Car & Driver's 10 Best Include First Hybrid-electric

2004 '10BEST' line up includes Toyota Prius

Published: 03-Dec-2003

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The world's number one automotive enthusiast magazine, Car and Driver, today announced winners in its 22nd annual roundup of the ten best cars sold in America. The Car and Driver "10Best" winners are featured in January 2004 issue of the magazine on sale next week.

Like last year, eight models from foreign automakers and one each from Ford and General Motors make up this year's list of the Car and Driver editors' favorites. The 2004 "10Best" lineup adds four all-new or significantly improved Japanese models: Acura TSX, Honda S2000, Mazda RX8 and the first hybrid vehicle ever to make the list, the Toyota Prius. Also new to the "10Best list" is Germany's Audi S4 Quattro. Rounding out the list is a group of perennial winners: BMW 3-Series/M3, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Focus and Honda Accord; and a repeat winner in only its second year of production, the Infiniti G35.

This year's Car and Driver "10Best" winners are:

"Stunning styling, terrific technology, and excellent value are the virtues we certainly appreciate," said Editor-in-Chief Csaba Csere (pronounced Chubba Chedda). "We found them in abundance among the 57 cars nominated for our 2004 awards."

A 13-member panel of Car and Driver editors -- with a combined 292 years of experience -- gathered in Ann Arbor this past fall to determine winners by rating them on a scale from 1 to 100.

While all cars offered in U.S. showrooms by January 2004 are eligible, only a select few make the cut. Finalists must fall below a price cap of $69,000 as determined by multiplying by 2.5 the average transaction price as of Summer 2003, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. Importantly, in order to qualify as a nominee, the manufacturers must be able to deliver a vehicle for testing as the Car and Driver staff only considers vehicles it can actually drive.

The magazine also re-nominates previous year's winners if they are still available and under the price cap. It then identifies new or substantially upgraded vehicles for the current year. This year, the process yielded 57 nominees.

Car and Driver's "10Best" began in 1983 with the desire to produce a list devoted to automotive excellence. According to Csere, in keeping with the personality of the magazine, the staff did not believe that just one car could represent its diverse readership and circulation. Instead, they selected 10 cars.

Articles and visuals of the 2004 "10Best" winners and nominees can be read and seen in the January issue or on Car and Driver's Web site, www.caranddriver.com . Visitors are encouraged to join Car and Driver Online's interactive forums to tell the magazine's editors if they agree or disagree with their selections.

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