10 Best Handling Crossovers on the Market
Crossovers are vehicles designed to look like they can go off-road, but really be at their best on the road. Sure, some can do light off-roading, but realistically you won’t want to stray too far from the blacktop or the occasional bumpy gravel backroad.
To this end it’s not trivial to know which of these 4x4-aping high riders are best out on the open (and sometimes twisty) road, since it’s where they will spend most of their time. But don’t go thinking that they are on par with more conventional car shapes, because their higher center of gravity and usually higher mass will affect handling.
Safety is at the top of buyers’ lists these days, but what many don’t think about when browsing lists of cars rated with safety stars is that good, predictable road manners and sharp handling are one of the biggest safety features a car can have, since they allow the driver to avoid crashing in the first place.
And while crossovers may give occupants a feeling of extra safety when they’re on board, their poor road manners bring this into question.
Here’s a list of the 10 best handling high-riding vehicles ever made.
Mercedes-Benz X-Class Vs. The Competition
Mercedes-Benz just made quite the splash when it dropped the new X-Class. Framed as the first truly “upscale” pickup truck, the X-Class intends on redefining the midsize segment with unprecedented levels of luxury and refinement. It might seem like a strange combination to mate luxury with pickups, but as Mercedes points out, “the number of pickups for private use is increasing. They are no longer viewed purely as workhorses.” As such, the X-Class aims to broaden the pickup’s buyer appeal, seeking out folks like “land owners and farmers in Argentina, business owners and building contractors in Australia, families with an affinity for premium products in Brazil, trend-conscious individualists in South Africa and Great Britain as well as sporty adventurers in New Zealand and Germany.” Sounds like quite the collection of buyers. But here’s the thing – is the X-Class really all that revolutionary?
To find out, we placed it alongside some of its biggest competition, including the Toyota Hilux, the Volkswagen Amarok, and the Ford Ranger. And, since its possible Merc might bring the X-Class stateside eventually, we threw in the GMC Canyon Denali as well. Read on for all the specs and info you need, and let us know in the comments how you think the X-Class stacks up.
Continue reading to learn more about how the Mercedes-Benz X-Class compares to the competition.
The 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017
Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.
Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on TopSpeed.com
Continue reading for the Top 10 Most American Built Vehicles.
Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS
For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?
You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.
But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.
Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer’s Guide
The Ford F-150 has been the best selling pickup for nearly 40 years and has more recently become the best selling vehicle – regardless of model type – in the United States. To say the F-150 is an important and well-loved vehicle would be a dramatic understatement. That’s why we’re looking deep into the F-150’s configuration and options combinations. We aim to inform consumes on what Ford offers with the F-150.
The current F-150 was dramatically reinvented for the 2015 model year an is vastly different from any other pickup on the market. That’s because its body is constructed of lightweight aluminum and it rides on a highly engineered, fully boxed steel frame. It has a pair highly technical, forced-induction engines and it is the first mass-production vehicle to offer a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Of course, the F-150 has some strong competition, namely from General Motors and Ram. GM offers its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, while Ram has its 1500-series truck. There are others out there, too, including Nissan’s new-for-2017 Titan and Toyota’s aging Tundra. Still, it’s Ford that continues to sell more trucks to more people across the North American continent.
Continue reading for the Buyer’s Guide.
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.
Find out what did by hitting the jump.
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.
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.
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.
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.