of all the cars we've given the full Jalopnik.
So many car reviews seem to function purely as quote mills for marketers, who take snippets of those reviews and barf them back into the same pages as advertisements like some sort of corporate-style 2 Girls:1 Cup. We wanted none of that. Few companies are going to announce their car got a "65!" on a billboard, even though a 65 in our system is actually quite good.
Therefore, we did things a little differently. There's a section for the way the car sounds, the way the car handles, and how it shifts. There's no section for "fuel efficiency" or "safety" or anything like that (though you can lump that into the value section). Our assumption is that, if you're reading Jalopnik, you're probably an enthusiast. So we're doing our reviews they way you'd maybe do them if someone agreed to hand you the keys to a Porsche or a Viper or a Vanquish.
We also have decided to eschew the American 1-100 system of grading that places 70 as an average. Why? In that system you compress all cars between 80-100 and, frankly, with so many cars getting better we need to be tougher in order to make automakers work harder.
Thus, a 50 is average, 50-60 is above average, 60-70 is good, 70-80 is great, 80-90 is amazing, and anything above 90 is sell-your-organs-on-the-black-market good. The same goes for categories. A car with "5" brakes has ok brakes, while a car with 10 acceleration is one of the fastest (or fastest feeling) cars in the world.
Is it perfect? No. Do the numbers sort of appear to not make sense on occasion? Absolutely. But we've made our methodology clear and turned it over to you so you can recreate it on your own. If you disagree just adjust as you see fit.
If you're actually using this is a comparative guide we're also keeping up a version that has every review in one big list.
Enjoy, debate, disagree!
"'Remember that car? That sure was a great car. I really wish they still made that car today, because I'd totally buy one.' That's a conversation that happens multiple times a day in the Jalopnik comments. Let me tell you this: years from now, the Ford Fiesta ST will be the subject of that conversation too."
"On my journey I learned that the Abarth is not perfect. Far from it, in fact. But it manages to offer thrills that last well beyond any quick, hard launch-filled trip to the grocery store to get orange juice because you purposefully forgot it the first time so you could go out in the Abarth again later. (I'm not saying that's what happened, of course.)"
"For a lot of reasons, I don't have much desire to drive balls-out on public roads anymore, but I still enjoy a nice Hill Country run. The area's just grown up now, and isn't as crazy for driving as it once was. Much like this new Mini Cooper S. "
"The Sonic is the car tasked with remedying generations of small car disappointments from Chevy. On paper, they did a lot right. It has aggressive styling and, on the RS model, a pretty staggering list of standard equipment. But is that enough to make people forget the Aveo, Citation, Chevette, Vega, and pretty much every other small car to come from Chevy?"
"If you'd have told me in 2004 I'd be driving a tiny Korean-built GM product around NYC in 2014 I'd have guessed I lost a bet. If you'd have told me I was looking forward to the experience, I'd have thanked you from coming back from the future to warn me. The Chevy Spark is yet another example of the difference a decade makes."
"I'm about to go into all sorts of tedious detail, but for those of you with $15 grand to unload before dinner, I'll give you a quick spoiler: I didn't hate it. It's cheap, sure, it's loud, low-powered, plasticky, and gripless, but it's also incredibly light, nimble, fantastic on gas, useful, and almost, in its own way, fun."
"The changes from the 2015 Subaru WRX appear to be details, but they're actually rather large details. And they come together to make the STI a giant killer and one of the best cars that you can buy today at any price."
"Along with the Nissan GT-R, the Evo is the poster car of the Gran Turismo generation. It's a car that had a diehard fan base before it ever planted a wheel in America. By the time the Evo made it here, those kids that were playing Gran Turismo were grown up, and they were ready for that car."
"You're always told to not judge someone by how they look. They might look anonymous, but they might also be caring, hilarious, or just plain fun when you talk to them. The 2015 Subaru WRX is Droopy Dog from the outside, but Usain Bolt and Jerry Seinfeld under the skin. This is a car you have to know."
"Is there one part that makes this car awesome? Not really, but when you start adding them together you get a pretty amazing car for $25k."
