A vintage year for sports sedans of all shapes and prices.
Every year the entire Car and Driver staff gathers at a rural site about 30 miles west of our home office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for a week of evaluating all the new cars and, hopefully, avoiding cops. We didn't do very well with the latter this year, receiving a record number of speeding tickets that, unfortunately, cannot be expensed.
We judge each car in three general areas, the first being how well the vehicle performs its intended functions. We expect sports cars to be fast and exhilarating, whereas we presume a family sedan will be frugal and practical. Second, we show a preference for the more engaging cars in each category, be it athletic driving manners, a seductive look, or a powerful engine sure to induce a grin every time we climb behind the wheel. Finally, we are suckers for a good deal, so an inexpensive car that’s fast, fun, and practical will certainly rise to the top of our list.
The invite list works as follows: Last year’s winners are automatically invited back, as well as other all-new or significantly upgraded machinery for 2008. Each car gets only one shot at making our 10Best list, but many stay on it for years. This year, all cars had to have a base price no higher than $72,000, which is 2.5 times the average new-vehicle transaction price as of August 2007. Eligible cars must be on sale no later than January 2008, and the manufacturer must, of course, deliver an example for our evaluations.