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.

The term "sleeper car" goes back to the 1950s, when American manufacturers started building high output cars that would eventually spawn into muscle cars a decade later. Tracking the first sleeper is a daunting task, but most stories lead to the 1955 Chrysler C-300, a two-door, luxury coupe motivated by a 5.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 300 horsepower. It was the first production passenger car to come with 300 ponies on tap and a design that had nothing to say about that. The "all go and no show" car was born, a trend that would continue with vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, the Lotus Carlton or the Audi RS2 Avant.

Sleepers are still among us in 2014. Looking for a very fast car that doesn’t scream "I’m fast as a bullet!"? There are plenty of options to choose from that cover various segments. Sedans , wagons, SUVs , you name it. Be careful though, you might miss them due to their bland styling. Make sure you have a look under the hood and check that spec sheet.

Meanwhile, I put together a list of Top 5 Sleeper Cars available today. It includes a few American-built vehicles, and a couple more coming from cold, snowy Sweden and rugby-loving Australia. Check them out past the jump and tell me your thoughts in the comments section. Did I miss anything? Is there a vehicle that shouldn’t be on this list?

Click past the just to read more about the best sleeper cars on the market.

In the wild-and-crazy world of the automotive enthusiast, there are all shapes, sizes and manners of ways to have fun. You can climb up a mountain at 3 mph in a modified Jeep , you can blast across the dessert at insane speeds in a Baja truck , or you can fling a small roadster like the Miata at your local autocross. Despite all of this, there is still one true “enthusiast” machine that stands above all; the sports coupe.

Two doors of sexy, fast, and exciting have long defined the term sports car . There have been many great coupes over the decades, but it seems to me that now is about the best time in our history to be a lover of the coupe .

To celebrate this pinnacle of fun and performance I have gathered together a quick list of what I think are five of the best sports coupes that exist today. As always, make sure you hit those comments when you get done reading. Let me know what I got right, what I got wrong, and what I was missing. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Continue reading to find about the 5 Best Sports Coupes

SUVs and crossovers became increasingly popular beginning in the 1990s. Few automakers have yet to join this profitable segment, while most manufacturers that offer such vehicles are elbows deep into providing the sportiness and chutzpah more and more customers are demanding nowadays, while struggling to keep up with the stringent fuel-consumption and CO2-emission regulations. Granted, SUVs are now more than just plain, slow vehicles designed to haul people or tackle the roughest off-road trails.

Need a sports car that rides higher than usual and can carry four people comfortably? Porsche is ready to take your check and deliver a Cayenne . If legroom is what interests you most, but you also need more than 500 ponies and an off-road capable rig, then you’re better off with the Range Rover LWB . You’d rather trade British elegance and German sportiness for some American bling? No problem, you’re the reason why Cadillac is building the Escalade . There’s no doubt these are all great machines, but they all come with at least one drawback, they’re awfully expensive.

That’s not to say there aren’t any affordable SUVs that can offer seating for seven people out there. There’s a handful of seven-seaters you can buy for less than $50,000 that still offer plenty of posh features. We put together a list comprising the cheapest luxury seven-seater SUVs you can buy for the 2015 model year. Check it out below and let us know which one would you pick as a daily driver.

Click past the jump to find out more about the Top 5 Luxury 7-Seater SUVs priced under $50,000.

The U.S. auto industry have given us some of the most incredible automobiles over the last 100 hundred years. Starting with the Ford Model T , the first vehicle mass-produced on moving assembly lines, and ending with the aluminum-bodied, 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, America has made a name for itself as one of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. Before the Great Depression, the U.S. produced over 90 percent of the vehicles sold globally, and after World War II it was responsible for 75 percent of the world’s production. That’s no longer the case in 2014, when China manufactures nearly 20 million vehicle a year, more than both the U.S. and Japan.

Sure, these numbers don’t mean U.S. manufacturers have lost their touch. Just look at the new Mustang and Corvette Z06 , and you’ll notice the brilliant engineering and the passion are still there. However, it’s common knowledge that global production works on different standards which restrict the availability of certain models in certain markets. It works both ways. Europe, for instance, can’t have many of the vehicles sold in the U.S., while Americans can’t buy cars made by a variety of European brands. Ironically, North American manufacturers have launched a bevy of nameplates that can’t be had in the U.S. And while most of them wouldn’t stir any interest on these shores, some vehicles have caused great frustration to the American enthusiast.

I’m going to talk about the latter. The cool cars we can’t buy and drive over various production or import issues, or even the manufacturer’s lack of interest in the U.S. market. Take a look at my choices below and tell me what you guys think. I narrowed the list down to 10 vehicles, so feel free to let me know which ones you think I should have included in the comments box.