"The R ditches the VR6 and, with it, some of the weight at the front. The turbo four has more power and is better for the environment, too. VW also promised improvements to the lackluster all-wheel drive system. That sure sounds like a recipe that can finally let the R take on the Mitsubishi Evo and Subaru Impreza STI. And it comes close... but not close enough."
"Enthusiasts tend to look down on most hybrid cars as slow, dull, soft, and antithetical to driving fun. Proof that might be changing comes from the most unlikely of places: the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, a car that exceeded my expectations in every way."
"If the Mazda3 goes to prep-school, then Mazdaspeed3 is the berserk brother trying to knock up the cheerleaders. It's a Mazda3 on MDMA-laced protein shakes. A mad-science experiment to tame 263 horsepower through the front wheels. And I'll be damned if it isn't fun."
"Voila. The GLI is now a GTI with a trunk. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the GLI. In all honesty, the only Jetta I've ever desired was the TDI Cup, and that was just a sticker package and a different bumper. This one might not look as good as the TDI Cup did, but I bet it drives way better. It's in the running for the most surprisingly enjoyable car I've driven this year.
"To have any hope of success, Chrysler knew their marriage to Fiat would be key; and that partnership enabled Dodge to utilize an acclaimed platform from across the pond: the Alfa Romeo Giulietta."
"The result of this is a car company completely unfettered by heritage or tradition, and that gives them the freedom to try some things other companies balk at. The Veloster Turbo is a great example of this."
"Those small improvements move its price to the edge of VW Golf R, WRX, and Evo territory. It has the appearances of a fun car, but is it worth that high price of entry? For a lot of people, it really isn't a great choice. But, for certain people, it's the only car they should buy."
"What I liked about the car doesn't have much to do with the specs or technical details; if we're really honest, it's a bit anonymous in many technical aspects. The overall package, though, is a very practical, usable car that offers a little bit of driving enjoyment, has a decent look, and, most importantly, feels good when you're inside it."
"The Hindustan Ambassador is India. If there was a big parade with every country getting one car to represent them, India wouldn't even have to vote. Of course it'll be the Ambassador. Hey, by the way, someone should do that parade."
"Mini Coopers are small cars. That's what Mini means. The Mini Paceman is not a small car. It's a motoring paradox. It's perplexing. But you know what's worse? This car isn't particularly, how do you say, good."
"So, on paper, it all looks jolly good. Perhaps Nissan have indeed delivered on the promise of reinstating the Sentra to the head of the pack, a place it has not seen since its inception back in the 1980's. As previously alluded, the competition will not give way easily."
"Skyactiv describes the entire architecture of the car. For the 6, everything is brand new from the ground up. The chassis, engine, transmission, and body were all designed with the other in mind at the same time. That way there wouldn't be sacrifices to fit the engine into a chassis that would need to be modified to accommodate it. It's a very zen approach."
"Enter the new 2013 Ford Fusion. A midsize sedan that finally oozes sex appeal and is actually engaging to drive. It certainly made me stand at attention."
"But what's interesting about the Malibu is that, really, the turbo here isn't about speed— it's about letting a 2-liter 4 cylinder engine take a job usually given to a 3.6 L V6. And, with that in mind, it makes sense. But, as anyone who has had to decide between fireworks and an insurance payment, sense isn't particularly exciting."
"The SS is a car the enthusiast crowd has been clamoring for. It's also a big bet by Chevrolet that the enthusiast interest will translate into sales. We've been begging for ages, so the SS better be good. And it's not bad. Not bad at all."
"It turns out that the Charger is now kind of like that guy who was a raucous, hard-drinkin', bar-fightin' sumbitch in his high school years who now has a family, a good job in the tech industry, and a house in the suburbs. Oh, he can still start shit the way he used to, just not as much, and in a far more civilized way."
Compact Luxury Car
"There are two types of premium compact super sports sedans: The BMW M3 is one type, the BMW M3-fighter is the other. The 2015 BMW M3 enters a more crowded ring of contenders than ever before. Is it still the top of the heap, or does it finally need to concede to its rivals?"
"I walked away from the S3 thinking it was kind of a Subaru WRX STI for grown-ups, a respectable sedan you buy when you want the sheriff to stop shooting at you but still crave that delicious all-wheel drive and turbo power"
"To stay at the top, you need to keep getting better and better. That's why BMW keeps making new 3ers. And with added competition from the stellar Cadillac ATS now on the scene, BMW needed to work hard to stay at the top of the heap. Did they succeed? Yes. And no."
