From now until January 8th, GoodCarBadCar.net profiles the best and worst of what’s available in the North American automotive Marketplace. Over the course of the next twelve days, cars will be released one-by-one in alphabetical order. Twelve cars. Grouped together as The Good 12 v3.0. The cars you should seriously consider before putting your hard-earned coin down for anything else over the next twelve months.
To qualify for entrance into such a hallowed group cars must be winners from The Good 12 v2.0. Of course, that knocks out hundreds of models. So another ticket can be written up for all-new or significantly revised cars that are either on sale or about to be. (Scroll down for a complete list of nominees, * marking returnees.) After all, if a car had been considered for The Good 12 before and did not make it, what’s the point in trying again against improved cars and the cars by which it was previously beaten?
Finally, cars must be priced under $71,230 in the United States. U.S. prices are used because, well, a line has to be drawn somewhere. $71,230 is the line over which the truly, very expensive cars abide. $71,230 is the average price paid for new cars in America over the first three-quarters of 2009, multiplied by 2.5. If you’re paying more than $71,230, we’ll assume your car is great. If your car isn’t great at that price level, then it’s especially sucky and you can consider yourself shunned for buying it.
When it comes to The Good 12 Supersize v2.0, the rules are identical. In this section, however, cars are disqualified and trucks, vans, and SUVs provide filler. The Good Car Guy isn’t in agreement with all other publications as to which vehicles qualify for status. For instance, regardless of its roof height, GoodCarBadCar.net officially labels the Subaru Outback as a car, not an SUV. That goes for the Toyota Venza, as well. Meanwhile, the Mazda 5 was a winner in the initial Good 12 Supersize because it is, in essence, a people mover. People movers, cargo haulers, and off-road capable vehicles are fit for The Good 12 Supersize v2.0….. unless they happen to be cars.
As for The Bad 8 v3.0 and The Bad 8 Supersize v2.0, the rules remain uncorrupted but the objective is reversed. The price ceiling is intact and qualifying rules are identical. Rather than identify the automobiles you must consider in 2010, these are the vehicles you must avoid. At almost any cost.
The Good Car Guy remains a firm believer in the excellence of this current age of automobiles. Bad vehicles aren’t awful because they’re prone to falling apart at the seams or suffer misplaced pistons at predictable intervals. No, bad cars are to be avoided these days simply because greatness is available. The bad cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans are bad in the sense that boredom sets in rapidly or because good designers weren’t consulted or because the accountants had something to say about the price – and wanted it too high. That which is bad at $30,000 may have been excellent if the MSRP was cut in half. We think a Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is spectacular at $300K. Imagine how we’d feel if it were priced like a Corvette. Get the picture?
Before granting permission to enter the hallowed halls of The Good 12 v3.0 or The Good 12 Supersize v2.0, vehicles are first expected to excite, to ignite some form of passion. Don’t be ugly; don’t be priced beyond your market; and don’t cause me to suffer boredom. Please do consider performance, even if tiny levels of horsepower are necessary. Be unique; unanticipated and unexpected. Take the traditional – use it – and turn it on its head. Show me something I’ve never seen before. Show me what I’ve seen before and make it better. Make appropriate use of your history and cause me to feel nostalgic, not nauseous. And look good doing it.