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Best and Worst Vehicles of 2012

We decided to have a look at what the automotive industry thought about the current crop of 2012 vehicles. Not that any of us at Elmhill can afford a new car but there’s no harm in peeking at them. We had a look at how the Globe and Mail, Car and Driver, Consumer Reports and Vincentric graded the class of 2012.

I was aware of the Globe and Mail, Car and Driver and Consumer Reports but Vincentric was a new one. Vincentric measures and analyses the overall cost of owning and operating vehicles and its impact on the value provided to owners publishing their “Best Value in Canada Awards”.

But first some quick stats:

According to Car and Driver, the slowest car is the Smart ED in all acceleration categories except for slowest top gear acceleration where the Chevrolet Cruze wins the award.  In the ‘whoa Billy’ category, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Supercrew wins taking an alarming 218 feet to come to a stop from 70 MPH. Keep that in mind next time you stop at one of those annoying red lights on the highway.  The worst road holding was the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS was best at holding the road but also judged the noisiest. The worst EPA city and highway fuel economy was the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG but the worst fuel economy Car and Driver observed was our hard to stop Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Supercrew at 11 MPG.

These stats are all well and good but then I saw that Car and Driver liked the Jeep Wrangler while Consumer Reports hated it! And to further confuse the issue, Car and Driver liked the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Supercrew even though it has trouble stopping from highway speeds.

Now granted we don’t know if all the research teams had the same cars under scrutiny but the results are a bit mystifying as they rarely agreed on the best in category. The only common ground we could find was that Car and Driver and Consumer Reports agreed on the Audi A6 and Ford Mustang to lead their respective categories. Consumer Reports and the Globe and Mail liked the Hyundai Veloster while Consumer Reports and Vincentric agreed that the Toyota Camry, Toyota Prius and Toyota Highlander were tops in their individual categories. No other category winners were shared among the researchers.

In a definite sign of the times, Vincentric felt that Toyota led all brands with 10 individual vehicles, five of which were hybrids.

In a 'Well this makes sense' moment, J.D. Power and Associates recently published the results of their 2013 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study. The study was conducted over a three year period so the vehicles tested were 2010 models. With Lexus as the most dependable and Land Rover being the worst, the results were eye opening to say the least.

Clearly the best in class comes down to lifestyle. You can’t strap a kayak to your Smart Car and you can’t off-road in a Corvette. Should you feel a need to see the best and worst the sages of the automotive industry came up with, follow these links:

Globe and Mail
Car and Driver
Consumer Reports
D Power Dependability Survey

A special thank you goes out to Vintage Roadside for the images used above. This facebook page is a must visit if you like really cool images of the way we were.