"Think of it as benchmarking gone wrong then, suddenly, gone right again. What does it mean to build a 3-Series in America? Make it RWD and slightly slower, give it a "Nürburgring-tuned" suspension, send it to Keira Knightly's dietician, and cut the cost through some cleverly old-GM ways."
"The war between BMW and Audi is always fierce, but in this segment in the US, Audi's been without a weapon. But with the RS5 now on turf, locked and loaded, we can expect one hell of a gunfight. Unsurprisingly, the RS5 is a fantastic car. It looks great, handles great and its big V8 purrs like a Lion on Ambien."
"The entry level luxury sport sedan game is mad fierce, y'all. In that segment the Lexus IS has always been the kind of car that finishes solidly in the middle of the pack. With a (mostly) new IS for 2014, Lexus aims to change that."
"Mercedes realized that what they need to do is embrace the car's "wild child" reputation and eschew their dreams of beating all the dynamics of the M3. The latest weapon, the V8-powered C63, is bad fast in a straight line, nearly terrifying around corners, and makes a noise that could cause sovereign nations to immediately go to war."
"Honestly, as much as I loved driving the CLA45 in as manic a fashion as I could on public roads, as a whole it was more of a mixed bag than just about any car I have ever tested for this website. There were some things I liked very much about it, and some areas where I really felt it came up short."
"It looks like serious business though. A proper BMW coupe, one that makes guys in suits peek through its windows when parked on the street. When you see it from the distance, walk towards it, press the key and jump in, well, that's satisfaction right there."
"What we're dealing with is the future of hybrids that we were always promised. One that allows you to have your cake, accelerate faster than a Porsche, and get 31 MPG on the highway, too. All without shoving a Porsche badge in someone's face."
"The Audi S5 Cabriolet is not a new car. Oh, the one I drove is new in the sense that it's a 2015 model, and the one I drove had fewer than 1,000 miles on it, but it's not really a new car."
"But my question here wasn't talk about specifications, about bits and baubles. My question was to find out if it was really a Buick (no), if it was any good (yeah, actually), and who it was for (people)."
"My best guess is that Dinan is actually part of some radical environmental group dedicated to eliminating all private car ownership. That's the only reason I can think of to explain why they keep making these amazing machines designed to remove your legal ability to drive."
"The 1 Series is your entry-level option for getting a new BMW keyfob, and the tested 116i with its short list of extras was a great car to see what you get for your money as standard."
Midsize Luxury Car
"So we have Audi's best looking car with Audi's best powertrain. It's a recipe more delicious than apple strudel, and I really like apple strudel."
"Cadillac was Season One of Seinfeld just a few years ago. It wasn't funny and it should have been cancelled. But some people saw the vision, they knew where it could go, they caught some brilliant moments, they understood. Now we're entering season four. The brand is hitting its stride. It's Cadillac's Summer of George."
"Jaguar's one-upped its already elegant and well-sorted XFR sports sedan, to create the sharper, more aggressive and very limited-production Jaguar XFR-S. But does the S stand for aweSome, or just window dreSsing? We found out"
"The 535d has 256 horsepower, which isn't all that much, but has 413 pound feet of torque available from 1,500 RPM. What that means is effortless acceleration in any gear. It's a truly wonderful engine, and why BMW doesn't advertise that torque number everywhere and evangelize what it means is far beyond my limited understanding of the world."
"Jason Bourne. Under his white-collar appearance and cool demeanor is a wild animal that — at the push of a button — can transform into a pure, unsavory killing machine. The 2013 BMW M5 is Jason Bourne."
"This is a car that combines all the euphoric and frustrating aspects of Italian car ownership into one attractive Milanese shell. At times you'll hate it. Other times you'll love it. But what's for certain is that you'll always love hearing it."
Large Luxury Sedan
"The Model S is unlike anything I've ever driven and the performance is like nothing else I've ever felt. Not just the speed, but the odd combination of tranquility and violence that really has to be experienced to be understood. And I'm still not sure if I can fully wrap my head around it."
