Posts Tagged ‘10 Best Vehicles of 2010’
February 24th, 2011
We conclude our list with four more outstanding cars. From all of us at Pricing Insider, thanks for reading. See you in 2011!
The Ford Fusion has come a long way since it first went on sale in 2005, getting better powertrain options, drastically better styling and even adding a hybrid model to its lineup. All of these improvements have produced a car that can hang with the very best from the likes of Toyota and Honda. But the 2010 Ford Fusion doesn’t just keep up with the competition. In fact, Motor Trend named the Fusion the 2010 Car of the Year, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the car a coveted Top Safety Pick—both of which are awards neither Toyota nor Honda can claim. With three engines to choose from, including a 175-hp 2.5-liter inline-4, 240-hp 3.0-liter V6 and 263-hp 3.5-liter V6, the Fusion has power to spare. And with the hybrid model achieving 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, the Fusion can also add efficiency to its list of attributes.
Often imitated, but never quite duplicated, the Volkswagen GTI is the progenitor of the “hot hatch” formula. Combining a compact body, relatively light weight, good power and excellent handling, the original GTI brought affordable performance to the masses. And after nearly 30 years of perfecting the formula, Volkswagen has gotten it down to a science. The proof, as they say, is in the pudding—or in this case, the Mk6 GTI. Packing 207 horsepower from its turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, the GTI can haul its petite frame from 0 to 60 mph in a brisk 6.9 seconds. And with the available dual-clutch 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), the gear changes are seamless and instantaneous.
Introduced to the small car segment at a time when none of its competitors really shined, the Chevy Cruze was an instant smash hit. Between the aging Honda Civic and the ho-hum “mini Camry” styling of the new Corolla, the Cruze was just the right car at just the right time. Offering style, practicality and available turbocharged power, the Chevy Cruze captivated the public like the Cobalt (the car it replaced) never could. And with the Cruze Eco model rated at 42 mpg on the highway, the Cruze is one of the most efficient non-hybrid cars on the road. Although good timing played a major role in landing this car on our list, we see no reason why the Cruze can’t repeat history next year.
Of all the cars that came out this year, none were more hyped than the Ford Fiesta. And although we grew tired of the ads, we have to admit that the car delivered on all of its promises. As a subcompact, you’d think the Fiesta would offer only the bare minimum of creature comforts. Thankfully, that’s not the case. With a 4-inch multi-functional LCD screen, push-button start ignition and available SYNC in-car connectivity system, the Fiesta can be equipped to fit just about any lifestyle. The Fiesta also excels in efficiency, achieving 38 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in the city. A combination of great styling, exceptional fuel economy and numerous available features have made the Fiesta a solid choice in the subcompact market—guaranteeing that the Fiesta is here to stay in the U.S.
February 24th, 2011
We continue our Top 10 list with three cars that have each earned honors in their respective classes and have also won the hearts of the car-buying public.
Some might argue that abandoning the classic design of the Jaguar XJ and starting from scratch is akin to blasphemy, but Jaguar’s gamble paid off big this time. Dropping the traditional styling of the XJ from years past, the designers at Jaguar went with a completely modern look for the 2011 model. With a sleek new body, this big cat now looks as sporty as it feels to drive. Three flavors of available 5.0-liter V8 engines, including a 385-hp V8, 470-hp supercharged V8 and 510-hp supercharged V8, give the XJ the strength to challenge other luxury super sedans like the Audi A8 and Lexus LS. By bringing its flagship car up to date and giving it the best equipment available, Jaguar has produced a car that is truly world class.
Like a fine wine, the Infiniti G37 has only gotten better with age. Redesigned for the 2008 model year and given a new 3.7-liter V6 engine, the G37 can’t be beat at what it does—even two years later. For 2010, the Infiniti G line got a subtle facelift but is essentially unchanged from the past two model years. That’s because it’s hard to improve what’s already almost perfect. With its Variable Valve Event and Lift (VVEL) technology, the G37’s V6 engine delivers its power smoothly and effortlessly, allowing the driver to experience the exhilaration of a sports car with the refinement of a luxury car. And with its timeless good looks, the G37 will still be an eye-catcher in the years to come.
What car could possibly follow the most successful hybrid of all time? The answer is, of course, the third generation Prius. Because the last Prius was so good, Toyota engineers changed very little of the car’s formula and only improved the areas where the car lacked before. For example, the third generation Prius keeps its characteristic shape, but comes with minor aerodynamic upgrades to further reduce the car’s drag. The 2010 Prius also gets more power for easier passing on the highway, a problem many complained about on the last Prius. By starting with an already great car, Toyota could only make it better. And that’s exactly what they did.
Stay tuned for the final four cars on our Top 10 list!
February 24th, 2011
Another year is coming to an end. And boy, what a year it has been. With so many great cars on sale, to say it was a difficult task to narrow down this list to just ten cars would be a vast understatement. Still, we at NCPI have given it much thought, and present to you our picks for the Top 10 Cars of 2010.
When it comes to new family cars, you won’t see a better reception than was given to the 2010 Hyundai Sonata. With bold styling and impressive performance, the Sonata took the midsize class totally by surprise. Skipping the V6 engine and opting instead for a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, the top-of-the-line Sonata Turbo offers just as much power as a comparable V6-equipped sedan while being more efficient. With all these great attributes, the Sonata is giving the competition a run for its money in the most literal sense. And with a hybrid model on the way, the Sonata will further cement its dominance in the midsize class.
Kia Forte Koup
When Kia announced the Forte Koup, we originally thought it was a cute attempt at keeping up with the Joneses (read: Honda Civic Coupe). However, after the reviews came back we were pleasantly surprised to find that Kia actually delivered a genuinely sporty economy car. Not only does it look the part, but the Forte Koup has performance to back it up. With a choice between a 156-hp 2.0-liter and a 173-hp 2.4-liter, the Forte Koup doesn’t lack power. And with optional equipment like 17-inch alloy wheels, low profile tires and larger anti-roll bars, the Forte Koup handles pretty darn good too. While it’s still no Civic Si, the Forte Koup is a welcome addition to the sport compact market.
More subcompacts pop up every year, but none can quite do the job like the Honda Fit can. Redesigned for the 2009 model year, the current Honda Fit offers many of the same accommodations as the larger Civic, but delivers better fuel economy in a diminutive compact body that’s both easy to drive and irresistibly charming. Still not convinced? Just take a look at the sales numbers this year for the Fit and you’ll see it’s one of the best-selling subcompacts in the U.S. The Fit is about to get even better too, as an all-electric version was recently announced. But that will have to wait until next year’s list.
Stay tuned for our second installment, where we’ll reveal three more exciting cars from our Top 10 list.