With another year at an end, it's time to answer a question I'm often asked: what was the most memorable model you tested over the past year?
The question is simple, but the answer is less so. On average, I and other auto journalists get to drive somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 vehicles each year. Most of the time for a week, but sometimes for a few days, and occasionally only for a few hours.
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And anyways, what makes a model stand out? Its style? Its power? Its handling? Its value for money? The good buy it represents for a majority of consumers? In reality, it's no single one of these elements; it’s usually a combination of several. And it depends on the model. One car might have great styling and performance, but fall short versus rivals, or be overpriced, for example. Another, more mundane car may be a great deal because of one or two key qualities.