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Variance

Car & Driver 10 Best for 2007

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Variance    0

Car & Driver 10 Best for 2007

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Every year the entire Car and Driver staff gathers at a rural site about 30 miles west of our home office in Ann Arbor, Michigan for a week of evaluating all the new cars and, hopefully, avoiding cops. We judge the cars in three general areas: First, how well the car performs its intended functions. We expect sports cars to be fast and exhilarating, while we presume a family sedan will be practical. Second, we show a preference for the more engaging cars in each category; be it better driving manners, a double-take-inducing look, or a powerful engine. Finally, we are suckers for a good deal, so an inexpensive car that’s fast, fun, and practical will certainly rise to the top of our list.

The invite list works as follows: Last year’s winners are automatically invited back, as well as other all-new or significantly upgraded machinery for 2007 — each car gets only one shot at making our 10Best list, but many stay on the list for years. This year, all cars had to have a base price no higher than $71,000, which is 2.5 times the average new-vehicle transaction price as of August 2006. Eligible cars must be on-sale no later than January of 2007, and the manufacturer must, of course, deliver an example for our evaluations.

The winners:

BMW 3-series

Chevrolet Corvette

Chrysler 300

Honda Accord

Honda Fit

Infiniti G35

Mazda MX-5

Mazda Mazdaspeed3

Porsche Boxster and Cayman

Volkswagen GTI

Car and Driver

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Drew Dowdell    4,993

I think all of them except the Fit and 300c are withing the range of being best. I'm sure we'd all have minor quibbles about the rest of them, but simple fact is, they're all so close that it ends up coming down to personal preferences.

Fit and 300 don't really deserve to be there though.

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Intrepidation    846

I think all of them except the Fit and 300c are withing the range of being best. I'm sure we'd all have minor quibbles about the rest of them, but simple fact is, they're all so close that it ends up coming down to personal preferences.

Fit and 300 don't really deserve to be there though.

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Why?

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Drew Dowdell    4,993

300 for it's interior, weird ergonomics. It ends up winning because it looks aggressive and can come with a hemi. The Lucerne has a better interior, it's base V6, ancient as it is, is still better than the base V6 in the 300, and it has the Northstar V8 option. The 500/Montego has more efficient packaging than the 300, better V6, and a slightly better interior. The Avalon, better interior, powerful V6, Import <not that it matters to me, but it definitely matters to them>.

the Fit is an old car in Japan that was just imported for the US market with a so/so interior. The Aveo has a better interior and about equal in powertrain, while the Versa has a better interior and a better powertrain.

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siegen    20

the Fit is an old car in Japan that was just imported for the US market with a so/so interior. The Aveo has a better interior and about equal in powertrain, while the Versa has a better interior and a better powertrain.

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If you read Car & Driver's comparison test, the Fit was an obvious choice for its class. But I guess Honda paid off the C&D editors and that's the only reason the Fit won, right?

Don't you mean...

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Except the Fit is the fastest of its class, with the nimblest handling. Is the Fit slow compared to a mid-size with a V6? Yes. Is it slow compared to the Aveo and Versa? No.

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zete    0

I can live with that list, though I'd rather have a Sky Redline than an MX5, hard top or no. It'd be way more fun to drive than the MX5 -- and it's way better looking than the Mazda.

I don't like VWs, but it's a quality thing with me. Too many bad family experiences with VW to ever want to look at another. I'd have put the Mazda 3 hatch on the list.

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Intrepidation    846

300 for it's interior, weird ergonomics. It ends up winning because it looks aggressive and can come with a hemi. The Lucerne has a better interior, it's base V6, ancient as it is, is still better than the base V6 in the 300, and it has the Northstar V8 option. The 500/Montego has more efficient packaging than the 300, better V6, and a slightly better interior. The Avalon, better interior, powerful V6, Import <not that it matters to me, but it definitely matters to them>.

the Fit is an old car in Japan that was just imported for the US market with a so/so interior. The Aveo has a better interior and about equal in powertrain, while the Versa has a better interior and a better powertrain.

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After sitting in a 300C SRT-8 and a Lucerne (I forget which model) at an auto show...I don't see what is so great about the interior. You wanna complain ergonomics? How about the lack of telescoping and limited tilt of the Lucerne's steering wheel. The 300 has that, which I find to be a very important feature to find the optimal driving position. The materials in either car aren't as good as they could be. I believe the LH cars had nicer materials than either of these. That being said neither is horrible.