"But have you noticed? Bentley's recently separated the Spur from the Continental family, which now comprises the two-door GTs only. It's a sign the company's got a new charter for the Spur. Look out, Rolls-Royce Ghost, another German-owned British luxury brand is gunning for your customers' royally pampered behinds."
"The entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City is a sloping downhill left hand turn. Radar cruise control and steering assist is on in the S550. I take my hands off the wheel. Instead of careening into a wall, the big Merc turns the wheel on its own and cruises into the tunnel. Holy crap."
"Surely, the Rapide, Aston Martin's four-door, four-seat GT, should have a wider following. It's the most gracefully styled four-door luxury car currently on sale, its engine sounds like stars being born, and it has a curbside presence that makes schoolchildren gather, then go supernova with excitement at the bark of the V12."
"Jaguar's latest XJ is almost too sleek for its own good. A recent redesign tossed out all traces of the iconic XJ of old. But is this iteration an actual Jaaaaaaaag? I logged a ton of mileage in a 2012 XJL to see if a whippersnapper would lust after one before he takes up brandy and cigars."
"Some people believe Porsche should offer one car and you get to choose the color. Porsche, well, they don't think that way. And even though the Panamera isn't much of a looker, it's a hell of a driver."
"The aim in this whole process is to deliver a car with sporty qualities — stemming back to ALPINA's racing heritage with BMW –- that remains comfortable, unobtrusive and easy to drive."
"The Hyundai Equus, I have decided, is for people who don't care about perception, and just want features instead. Toys. Things. Stuff. They want stuff."
"I'll sum up what you've heard about the MKZ in four words: "It's a Ford Fusion." That is pretty much 100 percent accurate. The one I drove was basically a Fusion Titanium 2.0 AWD with a different body on it. The Fusion Titanium is a good car, so it stands to reason that the MKZ is also a good car."
"The Skoda Yeti is basically a Golf wearing rock climbing shoes that offers more space and slightly better value since it doesn't have a VW badge. But is America missing out on not getting Volkswagen's Czech family car?"
"After a rocky start in America that included a series of strangely schizophrenic ad campaigns, Fiat says that sales of their adorably Italian 500 are finally surging. But dealers and customers alike have been clamoring for something larger but equally cute and Euro-chic. Can the embiggened 500L fit the bill?"
"It's taller than a proper wagon, doesn't have sliding doors like a minivan, and while in Europe, we call it a compact MPV, wagovan worked before in America. I like that, it covers the Roomster's qualities perfectly"
"Surprisingly, the Juke ends up being a funky looking tall hatch that is actually quite well equipped and appointed. It doesn't drive as bad as you think it looks."
"The real story, though, is comparing it head-to-head with the nearest competitor, the Prius V. Ford had some on hand so we could try them out right after driving the C-Max, and that was smart. Compared to the C-Max, the Prius V is loud, sluggish, made with lower-rent materials inside, and cramped. It's a striking comparison."
"The new Suzuki SX4 S-Cross is a much larger crossover than the versatile but quite underrated original SX4. Since it's built in Hungary, it was my duty to test it for you even if Suzuki has left America, but I ended up with more questions than answers"
"Being the demographic that they are attempting to attract myself, I can say I like the cooler vibe it presents. It is functional too, which is great, but the big key, I believe, is whether it is fun to drive. If it is boring, then the younger demographic might be too busy on their own Hawaiian adventures to be bothered to checking the XV out."
"We live in a time where engineers can make vehicles that look like weird truck-wagon mixtures perform better than the sports cars of the previous generation. In the future, these vehicles may well be the hallmarks historians point to in order to portray the unseemly excesses of a culture hell bent on its own violent self-destruction."
"Due to changes in what SUV buyers now demand, most of Nissan's competitors have already made the switch to unibody, making the Pathfinder a little on the tardy side. Buyers have now traded their cliff ascending desires with a priority placed on better fuel economy and all-weather capability."
Small Luxury Crossover
"You have a tall gangly son. He's a good kid and, despite having the height of a jr. high Yao Ming, he doesn't seem particularly athletic. You picture a a future Debate Club presidency but then he starts running cross country. He's got a mean sprint, for sure, but he also looks like he's going to topple over any time he rounds a bend. Your son is the Audi SQ5."
