For the past 23 years, WardsAuto has published a list of the 10 best engines available for the upcoming model year. In an industry where reviews are more and more dominated by instrument tests, where cars are differentiated by tenths (if not hundredths) of a second on a drag strip and by tenths (if not hundredths) of a g-force on a skid pad, Ward’s list is based on objective, but also delightfully subjective, data.
Tesla made some serious waves last week when it debuted its Model 3 electric car. These weren’t your “gently lapping the shoreline” waves, either. Think “Laird Hamilton monstrous big-time waves.” We’re a data-driven, internet-focused company, so to demonstrate this point, we ran some basic Google searches. “Chevrolet Bolt” (the Model 3’s most direct competitor, and a car set to beat it to market by almost 2 years) returned 2.3 million results. “Nissan Leaf” (by and large the most popular electric car currently on sale) yields 4.9 million results. “Tesla Model 3?” 90.4 million results. So yeah… tidal waves.
As more and more 2016 cars pour onto (and off of) dealership lots and our planet Earth approaches yet another successful revolution around the Sun, it’s time to wave farewell to the automotive Class of 2015. In 2014, BMW brought us the spaceship-like i8 and first showed us its new 2 and 4 Series coupes. Jaguar rolled onto the scene with its convertible F-TYPE, putting the rest of the sports-car world on notice, and Chevrolet responded with authority as it unveiled the C7 Corvette. But, if anything, 2015 brought even more excitement to the market. Dodge began selling 707-hp Hellcats, Jaguar put a roof on the F-Type, Volvo brought a stunning new wagon to the United States, and Jeep gave us a Renegade that is surprisingly good off-road.
Like many of you, I’ll embark on a road trip this summer. My plans will take me from the plains of Eastern Washington down to Bend, Oregon, then on to Tahoe City, Los Angeles, San Diego, and back up north to Washington with passes through Arizona, Utah, and Idaho.
It’ll be my wife and me for most of the trip, and we’ll have some children on various legs, so we’ll take the SUV and sacrifice gas mileage for much-needed storage space. As much as I’d love to have a vehicle that delivers comfort and 30+ miles per gallon on the highway, it won’t happen on this trip.
Instead I’ll dream of my ideal car for road tripping while remaining thankful for the vehicle I do have. It sure would be nice to have one of these, though.