A Year of Forbidden Fruit: My Five Favorite Cars Driven in 2013
The year 2013 brought us more than its fair share of truly fantastic vehicles, and apologetically so. Figure it takes three to five years to develop a new car from scratch, and there was quite a financial crunch that occurred during 2008 and 2009, and it makes sense that money that was invested then is finally starting to pay off now. In 2014, you can bet that it's only going to get better as consumers build more confidence and automakers feel more assured about sinking billion-dollar budgets into their next-generation vehicles. Having driven hundreds of cars in 2013--I drove about 30 at the three-day Nissan 360 event this past summer alone--I've thought about the vehicles I drove that made me smile. And come to think of it, they still make me smile. While three of the vehicles on this list aren't even sold in the U.S., I highly recommend everyone kick, scratch, and claw their ways into finding out how to drive them. They're just that good. On the other hand, I recommend that be done with the cars sold here as well. Here are my five favorites of 2013:Let's not forget that I had the opportunity to drive some truly amazing vehicles that aren't sold on this side of the pond. Take, for example, the Nissan Juke-R. This Franken-Car is what happens when some bored race car engineers get a hold of the running gear from a 545-horsepower Nissan GT-R and a Nissan Juke. Only sold in a scant few countries to a scant few customers who can afford its $600,000 price of admission, the Juke-R is an amazingly quick feat of engineering. And while it doesn't quite do anything as well as the Nissan GT-R on which it's based, who cares? It's a Nissan Juke that defies physics, logic, and any argument ever made against it. Thank you, Nissan, for making it.
Recalls are underway for a large number of Volvo and Lincoln cars, and Nissan is also calling back a few of...