"This is not a rally car wearing a tie and jacket. It is a deliriously fast pocket rocket Mercedes wearing a leather jacket and chewing tobacco in the back of class."
"No, BMW does not sell a 1-series wagon or hatchback in the United States. Yes, theBMW X1 is actually based on the E91 3-series wagon platform. No, you can't get it with a manual transmission here. Yes, you can get it with RWD. No, it isn't really an SUV. Yes, it's actually enjoyable."
"Do you want a car with a nice interior and a nice view that doesn't make you look like an asshole? Buy this Evoque. It won't be cheap."
"It's a well-designed car in many ways, but there's nothing it does exceptionally well — it's comfortable, attractive, but not particularly engaging to drive, not especially useful, not really suited to off-roading, and not, well, not a car I'm going to dream about owning."
Midsize Luxury Crossover/SUV
"In one way the GTS is the 911 GT3 of the Cayenne family. In another, more accurate way, it isn't really close. The GTS gets the most powerful naturally aspirated V8, the most aggressive suspension setup, and the fastest shifting automatic gearbox in the lineup. That makes it GT3-ish. It's also a truck. That makes it not GT3-ish."
"Of course, a diesel isn't suitable for everyone, and it certainly isn't right for every car. But with the Cayenne it compliments the solid lineup of models currently in place. From a statistical standpoint, it places just above the basic V6 Cayenne but below the Cayenne S, providing a stellar alternative for a specific buyer."
Large Luxury Crossover/SUV
"Land Rover insists up and down that the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport appeal to two different potential buyers, with the former skewing older, more affluent, more apt to have the "best" of everything. But the Sport is so good in so many ways now that I wouldn't be at all surprised if it steals more than a few sales from the bigger SUV."
"I got to sample the Range Rover in both on-road and off-road, and it did remarkably well regardless of what was thrown at it. However, like I mentioned earlier, who really takes a brand new Range Rover up and down mountains? Even Land Rover will admit that very few of them do."
"The G63 is ridiculous, ostentatious, unbelievable, unnecessary, stupid, amazing, awful, and one of the most fantastic things ever. And it's somehow all of these things at the same time."
"If it was available in the US, I'd buy the shit out of this truck. Oh, and I might actually be able to make good on that threat, since (converted from Rupees) this truck only costs about $11,000. Even if bringing it to the US added 50% to the price, that's still only, what, around $16,000. That's seriously cheap."
"I decided to give this Mexican-built van a test by using it as my main vehicle for a week, culminating in the real test, hauling all the crap needed for my son Otto's third birthday party. That crap included a large rocket made out of foil/styrofoam insulation panels that even disassembled and folded would have been too bulky for most cars. The perfect test for a little van."
"I admit, I'm coming into this review biased because this little van took me to India before I even sat in it. I'm happy to say that after driving it, I wasn't disappointed. The Mahindra Maxximo is a machine perfectly suited to its environment, and I respect that. It's also the second-slowest car I've reviewed."
"The V Wagon is one of those cars built by car people for car people. Bean counters didn't touch it. It wasn't meant to turn a profit or become a volume seller. This is the car that proves GM still has genuine Detroit car guys running the business. Not the Corvette, not the Camaro ZL1, but the CTS-V Wagon."
"Hot rod wagons are a nasty fetish to a very particular group of people, just like fantasy football or horse pornography. Mercedes knows they aren't going to sell a billion E63 Wagons in America, but they're making a very particular group go nuts. That includes most automotive journalists and readers of this website."
"Since car makers haven't brought all their delights to the U.S., we have to hunt down these machines in their natural habitat. Welcome to Jalopnik's European Review series. We start with this Estoril Blue BMW 320d M Sport Touring, which will become America's BMW 328d wagon."
"The little things are what make it great, like the phenomenal headlights, the huge, clearly marked gauges, the overall build quality, the quiet cabin, the great ride, and the button that pops the rear headrests down so the driver can see better."
Sports Car Under $50k
"If you haven't already popped a bottle of Champagne and done a victory dance of wide hip-swings and guttural farmyard noises to celebrate the BRZ's existence, you don't deserve what else on this platform the company has up its sleeve. And we're sure there's more to come."
