Happy New Year everyone!
Another year has passed by and it is time for reflection upon the past year, as well as looking forward to more good things happening in 2009. 2008 had the debut of the largely anticipated Nissan GT-R which ran rings around the competition from the European stalwarts such as the BMW M3 and Porsche 911. In 2008, gas prices reached an all-time high of over $4 per gallon and dropped below $2 a gallon in less than six months. I don’t even want to mention the controversy surrounding the subject of bailing out the big 3 American auto makers because that conjures up more pain that the taxpayers have to bear. Getting past the greedy oil brokers and money-grubbing banks, there were still some outstanding cars that came out in 2008. CarReview’s editors reviewed the cars for 2008 and picked their favorites. Below is our list of outstanding vehicles that don’t require any handouts from congress.
(The photos are linked to the page with the corresponding consumer reviews.)
Best Coupe: BMW 3-series and Infiniti G37
The 2008 BMW 3-Series offers one of the most exhilarating driving experiences anywhere, combined with excellent safety features and a sleek exterior. The 3-Series’ combination of world-class performance and luxury in a mid-size sedan is unparalleled in its class. The BMW 335i Coupe packs a first for the 3 Series, a turbocharged engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic gearbox available. The 3 Series remains the top choice among driving enthusiasts for its well-balanced handling and strong engines.
Sharing all the best parts of the latest G35 sedan, the Infiniti G37 adds classy ultra-slick styling that matches up well with its refined road manners, and the exceptionally smooth handling delivered by the available 4-Wheel Active Steering system. But it’s got muscle too, thanks to a new 3.7-liter VQ-series V-6 that delivers 330 horses and 270 pound-feet of torque. For 2008 Infiniti has remodeled the G Coupe’s interior, tweaked the chassis, and enhanced the styling.
Best Sedan: Honda Accord and Cadillac CTS
The award-winning Honda Accord is one of the best all-around packages in this class. And if you’re in need of the space a family sedan, the Accord is one of the strongest values in its class, with great fuel efficiency. Honda’s best-selling model gets an extensive redesign that includes all-new styling inside and out, a spacious rear seat for the sedan, more standard safety features and more-powerful engines, including an optional V-6 with advanced fuel-saving technology. The finished product is a sport-oriented car that is better than its predecessor — a model that was already near the top of its segment.
Upping the ante against BMW and Mercedes, the totally redesigned 2008 Cadillac CTS offers enthusiast drivers two sophisticated V6 engines, available all-wheel-drive, three different suspension packages, and a luxurious, superbly equipped cabin; all wrapped up in Cadillac’s most muscular styling to date. The CTS uses Cadillac’s 21st-century “Art and Science” styling, its sharp lines marking it clearly as a product of America’s main luxury car manufacturer. It’s an American-brand sport sedan capable of sharing the most demanding roads in the world. Our test drives revealed a well- balanced chassis and an eager 3.6-liter V6 engine with direct fuel injection.