As you may remember from last year, our rules are simple: to be eligible, a car must meet our price and category definition, plus be all-new or significantly updated for the 2012 model year. The nominees must also be available for purchase by January 31, 2012, and made available for our editors to drive and review prior to November 18, 2011. Fortunately, almost every car in the category fits this mold, so we hone our short list from a wide variety of options.
Our evaluation process includes a combination of objective and subjective factors, such as performance, price, styling, cachet, and luxury. We weigh these out for each car, evaluating strengths and weaknesses until we come to the ultimate winner: the Best Car To Buy.
As the award's name implies, it's not just the outright best car from any one standpoint that wins; it's the car we'd most like to own, and the car we most recommend buying, in its segment. As a team, High Gear Media's editors test over 200 new vehicles each year, including every car on the eligibility short list and all of the nominees. It's from this wide-ranging experience that we draw our conclusions.
We'll be announcing the nominees this week, with one new car joining the fold each day, with the official winner of the Best Car To Buy 2012 award to be named on Monday, November 28.
Without further ado, here's our short list of the top eligible cars for 2012:
2012 Audi A7
2012 Ford Mustang BOSS 302
2012 Nissan GT-R
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
2012 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG
2012 Porsche 911
2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
2012 BMW 650i