"The driving experience in the Miata makes almost everything else feel like watered-down bullshit. It offers a nearly unmatched degree of pure fun; this is the only car I've ever driven where I didn't mind being stuck in Washington D.C. traffic."
Sports Car $50-$100k
"Chevrolet has done it. The Corvette has gone from being a world class sports car with a "but" to a sports car the world finally has to recognize. Put simply, the 2014 Corvette is one of the best sports cars ever born in America."
"Jaguar did an awful lot of things very, very right with the new Jaguar F-Type. It looks fantastic, it sounds like the devil's own V8-powered sexbot, and is both surprisingly easy and rewarding to drive. My only complaints about the car come from a perverse desire to see something with just a bit more wrong in it."
"In a straight line, the Cayman can't match the power of the 911. But in the corners, this new one is giving the 911 a run for its job at the top of the regular Porsche ranks. And that has to make some people in Stuttgart nervous."
"The Porsche 911 is the Holy Grail of sports cars. But Porsche has a problem from within: Their entry level car, the Boxster, has grown up. And it's good. Really good. If the 911 is King Hamlet, then the Boxster is Claudius, ready to usurp the throne at a moment's notice."
"When was the last time you thought about a Nissan 370Z? Sure, it came out a few years ago, but for some reason it seems like the vast majority of people would only answer with "never." It's a little, over-powered, rear-wheel drive monster, and you can get it with a folding roof."
"The Campagna T-Rex is confusing. It's sort of like wearing a ridiculous hat with a unicorn horn on it and eating something fried on a stick at a carnival — it's a lot of fun while you're doing it, but it's completely impractical for normal life, and you look a little like an idiot. Also, like driving an actual cloned or reincarnated T-Rex, people are likely to stare at you."
Sports Car Over $100k
"The BMW i8 is the most significant and forward thinking car on the road today. This is BMW's vision of the future, and, for once, the future is no longer doom and gloom. The future is a positive, thrilling place. A place that we want to be. Don't be scared, gearheads, we're going to be ok."
"Even with its fixed roof folded and tucked neatly under the tonneau, the 12C remains the most broadly capable sports car on the planet. The Spider just adds extra shots of sensory stimulation, from the Group-B-like sounds of mechanical sucking, boosting, banging and blowing, to the open-road smells of wild olives and cork oak and fields of Narcissus cavanillesii and horse poop."
"As many have written, the 2012 McLaren MP4-12C is a supercar you can drive every day. Owing to well-considered engineering, trick technologies and sensible packaging, one can creep languidly along the thoroughfares like a suspect uncle, turn a knob and beat a Chengdu J-10 to the Taiwan Strait. Its ability to change character at will is truly epic."
"911s have never been overt about their power or capabilities. In the supercar game, the 911 Turbo has always been a "best revenge" sort of car. It has the looks of any other 911, but it's faster than really anything on the road and the people who know what it is respect it."
"This is Aston's smallest — and most beautiful — car equipped with Aston's largest engine. It's a tight squeeze to get all 510 horsepower in there, but it's certainly worth the trade off because adding 100 horsepower to Aston's capable VH Platform really makes the Vantage come alive. The feelings, the sounds, the sensations, everything is more immediate and visceral."
"As you emerge from the trauma of sensory overload, you will arrive at a disquieting truth. That every other modern sports car, everything you know about modern sports cars and everything you know about anything tangentially related to modern sports cars needs realignment."
"The Aston Martin V8 Vantage isn't the fastest. It isn't the cheapest. It's not the best on any quantifiable scale. That doesn't matter. The V8 Vantage is the most beautiful and special car in its class. And with the Vantage GT, more people can afford to experience a throaty super model
"For the 991 generation, Porsche made one huge change: They binned hydraulic steering and went to an electric setup. The steering is what made the 911 oh so magical in the past. Does the change impact the car negatively? I don't think so. At all."
"The new Targa is the perfect embodiment of what the Targa always was: The best compromise 911. It's not the best track 911, it's not the best street 911, it's not the best convertible 911, and it's not the best coupe 911. But it is the only 911 that is a track street coupe convertible all in one"
"Think of the V8 R8 as a Porsche 911 competitor and the V10 R8 as a Lamborghini Gallardo and 911 Turbo competitor. Yes, all of those cars are built by VW Group brands. Yes, all of those cars are great. That means the R8 has to be pretty damn fantastic to have a hope in hell of being a competitor."
