Top Cars Ranked by Velocity Index

We try our hardest to be unbiased, but the cars that catch our eye are the ones that accelerate, handle and stop with competence. A large part of this is based on some fundamental design and packaging choices made during the vehicles development.

After examining the top performing vehicles, we identified over 15 criteria that set the best cars apart from the rest. With these criteria, we created the Velocity Index to get a feel for whether or not a vehicle could be a standout performance model. Keep in mind, big differences in numbers are of interest -- minor differences are insignificant.

This is only a guideline number that represents the car's "potential" to be a top-performing vehicle. We test a lot of cars. There will always be an intangible quality to certain cars that just makes them "feel right". Variances in manufacturing may even yield differences between two otherwise identical vehicles... Your mileage will vary.

For most of us, that really only tells part of the story. It seems justified that a $300,000 sports car should be at the top of the list. A more interesting question is, "how do I get the most performance for my dollar? Whats the best "'value?'"

Best of Breed (price adjusted):

Convertible Mazda MX-5
Coupe Hyundai Genesis coupe
SUV Subaru Forester
Sedan Subaru WRX
Truck Nissan Frontier King Cab
Van Mazda MAZDA5
Wagon Subaru Impreza WRX 5-door