Top ten new cars of 2008

2009 Nissan GT-R
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We are getting to the year end so we will be presenting plenty of lists of our top ten favorites. To start it off, TopSpeed’s Top Ten New Cars.

Here are the rules:

- * The car must be new or significantly improved this year
- * These are manufacture’s car not tuner cars
- * All cars must be available for sale in the U.S. (cars not sold in the U.S. will be its own list)
- * We do not have to pick from this list as our car of the year
- * Write-ins are encouraged (we may even change the list with enough protest)

So here is our list of the top ten (in alphabetical order) new cars:

BMW 1-Series

2008 BMW 1-Series Coupe
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008 BMW 1-Series Coupe

We’re already starting off with a disputed car. BMW made is reputation with small cars that could kick ass. Anyone who owned a 2002 regrets the day he/she sold it. The 1-Series is the closest thing we will get to in North America to that same spirit (even if BMW no longer sell four-cylinder cars here.) It’s got razor sharp handling and is available with 300 horsepower.

Yes, the styling is a little awkward and the 3-Series overlaps in pricing, but this is exactly what a BMW should be. The 1-Series is the unassuming sports car.

Cadillac CTS/CTS-V

2009 Cadillac CTS-V
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2009 Cadillac CTS-V

The CTS is a contender because the level of quality was raised this year, but it made the list because of the CTS-V. Corvette power, Cadillac luxury…’nuff said.

Chevrolet Corvette

2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
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2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

The ZR-1 has 638 hp and costs about $105,000. That’s about $164.50 per horse. No other supercar offers that.

Oh yeah, this is complete car with good handling, too.

Dodge Challenger

2010 Dodge Challenger
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The Dodge Challenger is the kind of car that alters personalities. Even an accountant feels like a badass driving one.

This is a big car, and it drives like a big car. The suspension is a little soft, the turning radius could be measured in yards, and compact parking spaces don’t apply here. But that doesn’t matter because even when you’re out on a milk run, you feel cool.

Jaguar XF

2009 Jaguar XF
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If the Challenger makes you feel cooler, the Jaguar XF makes you feel like a better person. Just by sitting behind the wheel and looking at the real wood, rising shifter knob, and emerging air vents, something changes. You’re social status feels elevated further than any other $50,000 luxury sedan can do.

Lotus Elise SC

2008 Lotus Elise SC
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2008 Lotus Elise SC

Okay, the Elise isn’t all that new, but Lotus did add a supercharger to to SC to haul around or butts even quicker. 217 hp in a car that weighs less than 2000 lbs. is something we love.

Mitsubishi Lance Evolution X

2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X
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Lancer Evolution X PremiumPKG

An all-wheel drive practical sports sedan. The only one we like better is the Subaru WRX…

Nissan GT-R

2009 Nissan GT-R
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Godzilla is back, and no other car we’ve ever experiences has been so thoroughly though out. It took almost seven years to go from clean sheet to 480 hp (disputed) 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6, all-wheel drive supercoupe. Just to be in the car’s presence (not even the drive) and seeing all the little details in person makes you appreciate the car. We’re still trying to figure out how many organs we need to sell to get one permanently.

Saturn Astra

2009 Saturn Astra
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This will likely be the most disputed car on the list, but drive one before you pass judgment, damnit.

Saturns are now just Opels with odd badges, and Opels are cool again. This starts at $16,500 before discounts. As far a cheap transportation with some personality, this one really has something to offer. Doubters can kiss my Astra.

Subaru Impreza WRX

2008 Subaru Impreza WRX
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Here’s the everyday driver for the person who doesn’t want to grow up. Take it to the office in the morning, and take the long way home. Although the redesign took place in 2007, the engine got 41 more horses in 2008.

We couldn’t get enough of the Subaru WRX in our test fleet. All-wheel drive, razor-sharp steering, 265 hp, $25,000: NO BETTER VALUE FOR THE MONEY.

What do you think?
Show Comments


  (45) posted on 12.27.2008

the 1 series coupe, an uglier version of a less practical version of a less practical version of a 5 door hatch.
What’s the point, it doesn’t drive any better than the 3 door and 5 door and it costs more

AK47  (1024) posted on 12.24.2008

I think you mean the Acura TL.

AK47  (13) posted on 12.23.2008

the mazda 6 should have been included i agree AK47
also the new acura who’s name escapes me currently

AK47  (1024) posted on 12.20.2008

Where is the Mazda 6? Refined interior with better handling doesn’t get better.

Where is the Lexus IS-F? Luxury interior with potent V8 snarl at around 50k. Top that with a 8 speed gearbox.

Remove the Challenger, the ZR1 has enough muscle car personality. The BMW 1 series are waaaaay overhyped.

From number 1,

1.Nissan GT-R, tecnology powerhouse.

2. Cadillac CTS-V, good looks.

3.Evolution X, natural bada$$.

4. Jaguar XF, nice British luxury car.

5. ZR1, Nurburgring lap time.

6. WRX, its a Subaru.

7. Lotus Elise, of course.

8.BMW 1 series, don’t get it.

9. Saturn Astra, a bit too ugly.

10. Dodge Challenger, not needed.

The Mazda 6 and IS-F should have made the list. Thats my take anyway.

AK47  (13) posted on 12.20.2008

The Saturn (Vauxhall) Astra and BMW 1-Series have both been out years here in the UK.

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