"When a new Porsche 911 debuts, there is always one guarantee: There are going to be about 600 variants. At the start, you get rear-wheel drive. Then you'll get all-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive 911 has always been something of a conundrum."
"If an Italian sports car is an exercise in passion and a German sports car is a tribute to precision, then a Japanese sports car is a technological wunderkind. That's just what the GT-R is. It's a sports car from the country that invented the Walkman and gave us Super Nintendo. The GT-R is an institution as Japanese as sushi, anime, or Hello Kitty."
"It has the suspension from a Formula One car, the optional tires from the McLaren P1, and supercar-level next generation carbon ceramic brakes. But this isn't a million dollar supercar. This is a $75,000 Chevrolet. And it is one of the most amazing, odds-defying cars of the year"
"But those cars aren't the Hellcat. Nothing is the Hellcat. It's the automotive equivalent of going to the moon, something we did because science allowed us to and because we could and because we're exceptional and awesome and it's in our DNA to do things bigger than everyone else"
"The Camaro ZL1 Coupe is one of the most surprising cars I have driven. Given its hefty waistline and reputation as a monster muscle car, the handling performance is quite astonishing. So, providing you don't wear a toupee, the convertible ZL1 should be just as impressive."
"More than anything I liked the way the SS 1LE made me feel deep down inside. It made me feel awesome and patriotic and ostentatious, like I was talking a big game and could back it up with eight cylinders of power all day long. It made me feel like a badass."
"We've all heard it: a turbo, four-cylinder Mustang is antithetical to everything that a Mustang is. I'm here to tell you that's bullshit, and, what's more, I think this boosted pony is actually the sweet spot of the whole lineup."
"What's the best GT car you can buy? Even lacking empirical proof, there's a solid case for the 5,500-pound Bentley Continental GT Speed. It's quick, capable, chugs across the landscape like a Gucci locomotive and, reason be damned, isn't horrendous in corners."
"We all have different visions of a Ferrari. For many of us, at least those of us who have reached a certain age, our first experience driving a Ferrari came in the Sega classic Out Run. But Ferrari has a new and different vision for us. And that's this: The all-wheel drive Ferrari FF I had the chance to drive."
"Bentley's seen eights come and go; the 8-litre coach of 1930, the cloth-seated Eight 'training Bentley' of the 1980s, the Le Mans-winning Speed 8 prototype of 2003. Two of those even had V8 engines, like the new Continental GT V8. Can the more-fuel-efficient octomill match the mighty W12? Let's find out."
"The 2013 BMW M6 Coupe is just as striking as the E24 M6. The original M6 earned the nickname "The Shark," due to its toothy front fascia, and the Jaws-like appeal can still be found in today's F12 M6. To me, the 6-Series just oozes sex appeal — far more so than any other BMW — and with the M6, it's like adding stockings and high-heels to that little red dress. It's just better in every way."
"Movies tell us that international spies only drive their cars for 20 minutes, max, before they blow up. Can Aston Martin build a flagship grand tourer you'd want to keep longer than that?"
"The problem for the Continental GT W12 — like for many older siblings — is its annoying and overachieving younger brother. However, the W12 needn't be intimidated by it's little bro. It's still an incredible car, just in very different ways."
"The XKR-S takes the XKR and, well, to steal from Nigel Tufnel, it turns absolutely everything up to 11. The normally elegant car spouts vents and wings all over the place. The wheel wells are filled with huge 20s and low profile tires. There's even a carbon fiber spoiler and huge race-inspired seats."
"It's hard to conceptualize the Porsche 918 Spyder as a car at all. A few years ago, a vehicle with this engineering spec would have been like the Mars rover, or something scribbled on a balled-up napkin found in the pockets of the criminally insane."
"Ka-boom. The Aventador launches out of a corner with the intensity of a primordial fireball birthing a planet that would yield a car that accelerates with the same intensity as the primordial fireball that birthed the planet and eventually the car itself. BOO-YAH. Eat it, Clarkson."
