Lots of websites make lists of lots of cars. It’s a thing. Since this site hasn’t been online for the whole year, it seems wrong to make an official awards list. However, I’ve driven many cars this year for the various outlets I’ve worked for, and there are some cars I’d definitely want to take home. Does this mean that these cars are right for you? Probably not. There are many good cars out there that don’t make this list, simply because they aren’t cars I’m personally interested in or need right now in my life.
So without further ado, here’s the top five cars that’d I’d buy for the calendar year 2014…
1. 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C
Alfa is coming back for real this time. While they haven’t been sold here since 1994, they weren’t exactly known for their reliability when they were here. But, if you believe in the Church of Top Gear, you can’t be a true petrolhead (gearhead) until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo. You’ll once again have that opportunity in the United States.
The interior is spartan and the seats are okay. Buttons feel a bit cheap; so does the parking brake handle. But none of this matters, because you’re driving one of the most pure sports cars on the planet. Without power steering, the car communicates EXACTLY what the front wheels are doing. With little sound deadening and a mid-engine setup, you hear everything the engine is doing. All of this lack of stuff means the car is lightweight. I firmly believe if you tasked the folks at Ferrari to build a $60,000 car, this is what they’d come up with.
I’d buy it. and I’d daily drive it. Until my ear drums explode or my back gives out. Regardless, it’s a heck of a lot of fun!
2. 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat
I recently spent time in the Scat Pack Challenger, and I firmly believe that that car is probably the sweet spot of the entire Challenger range. But its on-road comfort and everyday drivability convinced me that a 485 hp car is great, but what can Dodge do with even more power? No, I have no need for 707 horsepower. No, I don’t need to go almost 200 miles-per-hour. But, it’s nice to know I could. That’s half the appeal of the Hellcat Challenger right there.
Why not the Charger Hellcat? The Charger is the ultimate sleeper. It is more aerodynamic, faster to sixty, and has a higher top speed. It’s a badass car. But, the Challenger is more in your face. For a car with over 700 horsepower, I think that’s more appropriate. Besides, I don’t need four doors.
3. 2015 Ford Mustang GT
Finally, the Mustang has independent rear suspension. This may not be important to the average buyer, but it improves the ride quality and handling of the car in all situations; not just on the track. But it’s the other parts of the new Mustang that make it appealing, including the interior.
For 2015, Ford constructed the most technologically advanced Mustang ever. For the first time, you can spec the car with blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Do enthusiasts care about that? Some do. But giving the buyer the option of adding those features increase the selling price of the car, making Ford more money, and also making the car more livable on a day-to-day basis.
I’ll take mine in Deep Impact Blue or Steve McQueen Guard with the track pack, please.
4. 2015 BMW M4
I like performance cars, what can I say? The genesis for the small luxury sports coupe is the BMW M3. For 2015, BMW’s numbering scheme means the M3 coupe is now the M4, but that’s okay. With over 400 turbocharged horsepower and improved handling characteristics, the M4 is a hard car to beat. If you check all the option boxes, including fade-free carbon ceramic brakes, the car crests the $90,000 mark.
You don’t need to spend that much. You can get a basic car with a manual transmission and be as happy as could be. I like the high-strung V8 of the previous generation more, but you can’t argue with turbocharging.
5. 2015 Porsche 911 GT3
The new 991 Porsches are some of the best the company has ever produced. The GT3 is the most driver-focused, and track-focused of the group. It has a high-strung, naturally-aspirated engine. It has four-wheel steering. Porsche even made sure to add some extra lightness to the car. It’s the least affordable of the cars on this list, but it’s still a performance bargain compared to the cars this car can run with (McLaren 650S, Ferrari 458 Speciale, etc…).
So where is the Jaguar F-Type that I proclaim to love? If I were going to buy an F-Type, and I would, it would have to be convertible. The structural rigidity doesn’t bother me much, but the open air makes it easier to hear the engine better. Unfortunately, the F-Type roadster was a car available last year. Is the coupe gorgeous? Yes, but I’d still opt for the roadster.
So which cars do you fancy from this year? Sound off in the comments!