best cars 2014

GCBC’s The Good 12 For 2014

2014’s condensed Good 12 simplifies matters compared with previous years. These are the vehicles that would be most welcomed as permanent members of the GCBC Towers driveway. Drop them off on Christmas morning. Thanks in advance.

None have base prices above $65,000 USD. 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.

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.

Kia Rio 5-Door
A subcompact-sized budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a car that looks terrific on the outside and the inside.
Mazda 3 5-Door
If the most attractive small car is also the most enjoyable small car to drive, that small car wins. (The less flexible sedan might look even better.)
Nissan Juke
There are few vehicles – of any type – more off-the-wall than the Juke. Even those who hate how it looks will appreciate the way it drives.
Jeep Wrangler
Honesty is the best policy. The Wrangler remains true to the Jeep brand, but it’s fortunately more powerful, more efficient, and more spacious than ever before.
Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen’s seventh-generation Golf once again shows us that we can have a premium car without paying a premium price.

Ford Fiesta ST
Subcompacts are better than ever, but you won’t find genuinely hot versions of the Rio, Accent, Sonic, 2, Fit, Yaris, or Versa. This Fiesta ST is the answer.
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Recipe: add one torquey diesel to a steaming hot cup of amazing truck. It seems simple, yet no other truck builder is doing it.

Volvo V60

Finally. The very pretty V60 will be rare, adding to its appeal, but it will also be the Volvoiest of all Volvos. So maybe it won’t be rare. Volvo could do very well with a Volvoey car.

Chrysler 300 SRT8
This defines automotive cool. And it’s not as though the 300 SRT8 is exclusively style-focused or power-oriented. This is a family sedan with a big rear seat and a big trunk. And a 6.4L V8. And 470 horsepower.
Chevrolet Suburban
Is it the best vehicle in the world? It’s too big and too expensive to righteously stand beside that claim. But it is a claim you can make… in secret.
Porsche Boxster

Now that the Boxster looks like a million bucks, you don’t need to be embarrassed to own the lesser Porsche sports car. Not that you would have ever been embarrassed to drive one.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport
In this, the Range Rover Sport’s second iteration, it really is a Range Rover, only with a third row, slightly better styling, and a much lower price tag.

2013’s The Good 12
2012’s The Good 12
Every Vehicle Ranked By November 2013 YTD U.S. Sales
Every Vehicle Ranked By November 2013 Canadian Sales
2014’s The Bad 8

  1. Best in class. Totally agree there should be a 17 inch wheel upgrade available on the lesser trim lines. 16's just don't look right.

  2. Two other design quibbles. I think the bottom of the grille droops down too low (even lower than the 6) which makes in look front heavy and necessitates the license plate being stuck in the middle of the grille. I also don't like the strip of chrome on the lower window line that abruptly stops half way up the C-pillar. Either do the whole window surround in chrome or leave it black. Ford does this too. Overall though, the 3 is a beautiful design. Reminds me of something Alfa Romeo would do. That is if they ever return to the North American market. One can dream I suppose…

  3. I felt exactly the same about the outgoing Mazda3 Sport GX and GS models with 16" wheels. The wide 17-inchers on the GT fit the design of that car like they were tailored just for it!

    The problem is exacerbated on the 2014 Mazda3 because the 's' versions now have 18" wheels/tires. The difference in size between between the basic 16" and the snazzy 18" wheels is even more noticeable to me. A 17" would fit very nicely on the new MZ3!

    It just occurred to me that my first three or four cars all had tiny P175/70R13 tires with plastic wheel covers bolted on them. I just leased a 2014 Mazda6 i Touring (somewhere between a GS Luxury Pkg and GT in your market) and it has massive 19" wheels with P225/WR19 All-Season tires. But even the most massive are on my 2012 CX-9 Grand Touring- P245/50VR20 Performance All-Season tires! Twenty years ago, when I was in college driving my little Honda Civic on 13-inchers, I never imagined that any vehicle would ever come from the factory with 20" wheels and tires standard…but they look and handle awesome….I just dread paying to replace them when the time comes! =)

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