Over one week in September, and over a distance of more than 15,000 miles, our editors drove every new 2013 model under $80,000, as well as our returning winners, to bring you this year's 10Best.
Nominees consist of all-new cars, 2012 10 best winners, cars that were not available for the 2012 competition, and those with significant updates. All cars must fall under our base-price cap of $80,000 and be on sale in January 2013.
Acura ILX • Audi Allroad • Audi A6/A7 • Audi A6 2.0T* • Audi A8 TDI* • Audi A8 3.0T • Audi RS5 • Audi S5 • Audi S6/S7 • BMW ActiveHybrid 3* • BMW ActiveHybrid 5 • BMW X1 • BMW 135is* • BMW 3-series • BMW 528i • BMW 640i coupe/Gran Coupe • Buick Verano 2.0T • Cadillac ATS • Cadillac CTS-V • Cadillac XTS • Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 • Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible • Chevrolet Impala* • Chevrolet Malibu • Chevrolet Spark • Dodge Dart • Fiat 500 Turbo/Abarth • Ford C-Max hybrid • Ford C-Max Energi* • Ford Focus/ST/Electric • Ford Fusion • Ford Mustang GT/Boss 302 • Ford Shelby GT500 • Ford Taurus EcoBoost 2.0 • Honda Accord • Honda Fit/EV • Hyundai Azera • Hyundai Elantra coupe/GT • Hyundai Genesis coupe • Hyundai Veloster Turbo • Jaguar XF*/XF 3.0* • Jaguar XJ 3.0 • Lexus ES • Lexus GS • Lexus LS* • Mazda MX-5 Miata • Mercedes-Benz C350 • Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec/E400 hybrid*/E550 coupe • Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG • Mini Cooper Roadster • Mitsubishi i-MiEV* • Nissan Altima • Nissan Sentra • Porsche Boxster • Scion FR-S • Scion iQ • Subaru BRZ • Subaru XV Crosstrek • Tesla Model S* • Toyota Avalon* • Toyota Prius C/V • Toyota Yaris • Volkswagen Beetle convertible* • Volkswagen Golf/ GTI/Golf R • Volvo S60 T5 AWD*
2013 Audi A6 3.0T / S6 / A7 3.0T / S7
All hail the new autobahn—and interstate—kings.
For the second consecutive year, we're bellying up for a helping of Audi's alphanumeric soup. To the "As" and "6s" and "7s" from the A6 3.0T and A7 models that made the list last year, we're happy to see a couple of hot "Ss" float to the top in 2013. For the S6 and S7, Audi takes the "A" models' rich mix of virtues and turns it lethal, thanks in no small part to a 420-hp, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8. In a recent comparison test, the S6 put the hurt on the vastly more powerful BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. On the road, the S6 is an inexhaustible cannon, more cohesive and less fiddly than cars costing an additional $20,000. Audi's modus operandi for the non-S varieties is basically the same, minus 110 horsepower. Understated bodies cover stout structures into which Audi crafts beautiful and sensible interiors, without unnecessary complication. Combine that with an unflappable chassis, accurate steering, ample power, and a general sense of quality and you have an unbeatable luxury/sports-car range.