We've driven hundreds of vehicles in the past year, including dozens of brand-new models. Now, TheCarConnection--High Gear Media's flagship reviews and news site--is getting ready to name this year's Best Car To Buy.
If you're a long-time follower of TCC, you know we rate all mainstream vehicles each year--more than 275 of them--giving each a score for styling, performance, comfort and utility, safety and features. While we don't include it in the overall numbers, we also assign a green score to each vehicle, based on its fuel economy.
With these ratings, on every review since 2008, we believe TheCarConnection has become one of the easiest, most user-friendly destinations for anyone in the market for a new car.
Our Best Car to Buy award goes the next step. It underscores the single new vehicle every car shopper should have on their must-drive list before they sign on the dotted line.Rules and nominees
Our selection process goes year-round. Over the past 12 months, our editors have evaluated vehicles both brand-new and significantly updated for the 2012 model year. We start there--and then we set a base-price cap of $50,000, which eliminates some contenders, but keeps the award focused on mass-market vehicles for which value is a critical part of excellence.
We also require that vehicles be made available to editors for a road test before November 1, 2011, and be available for purchase by January 31, 2011.
The vehicles that remain are ranked by their overall numeric score, as assigned by our editors. The highest-rated vehicle is our Best Car To Buy, with ties being resolved by editors who consider other factors including--but not limited to--availability and significance.
More than 30 vehicles made the first pass through our new-car filter, but a handful were eliminated because of price. The Hyundai Azera, Fisker Karma and Toyota Tacoma also were eliminated, since they were not available for review within our guidelines. A final entry, the Saab 9-4X, has been set aside due to the extraordinary turmoil surrounding the company.
The vehicles that remain include some of today's most popular crossovers, some great new economy cars, a green machine or two, and even some sporty fun. All have been driven and rated by High Gear Media editors.
The winner will be named on Monday, November 28, 2011. On the same day, our luxury and performance destination, MotorAuthority, and our green-car destination, GreenCarReports, will name their own winners.
The nominees for TCC's Best Car to Buy 2012 are:
2012 Acura TL
2012 Buick Verano
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
2012 Fiat 500
2012 Ford Focus
2012 Ford Mustang
2012 Honda Civic
2012 Honda CR-V
2012 Hyundai Accent
2012 Hyundai Veloster
2012 Kia Rio
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
2012 Mazda Mazda3
2012 Mazda Mazda5
2012 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2012 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class
2012 MINI Cooper Coupe
2012 Mitsubishi i
2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Scion iQ
2012 Subaru Impreza
2012 Toyota Camry
2012 Toyota Prius and Prius v
2012 Volkswagen Beetle
2012 Volkswagen Passat