Remarkably, there is a question I’ve been asked more often than “would you like fries with that?” or even “are you George Clooney?” And that question is “what’s the best car you’ve ever driven?”
We should note that this is a very different question from “what’s your favourite car?”, which is actually asked slightly less often.
People want to know what the best is and, if there was a total and utter Arbiter of Things, it would save us all a lot of time, and Googling, if we could be definitive with an answer.
I’m lucky enough to drive a lot of cars, which should mean that my personal best car should be constantly moving, but what is quite remarkable is that it doesn’t. I always tell people that, while the most amazing thing I’ve ever driven is usually the last super car I was in, because they’re all amazing, the best car ever is always the Porsche 911.
Incredibly, every time Porsche unveils a new one, it’s better than the last, so the answer only need change slightly, to include the latest model designation, if you’re a total nerd.
Australia’s best cars at the moment? And how can we possibly decide such a list?
Unfortunately, the fact is that there are a Big Bang-like number of variables, from value to performance to safety to comfort to design, all scored via the intangible prism of personal taste.
The fact is, cars are far more than just numbers and, while I’ve been part of the highly scientific process that is Wheels magazine’s Car of the Year testing (think a whole week of endless driving, followed by endless arguing with shouty, opinionated men), it merely proved that testing cars is a subjective exercise.
Yes, most of the time, most of the judges agree on what the Car of the Year should be, but not all of them, which is why it has to be a majority vote.
The only way we can really come to a definitive top 10 of the best cars is to choose someone authoritarian, and perhaps overconfident enough, to declare his personal, considered list.
That is what I’m going to do for you, but be sure that this isn’t entirely my personal opinion, because it takes into account the rantings of other car testers I respect - ie the whole CarsGuide team - and the endless discussions we have about this kind of thing.
Where they are all simply wrong, of course, I have chosen to ignore them.