We're approaching that time of the year when nearly all the new 2013 models have arrived at dealerships, and the last 2012s are getting cleared out. And at this point, after we've sampled nearly all the new or substantially different 2013 models, it's time to call out the best—with The Car Connection's Best Car To Buy.
As you'll have no problem gleaning from Editorial Director Marty Padgett's highlights of some of our nominees, in this video shot this past week on the Los Angeles Auto Show floor, there's no shortage of contenders. It hasn't been easy for us—or for the automakers—as there's a bumper crop of all-new models arriving for 2013. And looking down at the list, they're some of the best vehicles ever, from a no-compromises value-for-money standpoint.
No matter what kind of vehicle you seek, the list of possibilities has become a lot more exciting for the 2013 model year—and it's affecting some big sellers at the heart of the market. Three of the top-selling mid-size sedans—the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion—have been completely redesigned. Several family-friendly crossovers like the Nissan Pathfinder, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Ford Escape are all-new. And the Dodge Dart and Nissan Sentra are packing way more value and features—in their own individual ways—than the compact sedans of just a few years ago.
In order to qualify for our Best Car To Buy consideration, a vehicle needs to be either all-new, or very significantly changed in a way that truly changes its appeal (the 2013 Ram 1500 and its fuel-efficient new powertrain and other improvements would be an example of that); and we needed to drive it by December 1. It also needs to achieve at least an 8 in our Overall Rating—a composite score based on our individual ratings for Styling, Performance, Comfort, Safety, and Features. And it needs to cost $50,000 or less in its base configuration, including destination charges. As we already noted, that disqualified several excellent new models like the new Range Rover and Porsche Boxster.
There can be only one. Take a look at the full list of nominees below (and click over to their respective full reviews); check back as we take a closer look at the nominees later this week; and look for our announcement of the winner on December 10.