The Best Driver’s Cars of 2012

2012 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car test

Anytime a list like this gets published, lots of opinions are built into the equation.

One person might call the Subaru WRX the year’s best driver’s car, while another would bestow the honor on the BMW M3. How a car drives and reacts to input is an incredibly subjective experience and open to interpretation by many different styles of drivers.

That said, there are some mainstays in the perennial quest to find the best car for drivers. Not just go-to-the-store drivers, but the drivers who understand the value of properly warmed tires, a perfect apex and heel-toe shifting.

Keep reading for Motor Trend‘s surprising list of the year’s best driver’s cars, ranked 9 to 1.

Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghinis don’t end up last on many lists, especially with competition from Subaru and Chevrolet. Umm….

Jaguar XKR-S

I’ve driven this car, and I left my jaw on the floor. I’ve driven cars coming up on this list, and my jaw was left firmly planted against my top teeth. Umm….

Ford Shelby GT500

Better than a Lamborghini? Better than a Jaguar? Umm….

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Better than the GT500? Umm….

McLaren MP4-12C

Now we’re getting somewhere!

Subaru BRZ

Better than a McLaren!? How can a car that can’t make it up a gentle highway incline without a downshift and a heavy right foot be better than the McLaren? Umm….

Nissan GT-R

Right. Yes. Deserves a high spot on the list.

Mercedes-Benz CL63 AMG Black Edition

A fine car to be sure. But why this one instead of the SLS AMG? Umm….

Porsche 911 Carrera S

Undisputed champion of the world. Could go down as the best driver’s car in history. But wait, what about Ferrari?

The Ferrari 458 Italia won the title last year, but this year Ferrari declined to send it, or any model for that matter, for the competition. No Paganis or Koenigseggs made the cut, because they aren’t officially sold in the U.S. The Corvette ZR-1 underperformed when it was in the running in 2009, and since it hasn’t been substantially upgraded since, it wasn’t invited back. So we got the Camaro ZL1 instead.

For reasons that remain unexplained, no Ultimate Driving Machine was present at the competition. Maybe a BMW could have won it all.

What do you think of Motor Trend’s list of the Best Driver’s Cars of 2012?


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Subaru WRX
Used BMW M3
Used Jaguar XK-Series
Used Ford Shelby GT500
Used Chevrolet Camaro
Used Subaru BRZ
Used Nissan GT-R
Used Mercedes-Benz CL-Class
Used Porsche 911
Used Chevrolet Corvette


  1. tgriffith is right to call out that this is a completely ridiculous list. Except for number one. I’m with Randy though. What about the real cars for fun city driving? Certainly not these vehicles. M3- yes.

  2. It’s funny how a list of “driver’s cars” becomes mainly a list of “race driver’s cars” when done by jaded, spoiled leadfoots. Few if any of these cars would actually make practical, safe street cars for most drivers. My list of best “driver’s cars” would include beemer, jag (not the one you mention) Audi, Lexus, and perhaps even a Caddy. Even the Fiat Pop (Abarth edition) would be more fun to drive than a Shelby, which is nothing but a rolling, bloated antique with big sticky tires and a loud, crude gas hog of a mill.
    It’s really a shame that the rediculous automotive press is so far away from reality that their choices and recommendations become jokes.

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