The Summing Up For 2006

Let’s cut to the quick. Here are some lists of cars that caught my interest for various reasons in 2006. My point of view, so if you have another, I have no problem with that.

Mostly because my opinion is still the correct one.

Cars in 2006 that are in tune with the Cosmos

Honda Fit – Wonderful and more than enough car for most households
Nissan Versa – Close, but not as good as the Fit, but better in the crash tests
Saturn Aura XR – Great effort from GM and equals Camry or Accord
BMW 335i Coupe – the essence of what is wonderful about BMW cars
Infiniti G35 – So very close to the BMW 3-Series now and good-looking, too
Mercedes-Benz E320 Blutec – Happy marriage of luxury and diesel
MazdaSpeed 3 – Wow, like a nuclear roller skate.
Volkswagen GTI – Perfect blend of performance, utility and price
Audi RS4 – Very expensive, but somehow worth it
Ford Fusion – Lots of fun, good build quality – can you believe it?
Porsche Cayman – Preferable to a Boxster, and that’s saying a lot
Scion xB – Slow, but cool little box-on-wheels that will steal your heart
Saab 9-3 Combi – Bag the SUV, this is sport and utility together in one vehicle

Cars in 2006 that were jarringly discordant

BMW M6 – Fast but somehow not fascinating
BMW 650i – Encapsulates everything that is going wrong with BMW
Toyota FJ Cruiser – Cartoon that apes a classic
Dodge Caliber – Wanted to like it but it’s so wrong on many levels
Chrysler Sebring – Kind of a mess attached to a great stereo
Jeep Compass – Puking now
Isuzu i290/i350 – Warmed-up leftovers of GM product that was bad at start
Nissan Stanza – Great car for people who don’t like cars
Nissan Quest – Soporific
Chevrolet Uplander/Buick Terraza/Saturn Relay – Simply craptastic
Chevrolet Impala – Rental car in your driveway
Volkswagen Passat – styling gone wrong and price has really climbed
Lexus LS 460 – The most luxurious interpretation of boring
Lexus LX 470 – See LS 460, and add in environmental crimes
Hyundai Azera – Could have been made in Soviet bloc
Lincoln Mark LT – Failure in so many, many ways
Kia Optima – Ugh
Honda Ridgeline – Japanese El Camino, but with only the V6 engine
Honda Element – Weird, not half as good as the Scion xB

Bittersweet farewells to models going away

Porsche Carrera GT – Rocket with no compromises, but heart-stopping price
Volkswagen Phaeton – Wrong company for this car
Ford GT – So delicious in every way
Ford Taurus – Ford starved this once-great nameplate to a slow, ugly death
Acura RSX – Wonderful car, but Civic Si has made it superfluous
Pontiac GTO – Very good coupe, but looks didn’t match performance

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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