As for dynamics, it's more than just the H3M1 P0WAH!1! In many of the comparisons the 300 has been in, it has always been praised for being the most willing to play of the test vehicles. Communicative steering, confident handling, good brakes, etc. It's also RWD, which besides being the choice for best dynamics, also grants it something unique that other cars in the class don't have. It can also be outfitted with AWD...something the Lucerne can't.

On top of that, it has something for everyone. From budget buyer (I'll admit, the base V6 is junk), to mid level, to the hemi, to the SRT-8...and enthuisast's dream.

I like both cars, my point is that the 300 most certainly deserves to be on that list (although the Charger even more so IMO).

--

Also the Fit is more versitile, and has a better powertrain than the Avero (5-speed automatic VS 4-speed).

Edited by Dodgefan

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FAPTurbo    1,080

ZOMGWTF!!!

The list doesn't include the Toyota Camry...

Nice to see the 'vette on there, but it's not as if it needed the help anyway 8)

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Cory Wolfe    263

If you read Car & Driver's comparison test, the Fit was an obvious choice for its class. But I guess Honda paid off the C&D editors and that's the only reason the Fit won, right?

Except the Fit is the fastest of its class, with the nimblest handling. Is the Fit slow compared to a mid-size with a V6? Yes. Is it slow compared to the Aveo and Versa? No.

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Really. Sometimes you guys are just hilariously pathetic. :lol:

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NOS2006    11

The list doesn't include the Toyota Camry...

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But, it's the MT COTY. It's too good for this list. :P

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siegen    20

Really. Sometimes you guys are just hilariously pathetic. :lol:

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I'm just saying based off of C&D's previous comparison test, there was no reason for them not to pick the Fit.

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BrewSwillis    0

300 for it's interior, weird ergonomics. It ends up winning because it looks aggressive and can come with a hemi. The Lucerne has a better interior, it's base V6, ancient as it is, is still better than the base V6 in the 300, and it has the Northstar V8 option. The 500/Montego has more efficient packaging than the 300, better V6, and a slightly better interior. The Avalon, better interior, powerful V6, Import <not that it matters to me, but it definitely matters to them>.

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I don't think the 300 won for it's base V6. I think it won because of it's range (choice) of engines, it's RWD configuration, and bold styling. All of which the vehicles you mentioned don't have.

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The O.C.    2

300 for it's interior, weird ergonomics. It ends up winning because it looks aggressive and can come with a hemi. The Lucerne has a better interior, it's base V6, ancient as it is, is still better than the base V6 in the 300, and it has the Northstar V8 option. The 500/Montego has more efficient packaging than the 300, better V6, and a slightly better interior. The Avalon, better interior, powerful V6, Import <not that it matters to me, but it definitely matters to them>.

the Fit is an old car in Japan that was just imported for the US market with a so/so interior. The Aveo has a better interior and about equal in powertrain, while the Versa has a better interior and a better powertrain.

Uh.....what exactly do you find "wierd" about the 300's ergonomics?

Lucerne most certainly doesn't have a "better" interior.....plastics are nicer in the 300, there's less hard plastic, and the optional "tortoise shell" trim is beautiful and a MAJOR step up from Lucerne's "wood" (is it real wood? I don't think so.)

An easy step-up from the 300's 2.7L DOHC V6 brings you to the 3.5L DOHC motor.....which has it ALL over the Lucerne's 3800.....

???

AND, I don't see how you can compare the Fit to the Aveo with ANY sort of straight face.....even the new Aveo pales in comparison.....

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caddycruiser    50

^^SO much agreed with The O.C., it's not even funny.

Actually, while I would say that the 300's interior could definite be taken up a few notches in material quality, and the Lucerne does feel richer here in some ways, nothing yet can still beat the overall package offered by the 300. As said, the general performance level is several notches upward and more balanced due to the RWD, and it comes in a spread of models and equipment so that someone on a tight budget can still get a beautiful car that drives beautifully, someone in Alaska can get an AWD model in either V6 or V8, and one can also go all out an get a 425 horse beast from beyond that simply kills even cars costing double.

That combination of eye catching looks, quality feel, high end drive quality, and models and pricing fit for everyone just makes it unbeatable to this date, and I'm glad to see it stay.

As for the Fit, it is technically an old Japanese car, but that just goes to show you how well done it is in comparison to even brand new domestic small cars. It simply has a level of quality and driving dynamics untouchable for the price, along with great space. Looks weird, yes, but so do a lot of smaller cars anymore--the Fit just has a laundry list of redeeming qualities that make it attractive beyond that.

One or two of the C&D choices are always odd, and even I admit that, but for the most part it's a great representation of a nicely sized group of the best products out there in any given year.

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