GCBC’s The Good 12 for 2017 includes the vehicles that would be most welcomed as permanent members of the GCBC Towers driveway. Park them out front on Christmas morning. Tie them with a bow. We appreciate your kindness.
None have base prices above USD $67,000. They reflect many different parts of the market, they come from different places, they’re powered by very different engines, they’re accomplished in different areas. And when any one of them drives by, I want it for myself.
These may not be the best 12 vehicles you can buy. They’re certainly not the 12 most reliable, the 12 fastest, the 12 most efficient, or the 12 most affordable. Undeniably, they’re not the 12 most popular. But, with an attempt to represent a thorough cross-section of the market, they are the 12 vehicles we want for Christmas this year.
Click any of the images to be taken to the model’s Sales Stats page. Don’t forget to check out GCBC’s The Bad 8, the cars which we don’t want to receive even as gifts. For more on what The Good 12 really is, visit the GCBC Awards page.
MAZDA 3 5-DOOR
It’s the most affordable vehicle in The Good 12. But paying less shouldn’t mean accepting less. Interactive, engaging, and handsome, the Mazda 3 is a car you’ll want to drive, not just be driven in.
The Jeep Wrangler does not pretend to be something it is not. In fact, it can’t. But the Jeep Wrangler is a 4×4 convertible with true capability. That’s enough.
There are too many good Mustangs to choose from – we can’t just pick one. Even the base V6 now announces the Mustang range’s sports car credentials. The GT350 is almost too good to be true.
MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
This is the best car in the world. Obviously, it’s not the best transportation module for everybody. But the latest Miata exceeds the expectations for what a Miata ought to be.
VOLKSWAGEN GOLF GTI
What if there were no vehicular choices? Families, enthusiasts, budget-conscious city dwellers: everybody could make do with a GTI. Compromise doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Nothing beats a minivan’s knack for combining affordability, personal space, or cargo flexibility. And no minivan beats the Honda Odyssey, the people mover of choice for drivers.
There’s enough power and enough space – barely – to make the CX-9 our favourite family utility. More power and space would be nice. But the CX-9 doesn’t need to look any better than it already does.
RAM 1500 ECODIESEL
Diesels and pickup trucks go together like Wayne Gretzky and the Oilers. It’s just the way it’s meant to be. So much torque. Car-like fuel economy. Impressive urban ride and handling. In a truck.
The ride quality isn’t perfect. It’s not as big inside as you expected. The infotainment unit looks better than it works. But this is Volvo at its best, at its most stylish, at its most luxurious.
PORSCHE MACAN S
You used to ask why Porsche would build a small, performance-oriented SUV. Now, you ask how Porsche wrapped so much performance and usability into one package.
You need one vehicle. It must do everything. It must carry your family and your neighbour’s family and your stuff and their stuff and tow a gigantic horse trailer, horses included. This is that vehicle.
It’s been more than a year but no rival is even attempting to catch up. An absurd 707-horsepower sedan isn’t something Ford or Chevrolet or Honda or Toyota or any mainstream brand will do. Except Dodge.