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top ten

top ten

  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.

Posted on by Bryan 13

What is a high-end sports car? Are they Italian performance machines like the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Gallardo , or are they more sensible vehicles like the BMW M5 and theMercedes-Benz SL63 AMG ? We think they’re the latter.

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.

Let’s review the previous winners of our sports car test. The Volkswagen GTI took the top spot in the entry-level test due to its excellent performance, build quality, and versatility. There were numerous winners of the mid-level test , as we had multiple categories. We chose the Audi S4, the BMW M3, and the Ford Mustang GT500 as the top cars in their classes.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 13

So, entry-level sports cars aren’t good enough. You make too much money to be seen in a Mazda MX-5 or a normal Ford Mustang . Your successful self needs something powerful and exciting. Well, there is plenty of choices in the market.

To be as precise as possible, there is actually an overwhelming amount of choices in the market, with each car being a little different. There are German performance coupes, American muscle, and Japanese street rockets. These machines have the same sort of mind-bending power, but the way each puts that power down is as different as Apollo and the Space Shuttle.

Due to that reason, we had a hard time putting machines like the Dodge Challenger in same category as the Porsche Boxster . How can you compare two machines that are so vastly different? Sure, we could have, but it just wouldn’t have worked. So, after the jump we have three - even though the title says ten - different top fives. The price cap is $60,000.

We broke it down like this. At the top we have four-door performance machines that use amazing power with epic grip and practicality. Then we have the coupes. Don’t get these coupes mixed up with the Corvette-type coupes because these European cars are tuned for a mixture of speed and cornering ability. Finally, we have the American straight road muscle. Cars that run the quarter miles as naturally as a sports analyst getting a prediction terribly wrong.

Hit the jump to read the lists.

Posted on by Bryan 18

Now that the sedans have been taken care of, we are moving on to something a bit more fun. Sports cars may not be for everybody because of their limited interior space and minimal cargo room, but they do provide an excellent driving experience that most of the other car segments can’t match.

The sports car segment is littered with different makes and models, the terrible and the good, the fun and the not so fun. Luckily, TopSpeed is here to give you a unique look at the sports cars that we love. Like usual, we don’t care about sales or anything of that nature. We are looking for driving experience, comfort, power, handling, interior space, and something very important in the sports car segment, styling.

We have set a price cap of $30,000, which should be enough for any sports car lover. So, hit the jump to see our top ten sports cars.

Posted on by Bryan 13

After weeks of doing top tens, we have finally come to the top of the pillar luxury cars. These are the kinds of vehicles you buy if you make some serious money. These cars come with so many different technological toys that you feel as if you’re driving around in something made by NASA.

There are others out there, though they don’t offer space age gizmos. Some of these high-end luxury sedans offer performance. Maserati , Porsche , and those sorts of companies have come along in recent years with sedans of their own, but with a different take on how they should be made.

For each top ten we have set a price limit and increased it each time. That’s all changing for this top ten though. There is no price limit because if you have the money to afford one, it’s not going to matter. These machines start at around $70,000 and go very high, past the $100,000 mark. With such a big price jump, it would be nearly impossible to set a reasonable price limit.

As with all these tests, we aren’t looking at sales and we aren’t looking at popularity or most importantly, stats. We are looking for things like performance, luxury, comfort, gizmos, style and so on. Most importantly though, we are looking for the best car to drive.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 18

You’ve finally got that big time job and you want something that isn’t too cheap, but you don’t want to spend $80,000 quite yet. There is much to choose from in the middle luxury segment and each car has it’s own unique characteristics that make it better, or worse than the competition.

Just like the entry-level luxury segment, the Germans have always had the middle levels to themselves. The Japanese and the American automakers have never been able to catch up. Yet, 2010 is a new year and things might be changing in the automotive marketplace.

Let’s take a look back at our previous winners before we begin with this list. We rated the Mini Cooper as the best small car and the Hyundai Sonata as the best midsize sedan . Finally, we rated the Audi A4 as the best entry-level luxury car on the market.

Hit the jump to see who we chose as the top mid-level luxury car.

Posted on by Bryan 14

As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.

With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.

Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.

Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.

Posted on by Bryan 21

Midsize sedans are the bread and butter cars of most companies. Yet, even if typical bread and butter may seem like a bland food, that doesn’t stop these cars from being stylish, sporty, and fun to drive.

The best selling cars in the country are midsize sedans and the best selling cars for most automakers are their sedan offerings. The midsize sedan offers practicality without the reputation crushing style of a minivan.

At least, that’s what they want you to think.

The Toyota Camry was once the most popular car in the world and a year ago, the Camry’s annual American sales typically exceeded the total annual new car sales in the average European country.

There are many choices for car buyers and that allows people to demand many different things from these four door cars. Some people buy them as family cars, opting for more room over a compact sedan, without sacrificing small car handling and fuel economy. Other people like a bigger car over a smaller one and then there’s people who prefer the Honda Accord to the Civic because it has a bigger presence on the road. The larger car makes you feel safer and more secure during highway travel.

These are our top ten midsize cars under $30,000.

Hit the jump to read on.

Posted on by Bryan 13

For those of us who don’t want to drive around town in a vehicle the size of a train, there have always been small cars to keep us happy. They have gone through many changes since they first became popular during the gas crisis. No longer is it acceptable to just be small and fuel efficient, as the automotive buying public demands much more out of these tiny vehicles.

Today’s modern small car has to be quick and fun to drive, while also having plenty of room inside the cabin. If the car doesn’t manage over 30 miles per gallon then it’s a big disappointment. Not to mention looks. A small car needs to look good as well as not be completely boring to look at everyday.

We have compiled a list of the top ten best small cars on the market in the United States and, like always, we have one rule; the price needs to be under $20,000. That should give us plenty to choose from.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 16

Well, it’s that time of your life. You know the time when you just turned 40 years old. Your family is in full swing and maybe your children are off to college or just about to finish up high school. Your job is okay, but nothing excites you much anymore and life is just plain dull.

Like most people, when the mid-life crisis stage sets in the only thing that every man needs is to have a fast car that makes him feel excited and young again. The question now becomes what car to buy?

The obvious choice is a Ferrari , a Lamborghini , or an Aston Martin . Nothing says youth like a DB9 or a 458 Italia . Let’s be honest with ourselves though, not many people can afford a car like that, especially with a family. We need to find something for under $100,000 that is fast, looks good, and isn’t on two wheels.

These are the top five mid-life crisis cars on the market today in the United States. Check them out after the jump.

Posted on by Bryan 16

There are certain vehicles that just sell well. Take the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for instance. No matter what happens or how good the competition is, these two will sell well for their companies. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with these two models, except for the Camry, which is dull as a dishwasher, but a buyer needs to look at what else is on the table. The first choice might not be the best choice.

In many cases, the cars that are often ignored are the better buys. These are the dark horses of the automotive world. These are cars that fly under the radar of the American public.

Below are our ten best cars that aren’t quite known to the general public. Sure, us car people know about them, but your average consumer might be unaware. This list is not a top ten; so don’t think that one is better than ten, because it might not be.

There are a few models on the list that won’t be under the radar for long, but as of now, we still consider them dark horse models.

Hit the jump to see the list.


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