Click past the jump to read more about the cool cars we can’t buy in the U.S.

Having the right tool for going off-road is just like having the right tool for the track; purpose-built vehicles work best for their intended purpose. And just like we at TopSpeed often compare track toys that go fast, we also like to compare the dirtier side of the automotive spectrum.

Below the jump is our pick of the top-five best off-road vehicles currently on the market. They hail from five brands, three continents, and two vehicle types. These trucks and SUVs represent the best in modern innovation tied in with proven technology wrapped in attractive packages.

Just like at the track, it’s all about getting power to the ground when heading off the beaten path. Locking differentials, axle articulation, and proper tires make all the difference. With pricing in the comparison ranging from $31,000 to in excess of $50,000, the group varies wildly from spartan to outright luxurious. But no matter what the interior looks like, the greasy bits underneath are what count the most.

Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s Top Five Off-Roaders

As petrol-heads, we all universally love certain things. There is the speed of a fast car , the steering of a proper sports car , and the look of well-designed exotics. We also tend to love the thrill, adrenaline and camaraderie that comes with a track day. In fact, of all the great things that car lovers do, I think the track day may be the single greatest combination of everything that we love. You have the friends, you have beautiful cars to look at, and now thanks to the proliferation of track-day-specific cars, you can have all the speed and handling you want without owning something with a Ferrari badge.

After my recent track experience at the Flyin’ Miata summer camp, I have found myself obsessed with lightweight track-ready cars. Lots of these machines are relatively cheap in terms of a track car, and many of them you can even build yourself with a few friends and few weekends in the garage.

I decided that I would search through the collection of cars currently available and pick out five of the best. I made sure to cover cars from all price brackets, and I included cars that you can build yourself, as well as fully-built turn-key cars that you just pick up and flog immediately. I also wanted to stick to pure track cars, and I stayed away from the track-prepped versions of standard road cars.

Take a peek at my choices and tell me what you guys think. There are lots of other great choices out there, so make sure to let me know which ones you think I should have included. They make the cut next time.

Continue reading to find out what are five of the best track-day cars

As we celebrate our nation’s independence from British rule, it’s good to ponder on all the great things this nation has done. Put a man on the moon? Check. Conquered the Nazi regime, freeing Europe from its blitzkrieg? Check. Won every Super Bowl ever played? Yep, that too. We’ve made some pretty cool stuff along the way as well, including iconic vehicles that epitomize the American way.

Our list of most patriotic vehicles covers a wide gambit yet still focuses on those that either made a difference in our past, help define our American culture, or help pull our economy back into place. They’re the ones you can imagine seeing as fireworks burst overhead with the tune of the Star Spangled Banner softly playing the background. Yeah, you’re starting to get the idea.

So without any further ado, click past the jump for TopSpeed’s list of most patriotic vehicles.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

With the Detroit International Auto Show all wrapped up and all the new models revealled, it seems only fitting to compile a list of the best and worst of show. The top five for both categories are listed past the jump and give a brief description as to what justified its ranking.

For the Top Five Best, vehicles were considered by their projected significance to their respective brands and impact on the automotive industry as a whole. Their advancements in design, power, efficiency, and performance make each choice a winner.

Conversely, the Top Five Worst represents a possible misguided idea or two, a lackadaisical execution on what seemed a good idea, or perhaps a bad idea altogether.

If you find yourself unhappy with our lineup, leave a comment on what your top five would be.

Click past the jump for our Top 5 Best & Worst of the 2014 NAIAS

There is something about Black Friday that brings out the crazy in people. Trampled store employees and fistfights over the latest Elmo doll in the toy aisle have become an unfortunate yearly tradition only hours after observing Thanksgiving. It’s ironic to say the least.

But perhaps equally as ironic is the idea of a station wagon hitting 60 mph in under four seconds while hauling a trunk-full of Christmas presents for the whole family. We’re not afraid to explore the ironic here at TopSpeed, so we compiled a list of vehicles we would use to snag all those infamous Black Friday deals.

These Black Friday cargo haulers had to be fast enough to outrun other shoppers, have enough cargo room to haul a flat-screen TV with other boxes stacked around, and flashy enough to let others know you mean business.

Scroll on down for TopSpeed’s top-10 list of Black Friday deal-getters and why we chose them. Leave a comment on which one you would be driving.

Click past the jump for the Top 10 list of best wagons, hatchbacks , SUVs and — uhm — "Other" gift getters


1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top