TopSpeed’s Ten Best articles are an unbiased look at the cars in the automotive industry. Each Top Ten is created by selecting a segment and comparing the top cars in that category within a certain set pricing limit.
During our drive of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee , we overheard many shoppers commenting about a need for four-wheel drive in their vehicles. Now, let’s be honest for a moment. Most of these moms and dads will never use the abilities of a four-wheel drive machine. The parking lot at the local grocery store doesn’t have rocks that you need to scale in order to get into the parking lot or deep lakes in front of the door.
Yet, there are those who do use these machines the way they are supposed to be used. A real four-wheel drive machine can do so much in the rough stuff that it’s hard to be stopped. Crossovers and luxury SUVs – besides the Range Rover – would be left for dead.
When looking at the top ten vehicles that have wonderful off-road abilities we first need to find ten of them. It was actually quite a task to find ten vehicles like this. It seems the days of the big off-road SUV are in the past. When we managed to locate them, we looked at build quality, off-road ability, on-road ability, style, comfort, and power.
Some people are willing to pay a pretty penny for luxury. Just look at the price of a first growth French Bordeaux or a tin of Beluga Caviar. These objects are for the rich, the very rich, and to go along with their high-end eats they need high-end vehicles.
We all know that the Bugatti Veyron is the most expensive car in the world, along with its many different variations, so we aren’t just going to do a list of the Bugatti’s, even though it sure would be easy.
Most of these machines are extremely high performance and they aren’t the sort of machines you will see hanging around the local Wal-Mart. In fact, many won’t see BMW’s around Wal-Mart, but that’s beside the point.
Years ago, we reported the top ten most expensive cars in the world as created by Forbes Auto. Well that list detailed how expensive these cars are to own, but we have always held the notion that if you afford these sorts of machines, you can afford to service them and if not, you need an accountant.
As useless as they might seem to some people, the luxury full size vehicle segment is one that is a fairly large seller in the United States. The ability to travel off the road – in most cases -, haul a family and cargo, and ride around in the lap of luxury is the quintessential American dream.
That might have been a lie, as America’s offerings in the luxury SUV market aren’t all that good compared to the rest of the world. That doesn’t mean that the U.S is lagging behind though. It might not be great, but the Cadillac Escalade is the king of bling and one of the most recognizable vehicles on the road.
So, what sort of characteristics do we look for in these monsters of the road? Obviously, they need to look good because, after all, that’s what matters most with these things. The motors need to be strong and fuel efficient, the interiors need to be built and laid out well, and they need to be able to travel in the rough stuff. There is no price cap for these vehicles.
Have some cash to blow, but the wife, and/or husband, won’t let you buy a Porsche ? Well, as bad as that might be, mid-range crossovers won’t solve that pain. Instead, they’ll provide a luxury driving experience with the fun factor of getting stabbed.
Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad. As much as we don’t like crossovers, we do think they’re better than massive SUVs. Some can even be fun to drive now and again. For these tests we will be looking at style, image, standard equipment, interior space, and driving dynamics. Price will also be considered, but not as much as the other areas.
We will have to get a price cap to keep things in the mid-level, so we’ll set it at $45,000. That should be more than enough to get the lower end luxury models from Cadillac plus the German and Japanese car companies.
Ranking the best cars is fun, but ranking the worst is like frolicking on a perfect beach, it just never gets old. Taking into consideration that the year is almost complete, we wanted to rank the worst vehicles of the decade and seeing as how there were so many, ten just wasn’t enough.
Some weren’t very hard to think of, stuff like the Chevrolet Aveo and the Smart ForTwo were obviously going to be on the list, but there were a few that will shock you. If one sentence can sum up our thought process during this evaluation it would be this, ’high sales don’t mean anything’.
Look at the Chevrolet Impala and the Jeep Wrangler . Both sell fairly well, but both are awful. The Impala is fat and drives like a boat and the Wrangler is an off-road machine that most won’t take in their yard, leaving it hard and uncompromising on the road. Despite these two perfect examples of automotive incompetence, both didn’t make the list.
Despite our lack of love for these machines, they are cars that people love to buy, so we felt we had to rank our favorites, despite not really having a favorite. It’s more like a list from the vehicles we can’t stand to the machines we could tolerate.
In order to rank these crossovers we had to look at them in a few ways. The reason for buying one of these is practicality, safety, style, and comfort. That’s what the public is looking at. We, on other hand, will incorporate those with our own interests, such as speed, driving dynamics, and coolness level. All of these machines will cost under $30,000.
There are plenty to choose from, with options from Ford , General Motors, Honda , and Toyota . Not to mention the smaller companies like Hyundai and Kia who are creating better machines on a monthly basis. So, do these new boys have what it takes to take down the old veterans?
The holy grail of speed has always been the production car speed record. Car companies shoot for this record - if they can - in hopes that they can put their names in the history books. Some of them have succeeded and some have failed, but either way, these machines are fantastic.
Most of the cars on the list are very expensive and only built in limited numbers. You would be hard pressed to find any one of the top ten machines on normal streets. Hell, you would be hard pressed to find these cars on local tracks.
In order to get on the list, the car must be street legal, so no Formula One cars or land speed machines. The laws for getting on the list are also very tough, as there are no set rules. Nonetheless, the current fastest production car hit a speed of 267 miles per hour. Can you guess which car that was?
When you get into this category, it’s hard to say if one is better than the other. Ferrari , Lamborghini , Aston Martin , and McLaren are all wonderful products, but is one better than the other one in the real world? Probably not, but there are a few things we can look at to try and determine a solid list.
When you have this kind of money, performance is expected out of these machines and that is a key thing to remember. Every car on this list is fast enough for most people. Many will begin to point out numbers and statistics to prove that their car should be ranked higher up. What they fail to understand is that most of the people who buy these machines will never get close to those numbers. For them, it’s more about the car. With that in mind, we will look at styling, prestige, luxury, and the sensations that you get when you sit behind the wheel.
There is a never a right answer when comparing these machines. Everybody has their own opinion and everybody will think they’re correct. We really had to think about this one long and hard because, well, we had no idea how to rank most of these machines. The top ten supercars for 2010 is just one of life’s great mysteries.
Nonetheless, we persevered on your behalf to try and rank today’s best supercars. We would also like to point out price was not considered in this ranking. If you can afford any one of these cars, most of the time price isn’t going to be a big deal.
Webster’s dictionary defines speed as the act or state of moving swiftly. That simple statement has captivated humans for as long as we can remember. Even before the invention of the internal combustion engine, people were racing horses and themselves. There is just something truly seductive about speed.
In the 20th century, and on through today, we have been heading to areas in which we can take our cars to the max. But who wants normal production cars when they can have land-speed machines with jets for engines. That’s the true speed lovers way, take the motor from a plane and strap it to a car.
Over the years we have seen many different land speed machines hit speeds that are incredible and a bit shocking. We think that driving 140 miles per hour is quick, try 600. We can only imagine what the world must look like at those sorts of speeds. Below we have listed the top ten fastest land-speed machines in the world that are powered by either jet engines or motors, no electric or alternative fuel cars are on this list.
For this top ten, we are going to set the price cap at $120,000, if you can call that a cap. That should eliminate most of the extreme vehicles, but keep the basic Porsches and so on within the limits.
What kinds of things are we looking for with high-end sports cars? Obviously, they need to be fast with agile handling and excellent driving dynamics. The car needs to look stunning with a functional yet stylish interior. It would also be great if it could stand the test of time, so reliability is also a factor.