- Each year Business Insider selects 15 finalists to take part in its Car of the Year competition.
- The cars are chosen from the more than five dozen we road test during the year.
- The vehicles range from family SUVs to supercars to electric vehicles.
- One of the 15 will be named Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year.
Fall is here, and that means the transportation team at Business Insider is gearing up to choose our 2017 Car of the Year.
We’ve been at this for four years now. In 2014 the Corvette Stingray took the prize. In 2015 it was the Volvo XC90. And last year the Acura NSX captured the trophy. In 2016 we expanded the competition, and for 2017 we stuck to what worked last year.
Once again, 15 finalists will face off. These are the vehicles, from sedans to supercars to SUVs, that impressed us most. They’re the best of the best and were selected after a year of test-driving and reviewing dozens of cars, trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and sports cars.
We reviewed and tested more vehicles than ever in 2017, thanks to transportation reporter Danielle Muoio and deputy editor Cadie Thompson joining our ranks. News editor Bryan Logan also lent a hand on the West Coast. We also took more photos, thanks to visual-features reporter Hollis Johnson, and we shot numerous videos and Facebook Lives with the assistance of associate producer Alexandra Appolonia as well as producers Justin Gmoser and Emma Fierberg. Our two main reviewers, Matt DeBord and Ben Zhang, also traveled far and wide to sample fantastic cars in their natural environment: the racetrack. Ben took a spin in a McLaren in Italy, and Matt went to Utah to be among the first journalists to drive the Le Mans-winning Ford GT.
To be eligible, all models must be new or have been substantially updated within the past year. As a result, we’ve been blessed with a bountiful selection of cars spanning a broad spectrum of the market. In addition, all models must have been road tested by at least two members of the Business Insider team to qualify. (Because of a lack of available press demonstrators, three significant cars — the Bugatti Chiron, Ford GT, and Tesla Model 3 — were deemed ineligible.)
We’ll announce the 2017 Car of the Year on November 14, and we’ll prepare you for the big event by revealing our five runners-up next week. We’ll also reveal who won Infotainment System of the Year and Audio System of the Year. So here they are, the 15 finalists for Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year:
2018 Acura TLX A-Spec
Engine tested: 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V6
Base price: $35,000
Why it’s here: Ben Zhang and Matt DeBord drove the car on different coasts but had the same reaction: This is a truly great machine from Acura, and one that we’d seriously consider over a BMW.
“Ben and I agreed that the TLX A-Spec offers a convincing alternative to a BMW 3-Series with comparable options, given that everything I’ve outlined in our review can be had standard for just a scooch more than $45,000, with the only uptick from the $44,800 ticker being the $950 destination charge,” Matt wrote in his review.
“And it’s not for nothing that you’ll be buying Acura reliability and quality; if you want to drive the TLX until the wheels fall off, you can.
“This is how Acura greatness sneaks up on you. And it’s why the brand should always be in the top-tier luxury conversation, even if it’s rarely included in that club. I should have known that this would be one of the best cars we’d drive all year.”
2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
Engine tested: 2.9-liter, 505-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V6
Base price: $72,000
Why it’s here: The Alfa Giulia is the carmaker’s flagship effort at reestablishing itself in the ultra-competitive US luxury market.
In his review of the high-performance Quadrifoglio, Matt wrote: “If the Bimmer M is the state of the art and the AMG brings the Mercedes luxe vibe, and the Audi RS channels the carmaker’s rally-racing heritage with all-wheel-drive, then what does the Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio bring to the table?” The answer:
“What you have in the Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio is a V-6 Ferrari in four-door form. Put this car up against a BMW M3, and in many respects, you have a better car. That’s saying something. The Giulia Q has been designed to beat BMW at its own game, just as everybody has been trying to beat BMW at its own game for decades. The stunner is that Alfa Romeo has done it.”
2017 Aston Martin DB11
Engine tested: 5.2-liter, 600-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V12
Base price: $212,000
Why it’s here: Aston Martin and the V12, a match made in heaven. The latest product of this union is the 2017 Aston Martin DB11 V12 Coupe.
“For Aston Martin, the DB11 is one of the most important cars in company history and certainly the most important since its separation from Ford a decade ago,” Ben wrote in his review.
“As storied as Aston Martin the brand may be, Aston Martin the business has had more than its fair share of run-ins with financial ruin in its history. The DB11 has to keep the company in the black for the foreseeable future.”
And it looks like Aston has a winner on its hands.
“With the DB11 you get Aston Martin at its most refined. It’s easy to live with, a joy to drive, and its technology works without a hitch.
“Fortunately for the DB11, automotive excellence doesn’t stifle Aston’s trained-killer-in-a-Savile-Row-suit personality. Neither Mercedes’ electronics nor the twin turbos could sanitize the entertaining driving experience. There’s plenty fine leather, rich wood, and throaty V12 rumble left to ensure the brand’s personality abounds.
“Because the new DB11 is able to deliver modern refinement without corrupting the essence of its parental heritage, it is without a doubt the best car to ever carry the Aston Martin badge.”