"If you pose the question 'what kind of car should I get' to anyone here on Jalopnik, the answer will invariably be 'Miata,' no matter what you need to do. Towing something? Miata. Date? Miata. First car? Miata. Moving to Alaska? Miata."
"The driving experience in the Miata makes almost everything else feel like watered-down bullshit. It offers a nearly unmatched degree of pure fun; this is the only car I've ever driven where I didn't mind being stuck in Washington D.C. traffic."
"I'm sure you're seeing that '99' up there and are a little incredulous. How can an archaic, bizarre car like this possibly get almost a perfect score? Nothing's ever scored that high! The answer's easy: because I really want it to."
"This is an amazing car, no matter what. Usable, unique, technically novel, and a joy to drive. No wonder they call these things goddesses."
"The E46 harkens back to a time before iDrive, before turbochargers, before engine sounds had to be piped in through the speakers by a computer, before touch screen infotainment systems, before Gran Coupes and GTs, before track apps, and before artificial-feeling electric steering."
"The Beetle was an economy car, with many decisions made to save money in it building or operation. The 356 is the Beetle freed of these constraints and with a new mission: performance and fun."
"The Champion was Studebaker's everyman offering, originally retailing for $750, Kevin told me. As a result of these humble origins, the car retains a very approachable sort of feeling. It does have the somewhat imposing proportions of an early 40s car, but despite that this is a friendly, honest sort of vehicle."
"It has been described as one of the greatest enthusiast vehicles ever made. It roundly tops lists not only of the best BMWs ever made, but of best driver's cars in general. It remains the winningest vehicle in all of sports car racing. Its nickname is the not even remotely subtle 'God's Chariot.'"
"After doing these classic reviews for a while, the most incredible thing about this Benz is how incredibly solid it feels. I've driven classics that performed better, or were more dramatic, but I've never been in a car this old that felt as well-crafted and rattle-free as this one."
"It's a wonderful piece of machinery, and I'm hopelessly smitten. Again, if you don't like 911s, I highly suggest you don't read on because the rest of this review will just be me babbling on about how fantastic this car is."
"I've never met another car guy who didn't like the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV, at least on some level. Sure, you can bitch about Italian reliability, but that's about the limit of anyone badmouthing this car. Along with maybe the BMW 2002 or the first-gen GTi or perhaps an early Mustang, I've just never met anyone who hasn't felt twinges of desire for these cars."
"If you ever come across the opportunity to drive one of BMW's Neue Klasse (New Class) cars, you need to seize it. Even 50 years after they first debuted they're just as good as you've heard, if not better."
"The Jaguar Mark 2 is bad. It's the sort of car that lets people know that its driver is a boss. Its elegant curves and (for its vintage) powerful engine are the reason why it became favored by British criminals as a getaway car during the 1960s."
"I've been smitten with this car for a long time. I've seen it buzzing around the neighborhood for years, and I was thrilled when I finally accosted the presumably terrified owner in a parking lot. I think she maced me. But it was worth it. This is one of the most pristine, original VW Type IIIs I've ever seen."
"This Corvair is basically the Porsche/VW formula (air-cooled flat rear engine, light construction) along with period American traits (roomy interior, couch-like seats, two-speed Powerglide automatic) and the result of that mash-up is a car that's incredibly easy, pleasant and refreshing to drive. I'm not kidding, after driving it around I felt like I just had a nice nap."
"In Italy, old Fiat 500s are ubiquitous the way aging VW Beetles are everywhere else. They weren't around for as long – from 1957 until 1975 (as opposed to the Beetle's much longer five-plus decade run) – but they make a lot of sense on narrow Italian streets, so a lot of people bought them over the years. Here in the land of plenty, such tiny cars are almost non existent."
"The Mark IV – a refined (and then, when emissions controls were tightened in 1973, curtailed) version of the '69-'71 Mark III – was exactly what Ford's then-CEO Lee Iacocca wanted. It was a Thunderbird chassis with some fancy bodywork and a fake Rolls Royce grille slapped on for a bit of style."
"Let me get this out of the way: the"personality" you call that collection of squeaks, rattles and faults in your car isn't actually a personality. A horse that will throw you off or hoof you in the nads if you look at it the wrong way? That's a personality. You can't spook a car."