|By Mitch McCullough,|
Editor-in-Chief, New Car Test Drive
Choosing a new vehicle can be fun and exciting, but it can also be frustrating, confusing, and irritating. The buying experience doesn't always help, either. Salespeople often want to move metal off the lot rather than selling you the best vehicle for your needs and budget.
The good news is that there are few bad vehicles these days. Some are better than others, of course, and some will fit your lifestyle better than others. So choose carefully. But don't get stressed out. You can't really go wrong. Quality is better than ever. Intense competition has narrowed the gap between the best cars and the worst cars. For the most part, you get what you pay for. So beware of "the deal." The biggest incentives are usually thrown at the least desirable cars. And the least desirable cars will have the lowest resale value three years down the road. Choosing a vehicle is often more art than science, so trust your instincts. If the car you want costs a little more, then that's the one you should get.
The vehicles listed here are winners, in my opinion. These choices are based on my own driving impressions and the impressions of our veteran correspondents. I've considered comfort, quality, safety, test data, overall automotive excellence, and other factors. Price is also a consideration, but pricing is a complicated issue in a world gone mad with rebates and other incentives. All New Car Test Drive prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices, which do not include destination fees and are subject to change at any time.
Keep in mind that there are roughly 200 major models or nameplates out there. The best vehicle for you may not be mentioned below. There are many great automobiles that are not listed here. Still, this list may help narrow your choices or more clearly focus your search for automotive nirvana. Regardless, we recommend additional research. Check out the complete reviews of these vehicles at New Car Test Drive (nctd.com). Read reports from other sources. More research is better. It may lead you in a new direction or it may confirm your first choice.